Plants I Like in Aquariums and Terrariums


These are some plants that I use in aquariums and terrariums. I'm sure there are others that work well, these are just the ones that are easy enough for me to grow!


Cutting donor: pothos or devil's ivy (Epipremnum aureum). When I need cuttings for tanks, I cut off the ends from this pot. Pothos is about the most useful plant, as it grows well both in soil and in water, and even under the water.
Cutting donor: Spiderwort (Tradescantia fluminensis 'Variegata'). This plant will suffer if it gets too much light (as this one does). Like Pothos, this will grow with or without soil.
Cutting donor: ivy (Hedera helix). This plant does need soil, but it tolerates low light and grows well from cuttings. It grows relatively slowly compared to the two above.
Java moss (Vesicularia dubyana). Grows in tangled masses. Can be trained to cover cork bark and other places above water that stay wet. Tolerates a wide range of temperature (from tropical to near-freezing). Also tolerates low light and virtually any water conditions.
Anacharis, together with a mass of Java moss. The newt is Cynops ensicauda ensicauda.

Here is a good link to help clear up the confusion about Anacharis vs. Elodea vs. Egeria:
Cuttings of pothos can be stuck almost anywhere. It will grow happily right into the water. Also visible here are duckweed, hornwort, and Java moss.
These cuttings of pothos and spiderwort are growing in wet gravel.
Spiderwort will quickly spread to cover a terrarium. It will also grow into the water.
Aluminum plant (Pilea cadierei): another really hardy houseplant useful in aquariums and terrariums. This is my cutting donor, which I use to take pieces to grow in aquariums and terrariums.

Some pet shops sell this plant as an aquarium plant, but it does poorly if grown entirely under water.
Aluminum plant growing in a saucer of water and rocks. It grows well as long as the leaves are above water. It readily grows roots into the water. It gets spindly after a while and needs to be trimmed back, or replaced with fresh cuttings.

2004 Jennifer Macke