Can I grow Terrestrial / Garden Plants in Aquarium or Pond?

Live plants are beautiful & many of them need low care. They can enhance the water quality & provide hiding spots for baby or stressed fish. Fish eat plants & use it to hide from bullies. Plants offer a natural shelter to your fish that imitates their wild habitat. Plants absorb carbon dioxide released by fish in the presence of light for photosynthesis & during this process they release oxygen. Fish need oxygen & plants help improve water quality by absorbing toxic chemicals released from fish waste which act as fertilizers for the plants. Live plants will add greenery to your aquarium & will improve the overall health of water.


Terrestrial Plants:

A terrestrial plant is a plant species that grows on land. They absorb carbon dioxide from the air.

Terrestrial plants get nutrition from the soil & air. They are unable to endure when grown inside water & will soon die. They get minerals & humidity from the soil using its roots.


Aquarium Plants:

Aquarium plants grow on or in water. They absorb carbon dioxide from water or air.

Aquarium plants have their roots dipped in water. They can grow submerged, emersed or float on the water surface. Submerged plants have their roots fixed to the aquarium substrate or the bottom of the water body. Emersed plants are rooted in the substrate, & their top part grows outside water. Floating plants have their roots dipped in water but not buried in substrate or fixed to the water bottom.


Can I put terrestrial / land plants in my fish tank or pond?

Terrestrial plants are not suitable for submerged water conditions & they will die if added to aquariums / ponds. Lands plants need pesticides which can kill your aquarium inhabitants.

Can I grow garden plants in aquarium?
Can I grow garden plants in aquarium?

Can I add garden plants to my aquarium or pond?

After adding garden plants to the aquarium / pond then they will survive for some time but then they will die.


How can I differentiate between Terrestrial & Aquatic Plants:

Many terrestrial plants have the capability of growing in water. In certain environments where terrestrial plants are usually exposed to heavy rain or flooding, the line between land & aquarium plants is blurred. Land plants have adapted to live in water too but still they are not classified as aquatic plants. Many terrestrial plants can endure in water but for a short period of time.

When you search for aquatic plants, you may find terrestrial plants too that fish shops sell for aquarium use. It is not difficult to recognize which plant is suitable for your aquarium. The first thing to consider is the vegetation. Aquarium plants lack any waxy coating for saving the plant from dehydration. Aquatic plants have thinner, lighter & fragile leaves than land plant species. Aquarium plants can survive in water current because they have a flexible stem. Aquatic plants may have air pockets for floating on the surface of water. Land plants do not have air pockets & their stem is inflexible.

Do not buy plants without proper web research because plants could be toxic to your fish & not every plant can be added to aquarium because of their unsuitability. Also, if a submerged aquatic plant is initially grown emersed & you submerge it in water, then it may melt & die off. Before buying any submerged aquatic plant, ask the fish owner about its initial condition like was it grown submerged or emersed. 

Do not submerge the vegetation of aquarium garden plants. Fix the roots of land plants in aquarium substrate but not its vegetation.



Terrestrial plants are not suitable for growing in submerged aquatic conditions. Many of them will be able to survive in water because they will be adapted to such conditions but still, they might not survive for longer periods of time. If you want to setup a planted aquarium or pond, my suggestion is to go for aquatic plants.

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