Is Pothos Good For Aquariums? (In-Depth Guide)

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Explaining Is Pothos Good For Aquariums

There are numerous variations of the popular houseplant pothos (Epipremnum aureum). I have seen most people let it climb and trail around their aquariums as it develops into a trailing vine. However, is pothos suitable for a fish tank?

A common houseplant, pothos is also utilized in aquariums, refugia, hang-on-back filters, sumps, and overflows. Pothos plants minimize nitrates and enhance the natural appearance of aquariums.

Water-rooted pothos is simple to put in your aquarium thanks to suction cups. Please make sure the roots are mature before putting them in the tank. Aquarists like aquarium plants for their capacity to absorb nitrogen and carbon dioxides and oxygenate the tank!

This post will explain a pothos plant and how to utilize it in your tank if you are new to the industry. So be sure to read all the way through.

Why Should You Add Potho Plants To Your Aquarium?

How is pothos beneficial to aquariums? How do they support the animals and the ocean? Pothos, a natural water purifier, absorbs nitrates more quickly than other plants.

By reducing nitrate toxicity, it preserves fish health. It supports the nitrogen cycle in your tank. Every tank has algae growing in it.

A surplus of algae can make tanks unliveable. It causes high nitrite levels, contaminated water, and other problems.

Pothos can help minimize algae. Nitrite consumption reduces the growth of algae. It’s organic, affordable, and simple.

Image of aquarist clean his aquarium

You can add algae-eating fish to your tank, but you may end up overcrowding it. The plant enhances the aeration and oxygenation of the water.

In photosynthesis, CO2 is converted to oxygen. Yes, Pothos produce a modest amount of CO2 at night compared to what they consume.

Pothos plants may also provide physical advantages in addition to biological ones. The majority of freshwater aquarium species live in green rivers and rice paddies. Long vines resemble the plant’s natural environment.

Pothos can provide shade and protection for fish. Add angelfish and betta. It can also conceal fish and fries. Peaceful fish must hide from aggressive, territorial species.

Fish can rest on large Pothos roots. Fish breed and put their eggs in the roots. The intricate and strong roots of the plant can act as a substrate. Aggressive fish cannot uproot pothos.

Pothos plants also enhance the aesthetics of an aquarium. Even inside tanks, leaves and vines trail, adorning a glass.

How To Grow Pothos Plants In Aquariums?

Pothos can flourish in a variety of environments. It may grow in low light, but it thrives in direct sunshine, which is powerful but indirect. The ideal temperature for pothos is between 60 and 86 °F (15 and 30 °C).

Pothos does not have a problem with humidity; it can thrive in dry and extremely humid situations. The key is to maintain the roots moist at all times.

Although the pothos plant can grow in water, it does not do well underwater. Please take a few pothos plant cuttings and put them in a small container of dechlorinated water.

Image of jar with pothos plant in it

Allow the cuttings to establish roots by putting the container in a spot with indirect light. Transferring the plants into your aquarium is possible once the roots are 4-5 inches long.

Don’t let the leaves submerge; instead, anchor the plants so that only their roots and a portion of their stem are submerged. Give them artificial light to expand their leaves and create deeper roots.

Don’t worry if your pothos doesn’t start growing immediately; it won’t start growing for around 3–4 weeks when the plant is established.

The plant will develop rapidly once established, the lighting is favorable, and sufficient nutrients are in the water. Before putting the plant into your aquarium, it is vital to root it in a different container if you are growing pothos from stems.

Is Pothos Safe For Aquariums?

Pothos is safe for fish in tanks, yes. They poison cats and dogs, but fish are unaffected. Never place a newly cut pothos stem for rooting in your aquarium. In a new container, plant the clipping.

Add the pothos to the tank once it has rooted. Stems that have just been chopped release toxins harmful to aquatic life. Planting cuttings is possible once they have recovered and rooted.

Due to their ability to filter aquarium water and purify the air, pothos is common indoor plants. They are beneficial to aquatic life. Pothos in water absorbs CO2 and releases oxygen, the same as other plants.

Image of pothos plants in jars

They boost the health and oxygenation of fish tanks. They’ll also clean your aquarium of nitrates. Think of it as a subtle method of filtering.

Nitrate slows down algal growth, so algae plus nitrate equals slowed growth. They are beneficial for your aquatic creatures and safe for your aquarium.

Can Pothos Plants Grow Under Water?

Pothos can grow underwater, so you’re partially correct. I’ll explain why. Pothos plants can grow effectively in water if they aren’t completely submerged.

In contrast to all aquatic plants, if the plant is completely immersed, including its leaves, it will not be able to receive nutrients from the water. These plants must have a few of their leaves protruding from the tank.

Make sure the pothos has enough roots to support the substrate if you want to place it in the tank! Additionally, check that the vine is long enough to protrude from the tank. You can leave the stems and roots floating in the tank if your fish won’t use the plant as a means of aggressiveness.

What Are The Best Growing Conditions For A Potho Plant?

Although the pothos plant is easy to grow and maintain, it does need a particular combination of circumstances to flourish. What are the optimum circumstances for this friend of the fish Keeper? Let’s go through them one at a time.

Lighting Needs

Indirect lighting that is neither harsh nor faint is ideal for pothos plants. Therefore, situate your aquarium in a well-lit area rather than a dim nook. Or, to help match the illumination requirements of your pothos in the aquarium, you may even use a fluorescent bulb.

It is recommended to situate your aquarium in an area with dim or indirect lighting. Pothos in a water medium responds amazingly to indirect or artificial lighting.


Pothos plants do well in regular potting soil that drains well and can be dry or even rocky. Pothos flourishes in soil with a pH between 6.1 and 6.8. It can survive in various environments, including neutral and slightly acidic ones.

Water Supply Needed

In a water medium, Pothos is neither underwater nor overwatered. First, ensure that all roots are completely submerged in water. When you notice that the water appears murky, make sure to replace it periodically.

Need For Temperature

For water-rooted pothos, a temperature range of 70 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit is optimum. Your pothos won’t have any temperature issues as long as you keep your aquarium indoors, which is typically the case.


Pothos plants don’t require a lot of food. However, because most potting soils lack minerals, you can feed the plant twice a month, except when it is dormant in the winter, with any balanced houseplant fertilizer to improve nutrition.

How Do I Put Pothos In An Aquarium Filter?

Why should you be left out when many seasoned fishkeepers have been utilizing pothos plants as a natural aquarium filter? Here’s how to make the most of the plant in your aquarium as a filter:

After removing it from the ground, please take a few cuttings from the plant. You will receive a good number of cuttings if your pothos is healthy.

Often called devil’s ivy or pothos, it is difficult to eradicate due to its resilience. With roots placed directly in the water, the aquarium’s improved nutrition availability will cause them to grow faster.

You might use a suction cup and an airline tube to prevent the pothos plant from falling into the tank, especially if you have plant-eating animals.

How To Cut Pothos For Aquarium?

Water and scissors are required. It doesn’t need a pot because it isn’t in the soil. Once you have your tools, cut the individual stems at an angle and to the left of the leaf stem.

Leave some vine on the stem of the leaf. The leaf stem has a bulge on the opposite side. Roots develop at nodes. Put cuttings in dechlorinated water after taking them.

Image of person holding a jar of pothos plants

They can be placed on the aquarium filter or in a little container. Make sure the leaves receive enough light if you use a container. You’ll need to change the oxygen several times because it dissolves in standing water.

On the water, a plant cutting started in the soil will struggle—water aquarium cuttings before sowing. Transfer cuttings to the aquarium for growth once roots have formed.

How To Care For Pothos Plants In An Aquarium?

Like most houseplants, pothos plants prefer medium illumination that is neither too bright nor too dim. They can become leggy or stop growing completely if they don’t get enough sunshine.

Make sure there is just the right amount of indirect natural and artificial lighting for your pothos to flourish properly. Pothos plants are vulnerable to cold. On the other hand, the plant can survive a broad range of temperatures.

However, pothos does best at temperatures between 70 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Pothos is particularly resilient in both aquatic and arid environments.

Although they can withstand dryness, their entire root system needs moist soil to stay robust and healthy. As long as the soil is moist and drains effectively, pothos will thrive in a wider range of soil types, including silty, sandy, or clay-like.

A basic liquid fertilizer can be used to feed pothos when diluted to half strength. Every two weeks in the spring and summer, once a month in the fall and winter, or not at all if they receive enough sunlight, pothos plants benefit from fertilization.

How Long Does It Take For Pothos To Lower Nitrates In An Aquarium?

Pothos reduces nitrates in the tank. Why? The result of the nitrogen cycle in aquariums is nitrate. It expanded from products and aquarium fish. Nitrate must be removed from the water since it is hazardous to fish.

Nitrate levels in aquariums that are too high cause listlessness and appetite loss in fish. Some might pass away. Therefore, change the water frequently.

Image of an aquarium with fish and plants

Another option exists! Aquarium pathos plants should be added. In 4 to 5 days, the roots of these plants absorb nitrate and other nutrients. Popular indoor plants are pothos, which grows quickly.

So they need quick nutrition. So, compared to other aquatic plants in your aquarium, they absorb it more quickly. Imagine you need a more affordable way to lower the nitrate level in your aquarium. Pothos will lower the nitrate levels in your aquarium by 20 to 40 ppm.

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Final Verdict:

Do you need to add pothos to your aquarium? Undoubtedly, yeah! In your fish tank, you must now be aware of the advantages of pothos.

Keeping a pothos plant in your aquarium will keep the fish tank healthy and active. Nitrates are harmful when present in high concentrations. However, the plant aids in their absorption.

The plant also aids in creating a natural atmosphere that your fish will enjoy. Nevertheless, be careful to include pothos in your freshwater aquarium. In a saltwater aquarium, pothos cannot live.

The plant will die from extreme dehydration as a result. Consider these considerations if you’re considering adding pothos to your aquarium. The aquatic ecosystem’s success in your residence will astound you.

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