14 Best Plants For Guppies (& 6 To Avoid)

Last Updated on 2023-08-30

Plants are a very important part of your guppy’s tank because they love plants so much. Guppies can live in a fish tank without live plants, but they do better with plants in it. In addition to making the aquarium look like its natural environment, plants help clean the water and give it oxygen. Not only that, moss plants or even plants with lush leaves give young guppy fish a place to hide until they’re adults. Not only that, but plants can act as food for your guppies to nibble on. This article will show you which plants will work really well with your guppies.

How to Choose Plants For a Guppy Tank

Guppies are the perfect addition to any aquarium, and they can thrive in a tank with the right environment and care. To ensure your aquarium is set up correctly, choosing plants that will both look good and provide a healthy environment for your guppies is important. Here are some tips you can use to choose the right plants for your guppy.

1. Choose Floating Plants

Plants that can float in water are a fantastic addition to aquariums with guppies. They’re aesthetically pleasing, and they help purify water by absorbing nitrates. Most floating plants require little attention; that’s why many aquarists advise keeping them.

2. Choose Low-Maintenance Plants

Many aquarium owners opt for low-maintenance plants as they require less care and attention than more complex varieties. Java fern, hornwort, and anubias are all great choices that can tolerate a wide range of environmental conditions. 

3. Consider Artificial Plants

If you’re not interested in caring for live plants, there are plenty of options for artificial ones as well. These can provide a great environment for your guppies without requiring any maintenance on your part. 

4. Make Sure the Plants are Guppy-safe

Some plants can be toxic to guppies, so it’s important to do some research and make sure any plants you add to your tank are safe for them. You can also ask your local aquarium store for recommendations on guppy-safe plants.

5. Don’t Add Too Many Plants

Finally, it’s important not to overcrowd your tank with too many plants. This can lead to debris build-up and poor water quality, which can be detrimental to your guppies. The more plants you have, the more they share the nutrients available, which can kill other plants and disturb the water quality balance.

What Are the Best Plants for Guppies?

Guppies are peaceful, hardy fish that are easy to care for and make great additions to any community tank. While there are many plants suitable for guppy tanks, some of the best ones offer protection from predators, provide shelter and breeding sites, help maintain water quality and oxygen levels, or simply add beauty to your aquarium. Here is a list of the top 7 best plants for guppies.

1. Java Fern

This sturdy, low-maintenance aquatic plant is a great choice for guppy tanks. Its broad leaves offer protection from predators, and it can be easily propagated by attaching new shoots to driftwood or rocks. As an added bonus, its roots help to keep the substrate clean and free of debris.

2. Anubias

This slow-growing plant is perfect for tanks with guppies because its strong roots make it hard to uproot, meaning it won’t be disturbed by curious fish or vigorous feeding. Its leaves are also tough enough to withstand nipping by guppy fry.

3. Dwarf Hairgrass

This grass-like plant looks great in a guppy tank and provides plenty of hiding places for fry as well as oxygenating the water through its thick mat of roots. It can be easily propagated by dividing clumps and replanting them around the aquarium.

4. Hornwort

This floating plant is a great choice for guppies since it helps to reduce nitrates, keeps the tank clean, and provides plenty of protection from predators. Its soft leaves also make a nice snack for adult guppies!

5. Amazon Sword Plant 

The Amazon Sword Plant is an excellent choice for larger tanks with guppies because its hardy root system anchors it firmly in place, ensuring it won’t be disturbed by curious fish. Its long, sword-like leaves also provide shelter for fry as well as a breeding site.

6. Java Moss

Another great choice for guppy tanks is Java Moss. This easy-to-maintain plant is perfect for novice aquarists, and its dense roots help keep the water clean while providing plenty of protection and hiding places for fry.

7. Water Sprite

A floating plant, Water Sprite, is an excellent choice for guppy tanks because its soft, frondy leaves oxygenate the water and act as a natural filter to remove toxins from the aquarium. It also provides plenty of shade and hiding spots for larger guppies too! 

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Best Floating Plants for Guppies

Guppies are one of the most popular fish kept in aquariums, and they need a healthy aquatic environment with plenty of oxygen. One way to create a lush and vibrant ecosystem is by adding floating plants. Floating plants not only provide food for the guppies but also give them places to hide and extra oxygen to breathe. Here’s our list of the 7 best floating plants for your guppy tank!

1. Water Hyacinth

This free-floating plant can grow very quickly, making it ideal for larger tanks or ponds filled with guppies. The bright purple flowers make it an attractive addition to any aquarium. It’s important to remove excess growth as soon as possible, however, because too much can crowd out other plants and reduce the oxygen in the water.

2. Duckweed

This is one of the smallest aquatic plants, with leaves only a few millimeters long. It’s great for tanks that don’t have many other plants, as it can quickly spread and thrive on its own. Guppies love to snack on duckweed, so be sure to give them regular treats!

3. Salvinia Natans 

This floating fern has delicate green leaves that form into small rosettes at the surface of the water. They are fairly slow-growing, making them perfect for smaller tanks or ponds with guppies. Make sure you keep your aquarium well-lit, so they stay healthy.

4. Indian Fern

This species of floating fern is native to India and has long, soft green leaves that can reach up to 12 inches in length. They are also very slow-growing, so they will not overcrowd or outcompete other plants. The Indian Fern also provides great hiding spots for your guppies!

5. Water Lettuce

This plant has many small floating rosettes with thick, fuzzy leaves that help keep the water clean and oxygenated. It’s important to trim it back every now and then since the growth can become too dense over time. 

6. Hornwort

This dark green aquatic plant grows quickly and easily in most freshwater aquariums with guppies. The plant itself is rooted in the substrate and has thin, thread-like leaves that grow up to two feet in length. Hornwort also helps reduce algae growth by competing for resources with it.

7. Frogbit

This floating plant has tiny round leaves that form a rosette shape at the surface of the water. It’s not just attractive – frogbit is a great food source for guppies and other small fish! Be sure to trim this fast-growing plant regularly, as too much can cause oxygen levels to drop in your aquarium.

What Plants Are Toxic to Guppies?

Plants make excellent tankmates for your guppies in the aquarium. But be cautious because some aquatic plants are poisonous to guppies. Check out this list of plants that should be kept out of the guppy’s reach.

1. Brazilian Sword Plant

The Brazilian Sword plant has attractive, glossy green leaves and sturdy-looking, resilient stems. Some aquarists may misinterpret the health of these plants because of the length of time it takes for this plant to die.  Your guppies may ingest the slow decaying matter, which is very bad for their health.

2. Peace Lily

As a result of its attractive white flowers and low maintenance requirements, the peace lily is a popular choice for a houseplant. This semi-aquatic plant is attractive and has practical uses for aquarists, such as filtering the water and reducing algal growth in aquariums. However, the calcium oxalate crystals found in Peace Lily roots can be extremely harmful, leading to severe inflammation and even death if consumed by your guppies.

3. Pothos 

Pothos, also known as “devil’s ivy,” is a popular houseplant due to its extreme hardiness. It is nearly impossible to kill and can thrive in extremely dim lighting. Pothos is a popular plant used in aquariums, hydroponic setups, and bioactive terrariums, and it is known to be poisonous to cats, dogs, and possibly guppies if ingested.

3. Hygrophila Balsamica

Many aquarists include the stem plant Hygrophila balsamica in their aquascape because of its finely feathered, light green leaves. Unfortunately,  as soon as the shoots of the Hygrophila Balsamica are submerged in water, they release toxins that are harmful to all forms of aquatic life, including guppies. Some aquarists say that Hygrophila Balsamica loses its toxicity over time when submerged, but there hasn’t been any clear evidence of that.

4. Water Hemlock

Although the water hemlock isn’t a common aquarium plant, it’s possible to introduce it to your tank unknowingly. There are parts of its body that are toxic, so it can’t be kept in an aquarium despite the name. The plant is poisonous due to the alkaloids it contains that can kill both fish and humans.

5. Caladium

The Caladium is a plant that is used by almost everyone as a houseplant. Even though it is a terrestrial plant, its roots can live in warm water as long as the leaves aren’t submerged underwater. When your guppies eat calcium oxalate crystals from the sap of a caladium plant, it can be very bad for their health.

6. Philodendron

Philodendron is usually kept as a houseplant, but many aquarium owners like to put it on top of their tanks. Guppies occasionally enjoy swimming close to the water’s surface which lets them eat Philodendron leaves that dangle just below the surface. When eaten, the calcium oxalate in the leaves of this plant can cause dangerous health problems for your fish.

What Else Do Guppies Like in their Tank?

Guppies are a popular type of freshwater fish and an ideal choice for any home aquarium. They are easy to care for, require minimal maintenance, and add some life and color to your space. As with any pet, it’s important to consider their needs when setting up their home. In addition to plants, guppies like to eat other things in the tank. Here are 7 of them:

1. Flake and Pellet Foods 

Flake or pellet food is a great choice for guppies. You can find different varieties of these foods, ranging from vitamin-enriched flakes to color-enhancing pellets. Be sure to feed your fish no more than they can eat in 2 minutes, 1-2 times a day, as overfeeding can cause health issues.

2. Bloodworms 

Bloodworms are a natural food for guppies and one of the most popular food choices in the aquarium world. They provide a great source of protein and can be purchased frozen or freeze-dried. Be sure to avoid overfeeding your guppies with these, as they should only make up a small portion of their diet.

3. Brine Shrimp 

This is another great food for guppies and can be purchased freeze-dried or frozen. They are high in protein and beneficial nutrients, making them a very healthy choice for your guppy’s diet. As with any other food, be sure to feed them in moderation.

4. Live Insects 

Live insects are another natural food for guppies and can be very beneficial to their diet. They provide a great source of protein and various vitamins and minerals, but should only make up a small portion of the overall diet. You can also purchase live insects from pet stores or online if you’re not able to catch them yourself.

5. Vegetables 

Guppies can benefit from eating a variety of vegetables, including zucchini, spinach, and kale. You can feed them fresh or frozen vegetables and it is recommended that you blanch them before feeding to make sure they are properly cooked.

6. Algae Wafers 

These are an ideal source of food for your guppies and can provide them with various vitamins, minerals, and proteins. They are also a great way to keep their tank clean as they will help to eat up any algae growth in the tank. 

7. Fruit 

Guppies enjoy eating fruit, such as apples and grapes, but should only be fed in moderation. These can provide them with additional vitamins, minerals, and energy. 


Do Guppies Like Floating Plants?

Floating plants look nice in aquariums, but they are also very good for the guppies and they like them. They will help keep the water clean, and the guppy fry will be able to hide in their roots.


Guppies are plant-friendly and can coexist with a wide variety of greenery. Having plants in your aquarium that the fry can hide in is essential if your guppies are breeding. A guppy only needs a plant to clean the water and give it something to eat and hide behind. Keep in mind that guppies prefer hiding in vegetation and will eat green plants if given the chance. Keeping those things in mind, you should have no trouble selecting suitable aquarium vegetation for your guppies. 

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