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Dwarf Water Lettuce

Deanasue

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Anyone have this in your tank? How well does it grow? Lighting? I’m looking for something to cut down the light on my fish in my tropical tank. Had to treat it with salt and lost most of my floating plants. Suggestions?
 

seangee

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I used to have some. Grows like a weed but does not cope well with water on its leaves or condensation.
 

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I used to have some. Grows like a weed but does not cope well with water on its leaves or condensation.
I was thinking of getting some, I suppose it doesn't work well to leave the hood open-you just loose heat and water.
 

Byron

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I've had this for several years. it does well in some tanks and less well in others; all my tanks are covered. There is actually no "dwarf" water lettuce, there is only one species, Pistia stratiotes. Here's some info from my profile that may help:

Pistia stratiotes

Family:
Araceae, Subfamily Aroideae

Common Name: Water Lettuce [includes "Dwarf" Watter Lettuce]

Origin and Habitat: Unknown origin, but likely in the Tethys region which may be considered what today is East Africa, India, Indonesia back when these were connected. Pantropical today, this plant is found world-wide in tropical and subtropical regions. It occurs in freshwater and sometimes even in brackish.

Position in the Aquarium: Strictly floating. An ideal pond plant.

Lighting Requirements: Moderate to bright. Growth rate and size is partly dependent upon light.

Growth Rate: Rapid

Minimum Tank Size: Variable. In good conditions, this plant will grow large, up to 50cm / 20 inches across, though usually smaller. Growth depends upon conditions. The so-called "Dwarf" Water Lettuce is not a distinct species but simply due to less-than-ideal conditions of light and nutrients.

Water Parameters Soft to fairly hard (up to 25 dGH), acidic to basic (pH 6 to 8), temperature 15-30C/60-86F.

Description

A magnificent floating plant that is best suited to an outdoor pond or large aquarium. The "dwarf" form, which is not a separate variety, subspecies or distinct species, is believed by most sources to be due to less than ideal conditions; observations have noted that the "dwarf" plants develop into normal large plants when conditions improve.

The rapid growth of this plant makes it a good plant in new tanks, since it has an enormous appetite for nutrients including ammonia/ammonium. It also provides excellent cover for fry.

The oldest fossils representing the Pistia clade date from the Middle Eocene epoch, 48.6 to 37.2 million years ago. Pistia itself is first known from seeds from the Late Oligocene/Early Miocene and mid-Miocene periods of Europe and Russia, up to 33 million years ago (Renner & Zhang, 2003).

The Araceae is a family of flowering plants in which the flower is borne on an inflorescence known as a spadix which is usually partially enveloped by a leaf-like bract called a spathe. Also known as the Arum family, there are more than 3700 species in 107 genera; most occur in the Neotropics, but there are several species in the Old World tropics and the northern temperate regions. The Aroideae is the largest subfamily, holding about 72 different genera, including Anubias and Cryptocoryne of interest to aquarists.

The species was described by Carl Linnaeus (1707-1778), the Swedish scientist who developed the consistent use of binomial names for both plants and animals that we use today to classify all life, and who himself validly published over 9,000 plant names. Linnaeus erected the genus Pistia, the name derived from the Greek pistos, meaning watery, which contains just this single species. The species epithet stratiotes is Latin and means reminiscent of the Stratiotes genus of submerged aquatic plants.

References:

Kasselmann, Christel (2003), Aquarium Plants, English edition, Krieger Publishing Company, 2003.

Renner, Susanne S. and Li-Bing Zhang (2003), "Biogeography of the Pistia Clade (Araceae): Based on Chloroplast and Mitochondrial DNA Sequences and Bayesian Divergence Time Inference," Systematic Biology, Volume 53, Issue 3, pp. 422-432.
 
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Deanasue

Deanasue

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Thanks, Byron. I think l’ll give it a try. New light in tank just too bright for the fish. Need something to filter it a little.
 

Byron

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Here are a couple photos of this plant in two tanks. The first is my former 20g QT that ran permanently for new fish acquisitions. It was interesting that when that tank was fishless as it might be for months before I acquired new fish, the roots of this plant would quickly grow down to the substrate, but so far as I recall never into the substrate. I surmised (rightly or wrongly) that this may have been due to the lack of nutrients from there being no fish. In tanks with fish, the roots never grew that long but remained more like these photos. The same thing occurred in the deeper 29g after I took the group of lemon tetras to the lfs but kept the tank running for several weeks; two lemon tetra fry appeared after about 10 weeks, as I rather suspected which is why I kept it running. The second photo is that 29g but from a different "life" when it housed some Amazon blackwater fish.

Most of the time the plants grow to roughly 3 or 4 inches across, though in some tanks they remain 1.5 to 2 inches. A couple times they have grown to 5 inches.
 

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Deanasue

Deanasue

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Beautiful with roots hanging. Just got notice from the seller that it’s the wrong time for f year for them. Will try another seller.
 

Byron

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Beautiful with roots hanging. Just got notice from the seller that it’s the wrong time for f year for them. Will try another seller.
That may be due to the fact that Water Lettuce is more often seen in ponds, so availability in summer makes sense. I had some in my backyard pond when I had it, and once settled it grow to a circumference about 8-10 inches. Never does this in the tanks, though it does grow to different sizes presumably due to conditions.
 
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Deanasue

Deanasue

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That may be due to the fact that Water Lettuce is more often seen in ponds, so availability in summer makes sense. I had some in my backyard pond when I had it, and once settled it grow to a circumference about 8-10 inches. Never does this in the tanks, though it does grow to different sizes presumably due to conditions.
I found another buyer. Wow, 8 - 10 inches is huge!
 

seangee

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That may be due to the fact that Water Lettuce is more often seen in ponds, so availability in summer makes sense. I had some in my backyard pond when I had it, and once settled it grow to a circumference about 8-10 inches. Never does this in the tanks, though it does grow to different sizes presumably due to conditions.
Yes these do brilliantly in my pond. A couple of small plants in Spring and the whole pond will be covered by early September.
 
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