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10 Plants to Grow Out of Your Aquarium: Aquaponics Guide

Aquaponics is a fantastic combination of aquaculture and hydroponics, which creates a mutually beneficial system of growing plants and raising fish.

Aquaponics is great for an aquarium hobbyist that loves both live fish and plants. Spider plants, peace lilies, Chinese money plants, Philodendrons, ferns, marigolds, Water hyacinth, chamomile, rosemary, and lavender are great options for an aquaponics tank. There are other options as well. 

In this guide, we will discuss ten different types of plants you can quickly grow from your aquarium with aquaponics.

1. Spider Plants

Spider plants are an excellent choice for an aquaponic setup and are one of the most resilient plants you can grow.

They thrive in moist soil, making them well-suited for aquaponics systems, and their leaves will stay dry to ensure they stay healthy.

Spider plants grow quickly and should be trimmed regularly to prevent them from taking over your tank.

They require moderate to bright lighting, temperatures ranging from 70-90°F (21-32°C), and a pH level of 6-7.2.

With a low maintenance requirement, spider plants make a great addition to any aquaponics setup.

Spider plants can provide your fish with cover while also helping to purify the water.

The roots will absorb ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates from the water, making it an excellent choice for the health of your fish and tank.

So, if you’re looking for an easy-to-care-for plant that can provide plenty of benefits to your aquaponics system, spider plants are the way to go! Maybe you’d rather have aquarium plants that stay small. 

2. Peace Lilly

Peace lilies are an excellent choice for aquaponics as they thrive in high humidity and require minimal maintenance.

The white flowers and lush foliage of the peace lily make it an attractive ornamental plant that can add beauty and calm to any home.

It is also known for its purifying properties, making it an excellent choice for clean air.

When growing peace lilies in an aquaponics system, keep their roots submerged in the water but keep the leaves dry.

They do not need direct sunlight but prefer bright indirect light.

The temperature should be kept between 60-80°F (15-26°C) with a pH level of 5.8-6.5.

Plus, you’ll be helping to purify the air around your home. Peace lilies are among the best plants to add to your aquaponics system, as they require minimal maintenance, purify the air, and look beautiful.

By following the proper growing requirements and trimming them regularly, you can keep your peace lily looking its best.

3. Chinese Money Plant

The Chinese Money Plant, or Pilea peperomioides, is a low-maintenance houseplant that does well in aquaponics systems.

It’s known for its round, flat leaves with a lacy appearance and can produce small white flowers when it matures.

Chinese Money Plants are easy to propagate and can grow quickly, so they must be pruned to keep the roots under control.

To grow them in an aquaponic system, keep the roots submerged in the water while keeping the leaves dry.

When choosing a spot for your Chinese Money Plant, ensure it’s in an area with moderate light and a temperature of 55-86°F (12-30°C).

The pH level should be between 6-7.5 for optimal growth.

Overall, Chinese Money Plants are a great addition to any aquaponic setup, adding beauty and character to your system.

With the proper care, they can bring years of joy and beauty. So if you’re looking for a beautiful addition that doesn’t take too much effort, Chinese Money Plants are a perfect choice!

4. Philodendron

To grow a Philodendron outside of the tank, start with a cutting. Place the cutting in water in a jar or vase, and change out the water every few days. It’s best to promote root growth.

When the roots become strong, you can transplant the cutting into a pot filled with moist soil. Make sure to keep the soil damp and provide bright indirect sunlight.

Philodendrons will not survive if the soil is too dry or if it gets too much direct sunlight. If you’re growing this plant indoors, you should place it away from any drafts and from any cats that may try to nibble on its leaves.

In conclusion, Philodendron is an excellent choice for those looking to grow aquaponic plants outside of the tank.

It’s easy to care for and can tolerate low light levels. Just ensure it has the proper nutrients, adequate moisture, and indirect sunlight, and your Philodendron should thrive. Just remember to give it enough phosphorus, nitrogen, and other relevant nutrients. 

Find out which plants grow best on rocks and wood! 

5. Fern

Ferns have a unique, intricate structure that provides texture and color to your aquaponics system.

Many varieties are available, from soft, velvet-like ferns like the Maidenhair to bright green and yellow varieties like the Asparagus Fern.

You can create a beautiful living wall with ferns or use them as a backdrop for other plants.

Ferns are easy when it comes to maintenance and make beautiful houseplants, plus propagation is easy as well.

They are also a great choice for outdoor aquaponics systems as they thrive in humid climates and do not require much sunlight.

When planting ferns in your aquaponics system, keep their roots in moist soil and give them plenty of moderate light daily.

Additionally, they will benefit from occasional fish fertilizer. This will help ensure they thrive and remain healthy in your aquaponics system.

Ferns are a great choice for creating a unique and beautiful aquaponics system.

With the right environment and a little TLC, they will thrive in your system and add lots of color and texture.

Plus, they are incredibly low maintenance and will even benefit from occasional fish fertilizer, making them an excellent option for beginner aquaponics growers.

6. Marigolds

Marigolds are one of the best aquaponics plants to grow outside the tank as they need minimal care and are pest-resistant.

They provide a great burst of color to any home and help keep bugs away, thus making them great indoor plants, and some people also consider them to be good luck.

Growing requirements for Marigolds must be met, and nutrients must be readily available for them to thrive.

Marigolds can be started from seeds and transplanted into your system.

They prefer to grow in moderate to light lighting, so keep them away from direct sunlight.

They also prefer a temperature of 65-70°F (18-21°C) and a pH level of 7-7.5.

Your Marigolds will thrive in your aquaponics system with proper maintenance and nutrient availability.

With the right amount of care and maintenance, your Marigolds will add a great burst of color to your home and help keep pests away.

7. Water Hyacinth

Water hyacinth is a very efficient plant for purifying water. It helps to remove toxins from the water and prevent the buildup of ammonia, which is toxic for your fish, something that all aquarium enthusiasts should be able to appreciate.

In addition, it helps to keep the water temperature constant by providing shade for your fish.

Overall, water hyacinth is an excellent plant for aquaponics, and it helps to keep your fish healthy and happy.

With the right care, you will have a beautiful aquaponics garden full of color and life. It makes for a great filter plant too! 

8. Chamomile

Chamomile prefers a temperate climate with medium light levels and can grow outside the tank in a bed or container.

It’s important to avoid over-watering, so keep the soil moist but not soggy. A pH range of 5-7.5 works best for chamomile, and it likes temperatures between 68-86°F (20-30°C).

In terms of maintenance, chamomile requires very little. Make sure to trim away any yellowed or dead leaves and pinch off spent flowers.

With the right conditions and some basic care, your chamomile will thrive outside of the tank.

Although regarded as an herb, chamomile is an excellent plant in its own right and can be a great house plant or companion plant in your aquaponics garden.

Chamomile is good for keeping pests away; its white flowers add character to your home. The flowers can also be harvested and made into tea, with many health benefits.

With low maintenance requirements and easy-to-follow growing instructions, chamomile is an excellent addition to your aquaponics garden.

9. Rosemary

Rosemary is an excellent herb to grow in an aquaponics system.

It brings flavor to your recipes and is also a natural pest repellent that can protect your other plants.

Rosemary prefers at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight each day, and is a perennial evergreen, meaning it will stay green throughout the year and not shed during winter.

There are several varieties of rosemary available, including Arp (which grows 3-5 feet tall and 2-3 feet wide), Tuscan Blue (which grows blue-green shrubs that can be quickly sheared to your desired shape), and Prostratus (or Creeping Rosemary, which works as an effective groundcover).

Rosemary prefers a pH range between 6.0-7.0 and an ideal temperature of 70°F. Plant your rosemary 2-3 feet apart to avoid nutrient competition and achieve higher yields.

Rosemary is a great addition to any aquaponics system, so if you can provide the right environment for it to thrive. If it grows too tall, just use some scissors to cut it back down to size! 

10. Lavender

Lavender is an aromatic herb, and in a suitable climate, it will fill the air with a sweet scent.

The beautiful fragrant flower can be used for both ornamental and culinary purposes. Its flowers are edible, and the leaves can be dried and used in teas and other recipes.

Lavender is a great choice when you want to give your aquaponics system a touch of color.

If you want to add beauty and aroma to your aquaponics system, consider growing lavender.

It’s low maintenance, doesn’t need much fertilization, and is an excellent addition to any aquaponics setup, but it does need good light conditions. 

Just make sure that you meet its growing requirements so it can thrive in your setup.

Additionally, lavender is also known for its pest and disease resistance, so you can rest assured that it won’t be a burden to care for in your aquaponics system.

With proper growing conditions, lavender can be a long-lasting, fragrant addition to any setup.

So try it and enjoy having these beautiful and aromatic plants in your system. You’ll want to ensure you meet these growing requirements for your lavender plants.

For lavender to thrive in an aquaponics system, it needs a pH of 6-8 and a temperature range from 68-86°F (20-30°C).


Remember that there are many other plants that you can keep in your aquarium, whether they grow out of the water or not. These include javamoss, amazon sword, bacopa caroliniana,snake plants,a variety of mosses, lucky bamboo, and so much more!