Duckweed vs Frogbit, Which Is Superior For An Aquarium, And What’s The Difference?

Last Updated on February 16, 2022 by cmoarz

If you are shopping for floating plants for your aquarium, you might be wondering what the difference between duckweed vs frogbit is, And which will go better in your tank. It’s important to understand the differences between these two aquatic plants because they are quite different in both appearance and behavior.

What is Duckweed

Duckweed is the smallest floating aquatic plant in the world. It is also one of the fastest-growing plants, and can double its population in just 20-48 hours!

Duckweed prefers very slow-moving calm water, good aeration, and plenty of sunlight.

Being the smallest aquatic plant in the world, it can handle very harsh conditions like turbid water or any other kind of pollution, but it thrives best in clean, well-maintained surroundings.

It’s one of the most commonly used plants in aquaponics systems and aquariums because it cleans the water effectively and grows quickly.

Duckweed is actually a catch-all term for about 35 different subspecies that all have tiny, flat leaves that are just one cell thick.

What is Frogbit

Frogbit, which is part of the Hydrocharitaceae family, is also a very common floating plant in aquariums. It’s an ornamental aquatic herb that spreads via runners and can easily take over your tank if you don’t keep it under control.

Frogbit has long (up to 6 inches), thin leaves with round edges. The leaves are shiny, waxy, and deep green with very long roots.

Frogbit spreads easily, and in an aquarium, it can grow two feet wide if you let it. It also prefers slow-moving water rich in nutrients.

The roots make a great habitat for plenty of smaller species of fish and shrimp and fry.

Because of its larger area, frogbit is more efficient at sucking up nutrients – especially nitrates – than duckweed. And because of its larger leaves, it is more efficient at absorbing sunlight and producing oxygen.

How do they compare to each other in the aquarium?

Comparably, both plants do the same thing – they provide shelter, breeding grounds, and a food source for young fish.

But frogbit is better at eating up nitrates and it produces more oxygen, so an aquarium with a lot of frogbits will have less water-foul bacteria that can build up in the tank.

But on the other hand, too many leaves can block out too much sunlight from reaching the rest of the plants, so it is important to balance out both plants in your aquarium. While they are different species, there’s no reason you can’t have a healthy duckweed population and a frogbit population at the same time.

With duckweed, Pruning it back is as simple as scooping it off the surface with a skimmer, While frogbit will require more hands-on pruning.

Which one should you choose for your tank?

This is really going to come down to personal preference and the fish you have. If you have a low-light tank with plenty of shade, go with the duckweed. But if you have a high-light tank or one that can handle lots of nutrients, try frogbit instead.

Both are very easy to maintain in an aquarium, so growing either one really is just a matter of preference!

Larger fish will appreciate fewer long roots to get tangled up in and take up swimming space, so duckweed might be preferable.

Smaller fish might appreciate the long thick roots that they can swim around, hide and play in, as well as breed and keep their fry safe from larger fish.

So, if you have a lot of small fry or very large fish in your tank, frogbit is going to be the better choice for you!

The effects of duckweed and frogbit are really quite similar when it comes to aquariums, but they do have different strengths. Duckweed clogs up filters much less than frogbit does, but frogbit can provide a better shelter for the fish in your tank.

So you should grow some of both if possible! And remember that while they’re great at eating up nitrates and providing shelter, duckweed and frogbit will need to be pruned on occasion to stay healthy.

Why are they different from each other, and what does this mean for your tank?

The main difference between duckweed and frogbit is that duckweed, Duckweed is a rootless floating plant while frogbit, on the other hand, has roots and is, therefore, a rooted plant. Both species do flower, however, the duckweed flowers are microscopic compared with the frogbit flowers which can be observed by the naked eye.

In the wild, both plants are found in ponds and slow-moving streams where they serve as habitats for fish, insects, frogs, and turtles.


Owner of and also owner of actual Aquarium Gravel believe it or not! ;). Setting up beautiful aquarium sceneries and habitats since I was very young. Enjoy!