In the aquarium it needs good lighting to grow strongly, but will survive in even fairly low-light levels. Prefers a clean, nutriment rich environment. The color of the leaves will vary, depending on the amount of light. The leaves will turn bronze or even almost red under high light levels.
It can be grown in or by the pond in warmer locales (or in shallow dishes or as a house plant if kept sufficiently damp) and will grow all year round, but is frost tender (though it will normally grow back from the roots if damaged) and appreciates a light shade.