Top 8 Best Aquarium Plants for Beginners

Kate Barrington
by Kate Barrington
Welcome to the wonderful world of planted tanks! If you’re just getting started, we’ve gathered a list of eight aquarium plants that are great for beginners.

If you are thinking about starting a planted tank but don’t know where to begin, take the time to do a little research. Many aquarium plants are hardy enough to withstand changes in water chemistry as you get used to maintaining a planted tank, but some are better than others. If you are new to the planted tank, consider some of the aquarium plant species discussed below.

Top Aquatic Plants for Beginners

Some aquatic plants will thrive in just about any conditions and those are the species that are best for beginners. While you are still figuring out how to maintain stable conditions in a planted tank you want to be sure that your plants won’t die out. If you stock your aquarium with hardy and resilient plant species, this will be less of an issue. You will find an overview of the best aquarium plants for beginners below:

  1. Amazon Sword: The Amazon Sword plant is by far the most popular choice for planted tanks, largely because it is so easy to grow. This plant only requires moderate lighting and it grows fairly quickly, providing background decoration as well as hiding places for timid fish. Amazon Sword plants can grow up to 20 inches long, producing long sword-like leaves in thick bunches.

Related: Let’s Talk About Amazon Sword Plants

  1. Java Moss: If you are looking for a plant to use on the bottom of your planted tank, you can’t do better than Java moss. This plant is a fast-growing moss that does well when rooted in substrate or attached to driftwood. Java moss is very low-maintenance and it does well in all types of lighting. Not only does Java moss provide cover for baby fish, but it can also be a secondary food source.
  2. Anubias Nana: This aquatic plant is a great mid-ground plant because it only grows to be about 6 inches tall. Anubias nana produces oval-shaped leaves that are dark green in color. This plant requires only moderate lighting and it can tolerate a wide range of temperatures.
  3. Java Fern: Another excellent choice for low-maintenance aquatic plants is the Java fern. This plant produces long, bright green leaves that grow in thick bunches and it can be used in any area of the tank. Java fern grows very well in low to moderate lighting and it can tolerate temperatures as low as 68°F or as high as 82°F which makes it great for beginners.

Related: How to Use Aquatic Mosses in Your Planted Tank

  1. Lilaeopsis: This plant only grows to about 2 inches tall but it spreads very quickly which makes it popular as a carpet plant. Lilaeopsis produces green grass-like leaves and it can be used as floor covering for your tank. This plant only requires moderate lighting and it grows well in a wide temperature range.
  2. African Water Fern: The African water fern does well as both a background and a foreground plant because it grows in very thick. This plant does well in low lighting or shade and it produces lush, feathery green leaves. African water fern thrives in most tank conditions and it is very low-maintenance.
  3. Water Wisteria: If you need a plant that grows quickly and requires very little maintenance, water wisteria is the way to go. This plant produces lace-like leaves and it grows well in moderate lighting – it also does well in a wide temperature range.
  4. Green Tiger Lotus: If you are looking for an aquatic plant with a unique appearance, Green Tiger Lotus is a great choice. This plant produces wide leaves that are primarily green in color with spots of red. Green Tiger Lotus does well in moderate lighting and it is a great background plant.

Learning how to cultivate and maintain a thriving planted tank takes time. Not only do you have to be intentional about the substrate you choose and the water chemistry you maintain, but you also have to be careful which plant species you choose to grow. If you are new to the aquarium hobby or if you are starting your first planted tank, consider using some of the species discussed above.

Kate Barrington
Kate Barrington

Kate Barrington is the loving owner of two cats (Bagel and Munchkin) and a noisy herd of guinea pigs. Having grown up with golden retrievers, Kate has a great deal of experience with dogs but labels herself a lover of all pets. Having received a Bachelor's degree in English, Kate has combined her love for pets and her passion for writing to create her own freelance writing business, specializing in the pet niche.

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