Some aquarists want to keep money plants or pothos in their aquarium. So it’s quite natural to ask about the effects of money plants on fish in aquariums. Now here I will show in this article whether money plants are suitable or not according to my experience.

As a whole, money plant (pothos) is suitable for fishes mostly but it has some drawbacks too. Some fish like to nibble its stems and due to this, pothos leaches calcium oxalate. It may degrade the slime coat of fish. Not only that, but goldfish may lose their appetite for it. However, it is not toxic to fish.   

This couple of lines can’t help you to know the whole concept of this topic. You have to know more about money plants otherwise a little mistake can destroy all of your fish tanks. So let’s dive deep into the topic.

Is money plant suitable for fish?
Is money plant suitable for fish?

Are money plants (pothos plants) poisonous to aquarium fish?

Pothos or money plants are not theoretically or directly poisonous to aquarium fish but in a certain way, it shows a few harmful effects to the whole aquarium. So you must know this before placing a money plant in your aquarium. Let’s talk about this

Side effects of having pothos plant in an aquarium

  • Money plant is not an aquatic plant

Lots of new aquarists think they can fix money plants like other aquarium plants. However, that is not the right way to fix money plants in the aquarium. It is because the pothos plant is not an aquatic plant. Thus if you submerge it fully, then it will be rotten so quickly and due to this nitrogenous toxicity will be created inside of the aquarium. In spite of having filters, the fish and other invertebrates will die off due to this toxicity.

Read More:- How to remove nitrate from aquarium naturally

  • Money plant release calcium oxalate

When the tissue of a money plant gets damaged then it will release calcium oxalate. It means if you cut branches or stems then it will release this acidic element. Calcium oxalate is highly insoluble in water. However, due to its acidic nature, excessive calcium oxalate can reduce the pH level of water of the aquarium.

Some aquarium fish nibble the stems or branches of the pothos plant and in that case, more calcium oxalate will be released into the fish’s mouth. It is harmful to ornamental fish. A research paper states that due to excessive calcium oxalate fish may face tubular necrosis and kidney dysfunction.

Not only that, but fish may become blind also. This research paper has experimented on the twenty-fifth clownfish and has found this data. Moreover, they have said that due to calcium oxalate reproduction disorders and lack of appetite may occur for a certain fish species.

Note:- To remove calcium oxalate you can put the damaged stem in a glass of water for a few hours. The glass of that water will be milky and cloudy enough. After rinsing that stem well you can put that into the aquarium again. 

You can choose fish for your aquarium wisely by knowing its nature. Livebearers, danios, barbs are some good options to keep with money plant in the same aquarium

  • Slime coat degradation 

Fish have a slime coat on their skin. It helps to swim faster through water by reducing the surface resistance. Moreover, it protects fish from different types of infectious diseases.

Now calcium oxalate can damage the slime coat of aquarium fish. It may be a problem for your aquarium if you have goldfish. However, it depends fully on species.

All of these issues will not arise in your aquarium if you place money plants in the right way in your aquarium. So you must know this. Let’s discuss on it

Read More:- Why is marimo moss ball shedding? Causes with a quick solution 

How do you attach pothos to the aquarium?

To grow money plants in an aquarium it is recommended to cut its roots at 45° for better growth. After that, aquarists must cut the upper part of a plastic bottle to put pothos & hang it. Don’t forget to make a hole at the bottom for water circulation. It will keep safe pothos from plant-eaters in the tank. 

You can keep money plants in the aquarium by implementing other ways too. However,  you must protect its roots from fishes. Some fishes nibble the roots of money plants. It is bad for fish too for calcium oxalate. So it is recommended to keep money plants in this way.

Some experts say that plastic bottles are not suitable for money plants if you want to keep these for a long period of time. But in my experience, I haven’t faced this type of issue yet. However, money plants may die if the water quality is bad. So you must check at least once if you are just starting today.

From this discussion, it is clear that the roots of money plants will stay underwater and the rest of the part of this plant will stay on the water surface of the aquarium. This type of planted aquarium is called Riparium. You can add more suitable plants here to make the riparium more beautiful.

Note:- Don’t submerge money plants somehow in the aquarium. It is because the money plant is not an aquatic plant. It will die within a few days if it is submerged in water. 

Read more:- Are Floating Plants Good For Aquariums? 7 Floating Plants Recommendations

Will money plants (pothos) kill other aquarium plants?

Money plants are a very good plant that consumes nitrate fast. Now due to this, the nitrate and phosphate ratio may be disrupted in the aquarium. So, sensitive aquatic plants may die gradually. As the money plant itself is a hardy plant so it is recommended to keep some hardy plants with it such as Anubis etc. 

Does pothos remove algae from the aquarium? 

The money plant can’t directly remove algae from the aquarium. A money plant consumes nitrates from the fish tank which is considered a great source of algal growth. However, algae grow due to excessive light too. In this case, money plants can’t prevent algae from growing. 

It means generally algae grow in an aquarium due to two possible reasons. One is excessive nitrates and another is excessive lights (there are other reasons too). Now you must check why your aquarium is getting algal growth.

If you turn on aquarium lights for more than 8-10 hours then there is a high possibility of it due to excessive lights. In this case, money plants can’t help you to reduce algae growth. However, it can help you to control algae growth by reducing the nitrate level of the aquarium.

Read More:- Basic Interaction between plants and fish inside an aquarium

Is money plant (pothos) toxic to betta fish?

Pothos and Betta fish are compatible with each other. Despite being a carnivorous species, Betta fish may nibble the roots of pothos due to food deficiency, boredom etc. Calcium oxalate may release from roots for nibbling, which is bad for a betta. A sufficient amount of food is required for a betta in this case.

So best of luck & happy fishkeeping 🐟

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