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The Old Riverbed in the KU Botanical Garden is to be Cleaned up by Diligent and Voracious Newcomers

Special newcomers arrived in the KU Botanical Garden; their mission is to clean up the bogging up waters of the old bed of the Dangė River.  In the vicinity, an Oriental Garden is being designed.

Asta Klimienė, Coordinator of the KU Botanical Garden, brought several grown-up grass carps (ctenopharyngodon idella)  to the Garden and released them into the old bed of the Dangė River. Sergejus Ivanovas, a farmer of Klaipėda District, today released another approximately 100 one- and three-year-old grass carp younglings into the ponds. He said he did it in gratitude to Klaipėda University that once sent him to study in Denmark. Studies at the University of Copenhagen at the time helped him to set up a business, including the breeding of grass carps.

Grass carps are herbivorous fish that can help control overgrown ponds. As many as 95 percent of the fish diet consists of aquatic weeds and algae. Due to this characteristic, the said species spread and became popular in the water bodies of Lithuania and other European countries. Information sources about this fish inform that, during the day, grass carps are able to eat almost as much as they weigh themselves. In order to gain a kilogram of body weight, they have to tuck in 25 to 30 kg of aquatic vegetation.  Because of their “appetite” for weeds, the fish earned the nickname of a “water cow”.

It is estimated that one grass carp would suffice for a three-are water body. “The ponds of the old riverbed of the Botanical Garden occupy about 10 ares, and therefore we planned to release at least five adult grass carps into them. We released a larger number, and the effect of cleaning up the ponds should be faster. We are very happy about that, because it will no longer be necessary to hire expensive equipment for this job, ” said Asta Klimienė.

Stocking water bodies with grass carp is an effective and environmentally friendly way to clean up overgrown water bodies. According to specialists, the results of the work of diligent and voracious fish in the ponds of KU Botanical Garden should be seen fairly soon.