Peace Lily Aquarium Plants: Growing Peace Lily In An Aquarium

By Mary H. Dyer, Master Naturalist and Master Gardener

Growing peace lily in an aquarium is an unusual, exotic way to display this deep green, leafy plant. Although you can grow peace lily aquarium plants without fish, many people like to add a betta fish to the aquarium, which makes the underwater environment even more colorful. Read on to learn how to grow peace lilies in fish tanks and aquariums.

Growing Peace Lily in an Aquarium or Container

Select a wide-based aquarium that holds at least a quart of water. Clear glass is best, especially if you plan to add a betta fish. Pet stores sell inexpensive goldfish bowls that work very well. Rinse the container thoroughly, but don’t use soap.

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Select a small to medium-size peace lily with a healthy root system. Be sure the diameter of the peace lily is smaller than the opening of the container. If the opening of the aquarium is too crowded, the plant may not receive enough air.

You’ll also need a plastic plant tray; craft knife or scissors; decorative rock, pebbles or aquarium gravel; a jug of distilled water; large bucket and a betta fish, if you choose. You may also want to add figurines or other decorative accessories.

How to Grow Peace Lilies in Fish Tanks or Aquariums

The first step is to create a lid from the plastic plant tray, as this will serve as a support for the peace lily. Use a sharp craft knife or scissors to trim the plant tray (or similar object) so that it fits snugly into the opening without falling through.

Cut a hole in the center of the plastic. The hole should be about the size of a quarter, but probably no larger than a silver dollar, depending on the size of the root mass.

Rinse the decorative rocks or gravel thoroughly (again, no soap) and arrange them in the bottom of the aquarium or fish tank.

Pour room temperature distilled water into the aquarium, up to about 2 inches from the rim. (You can also use tap water, but be sure to add a water de-chlorinator, which you can purchase at pet stores.)

Remove the soil from the roots of the peace lily. Although you can do this in the sink, the easiest method is to fill a large bucket with water, then swish the roots of the lily gently through the water until ALL of the soil is removed.

Once the soil has been removed, trim the roots neatly and evenly so they don’t touch the bottom of the aquarium.

Feed the roots through the plastic “lid” with the peace lily plant resting on the top and the roots below. (This is where you will add a betta fish, if you choose to do so.)

Insert the lid into the fish bowl or aquarium, with the roots dangling into the water.

Care of Peace Lily in Aquariums

Place the aquarium where the peace lily is exposed to low light, such as under a fluorescent light or near a north- or east-facing window.

Change one-quarter of the water every week to keep it clear and clean, especially if you decide to add a fish. Avoid flake food, which will cloud the water very quickly. Remove the fish, clean the tank and fill it with fresh water whenever it begins to look brackish – usually every couple of weeks.

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