How to Attach Pothos to Aquarium: Simple Guide for Hobbyists

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Pothos plants, also known as Devil’s Ivy, are a popular choice for aquarium enthusiasts looking to add a touch of greenery to their tanks. These versatile and hardy plants can help improve water quality and provide a natural filtration system, effectively removing harmful substances like ammonia and nitrates from the water. Attaching pothos to your aquarium is a fairly simple process, and with a little care your tank and its inhabitants will reap the benefits.

In order to successfully attach pothos to an aquarium, you will first need to select a healthy cutting of the plant, ensuring that it has at least a few nodes for root establishment. Then, it is crucial to properly position the pothos so that the nodes remain submerged, while the leaves grow above water, maintaining a balance for healthy growth. Many aquarists choose to use suction cups or other support systems like hanging planters to achieve this ideal placement.

Whether you’re a seasoned aquarium hobbyist or new to the world of aquatic plants, incorporating pothos into your aquarium setup can offer numerous advantages. Besides enhancing the visual appeal of your tank, this low-maintenance plant can greatly improve the overall health and wellbeing of your aquatic pets. Start reaping the benefits of pothos in your aquarium today by following a informative step-by-step guide.

Choosing the Right Pothos for Aquariums

When selecting a pothos plant for your aquarium, consider which variety would best suit your needs and aesthetic preferences. There are two popular choices: Golden Pothos and Marble Queen Pothos. It’s important to know about each type of pothos before deciding which to incorporate into your aquarium setup.

Golden Pothos

Golden Pothos is a popular choice for aquarium enthusiasts. Its variegated leaves feature attractive shades of green and yellow, providing a visually stunning element to your tank. The plant is known for its ability to tolerate a variety of light conditions, making it a versatile option for different aquarium locations.

When introducing Golden Pothos to your aquarium, make sure the plant receives moderate indirect light. Although it can thrive in low-light conditions, prolonged exposure to insufficient light may cause it to lose its vibrant colors. Moreover, Golden Pothos can help improve water quality, oxygenate the water, and control algae growth in your aquarium.

Marble Queen Pothos

Marble Queen Pothos is another variety that can be an excellent addition to an aquarium. This selection has distinct white and green marbled leaves, giving it an elegant look. Due to its unique appearance, it’s essential to provide Marble Queen Pothos with the right lighting conditions to prevent it from losing its striking pattern.

Ideally, the plant should receive moderate indirect light to maintain its stunning appearance. Make sure the aquarium is not in direct sunlight, as it can cause the plant to develop scorched leaves. Similar to Golden Pothos, Marble Queen also offers benefits to water quality, oxygenation, and algae control.

When selecting the right pothos for your aquarium, it’s crucial to consider your tank’s lighting conditions and aesthetic preferences. Both Golden Pothos and Marble Queen Pothos are excellent choices for improving your aquarium’s water quality and visual appeal.

Benefits of Adding Pothos to Aquariums

Improved Water Quality

Adding pothos to your aquarium can lead to improved water quality as these plants are known for their ability to absorb harmful nitrates from the water. Excess nitrates can be harmful to your fish and can promote algae growth. Pothos effectively reduces algae growth by controlling nitrate levels while also taking in other nutrients that are not beneficial for the aquatic environment.


Another advantage of including pothos in your aquarium is its contribution to the oxygenation of the water. Fish thrive in well-oxygenated environments, and pothos enhances this aspect by using the carbon dioxide released by fish and producing oxygen as a byproduct. This increases aeration within the tank, promoting the health and well-being of your aquarium inhabitants.

Hiding Spots

Pothos plants not only improve water quality and oxygenation but also contribute to the aesthetic appeal and functionality of your aquarium. The vining nature of pothos creates natural hiding spots for your fish, offering them a sense of comfort and a place to escape when they feel threatened. This helps mimic their natural environment and can lead to less stress and healthier, happier fish in your tank.

In conclusion, the addition of pothos plants to your aquarium offers numerous benefits, including improved water quality, oxygenation, and providing natural hiding spots for your fish. The advantages they bring to your aquarium’s health, aesthetics, and functionality make them an excellent addition to any aquatic setup.

Preparing the Pothos for Aquarium Attachment

Root Development

Before introducing pothos to your aquarium, ensure it has a proper root system developed. You can grow roots in water by placing the stem cuttings in a container. Change the water every few days, and in a couple of weeks, you’ll see new roots emerging. It’s essential to have a well-developed root system as it helps the plant to absorb nutrients from the water and stay anchored in the aquarium.

Plant Inspection

Before adding pothos to your fish tank, it’s crucial to inspect the plant thoroughly. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Rinse the plant: Remove any leftover soil, particles, and pesticides by rinsing the cutting from top to bottom. Pesticides can be harmful to your aquarium inhabitants, so make sure to wash them off before adding the plant to your tank 1.
  2. Check for pests: Inspect the leaves and stems for any insects or pests that may harm your fish or disrupt the aquarium environment. If you find any, remove them carefully.
  3. Trim damaged leaves: Remove any dead or damaged leaves as they may decay in the aquarium, causing water quality issues.

Once you have prepared the pothos, use an aquarium-safe suction cup to hold the stem of the plant. Attach the suction cup at the base of the aquarium, and ensure no leaves are touching or submerged in water to avoid rotting. You can also add some driftwood and attach the pothos to it for a more natural look. It’s crucial to position the aquarium where the pothos can receive bright, indirect light – either from a natural source or artificial lights2.

By following these steps, you’ll successfully prepare and attach pothos to your aquarium. The plant will not only enhance the visual appeal of your fish tank but also improve water quality and provide valuable nutrients for your aquatic pets.

Methods of Attaching Pothos to Aquariums

Hang Over the Tank

One straightforward method to introduce pothos to your aquarium is simply hanging it over the tank. First, take a cutting from your pothos plant that is a few inches long with several leaves. Remove the bottom leaves and place the stem in dechlorinated water. As the plant grows, the roots will naturally reach into the tank, helping filter and oxygenate the water. This method allows the plant to grow freely and doesn’t require any additional attachments.

Suction Cup Clips

Another option is using suction cup clips designed for aquariums to hold the pothos plant in place. Cut a piece of stem from the plant, ensuring the cut is at an angle and to the left of the leaf stem. Leave a small piece of the vine attached to the bottom of the leaf stem, with a small bump on the other side of it, as described by Fish Tank Master. Place the stem in dechlorinated water, allowing the roots to grow. Once the roots have developed, use an aquarium-safe suction cup clip to hold the stem inside the tank, with the nodes below the waterline and leaves above the water.

Driftwood Attachment

Incorporating pothos with driftwood pieces can create a visually appealing environment for your fish while also taking advantage of the plant’s benefits. To attach the plant to driftwood:

  1. Take a cutting from your pothos plant.
  2. Place the cutting in dechlorinated water to develop roots.
  3. Once the roots are established, wrap the stem and roots gently around the driftwood, positioning them as desired.
  4. Secure the plant by using aquarium-safe thread, fishing line, or zip ties to hold the stem and roots in place on the driftwood.

Using driftwood adds a natural touch to your aquarium and assists in anchoring the pothos plant, ensuring it remains in the desired position and continues to contribute its beneficial properties to the tank.

Maintaining Pothos in Aquariums

Pruning and Care

Pothos plants are relatively low maintenance and can thrive in aquariums with a little care. Regular pruning is essential to keep the plant healthy and prevent it from overgrowing. Trim the vines, remove yellowing leaves, and cut back overgrown roots to ensure proper water circulation.

It is important to rinse the cuttings thoroughly before placing them in the aquarium to remove any soil, debris, or pesticides. Use an aquarium-safe suction cup to hold the stem of the plant in place.

Ensure that the pothos receives bright, indirect light. Although the plant can tolerate low-light conditions, it thrives best when adequately lit. This can be achieved by positioning the aquarium near a window, but avoid direct sunlight. Alternatively, use an artificial light source such as a lamp, but ensure it does not emit direct light onto the plant.

Nutrient Needs

Pothos plants absorb nutrients from the water, which can help improve the water quality in your aquarium. They use nitrates and nitrites, which are vital for algae growth. As a result, introducing pothos into your aquarium can help reduce algae growth and maintain a clean environment for your fish.

However, this nutrient-absorbing property means that you must pay attention to your aquarium’s nutrient levels. Keep an eye on the water parameters and add supplements if necessary, as the pothos might deplete essential nutrients needed by other aquatic plants or inhabitants.

In summary, maintaining pothos in your aquarium requires some basic care, pruning, and attention to nutrient needs. By following these recommendations, you can keep your pothos healthy and create a balanced aquatic environment for your fish and other aquatic life.

Safety Considerations

Potential Risks to Fish

When introducing pothos to your aquarium, it’s essential to consider the potential risks it may pose to your fish. Some plant-eating or omnivore fish could nibble on the pothos, causing damage to the plant. To protect the pothos from such fish, you can place it in a hand-on-back filter. Make sure it is away from the filter’s motor compartment, as the roots could grow into the motor and clog it up.

Another thing to consider is the water quality. Pothos is known to help in reducing nitrates and ammonia levels in the water. However, if there are any chemicals or harmful substances introduced by the plant, it may harm the fish. So, always make sure the pothos is cleaned thoroughly before introducing it to the aquarium.

Avoiding Overgrowth

Pothos can grow quite vigorously, so it’s crucial to prevent overgrowth in the aquarium. Overgrown roots may take up too much space, interfering with the fish’s swimming area or even clogging the filter system.

Here are some tips to avoid pothos overgrowth in your aquarium:

  • Regularly trim the roots, removing excess length and maintaining an appropriate root system size.
  • Monitor the plant’s overall growth and remove any overly long vines outside the aquarium.
  • Ensure the plant receives enough light to prevent it from growing too fast to search for light.

Incorporating these safety considerations will help you successfully introduce pothos into your aquarium while minimizing any potentially adverse effects on your fish and aquarium system.

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