Dwarf Water Lettuce

  1. Aquarist Fishlore Legend Member

    Common name: Dwarf Water Lettuce
    Scientific name: Pistia stratioes
    Planting zone: .Floating
    Fertilizers: Not necessary
    Growth rate: Fast under the right lighting
    Size: Small to very large
    Propagation: Pull apart each section of the plant
    Lighting: Bright to Moderate
    Reproduction: Runners create baby plants that are easily separated at any time.
    Pruning: Remove any discolored/yellow leaves to help produce new growth.

    It has been my experience that the Dwarf Water Lettuce does very well in bright to moderate light when kept in the aquarium and refugiums. Too, the lettuce has done better for me in refugiums with very little surface water movement compared to having it in the aquarium with lots of surface water disturbance.

    When this plant is placed in outdoor ponds in full sun, the plant will grow to its full potential and will be much, much larger compared to having this plant inside under artificial lighting. If there is too much surface water disturbance, the plant may simply disappear.

    Below are some photos of Dwarf Water Lettuce in my refugiums using 6700K bulbs:

    WaterLettuce2.jpg WaterLettuce.jpg

    The photos below are of Dwarf Water Lettuce in my pond with no moving water whatsoever and in full sun and you can see the difference in the size of the plants:

    WaterLettuce2013-4.jpg WaterLettuce2013.jpg WaterLettuce2013-3.jpg


    I highly recommend this plant, it's very easy to keep and grow, given the right conditions. If given time and the correct lighting in the aquarium and refugium, it may well grow to the same size of that in full sun in an outdoor pond. It grows so quickly I usually remove a good portion of it from my refugiums to make space for new growth, thus not letting the plant have time to reach its full potential.

    Additional Note: Floating plants may block the light that that planted plants require, so removing some of it from your tank or refugium or pond may be a necessity from time to time.

    The plants roots make great hiding places for fry.

    Also they may help to reduce nitrates within the tank.

    Ken