Aqua soil for potted plants in pond?


Hello all,

Has anyone tried using pelletized aqua soil for potting up plants in a container pond? I'd love to hear everyone's thoughts on this.


I was debating that this week too and came up with no good reason as to why not !! The only issue I could think of is when you come to submerge the pot it’ll fly out everywhere, if you gravel cap it and go slowly it should be fine though !


I use plastic pots from the normal plants I purchased to contain the soil in that plant area.

I used Aquascape pond dirt & have had excellent results.

3 water lily tubers, water lettuce, water hyacinth and last picture has my lotus plants I grew from seed.

I bought Square plant basket - lotus are in it. I also purchased aquatic lily pad pots, but they're pretty big for my tubs. Maybe when I get a real pond. *I'm looking at maybe a 125 gallon liner next year*

I have Three 40 gallons, One 15 gallon tub. I had 1 water lettuce, now I have 7 in 5 weeks. Water hyacinth has doubled in numbers. But it's early season now.



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I was debating that this week too and came up with no good reason as to why not !! The only issue I could think of is when you come to submerge the pot it’ll fly out everywhere, if you gravel cap it and go slowly it should be fine though !
Well I did two small terra cotta pots. One capped with small smooth pebbles and one without. I lowered them very slowly. I had zero issues with the aqua soil spilling out.


That’s good to know, glad it worked well !


Sorry im a bit late to the thread, In my 850gal pond I found an un fertilised 'clean' part of my garden that is only natural soil and filled the pots up, then I added some small but heavy enough rocks to weigh it down in my pond


ADA aquasoil leaches ammonia. Currently we are letting the ammonia flush out of some (version 2 ) Its the same as the original stuff. The ammonia will cycle a new tank . Or will kill fish. It takes 5 weeks before the aquasoil is safe for fish.

I have pond plants in an old gravel aqua soil mix but I also have them in nothing but gravel. Depending on the variety of plants many are happy to be floating around. The pots are just to stop them taking over more space .

Lebanese cress is an example of a plant that grows happily without soil but needs to be contained to avoid it claiming all the surface.

Pots are just below the surface.
Brazilian penny wort is another highly recommended plant that needs no soil but needs to be limited in its spreading.
With time the bricks are hidden by guppy grass.

There is nothing wrong with using dirt or aqua soil but it may not be necessary for some plants.
As per hydrophobics.


I have also considered using hydroponic clay pellets. Has anyone tried that?


I use them often in aquariums indoors.

This is the plastic containers I use for pothos with the clay pellets. I use a similar thing outdoors
Here is a row of these nursery pots full of clay pellets.


There's 1 reason why I wouldn't: it eventually breaks apart. You know what aqua soil is? Compressed potting soil. Yep, that $6 bag of potting soil at home improvement stores is the same thing as that $20+ bag of compressed soil balls that turn back into potting soil anyway. It's basically just expensive dirt. I guess dirt cheap isn't the right expression anymore, is it?

Every tank I have is a riparium. I've used several different methods - potting/top soil, clay balls, plain gravel and just the roots hanging into the tank. Every method has worked for me but the soil seems relatively useless. This is a tank of course, not a pond, but if the plants are suitable for riparium living anyway then soil shouldn't be necessary as they get all required nutrients from the water colomn. I presume you'd use it for root attachment and protection, not for nutrients? If this is the case, try gravel. It's more expensive at pet stores so if you want, go to that same home improvement store and grab some river rock, stones, pebbles etc. This'll keep roots safe from fish or other herbivores and provide a great growing surface. Clay balls is a great idea as well. It won't provide nutrients but it will hold onto them, eventually releasing them slowly so they're available for your plants. It's also a great media for beneficial bacteria. The only downside is it's also expensive now.

One funny thing I've used for planted tanks is natural clay cat litter without additives. Similar to clay balls, this will soak up nutrients then slowly release them again over time. Great for plants and suuuper cheap. I get a 50lb bag of it at walmart for less than $20! I've heard of folks using this in their ponds also. Hope this helps, friend. Good luck ;)


aquarium shed just did a video about it!



RareFeeshCollector There's a 10 year old vid & many others about using special kitty unscented cat litter from Walmart for substrate. I've used it - and it works great! They used to sell a 50lb bag for $8, I know they still sell a 12lb bag for $5. It's the same as expensive "planted tank substrate", the only difference being that I've heard it should be charged (clay absorbs nutrients from water, it apparently must be soaked in fertilizer like a $12 bottle of flourish - still cheaper than any name or generic brand of planted tank substrate!) :)



I just came back to this thread and I realized my last post had a typo - I meant 25lb, not 12lb. Not sure where that came from :confused:

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