Growing Lucky Bamboo In An Aquarium

Lucky bamboos are increasingly becoming a common domestic plant, are still a less common plant to see in an aquarium. However, it’s both a practical and beautiful plant to grow in your fish tank.

You can easily buy them from online platforms and plant nurseries, aquarium shops, and regular stores in your locality. Prices may differ based on the maturity of the lucky bamboo and the total number of stems, but usually, it’s pretty reasonable.

Though bamboos are sometimes connected with Asian countries, lucky bamboos are in fact native to the Central African countries.

However, its resemblances to the natural bamboo plants have led to an adjacent (in case mistaken) association. This misunderstanding originated due to its name.

Actually, it’s sometimes used in practices related to Asian origins, like feng shui and as décor plans with Asian effects. Even when you plant it in aquariums, it is not unusual to see it spread with shrine ornaments and buddha.

What is Lucky Bamboo Plant?

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Lucky bamboos are a common and popular domestic plant, but unlike several others, it is effortless to care for and does not have to plan in the soil as this plant can exist in only a few inches of fresh water!

However, the most ironic thing regarding Dracaena Sanderiana, commonly known as Lucky Bamboo, is that the plant is not an actual aquatic plant. It is not even truly a species of natural bamboos.

The Difference Between True Bamboo and Lucky Bamboo

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The most crucial difference between the real bamboo and the lucky bamboo is when you present natural bamboo into fish tank water, it’ll decay and rot.

As soon as it does this, it speedily becomes toxic to the fish as real bamboo breakdown and releases ammonia into the aquarium.

But with lucky bamboos, it looks similar to natural bamboo. However, it’s very dissimilar in the means it grows as well as acts inside an aquarium. Lucky bamboos can continue surviving by being wholly submerged or partly being underwater.

You might see several arguments on the most exemplary method to grow lucky bamboo in your aquarium. Thus you get confused about whether to immerse the plant completely underwater or not. Well, let me tell you that the choice is yours only.

You can immerse the plant entirely or just leave the plant’s top outside the level of water. In both ways, your lucky bamboo will survive!

Can I Grow Lucky Bamboo Underwater?

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This is among the most debatable topics we have found on both offline and online platforms. After reading a lot and discussing it with both successful & unsuccessful users, finally, I decided that I would have to try this myself to see the truth.

Thus, I personally have placed a few bamboo plants in the fish tank, and then I transferred the lucky bamboo plant from “fully submerged” to “leaves above the underwater level” more than just once.

I could not resist doing this experiment as this plant simply appeared to me too good-looking and attractive when it was in the aquarium with fish around it. So, here is what I got from my experiment:

It is true! You can genuinely grow lucky bamboo underwater. However, in order to make the bamboo survive underwater, you need to make sure that you are using only freshwater. When you use fresh water, it doesn’t rot as well, as the leaves continue to grow at their natural pace.

Also, many skilled fish keepers have agreed that the bamboo plant and any other plant of this category are helpful for Betta aquariums. These benefits derive from the fact that bamboo leaf coverage mimics the familiar environment of Betta fish.

Nevertheless, there is a top-secret to keeping your lucky bamboo thriving and happy even underwater. Actually, there is a pair of secrets.

I am going to share those secrets with you to end this dispute for all. To grow the lucky bamboo completely submerged underwater, you need to follow these tips:

Supply It With Sufficient Carbon Dioxide

It’s essential to maintain sufficient carbon dioxide levels – although you must also note that having the lucky bamboo plant in your aquarium does not mean that the carbon dioxide will be converted to oxygen in order to help your fish.

From my experience, I can say that CO2 helps them grow faster, and without CO2, you will notice a slower growth rate in your lucky bamboo. You can similarly use some type of fertilizer for your aquatic plants, such as Seachem Flourish.

For using Seachem Flourish, simply follow the guide and put in a whole cap every day or every other day as per your convenience.

You can buy this product online or from any local store in your locality.

Using Flourish isn’t essential, but it helped my plant to grow faster and happily, especially while your plant is still small.

Deeply Plant The Bamboo

By planting the bamboo deeply, you will restrict its roots from spreading above a certain level and becoming a dubious snack for a snooping fish.

Naturally, omnivorous fish like goldfish would attempt to destroy the lucky bamboo plant’s roots in case they obtrude from the substratum. Fish that generally chew the roots can stress the plant.

Nevertheless, deeper planting truly helps with the constancy of its positioning and the stem.

Experts recommend putting the lucky bamboo plant in the aquarium is by putting it in the ground at a deepness of between 3 & 4 inches.


If its roots are underwater, the Lucky bamboo plant will thrive. Nevertheless, nutrient-rich substrates aren’t necessarily required for a flourishing bamboo plant.

Aerate The Fish Tank Water Finely

Opposing to the prevalent acceptance that plants need O2 in order to survive. The plants use that for aerobic breathing, which’s their procedure to break down sugar and convert it into energy.

Natural oxygenation happens better in long fish tanks as they’ve got a broader water superficial area.

Other conducts to deliver more oxygen to your plants are by changing the water, air stones, and so many more every week.

Provide Low to Medium Lighting To Your Aquarium Plants

Lucky bamboos need low lighting for their survival purpose. It comes from the steamy forests of Cameroon, where the taller broad-leafed floras would cast shades over it.

And in response, this had to familiarize its light supplies in order to survive.

Straight sunlight will damage the plant’s leaves, and they’ll become yellow, which’s an excellent sign to lessen or readdress the lights in case you are new to fish tank lighting and do not distinguish what feature will best suit the low light-requiring plants.

Type of Water

Make sure you only use fresh water to make the perfect environment for your lucky bamboo plant. Use water that is free from toxic matter or contamination. Using purified water, direct rainwater, or filtered water is seamless.

Some individuals think that the lucky bamboos grow healthy in water just during the initial stages. In contrast, other individuals believe that the plant can grow longer without its leaves rotting, although the plant is immersed entirely in new underwater.


Even when full-grown in plain water, you should be cautious in order to keep the aquatic well-aerated along with frequent changes of water – this will help you to avoid water inactivity.

The Truth Of Having Bamboo Plant In An Aquarium Setup

lucky bamboo in fish tank

Explanation on the common misunderstanding about planting lucky bamboo in a fish tank:

1. Bamboo isn’t an aquatic plant.

2. Bamboo will instantly start to decay when you put them in an aquarium. This will contaminate the water and encourage a spike in the ammonia level, which proves to be deadly to fish.

Therefore, you cannot put a real bamboo tree in your fish tank.

However, there’s a plant that resembles the appearance of natural bamboo strongly and will definitely survive in your aquarium.

Dracaena sanderiana or commonly recognized as Lucky Bamboo, can easily survive fully or partially submerged underwater.

It’s totally different from the real bamboo, as well as it has been modified to survive underwater. With sufficient nutrients and appropriate care, lucky bamboos can be without harm familiarized to a fish tank.


Although, even the lucky bamboos aren’t marine plants. But its origins, as well as survival mechanisms, let it live underwater for a lengthy period. You can extend this period critically – up to years.

Myths of Lucky Bamboo in Aquarium

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It is easy to grow the lucky bamboo plant in your fish tank, even though you may hear or see several myths about its growth.

So, here are a handful of myths you can read and take on the project and utilize them to your lead as you attempt to grow Lucky Bamboo in an aquarium.

Grow Lucky Bamboo in Your Filter:

This’s one myth that busts itself. One can do this. However, there’s no practical reason behind doing so. An issue with this is that the lucky bamboo plant roots may start to grow beyond your filter and cause other problems along with the technique.

You Won’t Be Capable Of Fertilizing Lucky Bamboo Plant:

We have seen you can utilize Seachem Flourish, even though this is not a necessity. The liquid in your fish tank is enough for the healthy growth of lucky bamboo.

The helpful bacteria will adapt ammonia to nitrites as soon as you’ve got an appropriately cycled fish tank. Additionally, as we have seen earlier, there’s one entity; Lucky Bamboo likes to feed upon.

Leaves Have To Be Overhead The Water Level:

It is not a necessity for them to do that. Lucky Bamboo also can be grown partially submerged or fully submerged.

They’ll emit O2 better in case they’re above water level, but there’s no reason you have to grow it only partially submerged.

Benefits of Lucky Bamboo in An Aquarium

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Beforehand you even ponder planting any vegetation in your aquarium; you’ll have to realize that filtering the water is vital for healthy fish, as well as for your fish tank.

Even if you’ve got a good filter for an aquarium, you can still benefit from increasing lucky bamboo since this captivates nitrites and helps prevent ammonia growth.

Another reason your aquarium gets benefited; is, in reality, the similar reason a lucky bamboo can flourish. The nitrogenous essentials act like a plant fertilizer there.

Final Words:

Lucky bamboo is not among the most common or popular aquarium plants; however, it is undoubtedly beautiful and increases the beauty of any aquarium that it is added to.

Nevertheless, from time to time, it is tricky to grow lucky bamboo in a fish tank, but once you master it, it can produce stunning and rewarding results for your aquarium and fish in it. You can use it in your Koi Betta fish tank which will make them look nice.

As soon as done appropriately, lucky bamboo generates a smoothly sophisticated look that other fishes just accompany in there as they weave over the stems.

Past its attractiveness, it similarly has quite a lot of practical determinations.

Lucky bamboos are an effective cleaner for your aquarium and will speedily absorb nitrates as well as other chemicals in there.

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It’s easy to take care of and hardy general, making it the most appropriate option for beginners to the most experienced aquarists of all levels.


How long does lucky bamboo live in water?

As soon as you grow the lucky bamboo, you will see it last for around 1 to 2 years based on the aquarium conditions.

How fast does lucky bamboo grow?

As soon as the lucky bamboo has spread its roots, one can expect them to grow around 19 inches within 6-months only. However, you may notice 10 or 12 steps of progress, with each step taking about 2-weeks in this time.

Will Lucky Bamboo emit oxygen?

In case you’ve got the leaves getting from the top of the aquarium, then the lucky bamboo will emit oxygen at night.

Can I plant Lucky Bamboo with my Betta?

Of course, you can! It is very safe as betta does not eat bamboo leaves. Thus, you can even have the bamboo plant fully submerged into the water.

About the author

I'm Gulshan, a passionate pet enthusiast. Dive into my world where I share tips, stories, and snapshots of my animal adventures. Here, pets are more than just animals; they're heartbeats that enrich our lives. Join our journey!