For those of you who haven’t seen a planted tank style of aquarium until now, here’s some news to you: they look fantastic! The lively and vibrant feel they have is mesmerizing and calming at the same time.
Not only that, plants in freshwater aquariums look nice, but they also ensure natural filtration. Moreover, they help the fish to stay healthy or even breed (if it’s small fish). And if you only care for the looks and not for the function, you can always go with artificial aquarium plants. It’s better than nothing!
Page Table of Contents
- TOP 7 Best Aquarium Plants
- How to choose your aquarium plants?
- FAQs on aquarium plants
TOP 7 Best Aquarium Plants
1. Potted Tall Hairgrass by AquaLeaf Aquatics
Potted Tall Hairgrass by AquaLeaf Aquatics is also known as Giant hair grass. They make an impressive background plant that thrives in well form medium-light to high light. They get very tall, hiding the filters and heaters in a fish tank just fine.
You may also cut the leaves to any size you want, since cutting the blades isn’t going to damage the plant. Potted plants make a great begin with since they present the whole root system. Therefore, the risk for the plants to go in to shock when placed in your aquarium is quite slim. Check the instruction on the bottom of the feeder so that you only plant the roots.
You mustn’t plant them too deep since you may cause the yellowing or the melting of the plant. For best results, though, you can add some fertilizer tabs a couple of inches from the roots.
The plants are easy to care for and only need medium light. They grow pretty fast and look great in tall aquariums of any size. Since they’re grown organically, the plants have no pesticides or chemicals, being safe for fish and invertebrates. They come well packaged and look healthy when out of the box.
Here’s our list of pros:
- They grow very tall and work great as background plants
- They need medium light and minimal maintenance
- They’re organically grown
- They are suitable for fish and invertebrates
The downsides don’t undermine their overall value:
- You may need around 20 for a great look in your aquarium
- They’re difficult to pull apart
All in all, the plants are an excellent option for tall aquariums and quite a bang for your buck.
2. SunGrow Aquarium Plant Seeds
Native to South-East Asia, SunGrow Aquarium Plant Seeds are going to turn into bright green and colossal hygrophila, which is quite common in aquascaping. It’s a perfect tropical plant for freshwater aquariums (especially the large ones) thanks to the 1.5-3in full stem and 10-15in high.
We all know that plants inside a fish tank turn carbon dioxide into oxygen, improving the health and life of fish. Hygrophila is highly appreciated since it grows fast and maintains the aquarium clean. It can eliminate nitrates, which is why entry-level aquarists will definitely appreciate it.
It’s easy to maintain a plant that looks incredible, covering a large surface in a short amount of time. It’s entirely safe for mollies, shrimp, betta, guppies, and other freshwater fish. Once you have the seeds, you only need to spread them into the moist soil on the bottom of the freshwater aquarium.
The plants need only moderate sunlight and 74-82F degrees of water temp. The alkalinity should be somewhere between 3 to 8dKH, whereas the pH should be from 6.5 to 7.5. It’s a fast-growing plant, so you need to trim it on a regular basis while providing it enough sunlight. When it’s young, it looks like a carpeting plant, but once it’s grown, it will result in lush stem plants spreading over the floor in your tank. If you want to have them as a carpet plant, you should place the aquarium in high light, while trimming it any now and then.
We sure like some things about the plants:
- They’re easy to spread and to maintain
- They can work as carpeting plants
- They result in dense stem plants
- They grow fast, and a little goes a long way
Don’t mind the shortcomings as they’re minor:
- Pay attention when spreading the seeds as they stick to anything when wet
- Some expected to see them grow even faster
Regardless of the small problems, the seeds are great to use in an aquarium, turning into excellent carpeting plants or dens stem plants- whatever floats your boat!
3. 6 Marimo Moss Ball Variety
If your aquarium feels too big and you want to fill it in, the 6 Marimo Moss Ball Variety is going to be a great addition.
The moss balls go through a unique process with three steps of quality control, so that you can get Marimo moss balls without any pests or parasites. The Marimo are sustainably harvested in Europe and have no pesticides, dye, contaminants. They’re 100% natural.
Marimo Moss Balls are the most natural live aquarium plants, and they don’t need a CO2 system, select light or fertilizer. On the other hand, Marimo can eliminate phosphate and nitrogen from the fish tank, improving the quality of the water and removing algae. You can enjoy it in a freshwater aquarium with 78F degree temperature or less. It’s great to have if you grow shrimps and snail tanks since they like grazing on the moss balls for biofilm.
The spherical shape, the deep green color, and the easy maintenance turn Marimo into an ideal live aquarium decoration. They can be the center of attention of a small fish tank or a beautiful addition to aquarium rocks, driftwood, and natural décor.
Let’s take another look at the pros:
- They look beautiful and have a spherical shape
- They’re easy to maintain
- They’re 100% natural
- They eliminate phosphate and nitrogen
We’re not worried about the inherent flaws:
- Some may feel they’re too big for their aquariums
- There have been situations where Marimo developed larva (even though it’s rare)
Regardless of the minor problems, the Marimo moss balls still look beautiful and are functional in any fish tanks.
4. Luffy Coco Mini Moss, Hiding & Breeding Spot
Luffy Coco Mini Moss, Hiding & Breeding Spot comes from Asia, and it’s harvested in the wild. The three Luffy coco mini mosses present tiny and delicate leaves that are closed to each other, leading to a feathery feel. You can mix and match with other aquarium plants for creating an attractive aquascape.
You don’t need to anchor the plants since every mini moss is attached to an organic coconut husk. This way, you only have to place it at the bottom of your aquarium. You can also tie it to a mesh if you want to make a vertical green display.
Luffy coco mini moss will grow slowly and last for a very long time. It’s effortless to take care of and can thrive in most aquarium conditions. It doesn’t need a substrate, and you don’t need to replace them any time soon. For best looks, make sure you give a fast and gentle rinse before placing it inside the fish tanks.
As it’s harvested in the wild, the moss may present a couple of brown spots. The spots are typical and will turn green once the plants adjust to the water and the new conditions in the tank.
Let’s take another look at the positive aspects:
- The coco moss grows slowly, and it’s long-lasting
- They come attached to organic coconut husk
- You can also place it vertically
- They’re easy to take care of it and look very nice
The downsides aren’t something to worry about:
- Some reported that the brown spots never turned green
- It may need better rinsing in some situations
Regardless of the minor issues, Luffy Coco mini moss looks nice, is easy to take for, and lasts for a long time. Why not give it a try?
5. 10 Species Live Aquarium Plants Package
For those of you who lack the knowledge or the experience on live plants in an aquarium, the 10 Species Live Aquarium Plants Package is one solid choice to keep in mind.
The set includes live aquarium plants for freshwater tanks that are easy to take care of. You receive ten grown plant bunches, and every plant bunches consists of a couple of stems. The set is enough for a 10+gallons aquariums for both fish and invertebrates.
The plants will improve the quality of water, converting the dioxide carbon into oxygen. They also prevent the growth of algae. The variety of the set is excellent since it helps fish feel more comfortable and less prone to illness. The bright colors reduce the stress in fish.
You only need gravel and some lights for the plants to grow. The plants in bunches have 5-7 stems that you can plant together or separately. The stem plant cuttings are tied in a bunch, and they will root after adjusting to the aquarium. Anacharis, Moneywort Cryptocoryne Wendtii Bronze, Red Flame Sword, Red Ludwigia, Hornwort, Cambomba, Vallisneria are some of the plants included in the package.
Let’s give the positive aspects a second look:
- You get a nice variety of plants
- They only need some gravel and light for thriving
- They reduce stress on fish and create an excellent environment for the fish
- They are easy to maintain
The downsides shouldn’t worry you at all:
- The stems are tightly bonded together, so the stems may end up being messed
- Due to delay in delivery, some plants may suffer
All in all, you get a beautiful and versatile set of live plants that are great for your fish and look fantastic in any aquarium.
6. Mainam 30+ Stems Package Starter Beginner
Any beginner that doesn’t know what to put in their tanks should take the plunge with a set like Mainam 30+ Stems Package Starter Beginner. The package addresses to beginners, but it’s perfect for any aquarium tank. The plants included in the box will create a beautiful natural habitat in the fish tank, no matter if you have fish or invertebrates.
The package includes six different species, and it’s an ideal combo for bringing to life the aquascape in your aquarium. The aquatic plants will sustain the biological ecosystem and help your fish thrive and stay healthy. The plants will also improve the quality of water, turning carbon dioxide into oxygen, for a healthier environment for your fish. The set may include one bundle of Micro Sword, two bunches of Elodea Densa, one package of Jave Fern, one potted of Cryptocoryne wendtii Brown, one packet of Echinodorus Parviflorus, and one loose of Anubias barteri Broad Leaf. They will create a natural resting and a pleasant hiding place for your small fish or invertebrates.
Should you have challenges decide on the plants to buy, the set will be a perfect choice and help your aquarium look better.
Summing it all up for a list of pros:
- It’s an excellent set for any beginner
- The variety of live plants is nice
- The collection is unique for small fish and invertebrates
- The plants keep the water clean and your fish healthy
The downsides shouldn’t stress you out at all:
- The risk for some plants to get broken during shipment isn’t null
- Some reported plants turning brown after some time
Easy to use and looking so lovely in any aquarium, the set is still a reliable option for anyone new to the aquarium’s world.
7. Texas Aquarium Plant Bundle
When you’re determined to decorate your aquarium with one purchase, the Texas Aquarium Plant Bundle – 20 Species Live Aquarium Plants can be an excellent investment.
The package includes only aquatic plants that will improve the biological ecosystem in your aquarium so that your fish can thrive and have a happy life. The live aquarium plants will maintain a high quality for the water, binding the organic waste. Thanks to their ability to turn the carbon dioxide into oxygen, the aquatic plants will slowly eliminate algae and keep the water clean and fresh.
Fish like aquarium plants and become healthier and more energetic. The plants reduce the stress level too.
The package includes 20 grown plants, one of each species, and makes an excellent option for 10+ gallons aquariums. They hide filters and heaters inside the aquarium, fitting any freshwater fish tank.
You receive vast and healthy plants that don’t get damaged throughout the transportation. You can finally have the water jungle that you’ve dreamed about. Anacharis, Amazon Bleheri, , Hornwort, Dwarf Sagittaria Ludwigia Repens Moneywort, Cryptocoryne, , Rotala Indica, Kleiner Bar, Red Flame Sword, Cabomba, Lobelia Cardinalis, Meland Sword Java Fern, Hygrophila Pinnafitida Anubias, Marble Queen Sword, , Ruffle Sword, Hygrophila Araguaya, , Vallisneria are the plants included in the package.
Let’s check the pros once more:
- The plants are healthy and huge
- You get 20 plants for your aquarium
- They look great in any aquarium
- They benefit fish and keep them happy and healthy
The pet peeves shouldn’t make you change your mind:
- They’re not cheap
- You don’t get a PDF information sheet of the plants you receive
Regardless of the minor issues, the package is a wise investment for your aquarium on any given day.
How to choose your aquarium plants?
Selecting live plants for your aquarium sounds simple, but it’s a lot more challenging than you’d think. Not only that, you need to choose right, but you also have to help them thrive so that your fish stays happy and healthy.
You don’t just go ahead and buy aquarium plants. You have to give it proper thought so that you know which type works best for your fish and aquarium precisely.
Here are some things to address before you go buying:
- Think about why you want aquarium plants
It’s essential to figure out why you want to have aquarium plants, to begin with. Live aquatic plants have multiple benefits, but you should still know why you want to place them in the fish tank. Here are the most significant advantages of live plants in aquariums:
- They saturate the water with oxygen which sustains the aeration of the tank
- They turn carbon dioxide into oxygen for fish
- They create a natural appearance in the tanks
- Live plants use chemical waste products and nitrates, removing them from water and helping the fish stay safe and healthy
- They create an excellent shelter for fish, helping them feel protected and secure
- They improve the aquarium’s appearance
- They also enhance the quality of water in the tank
- What do you have in the aquarium?
When selecting the aquarium, you also have to think about the substrate you have in the tank. Live aquatic plants need specific nutrients for thriving. They do good, but they also absorb some of the nutrients from the water column. As a matter of fact, most of the nutrition is absorbed through the roots.
For those of you new to aquariums, the substrate is the material lining the bottom of the fish tank and where the plants will root later on.
If you only have fish, some sand and gravel substrate will do just fine. However, if you have a planted aquarium, it’s going to need a complete substrate for providing the required nutrients.
Don’t forget about the light, with plants presenting different requirements in terms of lighting. Nutrients are essential for plants, with potassium, nitrogen, phosphorus, and micronutrients (manganese, boron, or iron) being the most significant to name.
Should you have soil substrate in the tank, remember that most plants are ok with it, even though it will cloud the water once you trouble it with the roots of the plants.
For the column feeders (they get the nutrients from tank water), a substrate with no nutritional value will be the right choice.
FAQs on aquarium plants
Q: Are live plants the only option for aquariums?
A: Live aquarium plants aren’t mandatory in a fish tank. Many beginners avoid live plants since they do require some maintenance. If that’s the case for you, you can take a look at the alternatives. Artificial plants are ideal, and they come in a great variety of colors, shapes, and sizes. You can also decorate the aquarium with some ornaments if it feels too empty. The decorations are an excellent place for fish to hide, reducing their level of stress. Don’t forget that you can also add a bit of color and depth with an aquarium background that has various designs. However, they benefit the owner more than they help the fish. No matter the final choice, it’s better that you fill the aquarium in some way.
Q: Do aquarium plants have any downsides?
A: Even though aquarium plants bring plenty of benefits for the fish and the owner, they also present some minor disadvantages. Aquarium plants can cause oxygen deficiency throughout the night and even lead to waste when decayed. Moreover, some plants can carry parasites and snails, altering the health of your fish. You need to be aware that aquarium plants request some cleaning, and you have to provide proper lighting for particular plants.
Q: Can aquarium plants reduce the nitrate level in your aquarium?
A: As long as you’re choosing right and take good care of them, aquarium plants will always improve the water’s quality. Healthy plants will soak nitrogen compounds in ammonia and nitrite included. It may sound surprising, but keeping the plants alive and healthy is quite challenging. Plants metabolize nitrogen compounds, using them for a block for organic molecules. Therefore, all aquarium plants absorb nitrogen from the water, which only helps your fish and invertebrates.
Q: How to tell if there’s something wrong with your aquarium plants?
A: Just like any other plant, aquarium plants also need nutrients for healthy growth. When you don’t care for them properly nor provide the nutrients they need, they may fail to grow and even harm your fish. Slow growth, yellowing of leaves, browning or darkening of the leaves are all signs that the aquarium plants aren’t doing well. Check for holes in leaves and brittle leaves as well- they’re also symptoms that something’s wrong with the live plants. The sooner you discover the signs, the easier it is going to be for you to help them grow healthy again.
Q: Should you remove the dead plants from the aquarium?
A: It depends on how much you leave it to build up. However, the dead organic matter you have at the bottom of your aquarium, the more snails you should expect to have. It’s more vital that you figure out why the plants are dying, especially when many of them are dying. It’s okay for one or two leaves to die any now and then, but it concerns when many plants don’t stay healthy anymore.