Know anything about Water Lettuce?

A store owner recently gave me, his best plant customer, a small (2")
specimen of Pistia stratiotes (Water Lettuce) he had recieved by accident
in a shipment; having heard here on the list from Karen Randall and others
that this floating plant had very specific needs and usually didn't do well
in most indoor (covered/canopied) aquariums, I took the gift and kept my
fingers crossed... The only thing of note that I did was to make sure that
condesation never got onto the furry leaves.

I have had the plant for almost three weeks now, and it has almost doubled
in size (now 3.5") and added almost two inches, including long runners, to
it's roots. It sprouts new budding leaves every few days, and I can see
that it will soon be too big for my modest tank.

It is possible to cut back the roots on this plant to stunt the growth? I
know that Pistia gets very large, so will such action on a very juvinelle
plant probably destroy it? Would the best bet be to find it a home in a
tropical pond somewhere locally? What sort of lifecycle does this plant
have? I have read that it disengrates at larger sizes, after producing a
great many plantlets...?

Todd March
tmarch at primenet_com

Los Angeles, CA