This is a guide on the best live plants for aquariums that will help you choose the perfect vegetation for your fish tank. We have ranked each plant based on its size, growth rate, how difficult it is to breed, what substrate it might need, and several other features that you will find relevant.
Learning how to care for aquarium plants might seem difficult for a beginner, but this article is here to help you overcome these barriers by providing useful information on general care for each plant on the list.
1. Anubias Nana Petite on Driftwood
This small Anubias Nana is one of the best plants to decorate your aquarium with, especially if you are a beginner since it’s not so hard to care for it. It comes attached to a small piece of driftwood, so you don’t have to worry about adding any nutrient substrate either.
This driftwood base will not lower the pH of the water, and will definitely be a nice addition to any tank. Given the low price and no-fuss setup, the Anubias are the best live plants for aquarium beginners.
2. Red Flame Sword
Our second recommendation is just as easy to take care of, so the Red Flame Sword is one of the best live plants for aquarium if you want a low maintenance solution.
It grows best when tied to a wood substrate, as the roots need to take hold on something. Also, if you want to achieve the striking red color you see in pictures, you will need to give it iron supplements.
Your plant will be relatively small when it arrives, but it will start growing quickly if you take care of it properly. This is the best live plant for a betta fish aquarium, as it will not lower the pH of your tank. Therefore, it sits among the best live plants for a tropical fish tank.
3. Dwarf Baby Tears Java Moss
Dwarf Baby Tears make an excellent habitat for small live fish to hide in once it has spread all over the tank. Since it grows quickly, the plant can easily take over the entire aquarium and turn it into a green wonderland.
Therefore, Dwarf Baby Tears are the best live plants for aquarium if you’re already experienced in taking care of underwater vegetation.
Here’s one more reason why the plant is not so great for beginner underwater gardeners. It comes with a rooting gel attached to its roots that you will have to rinse before planting.
This might be a bit difficult to do, at first, if you’re new in the business. However, if you have taken care of aquarium plants before, the task shouldn’t be that hard. These are also the best live plants for aquarium if you want fish like African cichlids or other similar species.
4. Marimo Moss Ball Variety Pack
Marimo moss balls are the perfect transition plant for beginner aquarium owners looking to move to live greenery after years of plastic plants. They require no special lighting or substratum which makes them yet another of the best live plants for aquarium decor.
Also, they need no added fertilizer, CO2, or any other kind of special care though you should get a CO2 regulator for your fish.
Marimo Moss Balls are great for experiments too as, for example, you can separate them in halves. As they grow so quickly, they can adapt to any conditions.
Still, this plant can easily become a shelter for snails, so be prepared as you will likely find them in your aquarium soon after adding the moss.
5. Potted Melon Sword
The Melon Sword plant has a beautiful appearance, with reddish tints that start developing once it gets accustomed to the aquarium. However, this might not work every time, so make sure you provide your plant with an iron fertilizer.
This plant, a Brazil-native, can grow in weak lighting conditions and prefers water that is 75°F (24°C) or warmer. The preferred pH for this plant is of around 6.5-7.5, the usual level you will find in most regular aquariums.
This nice Melon Sword propagates through offshoots on the side, which you can easily move around in the aquarium to prevent crowding. You will also need a special substrate for the plant, namely loose gravel with plenty of iron-rich fertilizer available.
In this article, we have highlighted five of the best live plants for aquarium settings that vary from little to no maintenance needs to more complex care. You can add one or more of these plants in the same tank, or select them according to the type of fish you are planning on getting.
Do you have a favorite live aquarium plant that isn’t on this list? Let us know in the comments below.