How to grow Pothos Plant in aquarium filter:

Aquarium plants absorb toxic nitrogen compounds from the aquarium water, but what if you own goldfish who will eat whatever plants you put in the fish tank? It would be a good time to think about putting some pothos plant in the aquarium filter. Pothos will do a great job at reducing nitrate levels (and algae growth) and goldfish won't get an opportunity to destroy the plant. Continue to read to find out more ....

In below video I will show you how to grow Pothos in aquarium overhead filter.

What is Pothos?

Pothos is green & mustard multi-colored plant, & it is hard in nature which make it suitable for beginners. This plant is able to grow in desired pot if properly cared.

Grow Pothos Plant In Aquarium Filter

It is a wise idea to use aquarium plants in filter so that fish never eats them. We are introducing Pothos plant in our aquarium filter to reduce nitrates level. This plant has other names such as Money Plant or Devil’s Ivy & it is an ordinary plant available in many nursery & garden centers in Australia & rest of the world. In this tutorial I am going to use Pothos plant in my fish tank overhead filter for reducing nitrates.

How to grow Pothos in aquarium filter:

I am converting my sump filter to an aquaponic top filter, so I need to dismantle my tank canopy. I have used timber to make a DIY planter for fish tank depending on the directions of my overhead sump filter. After I finished building, I applied paint to canopy & planter to make them weather proof. I used pothos plant for tank by removing it from pot, removing the dirt, & trimming plant roots. I have divided plants into 4 & potted in containers. For this project I am using lava rock as aquaponic substrate which in future will be replaced with clay pebbles.

This plant can help reduce nitrates if they are at high levels in aquarium. It is cheap & grows quickly.

Direct sunlight can blacken Pothos’ leaves but if the light is very little then it causes the leaves to yellow & wit.

Step 1: Dismantle canopy & prepare open hood:

Dismantle canopy & prepare open hood

Re-using wood is an inexpensive choice. This process can be completed quickly using jigsaw.

Use an extra wood for supporting the filter

Use an extra wood for supporting the filter.

Use a drill machine for fast completion

This step can be completed quickly if you use a drill machine.

Overhead sump filter will be placed on this end

Overhead sump filter will be placed on this end.

Step 2: Making a planter box for top filter:

The size of wood depends on the filter. Wood glue & screw could be other choices. Pre-drill holes if wood split or crack. 

Attach both planter boxes. This method is much simpler.

Step 3: Paint the canopy & planter box:

Paint the canopy & planter box

Painting the canopy & planter box can be done quickly.

Step 4: Preparing pots & planting pothos in them: 

Preparing pots and planting pothos in them

I am using a food container for this job. I am making holes in the container. I am using aquarium sump filter that I built at home.

Put pothos in pots

Pothos are washed & its roots are trimmed before putting them in pots. I have filled the pot with lava rock. You can also use gravels for holding plant firm in the container. However, I will change lava rock with clay pebbles in future.

I am planting only 4 plants in aquarium filter. Planter box can be used to give look of a garden. Pothos does not impact water flow in aquarium filter.

How to care for Pothos:

It is recommended to provide top conditions for a pothos plant to grow in aquarium by taking care of the plant.


It is not recommended to grow money plant in aquarium that is facing sun all the time. Pothos can do great in moderate indoor light, & if you plant a variegated money plant then it might lose its color if you are keeping it in low light conditions. So it is advisable to select a location with moderate indoor light if you want to offer ideal conditions for the plant to grow.


The best temperature for pothos plant is b/w 12 – 30 degree Celsius, but for the best growth, it is recommended to keep them in temperature b/w 25 – 30 degree Celsius, as Pothos are tropical plants.

Water Conditions:

It is recommended to offer water that has high nitrates level for Pothos to grow. The top nutrient that Pothos needs is nitrates & ammonia. In case money plant is kept under direct sunlight, or the level of nitrate is kept low then money plant leaves might turn yellow. Keeping money plants in gold fish aquarium is a wise idea because they produce lots of waste which is converted into high levels of nitrate.

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