Can Money Plant Grow in Aquarium? With tips

Growing plants in aquariums is a delightful way to enhance your aquatic environment’s beauty and health. One popular question among aquarium enthusiasts is whether a money plant, known as Devil’s Ivy or pothos (Epipremnum aureum), can thrive underwater. Incorporating this versatile and hardy houseplant into your aquarium setup is intriguing, given its lush, trailing vines and heart-shaped leaves. Not only can it add a natural aesthetic to your tank, but it can also contribute to the ecosystem’s overall health by improving water quality and providing a more comfortable habitat for your fish

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This article explores the feasibility of growing money plants in aquariums, how to set up and care for them, and the benefits they bring to your aquatic environment. Let’s dive into the details and find out!

Overview of money plants

Overview of money plants

The money plant, scientifically known as Epipremnum aureum, is a popular houseplant admired for its hardy nature and attractive, trailing vines with heart-shaped leaves. Known by other names like Devil’s Ivy and Pothos, this plant is versatile and easy to grow, thriving in various conditions, from low to bright indirect light. It requires minimal maintenance, needs water only when the top inch of soil is dry, and can grow in both soil and water. Money plants are not just decorative; they are also known for their air-purifying qualities, effectively removing toxins like formaldehyde and benzene from indoor environments. Culturally, they are often associated with good luck and prosperity. In aquariums, money plants thrive with their roots submerged and leaves above the water, improving water quality and providing a natural habitat for fish, making them a beneficial addition to home decor and aquatic setups.

Common Varieties

There are several varieties of money plants, each with unique leaf patterns and colors:

  • Golden Pothos: Known for its vibrant green leaves with yellow variegation.
  • Marble Queen: Features striking white and green marbled patterns on its leaves.
  • Neon Pothos: Stands out with its bright, chartreuse leaves, adding a splash of color to any setting.

Benefits of Having a Money Plant

Money plants offer numerous benefits beyond their ornamental value:

  • Air Purification: They are excellent at removing toxins such as formaldehyde, benzene, and xylene from the air, contributing to a healthier indoor environment.
  • Low Maintenance: These plants require minimal care, needing watering only when the top inch of soil is dry and tolerating various indoor conditions.
  • Symbolism: In many cultures, money plants are believed to bring good luck, prosperity, and positive energy, making them a favored choice for homes and offices.
  • Versatility: They can grow in soil and water, making them suitable for various indoor gardening setups, including aquariums.

Why Grow Plants in Aquariums?

 Enhanced Aesthetic Appeal:

  • Adds vibrant greenery and a natural look to the tank.
  • Creates a more engaging and visually pleasing environment.
  • Mimics natural habitats, making the aquarium a focal point in any room.

Improved Water Quality:

  • Absorbs harmful substances like nitrates and ammonia from fish waste and uneaten food.
  • Helps keep the water clean and reduces the need for frequent water changes.

Increased Oxygen Levels:

  • Plants produce oxygen through photosynthesis, improving dissolved oxygen levels in the water.
  • Vital for the health and well-being of aquatic life.

Natural Habitat and Shelter:

  • Provides hiding spots and shelter, reducing stress for fish.
  • Offers breeding grounds for certain fish species.

Balanced Ecosystem:

  • Supports the overall health and happiness of aquatic pets.
  • Contributes to a more stable and balanced aquarium ecosystem.

The Benefits of Growing Plants in Aquariums

The Benefits of Growing Plants in Aquariums

Enhanced Aesthetic Appeal:

  • Natural Beauty: Adding plants to an aquarium introduces vibrant greenery, creating a more natural and visually appealing environment.
  • Diverse Landscapes: Plants can be arranged to create stunning underwater landscapes, making the aquarium a focal point in any room.

Improved Water Quality:

  • Nutrient Absorption: Plants absorb harmful substances like nitrates and ammonia, which are by-products of fish waste and uneaten food, helping to keep the water clean.
  • Reduced Maintenance: Plants improve water quality, reducing the frequency of water changes needed making aquarium maintenance easier.

Increased Oxygen Levels:

  • Photosynthesis: Through photosynthesis, plants produce oxygen, enhancing the dissolved oxygen levels in the water, vital for the well-being of fish and other aquatic life.
  • Balanced Environment: Higher oxygen levels contribute to a healthier and more balanced aquarium e cosystem.

Natural Habitat and Shelter:

  • Hiding Spots: Plants provide natural hiding spots and shelter for fish, reducing stress and making them feel more secure.
  • Breeding Grounds: Certain fish species use plants as breeding grounds, ensuring a safe place for their eggs and fry.

Algae Control:

  • Competition for Nutrients: Plants compete with algae for nutrients, helping to control and reduce algae growth in the aquarium.
  • Shade: Some plants can provide shade, further inhibiting algae growth by reducing the light that reaches the tank bottom.

Enhanced Fish Health:

  • Stress Reduction: The presence of plants can reduce stress for fish, promoting healthier behavior and improved immune response.
  • Natural Behavior: Plants allow fish to exhibit natural behaviors, such as foraging and hiding, contributing to their overall well-being.

Ecosystem Stability:

  • Biological Filtration: Plants act as natural biological filters, helping to stabilize the aquarium’s ecosystem and create a more sustainable environment.
  • Microbial Support: The roots of aquatic plants support beneficial bacteria, crucial in breaking down waste and maintaining water quality.

Is It Possible for Money Plants to Grow in Aquariums?

Yes, money plants can thrive in aquariums, adding a touch of greenery and natural beauty to the underwater environment. While traditionally grown in pots with soil, money plants can adapt to aquatic settings with some adjustments. In aquariums, they are typically positioned with their roots submerged in water while the leaves remain above the surface. This setup allows the plant to access nutrients from the water and benefit from air exposure, which is essential for its growth and health.

To ensure successful growth, providing the right conditions for money plants in aquariums is crucial. This includes providing moderate to bright indirect light, maintaining clean water at an appropriate temperature, and ensuring good water circulation. Many aquarium hobbyists have successfully integrated money plants into their setups, appreciating their aesthetic appeal and ability to improve water quality by absorbing excess nutrients. With proper care and attention to their needs, money plants can thrive alongside aquatic life, contributing to a vibrant and healthy aquarium ecosystem.

Benefits of Money Plants in Aquariums:

  1. Water Quality Improvement: Money plants absorb nitrates and other pollutants, helping to maintain cleaner water.
  2. Oxygenation: The roots of the money plant support beneficial bacteria that aid in breaking down waste products, contributing to a healthier environment for fish.
  3. Aesthetic Appeal: The trailing vines and lush green leaves enhance the aquarium’s visual appeal, creating a more natural and engaging habitat.

How to Prepare Your Aquarium for a Money Plant?

Choose the Right Aquarium:

  • Select an aquarium with adequate space and an open-top or rimless design. Larger tanks allow the money plant’s roots to spread out and thrive.

Set Up the Environment:

  • Ensure the aquarium has stable water parameters suitable for fish and plants, including temperature, pH, and hardness. Aim for a temperature range of 70-85°F (21-29°C) and maintain proper water circulation.

Clean the Substrate:

  • If using a substrate, ensure it’s clean and free from debris. Rinse gravel or sand thoroughly before adding it to the aquarium to prevent cloudiness and maintain water clarity.

Provide Lighting:

  • Money plants require moderate to bright indirect light to thrive. Choose aquarium lighting that mimics natural sunlight or provides an appropriate spectrum for plant growth. Position the light fixture above the aquarium to ensure even coverage.

Consider Adding Fertilizer:

  • While money plants can absorb nutrients from the water, supplementing with liquid fertilizers can promote healthy growth. Choose a fertilizer formulated explicitly for aquarium plants and follow dosage instructions carefully to avoid over-fertilization.

Plan Placement:

  • Decide where to place the money plant in the aquarium. Consider factors such as water flow, visibility, and compatibility with other tank inhabitants. Position the plant where the roots can easily reach the water while the leaves remain above the surface.

Anchor the Plant:

  • Secure the money plant in place using aquarium-safe weights or anchors. This helps prevent the plant from floating or getting uprooted by water movement or fish activity.

Monitor and Adjust:

Monitor the plant’s growth and condition regularly. Adjust lighting, water parameters, and nutrient levels to ensure optimal growth and health. Prune any yellowing or dead leaves to promote new growth and maintain aesthetics.

Planting the Money Plant in Your Aquarium

1. Selecting the Right Spot:

Choose a suitable location in your aquarium where the money plant can thrive. Consider factors like water flow, lighting, and compatibility with other tank inhabitants. Aim for a spot where the roots can easily reach the water while the leaves remain above the surface.

2. Anchoring the Plant:

Secure the money plant in place using aquarium-safe weights or anchors. This prevents the plant from floating or getting uprooted by water movement or fish activity. Ensure the plant is firmly anchored to the substrate or décor to maintain its position.

3. Techniques for Planting:

There are several methods for planting money plants in aquariums:

Substrate Planting: Anchor the roots in the substrate, ensuring they are securely buried to provide stability and access to nutrients.

Floating Container: Place the money plant in a floating container, allowing the roots to dangle into the water while the leaves remain above the surface. This method provides flexibility and ease of maintenance.

Filter Attachment: Attach the plant to the filter outlet or other aquarium décor, positioning it so that the roots can reach the water. This method utilizes existing structures in the tank for support.

4. Initial Care and Monitoring:

After planting, closely monitor the money plant’s growth and condition. Ensure the roots remain submerged in the water and the leaves receive adequate light exposure. Adjust lighting and water parameters as needed to promote healthy growth.

5. Pruning and Maintenance:

Regularly prune the money plant to maintain its shape and prevent overcrowding. Trim any yellowing or dead leaves to encourage new growth and maintain aesthetics. Monitor for signs of nutrient deficiencies or algae growth and address them promptly.

Caring for Money Plants in Aquariums

1. Light Requirements:

  • Money plants thrive in moderate to bright indirect light. Ensure they receive adequate illumination from aquarium lighting, but avoid direct exposure to intense lights, which can lead to leaf scorching. Adjust the light duration or intensity if necessary to prevent damage.

2. Nutrient Needs:

  • While money plants can absorb nutrients from the water, occasional supplementation with liquid fertilizers can support healthy growth. Choose a fertilizer formulated explicitly for aquarium plants and follow the recommended dosage instructions to prevent over-fertilization, which can lead to algae issues.

3. Water Quality:

  • Maintain clean water with stable parameters suitable for both fish and plants. Regular water changes, typically 10-20% weekly, help remove excess nutrients and maintain optimal water quality. Use a reliable filtration system to keep the water clear and debris-free.

4. Pruning and Maintenance:

  • Regular pruning is essential to keep money plants healthy and visually appealing. Trim any yellowing or dead leaves using sharp, clean scissors to promote new growth and prevent overcrowding. Remove any algae or debris that may accumulate on the plant’s leaves or roots.

5. Root Care:

  • Ensure the money plant’s roots have sufficient water circulation and are not submerged in stagnant water, which can lead to root rot. Periodically check the roots for signs of decay and trim any unhealthy or rotting portions to maintain overall plant health.

6. Monitoring for Pests:

  • Watch for common aquarium pests such as snails, which may feed on money plant leaves and roots. Use appropriate pest control methods, such as introducing natural predators or manually removing pests, to prevent infestations and minimize plant damage.

7. Temperature and Water Flow:

  • To promote healthy plant growth, maintain stable water temperatures within the ideal range of 70-85°F (21-29°C). Ensure adequate water flow around the plant to prevent stagnation and facilitate nutrient uptake.

Common Problems and Solutions

1. Algae Overgrowth:

  • Problem: Excessive algae growth can overshadow money plants, hampering their growth and aesthetic appeal.
  • Solution: Regularly clean the aquarium, maintain proper water parameters, and ensure adequate water flow. Introduce algae-eating fish or invertebrates to help control algae growth naturally. Adjust lighting duration or intensity to discourage algae proliferation.

2. Root Rot:

  • Problem: Submerged roots may experience rotting if exposed to stagnant water or poor circulation.
  • Solution: Ensure proper water circulation around the roots and avoid waterlogging. Trim any rotting roots promptly and improve water flow if necessary. Adjust water change frequency to prevent stagnation.

3. Nutrient Deficiency:

  • Problem: Inadequate nutrient levels can lead to stunted growth, yellowing leaves, or poor overall health.
  • Solution: Supplement aquarium plants with liquid fertilizers to provide essential nutrients. Monitor nutrient levels and adjust fertilization as needed. Consider adding root tabs or substrate fertilizers for additional nutrient uptake.

4. Pest Infestation:

  • Problem: Common aquarium pests like snails or aphids may feed on money plant leaves and roots.
  • Solution: Remove pests manually or introduce natural predators like assassin snails or dwarf shrimp. To prevent pests from entering the aquarium, quarantine new plants before introducing them.

5. Leaf Burn:

  • Problem: Direct exposure to intense light can cause leaf burn, resulting in brown or scorched patches on the plant’s leaves.
  • Solution: Adjust lighting to provide moderate to bright indirect light, avoiding direct exposure. Install floating plants or floating covers to diffuse light intensity if necessary. Trim damaged leaves to promote new growth.

6. Poor Growth:

  • Problem: Money plants may exhibit slow or stunted growth due to unfavorable conditions or nutrient deficiencies.
  • Solution: Ensure optimal water quality, lighting, and nutrient levels. Prune overcrowded or unhealthy foliage to encourage new growth. Monitor plant health regularly and make necessary adjustments to care routines.

Alternative Aquatic Plants for Aquariums

Alternative Aquatic Plants for Aquariums

1. Java Fern (Microsorum pteropus):

  • Java Fern is a popular choice for aquariums because of its hardy nature and unique leaf shape. It thrives in low to moderate light conditions and can be attached to driftwood or rocks using fishing lines or glue.

2. Anubias (Anubias spp.):

  • Anubias plants are slow-growing and tolerate various lighting conditions, making them suitable for beginner aquarists. They can be anchored to driftwood or rocks, providing excellent coverage for fish and other tank inhabitants.

3. Amazon Sword (Echinodorus spp.):

  • Amazon Sword plants are prized for their lush green foliage and tall, sword-shaped leaves. They thrive in moderate to high light levels and nutrient-rich substrates, making them ideal for larger aquarium setups.

4. Vallisneria (Vallisneria spp.):

  • Vallisneria, also known as Vallis or Eelgrass, is a popular choice for aquarium background plants. It features long, ribbon-like leaves and can tolerate various lighting conditions. Vallisneria is excellent for oxygenation and provides shelter for fish fry.

5. Cryptocoryne (Cryptocoryne spp.):

  • Cryptocoryne plants come in various sizes and shapes, making them versatile for aquascaping. They prefer low to moderate light and can be planted directly into the substrate. Cryptocoryne adds visual interest and natural beauty to aquariums.

6. Water Wisteria (Hygrophila difformis):

  • Water Wisteria is a fast-growing plant with delicate, feathery leaves. It thrives in moderate to high light conditions and can be propagated easily through stem cuttings. Water Wisteria is an excellent choice for adding vertical interest to the aquarium.

7. Hornwort (Ceratophyllum demersum):

  • Hornwort is a floating or anchored plant known for its rapid growth and delicate, feathery foliage. It provides excellent oxygenation and is highly adaptable to various water conditions, making it ideal for both beginners and experienced aquarists.

8. Java Moss (Taxiphyllum barbieri):

  • Java Moss is a versatile and low-maintenance plant that can be attached to driftwood, rocks, or aquarium decorations. It thrives in low to moderate light conditions and provides hiding places for fish and shrimp fry.

9. Dwarf Sagittaria (Sagittaria subulata):

  • Dwarf Sagittaria is a popular foreground plant with narrow, grass-like leaves. It prefers moderate to high light levels and spreads quickly through runners, forming a lush carpet effect in the aquarium.

10. Dwarf Water Lily (Nymphaea spp.):

  • Dwarf Water Lily is a stunning aquatic plant with vibrant green leaves and colorful blooms. It requires moderate to high light levels and can be planted in pots or directly into the substrate. Dwarf Water Lily adds a touch of elegance to any aquarium setup.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Can money plants grow entirely submerged in water?

Money plants (Epipremnum aureum) can grow partially submerged in water, with their roots submerged and leaves above the surface. While they can tolerate submerging for short periods, prolonged submersion may lead to root rot.

How often should I fertilize my money plant in the aquarium?

Fertilization frequency depends on water parameters, plant growth rate, and nutrient levels. Following the instructions provided by the aquarium, fertilizer is recommended, and plant health should be monitored regularly to determine the appropriate fertilization schedule.

Will money plants in my aquarium attract pests like snails?

Money plants may attract common aquarium pests such as snails if proper precautions are not taken. Inspect new plants before adding them to the aquarium to prevent introducing pests. Also, maintain good water quality and regularly monitor for signs of pest infestation.

Can I propagate my money plant in the aquarium?

Yes, money plants can be propagated in the aquarium through stem cuttings or by dividing existing plants. Cut a healthy stem with several leaves, place it in the substrate, or attach it to aquarium décor using weights or anchors. Roots will develop from the cuttings, leading to new plant growth.

How do I prevent algae overgrowth on my money plant in the aquarium?

To prevent algae overgrowth, ensure proper lighting levels and duration, maintain optimal water parameters, and practice regular maintenance such as water changes and algae removal. Introducing algae-eating fish or invertebrates can also help control algae growth naturally.


In conclusion, incorporating money plants into your aquarium setup can enhance the aesthetic appeal and the overall health of the aquatic environment. By providing the right conditions and care, such as adequate lighting, proper water parameters, and regular maintenance, you can ensure the success of your money plants in the aquarium. With their lush green foliage and air-purifying qualities, money plants create a vibrant and harmonious underwater ecosystem for your aquatic pets to thrive.

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