Can You Put Wild Plants in a Fish Tank?


A healthy fish tank consists of many microbes in the water and the fish that help clean the water. Still, you can add other living organisms to your tank by incorporating live plants. You can often buy these at the pet store, but you might wonder if you can just pick your own.

Wild plants can be put in a properly cleaned fish tank. They also need to be well-suited for the type of fish tank you have. Freshwater plants should go in freshwater tanks, and saltwater plants should go in saltwater tanks, but you should not try to put wild, land-growing plants underwater. 

It is possible to bring certain plants into your aquarium, but this does not necessarily mean it will be easier. If you plan on putting wild plants in your fish tank, read below to learn more about which types you should add and how to ensure you are adding them safely. 

Can You Put Plants From Your Yard in a Fish Tank?

It is good to know that if you put your mind to it, you may be able to bring some plants from your local pond into your freshwater tank. Does this mean you can also put plants from the ground in your yard in your tank?

Land-based plants will not survive underwater and should not be placed in a fish tank. Most land-based plants can only survive on land. Putting them under water will cause symptoms similar to those of overwatering and oxygen deficiency. They could also carry pathogens that are unsafe for your tank.

If your tank is shallow such that only the roots or stem of the plant is submerged and the leaves are still exposed to the air, you may be able to keep the plant alive. However, this will still raise the above-mentioned problems about keeping your tank healthy. 

In the next section, I discuss some ways to make sure you add wild plants to your tank in a safe manner. 

Quarantine New Plants 

Plants can be a great way to add to your tank’s living environment, but you don’t want to throw off the balance you already have. Wild plants may carry tiny organisms you don’t see that could affect your fish or the good bacteria in your tank. 

It is a good idea to ensure that your plants are clean before introducing them to the aquarium with your fish. You could do this by creating a quarantine tank like you would when you buy a new fish for your aquarium. 

If you set up a quarantine tank, you will need to treat it the same way you treat your aquarium, taking care that the water is cycled and clean.

You can also ensure plants are safe by cleaning them manually or using chemicals. If you wash your new plant by hand, be thorough and look for any signs of minor bugs, larvae, or disease on and in between the leaves and stems. You can dip your plant in chemicals like calcium permanganate to try to kill anything that you might not be able to see. 

Taking care of an aquarium can be difficult, especially as a beginner. However, knowing what types of  plants are suitable for your tank can make a huge difference and save you a lot of problems down the road.

Types of Plants for Tanks

The most logical way to incorporate wild plants would be to take local aquatic plants and put them right into your tank. You could do this, though there are a few things you want to think about. 

You can put wild aquatic plants in a fish tank under the right conditions. It is important to provide the correct type of water and plenty of light and fertilizer to encourage healthy growth. 

Wild aquatic plants should not be a problem in your aquarium if they are suitable for the environment of your tank. One of the most significant elements is that they should be suited for the type of water you have and the amount of light you have available. 

Freshwater Plants

You will encounter freshwater plants in bodies of water like ponds, lakes, and rivers. There are a lot of excellent aquarium plants that are native to freshwater in North America. Some of the most common are Cabomba, Anacharis, and Curly pondweed. 

Freshwater tanks are standard for amateur or household tanks, housing fish like goldfish and bettas. Still, they can also be used by more advanced hobbyists. 

Saltwater Plants

If you have a lot of tropical fish, you probably have a saltwater aquarium. You will only be able to find wild aquatic plants for your tank easily if you live near the ocean. Alternatively, a local aquarium might stock some of what you’ll need.

Conclusion

If you want to incorporate some live plants into your aquarium, you could collect some from the wild. Just because it may be cheaper to grab some plants from a local pond does not mean it is easier. To safely and successfully add plants to your aquarium, make sure to clean them or quarantine them and that they are a good natural fit for the type of fish tank you have. 

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