Adding a Pothos Plant in Your Aquarium (Everything You Need to Know)

Are you thinking of adding plants to your aquarium? Are you confused about the specific choice of plants to add? Have you thought of adding pothos plants to your aquarium? If yes, you have a full guide on adding the pothos plant to your aquarium in this article.

When adding a pothos plant to your aquarium, you must consider certain factors. You have to make sure the plant is far from the filter to avoid its roots clogging it up. You also have to be sure your fish will not attack, eat, or damage your pothos.

Pothos Plant Overview

Pothos plant is a plant with thick, green, waxy, heart-shaped leaves. It also has splashes of yellow color on its leaves. The pothos plant has aerial roots that help them adapt and grow in their environment.

Benefits of Pothos Plant in Aquarium

There are several benefits of using the pothos plant in your aquarium. Let’s talk about some of the benefits.

  • Decoration: One of the purposes of having a pothos plant in your aquarium is to serve as decoration. Plants usually help beautify the aquarium, giving it a livened look. Pothos plants are not an exemption in this regard as they will make your tank colorful with their colored leaves.
  • Purification: Pothos plant will do a good job in purifying your tank as they will help remove nitrates in the tank. Aquarium plants will absorb the nitrates in your water tank to grow, but the pothos plant will do it at a much faster rate. Pothos plants will also help combat algae in the aquarium, providing you with a crystal clear tank.
  • Aeration: The water in your aquarium needs to get properly and adequately aerated; without proper aeration, your fish will develop difficulty breathing, which can lead to further complications. The pothos plant will take in the carbon dioxide and release oxygen into the water for your fish to breathe well.
  • Protection and cover: Pothos plants have broad leaves covering and shade to fish in the aquarium. It will also perform an excellent job protecting fragile and weakfish from bullies. When a fish falls under attack, it can swim to the middle of the plant and take cover till it is safe to come out.
  • Stabilize substrate: Your pothos plant can help stabilize the substrate in your tank with their growth action. When they start to grow, their strong roots go into the substrate, getting a grip on it. It will help you keep your substrate strong and stabilize your fish activities.
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Negatives of Pothos Plant in Aquarium

As much as there are several benefits of using pothos plants in your aquarium, there are also setbacks that you can experience. Let’s talk about the setbacks you can experience using the pothos plant for your aquarium.

  • Nutrient deficiency: One of the problems you will face when having pothos plant in your aquarium is nutrient deficiency. AS the plant grows larger, its roots become bigger and consume more, if not all, of the nutrients in the water. It causes your aquarium to be bare of nutrients and not suitable for other plants to grow.
  • Root infestations: Another problem you will face if you have pothos plants in your aquarium is their root infestation. As the plants grow, their root becomes larger and starts taking over the tank. You will have to frequently trim and cut the plants’ roots to prevent them from taking over your fish tank.
  • Digestive problems: Pothos plants contain insoluble calcium oxalates crystals that can be very dangerous for you. If you ingest the leaves or any part of the plan, the oxalates crystals can cause discomfort to your upper and airway and digestive tracts. You will need to get immediate medical assistance if you or your pets consume the plant.

These setbacks do not mean the pothos plant is bad for your aquarium. It means you have to understand how you can control and manage their growth. You will also have to pay attention to them and provide them with adequate care.

Is it Safe to Put Pothos Plant in an Aquarium?

Pothos is one of the beneficial plants you can add to your aquarium. It is safe to put pothos plants in an aquarium as it has several benefits. Pothos plants will perform a great job in purifying the water in your aquarium.

Pothos plants will help reduce the nitrate level in your tank, making the water more conducive for your fish. They will also help control algae growth in the tank, helping you maintain clean and clear water for your fish. Pothos plants will do a great job providing a healthy and conducive environment for your fish.

However, you have to note some conditions before you can put the pothos plant in your aquarium. Pothos plants grow faster, so you might need to get yourself prepared for the whole work of trimming. You will have to trim the plant roots as they grow fast and out of control.

If you don’t trim them regularly, they will take over the aquarium and give it an unappealing look. You also have to know that you cannot have another plant in the aquarium when you have pothos plants. Pothos plants tend to have large roots and consume many nutrients in the water.

They use many nutrients that other plants in the aquarium will starve of nutrients. Having another plant in the same aquarium as pothos’ might not be such a good idea. You also have to know that the plant can be dangerous to you and your pets, so you have to steer clear of consuming it.

Once you note these conditions, you are ready to have your pothos plant in your aquarium.

How to Hang Pothos in Aquarium

You have to consider some factors before hanging your pothos plant in your aquarium. You have to know the right way to hang your pothos to prevent issues from occurring. The first thing you have to know is the position of your plant.

You have to position your plant in a location that will keep them away from the aquarium’s filter. Pothos plant roots grow fast and reach a wide distance. If the plant grows too close to the filter, its roots can get caught up in the filter’s motor.

You will need to situate the plant far away from the filter to prevent it from happening. You can also hang the plant in a hanging basket. The plants will grow and hang out of the basket.

You also have to make sure you evenly space your pothos plant in the basket to ensure the plant roots do not get clogged up. You also must ensure you position the plant far away from the aquarium filter and other water devices.

How to Attach Pothos to Aquarium

There are different ways you can attach your pothos plant to the aquarium. You can do this by staking the vines up support in the tank. You can also train them up a tank structure while growing them in a standard pot.

You can also use a hanging basket to attach your pothos plant to your aquarium. There are different types of hanging baskets you can use to attach your pothos plant to your aquarium. The way you attach your pothos plant to the aquarium will determine how good-looking the aquarium will be.

How Do You Cut Pothos for Aquariums?

Pothos will provide beautification for your aquarium, especially if you place them the right way. You have to know the best way to cut your pothos for your aquarium if you want to propagate it. You will need to locate the plant’s node before you can cut it for your aquarium.

After locating the pothos plant node, you should cut it inches below the node. You also have to cut the plant around 45 degrees angle. After cutting it properly, you can now add the plant to your aquarium.

The plant will start to develop from the node. You will notice the plant shooting from the node and grow to its large size. When the pothos plant starts developing long vines, you can also cut and propagate it in your aquarium.

Does a Pothos Plant Filter Water?

Pothos plants might not function as a mechanical filter, but they will do a good job of purifying the water. They might not physically filter out particles from the water but help reduce the tank’s nitrate level. They will help remove nitrates from the water and provide you a healthy and conducive water environment for your fish.

Pothos plants will also help remove algae from the water. Algae are among the most common factors that contribute to water becoming messy. If the pothos plant can help you get rid of algae in your aquarium, you will have a more healthy and conducive environment for your aquatic life.

Will a Pothos Plant Improve Water Quality

Pothos plants will certainly help improve the quality of water in your tank. Besides adding beauty to your tank, the pothos plant will also help maintain good water quality for your fish. If your tank gets infested with algae, the pothos plant will help eliminate them.

Pothos plants consume many nutrients, making them an aggressive competitor of nutrients. They consume almost all the water nutrients, leaving little or no other plants in the tank. It causes algae to get limited nutrients, causing them to die off and steer clear of your water.

Pothos will also consume the nitrates in your tank, causing your tank to be free of nitrates. Too many nitrates can harm your fish, so the pothos plant will help keep your fish safe and healthy. Pothos plants can help improve your water quality if you take the necessary steps.

Can a Pothos Destroy My Aquarium?

Pothos will not destroy your aquarium if you take the necessary steps. Pothos plants can be highly beneficial to your aquarium and also the otherwise. They will help provide your aquarium with several benefits like purification, cleansing, etc.

Pothos plants grow at a fast rate and also its roots. When the roots become too much, they will congest and take over your aquarium. If you don’t take the necessary actions, the plant can destroy your aquarium and make it extremely unappealing.

It would be best if you trimmed the plants’ roots at intervals to ensure your aquarium’s safety. You can also trim the plant itself to provide your tank a better look. If you take the needed actions, your pothos plant will not destroy your aquarium.

Why is My Pothos Plant Turning Yellow

There are several yellowing causes in your pothos plants, but the most common one is improper soil moisture. If your soil moisture has an inappropriate amount of water, your pothos plant will start to experience the yellowing of leaves.

You only have to increase your soil pot’s water content when the water is content below 25 percent. You will also need to reduce the amount of water when your soil’s water content becomes too much. Yellowing your pothos plant occurs mostly when the soil’s water content becomes too much.

Is Pothos Poisonous to Fish?

Pothos plants are not poisonous to fish. Many aquarists use them in their aquariums as a source of beautifications. Fish will inhabit the same ecological environment as pothos plants.

Can Pothos Grow Underwater?

Pothos are not true aquatic plants and will not thrive when submerged in water. The plant leaves cannot get nutrients from the water when you submerge them in water. You have to make sure to keep the leaves out of the water.

Can you Put pothos in a Betta Tank?

Yes, you can put pothos plants in your betta fish tank. Pothos will make a compatible plant for your betta fish. You only have to make sure you do not submerge the plant’s leaves.


You can add a pothos plant to your aquarium to help purify it. You have to note some factors when adding the plant to your tank. Pothos plants will make a good aquarium plant for your fish tank.

John Brandon

John has kept fish all his life (since he was about 5). He started with keeping guppies and fell in love with fish keeping almost straight away. That was 40 odd years ago. These days John still keeps fish and currently has two large tanks where he keeps many different types of fish such as Angelfish, Neon Tetras, Goldfish, Guppies and many more.