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Plants NOT to buy

SilverCichlidSilverCichlid Member Posts: 1,250
edited March 2011 in Planted Tanks
Well, I thought seeing a few post here lately about plants people are having trouble keeping alive, or don't yet know that they have actually purchased a 'house plant' till it starts to rot in their tank/s, is to post a list of these non-aquatic plants to help people avoid bringing home wrong plant species. Most, if not, all pet shops (including online) generally sell these non-aquatic plants and should not be placed entirely in water. They can last from days to weeks, but they will die, and pollute your tank. Remove them ASAP and keep clear of them.
    Aluminum Plant (Pilea cadierei) Arrowhead (Syngonium podophyllum) Bamboo Plant (Bamboo sp.) Chameleon Plant (Houttuynia cordata) Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema simplex) Club Moss (Lycopodium spp.) Coconut Plant (Calamus spp.) Dwarf Rush (Acorus pusillus) Dragon Tongue (Hemigraphis repanda) Dwarf Onion Plant (Zephyranthes candida) Dumb Cane (Dieffenbachia spp.) Elephant Ear (Caladium spp.) Green Sandy (Dracaena borquensis) Hedge (Alternanthera sp.) Japanese Rush (Acorus sp.) Mondo Grass (Ophiopogon japonica) Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum tasson) Pineapple Plant (Dracaena compacta) Pongol Sword (Chlorophytum bichetii) Pothos (Philodendron spp.) Prayer Plant (Maranta leucoreura) Princess Pine (Lycopodium obscurum) Purple Waffle (Hemigraphis exotica) Red Dracaena (Cordyline spp.) Rush (Pontederia cordata) Sandy (Dracaena sanderiana) Scarlet Hygro (Alternanthera sessilis) Silver Queen (Aglaonema sp.) Spider Plant (Chlorophytum bichetii) Stardust Ivy (Syngonium spp.) Sweet Flag (Acorus calamus) Ti Plant (Cordyline terminalis) Underwater Palm (Chamaedorea elegans) [/list:u] There are more, so anyone else know of other's, please add them <!-- s:thumbright: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_thumright.gif" alt=":thumbright:" title="thumbright" /><!-- s:thumbright: -->
And another tip: If it looks like a house plant, it's more than likely that it is!

Purple Waffle (Hemigraphis exotica)


  • MoooMooo Moderator Posts: 7,653
    What a great idea Silver,
    sthn...Could this be a sticky in our planted section..
    I bought a few when starting out this time..What a disappointment when they started to simply rot away in front of my eyes...
    photo mooo_avat.gif "I'm a Doug Addict" photo cow2heartkisses.gif
  • sthn75sthn75 Moderator Posts: 3,487
    I got suckered in too when I was first starting out. It didn't help though that the only truely aquatic plant that either of the pet stores here (at the time) sold was Thin Vallis. Everything else looked good but yeah, slowly died & rotted away which always made the darnedest mess in the tank.

    A general rule of thumb to go by when buying plants for an aquarium.

    If it can support it's own weight out of water then it's more than likely not a true aquatic plant!!!

    There are some exceptions to this of course with some swords & annubias plants which will survive & even flourish being kept submerged.
  • QueenserpentineQueenserpentine Member Posts: 91
    One of the worse plants I've discovered not so easy to grow is red devils eye :S

    its a massive pain in the bum and I wouldn't recommend it to most people.


    thats my bit.
  • green1green1 Member Posts: 16
    I've been using Syngonium - white butterfly - also in a reddish form - it is usually seen in hanging pots under pergola's - it goes straight from the garden into the aquarium and it just GROWS and is a beautiful plant...need to take off all the soil obviously if in a pot, or just break a piece of and put the end in the substrate...I have had great success with it over quite a period...heart shaped leaves, varied sizes and colours, even off the same plant. I also use the same plant in a frog tank and it handles wet feet, in fact, total submersion with ease...and my fish love it. I was watching my S Flying Foxes grazing on it the other night...lovely.
  • mondeo79mondeo79 Member Posts: 142
    Great work on the list SilverCichlid <!-- s:thumbleft: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_thumleft.gif" alt=":thumbleft:" title="thumbleft" /><!-- s:thumbleft: --> Have to cut and paste it for future references.... But what about plants that are advertised as submerse grown? Are they true aquatic plants or semi- amphibious plants to start with? And does that mean the non-submerse grown variant of the plant in question are not suitable for the average fish tank?
  • fox26fox26 Member Posts: 10
    Thanks for this post SilverCichlid. i purchased some aluminium and was wondering why taht was happening. so thankyou, i have taken it out of the tank. However i do want to get plants for my cichlid tank. Which do well in this tank environment
  • MoooMooo Moderator Posts: 7,653
    Thanks Silver
    I hope you don't mind I stole the list for another site.. <!-- s:thumbleft: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_thumleft.gif" alt=":thumbleft:" title="thumbleft" /><!-- s:thumbleft: -->
    photo mooo_avat.gif "I'm a Doug Addict" photo cow2heartkisses.gif
  • Teresa22Teresa22 Member Posts: 126
    Hmm I love Syngoniums they are beautiful, if they are one of the few that work as a house /aquatic plant then that would be one I'd pick. Wisteria I have read that it is a great aquatic / house plant, however without the flowers you lose alot of what a Wisteria represents.
  • MoooMooo Moderator Posts: 7,653
    Teresa, It's not the same Wisteria as the Wisteria vine with the purple flowers,
    Aquatic Wisteria is very different, Its a stem for some images, quick n easy ....
    photo mooo_avat.gif "I'm a Doug Addict" photo cow2heartkisses.gif
  • Teresa22Teresa22 Member Posts: 126
    Oh ok, I thought they were the same plant, my bad.. I had them before in my tank, but I don't like how the roots grow all wild they look too messy.
  • SilverCichlidSilverCichlid Member Posts: 1,250
    Glad the list is helping those who are unaware.

    <!-- s:D --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_biggrin.gif" alt=":D" title="Very Happy" /><!-- s:D -->
  • kfenkkfenk Member Posts: 502
    just found this. can help some people with the pics provided. <!-- m --><a class="postlink" href=""> ... ategory=11</a><!-- m -->
  • MoooMooo Moderator Posts: 7,653
    The pictures help, thanks Karl , great link...
    photo mooo_avat.gif "I'm a Doug Addict" photo cow2heartkisses.gif
  • PickasPickas Member Posts: 4
    This is great! Ive been looking for plants that can only be partially submerged to put in my frog tank. While you may have called it a list of plants NOT to buy, for me it has now become a list of plants TO buy. <!-- s:-) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_smile.gif" alt=":-)" title="Smile" /><!-- s:-) -->
  • yodapwnsasmurfyodapwnsasmurf Member Posts: 311 has quite a few of these plant........... i would not of thought THEY would have them, i thought the were very trustworthy. <!-- s:( --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_sad.gif" alt=":(" title="Sad" /><!-- s:( -->
  • CartCart Member Posts: 59
    thanks that explains a lot! funny I have a tank competely overrun by java fern now, and I thought the rest of my plants dieing off was due to my laxity in renewing the light tubes, [which it was mostly] but I feel a little less incompetent now.
  • MoooMooo Moderator Posts: 7,653 has quite a few of these plant........... i would not of thought THEY would have them, i thought the were very trustworthy. <!-- s:( --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_sad.gif" alt=":(" title="Sad" /><!-- s:( -->

    All aquatic stores sell them, as they will grow in water, just not submerged for the long term, They will grow in & around ponds and in terrariums..I guess that covers the traders butts..
    photo mooo_avat.gif "I'm a Doug Addict" photo cow2heartkisses.gif
  • aussieaussie Member Posts: 9
    It is possible to grow alot of non-aquatics submerged as long as you have the right amount of nutrients for them. I have bought aluminium, purple waffle and chinese evergreen and they are doing fine in my tank. They have good root systems and look great.

    I dose with flourish excel, flourish and have JBL Kugeln Balls (Macro nutrient clay balls). I have 2x35W T5 light over my 55G tank (approximately 1.4W/g) and one of them is actinic blue. I will change that one for a 8K one soon. Here's a link to my album.

    <!-- m --><a class="postlink" href=" March 2011 - New aquascape/&quot;&gt; ... aquascape/</a><!-- m -->
  • lovethatfishlovethatfish Member Posts: 181
    they may look great now, but they will rot later on.
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