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Spider Plant in Aquarium/Fish Tank/Bowl/Aquaponics: Will It Survive?

Undoubtedly spider plants are among the easiest-to-grow trailing or hanging houseplants for both experts and first-time gardeners. These plants also do well when propagated through water, with the necessary care. But what if you are thinking about using them into your aquarium?

So, will spider plants survive in aquariums, fish tanks, fish bowls, or aquaponic systems? As far as only the roots are submerged (not the leaves), spider plants will develop in aquariums, fish tanks, and bowls. Spider plants are ideal for growing in aquaponics systems. However, all other environmental, climate, fertilizer, space, and water-related requirements need to be met.

While it does seem easy, growing a spider plant in water can be tricky without the necessary knowledge. Read on to get your spider plant to thrive next to your fish!

Spider Plant in Aquariums

Aquariums differ from regular fish tanks and bowls due to the coexistence of plants and marine animals. These environments often boast a higher water volume, lighting, and a water aeration system, which are ideal features for growing spider plants. 

However, spider plants will survive in such an environment only if just the roots are underwater, while the leaves stay above the surface. These will indeed rot if entirely submerged as they are non-aquatic plants, which are not native to underwater environments.

Pros and Cons 


  • Improves the look of your aquarium
  • No need to add as much fertilizer into the water
  • Easy to maintain the temperature in the aquarium stable due to its volume
  • The oxygen used by the roots is balanced out by other plants in the tank
  • The aquarium’s incorporated light and aeration system can aid the plant’s development


  • You will need to implement a tray to keep the foliage out of the water
  • Having a proper lighting and aeration system is essential

Will It Survive?

Since spider plants are terrestrial plants and they thrive in soil, growing them in water is tricky. However, rooting them in an aquarium rather than a fishbowl can increase the chances of survival of the plant. While no scientific evidence can prove that it will survive, many aquarists have succeeded in growing this plant with “wet feet.”

Spider Plant in Fish Tanks

Fish tanks are generally considered similar to aquariums. The differences can be subtle – if there are any at all – but these can include the lack of other aquatic plants in the environment. Instead, you might notice fish tanks to be smaller in size and decorated with rocks and fake plants. 

While this can represent a minor change to aquariums, it can make a difference in the amount of oxygen and CO2 in the tank. In turn, this lack of balance can be harmful to both the plant and the fish. 

However, given that your tank supports a vigorous aeration and lighting system, you can opt to grow a spider plant above the surface of the water. Even in this case, the foliage should always be above the surface to avoid rotting.

Pros and Cons


  • The volume of the tank can aid the plant’s development
  • Easy to maintain the temperature in the tank stable due to its volume
  • The integrated lighting system encourages the photosynthesis process and keeps the plant healthy.
  • Perfect for decorating your tank in the absence of aquatic plants


Copyright article owner is for this article. This post was first published on 2020-05-15.

  • The lack of other live plants in the tank can cause an imbalance in oxygen and CO2 levels.
  • Proper lighting and aeration are essential.

Will It Survive?

The probabilities of your spider plant surviving in a tank are similar to the ones relating to an aquarium. However, it is vital to keep the foliage out of the water and introduce a proper aeration method to safeguard the health of other species in the tank. Even in this case, aquarists have tried successfully to keep a spider plant in an aquarium.

Spider Plant in Fish Bowls

Seeing a thriving spider plant grow with “wet feet” is not unlikely. However, trying to cultivate it in a fishbowl represents a challenging task. Indeed, fish bowls are usually smaller, without an aeration system, and lacking an adequate lighting system. 

Fishbowls tend to host only a limited number of fishes in just a few liters of water. Even without a spider plank, this is a delicate environment that will require you to change the water multiple times to ensure the fish has enough oxygen and nutrients. 

By adding a spider plant that produced CO2 overnight, you might be disrupting the ecosystem. Moreover, the low water level makes it difficult to maintain the water at a stable temperature.

Pros and Cons


  • It can improve the look of the fishbowl


  • The limited amount of water makes it difficult to control the bowl’s temperature.
  • Without the aeration system, the levels of CO2 can rise quickly.
  • You might need to replenish and change the water often.
  • Your plant is not likely to receive enough sunlight.

Will It Survive?

Growing a spider plant in a fishbowl is among the most challenging ways to develop a spider plant. Some aquarists and fishkeepers have tried it, yet the results are not guaranteed.

Spider Plant in Aquaponics

Aquaponics represents an alternative way to grow your gardens while seeing your fish thrive. The interconnected systems safeguard the health of both ecosystems. Spider plants, thanks to their adaptability and love for moist soils, make the perfect plant for aquaponics. However, you should ensure that all other growing conditions (light, nutrients, and space) are met.

Pros and Cons


  • A natural plant to grow in aquaponics
  • Spider plants thrive in moist soils
  • The water from the aquariums is rich in essential nutrients for the spider plant.


  • Spider plants will not yield fruits or flowers to use.
  • Spider plants need enough space, water, and light.

Will It Survive?

As one of the best plants to grow in aquaponics, spider plants are likely to survive if cultivated through this system. However, it is essential to allow them enough space to develop.

Everything You Need to Know About Growing Spider Plants in Water

If you are considering growing your spider plant in water, you will soon realize that an aquarium represents the best chances of survival of the plant. Undoubtedly, growing spider plants in any water medium – aquariums, tanks, and bowls – is much trickier than directly planting it in soil. 

Water Requirements

Spider plants will only grow in freshwater aquariums, in waters that are rich in nitrogen and well-aerated. Indeed, when inserting a spider plant in water, you should keep in mind that it will need enough oxygen and CO2 to perform photosynthesis. 

Unlike fish bowls, aquariums usually have an aeration system that is ideal for replenishing the used oxygen in the tank. Indeed, when you submerge only the roots of a plant into an aquarium, these will release CO2, as opposed to the leaves, which produce oxygen. Excessive CO2 with a lack of oxygen can cause both the plant and the animals in the aquarium to die.

Light Requirements

Spider plants – independently on what the medium they are cultivated in is – need enough light to thrive. While they can tolerate shade, they prefer lit environments. Therefore, growing them in an aquarium that is equipped with a lighting system can help.

Temperature Requirements

Spider plants are highly adaptable to several environmental conditions, and they can tolerate temperatures as low as 11℃ or 35℉. However, you should consider that the smaller the aquarium – or bowl – is, the more challenging it will be to control the internal temperature. 

Moreover, in the case of a bowl without a lighting system, you could be tempted to move it by a window to supply your plant enough light. However, by doing so, you might inadvertently increase the temperature, causing harm to the fish.

Fertilizer Requirements

Fish excrements are excellent fertilizers for your spider plant. Indeed, in a well-kept aquarium, you might not need to add fertilizer at all. However, you could opt to add general, water-soluble fertilizer if your tank is too small. Just ensure that this won’t be harmful to the fish.

Be Aware of Pesticides

When inserting a spider plant in your aquarium or fishbowl, be aware of its provenance. Indeed, most of these plants come from greenhouses, where they are sprayed with pesticides and other chemicals. If inserted in a fish tank, this can cause harm to the whole ecosystem.

Final Thoughts

Growing spider plants in aquariums, fish tanks, fish bowls can be tricky, yet possible with the necessary care. The plant is also ideal for aquaponics if you are not doing so to grow your vegetables. In any case, ensure that the plant has enough light, water, and space to develop healthily.

ReadyToDIY is the owner of this article. This post was published on 2020-05-15.

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