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How Long for Pothos to Lower Nitrates in an Aquarium? Oh!

How Long for Pothos to Lower Nitrates in an Aquarium? Oh!

Epipremnum aureum or Pothos is a very popular and easy to grow houseplant as it can survive in a wide range of environments. 

This plant is considered a good purifier as it will remove toxic chemicals from your air indoors. The Pothos plant is often used in hydroponic systems and bioactive terrariums. 

Due to its purifying qualities, Pothos is often planted in aquariums. It will do wonders in your aquarium by lowering the nitrate level.


How Long for Pothos to Lower Nitrates in an Aquarium?

Pothos will absorb nitrate and other nutrients within 4 to 5 days through its roots. Since Pothos are fast-growing plants and need nitrate at a faster rate, they will absorb it at a much faster pace as compared to other aquatic plants.


Lowering of Nitrates in the Aquarium by Pothos

Nitrate is produced in every aquarium’s ecosystem through fish and other products. As nitrate is toxic to the fishes, it is important to eliminate it from water.

One method of doing this is to regularly change the water. 

Nevertheless, another way of doing this is to install aquatic plants in your aquarium. In this regard, Pothos is the top choice of the fish owners.

Like any other aquatic plant, Pothos will lower nitrate levels but at a much faster rate compared to other plants. 

Pothos plants are very fast-growing houseplants, therefore they require nutrients at a faster rate. 

Pothos will absorb the nitrate from your aquarium very rapidly, more precisely in 4 to 5 days. 

If you plan to lower the nitrate level in your aquarium at a cheaper and faster rate, Pothos surely is a good choice.

You will certainly note a 20-40 ppm reduction in nitrate levels of the aquarium.


How to Install a Pothos in Aquarium

You can either buy a Pothos from your local nursery or take one from your garden if you have any. You do not need very big Pothos plant since they develop very rapidly.

You can use a single-leafed Pothos, place it into the aquarium, and it will instantly grow its own roots. However, it is recommended to use a Pothos with an established root system.

Thoroughly wash the roots to make sure it does not contain any soil. If left unwashed and installed, it will cause a problem in the chemical balance of the water.

In case you have fishes that nibble onto plants, install your Pothos in the ‘hang at the back’ filter, this will keep your fishes safe. 

It is recommended to put the Pothos in an area that is away from the motor of the filter. This is to keep the filter safe from clogging due to the rapid expansion of the roots.

Whereas if you think your fish will not invade the Pothos, you can install it directly into the tank. 

For this purpose, submerge them into the tank while making sure the leaves are above the water level. The lid of the aquarium will provide support to the plant and hold it in place.

Sooner or later, the Pothos will develop into a huge vine that can be guided to climb up the wall. The long stringy roots of this plant will create beautiful scenery.

You can easily cut away some of the leaves if it outgrows the area and use them to propagate in other tanks. 

The best factor is that Pothos is the cheapest way to keep the algae and nitrate levels in the aquarium very low.


How to Cut Pothos for Aquarium

Pothos will definitely add beauty to your aquarium if placed properly. If you want to propagate the plant, learn the right way to do this.

For the cutting process, locate the nodes of the Pothos. 

When you have located, the node, cut an inch or so below the node using a sharpie. The angle at which you cut also needs to be precisely 45 degrees.

The plant will start growing from the nodes. Place the cutting in a small jar with water and allow it to develop before putting it into the aquarium. 


How to Care for the Pothos in the Aquarium

Below is a care guide for after you have put the Pothos in the aquarium:



Since the Pothos plant is a tropical plant, it will thrive in a wide range of temperatures

However, an ideal environment would be where the temperature is between 75 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit (23.9 to 26 degrees Celsius).



Fish tanks and Pothos are known for surviving in low light with very little exposure to direct sun. 

Pothos will do just fine under dim lights but remember, some varieties lose their green color because of the low sun exposure.


Water and Fertilizer

The temperature of the aquarium water will work absolutely fine for the healthy growth of Pothos. Water with a lot of fish will provide the necessary nutrients like nitrates and ammonia.

Pothos in tanks that do not have a lot of fish might suffer from malnutrition. So to overcome this, you can put in some liquid fertilizer made for aquariums.

The common Pothos varieties that are loved by the fish owners include:

  1. Golden Pothos 
  2. Peral and Jade Pothos
  3. Neon Pothos
  4. Cebu Blue Pothos
  5. Manjula Pothos


Frequently Asked Questions about How Long Pothos Lowers Nitrates in Aquarium


Is Pothos in aquariums safe for fishes?

It is absolutely safe to install Pothos in your aquariums. However, avoid adding direct leaf cuttings in the tank and rather allow the cuttings to grow separately. Then after it has rooted, add it to your tank, leaving the leaves and stems above the water level.


Why does nitrate level increase in water?

Nitrate is a waste product produced by the fishes in a healthy aquarium ecosystem. It is something very harmful to the fish and might cause nitrate shock and death. If the water is not cleaned regularly, the amount of nitrates keeps increasing, harming the fish.