Should You Use Aquarium Water for Your Plants?

Having access to clean water and using them to water the plants is not an ideal choice. Since plants can live on normal water without having to resort to clean water. People have long been using various kinds of water to water the plants. The needs of the plants aren’t that specific. They can live off normal water without showing any sign of degradation. But there is a limitation to the water you can use on the plants. The types of water can have positive and at the same time negative effects on the roots of the plant.

The answer is yes regular aquarium water will not harm the plants. But water from a saltwater tank should not be used. There are steps you should take to ensure the safety of the water and the effect it will have on your plants. We’ll cover things about the effects aquarium water has on plants.

In short, yes. You can add aquarium water to your plant. But there are things that you should know about the water before you decide to use it for the plant.

The detailed information such as the quality of water, the pH level, any chemicals, dead fish, and much more help you decide if the water is good for the plant’s health. Not all aquarium water shares the same properties.

Some people add chemicals to get rid of disease and all the other things from the tank. These can have negative and positive reactions in the water. Which may or may not bode well for the liveliness of the plant.

If you have an aquarium and you are working with the thought of using that water to water the plants? Then you are in the right place. This article will cover all the aspects of aquarium water and its effect on the plants. Knowing about the usage of aquarium water on plants will give you an idea about what to expect when you use this type of water on the plants.

Is Aquarium Water Good for Plants?

The answer to this question depends on the plants that you like to add to your garden. The type of indoor plant that you like to water with the aquarium water should be considered. Some plants will not take kindly to the fish tank water, as most people use plenty of additives in the water. Which will not translate well in watering food-producing water plants. They will be more fit to handle ornamental plants in the room.

Not all house plants will share the same properties. Some of them will be more sensitive compared to others. If the distance between water changes is huge then you might want to dilute the water before spraying on the house plants. Delicate houseplants will not take kindly to the direct unchanged water. But normally, using fish water is highly valuable for the plants. The residual left by fish gets turned into ammonia, which is later converted to Nitrate.

The production of nitrate is normal in the aquarium. But if more of them accumulate in the tank, then it will probably make the fish sick or probably take their lives in the process. This is why aquariums have filters and many owners change the water on a regular basis to give the fish freshwater to continue their lives without being surrounded by danger.

This nitrate of ammonia in the water is highly beneficial for the plant’s growth. Plants such as Golden Pothos, climbing figs, and lucky bamboo will take a number of benefits from aquarium water. Dirty fish tank water is filled with fish residue, they might not bring any benefits to the fish but the bacteria in the water will have potassium, phosphorus, nitrogen, and trace amounts of other nutrients that will bring great amounts of benefits to the plants.

But it is highly recommended to save the fish tank water for the ornamental plants rather than using it on the plants that help grow vegetables or fruits. A fish tank or aquarium water doesn’t bring any healthy properties for the plants. The usage of aquarium water will reflect on the usage of the water on the plants. Normally, when the aquarium faces any kind of problem. A solution is always a chemical option. The problem in the aquarium may not be bigger as one might think, but the problems will be there. The chemicals are used to kill algae or adjust the pH level, or any dishes being carried by fish. All of these will have a negative effect on the water quality.

Another problem here is cleaning the water frequently. Most owners tend to stay away from this chore. As they take more time cleaning up the tank. The distance from cleaning the tank for the first time and the second time will also have a negative effect on the water quality. The water will be far too concentrated if they don’t get changed very often. This is why dilution of the water is required before use.

A high concentration of fish tank water will not go well with the plant’s requirement. This is why people dilate their fish tank water before feeding them to the plants. The number of chemicals that get used in the squirm water will also create a negative effect on the plant’s vegetable and fruit generations. It is highly recommended to use the water on ornamental plants that you have indoors than use it on food or vegetable plants. If any dead fish is floating in the aquarium it is better to bury the fish in the outdoor garden soil than flush it down the toilet.

Factors That Impact the Quality of Aquarium Water

Now let’s focus on some of the factors that will be important in this solution. If you are planning to use aquarium water for the indoor plants. Then here are some of the things that will come in very handy and helpful to make you an educated decision at the end. First, it is better to determine the water type before using it on the plants.

  • The frequencies to change the water

If the aquarium owner changes the water in the aquarium frequently depending on the size of the tank, then the water will have less concentration and a limited amount of nitrogen compound. Changing it regularly will initiate, the concentration effect that you will see if the water goes unchanged for several months.

  • Fish type

The type of fish that was or is present in the aquarium will also have an effect on the plants as well. Some fish types are messier compared to others. Some fish do like a dirty environment which doesn’t translate well for the aquarium but they will be very valuable for the plants.

  • Determine the water type

You have to make sure whether the water in the aquarium is soft or hard. If the water is soft then you might as well throw it out rather than using it on plants. The reason is that soft water usually uses salt to make it soft and salt is not good for most plants.

There are various ways you use hard water than using it on the plants. Regularly changing the water is more beneficial for the plants and overall water usage.

Since the water usage in normal households has been rising. The government has been coming up with plenty of schemes to help people to control their water usage and use other ways to fill the water requirements in the house than using clean water.

The water from the aquarium can be used for the garden plants. A regular change of the water in the aquarium will be more beneficial since you can use the water to spray on indoor plants and gardens. Make sure the water in the aquarium is dirty before it gets used on the plants.

Plants that grow indoors have their own way to reap benefits from water. The water from some fish tanks might have a high level of ammonia in them. Which may not be suitable for the fish, and can make the fish sick if found a higher amount.

But for the plant, the ammonia amount will help them grow and keep them healthy. Ammonia is seen as a natural fertilizer. It also has all the right nutrients, useful bacteria, and other helpful chemicals that will keep the plants healthy. But the water gets checked for nitrogen level before it gets used.

The Benefits of Using Aquarium Water for Plants

  • The number one benefit is the usage of water. The water here is not being wasted instead of going to waste, they are being used or recycled for further use. This way not only you will be able to water the plants but while doing so you will also save water from being wasted.
  • Since the water from the aquarium carries plenty of chemical compounds and most of them are beneficial for the plants. You will not have to spend money on getting the additional fertilizers and water. Aquarium water is a much more preferred choice for watering the plants since the price of clean water can be expensive if you are living in an affluent area. Where the price will touch the sky. Here restoration to aquarium water is far more financial solution for the problem.
  • The water from the aquarium works as a natural fertilizer. This will bring a huge level of benefits for the people who spend most of their time gardening without using chemical fertilizers. Adding aquarium water is a great alternative to the old methods. You don’t have to directly apply the chemical fertilizers to water the plants, once you now have the option to add natural fertilizers to be part of the garden. Which will bring plenty of benefits without making the plants sick.
  • Transferring the water from one tank to another is also very helpful and beneficial. Make sure the water is not too contaminated before use. Some plants will not take the water well if it is too dirty. Then there will be a high level of chemical and other byproducts of the fight which will bring plenty of benefits to the plants but not to other fish.

These are some of the benefits that aquarium waters bring to the plants and garden. If you are planning to use it on indoor plants, then you will follow some steps just to make sure the water doesn’t have any harmful properties before you start to use it on plants.

There are various test kits available that will give you a more detailed description of the water and the chemical existence in the water. This will help you make a good decision in the end. Since the higher level of anything in the water, especially chemicals will not be treated well in the plants and other tanks.

Luckily there are steps the owner can take to make sure the water has the right level of chemical compounds to help the plants grow at a healthier rate without degrading their quality. Garden plants will love the nitrate-rich filled water from the aquarium. Especially if your garden has hardy plants such as coneflower, begonia, and ticks.

Is Aquarium Water Fit for Vegetable Growing?

Saltwater Aquarium
Saltwater Aquarium

You should not use water from salt-water tanks because the amount of salt can be harmful to the plants, particularly if they are potted. If you have used chemicals to balance the water’s pH, ammonia or to treat your fish for diseases. Do not apply the water to plants that are being grown for consumption.

Some may decide to use fish tank water on the vegetables but as long as the water doesn’t carry any additives to maintain the parameters. If there is a level of chemicals added in the term that lowers the pH amount or any inclusion of sick fish.

The water will not meet the recommended standard to use in the garden. The setup for aquarium water can help grow vegetables just to make sure the water doesn’t have any sort of chemical additives added to it. The waste residual in the aquarium water can help grow plenty of vegetables without any problem.

For example, tomatoes are one of the species that are very popular in aquaponics, as they grow well and thrive on the waste produced by the fish. The water found in the aquarium has plenty of nutrients besides fish residuals. All of them do a fantastic job in raising the plant.


You can add aquarium water to feed the plants as long as you deem the water to be safe for the plants. If the aquarium water doesn’t have an excessive amount of chemicals inside them then it will be fine to add them for the plants. But if they do contain a large number of additives, then the water is much better for the ornamental plant than vegetables or fruit-making plants.

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