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Discussion Starter #1
I'm wondering if any of you have experience using Water Hyacinth as a floater in your tanks. I currently have red root floater but am wanting something with better flowers. I read a few things suggesting it is invasive but remember selling it in IL. I think a floater that gets taller and flowers for a long time would be a nice addition to my set-up.
 

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It would work, but they tend to shade out all other plants below them and they suck up nutrients very quickly. They might also get burned by the lighting as they tend to grow quite large.

Aside from these problems using it wouldn't be a problem in the aquarium if you address them properly.
 

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I wouldn't because they get huge!

Try planting a Nymphaea species and let it shoot up a few surface leaves; in a few weeks, it will grow a bulb that flowers on the surface which are quite large and are very nice!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Will they suck up the nutrients to the point my other plants will get none or will they just help prevent algae growth? I think i can avoid the lighting issue by putting them in the front or back of the tank, away from the light. That might mean they don't get as much light as the other plants since they will actually be on the side of the fixture.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I've been hesitant to get a Nymphaea (water-lily or lotus) because from what I've read so far it sounds like all the bottom leaves are large as well. If I could keep the leaves in the tank small then I might have room for it but otherwise I probably don't. I'm wanting this for a 20gal high tank.
 

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The water hyacinth will suck up nutrients almost as fast as you add them. They grow extremely quickly, so you will need to add nutrients quite frequently and keep a closer watch on the nutrient levels to make sure the levels are adequate or you are going to run into nutrient deficiency problems.

Also, if memory serves, water hyacinth needs good light, and longer lighting periods to flower.

Nymphaea is a good plant to keep, but they need frequent pruning or they will also take over the tank. To flower them, they have to be a certain size, so a small, well pruned plant is unlikely to get big enough to flower.
 

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Water Hyacinth is one of my favorite floating plants. I don't know of any other aquatic plants removing water nutrients as fast as Water Hyacinth. When a tank's water became cloudy, I moved a Water Hyacinth to that tank and within days the tank water became as clear as crystal. As to depleting nutrients from other plants, I have not noticed that in any of my tanks.

However, Water Hyacinth requires head room (space between the water surface and the tank light). My tank light fixtures are typically four inches above water. That seems to be enough space. But I never saw Water Hyacinth flowered in the tanks. My tanks have 12-hour lighting period.

For a tall tank, the long roots of a Water Hyacinth can be a pleasing sight.
 
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