Water lettuce (Pistia stratiotes) profile

Written by Maggie

Nov 08 2021

Water lettuce (Pistia stratiotes) profile

Water lettuce (Pistia Stratiotes), also known as water cabbage, Nile cabbage, or shellflower, is a perennial herb found in tropical America. Cultivate Water lettuce in a pool or container as an outdoor or indoor spot.

Water lettuce picture

Water lettuce

Morphological characteristics of water lettuce

Water lettuce is a floating aquatic plant.

Leaves of water lettuce are obovate or fan-shaped, undulate, with several longitudinal stripes on the surface and a light greyish-green back. Short stem with fibrous roots at the leaf base, floating in the water.

Adult water lettuce has green flowers.

The ecological habits of Water lettuce

Water lettuce can be grown in a pool and then in a container with water and can be used as an indoor decoration.

Benefits of growing water lettuce in the aquarium

Clean the water

Water lettuce aggressively consumes decomposition byproducts in water, such as nitrate, nitrite, and phosphates, as properly as other organics. It is a very fantastic plant for maintaining your aquarium waters in chemical stability and wholesome for fish and invertebrate life.

Reduces algal blooms

As with many surface-dwelling, buoyant aquatic plants, they can avoid mild penetration to deeper stages of the aquarium stifling the increase of algae and additionally sequester the vitamins quintessential for algal growth. Water lettuce is very superb at controlling algae stages in an aquarium environment.

Water lettuce

Downsides of using water lettuce

Heavy overgrowth can shape a very dense, interconnected mat that reduces floor air change and has been recognized to make contributions to fish kills in the wild. In aquarium structures with bubble stones, however, this is no longer an issue.

The excess increase can be curtailed by using a multiplied oxygenation of the water seeing that water lettuce prefers greater eutrophic environments which have a tendency to pressure toward low dissolved oxygen content.

Depending on the place you live, it can be challenging to acquire water lettuce. It is regarded as a constrained pest weed in the wild and, in some states or countries, it is unlawful to transport or possess water lettuce.

Water lettuce is presently unlawful to possess or transport in the following US states: Alabama, California, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas, and Wisconsin. Pistia strategies are additionally banned in the United Kingdom and New Zealand and are closely limited in Australia and Japan the place allows are required.

In the European Union, a ban has been regarded however is no longer present in the area due to lobbying opposition.

How to care for water lettuce

Despite its energetic nature, water lettuce requires some interest to set up the plant in aquarium environments. Once established, however, boom ought to be managed or you will cease up with a runaway teach full of plants.

Water lettuce tolerates tender to somewhat challenging water in a pH vary of 6.5-7.5. It prospers in medium to brilliant mild (such as full-spectrum T8 or T5 develop bulbs) and prefers somewhat heat water temperatures (21-27°C) on account that it is a tropical plant.

If you are developing water lettuce in dry surroundings (we suggest the air, now not the tank on the grounds that liquid water is, of course, wet), leaves can dry out and come to be susceptible to being burned by means of brilliant light. Adding an aquarium cowl normally treatments this trouble except a lot of extra effort needed.

When organizing new plants, enable your water lettuce to acclimate for a few days in decrease mild degrees and modify the water chemistry of the tank. Water lettuce bought in nurseries is usually grown in decrease mild stipulations simply to strive and preserve it underneath control, so the vegetation will want a brief duration of adjustment earlier than you transition them to brighter mild levels, otherwise, the leaves will burn.

If you have different aquatic plant life in your tank, you will prefer to usually skinny out the water lettuce so that mild can attain deeper degrees of the tank. Failure to do this on an everyday foundation (weekly) will kill off the different photosynthetic existence in your aquarium.

If your tank filter machine generates a sizable current, insert a floating dam to defend (and avert the spread) of water lettuce. Flowing water with disturbed water lettuce plant life and they will end developing or end up submerged and die.

An easy dam answer consists of plastic tubing with suction cups on the ends which can be strung throughout a component of the tank.

Water lettuce

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