Cats, Planted Tanks And Pothos Plants

Discussion in 'Aquarium Plants' started by Mike Graw, May 24, 2019.

  1. Mike Graw New Member Member

    I need some advice or opinions. We have well water and the nitrates come out of the tap at 40. I have all my tanks planted fairly heavy, but the nitrates stay about 30 or higher for most of the tanks. I over feed a couple of the tanks due to baby mystery snails and fry. So in those tanks the nitrates are over 40 at times. The fish all seem to do fine as long as it is consistent, but I know long term it isn't good for them.

    Different methods have been tried in the past like nitrate pads and such like without making a difference.

    I have read some about the pothos plant being very excellent for really bringing down nitrates. My concern is that it is deadly to cats and dogs if they chew on it. The plants would be too high for our dog, but our two cats do chew on plants at time and one especially likes to get on the tanks. As much as I want to get the nitrates lower in the tanks, I don't want to sacrifice my cats in the process.

    Do any of you have pothos plants in your tanks and have cats that get on your tanks? If so, how do you keep your cats from chewing on the plants?

    I do a 50% change on all my tanks once a week.

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    Last edited: May 24, 2019
  2. kallililly1973 Well Known Member Member

    I would pass on the pothos and research a little more into safe plants .. also you can look up the potato experiment those will help reduce nitrates once they start to root

  3. Fish0n Valued Member Member

    In my experience sweet potatoes are actually quicker growing than pothos. I started with a really small pothos and it took awhile to establish and actually start to grow. Peace lilies are another option (not sure if they are safe or not).
    However you could always put a pot of cat grass next to the plant (my moms cat chooses the grass over her houseplants every time) or see if catnip would grow aquatically.

  4. Mike Graw New Member Member

    Peace lilies are poisonous to cats and dogs.

    The sweet potato looks worth trying. It seems the seeds are toxic, but not the vines. Then again, it depends which site a person is reading. lol. I think I will pick up a couple and try it. Feel more comfortable with that verses the pothos.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 24, 2019
  5. Fishcat Well Known Member Member

    This ASPCA list of toxic and non-toxic plants might be a good place to start for anyone who has cats and houseplants:
    It does list sweet-potato vine as non-toxic, and there are plenty of others to play with. Regular (non-sweet) potatoes are a definite no, as the foliage is very toxic.
    Incidentally, their animal poison control center, the number for which you can find at the link, is an excellent resource if you’re afraid your pet may have eaten something toxic. They do charge a consulting fee, but if they don’t have to research the issue they have been known to waive the fee.
  6. Skavatar Well Known Member Member

    i just learn something new this week. fish aren't affected negatively by nitrates less than around 400ppm.
  7. Mike Graw New Member Member

    400 ppm. I thought 40 ppm was max.
  8. PascalKrypt Valued Member Member

    Curious to hear more about that! Doesn't that depend on the fish, though? I have read there are species that will start shedding skin and show other generally unfavourable signs at less than 20ppm already.

    Have you tried the fast-growing floating water plants, like egeria, duckweed or hornwort? Unless there is a specific reason you do not want them in your tank, they could provide a good, cat-safe solution.
  9. Annie59 Well Known Member Member

    I've had my cats chow down on the pathos plants, not saying its good lol. But never bothered them...
  10. Skavatar Well Known Member Member

    Last edited: May 24, 2019