In early spring, we had a mostly bare pond with no floating plants and with only a few underwater plants such as anacharis. It was the first spring for our outdoor pond and we couldn’t wait to get started adding something for the koi and a few other smaller fish to be shaded and protected by so I went to a local store and bought a few floating plants. A couple of the plants I started with were water lettuce. I added two to the pond and we sat back admiring how good they looked floating there in our small pond with the fish swimming around them.
About a week ago, we went out in the morning to feed the fish and found that the population of water lettuce had increased tremendously as though the water lettuce had an overnight orgiastic party with miraculous births of baby water lettuces that produced so many that they covered the whole entire pond. It made looking at the fish into a game of peek-a-boo.
“We’re going to have to take some out so that the other plants can have space to grow too,” I said to the other person who is concerned with the pond. “I hate to see them die,” said the other person. “I know. I do too,” I replied. After thinking a little bit about it, I took some of the water lettuces out of the pond and placed them in the bird bath. They looked good there too and we were both pleased that we had saved some water lettuces from sudden death.
The next day, however, when we fed the fish in the morning, we found that the water lettuces had reproduced once again enough for us not to be able to tell that we had removed any. “We are going to have to remove some of the water lettuces again,” I said. “I know, but I hate to see them die. They are so pretty,” said the other concerned with the pond. “I think they’re pretty too but the other plants need space.” The other person was determined that we were going to save the water lettuces. Later that day, I found an old fish tank in the backyard filled with water lettuces. The other had managed to save a few more.
On the third day, we went out in the morning again and found that any attempts to remove water lettuces resulted in near-immediate plant birthing. I turned to the other and said “We really are going to have to do some serious water lettuce removal.” Again, the other reiterated their fondness for the water lettuces and how there should be a way to save them. At the thought of trying to “save them” all I could imagine was the entire yard filled with containers of water lettuces which would inevitably reproduce. “There is no way to for us to keep the ones we preserve without filling up our entire yard. Some will have to die.” “I know” said the other a little glumly. And, hence, I became a water lettuce murderer.