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How to Plant Potted Aquarium Plants

how to plant potted aquarium plants

Potted aquarium plants are one excellent addition to your fish tank ecosystem. An aquarium owner can just learn how to grow aquarium plants in pots and then transfer them into the aquarium to save money. But how to plant potted aquarium plants? Please check our step-by-step guide below.

What to Prepare:

  • Potted Plants, Scissor, Aqua-Scaping Tweezer
  • Terracotta Pot, Rubble or Lava Rock, Soil Substrate

Step 1: Removing the Aquarium Plant from the Plant

The initial step is to remove the aquarium plant from the pot. This step is essential to remove the plastic wool being used to grow the plant’s roots. This rock wool must be removed along with the pot because it can hurt your fish if you store it inside the fish tank.

  • Then, carefully pinch your fingers to the top of the plant and pull it slowly to remove it from the pot.
  • If the roots are already wrapped around below the pot, use the scissor to cut the plastic pot. Start by cutting one side from top to bottom. Then, proceed to the other side to pull the pot in half. Slowly unwrapped the roots away from the plastic pot to remove them.

Step 2: Removing the Rock Wool

The next step is to remove the rock wool that houses the roots of the aquarium plants. As I have said earlier, this thing must also be removed before planting the aquarium because this material can hurt your fish once you put it in the aquarium.

  • To remove the rock wool, simply use your bare hands to break it in half. Make sure to pull it slowly to prevent damaging the roots or the plant itself. Peel the wool until it breaks and separates from the roots.
  • After removing the rock wool, check the roots for any remnants of the wool that is stuck in the roots. Remove it using your hands, but please do it carefully to prevent damage to the roots.
  • Another option is to run it under water to remove the remnants of the wool as much as you can. You can still use your bare hands to remove all the remaining wools that remain in the roots.

Step 3: Dividing the Plants into Smaller Parts

Sometimes, plants can be subdivided into smaller portions to bring more benefits and usage to many plants spread in the aquarium instead of having a simple plant in one place.

  • When removing a part of the plant, you need to be very careful of using your hand to prevent ripping the roots off and totally damaging it. Once a single part is removed, continue to separate the other plants until everything is removed.
  • The best thing about removing or splitting the plants is that it allows you to use them in multiple aquariums and not just one.
  • If you intend to use everything in one aquarium, you have the advantage to space it out evenly during the planting instead of putting a bigger aquarium plant which can affect the space of the fish tank.

how to grow aquarium plants in pots

Step 4: Planting the Potted Aquarium Plants

Method 1: Planting Directly into the Aquarium

Before proceeding with the planting process, you can just put the segregated plants in the water and let it float. This step will allow you to have easy access to the aquarium potted plants the moment you start planting them in your fish tank.

  • Once you start planting, just pull one plant out using an aqua-scaping tweezer. Then put it in the substrate while covering it up a little bit.
  • After planting one plant, proceed on planting the other plants in the area of your aquarium but segregate them nicely.

Method 2: Planting Using a Pot

Some fish tank owners do not like planting the aquarium plants directly into the aquarium’s substrate. These owners usually use a terracotta pot to plant the aquarium plants before positioning them inside the aquarium.

  • To plant using the terracotta pot, lay a lava rock into the bottom of the pot. Then, put a soil substrate until it is filled.
  • After filling the pot with soil substrate, put the plant in it, but do it slowly to prevent damaging it. You can use the tweezer again to carefully plant the aquarium plants into the pot.
  • When placing the pot in the aquarium, submerging the pot in the water is the first thing to do. You will need a bunch of soil substrate to fill out in the pot. Wait for the pot to be water-logged before positioning it in your desired place in the aquarium.

Helpful Tips

  • It is essential to remove the rock wool which holds the root of your potted aquarium plant before planting it in the aquarium. This action is to prevent it from ending up in the gills of your fish. This rock wool can definitely hurt your fish and can cause all forms of wounds on the skin.
  • Repotting your aquarium plants before putting them in the aquarium can also help you in saving money. Using a pot will only require you to put the substrate within the pot and not the whole aquarium, which is more practical.
  • Using a substrate can affect the overall chemistry of your aquarium. Using a pot will limit the use of the substrate means less substrate will be used in your aquarium.


Learning how to plant potted aquarium plants is a skill that can help any aquarium owner add more plants to the fish tank. There are two methods of doing it; one is to plant it directly into the aquarium or re-pot the plants before positioning them strategically inside the fish tank.

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