Aquarium Plants

Can You Leave Aquarium Plants in Pots?

If you want to keep your aquarium plants in pots, look for a safe and non-toxic plant pot and follow these steps of planting and placing them.

Can You Leave Aquarium Plants in Pots? Yes, you can leave your aquarium plants in pots instead of anchoring them in the substrate by choosing safe pots for your aquarium. Potted plants look much more coordinated and organized in an aquarium without causing harm to the fish and other animals. You only have to know the right way of planting them in pots and the correct location for placing them in the tank.

Can You Leave Aquarium Plants in Pots?

Planting and maintaining live aquarium plants require sufficient time and care as you have to provide them all their requirements in the tank. Usually, a fish tank does not contain similar plants, and fulfilling their demands and protecting them in the tank is not easy.

There are several ways to add beautiful live plants to your fish tank, one of which is planting them in the pot.

The pots can conveniently carry your live plants in the aquarium along with beautifying the whole look. When you are a beginner and do not know about planting an aquarium plant in the tank, place it in a plant pot.

The pots not only keep your aquarium plants safe and healthy but also help them grow efficiently into their territory. Remember to choose the most suitable ones for the aquarium and look for their appropriate placement.

Pots should be safe for aquarium fish

Before adding pot into the aquarium, make sure that it is safe and non-toxic because a little carelessness can harm or kill your fish. Do not add a random garden or ceramic pot into the fish tank. 

It may contain many harmful substances such as fertilizers, weed killers, bug spray that make your tank water toxic. Also, uncured ceramic can leach substances into the water that is not safe for plants and fish.

Choose a pot that does not contain any glaze or paint because it may have harmful chemicals. The safest plant pot for your aquarium is clay pots, as they never leach any chemical into the tank. 

You can also use plastic pots as they are also safe, but the most recommended one is a terracotta clay pot. Terracotta clay pots form by shaping clay and then hardening it by providing heat. They are reddish, brown, and you can identify them among others.

The appropriate size of pots for a fish tank

Choose the accurate size and shape of the plant pot for your aquarium. Some plants are heavy root-feeders and require more space for roots. It is preferable to use shallow and deep plant pots to place plants appropriately.

Also, look for a medium-sized pot as a too-large one can look ugly in the aquarium, especially when you do not have a large fish tank. Smaller ones are preferable for smaller fish tanks.

Suitable substrate for aquarium pots

It is necessary to provide them all essential elements in the pot when you place your plants in pots rather than anchoring them in the tank substrate. You can also use the aquarium substrate. Besides nutrition, the substrate should be able to hold plants in place. 

The best substrate for potted plants is organic potting soil as it provides all the nutrients to the plants for years. You can also use aquarium gravel in the pots but remember to add few root tabs in the substrate to supply nutrients. Replace roots tabs every few months for constant provision of nutrients.

How to plant aquarium plants in pots?

After selecting a safe and suitable pot for your tank, start planting your favorite plant into it.

  • Get a pot and rinse it properly to remove all the dirt and contaminants.
  • If the pot has large holes in the bottom, cover it with plastic or mesh wire before adding substrate. It prevents the substrate from spilling out.
  • Few small holes are preferable as they allow plant roots to grow out of the pot, make the plant absorb more water and nutrients.
  • Start filling eco-soil or any other organic mix substrate into the pot halfway and dig a hole in the center to place the plant.
  • Take plant and dust off all the dirt without damaging roots and place plant roots in the pot.
  • Remove damaged leaves or branches from the plant to prevent harming tank fish.
  • Now fill the pot by adding more substrate to keep the plant fix.

Placing pots in the aquarium

Once you finish planting the aquarium plants in the pot, add them to the aquarium.

  • Rinse the potted plant with some fresh water to remove any dust before placing it in the tank.
  • Place them into the tank considering the appropriate location.
  • Place larger ones in the background and smaller ones along the sides of the aquarium.
  • You can also place smaller ones in the center and along with the driftwood or other decorations.

Advantages of placing potted plants in an aquarium

Protection from fish

Some fish like to dig the substrate like cichlids that eventually, results in displacing the plants when you anchor them in the substrate. The fish can de-root the plant out of the substrate, which results in an inadequate supply of nutrients. Planting the aquarium plants in pots helps prevent the fish dig up the plant.

Going in the bottom, plant-eater fish such as goldfish eat aquarium plants, and pots protect them from these fish. 

Allow water and oxygen exchange

Unglazed clay or terracotta pots are very porous and improves soil aeration. They allow water and oxygen exchange through them and helps provide more oxygen to the roots of plants.

It helps growing plants faster and healthier with a sufficient supply of nutrients from tank water. Many aquarium plants can live in brackish water.

Easy to move around plants

Potted plants are easy to displace or move around the aquarium. You can easily hold and rearrange them when you want to change the location of plants.

The substrate-anchored plants are hard to move as you have to pull them out to replace them. It can also damage or tear plant roots and stem and aquarium plants can turn yellow.

Maintenance and Decoration

The pots increase the aesthetic and beauty of the tank as they serve as a statement decoration piece. Terracotta is a versatile and cost-effective way to add character to your fish tank. Many aquarium plants can grow without soil.

Also, their maintenance is too easy as you can take them out of the tank and cut or trim them without creating a mess in the tank.

Home and play area for small fish

Pots are an excellent place for small, shy fish to hide from large fish, and it serves as a home place for fish. The fish love to play and swim around the objects in the tank, and your potted plants are ideal for this purpose and it can make your fish lay at the bottom of the tank.

A place for fish to lay eggs

When you place pots in the aquarium, it provides an ideal place for fish to lay eggs. Your fish can lay eggs into or behind them to prevent them from becoming the food of large fish.

These baby fish live in small, hidden places as they are not aware of the tank environment.

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