Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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PaperclipGirl 03-08-2010 01:31 PM

Potted Plant tank
Does anyone have one or use potted plants in their tank? I can't seem to find a lot of information out there on them.

stephanieleah 03-08-2010 02:06 PM

If you can find pots that don't restrict water movement through the root system and substrate, like with holes or something (never seen anything for this purpose) then it could work. The substrate needs water flow for nutrient access to plants and also for aerobic activity for bacteria and roots. It's a nice idea.

Are you thinking of aesthetics or functionality as far as using pots?

redchigh 03-08-2010 02:07 PM


Originally Posted by PaperclipGirl (Post 340492)
Does anyone have one or use potted plants in their tank? I can't seem to find a lot of information out there on them.

Do you mean potted plants as in:

"Potted" plants you buy from a place like Sweet Aquatics or your local LFS?
(packed in rockwool and a little plastic pot)


planting the plants in a small saucer or pot full of nutrient rich substrate in your aquarium permenantly?
(It can be done, but you'll be severely limited in your plant selection. If you have normal aquarium graven 2-3mm in size, just plant the plants in gravel. no need to pot them.

Oldfishlady 03-08-2010 04:11 PM

I have used peace lily in the back of the HBO filter with just the roots in the water and the leaves coming out, it looked pretty neat but it out grew the HBO pretty fast and the roots found their way into the maybe not such a good, bare root no dirt or anything,
I have also used cuttings off my weeping willow tree in my yard and stuck a 3ft cutting in the tank, they will root out in the tank and absorb nutrients in newly set up tanks to help with algae issues and they look pretty neat with the flowing branch with leaves coming out of the tank and hanging off the side especially since I have my tanks with an east window getting natural sunlight they do pretty well and then I plant them outside and cut a new one.
I have seen philidremns (sp) or ivy used but never have myself and the lucky bamboo, as long as just the roots are in the water they should be fine otherwise they will rot and die. I have never heard or read about any problems with these application as far as fish deaths but I would be careful with some houseplants and research and make sure they are not poison to fish and animals etc..... can never be too careful when you use some things in the aquarium......

PaperclipGirl 03-08-2010 06:47 PM

I was acuatlly thinking aqua plants in a weighted terracotta pot (terracotta is water porous unless sealed)

Mostly I was just asking because I would like to be able to clean around the plant and rearrange easily. I had also considered going barebottom (in another post).

Angel079 03-09-2010 08:35 AM

On the terracotta I'd be quite careful and REALLY make sure you know what your garden center has put on them things. Alternativly you can order potted plants here take them out of the pot's when you get them, take that foam like stuff off around the roots and refill/ plant them back in there with fine gravel. That way you can move them around easily. However as the plant grows you will (no matter which pot used) have roots coming our the bottom eventually and you'll see bare roots all around your tank. I've had plants that grew and when I re-arranged the tanks few yrs later you have had MASSIVE root systems stretching the greater portion of a 55 tank.

redchigh 03-09-2010 10:20 AM

barebottom tank would do well with pots if you wanted.

Just realise you'll be limited to bunch plants, maybe some dwarf sag or dwarf baby tears, and maybe a vallis.

Definately use a lot of driftwood...

If you know someone with a workshop, it might be cool to find a large piece of DW and drill large (1-2" diameter, .5-1" deep) holes and plant the plants into it...
And of course tie some java fern and anubias to it.

1077 03-09-2010 10:57 AM

Have used potted plants numerous times with various cichlids that like to dig as well as Discus.
Plant's were Amazon sword,Crypt,Hygro.pond lillys,and tiger lotus.
Unglazed terra cotta pots work well. Place a layer of fine gravel about 1/2 inch deep in the bottom of the pot to keep soil from leaching out of the hole. Then take some plain garden soil or potting soil, (no additives) and wet it until the soil has consistency of playdough. place this in the pot until pot is nearly 3/4 full. The take your finger and push a hole down in the wet soil to insert the plant. Then fill the pot the rest of the way with fine gravel. Gently pull the base of the plant up just a tad so that roots aren't packed too tightly and shoulder of plant is just above the gravel (just a little). Then the next step is VERY important,, Take the potted plant and set it in a bucket of aquarium water or dechlorinated water for approx thirty, to fourty five minutes to allow air pockets or bubbles to burp out into the bucket ,otherwise they might do this in the aquarium(big mess, trust me).
Then ,place the plant under adequate light and that's it. I have used organic miracle grow portting soil combined with flourite or just plain potting soil and plants all did well. Maybe every six months to a year ,or longer,, simply replace the potting soil with new mixture after it has given up it's nutrients.
Worked quite well as mentioned in cichlid tanks and moving them around was not a problem. Hope this helps.

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