33 Best Aquarium Plants For Beginners & What They Need

Entering the world of aquarium plants can be an exciting journey for beginners. From adding vibrant colors to providing natural hideouts for your fish, these plants bring life and beauty to your aquatic haven. But where do you start?

In this article, we’ll guide you through the basics of choosing the right aquarium plants for beginners. Whether you’re aiming for a low-maintenance setup or an underwater jungle, we’ve got you covered with essential tips and top plant recommendations.

Aquarium Plants For Beginners

Now, here are some of the best plants for beginners and what makes them fantastic choices for your tank!

Dwarf Sagittaria

Imagine a lush meadow in your aquarium – that’s what you get with Dwarf Sagittaria. These little plants look like grass, but they’re aquatic! They sprout narrow leaves that sway gently in the water currents, creating a tranquil underwater landscape. 

They’re undemanding and low-maintenance, making them a fantastic choice for beginners. Just tuck them into your substrate, and watch them flourish.

NameDwarf Sagittaria
Scientific NameSagittaria subulata
Tank Size5 Gal
Max Size12″
Feed TypeRoot Feeder
pH6.5-7.5
Temperature72-82°F
LocationForeground
Light RequirementsLow
Growth RateFast
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Green Hygro

Green Hygro Care Sheet

Green Hygro, or Hygrophila, is like the quick-grower of the aquatic plant world. It’s super adaptable and grows rapidly, which means you’ll have a jungle-like aquarium in no time. 

The vibrant green leaves are a treat for the eyes, and they love to bask in the light. Just keep an eye on them – they can grow tall quickly, so don’t be afraid to trim them down if needed.

NameGreen Hygro
Scientific NameHygrophila polysperma
Tank Size10 Gal
Max Size24″
Feed TypeColumn Feeder
pH5.0-8.0
Temperature64-86°F
LocationBackground/Midground
Light RequirementsMedium
Growth RateFast

Guppy Grass

If you’re looking for a plant that’s not just pretty but also functional, Guppy Grass is the way to go. This plant forms dense, feathery clusters that provide excellent hiding spots for fry. This plant can serve as a nursery for your tiny swimmers.

Plus, Guppy Grass grows like a champ, absorbing excess nutrients and helping keep your water clean.

NameGuppy Grass
Scientific NameNajas guadalupensis
Tank Size10 Gal
Max Size24″
Feed TypeColumn Feeder
pH6.0-8.0
Temperature71-86°F
LocationBackground/Midground
Light RequirementsMedium
Growth RateFast

Marimo Moss Ball

Marimo Moss Ball Care Sheet

Marimo Moss Balls, also known as moss balls, are a type of algae that grow in spherical shapes. They’re native to Japan, where they’re often used in aquariums and as decorations. Marimo Balls are low-maintenance and can live for many years. Marimo Balls are a great addition to any aquarium, thanks to how unique and interesting they are.

They don’t require any special lighting or fertilization, and they can even survive in low-light conditions. Simply place it in a tank with clean water and give it a gentle squeeze every few weeks to remove any dirt or debris. 

NameMarimo Moss Ball
Scientific NameAegagropila linnaei
Tank Size1 Gal
Max Size2.5″
Feed TypeColumn Feeder
pH6.0-8.0
Temperature63-73°F
LocationAnywhere
Light RequirementsLow
Growth RateSlow
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Pelia Moss

Pelia Moss is a carpeting moss that grows in tight, velvety cushions. It adds texture and interest to the bottom of your aquarium. You can attach it to rocks or driftwood, and it will gradually spread to create a lush, mossy landscape. Its low light requirements and forgiving nature make it a great choice for beginners.

NamePelia Moss
Scientific NameMonosolenium tenerum
Tank Size10 Gal
Max Size8″
Feed TypeColumn Feeder
pH5.0-8.0
Temperature68-82°F
LocationAnywhere
Light RequirementsLow
Growth RateMedium

Amazon Sword

Amazon Sword Care Sheet

The Amazon Sword is a majestic plant with regal, broad leaves that will make your tank look amazing. It’s like a mini forest, offering hiding spots for fish and a lush backdrop for your aquatic scene. It’s a hardy plant that’s easy to care for, making it a great choice for beginner aquarium owners. 

The Amazon Sword is a slow-growing plant that thrives in nutrient-rich substrate and moderate lighting. It can grow up to 2 feet tall and 1 foot wide, so choose a tank that’s big enough. With proper care, it will be a beautiful addition to your aquarium for many years.

NameAmazon Sword
Scientific NameEchinodorus grisebachii
Tank Size30 Gal
Max Size20″
Feed TypeRoot Feeder
pH6.5-7.5
Temperature72-82°F
LocationBackground/Midground
Light RequirementsMedium-High
Growth RateMedium
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American Waterweed

American Waterweed Care Sheet

American Waterweed or anacharis is a fast-growing aquatic plant that is great for beginners. It’s easy to care for and can tolerate a wide range of water conditions. The plant has delicate stems covered in small, bright green leaves that create a vibrant, underwater haven for fish. 

It’s also a nutrient sponge, helping to maintain water quality by absorbing excess nutrients. American Waterweed is a popular choice for aquariums and ponds, and it can also be used to create a natural look in water features.

NameAmerican Waterweed
Scientific NameElodea canadensis
Tank Size10 Gal
Max Size36″
Feed TypeColumn Feeder
pH6.5-8.5
Temperature45-65°F
LocationBackground/Floating
Light RequirementsHigh
Growth RateFast
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Anubias Nana

Anubias Nana Care Sheet

Anubias Nana is a hardy plant that can survive in a wide range of water conditions, making it a great choice for beginner aquarium owners. It’s also relatively easy to care for, as it does not require a lot of light or fertilizer. 

Plus, Anubias Nana has dark green, leathery leaves that add a touch of elegance to any aquarium. You can attach it to driftwood or rocks for a natural look. Remember, Anubias Nana is a slow-growing plant, so be patient as it fills out your aquarium.

NameAnubias Nana
Scientific NameAnubias barteri var. nana
Tank Size10 Gal
Max Size7.5″
Feed TypeColumn Feeder
pH6.0-7.5
Temperature72-82°F
LocationForeground
Light RequirementsLow
Growth RateSlow
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Anubias Barteri

Anubias Barteri Care Sheet

If you loved Anubias Nana, get ready to fall for Anubias Barteri. This cousin of Nana boasts larger leaves, making it a great choice for creating eye-catching focal points in your aquarium. Like its relative, it’s a hardy plant that can tolerate a wide range of conditions. 

Attach it to décor or let it rest on the substrate – either way, it’s a showstopper. And just like the Anubias Nana, Anubias Barteri is also a slow-growing plant, so it will not take over your aquarium.

NameAnubias Barteri
Scientific NameAnubias barteri
Tank Size40 Gal
Max Size14″
Feed TypeColumn Feeder
pH6.0-8.0
Temperature72-82°F
LocationBackground/Midground
Light RequirementsMedium-High
Growth RateSlow

Bacopa

Bacopa Care Sheet

Bacopa, aka Water Hyssop, is a beautiful aquatic plant with delicate stems and clusters of tiny leaves. It creates an elegant, flowing look underwater. You can root it in the substrate or let it float on the surface of the water, making it a versatile addition to any aquarium. 

Bacopa is a popular choice for aquariums because it’s easy to care for, slow- growing and doesn’t require a lot of light. Bacopa is a great way to add color and life to your aquarium, and it’s also a good choice for hiding fish fry and other small fish.

NameBacopa
Scientific NameBacopa Caroliniana
Tank Size10 Gal
Max Size8″
Feed TypeColumn Feeder
pH5.0-9.0
Temperature75-80°F
LocationAnywhere
Light RequirementsLow-High
Growth RateSlow

Dwarf Hairgrass

Dwarf Hairgrass is a popular choice for aquariums because it can form a dense carpet of thin, grass-like leaves. It’s a slow-growing plant that needs moderate lighting and nutrients. It’s also sensitive to changes in water conditions, so it’s important to monitor the water quality regularly. 

With proper care, Dwarf Hairgrass can create a beautiful and natural-looking landscape in your aquarium.

NameDwarf Hairgrass
Scientific NameEleocharis parvula
Tank Size10 Gal
Max Size6″
Feed TypeRoot Feeder
pH6.5-7.5
Temperature50-85°F
LocationCarpet
Light RequirementsMedium
Growth RateFast
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Hornwort

Hornwort Care Sheet

Hornwort is a great plant for any aquarium. It’s easy to care for, provides shelter for fish and fry, and helps keep the water clean. It’s a free-floating plant, so it will dance with the water’s flow in your tank. It has feathery, bright green leaves, which provide a natural hiding place for fish and fry. 

Hornwort is also incredibly low-maintenance. Just let it float in your tank or anchor it in your substrate. It will grow rapidly and help keep your water clean and clear. Hornwort is a great choice for any aquarium, whether you’re a beginner or an experienced aquarist.

NameHornwort
Scientific NameAnthocerotophyta
Tank Size15 Gal
Max Size120″
Feed TypeColumn Feeder
pH6.0-7.5
Temperature50-85°F
LocationBackground
Light RequirementsMedium-High
Growth RateFast
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Java Fern

Java Fern Care Sheet

Java Fern is a beautiful and easy-to-care-for plant that is perfect for beginners. It has long, arching leaves that add a touch of elegance to any aquarium. Java Fern is undemanding and can adapt to a variety of conditions, making it a great choice for tanks with fluctuating water parameters.

It can be anchored to décor or left to drift freely, making it a versatile plant that can be used in a variety of ways. Java Fern is a great way to add beauty and interest to your aquarium, and it is sure to become a favorite among fishkeepers of all levels of experience.

NameJava Fern
Scientific NameMicrosorum pteropus
Tank Size10 Gal
Max Size13″
Feed TypeColumn Feeder
pH6.0-8.0
Temperature60-83°F
LocationBackground/Midground
Light RequirementsLow
Growth RateSlow
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Java Moss

Java Moss Care Sheet

Java Moss is a versatile, easy-to-care-for aquatic plant that can be attached to almost anything in your tank. It thrives in low light and low CO2 levels, and forms a lush, green carpet that provides shelter for small fish and fry. 

Java Moss is a great plant for beginners, as it is very forgiving of mistakes. It’s a slow-growing plant that doesn’t require a lot of maintenance but should be trimmed occasionally to keep it looking neat. Java Moss can be propagated by dividing it into smaller pieces or by taking cuttings.

NameJava Moss
Scientific NameTaxiphyllum barbieri
Tank Size5 Gal
Max Size10″
Feed TypeColumn Feeder
pH5.0-8.0
Temperature59-82°F
LocationCarpet
Light RequirementsLow
Growth RateMedium
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Dwarf Water Clover

Marsilea minuta, or Dwarf water clover, is a great addition to any aquarium. It’s a small, delicate plant with clover-like leaves that spread out to create a lush carpet effect. It thrives in a variety of lighting conditions, so it’s a good choice for both beginners and experienced aquascapers. 

Water clover is also a low-maintenance plant, so it’s a good choice for those who don’t have a lot of time to devote to their aquarium. 

NameDwarf Waterclover
Scientific NameMarsilea minuta
Tank Size5 Gal
Max Size10″
Feed TypeRoot Feeder
pH6.0-7.5
Temperature68-77°F
LocationCarpet
Light RequirementsLow-Medium
Growth RateFast
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Micro Crypt

If you’re looking for something mysterious and elegant, Micro Crypts are the plants for you. Their rich, dark leaves add depth to your tank, and they’re relatively low-maintenance, thriving in low to moderate light. 

Plus, they’re easy to propagate, so you can easily add more plants to your tank if you want to fill it up. Micro Crypts are a great choice for any aquarium, whether you’re a beginner or an experienced aquarist. They’re sure to add a touch of beauty and mystery to your tank.

NameMicro Crypt
Scientific NameCryptocoryne Parva
Tank Size10 Gal
Max Size3″
Feed TypeRoot Feeder
pH5.0-8.0
Temperature68-84°F
LocationForeground
Light RequirementsLow
Growth RateSlow

Moneywort

Moneywort is a lovely addition to any aquarium. Its succulent-like leaves add a unique texture to your underwater landscape. This easy-to-care-for plant can grow both submerged and emersed, making it a great choice for beginners. It’s versatile and adds a touch of whimsy to your tank.

Moneywort is a good choice for beginners because it’s relatively easy to propagate. You can take cuttings from the plant and plant them directly in the substrate of your tank. Moneywort will also grow well in a pot filled with gravel or sand.

NameMoneywort
Scientific NameLysimachia nummularia
Tank Size10 Gal
Max Size3″
Feed TypeColumn Feeder
pH6.5-7.5
Temperature72-82°F
LocationBackground
Light RequirementsLow-Medium
Growth RateSlow
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Pogostemon Helferi

Pogostemon Helferi Care Sheet

Pogostemon Helferi, also known as Downoi, is another cool plant to add to your aquarium. Its curly, compact leaves create a unique look that will make your tank stand out. This plant is like a work of art, forming small rosettes that provide shelter for fish and fry. It grows best in good lighting and nutrient-rich substrate.

NamePogostemon Helferi
Scientific NamePogostemon helferi
Tank Size5 Gal
Max Size6″
Feed TypeRoot Feeder
pH5.5-8.0
Temperature74-86°F
LocationForeground
Light RequirementsHigh
Growth RateMedium
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Pygmy Chain Sword

Pygmy Chain Sword is a beautiful plant that can add a touch of the wild to your aquarium. Its slender, blade-like leaves grow in a dense, bushy form, creating a stunning visual effect. Pygmy Chain Sword is easy to care for and relatively undemanding, making it a great choice for beginners. 

It prefers bright, indirect light and moderate water flow. It can be planted in the substrate or attached to driftwood or rocks. Pygmy Chain Sword is a great choice for any aquarium, and it is sure to add a touch of beauty and interest.

NamePygmy Chain Sword
Scientific NameEchinodorus tenellus
Tank Size10 Gal
Max Size4″
Feed TypeRoot Feeder
pH6.5-7.5
Temperature72-80°F
LocationCarpet
Light RequirementsMedium-High
Growth RateMedium/Fast
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Dwarf Rotala

Dwarf Rotala/Rotala rotundifolia is a beautiful plant that adds a pop of color to any aquarium. Its slender stems and delicate leaves are a joy to watch as they sway in the water. As the plant grows, its shades transition from green to vibrant reds and pinks, creating a captivating gradient effect. 

This plant is relatively easy to care for, but it does appreciate good lighting and nutrient-rich water. If you’re looking for a plant that will add both beauty and interest to your aquarium, Rotala rotundifolia is a great choice.

NameDwarf Rotala
Scientific NameRotala rotundifolia
Tank Size15 Gal
Max Size10″
Feed TypeRoot Feeder
pH4.0-8.0
Temperature64-77°F
LocationBackground
Light RequirementsMedium
Growth RateFast

Sunset Hygro

Sunset Hygro Care Sheet

Sunset Hygro, with its orange-red leaves, creates a stunning contrast to the green of other plants, and can surely add a touch of warmth and vibrancy to any aquarium and its dense, bushy clusters make it a great choice for creating a natural-looking backdrop.

Sunset Hygro is relatively easy to care for, but it needs good lighting and nutrient supplementation to thrive.

NameSunset Hygro
Scientific NameHygrophila polysperma Rosanervig
Tank Size10 Gal
Max Size24″
Feed TypeColumn Feeder
pH5.0-8.0
Temperature64-86°F
LocationBackground/Midground
Light RequirementsMedium-High
Growth RateFast

Cryptocoryne Wendtii

Cryptocoryne Wendtii Care Sheet

Cryptocoryne Wendtii is a beautiful plant that can add a touch of natural elegance to your aquarium. It has textured leaves in earthy tones that create a tranquil forest-like feel. This plant is versatile and can thrive in a range of conditions, making it a good choice for beginners.

It’s also compact in size, so it can be used in a variety of tank sizes. Cryptocoryne Wendtii is a great way to add a touch of nature to your aquarium and create a relaxing underwater haven.

NameCryptocoryne Wendtii
Scientific NameCryptocoryne Wendtii
Tank Size40 Gal
Max Size8″
Feed TypeRoot Feeder
pH6.0-7.5
Temperature71-86°F
LocationBackground
Light RequirementsLow-High
Growth RateMedium

Aponogetons (Betta Bulbs)

Aponogetons Care Sheet

Aponogetons, often sold as Betta Bulbs, are a great addition to any aquarium. They’re easy to care for and can add a touch of elegance to your tank. These plants are native to Africa and Asia and come in a variety of colors, including green, red, and white. 

They can grow up to 2 feet tall and have long, lily-like leaves that reach for the water’s surface. To care for Betta Bulbs, simply bury the bulbs in the substrate and provide them with bright light and moderate water flow. 

NameAponogetons
Scientific NameAponogeton Ulvaceus
Tank Size10 Gal
Max Size20″
Feed TypeColumn Feeder
pH6.5-7.5
Temperature68-72°F
LocationBackground
Light RequirementsMedium-High
Growth RateFast
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Christmas Moss

Christmas Moss Care Sheet

Christmas Moss is a beautiful, easy-to-care-for aquarium plant that can add depth and a touch of the wild to your underwater world. It has a feathery, branching structure that creates a natural and inviting look, making it ideal for aquascapers who want a forest-like scene.

Christmas Moss can be attached to driftwood or rocks, where it’ll flourish and add beauty and life to your aquarium. It’s also a great plant for beginners, as it is very easy to care for. It doesn’t require a lot of light or nutrients, and it’s relatively resistant to pests and diseases.

NameChristmas Moss
Scientific NameVesicularia montagnei
Tank Size10 Gal
Max Size4″
Feed TypeColumn Feeder
pH5.0-7.5
Temperature70-90°F
LocationCarpet
Light RequirementsMedium-High
Growth RateSlow/Medium

Vallisneria

Vallisneria Caresheet

Vallisneria, also known as Vallis or Eelgrass, is a beautiful plant with long, ribbon-like leaves that sway in the water. It’s an expert at cleaning water by absorbing excess nutrients and helping to maintain a healthy environment for fish. 

Vallisneria needs plenty of light and should be planted in a pot with good drainage. It’s also important to keep the water level in the aquarium or pond high enough so that the leaves of the Vallisneria can grow properly.

NameVallisneria
Scientific NameVallisneria spiralis
Tank Size10 Gal
Max Size20″
Feed TypeRoot Feeder
pH6.5-8.5
Temperature68-82°F
LocationBackground
Light RequirementsMedium-High
Growth RateFast

Cryptocoryne Lutea

Cryptocoryne lutea is a hardy plant that can tolerate a variety of conditions, making it another  excellent choice for those starting out in their fish keeping journey. The plant forms a dense cluster of broad, green leaves that provide shelter and a sense of peace for the tank’s inhabitants.

Cryptocoryne lutea is also a great plant for absorbing excess nutrients from the water, which can help to keep the tank clean and healthy.

NameCryptocoryne Lutea
Scientific NameCryptocoryne Lutea
Tank Size10 Gal
Max Size8″
Feed TypeRoot Feeder
pH6.0-7.5
Temperature72-79°F
LocationForeground
Light RequirementsLow-Medium
Growth RateMedium

Ludwigia

Ludwigia Care Sheet

Ludwigia is a vibrant, eye-catching plant that will add a burst of color to your aquarium. Its leaves change color from green to shades of red and orange as it grows, creating a stunning visual display. This plant thrives in good lighting and nutrient-rich water, and will reward your efforts with its beauty.

NameLudwigia
Scientific NameLudwigia Repens
Tank Size10 Gal
Max Size8″
Feed TypeRoot/Column Feeder
pH6.5-8.5
Temperature75-79°F
LocationBackground/Midground
Light RequirementsMedium-High
Growth RateFast
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Floating Plants

However, these aren’t the only plants that are good for beginners! Here are some great floating plants if you’re just starting out as well!

Dwarf Lettuce

Dwarf Water Lettuce Care Sheet

Dwarf Lettuce is a beautiful, easy-to-care-for aquatic plant that floats on the water’s surface. Its round, compact leaves add a unique texture to your tank, creating an interesting contrast to other plants. Dwarf Lettuce is native to tropical Africa and is a member of the Araceae family.

This plant forms small clusters that float gently, providing shade and adding a touch of interest to your aquarium.

NameDwarf Lettuce
Scientific NamePistia statiotes
Tank Size10 Gal
Max Size10″
Feed TypeColumn Feeder
pH6.0-7.5
Temperature72-86°F
LocationFloating
Light RequirementsMedium
Growth RateFast

Red Root Floater

Red Root Floater Care Sheet

The Red Root Floater is a floating aquatic plant that adds a vibrant splash of color and shade to aquariums. Its reddish leaves form a delicate carpet that drifts with the water currents, creating a visually captivating scene. 

The plant is also beneficial for the aquarium because it helps to absorb ammonia and nitrates and provides a hiding place for small fish.

NameRed Root Floater
Scientific NamePhyllanthus fluitans
Tank Size5 Gal
Max Size1″
Feed TypeColumn Feeder
pH6.5-7.5
Temperature70-82°F
LocationFloating
Light RequirementsMedium
Growth RateMedium/High

Duckweed

Duckweed Care Sheet

Duckweed is a small, floating plant that can be used to create a serene and calming effect in an aquarium. It covers the water’s surface, providing shade and shelter for fish, while also helping to maintain water quality by absorbing excess nutrients. 

Duckweed is a low-maintenance plant that is easy to care for, making it a great choice for beginner aquarium owners. It’s also a popular choice for planted aquariums, as it helps to provide a natural look and feel.

NameDuckweed
Scientific NameLemnoideae
Tank Size1 Gal
Max Size0.05″
Feed TypeColumn Feeder
pH5.0-7.0
Temperature63-79°F
LocationFloating
Light RequirementsLow-High
Growth RateFast
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Frogbit

Amazon Frogbit Care Sheet

Frogbit is a lovely plant that floats on the surface of your fish tank. Just like tiny lily pads, they add a touch of elegance. Their round leaves create a beautiful pattern as they gently float on the water and provide shade for your fish and help to regulate light levels to create a balanced tank environment. 

It’s a great choice for both beginners and experienced fish keepers because it’s easy to care for and can help improve the health of your fish. Frogbit is also a great way to add some natural beauty to your tank.

NameFrogbit
Scientific NameLimnobium laevigatum
Tank Size10 Gal
Max Size3″
Feed TypeColumn Feeder
pH6.0-7.5
Temperature64-80°F
LocationFloating
Light RequirementsMedium-High
Growth RateFast
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Fairy Moss (Azolla)

Azolla, also known as Fairy Moss, is a delicate, feathery-looking floating plant that adds a touch of magic to your aquarium. It’s a great plant for beginners because it’s easy to care for and doesn’t require a lot of light. It’s also a good choice for tanks with fish that like to nibble on plants, as Azolla is not poisonous. 

Azolla helps to keep the water clean by absorbing excess nutrients and ammonia. It also produces oxygen, which is beneficial for the fish in your tank. Azolla is a beautiful and beneficial plant that is sure to add life to your aquarium.

NameFairy Moss (Azolla)
Scientific NameAzolla pinnata
Tank Size10 Gal
Max Size3″
Feed TypeColumn Feeder
pH4.5-7.0
Temperature64-82°F
LocationFloating
Light RequirementsMedium-High
Growth RateFast
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Best Aquarium Plants For Beginners

How To Choose Which Ones Are Right For You

Deciding which plants to put in your tank isn’t tricky if you follow a few simple steps. Here’s a you can choose the best plants:

  1. Assess Your Setup: First off, take a good look at your aquarium. Consider factors like tank size, lighting, and filtration. Some plants might need specific conditions to flourish, so knowing what you’re working with is key.
  2. 2. Determine Your Goals: Are you aiming for a lush underwater forest or a minimalistic design? Knowing your aesthetic goals can help narrow down your plant choices. Some plants grow tall and provide hiding spots, while others create a vibrant carpet effect.
  3. Consider Your Skill Level: If you’re new to aquarium plants, it’s wise to start with beginner-friendly options. Plants like Anubias, Java Fern, and Cryptocoryne are forgiving and don’t require intricate care routines.
  4. Lighting and CO2 Availability: Plants vary in their lighting and CO2 needs. If you have intense lighting and plan to use CO2, you have a broader range of choices. However, if you prefer low to moderate light setups, opt for plants that can thrive under those conditions.
  5. Tank Mates and Compatibility: Some plants might not get along with certain fish types. For example, herbivorous fish might munch on delicate plants. Research which plants coexist well with your fish to create a harmonious environment.
  6. Maintenance Level: Consider how much time you’re willing to invest in maintenance. Some plants grow quickly and might need frequent trimming, while others have slower growth rates and require less attention.
  7. Substrate Type: Certain plants prefer specific substrates. Plants with heavy root systems might do better in nutrient-rich substrates, while those that attach to decorations can thrive in gravel or sand.
  8. Experiment Gradually: Don’t hesitate to experiment, but start with a few plants at a time. This allows you to learn about their needs and how they interact with your tank’s environment.
  9. Go for Quality: Choose healthy plants from a reputable store or online shop. Healthy plants adapt better to your tank and look better overall.
  10. Have Fun: Remember, aquarium planting is all about creativity and enjoyment. Your tank is your canvas, so have fun mixing and matching plants to create your own aquatic masterpiece.

How To Plant Aquarium Plants

Getting your aquarium plants into the substrate is a breeze when you follow these simple steps. Here’s a clear guide to help you plant your aquatic beauties and create a thriving underwater paradise:

  1. Prepare the Substrate: Before you start, make sure your substrate is ready. Gently rinse it if needed to remove any dust. If you’re using a nutrient-rich substrate, spread it evenly at the bottom of the tank.
  2. Plan Your Layout: Decide where you want each plant to go. Think about height, color, and how they’ll fit together. This will help you avoid rearranging everything later.
  3. Create a Planting Hole: Use your fingers or tweezers to make a small hole in the substrate. Make sure it’s deep enough to hold the roots of your plant but not too deep.
  4. Remove the Plant from its Pot: Take your plant out of its pot or packaging. Gently loosen the roots if they’re tight. Be careful not to damage them.
  5. Trim if Necessary: If your plant is tall, you might want to trim its roots and leaves a bit. This helps the plant settle into its new home.
  6. Plant Carefully: Place the plant in the hole you made earlier. Make sure the roots are covered by the substrate. Gently press the substrate around the plant to hold it in place.
  7. Repeat the Process: Plant the rest of your plants following the same steps. Leave enough space between plants to let them grow comfortably.
  8. Fill the Tank: If you haven’t already, fill your tank with water slowly. This prevents the plants from getting uprooted by the water flow.
  9. Add Fish and Decorations: Once your plants are all set, you can introduce fish and decorations. Just be careful not to disturb the newly planted plants.
  10. Monitor and Adjust: Keep an eye on your plants as they settle in. Some might need a bit of extra care initially. Adjust the lighting and check for any signs of distress.
  11. Regular Maintenance: As your plants grow, they might need trimming or thinning. Regular maintenance, like water changes and nutrient dosing will keep them healthy.

What Are The Benefits Of Aquarium Plants?

Adding plants to your aquarium isn’t just about looks – it brings a bunch of benefits to your aquatic world. Let’s dive into why having aquarium plants is a smart move:

  1. Improved Water Quality: Plants are like nature’s filters. They absorb nutrients like nitrates and phosphates that can make your water dirty. By doing this, they help keep your water clean and your fish healthy.
  2. Oxygen Boost: Plants do a cool trick called photosynthesis. They take in carbon dioxide and give out oxygen. This extra oxygen is great for your fish, making the water fresher and the fish happier.
  3. Stress Relief for Fish: Fish are shy creatures. Plants give them spots to hide and chill out, reducing their stress levels. It’s like creating little fishy hideaways in your tank.
  4. Algae Control: When you have lots of plants, they compete with algae for nutrients. This means less room for pesky algae to grow, keeping your tank looking clean and algae-free.
  5. Natural Beauty: Plants make your tank look like a mini underwater paradise. They add color, texture, and movement, making your aquarium a visual delight.
  6. Biological Balance: Plants and fish have a great relationship. Fish produce waste, which plants use as food. In return, plants provide oxygen and a safe place for fish to hang out.
  7. Habitat Enrichment: If you have bottom-dwelling fish or shrimp, plants give them a comfortable spot to explore and forage. Plants create a more natural environment, just like their real homes.
  8. Breeding Grounds: Some fish love laying their eggs in plants. The plants offer protection for the eggs and fry. It’s like a safe nursery in your tank.
  9. Alleviating Algae Woes: Healthy plants shade the tank, which can slow down the growth of certain algae types. Plus, when plants outcompete algae for nutrients, you get clearer water.
  10. A Rewarding Activity: There’s nothing quite like the feeling of watching your plants grow and flourish. It’s like watching a little piece of nature come to life in your own home. And the best part is, you get to be a part of it! 

What Plants Should Beginners Avoid?

Here’s a lineup of plants that might not be the smoothest road for those starting out and why you shouldn’t consider them as your first aquarium plants.

1. Dwarf Baby Tears 

These plants are quite specific about wanting a generous dose of light and a consistent CO2 injection. For beginners, maintaining these conditions might be a bit of a learning curve.

2. Gramineous Bladderwort

This plant has a taste for particular light levels and a balanced nutrient diet. Navigating these requirements might feel like tackling a puzzle for those new to the aquarium care hobby.

3. Glosso

Glosso craves intense lighting and a reliable CO2 supply. For beginners, ensuring these needs are met might add an extra layer of complexity to their aquarium journey.

4. Cuba Dwarf Baby Tears 

Much like its cousin, the regular Dwarf Baby Tears, this version flourishes under high light and CO2 conditions. Mastering these prerequisites might be a bit of an advanced level for beginners.

5. Pipewort

Pipewort comes with its unique set of demands, including soft water preferences, precise lighting requirements, and dedicated care. Handling this combination might be a bit challenging for those in their early stages of plant care.

6. Dwarf Hairgrass 

Achieving the desirable carpet look with Dwarf Hairgrass means maintaining consistently high light and CO2 levels. Beginners might find it a bit like maintaining a delicate balance while learning to ride a bicycle.

7. Ludwigia Species 

Certain Ludwigia species light up with vibrant colors under strong light and specific nutrient conditions. For beginners, it could be akin to crafting a piece of art with a few extra brushstrokes.

8. Water Clover 

Water Clover’s distinct lighting and nutrient preferences might take a bit more careful tending, making it like nurturing a particular type of plant in your very own botanical garden.

9. Japanese Bamboo Plant

The Japanese Bamboo Plant has its preferences, from substrate specifics to nutrient needs. Handling these distinct requirements might be similar to learning a new recipe with intricate steps.

10. Rotala Species

Certain Rotala species thrive under bright light and a steady CO2 regimen. For beginners, it could be like learning to play a complex piece on the piano without mastering the basic chords.

FAQ

Here are some frequently asked questions that people have about the best aquarium plants for beginners!

What Aquarium Plants Don’t Need Co2 Or Light?

There are several aquarium plants that don’t demand CO2 injection or intense light to thrive. These include Java Fern, Anubias, Cryptocoryne species, and Hornwort. These plants can do well in low to moderate-light setups without the need for extra CO2.

Do You Need Co2 In A Planted Tank?

CO2 is essential for plant growth and health in aquariums. The amount needed varies based on tank size, plant type, and lighting. While some hardy plants can thrive in low or no CO2 environments, adding CO2 can lead to faster growth, vibrant colors, and better health.

What Plant Is Easiest To Grow In A Fish Tank?

Anubias and Java Ferns are often considered the easiest plants to grow in a fish tank. They’re quite forgiving when it comes to light and CO2 levels. Also, these plants can attach to decorations or substrate, making them simple to add to your setup.

Can You Root All Plants In Gravel?

While gravel can work for rooting many aquarium plants, some plants prefer a nutrient-rich substrate like soil or sand. For example, Amazon Swords need nutrient-rich substrate, while Java Fern can thrive without being rooted in the substrate.

Conclusion

Aquarium plants can be complex as a beginner, but with knowledge and enthusiasm, it’s a rewarding adventure. Remember, the key is to take things step by step and start with plants that match your skill level and tank conditions. From hardy Anubias to graceful Java Fern, the world of aquarium plants is yours to explore. 

Tropical Fish A-Z
About the author

Hey! I'm Antonio!

Betta fish keeper for over 6 years now! Since owning a betta I've also housed all kinds of tropical fish, and have seen all manner of problems and how to look after them!

If you need any advice you can always message me or better yet join the Facebook group where a community can answer your questions!