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Hornwort scientific name is Ceratophyllum demersum. It is sometimes called Coon Tail. It looks similar to Tanwort but has a compact flower that does not rise to the surface.

Coontail Picture


Hornwort is a rootless plant that will lie on the bottom of your outdoor Koi pond in 1-3 feet of water.

It earned its name from the narrow leaves along the stem that resemble the hairs on a raccoon’s tail. It makes an excellent breeding area for Koi fish, and goldfish love to eat it.

Hornwort is unrooted so it doesn’t require planting, and excessive growth is easy to eradicate. Depending on the water’s hardness, Hornwort or coontail may form very soft, delicate leaves, or rather stiff, bristled leaves. This texture makes Hornwort less prone to snail predation.

Hornwort is one of the top oxygenating plants. It is tolerant of a broad range of conditions. In the fall the compact tips break off the hornwort and lie dormant for the winter.

The coontail has been known to release certain chemicals that naturally prevent some forms of pond algae growth, making it a prime addition to the garden pond.

Hornwort is a submerged plant, growing in still or very slow-moving water in ponds and streams. They have numerous side shoots making a single specimen appear as a large, bushy mass. The leaves are produced in swirls of six to twelve, each leaf is 8-40mm long, simple, or forked into two to eight thread-like segments edged with spiny teeth; they are stiff and brittle.

It is monoecious, with separate male and female flowers produced on the same plant. The flowers are small, 2mm long, with eight or more greenish-brown petals; they are produced in the leaf axils. The fruit is a small nut 4-5mm long, usually with three spines, two basal and one apical, 1-12mm long.

The hornwort is often used as a floating freshwater plant in both coldwater and tropical aquaria, though it may attach itself to the objects in the pond by it’s roots. It’s fluffy, filamentous, bright-green leaves provide excellent cover for newly-hatched fish. It will grow and spread out by pruning.


Duckweed Picture


Duckweed is the common name for Lemna Minor. Opinions differ when it comes to Duckweed usefulness. I’m going to give you the facts (from Wikipedia Encyclopedia) and you can decide. I have never used this plant in any of my ponds. I included only for your knowledge of plant species.

Duckweed Plant is native throughout most of Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America, occurring everywhere that freshwater ponds and slow moving streams occur, except for Arctic and subarctic climates.

It is a floating freshwater plant with one, two or three leaves each with a single root hanging in the water. It propagates mainly by division, and flowers are rarely produced.

It grows in water with a high nutrient level. Growth of colonies is rapid, and the plant frequently forms a complete carpet across still pools when conditions are suitable.

It is an important food resource for many fish and birds (notable duck) it is rich in protein and fats. Birds are also important in dispersing Duckweed to new sites; the root is sticky, enabling the plant to adhere to the feet while the bird flies from one pond to another.

If you have Duckweed in your pond and you want to GET RID OF IT there are a couple of things you can do. Larger Koi and goldfish love to eat duckweed so if you reduce the amount of food you give them it will encourage them to eat it.

The active ingredients that have been successful in treating duckweeds are diquat and fluridone (fluridone is excellent for ridding your pond of Duckweed).

For more information on Duckweed Click Here for the Duckweed Page.

Reference: Wikipedia Encyclopedia

Reference: Encyclopedia of Water Garden Plants

To see our list of Toxic Plants click here.

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Products to Control Duckweed


Redwing is a liquid diquat formulation that has been effective on coontail. It is a contact algaecide and herbicide. Contact herbicides act quickly and kill all plants cells that they contact.

Planktonic Algae

WhiteCap is a fluridone compound and has been effective on coontail. It is a broad spectrum, systemic herbicide. Systemic herbicides are absorbed and move within the plant to the site of action. Systemic herbicides tend to act more slowly than contact herbicides.

Gull wing

GullWing contains the active ingredient, imazapyr, which inhibits the plant enzyme AHAS (acetohydroxyaced synthase). Habitat is a systemic herbicide that is effective on post-emergent floating and emergent aquatic vegetation. Imazapyr is effective at low-volume rates and does not contain heavy metals, organochlorides or phosphates, making it safe to humans and livestock. GullWing requires the use of a spray adjuvant when applying on post-emergent vegetation.

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