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Growing Water Lettuce & Hyacinth Indoors
>LOTS of light, I think. I don't think water hyacinth or watter lettuce
>will grow without actual sunlight.
You're right about lots of light, but it need not be sunlight. Water
Hyacinth is more problematic, because it needs strong light, high humidity
and lots of headroom. It doesn't do well with its leaves smashed against a
cover glass, and its hard to keep it humid enough in an open top tank. The
people I know who successfully winter it over do so in a dedicated tank,
half full of water, and covered to retain humidity. Hang strong lights
over it, and fertilize well. Since you won't be growing submersed plants
along with the Hyacinth, you can feed them the amounts that they need. It
helps to have the cover slant slightly so that condensation runs off rather
than falling on the leaves. The bottom line, though, is that they're cheap
to buy, prolific, and a pain in the neck to winter over. For most people
it's not worth the effort.
Water Lettuce is _much_ easier for a couple of reasons. It has a lower
profile, so it doesn't need such a low water level, and it also will remain
healthy at lower humidity levels. It does best for me in open top tanks.
It does not seem to like condensation on its leaves. I know _lots_ of
aquarists who routinely keep water lettuce in their tanks year round. In
the relatively nutrient poor planted aquarium, they don't get as large as
they do in a goldfish pond, but they'll do just fine.
Aquatic Gardeners Association