Selecting fish tank plants may be as easy as going straight to the local pet store and get the one. However, it is more complex and difficult than your thought since it is depending on many requirements such as the genre of fish, aquarium size and even your needs.
Otherwise, if you want the plants to thrive, you should pay attention to choose them that it works effectively both decoration and fish help. In fact, there are many different kinds of plants for you to select.
Before you go straight to pet store, let’s take time to understand aquarium plants, think about the one you would want to get and how you will care for them!
Let’s discuss now!
Here are the best fish tank plants out there:
The comparison chart provides detailed elements to support the purchase decision of owners.
|Aquatic plants||Ideal Water Parameters||Growth rate||Light required||Difficulty|
|1||Ceratophyllum Demersum||59 to 86°F|
(15 to 30 °C)
|2||GreenPro Anubias||72 to 82°F|
(22 to 27°C)
|Moderate to Fast||Low||Easy|
|3||Limnobium Laevigatum Live Aquatic Floating Plant||68 to 86°F|
(20 to 30°C)
|4||Luffy 5 Nano Moss Balls||Cooler temperature||Very slow||Low||Easy|
|5||biOrb Sea Lily|
|MADE OF PLASTIC|
|6||Bolbitis Difformis Baby Leaf Fern Potted||74 to 84°F|
(23 to 29°C)
|7||CNZ Assorted Color Aquarium Plastic Plant||MADE OF PLASTIC|
|8||CNZ Aquarium Decoration Ornament Artificial Plastic Plant Green|
|MADE OF PLASTIC|
|9||Marina Ecoscaper Hydrocotyle Silk Plant||MADE OF PLASTIC|
1. 1 Hornwort Bunch – 5+ Stems | Ceratophyllum Demersum – Beginner Tropical Live Aquarium Plant
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Ceratophyllum Demersum tropical fish tank plants are the best aquarium plant for beginners. Thanks to unrooted feature, the plant easily attaches itself to a sturdy object in the aquarium.
The easy live aquarium is both cold water and tropical aquatic friends as floating freshwater plant. Together with fluffy and bright-green leaves, it provides wonderful cover for your fishes. Its filamentous feature offers the best shelter and resting place to smaller fishes. In order to have great visual, I would like to recommend it to 5 gallons aquarium.
Since the plants come without root, it is one of the reason that it becomes common freshwater plants in the field. The hardy nature of it makes great ideal for starter and for those who are looking to non-fussy plants in their aquarium.
In the wild, the plant can cause many problems while it is very sturdy and useful in an aquarium. Along with the fast growth rate and its wide range of conditions of tolerance, this natural-being allow it to spread into new areas.
Due to extreme weather, it will directly affect to live plants and make it suffer during that time. Within the winter season, please do not order the plants when the temperature goes down 20F and at the lowest degree. For the summer season, you also avoid getting plants when the temperature is at the highest degree as 100F.
All in all, this plant is easy and fast grown with low maintenance. It evaluated to get 3.7 scores out of 5 on Amazon. Nice try!
2. GreenPro Anubias, Java Fern, Moss and More! Freshwater Live Aquarium Plants on Driftwood
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Anubias is freshwater fish tank plants and one of the common live plants to maintain and grow easily.
Due to easy growth, it has been a popular pick for beginners who are lack of experiences on the field. Its requirement and light are very low and also the fish will not eat it. On specific, you can see the plants can be placed onto both goldfish and cichlid aquarium. Instead of being rooted, this plant tends to be anchored to driftwood or hardy object in the aquarium. Once it is rooted, the rhizome would be placed above the substrate to prevent rot.
By getting the high-quality and natural live plants of Greenpro, the brand is very thoughtfully as providing the hardy object to anchor it perfectly. The plant comes with driftwood will guarantee to bring great experience to fishes and viewers.
For the most part, this kind of driftwood plant can support many nutrients such as cellulose and tannins which improves digestion for fish. Moreover, adding driftwood is a good way to enhance a healthy environment to the aquarium and provides shelter for them to feel safe.
After all, the Greenpro got 4.3 scores out of 5 on Amazon with over 170 customer reviews. Worth for a try.
3. 12 Amazon Frogbit (Limnobium Laevigatum), Live Aquarium /Aquatic Floating Plant by G&Z
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Limnobium Laevigatum is one of the popular floating fish tank plants.
As the Amazon Frogbit comes as aquatic vegetation, it is a classic one. These leaves of Amazon is rosette-shape and sometimes show dark markings on the top but paler beneath. This spout long branching root is created to be the most attractive feature to fish’s lovers.
Also, its length providing more spaces for our fish to explore. Along with the floating feature, it is sure to generate interesting activity to fish as they can hide and play between them.
Please note that low light fish tank plants have a strict rule on the requirement of light. You need to consider the amount of light when controlling lighting mode. Therefore, it provides an advantage for fishes to enjoy lounging in a dark area; especially, for the Betta fishes.
In conclusion, the G’z brand got 4.0 scores out of 5 on Amazon with the best support of 130 customer reviews. Before purchasing, the brand showed that there are only 3 leaves of each leave. Worth for a try!
4. Luffy 5 Nano Moss Balls
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Are you finding easy fish tank plants? Luffy 5 Nano Moss Balls contains the most beneficial for your aquarium. If you are already tried to have many fails of choosing live plants, the Marine Moss ball will not let you down.
The moss ball is different from other cheap knockoffs, which is the Java used plastic to wrap around. As the saltwater fish tank plants are a little natural squishy ball of moss, the ball rolling deeply at the bottom of rivers in the wild.
So, what are the advantages of this Moss Balls? In fact, nitrates do not harm to your fish at a sufficient level. However, if it increases during the time, it will make your fishes stress and kill them easily. Fortunately, the Moss Balls has a function to absorb nitrates. It will let you show differences after a few gallons of water.
In addition, this live plant generally forces CO2 then releases oxygen in the water. If you do not like the sound of air stones, it is a great ideal to generate oxygen in your aquarium. Most aquariums do not perform well in high pH water, but it does not affect this plant ball after all. It still becomes a healthy plant.
This wonderful Moss Ball got 3.7 scores out of 5 on Amazon. Highly recommend it!
5. biOrb Sea Lily
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If you are looking for whitefish tank plants and expect it should be made of plastic, biOrd Sea Lily would be an unforgettable experience to you!
No wonder the brand is listed on my review with its enormous distribution to the aquatic industry. As you have been experienced in the field, you can recognize how powerful its distribution is. With its professional experience, now, the brand comes back with the elegant effect of artificial plants.
Different from the above, the special decoration smells as similar to fresh live plants. If you do not have enough time to take care of live plants, the plastic one does not require too much time on you. Its variety shows that it can be placed any kind of water. Also, it is easy to clean and change immediately by just a small motion of hands, then you will see the obvious effect of appearance.
By getting this plastic plant, it would be intended position; even fishes have strong movement.
Lastly, the brand got 3.8 scores out of 5 on Amazon with over 100 customer reviews.
6. Bolbitis Difformis Baby Leaf Fern Potted Live Aquarium Plants for Freshwater Fish Tank by Greenpro
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Bolbitis Difformis Baby Leaf Fern Potted is one of the common fish tank plants recently.
The fact is Bolbitis is known as fast-moving in tropical water. Similar to Anubias, the plant – itself to be anchored to rough rocks or wood. In particular, Bolbitis Difformis has dark green colors with finely cut leaves. It is further slow-growing, but can able to get tall and function well as a bottom plant.
I would like to recommend starters due to its easy maintenance. The plant is simply maintained in soft water along with no fertilizer or fertilizer. Aquatic plants will generate an amount of oxygen and absorb CO2 in the aquarium.
By that way, your fish can be provided a fully natural and healthy water community to live. As adding the plant, you will receive enormous useful for its ecosystem and either offer shelter and security place for aquatic friends.
GreenPro does not make us disappointed with its products, and its Bolbitis Difformis plant is either. To sum up, the product got 4.1 scores out of 5 on Amazon with big supports of users. Best try!
7. CNZ Assorted Color Aquarium Plastic Plant Decoration w Ceramic Base
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Another plastic fish tank, CNZ Assorted Color Plastic Plant is the second choice for owners who prefer to artificial plants rather than the real one.
Similar to biOrd, the CNZ is a global fish brand with a chain of fish’s supplied produce. Thanks to extensive experience, you do not need to worry about the quality of its product when its construction is based on healthy and high-quality fish’s life.
According to information, the dimension of the highest one is about 7.5” x 4.3” (H x W) and the lowest one is 5.9” x 2.8”. Hence, these plants are suggested to the small and medium fish tank.
The plastic comes with vibrant and bright color that will be last long without faded. As it works as a decoration, it will keep a good visual of an aquarium and also provide shelter for small fishes. The decorative product does not ask for many requirements of water temperature, pH level or biological requirements of a plant in general speaking. So, you do not need to keep focusing seriously, but please notice that your decoration is going to get dirty.
Eventually, the CNZ product received 4.0 scores out of 5 on Amazon once it gained over 150 customer reviews. Worth for a try!
8. CNZ Aquarium Decor Fish Tank Decoration Ornament Artificial Plastic Plant Green
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In case that you do not like the previous decorative plants, you can consider one more plastic plant of CNZ, which is higher and larger than the seventh’s.
In order to place well, the design comes with hard and heavier rock to help the plastic plant stay perfectly. About the dimension, it is measured to have 14 x 2 x 5 inches. For those who are looking for quite larger plastic plants, this model of CNZ would be a great experience to you.
I do not think that I am going to discuss more and explain information regarding quality or construction as I mentioned before. However, the individual aspect tells me that I prefer this model than the above. Because its color and design bringing real visual of plants under the natural ocean and occasionally giving an actual sense of touch as the live plants.
All in all, this model of CNZ got 4.3 scores out of 5 on Amazon. Highly recommend it!
9. Marina Ecoscaper Hydrocotyle Silk Plant Plant, 8-Inch
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The Marina Ecoscaper Hydrocotyle Silk Plant is an artificial plant to provide natural looking for aquarium.
At the bottom of the plant, there is pebble for security work. However, some customers claimed that the plant may float toward the surface so that you need to get another hardy object to place well. This 8 inches tall with a solid base comes with bright colors which are not fade easily after a long time using or cleaning.
It is full around the middle to offer great space for fishes to hide, rest and live. The natural visual of the aquarium can be added as long as you place them into your aquarium. To become a term of “natural plants”, the silk of plants shift, rise and fall with water’s flow.
Even the model is a bit large, it is totally lightweight than other cheap quality plastic plants. I believe your aquarium will look gorgeous in an aquarium with this convenient using.
Thanks to high-quality construction, the brand got the highest scores on Amazon, which is 4.0 out of 5 and over 420 customer reviews! Up to now, it is the great score with a large distribution of review article!
How to choose your aquarium plants
Aquarium plants can provide benefits to your fish and aquarium. Let’s list out these advantages of using live plants:
- Absorb CO2 and generate oxygen to your fish
- Use nitrates and fish’s waste such as pee, poo, and leftover food
- Saturates aquarium water with oxygen that exposes the tank
- Improve natural visual
- Offer shelter and security for fish
- Can be used to conceal the aquarium’s equipment to improve aesthetic
On the other hand, the biggest help of live plant is to perform water quality. It is essential to provide high-quality and healthy water that affects fish’s health and wellness. Once the quality of water gets low, the aquarium’s inhabitants become stressed and tend to get the illness.
Please be aware that the lighting is important to the growth of live plants. Each live plant can require a different level of luminous flux. Therefore, please get supportive equipment such as fish tank light and fish tank light timer to guarantee the efficiency and effectiveness of lighting.
How to Care for Freshwater Aquarium Plants?
In fact, aquatic plants provide a lot of advantages to the life of fish and quality of aquarium. It is not only about the visual effect but also biological benefits. It is sure to know if you get the right plan to take care of them, algae will not be your problem anymore.
So, do you know exactly how to take care of aquatic plants? The below information is going to introduce the way to get both an attractive aquarium and healthy inhabitants.
1. Pick the right plants
Choose the live plants which are going to adapt perfectly to your aquarium environment. Make sure that your chosen plants as underwater plants, it means they can live even submerge in water. Some common live plants such as Anubis, Anarchies, and Sword Plants are a great example of easy growth in the aquarium.
2. Distribute the right substrate
The live plants require substrate for keeping firmly their roots. In fact, the plants can be grown by many substrates; however, 2 to 3 inches of gravel can be a good idea to place them well. It is possible to keep plants inside the pots. Nevertheless, planting them by substrate makes the aquarium more natural.
3. Provide the right light
Without light, your plants cannot survive since the plant requires it to a process of energy creating and growth development. Full-range of lighting is essential provided about 10 to 12 hours a day.
4. Get fertilizer for freshwater aquarium
You can take fertilizer to support growth development of live plants and it is safe for fishes. Especially, the fertilizer tends to help the freshwater environment to support live plant’s growth. However, overplanting fertilizer can kill both fish and plant. Therefore, try not to get fertilizer in water which contains phosphates and nitrate.
1. Is it okay to put a plant into my fish tank?
It is a good idea if you use aquatic plants to place into an aquarium. Aquatic plants would be fine for a fish pond, but it should have a covered hood and prevent water from evaporation. It does not only block the evaporation of water but also block the fish jumping out of the aquarium. For those plants which require leaves outside of water due to growth, the cover will block them anyway.
Fish cannot be given by any of the benefits of photosynthesis as the roots living in the water. In fact, the leaves are an important part of plants that absorbs carbon dioxide and generate oxygen. The root is not similar to leaves, which is why it cannot photosynthesize but only respire.
From that reason, floating plants are highly recommended to remain fully submerged.
2. What plants should I put in my betta fish’s tank?
Especially, fish owners do not want plants fast growing in a small fish tank.
For the most part, fast growth is imperative because it will eat wastes of fish. So that the water will be cleaner than ever. Additionally, plants function to help your aquatic friends avoid stress.
The best aquatic plants such as foxtail (Ceratophylum) and Egeria are the best suggestion for beginners to take care of them easily. You can also add Anubias on the bottom in a shady location, and combine them with others.
3. Should I get real or fake plants for my freshwater fish tank? Why?
That is depending on your need. If you are confident on regularly water cleaning, fake plants are durable for long time use. On the other hand, aquatic plants are good for supporting oxygen and cleaning water.
To compare with fake plants, the real plants provide oxygen and remove dirt of fish, both of which supports water quality and of course, it is good for your aquatic friends.
In addition, real plants offer another accommodation to small/young fish and provide a tiny snack for many types. Mostly plants will be provided 2 or more inches thick of the layer, and grow perfectly in the gravel.
Some fishes are very active that they would like to dig and uproot plants; therefore, you need to protect the plants by some larger stone.
Different from real plants, the plastic one is not a solution for cleaning water. Then you cannot expect it will help you with some effects on water quality. However, it is sturdy and hard to uproot.
4. What are some plants that go well in a cichlid fish tank?
Many people may be misunderstood to the notion of Cinchlidae since it is a big school of fish which survives across a huge range of freshwater environments.
The fact is not all Cichlids are the same; especially, smaller fishes of the family have a tendency to be shy and non-destructive in comparison to a larger friend. As they are living in challengingly crowded environments, they tend to be overactive and destructive in their behavior and often uproot and dig the roots of the plants. Here is my advance:
- For smaller Cinchlids
Cryptocoryne is the best recommendation for Cinchlidae fishes such as Apistogramma or West African Pelvicachromis due to the friendliness of the plants. They are going to enjoy having dense cover at the bottom of the aquarium.
Some bogwoods are made of Anubias or Ferns will be observed perfectly by fishes and surely not damaged normally. If you do not like it, you can choose Saggitaria with low-growing.
- For Amazonian Cinchlids
On this section, I will group all medium and large Cinchlids which are less destructive behavior such as Angelfish, Festivum, Severums and so on. These fishes tend to be calm and quite on planting, although it is depending on the various degree that means some of them will dig around the floor and will eat a soft piece of leaves.
Aquatic plants are used for this kind of Cichlids can be well-rooted and mostly not really nice to eat. Therefore, I would not recommend plants that are thick and hard to chew for a long-lasting display.
- For Central American Cinchlids
For the worst offenders of plant destruction, Oscar is the best illustration of the South Americans in the group. Almost everyone owns Cinchlids who always gets tired of their ability to dig a plant’s location.
If you want to get some of the kinds of aquatic plants as Crysts, I can believe it will not stay sturdy at last long; however, you need to be confident that it is extremely well-rooted and tough. As long as you expect to place them onto the aquarium, you should plant it deeply and well away from digging location, in which your fish can uproot it in a few minutes.
Two options are Anubias and ferns that are slow growing and able to plant onto artificial plants or large pieces of wood. Placing them onto a sturdy object can make sure the opportunity of staying constantly and preventing sudden shifting of your fish.
5. What methods can I use to minimize algae growth in my freshwater fish tank while keeping my plants healthy?
Here are methods that can help you to decrease algae growth in freshwater:
- Reduce Lighting: As I mentioned on the blog article “How to choose the best fish tank?” that placing the fish tank near the direction of sunlight will promote many disadvantages to fish including the fast growth of algae. If you use artificial light, please make sure it is not stronger than necessary. Plus, it does not work more than 8 hours a day. Therefore, you should take time to control on and off mode automatically.
- Less feeding: Because of the overfeeding of owners to fish, it generally creates phosphate level in the water. If the food cannot be eaten in 5 minutes, the food is leftover. Always remove uneaten food promptly.
- Frequently water changes: The simple way to avoid the performance of algae is to frequently change the water. You should change from 10 to 15 percentage of water each week to keep nutrient in the water low.
- Test of nitrate: Having a test of nitrate can let you know how many percentages of phosphates are an aquarium, and to take immediate water changes. Furthermore, you should check nitrates since some sources have a large amount of nitrate.
- Clean equipment and decoration: Gravel, rocks or other hard objects of the aquarium can be a great place of algae to grow and stay constantly. If you on the aquarium, remove and clean them before doing water changes
- Keep live plants: Live plants can use many nutrients that algae thrive upon. That means fewer nutrients and there is the less overgrowth of algae.
- Keep algae-eating fish: Fish such as Otocinclus, Plecostomus can help you to reduce algae in the aquarium.
6. Can dying aquarium plants be used as a source of ammonia for cycling a fish tank?
The easy method to cycle aquarium is to use odorless and pure ammonia that can be pre-measured. From that you can know how much you can add; basically, if you add too little, it will not create enough bacteria. Conversely, if you add too much, it will hold your cycles.
7. Does feeding algae discs, or certain other fish food formulas, contribute to algae formation in a planted fish tank?
Yes! Because overfeeding can definitely contribute to algae growth. Any food that after 5 minutes cannot be finished is likely going to stay on the bottom of the aquarium. This decomposition leading finally to drive the nitrogen cycle to become nitrates. Therefore, it is an advantage to support and conduct algae growth. However, your plants can consume nitrates, but any waste food can be utilized by algae since they are really good at that!
After all, fish tank plants come to decorate aquarium, you will explore your creativity from this aspect. As you are wanting to develop a natural and fresh aquarium, you should add some live plants into it. And these top healthy live plants are described in the review, which is highly recommended for new fish hobbyists. Therefore, you just need to apply what you have read to your real situation.
Hope you have a great experience!