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Water lettuce

Water lettuce
(Pistia stratiotes)

Pistia stratiotes is one of the most popular plants for fish, and therefore aquarists! It can live in aquariums as well as ponds. However, it requires a little attention to see it flourish.

Discover how to farm the Pistia Stratiodes in this sheet.

Scientific name

Pistia stratiotes

Common name

Water cabbage
Water lettuce
Nile cabbage


what are his countries of origin?

Origin: Africa (Nil, Lake Victoria)

Ideal fertilization

how to fertilize this plant?

CO2: 5-40mg/l
Nitrates (NO3): 10-50mg/l
Phosphates (PO4): 0.1-3mg/l
Potassium (K): 5-30mg/l
iron (Fe): 0.01-0.5mg/l


which group is this plant?



what is the type of plant?

Floating Plant

Water parameters

What are the Water parameters for the maintenance of this plant?

T°: 17 to 30°C or 63 to 88°F
pH: 5 to 7
Hardness: 1 to 10°dGH




Minimal lighting

what brightness is needed?



what is the maximum size of the plant?

5 to 25 cm (2 to 10")

Plantation area

in which area of the aquarium install this plant?



how fast does this plant grow?



Who is the Water lettuce?


Who is the Water lettuce?

This perennial plant floats on the surface of our aquariums. It forms an interesting vegetation cover to sift the lighting (which many fish appreciate), offers hiding places for fry and some surface fish will also use them to build their bubble nest.

Like many floating plants, it participates effectively in the fight against algae by feeding on the nutrients in the water and at the same time depriving the algae of these substances.

Planting and maintenance

How to plant and maintain the Water lettuce?

Planting and maintenance

How to plant and maintain the Water lettuce?

Its favorite medium is an open aquarium, where the plant grows quickly and becomes quite large.

The hardness of the water should not exceed 10°dGH (for this, cut off the water to osmosis water to obtain the desired GH). Good light is also essential for its development. A lighting intensity of 3000 Lux or 1 Watt for 2 liters or 0.5 gallons of water is recommended. If these two conditions are met, water lettuce will grow and multiply rapidly.

In order not to penalize the other plants in your aquarium too much, limit the spread of this plant so that there is enough light below. You can remove part of it during your weekly cleaning for example.

If you keep it in the pool, make sure it does not freeze.


How to farm the Water lettuce?


How to farm the Water lettuce?

In good conditions, the multiplication of this plant is fast. It is carried out by numerous lateral discharges.

Good to Know

Good to Know

Find all additional information!

It is an excellent choice as a pond plant because goldfish do not eat it! On the other hand, the koi carp will like it very much...

Its name "PISITIA" comes from the Latin "PISTOS" which means “to drink”.

Pistia stratiotes has become an invasive plant causing serious nuisance in some tropical countries.

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