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Was wondering if you could put non-water plants onto a fish tank so that their roots grow inside the fish tank. What are the chances of the plants being dangerous to the fish?

I read that the fish and plants are beneficial to each other and if it would be good for them why not?

PS: I do have real water plants in the tanks too, just figured it might be interesting to do and my rooting plants love my fish tank water :)

  • Yes, what do you think watercress is? – black thumb May 31 '18 at 9:04
  • Do you have a bubble stone, or whatever they're called, and is the water circulating, somehow? – Brōtsyorfuzthrāx Jun 1 '18 at 6:11
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Not sure you mean by this:

Was wondering if you could put non-water plants onto a fish tank so that their roots grow inside the fish tank. What are the chances of the plants being dangerous to the fish?

I also wasn't really sure you meant by "non-water". All plants require some amount of water.

Aquaponics

As for your other question:

I read that the fish and plants are beneficial to each other and if it would be good for them why not?

TLDR; Simply plants can grow roots in your a fish tank.

Regardless, plants and fish often share a symbiotic relationship with each other. If you are't familiar with aquaponics, i would recommend doing a quick google search. You'll find throngs of articles on this subject.

After a google search myself, I discovered this helpful overview by Colorado Aquaponics: http://www.coopext.colostate.edu/adams/gh/pdf/Intro_Aquaponics.pdf

How Aquaponics works:

On slide 4, there is a diagram describing this particular system of growing plants.

How Aquaponics Works

Examples of Aquaponics

If you review slide 16 they provide some photos and examples of the example you are speaking about (small fishtank aquaponic systems):

Tank Aquaponics

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  • This guy has a really cool video series on the building of his geodesic dome aquaponic greenhouse :) enjoy youtube.com/watch?v=H7ynBppcvKM – WebChemist Nov 18 '13 at 0:53
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    I've watched that one before. It's excellent i watched the whole series; it's quite inspiring. – chrisjlee Nov 18 '13 at 16:32
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Numerous pet shops will be happy to sell you plants which are growing in water for which their normal habitat is dry land.

Species I have seen for sale as "water plants" include:

These plants do not pose a danger to most fish. Goldfish and other aggressive diggers may be an exception.

My opinion is that when you put vigorous adaptable land plants in an environment that they do not normally grow in they do not thrive, they just get by and try and grow their leaves and stems above water.

As an experiment with common tropical fish it can't hurt. Still I would rather use real aquatic plants.

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  • All three of the plants you listed are shown as mildly toxic to mammals :) I think there may be some similar non-toxic plants. A better system for these plants would be running the water over the rocks they're planted in anyway, instead of hanging the roots in. – Meep Dec 20 '13 at 20:34
  • Do you have a reference for the toxicity? I would be interested in seeing it. Seeing as this question is about fish what water loving plants are unsuitable for a water garden to would make a good question. – kevinsky Dec 20 '13 at 22:21
  • The ASPCA has listed them toxic to dogs and cats. I should edit, toxic to SOME animals. Dracaena may not be toxic to humans, I think we handle Oxalate better. Also the sites you linked list them as toxic :). I don't wish to say they are terrible plants for a fish tank, they probably won't harm fish, but I think there are a variety of marginal/bog plants which are better suited and won't cause a scare if a child/dog chews on it. ( aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control/… ) – Meep Dec 21 '13 at 3:03
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By non-water plants, OP means plants that do not naturally grow in water. They are referring to rooting a plant in a fish tank like you would in a jar.

I do not have a specific answer for you, OP, but i do have a warning: watch out for roots that grow barbs (probably for getting a better grip in the soil). They will tear your fishs' fins, if they are long and flowy (like a beta fish).

Also look out for toxic plants, as someone previously mentioned.

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