Can I Plant Lucky Bamboo In An Aquarium With Fish?

Here’s a fun fact:

In Chinese geometry, planting lucky bamboo brings a sense of well-being and safety to a house or a room.

But not only that, lucky bamboos also look very satisfying and perfect in an aquarium. So there is no way you don’t want to plant these in your fish tank.

But are lucky bamboos safe to plant in an aquarium?

Unlike real/true bamboo, lucky bamboo is not harmful for your fish if planted in a tank, even though it’s not really an aquatic plant. Lucky bamboo also doesn’t typically starts rotting and won’t contaminate the water. But for this, lucky bamboo must be planted properly.

I have also collected some other information about some common questions related to lucky bamboo which might answer your questions that you have in your mind.

Here’s a really good video I highly recommend watching:

So keep on reading! 

Planting Lucky Bamboos


As I said before, it’s okay to plant lucky bamboo in a fish tank as long as it’s planted the right way.

There are a lot of arguments on how to plant lucky bamboo. But I will tell you about the best way, with some pros and cons of planting these.

While planting lucky bamboo, keep these few things in mind:

  • The water should be deep so you can plant it deeply. A good depth of substrate to plant your bamboo in would be around 3 to 4 inches. This would prevent your fish from trying to eat on the plant’s roots and your plants would thrive too.
  • The water needs to be clean and fresh. It should be free of any contamination which would be good for both the plant and the fish. This way, the plant won’t rot, the leaves will keep growing and the overall growth would be more stable.
  • Plants need oxygen to survive because they use it for aerobic respiration to convert the sugars into energy. So the tank water needs to be sufficiently aerated. Aerating the water is, again, important for both the fish and the plants. You can do so by using air pumps or air stones etc.
  • As you know all plants need light to grow, the same is the case with lucky bamboo. It is better to provide lucky bamboo with low sunlight because direct sunlight will burn the leaves of the plant or would turn them yellow, which would ruin the look of the tank.

If you think that you won’t be able to handle all the responsibility of lucky bamboos, get these amazing plastic bamboos from chewy for you aquarium!

Watch this video to know some facts you do not know about lucky bamboo:

Pros & Cons Of Planting Lucky Bamboo

When planting lucky bamboo, you need to know what advantages and disadvantages it will give you.

So here they are:

The Pros

Looks good

You probably saw this coming.

Lucky bamboo looks clean and makes the aquarium feel more peaceful. It naturally looks beautiful around greenery.

But lucky bamboo does all of this as long as it is kept healthy.

The look of the tank is ruined along with the water itself if the plant rots. So make sure to take care of your plant and your fish.

Natural filter

Lucky bamboos absorb the fish waste through its roots. It helps to keep the water clean by absorbing all the ammonia and other chemicals that are bad for your fish.

On the other hand, the ammonia that the bamboo takes in is very good for its growth as it provides the roots with all the nutrients.

Also, the roots of lucky bamboo absorb all the nitrites like nitrogen which levels the purification of the water.

The Cons

Release of chemicals and transfer of fungus

If not planted in freshwater, the plant can rot and cause the water to be contaminated which would harm your fish.

Lucky bamboo or any other plants planted in an aquarium can lead to the transfer of fungus and other harmful bacteria into the water.

Carbon Dioxide

Lucky bamboo provides the water with more oxygen for the fish by converting the carbon dioxide into oxygen. But this is only possible if the leaves are fully submerged in the water.

But more oxygen is not always good as it can lead to bubble disease in your fish too.

So if you are using other ways of aerating the tank water, then do not use lucky bamboo to prevent the water from being over-aerated.

Check out this video to learn more about growing lucky bamboo in an aquarium:

Lucky Bamboo: This or That?

Needs Fertilization?

There is no need to fertilize the lucky bamboo as it already gets the nutrients that it needs from the fish waste.

You won’t be able to fertilize this plant anyways so do not worry about its growth as long as you followed the points above.

Leaves above or below the water?

It depends on how you want it to look like and there is nothing too wrong with keeping it both ways.

But it is better to keep the leaves out because the plant will thrive with its leaves out of the water.

Will it transfer toxic stuff in water?

There are other types of bamboos that might transfer toxic stuff in the tank water.

So be sure to only buy Lucky bamboo. Its other name is Dracaena Sanderiana and knowing it would help you in buying the right type of bamboo.

Grow it in the filter or on the substrate?

It’s okay to grow lucky bamboo either way.

But it’s better not to grow it in the filter as the roots will eventually overgrow on the space on the filter.   

Related Questions

What fish can live with bamboo?

Bettas can live well with bamboo. This is because bettas like natural plants to play in and the waste from these fish provide the plant with nutrients.

Can I put my money plant in a fish tank?

Yes, you can put a money plant in an aquarium. It will absorb the nitrites from water to use in its growth. Sometimes, the money plant is placed at the top of the tank, with its roots dangling down in the water to absorb the nutrients for better growth.

Is bamboo toxic for fish?

Real/true bamboo is more harmful to fish than lucky bamboo as it can bring toxic stuff into the water. But lucky bamboo is not at all toxic and is the best option amongst bamboo family to plant in water.

How long does it long for bamboos to rot?

It depends on the type of bamboo but most bamboos last about 2 years if put in the soil. But above the ground and outdoors with a fresh environment, it can last for more than 10 years.

How long will lucky bamboo live?

Bamboos that are grown in water can live up to one to two years. Whereas if you transfer your bamboo to the soil, it can last more years, especially with more care.


I would say this one last time that lucky bamboos are not harmful for your fish. And be sure not to buy the wrong type of bamboo as some bamboos can introduce fungus and algae into the tank water.      

In the end, it all comes down to the amount of care you put into the growth of the lucky bamboo.

You will notice that caring for the bamboo will ultimately lead you to care for your fish, which is the main focus here.

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