Can I put Water Lettuce in my Fish Tank? Pistia Stratiotes

Can I put water lettuce in my fish tank?

There are many floating pond plants that are suitable for aquariums, with plants like frogbit and common duckweed becoming popular additions to many aquascapes in hobbyists aquariums.

Water lettuce goes well with a variety of fish and invertebrates like goldfish, cichlids, and many types of snail. Apart from being robust, the plant grows quickly and will help keep the water conditions optimal by absorbing nitrates and other organic waste byproducts. There are a few pitfalls however.

If left unchecked, floating pond plants can proliferate and grow to a point where they can hinder other tank plants from receiving adequate light and nutrition. Water lettuce is quite a large floating plant and so would be better suited to large aquariums, or indoor ponds. Water lettuce will thrive in well-lit freshwater tropical and coldwater fish tanks, as long as the temperature is at least 10°c (50°F).

You must ensure that there are enough nutrients for the plant to thrive by adding a fertiliser if they begin to yellow, as water lettuce will require a fair amount to thrive. Thin the plants out if they begin to block too much light. The roots can also grow quite long, so can trap small fish or clog filter inlets if not managed.

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