house plants that can grow in aquarium

house plants that can grow in aquarium: : A Guide to Aquatic Greenery

Hey there, fellow aquarists! Today, I’m incredibly excited to delve into a captivating topic that combines the beauty of lush greenery with the serenity of underwater ecosystems – house plants that can thrive in your aquarium. Yes, you read that right! We’re about to embark on a journey into the world of aquaponics, where the vibrant allure of house plants meets the tranquil underwater realms of fish tanks. But before we dive headfirst into this lush adventure, let’s address the foremost question on every aquarist’s mind: Is it safe for your finned friends?

Plants That Can Grow in an Aquarium

Why Tank Water is a Blessing for Plants

Let’s kick off our exploration by unraveling why aquarium water is like liquid gold for plants. You see, the aquatic environment is a treasure trove of nutrients, and these precious resources primarily come in the form of fish waste. As your aquatic pals go about their daily lives, they produce waste, which breaks down into essential compounds like nitrate and phosphate – nature’s very own fertilizers. Additionally, the carbon dioxide (CO2) released by your fish serves as fuel for the process of photosynthesis, the lifeblood of plants.

Moreover, your aquarium’s water plays the role of a steadfast temperature regulator, preventing abrupt fluctuations that could potentially harm your cherished house plants. In a nutshell, your aquarium’s water is like a tailor-made nutrient cocktail, offering a plethora of benefits for your leafy companions.

Houseplants That Can Flourish in an Aquarium

Now, let’s dive into the exciting realm of house plants that can flourish in your aquatic haven. I’ve compiled a list of remarkable contenders that not only add aesthetics to your tank but also enhance its overall health.

Clearing Up the Air Around Anthuriums and Water

First on our list are Anthuriums, cherished for their vivid, heart-shaped leaves and striking red spathes. It’s intriguing to note that these beauties can thrive even in waterlogged conditions, making them an enticing choice for your aquarium. Anthuriums thrive when their roots are submerged in water, while their exquisite foliage remains above the surface. However, it’s crucial to remember that Anthuriums aren’t fully aquatic plants, so ensure they have a platform to keep their delicate foliage dry.

Philodendrons as Aquatic Companions

Up next, we have Philodendrons, renowned for their air-purifying capabilities and lush, cascading vines. These versatile plants can gracefully transition from terrestrial to aquatic environments. When nestled in your aquarium, their roots can be submerged, while their trailing vines add an element of grace above the waterline. Philodendrons not only enhance the visual appeal of your aquaponics setup but also contribute to water filtration, making them exemplary house plants for aquaponics fish tanks.

Pothos: Guardians of Freshwater Aquariums

Pothos: Guardians of Freshwater Aquariums
Pothos: Guardians of Freshwater Aquariums

Pothos, often referred to as “Devil’s Ivy,” stands as a hardy and adaptable house plant capable of thriving in diverse conditions. When submerged in an aquarium, Pothos vines flourish, offering refuge for fish and aiding in controlling algae growth. Their prowess lies in absorbing excess nutrients, maintaining water quality, and fostering a healthier aquatic ecosystem.

Spider Plants – Adding Elegance to Fish Tank Water

Spider Plants – Adding Elegance to Fish Tank Water
Spider Plants – Adding Elegance to Fish Tank Water

Spider plants are renowned for their distinctive spiderettes and air-purifying qualities. Although these plants aren’t fully aquatic, their resilient nature allows them to adapt to underwater conditions, as long as their roots remain submerged. Spider plants introduce a striking contrast between their arching leaves and the underwater world beneath, creating a captivating underwater tableau.

Monstera Plant Options for Planted Aquariums

Monstera, a trendy house plant with its distinctive split leaves, bestows a touch of tropical allure to any setting. In your aquarium, Monstera can thrive in a semi-submerged state, with its roots immersed in water while its leaves gracefully extend above the water’s surface. The unique foliage of Monstera contributes to crafting a captivating underwater landscape and provides a serene resting place for your fish.

Moneywort – A Living Oasis in Your Aquarium

Moneywort, scientifically known as Bacopa monnieri, is a versatile aquatic plant capable of adapting to a multitude of water conditions. Its vibrant green leaves and creeping growth make it a stellar addition to aquariums. Moneywort is renowned for its oxygenating prowess and its knack for absorbing excess nutrients, thereby enhancing water quality and overall tank well-being.

Java Fern: The Versatile House Plant for Fish Tanks

Java Fern has earned its place as a staple in the aquarium hobby, and for excellent reasons. This robust plant can flourish under a variety of water parameters and lighting conditions, making it an ideal choice for both beginners and seasoned aquarists. Its unique, leathery leaves introduce an element of elegance to your tank while providing valuable hiding spots for fish and their fry. Java Fern naturally fits into aquaponics setups due to its adaptability and water-purifying capabilities.

Peace Lilies – Nature’s Gift to Aquariums

Peace Lilies, known for their elegant white blossoms and luxuriant dark green leaves, can also find a place within your underwater realm. While they’re not entirely aquatic, Peace Lilies can thrive with their roots submerged in water. These lilies actively filter impurities from the water, contributing to improved water quality and creating a tranquil aquatic ambiance.

Snake Plant: The Silent Guardian of Planted Tanks

Snake plants, scientifically known as Sansevieria, are famed for their air-purifying attributes and resilience. These plants can adjust to aquatic conditions, provided that their leaves remain above the water’s surface. Snake plants in your aquarium not only introduce a touch of verdant life but also help maintain water clarity by absorbing excess nutrients and inhibiting the growth of algae.

Lucky Bamboo: A Touch of Luck and Tranquility

Lucky Bamboo, despite its moniker, isn’t bamboo at all but rather a species of dracaena. It’s celebrated for ushering in good fortune and positive energy, and it can do the same for your aquarium. Lucky Bamboo can thrive with its roots submerged in water, while its stalks gracefully ascend above the waterline. This not only enhances the aesthetic allure of your tank but also plays a role in water purification.

Now that we’ve explored some of the spectacular house plants that can flourish in your aquarium, let’s dive into the art of designing and incorporating them into your underwater oasis.

How To Design Your Aquarium with House Plants

Adorning the Surface with Pothos and Philodendrons

To create a lush and visually captivating aquaponics setup, consider employing Pothos and Philodendrons to adorn the surface of your aquarium. These trailing vines can be allowed to cascade out of the tank, forming a verdant curtain effect. Not only does this look stunning, but it also enhances water quality by absorbing excess nutrients and providing additional shade for your fish.

Integrating Other Materials for Your Live Aquarium Plants

Incorporating additional materials such as driftwood, rocks, and substrate can serve as anchors for your house plants and lend a more natural appearance to your aquatic haven. Driftwood, for instance, offers a secure anchor for plants like Java Fern and Anubias, allowing their roots to firmly attach and develop over time. Rocks can be strategically placed to create visual intrigue and provide support for plants like Moneywort and Anubias. When selecting substrate for your planted aquarium, consider options like aquarium soil or sand to furnish essential nutrients for plants with a penchant for root feeding.

Harnessing the Potential of Egg Crates

Egg crates, commonly employed for aquarium lighting, can also function as an excellent platform for elevating your house plants above the waterline. You can create shelves or platforms using egg crates, permitting plants such as Anthuriums and Peace Lilies to grow above the water while their roots remain submerged. This not only introduces depth to your aquaponics arrangement but also ensures that your plants receive the right amount of moisture.

Embracing the Paludarium Style

For those seeking to elevate their aquascaping prowess, the concept of a paludarium-style tank holds immense appeal. These tanks combine both underwater and terrestrial sections, allowing for a broader spectrum of house plants to thrive. In the terrestrial area, you can plant Anthuriums, Peace Lilies, or any other preferred house plants, while the underwater section can house aquatic species like Java Fern and Moneywort. This style of tank yields a unique and visually breathtaking habitat for your aquatic and terrestrial plants.

Now that we’ve covered the art of designing your planted aquarium, let’s delve into the intricate steps involved in propagating and nurturing your house plants within this aquatic haven.

Steps to Propagate and Nurture Your House Plants in an Aquarium

Propagating and nurturing house plants in your aquarium is a deeply rewarding endeavor that allows you to cultivate a lush underwater garden. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you get started on this verdant journey:

  1. Select Healthy House Plants: Begin by hand-picking robust house plants that are ideally suited for aquarium conditions. Look for plants with sturdy roots and vibrant, lush foliage.
  2. Prepare Your Aquarium: Ensure that your aquarium is impeccably clean and well-maintained. Make any necessary adjustments to water parameters to create the perfect environment for your chosen plants to flourish.
  3. Trim and Prepare the Plants: Before introducing your house plants into the aquarium, trim them as needed, removing any wilted or damaged leaves. If the plant boasts lengthy vines, you can trim them to your desired length.
  4. Planting with Care: With a gentle touch, plant your house plants into the aquarium substrate or securely attach them to driftwood or rocks, depending on the specific plant’s requirements. Handle the plants delicately to prevent damage to their roots.
  5. Provide Adequate Lighting: House plants in your aquarium require appropriate lighting to thrive. Depending on the species of plant, you may need to invest in aquarium-friendly LED lights to facilitate robust growth.
  6. Maintain Water Quality: Continuously monitor and uphold water quality parameters such as temperature, pH, and nutrient levels. Regular water changes are of utmost importance to preserve a stable and healthy environment.
  7. Fertilization Practices: While many house plants in aquariums derive nutrients from fish waste and the water, some may benefit from the supplementation of liquid fertilizers or root tabs. Research the specific needs of your chosen plants and adjust your fertilization routine accordingly.
  8. Monitor Growth: Keep a vigilant eye on the growth of your house plants. Prune and trim them as necessary to maintain the desired shape and prevent overcrowding within the aquarium.
  9. Propagation Opportunities: As your house plants flourish, they may produce offshoots, runners, or other propagation opportunities. Seize these chances to create new plants and further enrich your underwater garden.
  10. Enjoy the Aquatic Abundance: With patience and dedicated care, your house plants will thrive in the aquarium, creating a captivating underwater garden that’s as beneficial to your fish as it is to your aesthetic sensibilities.

Now, as we’ve touched upon propagation and nurturing, it’s time to address a pertinent question: Do these aquatic plants require additional nourishment?

Will I Need to Feed My Aquarium House Plants?

One of the perks of having house plants in your aquarium is their ability to draw most of their nutrients from fish waste and the surrounding water. However, under certain circumstances, such as an aquarium heavily populated with fish or when your plants exhibit signs of nutrient deficiency, supplementing their diet may be prudent. Here are several options for consideration:

  1. Liquid Fertilizers: Liquid fertilizers specially formulated for aquarium use can supply vital nutrients such as iron, potassium, and trace elements to your house plants. These can be added as per the manufacturer’s guidelines.
  2. Root Tabs: Root tabs are solid fertilizer tablets placed in the substrate close to the plant’s roots. They gradually release nutrients over time, providing a consistent source of nourishment.
  3. CO2 Injection: In advanced planted aquarium setups, aquarists may employ CO2 injection systems to elevate plant growth. This is generally needed for demanding plants and intricate aquascaping projects.
  4. Fish Waste: Fish waste in itself is a valuable source of nutrients for your plants. As long as your fish are healthy and actively producing waste, your plants should receive a natural form of fertilization.
  5. Natural Fish Behavior: Some fish, like goldfish, exhibit behaviors such as digging in the substrate. This natural activity can aid in releasing trapped nutrients in the substrate, benefiting your plants.

It’s vital to recognize that not all house plants share the same nutrient demands. Therefore, it’s crucial to delve into the specific requirements of each plant species in your aquarium. By maintaining a routine of consistent monitoring and adjustments in your care regimen, you can ensure that your plants flourish without overloading the tank with excessive nutrients.

Now that we’ve delved into feeding your aquatic plants, let’s wrap up our immersive exploration of house plants in aquariums with some final thoughts.

Can House Plants Survive and Thrive in an Aquarium Environment?

Can house plants survive and thrive in an aquarium environment? When it comes to aquarium plant lifespan, it largely depends on the compatibility with water conditions and the specific plant species. Some house plants, like Anubias and Java Fern, are adaptable enough to flourish in the aquatic setting. Regular pruning and adequate lighting are essential for ensuring their longevity in an aquarium setup.

Can Chia Seeds Be Used as House Plants in an Aquarium?

Chia seeds, a popular superfood, have gained attention as an alternative for aquarium plants. While growing chia in aquariums may seem feasible, it is not recommended. Chia plants require soil and a sufficient amount of light to thrive, which cannot be provided in an aquatic environment. Opt for aquarium-specific plants that are compatible with underwater conditions for a successful setup.

Final Thoughts

Incorporating house plants into your aquarium can be a creative and deeply rewarding endeavor that infuses the enchantment of nature into your underwater world. These plants not only enhance the aesthetic allure of your tank but also play an integral role in enhancing water quality and bolstering the overall health of your aquatic ecosystem. From the elegance of Anthuriums to the rugged resilience of Java Ferns, there’s a house plant to cater to every aquarist’s preferences and proficiency levels.

However, it’s essential to bear in mind that not all house plants are designed for full aquatic life. Hence, it’s crucial to provide the right conditions and undertake meticulous research before introducing them into your aquarium. With attentive care and dedication, you can create a harmonious aquatic environment where your fish and plants coexist in perfect equilibrium.

So, whether you’re a seasoned aquarist eager to explore new horizons or a novice keen on uncovering the wonders of aquaponics, consider adding house plants to your aquarium. It’s an odyssey that seamlessly blends the splendor of the natural world with the enchantment of underwater life.

And now, let’s tackle some common questions and concerns in the FAQ section.


Q1: Can I use any house plant in my aquarium?

A1: Not all house plants are suitable for aquariums. It’s crucial to choose plants capable of adapting to submerged conditions and to thoroughly research their specific care requirements. The plants discussed in this article are well-known to thrive in aquarium settings.

Q2: Do house plants in aquariums require special care?

A2: Yes, house plants in aquariums do demand specific care, including appropriate lighting, maintenance of water parameters, and regular upkeep. It’s vital to tailor your care routine to suit the unique needs of each plant species.

Q3: Can house plants in aquariums coexist with fish?

A3: Absolutely! House plants and fish can coexist harmoniously in an aquarium. In fact, house plants can derive valuable nutrients from fish waste, contributing to a healthier aquatic environment.

Q4: Is it necessary to quarantine house plants before introducing them to my aquarium?

A4: Quarantining house plants before adding them to your aquarium is a prudent practice to prevent the introduction of pests or diseases. You can keep the plants in a separate container for a few weeks to monitor their health.

Q5: What are the best house plants for beginners in aquaponics?

A5: For beginners, hardy plants such as Java Fern, Pothos, and Peace Lilies are excellent choices. They are relatively easy to care for and can adapt to a range of conditions.

Q6: Can I use artificial lighting for my house plants in the aquarium?

A6: Yes, artificial lighting, such as aquarium-friendly LED lights, can effectively provide the necessary light for your house plants in the aquarium. Be sure to choose lighting that aligns with the specific needs of your plants.

Q7: Can I use house plants in my saltwater aquarium?

A7: House plants are better suited for freshwater aquariums due to differences in water composition and salinity. It’s advisable to explore marine-specific plants for saltwater setups.

Q8: How often should I trim and prune my house plants in the aquarium?

A8: The frequency of trimming and pruning depends on the growth rate of your plants. Regularly inspect your plants and trim as needed to maintain their desired shape and prevent overcrowding.

Q9: Can I grow herbs like basil or mint in my aquarium?

A9: While herbs like basil and mint can grow in aquariums, they are not fully aquatic and may require special care. Research their specific requirements and ensure they have a platform to keep their leaves above water.

Q10: Can house plants in aquariums help reduce algae growth?

A10: Yes, many house plants in aquariums can assist in reducing algae growth by competing for nutrients and providing shade. They contribute to improved water quality, creating a less favorable environment for algae to thrive.

table of contents

Similar Posts