Best Live Aquarium Plants for Aquascaping Fish Tanks: Latest Reviews for Beginners

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Best Live Aquarium Plants for Aquascaping Fish Tanks Latest Reviews for Beginners

Bored of your tank with plastic figurines and fake plants, but don’t know where to start? You don’t need to worry, because today we’ll be tackling the aquarium plants for freshwater fish tanks. Live plants can be a wonderful addition to your plain fish tank or bowl; it is quite simple despite looking complicated.

To equip you properly in your aquascaping journey, we’ve compiled the highest rated plants that novices and even veterans want to be part of their collection. You might need to make a few adjustments depending on your current aquarium tank setup. Still, you don’t have to be overwhelmed as we will guide you through the best plant options that you can choose from, and touch base on basic plant care, and some equipment needs to optimize your aquascaping journey.

Editor’s Choice

We’ve compared most plants depending on key features, ease of use, the light level required, pricing, and popularity. Each choice here went through a strict research process to find the best option for you. Here are the top three choices that we’ve selected for you.

Best Overall
Java Moss
Java Moss

Buying Factors:
Does not need substrate
A hiding place for shrimps and small fish
Popular choice

Main Edge:
Spreads quickly
Easy to maintain, can be put in any water condition
Can be attached to rocks and driftwood

 

Best Value
Amazon Sword
Amazon Sword

Buying Factors:
Staple in aquascapes
Easily hides tubes and other hardware
Provides great backdraft

Main Edge:
Grows up to 20 inches
Affordable
Easy to maintain, can be put in any water condition

Premium Choice
Java Fern
Java Fern

Buying Factors:
Not too distracting
Does not need strong lighting level
Does not need substrate

Main Edge:
Simple yet beautiful
Great for beginners
Can be attached to rocks and driftwood

Editor’s Pick: Java Moss

Easily our top pick for the best live aquarium plants, the Java Moss is relatively novice-friendly; it easily propagates and requires minimal maintenance. It can be used on your substrate or attach it to rocks and driftwood for a more appealing effect. The java moss is aesthetically pleasing and is commonly used for adding a rustic feeling to your aquascape.

Editor’s Budget Pick: Amazon Sword

The Amazon Sword is a staple in the aquascaping community; it is commonly used by beginners and professionals alike, making it easy to buy. It also provides a great backdraft, which can cover up other accessories like tubing, filters, and air diffusers, all of which can be a bit of an eyesore. Amazon Sword’s are also growers, reaching heights of up to 20 inches. 

Editor’s Alternative Pick: Java Fern

If you’re not planning on using any rocks or driftwood in your aquascape, then the java fern is a great choice. Like the two above, this is quite effortless to grow and requires little maintenance as it does not require that much luminescence to thrive. The java fern is also a great hiding spot for small fishes and shrimps

Product Comparison Table

Here we’ve compiled the necessary data that every aquarist may want to look for before making a purchase; this comparison table will provide you with the details such as key features that you may need to compare it with other items in our list quickly. Here’s a sneak peek of what’s to come.

ImageProductFeaturesPrice
Best Overall
Java Moss
Java Moss

Position Preference: Attached to Hardscape
Light Level Required: Low to High
CO2 Requirement: No

Check Price On Amazon
Best Value
Amazon Sword
Amazon Sword

Position Preference: Midground/Background
Light Level Required: Low to Moderate
CO2 Requirement: No

Check Price On Amazon
Premium Choice
Java Fern
Java Fern

Position Preference: Midground/Background
Light Level Required: Low to Moderate
CO2 Requirement: No

Check Price On Amazon
Anubias and Anubias Nana Anubias and Anubias Nana

Position Preference: Midground/Background
Light Level Required: Low to Moderate
CO2 Requirement: No

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Cryptocoryne Wendtii Cryptocoryne Wendtii

Position Preference: Foreground/Midground
Light Level Required: Moderate to Highe
CO2 Requirement: No

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Cryptocoryne Beckettii Cryptocoryne Beckettii

Position Preference: Foreground
Light Level Required: Moderate
CO2 Requirement: Yes

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Pygmy Chain Sword Pygmy Chain Sword

Position Preference: Foreground/Midground
Light Level Required: Moderate
CO2 Requirement: No

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Water Wisteria Water Wisteria

Position Preference: Background
Light Level Required: Moderate to High
CO2 Requirement: Yes

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Hornwort Hornwort

Position Preference: Background
Light Level Required: Moderate
CO2 Requirement: No

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Dwarf Lilies Dwarf Lilies

Position Preference: Foreground/Midground
Light Level Required: Moderate to High
CO2 Requirement: No

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Brazillian Micro Sword Brazillian Micro Sword

Position Preference: Carpet
Light Level Required: Moderate to High
CO2 Requirement: Yes

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Potted Dwarf Baby Tears Potted Dwarf Baby Tears

Position Preference: Carpet
Light Level Required: High
CO2 Requirement: Yes

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African Water Fern Bolbitis Heudelotii African Water Fern Bolbitis Heudelotii

Position Preference: Midground/Background
Light Level Required: Moderate
CO2 Requirement: Yes

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Anubias Barteri Anubias Barteri

Position Preference: Foreground to Background
Light Level Required: Moderate
CO2 Requirement: No

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Aponogeton Ulvaceus Bulb Aponogeton Ulvaceus Bulb

Position Preference: Midground/Background
Light Level Required: Low to Moderate
CO2 Requirement: No

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Dwarf Hairgrass Dwarf Hairgrass

Position Preference: Carpet
Light Level Required: Moderate to High
CO2 Requirement: Yes

Check Price On Amazon
Marsilea Minuta Marsilea Minuta

Position Preference: Foreground/Midground
Light Level Required: High
CO2 Requirement: Yes

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Pogostemon helferi Pogostemon helferi

Position Preference: Foreground to Background
Light Level Required: Low to Moderate
CO2 Requirement: Yes

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Dwarf Sagittaria Dwarf Sagittaria

Position Preference: Carpet
Light Level Required: Moderate to High
CO2 Requirement: No

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Aquarium Temple Plant Aquarium Temple Plant

Position Preference: Background
Light Level Required: Moderate
CO2 Requirement: Yes

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Staurogyne Repens Tissue Cultured Staurogyne Repens Tissue Cultured

Position Preference: Carpet
Light Level Required: Moderate to High
CO2 Requirement: Yes

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Bacopa Monnieri Moneywort Bacopa Monnieri Moneywort

Position Preference: Midground/Background
Light Level Required: Moderate
CO2 Requirement: No

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AquaLeaf Alternanthera Reineckii AquaLeaf Alternanthera Reineckii

Position Preference: Foreground/Background
Light Level Required: Moderate to High
CO2 Requirement: Yes

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Texas Aquarium Plant Bundle Texas Aquarium Plant Bundle

Position Preference: N/A
Light Level Required: N/A
CO2 Requirement: N/A

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Mainam 30+ Stems Package Beginner Set Mainam 30+ Stems Package Beginner Set

Position Preference: N/A
Light Level Required: N/A
CO2 Requirement: N/A

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Florida 10 Species Bundle Florida 10 Species Bundle

Position Preference: N/A
Light Level Required: N/A
CO2 Requirement: N/A

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Jungle Vallisneria Jungle Vallisneria

Position Preference: Background
Light Level Required: Moderate
CO2 Requirement: Yes

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Ludwigia Repens Ludwigia Repens

Position Preference: Midground/Background
Light Level Required: High
CO2 Requirement: N/A

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Glossostigma Elatinoides Glossostigma Elatinoides

Position Preference: Carpet
Light Level Required: High
CO2 Requirement: Yes

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SunGrow Indian Almond Leaves SunGrow Indian Almond Leaves

Position Preference: N/A
Light Level Required: N/A
CO2 Requirement: N/A

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Aquatic Arts 6 Marimo Moss Ball Variety Pack Aquatic Arts 6 Marimo Moss Ball Variety Pack

Position Preference: Foreground
Light Level Required: Low
CO2 Requirement: Yes

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Bonsai Lotus and Water Lily Bonsai Lotus and Water Lily

Position Preference: Floating
Light Level Required: Low
CO2 Requirement: No

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Najas guadalupensis  (Live Guppy Grass) Najas guadalupensis (Live Guppy Grass)

Position Preference: Foreground/Midground
Light Level Required: Low to High
CO2 Requirement: No

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Luffy Moss Luffy Moss

Position Preference: Carpet
Light Level Required: Low
CO2 Requirement: Yes

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12 Species Aquarium Plants Package 12 Species Aquarium Plants Package

Position Preference: N/A
Light Level Required: N/A
CO2 Requirement: N/A

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Rooted Aquarium Plant Bundl Rooted Aquarium Plant Bundl

Position Preference: N/A
Light Level Required: N/A
CO2 Requirement: N/A

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Duckweed Duckweed

Position Preference: Floating
Light Level Required: Low to High
CO2 Requirement: No

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Water Lettuce Water Lettuce

Position Preference: Floating
Light Level Required: Low
CO2 Requirement: No

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Our Top 38 Picks for Live Aquarium Plant for Aquascaping

In addition to the top three choices, we’ve also reviewed several other plants that are suitable for both beginners and veteran aquarists alike. There are tons of submersible greens that you can use out there; however, we’ve selected the ones that are most popular and are pleasing to the eye. Here are our choices.

1. Java Moss

The Java Moss is a popular choice for hobbyists because it is easy to maintain, small fish and shrimps love it because it provides a good hiding place for them. Most aquarists also choose to make them root on hardscaping elements like rocks or driftwood, allowing them to produce beautiful backdraft or even a focal point for your aquascape. They are fast growers even and require only a small amount of light level to thrive, though this means that you may have to trim it regularly.

PROS

  • A popular choice for hobbyists
  • A good hiding place for small fish
  • Can be attached to rocks and driftwood

CONS

  • Needs to be trimmed regularly

specification

  • Dimension – 2.8 x 2.8 x 1.89 inches
  • Item Weight – 4.8 oz
  • Model Number – L365

2. Amazon Sword

The amazon sword is a great choice for novice aquarists as they come in cheap and require minimal attention. It is versatile and can be grown in a huge array of conditions and will surely catch your eye when looking at a fish aquarium. They can reach heights of up to 20 inches. It might not be suitable for a small-sized aquarium as it can easily tower over everything else that you have in it. They can survive even without fertilizers, but they grow faster and have crisper color if you apply some. It is also a common choice for hobbyists meaning you won’t have difficulty finding this species in shops.

PROS

  • Great for beginners and experts alike
  • Grows to a height of up to 20 inches survives any ecosystem conditions
  • Easy to acquire,  versatile, and affordable

CONS

  • Not recommended for small aquarium tanks

specification

  • Dimension – 6 x 5 inches
  • Item Weight – N/A
  • Model Number – B074VHHM8D

3. Java Fern

Like java moss, the java fern is great for freshwater tanks that work well with shrimp or other small fishes. Their rhizomes (or rootstocks) easily attach to hardscape materials like driftwood or rock, making it a versatile choice. Though they are not picky when it comes to freshwater conditions, their leaves will turn brown with too much light source, so consider what aquarium setup you’re running before you think about purchasing this.

PROS

  • A great hiding place for shrimps or small fish
  • Easily attaches to rock or driftwood
  • Easily thrives on any pH level

CONS

  • Turns brown if exposed to high lumens

specification

  • Dimension – 7 x 7 x 6 inches
  • Item Weight – 4 Oz
  • Model Number – JFM-1

4. Anubias and Anubias Nana

Anubias and Anubias Nana are both beginner-friendly floras and require little maintenance; unlike other items on this list, both these variants grow slowly and don’t require regular trimming. Anubias are usually sold attached on rocks or driftwoods and come in at a fairly reasonable price. However, the smaller-leafed variation Anubias Nana is quite rare and is sought out by hardcore enthusiasts, so don’t expect it to be cheap.

PROS

  • Beginner-friendly, little maintenance required
  • Doesn’t require regular trimming
  • Sold attached to rocks and driftwood

CONS

  • The Anubias Nana is rare and is usually sold at an expensive amount

specification

  • Dimension – N/A
  • Item Weight – 2 Oz
  • Model Number – B019OO7KNW

5. Cryptocoryne Wendtii

The Cryoptocorynee Wendtii or Crypts is a variation of the herb family commonly found in South Asia, specifically in Sri Lanka; they come at a reasonable price. We recommend this for people who already have experience in aquascaping. Crypts are quite fragile and go through something that they call a “Crypt Melt” phenomenon, which happens whenever it is moved from one aquarium to another, the new freshwater condition shocks the crypt.

It goes into survival mode, losing most of its leaves and making it seem melting. This behavior is quite a common occurrence and is never lethal for crypts, kind of like when dogs hide first before getting accustomed to a new home.

PROS

  • Sold at a reasonable price
  • Recommended for experienced aquarists
  • Has green or bronze leaves

CONS

  • Very fragile and needs attention
  • Crypts seem to melt when transferred
  • Sensitive to different conditions

specification

  • Dimension – N/A
  • Item Weight – N/A
  • Model Number – B073GPZCJZ

6. Cryptocoryne Beckettii

This variation of the Cryptocoryne is possibly one of the most durable crypts; the Becketii variation is suitable to be positioned in the midground. The leaf color also changes depending on your aquarium’s brightness set up; they turn green at dimmer settings, while it gets brown spots on a higher light source. Like other crypts, these are sensitive to change and require a bit of attention from an experienced aquarist.

PROS

  • Changes color depending on lumens level
  • Durable compared to other Cryptocoryne
  • Best positioned in the midground

CONS

  • Very fragile and needs attention
  • Crypts seem to melt when transferred

specification

  • Dimension – N/A
  • Item Weight – N/A
  • Model Number – B078VFP23B

7. Pygmy Chain Sword

This next item is widely known as a great starting option for novice aquarists since it only requires little attention and flourishes in almost any condition. The Pygmy Chain Sword is usually kept upfront as some sort of hedge or bush for the foreground, and under the correct lighting setup, it can quickly thrive into a thicker bush and sprout new leaves develop a bright-red color. You can also easily propagate the pygmy chain sword as it spreads over the substrate,  giving you a thicket that resembles cornfields.

PROS

  • Flourishes in any lighting setup
  • Great for novices
  • Provides thick bushes that are great for foreground design

CONS

  • Needs to be regularly trimmed

specification

  • Dimension – N/A
  • Item Weight – 1 lb
  • Model Number – B07NY7J43Q

8. Water Wisteria (Hygrophila Difformis)

These so-called bunch plants are a popular choice for aquarists with smaller fish aquariums or those that keep small fishes or shrimps as they provide a great hiding place for them. The Water Wisteria or Hygrophila Difformis roots deeply into the substrate and will flourish in any water condition as long as they’re well-rooted; in addition to that, it is also quite easy to propagate — all you need to do is cut a healthy stem and then bury it three to four inches deep, and it will do the rest. Do note that it can grow up to 20 inches of height, so if you don’t want it towering over everything else, we recommend trimming it from time to time.

PROS

  • Roots deep in the substrate
  • Flourishes in any water condition
  • Easy to propagate

CONS

  • Needs to be trimmed from time to time

specification

  • Dimension – N/A
  • Item Weight – N/A
  • Model Number – B01B5KZJEU

9. Hornwort

The Hornwort or Coontail is one of the best options for a beginner aquarist because of its exceptional versatility to adapt to a wider array of freshwater conditions and temperatures. Same with the wisteria, it can grow up to 20 inches in height and easily be propagated — just cut the stem and leave it drifting around or place it in the substrate. The Hornwort is a great option for your backdraft as it grows high and provides a brilliant green color to your whole aquarium setup.

PROS

  • Versatile and adaptive
  • Easy to propagate
  • Great for backdrafts because it grows tall

CONS

  • Needs to be trimmed regularly

specification

  • Dimension – N/A
  • Item Weight – 1 Oz
  • Model Number – B00V31HHVA

10. Dwarf Lilies (Nymphaea Rubra)

Dwarf Lilies (Nymphaea Rubra)  have little pointed leaves that shine bright red, green, or bronze, which proves to be a great focal point in your aquarium; it is recommended for experienced aquascapers due to their delicate nature; it is so delicate that small fishes or shrimps can easily damage their stems to and causing them to break off. If you decide to get one, experts recommend that you purchase older ones or have been fully grown to save you all the trouble though it might cost you a pretty penny.

PROS

  • Shines bright, red, green, or bronze
  • Great focal point
  • Recommended for experienced aquarists

CONS

  • Very fragile and easily withers if not maintained  properly
  • Fully grown variants are sold for high prices

specification

  • Dimension – N/A
  • Item Weight – N/A
  • Model Number – B0714L7NCW

11. Brazillian Micro Sword

Lilaeopsis, the Brazillian micro sword, is a short-growing flora commonly found in riverbanks and streams all around Brazil. It only grows to a maximum height of 3 inches in dense bunches, making it a great choice for your foreground as it replicates a lawn-like scene in your aquarium. It needs to be supplemented regularly with CO2 and other fertilizers and requires bright luminescence to thrive properly.

PROS

  • Provides great lawn-like foreground
  • Grows to a maximum of 3 inches
  • Commonly used in aquascape tournaments

CONS

  • Requires a bright, high-tech aquarium lighting setup
  • Regular doses of nutrients, CO2, and other ferts

specification

  • Dimension – N/A
  • Item Weight – N/A
  • Model Number – B01MXYCP1I

12. Potted Dwarf Baby Tears

Dwarf Baby Tears provide dense foliage with its elegant leaf clusters and is one of our roster’s smallest aquarium plants. It requires regular pruning and can be an ideal choice for your foreground when planted on the substrate or floated at the surface; either way, it provides superior aesthetic value for your aquarium setup. Though Baby Dwarf Tears could take a bit of time to establish themselves, they can easily be eye-catching beauty under the right luminescence and fertilizer provision. In addition to that, it can also be easily propagated and repotted with cuttings from the main stem.

PROS

  • Provides a dense foliage
  • Versatile can be floated or rooted
  • Eye-catching leaf clusters

CONS

  • Requires regular pruning
  • Needs ferts and bright light source

specification

  • Dimension – N/A
  • Item Weight – 2 oz
  • Model Number – B0180HQUNK

13. African Water Fern (Bolbitis Heudelotii)

The African Water Fern is a tropical flora that can be found around boggy regions; it can easily root on a rock or driftwood, helping it anchor to the bottom. Though it can survive fish aquariums with low light setups, the African water fern can grow as tall as 22 inches with strong lightning and CO2 supplements, especially if the tank water is well-established. All in all, the African Water Fern is a solid choice for aquarists that have medium to high setup.

PROS

  • Easily roots on rocks and driftwood
  • Survives even with minimal aquarium setups
  • Grows as tall as 22 inches

CONS

  • Requires medium to high aquarium setup to reach full potential

specification

  • Dimension – 5 Inches
  • Item Weight – N/A
  • Model Number – B01N16RU37

14. Anubias Barteri

This novice-friendly item is easy to grow and only requires minimal maintenance; it is commonly sold rooted to driftwood or rocks to prevent rhizome rot. They do well in any aquarium size and aren’t picky with freshwater parameters and lightning setup, great for aquarists that don’t have the budget to acquire expensive setups. One thing to look out for is the leather-like leaves of the Anubias Barteri, which are common algae breeding grounds as it doesn’t move around much, the algae cause your tank to become cloudy and could disrupt the ecosystem within.

PROS

  • Novice-friendly, easy to maintain
  • Rooted in either the substrate or hardscapes
  • Doesn’t require expensive setups

CONS

  • Leaves can be a breeding ground for algae

specification

  • Dimension – 5 Inches
  • Item Weight – N/A
  • Model Number – B01I50M4K0

15. Aponogeton Ulvaceus Bulb

The Aponogeton Ulvaceus (boy, that’s a mouthful) is commonly found in Madagascar, and it has translucent green leaves that are twirled, making it a great centerpiece, or midground eye-catcher. This variation is quite durable and can withstand any freshwater conditions, great for aquarists who are just starting as it doesn’t require expensive setups. Do note that bulb plants can be quite unwieldy and easily take over your setup; that said, the Aponogeton Ulvaceus needs regular trimming to avoid overgrowth.

PROS

  • Durable and withstands any water conditions
  • Great for novice aquarists
  • Provides great aesthetic value

CONS

  • Needs regular trimming

specification

  • Dimension – N/A
  • Item Weight – N/A
  • Model Number – B01739980S

16. Dwarf Hairgrass

Providing a lot of aquascaping possibilities, the Dwarf Hairgrass is one of the most sought out aquatic plants. It has fine green leaves that resemble your lawn; it is quite popular in aquascaping tournaments as it adds bright, lush green colors to their setup. It easily thrives in most setups, but requires bright luminescence to prevent wilting — it also requires regular trimming.

Because of the high demand, it could be hard to find, and if you manage to find some, the prices can be quite high. Due to its rarity and price, some aquarists choose cheaper options instead.

PROS

  • Provides lush green foreground for your setup
  • Used in aquascaping tournaments

CONS

  • Rare and hard to find
  • Sold at an expensive rate

specification

  • Dimension – 2.8 x 2.8 x 2.01 inches
  • Item Weight – 0.63 Oz
  • Model Number – L325

17. Marsilea Minuta

Marsilea Minuta is one of the most famous aquarium plants among aquarists because of its lush green coloration and its clover-like leaves. It is commonly found in the lands of Africa, specifically in Madagascar. This aquarium plant is well-known because of its overall durability and is popular with novice aquarists because it is easy to maintain. 

It requires a strong substrate to root into and appreciates a healthy supply of nutrient ferts; it can also be easily propagated and spread quickly, making a decent cover for the fish fry.

PROS

  • Popular among aquarists
  • Has clover-like appearance
  • Durable and easily propagates

CONS

  • Since it is popular, the supply may be scarce
  • Prices could go up if the demand increases

specification

  • Dimension – N/A
  • Item Weight – 1.76 Oz
  • Model Number – B00PUQQX1E

18. Pogostemon helferi

Pogostemon helferi is one of the unique items that we have on the list, commonly positioned in the foreground; it has striking zig-zag shaped leaves with lush green color, making it quite the eye-catcher in most setups. It loves medium lighting and freshwater temperatures of 72 to 78 degrees Fahrenheit, meaning that hobbyists must have a substantially invested tank, complete with water heaters for the winter season. It has small roots but sprouts dozens of leaves, leaving the foreground with a healthy cover of vegetation.

PROS

  • Has striking zig-zag leaves
  • Small roots but produces dozens of leaves
  • Great for foreground display

CONS

  • Requires substantial setup complete with heater for the winter season

specification

  • Dimension – N/A
  • Item Weight – N/A
  • Model Number – LC324

19. Dwarf Sagittaria

The Dwarf Sagittaria is great for those starting in their aquascaping journey; it can be easily maintained and is mostly positioned in the midground as a backdraft for your main piece. It has vibrant green curved leaves that can easily replicate natural sceneries like hills and plains; it thrives best on moderate temperature and luminescence and provides vibrant colors if supplemented with ferts. Aquascapers love this because it complements most wood or stone hardscapes, making it more appealing to the eye.

PROS

  • Easy to maintain
  • Best for midground as a complement to the main piece
  • Has vibrant green curved blades

CONS

  • Requires investment in lighting and temperature regulating accessories

specification

  • Dimension – N/A
  • Item Weight – N/A
  • Model Number – 3xB110

20. SunGrow Temple Plant

If you’re looking for floor coverage and a good place for fish fry to hide in, then this seed packet should provide what you need. Each pack contains seeds that you can germinate with the aquascape technique ‘dry start’, meaning you would need to imbed the seeds into the substrate and let them take root first before filling the tank up with fresh water.  As per SunGrow, if you correctly process germination, then each pack should provide a luscious light-green scenery for your foreground — though some aquascapers despise using germination as some of the reviews say that the sprouts started melting away when submerged.

PROS

  • Great for aquarium tanks that are not yet established
  • Uses the dry-start method

CONS

  • Some reviews say that the sprouts melt when submerged
  • Some aquarists say that the product hey received were expired as it did not germinate

specification

  • Dimension – 3.55 x 3 x 0.3 inches
  • Item Weight – 0.32 Oz
  • Model Number – B074TR3VGB

21. Staurogyne Repens

Staurogyne Repens is commonly found in South America and was discovered in the River Rio Cristalino; it is best used for a foreground display because it provides a fresh green supply of basil like blades that is sure to be an eye-catcher. It loves moderate lightning and will also thrive in dimmer setups; note that it will be more upright in dimmer luminescence and produce fewer side shoots. In addition to that, because it is used in warm weather, it will require warmer temperature levels, so you may need to set up a heater for your tank.

PROS

  • Provides eye-catching foreground for your setup
  • Thrives in low lightning

CONS

  • Needs temperature regulator and heater

specification

  • Dimension – N/A
  • Item Weight – 1 Oz
  • Model Number – B014UR87JY

22. Bacopa Monnieri Moneywort

Moneyworts are quite popular because of its bright green coloration, sturdiness, and ease of care. It requires little maintenance but requires the provision of nutrients, moderate lighting, and clean, filtered freshwater; when all these are provided, it will thrive quickly and even flower at some point. It can either be rooted on the substrate (near the foreground) or floated depending on your design preferences.

PROS

  • Provides bright green colors
  • Easy to care for
  • Flowers when emersed

CONS

  • Requires ferts

specification

  • Dimension – N/A
  • Item Weight – N/A
  • Model Number – B015

23. AquaLeaf Alternanthera Reineckii

The Alternanthera Reineckii provides a vivid red color that will surely brighten your setup and standout amongst the rest of your flora. We don’t recommend this to aquarists with a basic setup as it requires a strong light source and CO2 provision, requiring additional investments to your tank. When all of the basic requirements are met, this aquarium plant will provide even better colors and produce more blades.

PROS

  • Bright-red coloration
  • Appealing to the eye

CONS

  • Requires High-tech aquarium setup
  • Requires CO2 ferts or canister setup

specification

  • Dimension – N/A
  • Item Weight – 1 Oz
  • Model Number – B07FL1GZ4V

24. Texas Plant Bundle

This stater-pack is a great choice for novices that are just starting; each pack provides a bundle of 20 plant variations that add a lot of color to your setup. Most aquascapers say that buying this option could save you time and money as it provides you a variety of choices for a fraction of the amount.

PROS

  • Great starter-pack
  • Sold as a bundle, saves money

CONS

  • Might be too much for starters

specification

  • Dimension – 9 x 4 x 3 inches
  • Item Weight – 1 lb
  • Model Number – B07NKY7F8N

25. Mainam 30+ Stems Package

This next bundle will provide you a set of six different plant varieties, which are great for hobbyists who are only starting; the included items are guaranteed to be easy to care for. This option is great for experienced aquarists because it can provide a good variety for design testing and experimentation.

PROS

  • Easy to care for, great for novices and experts alike
  • Sold as a bundle
  • 30+ stems per order

CONS

  • No control over which species you get

specification

  • Dimension – N/A
  • Item Weight – N/A
  • Model Number – B07K1S1LNP

26. Florida Bundle

Another bundled set that we’ve found is the Florida 10 Species Bundle; this provides tall plants that can grow between 6 to 12 inches and can provide a great backdraft for your setup. Like the other items in the list, this is great for aquascapers who have recently started their journey. Each bundle is good to fill up an aquarium with 10 gallons for capacity.

PROS

  • Economical starter-kit sold as a bundle
  • Great for the backdraft
  • Great for aquariums that have a capacity of 10 gallons

CONS

  • No control over which species you’re getting

specification

  • Dimension – 9 x 4 x 3 inches
  • Item Weight – 6 Oz
  • Model Number – B07H6FMWP4

27. Jungle Vallisneria

The Jungle Vallisneria has long ribbon-like blades that resemble eels; it is best known for its super-fast propagation because it produces both males and females – allowing it to multiply on its own. It is quite popular among novice aquarists as it is easy to maintain as long as you provide a nutritious substrate for them to root on. They prefer temperatures of 68 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit and a pH level of 6.5 – 8.5. In addition to that, most basic setups can handle it because it can thrive on dim aquariums.

PROS

  • Low light level required
  • Long ribbon-like blades
  • Super-fast to propagate

CONS

  • Needs to be constantly trimmed

specification

  • Dimension – N/A
  • Item Weight – 2 Oz
  • Model Number – B01NANWKOD

28. Ludwigia Repens

The Ludwigia Repens is a highly-popular plant amongst hobbyists because it is commonly used in Dutch-style aquariums. In this setup, you just let the flora thrive, resulting in a dense-jungle-like design. It only has a single stem and a root system that has to be embedded into the substrate; depending on the color, which varies from deep green to dark red, some variations can be quite rare and could cost a bit more than others. This flora’s propagation process is also quite simple because they bud surface flowers you can harvest and germinate..

PROS

  • Extremely hardy and durable
  • Used in Dutch Style
  • A lot of colors

CONS

  • Some colors can be rare

specification

  • Dimension – 1.5 x 5 x 13.2 inches
  • Item Weight – 0.8 Oz
  • Model Number – PP1219

29. Glossostigma Elatinoides

Hailing from New Zealand, the Glossostigma Elatinoides is used frequently in Japanese-style Aquariums. This plant is quite small and is suitable for most aquarium sizes; it demands a lot of light, so you might need to invest or upgrade your current setup to accommodate this mesmerizing shrub. To flourish to its potential, we recommend supplementing it with CO2 ferts.

PROS

  • They are used frequently in Japanese-style setups like Iwagumi.
  • Provides dense bunches of plant

CONS

  • Require high-tech aquarium setup
  • Needs CO2 Ferts

specification

  • Dimension –  3.55 x 3 x 0.3 inches
  • Item Weight – 0.32 Oz
  • Model Number – B074TR3VGB

30. SunGrow Indian Almond Leaves

This aquarium plant on our list isn’t technically a live plant but rather a dried leaf that helps improve your aquarium’s ecosystem. Commonly used for fish breeding, this aquarium plant (or used to be) is where fish or shrimps hide their eggs; bettas like them replicate their natural habitat, reducing stress. Aesthetically it adds credibility to your design because it makes it more natural. After all, you would always find a dead leaf in the pond anywhere, right?

PROS

  • Provides hiding spot for shrimp and fish
  • A great breeding ground for small fish
  • Adds authenticity to your design

CONS

  • Could breed algae if left inside the aquarium for extended periods

specification

  • Dimension – 7.24 x 4.88 x 1.34 inches
  • Item Weight – 0.704 ounces
  • Model Number – B01G78H5XS

31. Aquatic Arts 6 Marimo Moss Ball Variety Pack

Marimo Moss balls are commonly used as floaters in the water; this helps improve the quality of it and provides biofilm for shrimp and other small fish to nibble on. These moss balls go through a strict quality control process to ensure that they are of the highest quality. These also help remove nitrogen and phosphate in your aquarium, helping it stay stabilized and providing additional oxygen for your fishes.

PROS

  • Improves water quality, removes nitrogen and phosphate
  • Produces biofilm for shrimps and small fishes

CONS

  • Could promote algae bloom, clouding your aquarium

specification

  • Dimension – 3.8 x 3.5 x 1 inches
  • Item Weight –  0.32 Oz
  • Model Number – N/A

32. Bonsai Lotus and Lily

This bundle provides over 20 variations of pre-cracked seeds that easily germinate in ponds or indoor-aquariums, giving you maximum value for the cost. Each plant in the set requires 4 to 6 hours of low light exposure to germinate and thrive. Although some experts discourage seed germination as it is laborious and fails a lot, some enthusiasts enjoy nurturing saplings from the start.

PROS

  • Contains over 20 variations
  • Pre-cracked
  • Great value for the price

CONS

  • Discouraged by experts due to increase effort and high fail rate

specification

  • Dimension – 4.72 x 2.76 x 0.39 inches
  • Item Weight – 0.81 Oz
  • Model Number – B07RW646TD

33. Najas guadalupensis

Najas guadalupensis or Guppy Grass is another type of floor-creeping plant; it provides many benefits well-suited for indoor aquariums; it is also effortless to maintain and grows in any condition. This fast-growing plant removes heavy metals, toxins, ammonia, and nitrates from the water; it consumes almost all nutrients that freely float around, helping prevent algae bloom. Small fishes and shrimps love clinging to this plant’s blades and are a good hiding spot for them as well.

PROS

  • Removes bad elements from the ecosystem
  • Prevents algae bloom
  • Shrimps and small fishes love them

CONS

  • Needs constant trimming

specification

  • Dimension – N/A
  • Item Weight – N/A
  • Model Number – B07J36NKSM

34. Luffy Moss Carpet

This moss is attached to some kind of flexible material; it can be quite versatile as you can attach the mesh to other hardscapes such as rocks or on driftwood. Moss helps clean the water around it and will continue to thrive as it feeds on fish waste, helping you establish your ecosystem quickly.

PROS

  • Versatile; can be used on different hardscapes
  • Moss thrives on waste

CONS

  • Strong luminescence could trigger an algae bloom

specification

  • Dimension – 3.9 x 2.8 x 0.6 inches
  • Item Weight – 0.634 Oz
  • Model Number – B07FXWJKSC

35. 12 Species Package

This starter-pack provides 12 different plants; it includes several stems of each plant family and is recommended for aquariums with a capacity of 10-gallons. Each plant can provide a good hiding spot for your smaller fry and improve your ecosystem’s cycle.

PROS

  • Starter-pack is great for novices
  • Provides different plant options

CONS

  • No control over which plant you will get

specification

  • Dimension – N/A
  • Item Weight – N/A
  • Model Number – B078KCXLNL

36. Rooted Plant Bundle

This bundle is great for people who want to start aquascaping but don’t know where to start; each pack provides six different rooted floras. Each plant was specifically selected so that amateurs can easily take care of them and gain confidence in aquascaping. Do take note that there might be some color changes once they are submerged.

PROS

  • Great starter pack for newbies
  • Effortless to maintain
  • Great value for money

CONS

  • No control over which plant you will get

specification

  • Dimension – N/A
  • Item Weight – 4 Oz
  • Model Number – B07NKJR8B5

37. Duckweed

Duckweeds, commonly found in lakes, or ponds, are plants that can be floated to the surface. It also belongs to the easiest plants to take care of as it only requires low light and nutrients in the water; they multiply quite easily through something that scientists call vegetative reproduction. They can tolerate a wide range of temp and help filter waste from the water, keeping your ecosystem stable and clean.

PROS

  • Helps filter the water
  • Propagates on its own
  • Provides shade for other plants

CONS

  • Can be invasive if not pruned

specification

  • Dimension – N/A
  • Item Weight – N/A
  • Model Number –B00BS1DKZM

38. Water Lettuce

The Water Lettuce (or Cabbage) is left to float on your setup and can be a great choice to provide shade for fishes and other plants. It can be quite easy to take care of as you just need to ensure that they have a good amount of luminescence daily. You can also dose your water with additional nutrients to encourage the lettuce to propagate on its own.

PROS

  • Provides shade for fishes and other plants
  • Floats on the surface

CONS

  • Can be invasive if not controlled accordingly

specification

  • Dimension – N/A
  • Item Weight – 2 Oz
  • Model Number – B012CGJT5Q

Points to Consider When Choosing Plants for Your Aquascape

Size of Aquarium

Depending on the gallon capacity of your aquarium, your live plant may experience stunted growth or even wilting. It is important to consider your aquarium’s size or gallon capacity before making any purchase; gallon requirements are usually available in the product description of the live plant – so make sure that you read these before clicking check out!

Lightning and Carbon Dioxide Requirements

Plants require light, and while some plants grow in low light environments, you need to consider if your current aquarium tank is enough to provide sufficient light to the plant of your choosing. This parameter is also the same as CO2 requirements, as some plants may require additional CO2 to grow to its full potential and ensure a long lifespan.

Types of Placements for the Best Live Aquarium Plants

When choosing the plant for your aquarium, it is best to plan first before making your purchase. Comparable to how an artist plans his painting, aquascaping relies on plant positioning, and therefore you need to determine what you would like your aquarium to look like. 

Here are the types of aquarium plant placement:

  • Foreground/Carpet

Plants placed in the front or foreground need to be those that don’t grow into a tall height so that they won’t block the rest of your tank’s view. They can be individual or carpet type plants such as Dwarf Anubias and Dwarf Lilies.

  • Midground

The mid-ground or middle area is the primary focal point in your tank. We recommend carefully choosing the “piece” or the center art for the area. Consider placing moderate height stem plants, bush, or even ferns. Some hobbyists choose to place hardscaping elements such as driftwood or dragon stones and decorate it like a real-live tree or bonsai.

  • Background

This area is the backdrop for your aquarium; it provides an area where you can just go crazy and place all the high-growing aquarium plants you have. Most hobbyists place Amazon Sword Plants, Vallisneria, Java Fern, and complement it with Hornworts. You need to note that your chosen plant shouldn’t “bush out” so that it won’t grow and conquer the midground area.

How to Properly Care for Aquatic Plants

Like your fishes, aquarium plants live things with needs, and provide the best care for them is necessary to ensure that you won’t upset the balance of your current ecosystem. A single mistake can stunt the plant’s growth, make it lose its luster, and potentially cause it to wither away. However, before you get overwhelmed, here are some basic tips on how to provide the utmost care for your plants.

1. Making the Right Choice

Before you go to your favorite aquatic store online, we recommend identifying what plants you can take care of and which ones you can’t. This process will save you a lot of time and effort in the long run. Contributing factors such as the tank water’s pH level, temperature, and the type of fish that you have should be first this that you should consider before making a choice.

Some aquarium plants require a specific pH level and can easily die off if the water is either too acidic or alkaline. We recommend grabbing a water pH testing kit to determine which plants can be a part of your selection. Your tank’s temperature is also vital information that you should be aware of when selecting as some imported plants from tropical countries are acclimated to warmer temperatures. If your tank isn’t properly equipped with a heater or thermometer, these aquarium plants may not suit you.

2. Using the Proper Substrate

A substrate acts as a rooting foundation for your plants, and it provides an area for the plants to anchor in and spread their roots. Some aquarium plants require different substrate types, depending on their family. Many substrate variants are available out there in the market; some provide a better foundation; some even provide natural fertilizing capabilities that promote growth. Choosing a proper substrate ensures that your plants develop strong roots that anchor effectively.

3. Providing Appropriate Lightning

Lighting compatibility is one of the most important key features in maintaining and growing your plants. Plants sustain themselves with the power of photosynthesis; this process converts light into, well, basically, plant food. When making a selection, you need to consider if the plant you’re choosing can strive on the type of aquarium light you’re running. 

Different plant species require different lighting strengths, and considering that water is a hard substance for light to penetrate, you may need to get a stronger aquarium light level if your tank has a deeper depth.

4. Adding CO2 and Fertilizers

In addition to proper lighting compatibility, different plant species require different carbon dioxide levels and fertilizers to thrive. Even though your fish exhale CO2 and provide fertilizer in the form of fish poop, it might not be enough for some aquarium plants to survive and grow to their full potential. Getting a CO2 generator/tank and buying fertilizers/water stabilizers may be necessary to ensure plant compatibility.

Benefits of Adding Aquatic Plants to Your Tank

Adding plants to your tank is a fun experience for enthusiasts. It adds a wonderful aesthetic value to your tank and provides several benefits for the inhabitants of your aquarium. Here are some of those benefits.

  • Converts excess CO2 to Oxygen
  • Naturally removes nitrates and other chemical wastes
  • Pleasing to the eye, and provides a natural habitat for your fishes
  • Can be used to hide aquarium accessories like tubes and filters
  • Keeps the ecosystem within the tank balanced

Conclusion

Floras come in different shapes and sizes and are used for different scenarios. All of them provide a benefit to your mini-ecosystem, helping you keep it balanced and provide shelter for your fishes. Remember that each plant requires different types of aquarium setup, and you, as an aquarist, need to identify these needs so that you can help your plant and fish grow and flourish. In the end, this is all about you having fun, and if something isn’t going your way, then just take a step back and start again.