What you will need to make your duckweed food:
3. Pollen or Flour
4. Montmorillonite clay, this is optional but it does help to sink the food and its beneficial to the shrimp.
Let’s get started
Check out this nutritional information Duckweed has protein range from 27% to 46% of plant dry mass. The levels of nitrogen in the plant are comparable to those in commercial fertilizers. Duckweed could be a good dietary supplement and nutrient source for humans, livestock, and fish.
You can see how this type of food is favored for chicken feed which in turn produces chicken manure which in turn becomes a fertilizer which then can be added back to the water as a food source for the duckweed! Did I mention you could also have fish feeding on the duckweed that you could also eat ? but don’t worry even duckweed makes great vegetarian burgers (yum yum )if that is your thing.
What I do with Duckweed is I let it grow to about ¾ of the surface area of the tank and then I harvest it with my net, then I put it into a bucket which I will let sit for at least a day the reason I do that is because often when you take duckweed it out of the tanks there will be baby shrimp in all the roots of this stuff. So, you want to leave it and let it sit for a day then you can move it around with your hands and pull it back to see if there is any baby shrimp.
The other thing that is pretty awesome about duckweed as well is it’s a good indicator of how healthy your tank is if the duckweed is very green like the ones I show you in the attached video that means it’s pulling quite a bit of nutrients out of the water if it is not bright green like this then there could be an issue with water quality so it’s a good indicator, it’s also a really good area for your shrimp to sit in and forage around for food in.
So every week I do this I remove Duckweed with my green net, I collect lots of duckweed and then I freeze it. I drain all the water out first and then I freeze it. I then do this for a few weeks, so you can just see how much is in here ( a few kilos). I have made this before, I’ve also sent the food out to a few to you guys as a sample in some of the stuff that you order from me and this is where that food came from.
By the time that we have made this the new food, we will see if the shrimp like this stuff. You can already tell it’s going to be a winner, can’t you guys? Okay, so we’re going to go over here and I’m going to make the food, the process is pretty simple you’re going to liquidate the stuff then you have to dry it out basically. The binder I use for this is pollen (you can also use flour ) because Pollen has its own benefits as well as being full of goodies.
So this should be simple enough, put your stuff into a bowl, yes its very gross (urrgh). I’m going to try not make a mess with this as well because it is quite messy this stuff.
Now, this does have a water content so try it first without adding any water, let’s see how this goes. Now, this was solid ice before but now it’s really soft so it should be okay, let’s see, one two three…( I am using the blender ) I think I may need to add some water to this just to get it to pour out and to get it to sit on the bottom of the blender, let me see… it’s not even moved even a little bit so let’s go and get some water, a little bit water – should I use stuff from the fish tank? I don’t have fish, oh my God, did I say fish tank?
We’re going to want to put enough water in the blender until it relaxes, you will see it relaxing. You want to basically do this until it starts to blend, okay? So, let’s go… one two three… blender is back on.
We’re going to blend it really well. Let’s see how this now looks it doesn’t have to be super smooth, that looks really good to me. And so what we’re going to do with this is I’m going to put into this bowl here and that is the first lot done- looks
lovely, doesn’t it? Green goop.
And so we go over and get the next load, I think I’m going to put a little bit more in this time. You know what’s really interesting is the water from the duckweed, It’s like purple. I didn’t notice some of the leaves were purple so… I think that may be enough. We are going to add a little bit less water this time, just to get the duckweed to relax. And by the way, guys the handheld blender I used wasn’t waterproof so bear that in mind when you make yours.
And so we are going to add a couple of spoons of montmorillonite clay to the food and it’s a very very small amount if you can measure the clay try and aim for a 2% ratio.
So we have our Pollen and our duckweed so let’s blend it together. It smells bad you might want to hold your breath, I’m probably going to put a whole bag I have of this in. Alright, that was really good actually, I can actually smell the Pollen from this thing. I’m
going to get a spatula and I’m going to give that a good mix. look how thick it is, let’s give it a good mix up because the second part of this light green stuff has the Pollen in it and that is what we’re using as a binding agent- you can’t of course use agar, if you want to use agar then, of course, you’d have to boil the agar for a couple minutes.
Give it a good stir and this looks like a lot of food, my shrimps absolutely love this as well which I’ll show you once we get this into the tray, I’ll show you what it looks like. I think that’s mixed enough, alright so that is a lot of food. We’re now going to pour it onto our tray.
The way you could do this as well is with greaseproof paper, I put some water underneath so it sticks quite well. I’m going to air-dry this, guys, so this means I’m not going to put it into an oven. I’m going to air-dry it- I’m going to leave it somewhere to dry
itself and then I’m probably going to put it on top of my boiler because it’s very very warm up there and it will dry even faster that is how I did it with my first batch and that stuff was really really good, So let’s get this done!!
So here we have our duckweed shrimp food, let’s get as much of this goodness over here as I can. I think this is probably one of those types of foods that could be a super food for the human race if we put a mind to it So, I’m just going to lightly spread this out a little bit- I don’t want it to be too thick. I’m going to give this a little bit of top-down like this which helps to even it, even the surface, have any of you guys ever mixed cement you’ll know how this works, you’ll see how it’s like liquefying on the top, this is how you level something like this, it will actually bring most of the water to the top when you do this and then the water will evaporate and your product will be level.