Best Aquarium Plants!

It takes art and science to select the appropriate aquarium plants for your fish tank.

A common rookie mistake is to only think about the former—how amazing will this look in my brand-new fish tank!

These tips will help you understand the many varieties of aquarium plants and how to care for them.

The unpleasant surprise of seeing your lovely aquarium plants turn a depressing shade of brown in a matter of days.

So, let’s start now!

Best Aquarium Plants

Types of Aquarium Plants:

The plants that are visible in a well-constructed fish tank are the lush flora, which provides the fish with a natural environment to explore.

Foreground plants, mid-ground plants, and background plants are the three basic categories of aquarium plants.

However, to the trained eye, these three separate categories of plants appear to merge.

Based mainly on how tall these plants get.

Tall grasses that completely block the view are generally undesirable in the foreground.

Your opinion of the tank will be obstructed, but the fish will undoubtedly welcome some privacy.

Aquarium Foreground Plants:

The best foreground plants produce a stunning green carpet for your tank by spreading outward rather than growing upward.

 Plants that grow slowly and aren’t too tall in the foreground are necessary to create the ideal aquarium.

Brazilian Micro Swords Plant:

Brazilian Micro Swords Plant

Brazilian Micro Swords is also known as Lilaeopsis Brasiliensis.

It is a plant with a small stem that grows along the sides of rivers in Brazil and South America.

It has a modest growth rate frequently used for carpeting.

Brazilian Micro Swords require strong direct lighting that is at least 3 watts per gallon that prefers slightly alkaline water.

Dwarf Baby Tears Plant:

Dwarf Baby Tears Plant

DBT is also known as Hemianthus callitrichoides.

It is a well-liked carpeting plant since it develops quickly and coats the bottom of your tank with a vibrant green coating.

 Water that is somewhat acidic between 70- and 84 degrees Fahrenheit is required.

Make sure it has strong light and 2 watts per gallon of water.

If you don’t give your lush emerald carpet enough light, it will begin to rise toward the surface in pursuit of it.

Java Moss Plant:

Java Moss Plant

Java Moss is the better choice for novices when it comes to foreground aquarium plants is Java moss.

It will quickly turn into a lush green carpet thanks to its quick growth rate.

Although with minimal care, Java moss needs water that is circulated regularly.

The ideal water temperature ranges from74-82F.

Aquarium Midground Plants:

As the centrepiece of your fish tank, middle-ground aquarium plants must be carefully chosen.

The group of plants in the centre of the tank grabs the eye in addition to the vibrant fish that must be of reasonable height so that people can view the background.

Anubias Barteri Var. Nana Plant:
Anubias Barteri Var. Nana Plant

Due to its ease of maintenance and ability to thrive in a variety of water environments, this tiny plant is particularly well-liked.

 It has a modest growth rate, but its leaves will last for years.

This is a great partner if you have a more demanding plant in your tank because it won’t give you any extra trouble.

It enjoys a sheltered area that can reach heights of 4-6 inches.

Java Fern Plant:
Java Fern Plant

Even novices can successfully care for java fern because it is so simple to grow.

This plant is native to the Indonesian island of Java in a wide range of shapes and sizes, but the trident and needle types are the most commonly used aquariums.

They may grow up to 13 inches tall and just require modest illumination.

Regarding water requirements, Java fern needs a setting with a pH between 6 and 8 and tolerance for temperature swings between 68 and 82F.

Alternanthera Reineckii Plant:
Alternanthera Reineckii Plant

Alternanthera Reineckii is the best aquarium plant to use for aqua scaping the centre of the fish tank.

With the vibrant green of the foreground, its red leaves make a stunning contrast.

It grows slowly in extremely acidic water.

Aquarium Background Plants:

Fish can play hide-and-seek on this kind of aquarium plant used to provide a background for your aquarium.

 If you choose, you can grow your background aquarium plants as high as the tank’s walls.

Amazon Sword Plant (Echinodorus):
Amazon Sword Plant (Echinodorus):

This plant is ideal for use as the backdrop plant in aquariums due to its long sword-like leaves.

It doesn’t also require specialized treatment.

It only requires slightly acidic water and a temperature range of 72–82°F to flourish.

A moderate amount of lighting should be provided.

Water Wisteria Plant:
Water Wisteria Plant

Water Wisteria is also known as Hygrophylla deformis.

It is a hardy, low-maintenance plant that even beginners can grow.

Depending on the amount of light it receives, it can reach heights and widths of up to 20 inches and 10 inches, respectively.

Without enough light, it will become substantially smaller.

Water pH should be 6.5 to 7.5 and temperature 75 to 82 F.

Ludwigia Repens Plant:
Ludwigia Repens Plant

Ludwigia Repens is beloved by aquarists for its lovely reddish leaves that can grow up to 20 inches tall, making it best suited for medium-sized to large fish tanks.

Don’t bother buying more than a few stems because it multiplies quickly.

Saltwater or Freshwater Aquarium Plants:

The majority of people begin with freshwater aquariums because they are simpler to maintain, however, saltwater tanks allow you to raise some wonderful fish kinds.

 The plants favour a particular type of water, much as fish do.

Freshwater Aquarium Plant:
Freshwater Aquarium Plant

The most common freshwater aquarium plants include Java moss, Amazon sword, Java fern, Anubias, Anubias Nana, Cryptocoryne, Pygmy Chain Sword, or Hornwort.

A large range of these plants can be used in a freshwater tank for both aesthetic and health reasons for the fish because they act as a natural water filter.

Saltwater Aquarium Plant:
Saltwater Aquarium Plant

The following plants are a few to think about while setting up a saltwater fish tank: Green Finger Algae, Turtle Grass Shoots, Red Mangrove Propagule, Dragon’s Tongue Algae, and Mermaid’s Fan.

The aquatic plants that survive in saltwater are more diverse and colourful creatures that inhabit it.

Top Aquarium Plants Ideas:

We have discussed the fundamentals of foreground and background placement.

We’ll now look at some suggestions for aqua scaping.

The following concepts serve as inspiration for you to design fish tank artwork of any size.

Consider getting some ideas from our selection of aquarium plants with photographs.

Aquarium Wood Plants:
Aquarium Wood Plants

The biggest issue with utilizing wood in your aquarium is not all wood is suitable for the environment.

If you wish to add some wood to your tank, consider using bogwood from the store such as Mopani, Manzanita, and Red Moor.

Some rot rapidly, while others bleed out natural compounds that are bad for fish.

The Anubias family of plants includes ferns, moss, and dwarf baby tears are typically grow on wood.

Aquarium Plants for Gravel:
Aquarium Plants for Gravel

Gravel is problematic since it shifts around and requires deeply rooted plants.

You could use a gravel substrate in your aquarium.

It should have a size of 3 to 8 mm.

The roots can be harmed by anything bigger or smaller than it.

The following plants thrive on a gravel substrate: Ludwigia repens, Amazon sword, Anubias, and jungle Vallisneria. Fertilizers will probably also be required.

Cold Water Aquarium Plants:
Cold Water Aquarium Plants

Plants that thrive in colder water can be used to spruce up an aquarium in the absence of a heater.

Hornwort and frogbit are two of the most well-liked plants raised in cold water.

Additionally common and highly attractive picks for cold fish tanks are dwarf aquarium lilies and tiger lotuses.

Aquarium Plants for Sand:
Aquarium Plants for Sand

It makes for a good substrate for maintaining fish that live on the bottom.

It can simultaneously produce a stunning contrast with the surrounding plants and other aquarium features.

Amazon swords, Vallisneria, Cryptocoryne, Dwarf hygro, Anacharis elodea (water weeds), Cabomba, and Tiger lotus are a few aquarium plant species that can be grown on sand.

Aquarium Fern Plants:
Aquarium Fern Plants:

As ferns are usually relatively hardy plants, you may grow them in a simple tank with little upkeep.

Ferns don’t have a preference for the substrate, and they can adapt to any lighting conditions except harsh lighting.

 The secret to growing plants successfully in an aquarium as closely as possible replicates their natural habitat.

They tend to grow fairly huge, thus tanks smaller than 10 gallons shouldn’t be used to keep them.

Aquarium Plants on Driftwood:
Aquarium Plants on Driftwood

If you want to give your aquarium a natural feel, add some driftwood.

However, don’t just use any old piece of wood you find outside.

Make sure the driftwood you get from the store is toxic-free and safe for fish before you buy it.

A few plants that grow on driftwood include Anubias, Java fern, Java moss, Dwarf baby tears, African water fern, and Riccia fluitans.

Floating Aquarium Plants- Best Aquarium Plants to reduce Nitrates:
Floating Aquarium Plants

You may effectively purify the water in your fish tank by using floating aquarium plants.

Growing swiftly and reducing harmful waste such as nitrates are characteristics of floating plants.

Some of the most well-known floating plants are duckweed, Amazon frogbit, water lettuce, Water Spangles, Normal Salvinia, Hornwort, and Riccia fluitans.

They are perfect for beginners and require little maintenance.

Aquarium Plants in Vitro to Prevent Algae:

Aquarium Plants in Vitro to Prevent Algae

In-vitro aquarium plants are those that have been grown in sterile, laboratory settings on a nutritional medium and then supplied to the client.

These plants are notable for their dwarfish size, tiny stems and leaves.

The benefit of purchasing in-vitro-grown plants is sterile and free of pests, bacteria, algae, and pesticides.

Aquarium Red Plants:
Red Plant

Red complements your tank’s green very beautifully.

Ammonia Senegalensis, Alternanthera Reineckii, Cryptocoryne Albida Brown, Echinodorus Red Devil, Echinodorus Ozelot, and Ludwigia Repens Rubin are the most well-liked red aquarium plants.

Carpeting Aquarium Plants:
Carpeting Aquarium

You may either grow it yourself or purchase it as a complete carpet.

Aquarium plant that grows to a maximum height of a few inches, give a pleasingly green bottom layer.

Because it spreads swiftly, it is relatively simple to grow.

Any kind of moss will work or you may use the perennially well-liked dwarf baby tears.

Vallisneria Aquarium Plants:
Vallisneria Aquarium

All of the Vallisneria family plants are a newbie aquarist’s dream come true.

Your tank will quickly become lush and active thanks to these plants’ extremely low maintenance requirements and ease of multiplication.

Purple Aquarium Plants:
Purple Aquarium

An aquarium seems more elegant when it is purple.

Purple aquarium plants may add colour to any fish tank.

Some purple plants include Staurogyne purple, Lobelia cardinalis, and deep purple sword echinoderms.

Low Light Aquarium Plants:
Low Light Aquarium

Although all plants require some amount of light to develop, certain aquarium plants simply require a tiny bit.

 Anubias is the most well-known low-light plant, but Java fern and Java moss can also thrive without overly bright illumination.

 If this strikes you as being overused, consider Dwarf Rotala which has a nice red hue.

Aquarium Plants for Beginners:

If you don’t know anything about pH, illumination, or water temperature, don’t worry—you’ll soon learn.

Before you do that, start with a low-maintenance aquarium plant that is tolerant of many settings and will flourish.

Aquarium Plants in Pots:
Aquarium in Pots

In a tank, these look fantastic!

Glass pots are the most exquisite, but fabric pots can also be used to grow aquarium plants.

The type of pot used to grow these plants will largely depend on attachment to the walls of the tank.

These are excellent because they allow the soil to absorb water while keeping it inside and preventing cloudiness in the water.

Aquarium Plants That Flower:
Aquarium  That Flower

Try using a flowering aquarium plant to simulate a genuine garden in your tank.

Some plants like Anubias, Amazon Sword, and Bucephalandra, bloom underwater.

Of course, you can also cultivate some aquatic plants with above-water blossoms like lotuses.

Bulb Aquarium Plants:
Bulb Aquarium

In your tank, you can grow a variety of bulb aquarium plants.

Some of the most well-known kinds include Aponogeton boivinianus, Aponogeton Caproni, and Aponogeton henkelianus.

Aquarium Stem Plants:
Aquarium Stem

Stem plants look fantastic on the aquarium’s sides and in the background.

Hygrophila has attractive green stems, and Water Wisteria is a robust and adaptable plant are two of the most well-liked aquarium stem plant.

 Avoid placing them too near to one another to preserve their delicate beauty.

Alternatively, you might use Bacopa caroliniana, Ammannia gracilis, Cabomba Aquatica, Hornwort, Scarlet hygro, or scarlet hydrangea.

Aquarium Tissue Culture Plants:
Aquarium Tissue Culture

To ensure that it is free of bugs, algae, and pesticides, this kind of in-vitro aquarium plant is raised in a sterile environment.

This is important for the plant and fish in the tank, which could be affected by poisonous chemicals.

Tropical Aquarium Plants:
Tropical Aquarium

Carpeting is a prerequisite for all tanks, tropical or not.

 Once you’ve got that covered, you may plant some tropical plants like Myriophyllum, Ludwigia, and Acorus in the centre ground if you want a strong, fuss-free plant.

No CO2 Aquarium Plants:
No CO2 Aquarium

Carbon dioxide is not always necessary for aquarium plants to thrive.

Java Fern is highly advised for novices.

 You can also plant Vallisneria, and Anubias, and don’t forget Java Moss, the lovely Ludwigia Repens, or water lettuce.

Tall Aquarium Plants:
Tall Aquarium

If your aquarium is large, you might consider adding some tall aquarium plants.

 The best examples of their kind are Amazon swords and Sagittaria Subulata, which can grow to a height of 20 inches.

Amazon Frogbit, Marsilea Hirsuta, Water Wisteria, and Hornwort are wonderful choices.

Nano Aquarium Plants:
Nano Aquarium

Anubias nana petite, Cryptocoryne Parva, Marimo Moss Balls, Monte Carlo, Red Tiger Lotus, and Java Fern Window are the most popular nano aquarium plants.

Choose more delicate plants that do not grow much in height or width, if you have a small tank or want to give your fish more space.

Fast-Growing Aquarium Plants:
Fast-Growing Aquarium Plants

Some aquarium plants grow incredibly quickly, but gardening requires patience.

A few examples of plants having a rapid rate of growth include Amazon Swords, Sagittaria Subulata, Hornwort, Amazon Frogbit, Java Moss, Water Wisteria, Marsilea Hirsuta, and Lilaeopsis.

You’re eager to see some green in your tank.

 Easy Aquarium Plants to Grow:
 Easy Aquarium Plants to Grow

The easiest plant to grow in an aquarium is reportedly Marimo Moss Ball, even though it is technically an algae ball rather than a plant.

Amazon Swords, Cryptocoryne wendtii, Aponogeton Crispus, Bacopa caroliniana, Christmas Moss, and Vallisneria are some additional plants that are advised for beginners.

Low Maintenance Aquarium Plants:

The plants that require little care require little attention from the water’s temperature, pH, or lighting.

They can survive temperature changes between 60 and 80 °F, but this does not imply that they will thrive in any situation.

Aquarium Plants for Shrimp:

Aquarium for Shrimp

The finest aquarium plant for shrimp tanks includes Rotala rotundifolia also known as the dwarf rotala, Java moss, Anubias, Java Fern, Bucephalandra, Water lettuce, and Java fern.

If you have a shrimp tank, you must make sure the plants you grow are appropriate for the special conditions.

Goldfish Aquarium Plants:
Goldfish Aquarium

The first goldfish that a person owns initially draws them to this activity.

A goldfish tank can also be used to grow several plants, however, the most popular include Java Ferns, Anubias, Onion Plants, Pothos, Water Sprites, and Crypts.

Hardy Aquarium Plants:
Hardy Aquarium Plants

Try these hardy plants that can adapt to changing conditions if you want plants for your tank that don’t require much maintenance.

It includes African Water Fern, Java Fern, Dwarf Aquarium Lily, Cryptocoryne Beckettii, Water Wisteria, and Anubias in your landscape.

Cabomba Aquarium Plants:
Cabomba Aquarium

Among aquarists, camboma plants are among the most common plants.

It is simple to find them in many shops, where they are marketed as Green Cabomba, Carolina Fanwort, Brazilian Fanwort, and just Fanwort.

They work well as background plants in aquariums.

Be careful that some Cabomba plants require a lot of upkeep!

Potted Aquarium Plants:
Potted Aquarium

All plants that are grown in different types of pots rather than substrates are included in this category.

 In a glass or fabric pot, you have it on your window sill.

Not to be confused with aquarium plant, which is typically sold at fish stores in pots that must be removed before planting.

Aquarium Moss Plants:
Aquarium Moss

Starting with wall-to-wall carpeting made of aquarium moss plant is the best way to make a gorgeous scene in your tank.

 The two most common types are Java moss and Christmas moss, but you could also try willow, weeping, flame, star, or peacock moss.

These are very simple to cultivate and multiply quickly to cover the bottom of the tank.

Java Fern Aquarium Plants:
Java Fern Plant

Java Fern is the most common aquarium plant.

It grows to a height of about 8 inches and can survive in conditions with little light, making it a common sight in many tanks.

However, it does have the propensity to develop slowly.

Aquarium Plants Baby Tears:
Baby Tears

The Aquarium plants like dwarf baby tears, which grow incredibly quickly and cover the tank floor in tiny green leaves are popular choices.

Aquarium Algae Plant:
Aquarium Algae

There are specific treatments to remove algae, but you need to go deeper and identify the root of the problem before using them.

Algae are not always terrible for your tank, but when they overpopulate your aquarium it’s an indication of an environmental imbalance.

Before it starts to impact the fish, balance out the environment.

Aquarium Grass Plant:
Aquarium Grass Plant

Aquarium grasses can be used to make a lawn for your fish.

Along with the carpeting aquarium plant, you can also add Dwarf Hairgrass, Leaf Sword, or Tropica Marsilea Crenata to create a beautiful display that resembles a small meadow.

Low-Tech Aquarium Plants:
Low-Tech Aquarium

Try one of the various species of Cryptocoryne plants.

Once they take root in the tank, they are incredibly hardy once they are established.

Anubias barter ‘nana’ is another wonderful option.

It doesn’t even need soil to develop because it frequently arrives attached to driftwood.

How to Grow Aquarium Plants?

Choosing the perfect aquarium plant and knowing to care for them are the keys to having an outstanding fish tank full of flourishing vegetation.

 This entails picking the right soil and fertilizer using lighting strategically and maintaining the water quality.

The most important thing to remember is plants and fish desire high-quality water, which requires continuous access to fresh water.

Keep in mind that each plant has different needs, and choose a combination of plants that flourish in similar conditions.

Your garden will benefit from rainwater, but these plants won’t!

Check and clean the water filter to make sure it is not clogged.

Aquarium Lighting for Plants:
Aquarium Lighting

Aquarium plants use light as their primary source of energy just like other plants do.

Plants use natural light to complete the process of photosynthesis, which turns carbon dioxide into energy.

However, you must be very careful where you set your fish tank because too much direct sunlight promotes the growth of algae.

These plants require roughly 8 hours of full-spectrum light per day to grow.

Utilizing LED lights specially made for fish tanks, you may produce full-spectrum light that closely resembles natural light.

To avoid overheating, which is harmful to both fish and plants, LED lighting is the ideal option for aquariums.

Additionally, it is less expensive than substitutes like metal halide lamps or VHO (very high output) bulbs.

Aquarium Substrate for Plants:
Aquarium Substrate

Water and light are insufficient for plants to survive.

Like other plants, they will need nutrients, which they absorb through their roots.

Your tank’s bottom layer is referred to as the substrate.

This won’t work for a planted aquarium if you represent an aquarium with just a thin layer of sand or gravel covering the bottom.

While sand and gravel seem lovely that may give fish the impression that they are swimming in a river, they simply won’t support your plants.

To ensure that the plants receive enough nutrients, you will need to use enough fertilizer at the very least.

Aquarium Soil for Plants:
Aquarium Soil

There are numerous types of soils available for aquariums, but you should be confused with standard garden soil.

 Instead, you should use aquarium-specific soil, which you can get in fish stores or online.

To determine which is best, examine each type that is offered.

Aquarium Plants Fertilizer:

In addition, to trace amounts of micronutrients like iron, boron, and manganese, these plants need a complicated mixture of macronutrients like nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium.

Your plants’ growth and even eventual death will be impacted if any of these are lacking from the soil in your aquarium.

This should periodically add fertilizer to the water.

Do some research to see which kind of fertilizer is best for your aquarium since some brands have highly complex formulas while others are rather simple and include two or three nutrients.

FAQ- Aquarium Plants:

Q1. Do plants in aquariums require soil?

Yes, aquarium plants require soil as well as water and sunshine.

But they require a certain kind of soil that is not found in a garden.

These plants also need nutrients in addition to dirt.

Q2. How are plants for aquariums planted?

In little pots filled with rock wool, the majority of aquarium plants purchased at a fish store are packaged.

With care to avoid damaging the roots, squeeze the pot to force the plant out.

Each stem must be buried at least 2 to 3 inches into the ground which may result in the substrate covering some of the bottom leaves.

Q3. Can plants in aquariums thrive in gravel?

Only a few types of aquarium plants are suitable for a gravel substrate, so make sure to read the directions carefully before buying.

The gravel thickness must be between 3 and 8 mm at the same time.

Using larger gravel in your tanks could prevent the growth of roots while using finer gravel could harm the delicate roots.

Also read: Moss Garden Ideas | Best Indoor Plants | Best Shade Plants


Aqua-scaping is an intriguing art form.

It takes time and dedication but it’s also really rewarding to see your fish tanks inside totally covered in lush vegetation.

Keep in mind that aquarium plants are not merely for aesthetic purposes.

Your fish will have a healthy habitat if your tank’s plants grow well.

The plants will need to be chosen carefully because there is a limited number that can fit in a tank.

Use your imagination to choose plant kinds that will work well together.

Post a comment to let us know your favourite of the concepts mentioned above!

Hello & welcome to Gardenstory! I'm Rushali and I have a passion for all garden design, decor, and renovation. I am a serial renovator, currently working as Civil Engineer. Look around, leave a comment, and don't forget to subscribe to my emails so you don't miss out!

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