Top 10 Non Aquatic Plants To Avoid In Fish Tank:

Keeping your aquatic plants healthy will help you get rid of toxic components that releases from fish waste. Plants are absorbers & they can absorb fish waste that can help them grow well. However, not every plant is suitable for aquarium especially if you want to fully submerge them. However, there is progress in growing more species of plants in aquarium that can survive in tank water. Hobbyists have more opportunities to choose aquatic plants for aquarium but in this article we are going to talk about plants that can’t live, grow slowly or die too early in aquariums.

Most of the aquarium & pet stores often sell non aquatic plants due to their high turnover. These plants will only stay alive for a short period of time in the aquarium & they will need to be replaced. After planting non aquatic plants, they will initially shoot new stems & grow new but the plant will eventually die after a few weeks or a month. You would be lucky to have them alive after couple of months of planting them in the fish tank. The reason is that these plants cannot tolerate too much water. In this article i will discuss the top 10 non aquatic plants that you must avoid planting in your fish tank.

1. Japanese Rush:

Japanese Rush is a grass like plant that has long grass like leaves that normally has two or three white stripes along every light green leaf. This plant has tough leaves & it is able to reach a height of fourteen inches.

This plant can do well in tropical tanks which allows around half of every leaf to stay above water. The roots can collect nutrients from aquatic water which helps them in growing well. 

Japanese Rush is able to endure in tank for up to a year but this plant needs to be kept at cooler temperatures. It will not survive in warm temperatures for long.

Watch a video of my non aquatic plants that i have placed in pots in my guppy tank.

Non Aquatic Planted Tank

2. Caladium:

It is a very common plant that you might have seen in nurseries or gardens. This plant has heart shaped leaves of multiple colors.

This plant is terrestrial but it can’t grow when fully submerged in water.

Caladium can endure in tank for up to six weeks but it is recommended to keep its leaves out of water. This plant is usually sold in pots.

3. Peace Lily:

This plant is tropical in nature that grows on the forest floor. They need sunlight & moisture for growth. If you want to grow peace lily, then they may grow in your tank.

Peace Lily can survive in aquarium for even up to years. It grows slowly when submerged, & can grow with little effort & in low lighting. However, it is not a true aquatic plant.

4. Aluminum Plant:

Aluminum plant can grow well in forests & homes. They are considered one of the simple plants that are recommended for beginners. People keep this plant at homes with no problem.

Aluminum Plant can survive in tank for a few weeks, but will finally die. This plant is not recommended to use in aquarium due to its short life span in aquatic environment.  

5. Spider Plant:

It is the same plant that hang in windows that receive direct sunlight. Spider plant is very popular & people keep it at homes.

Spider Plant is a potted plant. If this plant is submerged in water, then it will decay quickly. This plant is not recommended for aquarium.

6. Lucky Bamboo:

Lucky bamboo is available in nature in multi colors & kinds. The common offerings of this plant are ribbon plant or pineapple plant but they are unable to thrive in aquarium.

Lucky Bamboo is able to survive for long periods if its leaves are kept outside aquarium water. If it is submerged fully in aquarium, its life span drops to only 8 weeks.

7. Purple Waffle Plant:

Purple Waffle is a beautiful plant & many people fall in love with them. People introduce them to aquarium but these plants look pretty for just a year. Then all of your effort would be wasted as such plants can’t tolerate aquarium environment.

Purple Waffle Plant needs more light but is able to endure in aquarium for up to one year. It will deteriorate slowly.

8. Iresine lindenii:

A beautiful plant but can’t withstand tank environment. This plant has twenty to twenty-five kinds, all of them are native to American tropics.

Iresine lindenii is a lovely plant but not suitable for fish tank. It is available as a potted plant. Despite being attractive, this plant cannot tolerate too much water.

9. Arrowhead Plant:

Arrowhead plants can grow outdoor in some areas but this plant is largely kept at home. It is a very common plant & popular too. People keep them alone or along with other kinds of plants.

Arrowhead Plant will die if you submerge it in water. It can survive when its roots are submerged while plant is kept outside aquarium.

10. Mondo Grass:

Other name of this plant is monkey grass. Such plants can do well in any environment & light intensity is not a problem for them. It grows slowly & does not need much care.

Mondo grass is not suitable for aquarium. If it is submerged, then it can endure for a while but will not grow. It should be taken out after a couple of months.


  1. Thank you for this detailed article. I was under the assumption that purple waffle is a true aquatic plant but never lasted long in my tanks.


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