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Non-aquatic plant roots in aquarium

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I recently saw a video where someone placed a Peace Lilly in their substrate, with the leaves above the water line. Is this safe for fish? MD fish tanks had a setup where he used a bowl to hold the roots. I haven't seen a follow up to either setup, so I'm wondering if anyone here has tried it. 

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Yes many of us here do this. I have had spider plants but now I am just running a pothos, a dracaena and some bamboo!

It helps with Nitrate reduction and also good for people who can't keep rooted plants with things like cichlids (though it works best with bamboo) as they tend to "reaarrange" plants.

Peace lilys are also very common as long as these plants leaves are kept above water the plant will be happy. 

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Hi @Scaperoot,

A couple of years ago, two scientists from the Aquarium of the Pacific and I ran some tests on the nitrate uptake of a variety of emergent plants. As @xXInkedPhoenixX stated, Lucky Bamboo used the most but there were many that did an excellent job of it as well.

This is the article:

And this is a video of the tanks the plants were eventually rehomed to:

There was also some concern over toxicity with respect to pothos. This was demonstrated to be inconsequential as the toxin cannot leach into the water at a pH that supports fish. In the article below, there's a home test available for that toxin and it shows the results for the tanks above being zero, even after a year. 

Hope this helps. 


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Yep, lots of people using peace plants (3 tanks for me), lucky bamboo (1 tank), anthuriums (1 tank), and loads of pothos (I’d have to go count but at least 13-ish tanks).  Some tanks only have one type of emerse plant and one tank has all 4 types of emergents.  All my tanks have aquatic plants, several also have floaters, some also have emerse.  Short of growing highly toxic plants with cardiac glycosides, most of the mildly toxic plants like pothos and lucky bamboo don’t seem to actually cause any issues in the tanks due to pH constraints inherent in having water pH that actually fits with keeping fish alive like @dasaltemelosguy’s write-up indicates.

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