Can you grow Pothos in an aquarium or fishtank?

The idea of growing Pothos (Epipremnum aureum) in a fish tank is an intriguing concept for both gardening enthusiasts and aquarists. It’s a stunning plant that not only adds diversity to your aquatic world, but it also offers a wonderful aesthetic to anyone who choosing to grow it. Large leaves that eclipse the water line are what draw many aquarists to this versatile plant – making it a popular choice amongst both beginner and enthusiast aquarists.

This guide delves into the feasibility, benefits, and considerations of growing Pothos in an aquatic environment, providing practical advice for successfully integrating this versatile plant into your fish tank.

So, let’s waste no further time and dive straight into it. If you’re new to aquarium plants, why not check out our beginners guide to the 5 best aquarium plants.

Can you grow Pothos in an aquarium?

Pothos is known for its adaptability and hardiness, making it an ideal candidate for growing in a fish tank. The plant thrives in a hydroponic environment, where its roots are submerged in water without soil. This setup not only benefits the plant but also the aquatic ecosystem.

Benefits of Growing Pothos in a Fish Tank

Below, we will outline the main benefits of growing Pothos in a fish tank or aquarium:

  1. Natural Filtration: Pothos roots absorb nitrates and other toxins from the water, acting as a natural filter. This can improve water quality and reduce the frequency of tank cleanings.
  2. Oxygenation: Through photosynthesis, pothos releases oxygen into the water, benefiting the fish and other aquatic life.
  3. Aesthetic Appeal: Pothos adds a lush, green element to your fish tank, creating a more natural and visually appealing environment.
Can you grow Pothos in an aquarium

Setting Up Pothos in Your Fish Tank

If you’re sold on adding a Pothos to your aquatic world, then you might want to consider the following factors before doing so. This will not only ensure the process goes smoothly, but it’ll also ensure healthy growth there after.

  • Placement: Anchor the pothos at the top of the tank, ensuring that only the roots are submerged. The leaves should remain above water to prevent rotting.
  • Root Care: Initially, pothos cuttings may not have long roots. Allow the roots to grow in a container of water before transferring them to the fish tank.
  • Tank Compatibility: Ensure your fish tank inhabitants are compatible with pothos. Some fish may nibble on the roots, which can be harmful to both the plant and the fish.

Maintaining Pothos in an Aquatic Environment

Once you’ve planted your Pothos in your aquarium, you’ll want to know exactly how to maintain your new arrival. Below is a short list of maintenance tips for any aquarist using Pothos.

  • Monitoring Growth: Regularly check the growth of the pothos roots. Excessive root growth can overcrowd the tank and may need to be pruned.
  • Water Quality: Keep an eye on the water parameters. While pothos helps in filtration, it should not replace a proper filtration system.
  • Feeding the Plant: Pothos in a fish tank will primarily feed off nutrients in the water. Supplemental fertilization is usually not necessary.

What Not to Do When Growing Pothos in a Fish Tank

Like always, there are dos and don’ts to any plant – the Pothos is no different. See below for a list of “what not to do” if you’re growing a Pothos in your tank.

  1. Avoid Submerging Leaves: Do not submerge the leaves or stems, as this can cause the plant to rot.
  2. Don’t Overcrowd the Tank: Be mindful of the space. Too many plants can lead to oxygen depletion and other issues.
  3. Avoid Chemicals: Be cautious about using chemicals or medications in the water that might harm the plant.

Common Challenges and Solutions

  1. Algae Growth: If algae begin to grow on the roots, reduce the light exposure, and consider adding algae-eating fish or snails.
  2. Root Rot: If the roots start to rot, prune the affected parts and improve water circulation.
  3. Fish Compatibility: Monitor fish behavior to ensure they are not stressed or harmed by the presence of the plant.


Growing Pothos in a fish tank is not only feasible but beneficial for both the plant and the aquatic ecosystem. With proper setup and maintenance, pothos can enhance the health and beauty of your fish tank, providing a unique and symbiotic relationship between plant and aquatic life. By understanding the needs and dynamics of this setup, aquarists and plant enthusiasts alike can enjoy the dual joys of aquaculture and gardening in a harmonious environment.

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