Aquarium plant pistia, or water salad: description, photo, content
Plants in the aquarium - this is not just a decorative element, but an important practical component. In their thickets, fish can hide during spawning, hide from sunlight in shaded corners or just hide, which is very fond of doing fry. Fans of aquatic life often grow a beautiful aquarium plant. Pistia is his name.
Pistia has several names: water cabbage, water lettuce, water rose. This plant got them because of the special shape of their leaflets, which really resemble a head, bud or rosette. Water cabbage is very fond of heat, so it grows in tropical Africa, Asia, Australia and America. Under favorable conditions, an exotic plant can tighten the entire surface of a lake or river. And then an amazing spectacle opens: the watery surface is covered with bluish-green velvet rosettes. By the way, very beautiful these aquarium plants - a photo in the article is confirmed.
Leaves of pistil always remain floating on the surface. But the whitish root system stretches down to the bottom of the aquarium (up to 30 centimeters in depth). Over time, it can acquire a black or bluish color. And this is considered the norm. The leaves of water cabbage can grow up to 25 centimeters in length. Sockets often reach 40 cm in diameter. Especially large specimens rise to a height of up to 15 centimeters. What is noteworthy, thanks to the structure of water salad on top of the sheets never get wet.
If the plant will receive enough heat and light, it will release small flowers of whitish or yellowish hue. They are nice in their own way, outwardly similar to miniature callas, which will give a special charm to the aquarium. It is even strange that this plant is considered a weed in the natural habitat.
Not all plants can adapt to aquarium conditions. But pistia is excellent in both natural and artificial home waters. Water cabbage is an excellent filter due to its roots. They retain suspended particles, absorb organic substances dissolved in the liquid, regulate the level of salts of heavy metals. Pisty in the aquarium with its shaggy root system will be a good refuge for fry and adult fish during spawning, which is very important that no one disturbs them.
Under favorable conditions, water lettuce grows over the entire surface of the aquarium, shading the bottom and water. The view, of course, is beautiful, but some species of fish and plants are not suitable. Therefore, if you do not want the pestia to occupy the entire volume of the aquarium, use a little trick. Define a certain zone with a synthetic thread, pulling it directly over the surface of the water.
In what conditions should contain pistia?
A water salad is considered an unpretentious plant. But, if you want it to please you with beautiful rosettes or flowering, you need to observe certain conditions. So, for pistia, the temperature is comfortable around 19 degrees in winter, and in summer - 24-30 degrees. In too cool water, this representative of the flora will not die, but will simply develop more slowly.
Lighting greatly influences the aquarium plant: Pistii loves bright light. He must work on it for a sufficiently long period (within 12 hours). As a light source, luminescent instruments are suitable. But ordinary incandescent lamps are better to refuse, because they can burn the leaves of pistil. Also worth paying attention to the humidity, which should be quite high. To provide the necessary indicator, simply cover the aquarium with a glass lid.
During periods of rapid growth (in spring and summer), additional aquatic minerals and microelements require an aquarium plant. Pistia requires feeding. It is worth giving preference to complex fertilizers with a low iron content. The capital aquarium requires 1.5-2 grams of nutrients.
How to understand that pistia needs feeding? Pay attention to the roots. If there are enough microelements and minerals in the water, they will look quite normal. If the root system tends to occupy a larger volume of the aquarium, then it seeks to consume more organic substances.
Protection against insects
In the hot season, all aquarium plants that grow on the surface of the water are susceptible to attack by various insects. Therefore, they must be treated with pesticides. Treatment of pistia is performed in the same way as in greenhouse and garden crops. Infected plants are removed from the aquarium and treated with the substance according to the instructions. Then rinse the leaves with running water and place the pistil back into place.
In the active period, which begins in early spring and ends at the end of autumn, pistia grows with renewed vigor. During this time, it can give up to fifty lateral processes. From the mother plant, they can be separated, when they appear two or three leaves, and the rosette grows to five or six centimeters in diameter.
When the daughter shoots are cut, for the time of growth they need to be placed in marsh moss. Do not forget that the aquatic plant pistia loves high humidity. During this period it is necessary to maintain the temperature at about 13 degrees. Adult specimens can be planted in an aquarium or pond.
The rest period
It does not last long - only a few winter months. At this time, it is necessary to reduce the activity of care for water cabbage so that it has time to gain strength for the release of new shoots. What is required for this? Do not add fertilizing to the aquarium, mute the lighting and less frequently change the water. By the way, in the active period of growth of a pistil it needs to be done every week.
Water kale in the pond
In the pond, you can start pestia in early June, when the water temperature rises to 15 degrees. It is important that the pond has a fertile soil from which the roots can take nutrients. Water Lettuce will make a wonderful party of water lilies, sitnikam, sedge and ornamental cereal.
You still do not want to settle these exotic aquarium plants at home? The photos in the article convey only a small part of how beautiful they are. And the ease of care attracts not only beginners, but also experienced aquarists.