Skip to Content

Will Ich Treatments Kill My Plants?

Ich outbreaks are the bane of many fish keepers lives and it is highly likely that you tanks will end up having problems with ich at some point even if you do your best to do everything you can to reduce the odds of ich affecting your fish.

With so many people keeping planted tanks these days, and some people keeping rare or difficult to keep plants in their aquariums, it is easy to see why so many people ask if their ich treatment will kill their plants.

Most chemical based ich treatments will end up causing problems with plants depending on the dosage requirements and the ingredients in the treatment.

This can range from minor, temporary problems with the plants to more serious issues resulting in the plants perishing, potentially in a short period of time.

Unfortunately, due to the strength of ich, the chemical treatments that are commonly used to treat ich will commonly have at least one ingredient that will cause problems with your plants.

There are a small number of natural ich treatments that will have a minimal effect on your plants but these tend to be less effective on actually treating the ich on your fish so it will be a trade off between the two.

Will Ich Treatment Kill My Plants?

The chances of most chemical ich treatments causing at least minor issues with your aquatic plants is relatively high with some ich treatments, especially ones with malachite green as an ingredient will have a higher chance of causing serious problems with plants.

The natural ich treatments can often be used in planted tanks to combat ich with minimal issues.

This is why the temperature trick can be so popular with people who keep planted tanks who need to treat ich in their tank.

The basis of this treatment is to increase the water temperature in your tank to the maximum tolerable temperature for all living things in the tank until the ich parasite has perished.

This can be a very effective method for treating ich that presents minimal risk to your plants but it does not work on all ich strains.

One issue with some ich treatments is that it may take days or even weeks for your plants to show the signs of the problems caused by the chemicals or minerals in the ich treatment.

In some situations, the treatment may be over and the ich eradicated from your tank only for you to end up having problems with your plants at a later date with many people failing to connect their ich treatment with the problem with their plants.

Does Malachite Green Kill Plants?

Malachite green can kill some aquatic plants and cause minor issues in others but it is one of the most reliable treatments for ich on the market with malachite green being able to quickly treat an ich outbreak.

Some plants will not be affected by malachite green at all but this does tend to be rare and even low doses can cause problems.

You should easily be able to see if your ich treatment has malachite green in it by simply reading the label for the ingredients list in the treatment.

You may find that your aquarium water turns blue if you are using an ich treatment that contains malachite green though with being considered a normal side effect of the treatment and a warning sign if you have a planted tank and were unaware that your ich treatment contains malachite green.

Other common ingredients in some ich treatments that you have to watch out for due to their potential for killing aquarium plants include copper and methyl blue with both being able to cause problems even in small amounts.

All modern ich treatments will have both of these listed on their ingredients list on the product label too making it easy to check for these potentially problematic ingredients too.

Can Ich Survive On Plants?

Even though ich does not affect plants in the same way that it affects fish, ich can survive on plants for a number of days but will usually perish without a valid host in under a week.

Ich will usually survive best on the leaves of an aquatic plant but it can technically survive on any part of the plant provided the water parameters are suitable.

A large number of people within the fish keeping community, unfortunately, fail to realize that ich can survive in this way and they will overlook the potential of accidentally adding ich to their tanks via new plants but this is a very real threat.

Ich can technically live in any substrate that your plants come with too making it difficult to try and find it via a visual inspection.

You also have to realize that ich on a plant is usually in its first stage of life where the parasite is very difficult to see rather than its second stage of life that people will often notice on their fish.

How Do You Get Rid Of Ich On Plants?

The easiest way to get rid of ich on plants is just to wait and leave the ich to die naturally as the parasite can only live for a maximum of around one week without a valid host fish.

The easiest way to do this is to place your new aquarium plants into a quarantine tank for around a week prior to adding the plants to your main aquarium tank.

There are other ways that you are able to get rid of ich on plants in your aquarium by using various treatments too.

We have a dedicated article going over the best ich treatment for planted tanks that will be worth reading if you want to use an alternative method though as we go into more detail on the in that article.


That brings our article going over if ich treatment will kill your aquatic plants to an end. We hope that we have been able to help as many of our readers as possible as so many people accidentally cause their aquatic plants easily avoidable harm by using an ich treatment in their planted tank. Thankfully, there are a number of ways that you are able to deal with ich in a planted tank without putting your plants at risk though.