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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was going to get some dwarf water lettuce, but after reading a bit I'm not sure. What do you think? I'm mostly worried about the light I suppose. If you don't think it would be bad, would a spray bar be appropriate? If you don't think it's a good idea, what do you suggest for floating plants?

75 gal, dGH is about 12, high light,
ember tetra, 8 cardinal tetras, 3 glow tetra, 3 diamond tetras, 4 German blue rams, 1 bristle nose pleco, 1 rubber lip pleco, 10-15 amano shrimp.

Mildly planted (I think)
 

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"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us." Gandalf: Lord of the Rings
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I suggest salvinia minima. It is big enough not to be a problem but still can provide decent coverage. I also like the way it looks but thats just my preferance. I have them with a sponge filter and they are doing great.
 

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Water lettuce forms very long roots, like go to your substrate long. If that's the route you are looking for then it can be fine, provided that spray bar is below the surface. Water lettuce can't handle a waterfall.

As mentioned salvinia is good. Another option is giant duck weed (not the normal sized stuff) which is the hardiest floater I've found without being a nuisance.
 

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I am a big fan of floaters under the right circumstances. As long as they're not blocking light to your lower plants (flow pattern matters a lot here), they're nice to look at and they add ballast to your system.

I used to have frogbit in my tanks but have switched to dwarf water lettuce. Frogbit does not like flow very much and doesn't keep much of a root with column dosing. Water lettuce, on the other hand, does fine in stupendously high flow, and keeps a small (1"-2") root in a high tech tank. LIke frogbit, its roots will not get long if you're dosing fertilizers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I am a big fan of floaters under the right circumstances. As long as they're not blocking light to your lower plants (flow pattern matters a lot here), they're nice to look at and they add ballast to your system.

I used to have frogbit in my tanks but have switched to dwarf water lettuce. Frogbit does not like flow very much and doesn't keep much of a root with column dosing. Water lettuce, on the other hand, does fine in stupendously high flow, and keeps a small (1"-2") root in a high tech tank. LIke frogbit, its roots will not get long if you're dosing fertilizers.
You always come through with a nice detailed response. 😀 Thank you! Do you think it will do ok with hard water? I am a little afraid of it blocking too much light to my lower plants especially because I'm having a hard time getting them to thrive as it is.

I do feel better about the flow now though. I'm sure they will just push to the front of my tank as I have a spray bar on the back. That's ok though.

Water lettuce forms very long roots, like go to your substrate long. If that's the route you are looking for then it can be fine, provided that spray bar is below the surface. Water lettuce can't handle a waterfall.

As mentioned salvinia is good. Another option is giant duck weed (not the normal sized stuff) which is the hardiest floater I've found without being a nuisance.
The root length is contradictory to emotional fescues response. Is your understanding taking into consideration the lighting? Could I simply trim the roots if I wanted to keep them shorter? Also, my spray bar is under the water pointing to the surface just enough not to break the surface.
 

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You always come through with a nice detailed response. 😀 Thank you! Do you think it will do ok with hard water? I am a little afraid of it blocking too much light to my lower plants especially because I'm having a hard time getting them to thrive as it is.

I do feel better about the flow now though. I'm sure they will just push to the front of my tank as I have a spray bar on the back. That's ok though.



The root length is contradictory to emotional fescues response. Is your understanding taking into consideration the lighting? Could I simply trim the roots if I wanted to keep them shorter? Also, my spray bar is under the water pointing to the surface just enough not to break the surface.
It depends on whether you are injecting co2. Most (all?) floaters will have much shorter roots if its a high tech tank. Low tech tanks they grow longer roots. Just google image search "water lettuce roots" and you will see how big they can get.
 

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Do you think it will do ok with hard water? I am a little afraid of it blocking too much light to my lower plants especially because I'm having a hard time getting them to thrive as it is.
I suspect they would be fine with a dGH of 12, but my tanks are around around 5, so I can't confirm based on my own experience. I think a high dKH would be more of a problem.

You do have to be careful about shading plants below. When I've had them successfully, they either get pushed to the front and out of the way from a spraybar or they get constantly circulated by a more point-source return. That's the case in my large tank currently - they circulate constantly, so there's no single spot that gets shaded. It's more of a density issue. Just have to take a handful out every day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I wonder if they get pushed to the front and I keep the light in the back half, if it would all be good. I guess time will tell. But all in all, I feel like they should do ok. Thanks for the help everyone!
 

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I have dwarf water lettuce and frogbit, and find that when they reach a larger size, the leaves start to yellow and die on the lettuce. It's kind of a pain to prune them. It's not a lighting issue b/c they reproduce like crazy and get huge and form thick mats if I get lazy about thinning them out.

Frogbit always stays nice and green.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I have dwarf water lettuce and frogbit, and find that when they reach a larger size, the leaves start to yellow and die on the lettuce. It's kind of a pain to prune them. It's not a lighting issue b/c they reproduce like crazy and get huge and form thick mats if I get lazy about thinning them out.

Frogbit always stays nice and green.
Do you inject CO2, and/or fertilize?
 
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