Saturday, March 3, 2007

Pistia stratiotes

Pistia or Water Lettuce in Samit's Tank
The above image shows, Water Lettuce (Pistia stratiotes) in my tank. This is a free-floating plant with little thick and spongy spongy, pale green leaves. The leaves are covered with tiny hairs, making them water-resistant. Usually the leaves are 1 to 6 inches wide in wild, but in indoor setups, it might be much smaller. This is a very aggressive invader and can grow very very fast. This has no known direct food value to wildlife and is considered a pest species.

Pistia could be used very effectively in new setups, to absorb extra nutirents that couses algae bloom, but it needs to be monitored very closely on a regular basis, so that it does not cover the whole tank.

Pistia shows a very interresting instance of Allelopathy (Allelopathy - a chemical process that a plant uses to keep other plants from growing too close to it. See Wiki ) with Salvina natans. If Salvina is introduced to a tank that is infested with Pistia, within a week or so, all pistia will disappear and melt away, leaving only the Salvina in the tank.

1 comment:

ken2012 said...

Refer to it's origin, there is a little story: one day of 1984, while the famous celebity Jane Birkin seated next to replica Hermes Jean-Louis Dumas on a Paris to London flight, she opened her Hermes-made datebook and a flurry of loose notes fell to the floor. Dumas surprised with that.