Pistia (Pistia stratiotes) or, as it is called, water salad – Aquarium plant family (Araceae).
In nature Pistia inhabits the waters of the tropics and subtropics of Africa.
Water salad represents floating on the water rosettes of greenish-bluish large leaves, velvety to the touch. The diameter of one such outlet reaches about 25 cm. The height of large specimens can reach 15 cm.
Pistia deserves the title of one of the most beautiful plants that float on the surface of the water. Root system water lettuce well developed and consists of descending sufficiently deeply long roots (up to 30 cm). Among aquarists this plant has found wide distribution.
For his content open reservoirs are also suitable, and aquariums. Long roots pisti well clean water from turbidity. In addition, root weaving is a good refuge for fry and spawning grounds. aquarium fish.
Under comfortable conditions water salad it grows evenly throughout the year, forming thickets that barely transmit light and thus shade the near-bottom plants. In order to avoid strong blackout, it is necessary to thin out these thickets periodically.
AT content piste not capricious. The water temperature is optimal for the growth and development of the plant, in the range of 24-30 ° C in summer and 18-20 ° C – in winter. In colder water, growth slows.
To other qualitative indicators of water, namely hardness and reaction, the plant is indifferent. But, nevertheless, with greater water hardness piste growing worse.
The main thing that is important for water lettuce, this aquarium lighting, which should be bright, at least 12 hours a day. The maximum size of the plant reaches with natural sunlight.
At application artificial luminescent lamps with a power from 3 W / liter are used. But incandescent bulbs are not recommended for use as a means of artificial lighting, because the heat emanating from these lamps causes burns of the leaves. To create a humid atmosphere saturated with water evaporation, it is recommended to cover aquarium glass
In such an atmosphere, sufficient temperature and lighting piste produces a small flower spike. Usually flowers whitish or yellowish. For water salad content the nature of the soil does not matter at all, because often the roots of this plant do not reach the bottom and it is free floating on the surface water.
Complex mineral dressing is necessary to produce in a period of rapid growth, spring and summer. The composition of the feed necessarily includes micronutrients.
Feeding is carried out weekly with the expectation that 1.5-2 grams of fertilizer is applied per 100 liters of water. Also weekly recommended water change.
Breeds Water salad whiskers that are formed on creeping shoots. After the formation of two or three leaves, you can separate the daughter plant from the parent. In the case of the formation of shoots with subsidiary plants in the winter, they are placed in swamp moss, covered, creating a moist environment.
The temperature is 12-14 ° C. After wintering, the plant is transferred to a lighted tropical aquarium.