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6 Best Aquarium Plants For African Cichlids (The indestructible plants)

If you’re looking for the best aquarium plants to keep in your African cichlids tank then you’re in the right place.

in this article, I am going to show you easy aquarium plants that you can keep in your African cichlids tank.

6 Best aquarium plants for African cichlids

6 Best Aquarium Plants For African Cichlids (The indestructible plants) image

1. Anubias

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PARAMETERSVALUES
PLANTAnubias
COMMON NAMES
SCIENTIFIC NAMEAnubias
FAMILYAraceae
CARE LEVELEasy
LIGHT REQUIREMENTLow-Moderate
GROWTH RATESlow
TEMPERATURE72-82°F
pH6.5 – 7.8
HARDNESS60- 160 ppm
PLACEMENTMid-background
MAXIMUM SIZE11+ Inches
MINIMUM TANK SIZE5 Gallons
PROPAGATIONRhizome Division

Anubias is one of the most popular plants in the aquarium hobby. It is also one of the few flowering aquarium plants.

This plant is very popular because it is very hardy and easy to care for. And this is the reason I recommend it to beginners.

Why Anubias is the best plant to keep in African cichlids aquarium?

Anubias has very thick leaves, and African cichlids don’t like the taste of it. So it can easily survive in your African cichlid tank.

Besides, the ideal water parameters range of Anubias is similar to African cichlids. So they can both live in the same aquarium.

Substrate requirements for Anubias

You can plant Anubias in any substrate whether that is sand, gravel, or nutrient-rich substrate.

However, in your African cichlids tank, you should not plant Anubias in the substrate.

Instead, attach it to any ornament like driftwood or rock with a glue or fishing line and put it in your aquarium.

If you keep Anubias this way, then there’s no way African cichlids can uproot it.

Ideal water parameters for Anubias

The ideal temperature range for Anubias is between 72 to 82° Fahrenheit.

Its pH tolerance range is between 6.5 to 7.8. And the water hardness tolerance range is between 328 KH.

The ideal water parameters range of Anubias is quite similar to that of African cichlids so they can easily do well in the same tank.

Light requirements for Anubias

Anubias can do well in almost any lighting condition as far as it is getting light.

Under low lighting conditions, it will grow slower. And under highlighting conditions it will grow faster.

However, if you keep it under highlighting condition when it can also cause algae growth on its leaves.

Ideally, you should keep it under moderate light of anywhere between 2 to 3 Watts per gallon if you’re using fluorescent light. Or light between 35 to 50 micromoles if you’re using LED light.

Fertilization requirements

For optimum and robust growth of Anubias, you should regularly supplement it with liquid fertilizers.

You should add the fertilizers after the weekly water change.

Are Aquarium Plant Fertilizers Safe For Fish? (Best fish safe fertilizers)

Best place to keep Anubias in African cichlids aquarium

Anubias is a short plant. So ideally, you should keep it in the foreground and mid-ground of your tank by attaching it to any ornament like driftwood or rock.

Check the price of this fish at Amazon here

12 Benefits of Live Plants in an Aquarium (Pros and Cons)

2. Java Fern

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PARAMETERSVALUES
PLANTJava Fern
COMMON NAMESJava Fern
SCIENTIFIC NAMEMicrosorum pteropus
FAMILYPolypodiaceae
CARE LEVELEasy
LIGHT REQUIREMENTLow to Moderate
GROWTH RATELow to Moderate
TEMPERATURE68-82oF
pH6.0-7.5
HARDNESS60-160 ppm
PLACEMENTMid to Background
MAXIMUM SIZE13.5 inches
MINIMUM TANK SIZE5 Gallons

Java fern is a very popular plant in the aquarium hobby.

This plant is pretty cheap and it is extremely hardy.

It can tolerate a wide range of water parameters, which makes it an ideal choice for beginners.

Why Java fern is the best plant to keep in African cichlids tank?

African cichlids don’t like the taste of Java fern.

Besides, you can keep Java fern as a floating plant in your tank so there is no way African cichlids can uproot it.

Substrate requirements for Java fern

Java fern doesn’t absorb nutrients through substrate, so you don’t have to plant it in any substrate.

In your African cichlids tank, you should attach it to driftwood so that African cichlids can’t uproot it.

Ideal water condition requirements for Java fern

Java fern can tolerate a wide range of water parameters.

That being said, the ideal temperature range for Java fern is between 68 to 82° Fahrenheit.

Its pH tolerance range is between 6 to 7.5 and water hardness tolerance range between 3 to 8 KH. So you can easily keep it in hard water.

Light requirements for Java fern

Java fern does well under low to moderate lighting conditions.

You should avoid providing strong light to Java fern because under strong light it will turn brown and transparent.

Ideally, you should keep it under 1.5 to 2 Watts light per gallon if you’re using fluorescent light. Or between 35 to 50 micromoles if you’re using LED light.

Fertilization requirements for Java fern

Java fern is a very hardy plant and it can do well without any additional fertilization.

However, if you want to encourage faster growth, then you can supplement it with additional fertilizers.

Java fern absorbs nutrients through its leaves from the water column. So you should supplement it with liquid fertilizers.

You should add liquid fertilizers after the weekly water change.

Best place to keep Java fern in African cichlids aquarium

Java fern grows quite large and tall. So ideally, you should keep it in the mid-ground or background of your tank.

You should attach it to driftwood and rock with glue or fishing line and then put in your African cichlids tank.

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6 Tips to Take Care of Live Plants in Aquarium

3. Hornwort

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PARAMETERSVALUES
PLANTHornwort
SCIENTIFIC NAMEAnthocerotophyta
CARE LEVELEasy
LIGHT REQUIREMENTMedium
GROWTH RATEFast
TEMPERATURE59-86°F
pH6.0-7.5
HARDNESS5-15 dGH
PLACEMENTBackground
MAXIMUM SIZE10 foot
MINIMUM TANK SIZE15 gallons

Hornwort is a pretty hardy plant. And it is pretty easy to care for, which makes it an ideal choice for beginners.

It is also one of the best oxygenating plants.

This plant can tolerate a wide range of water parameters. And it grows pretty rapidly.

Why Hornwort is the best plant to keep in in African cichlids tank?

African cichlids don’t like the taste of Hornwort, so they will not consume it.

And when you keep Hornwort floating in your tank, there is no way that African cichlids can uproot it.

Substrate requirements for Hornwort

Hornwort doesn’t absorb nutrients through the substrate. So planting it in the substrate is not necessary.

However, you can plant it in the substrate by using its leaves to anchor it into the substrate. And you can plant it in any substrate whether that is sand or gravel.

In your African cichlids tank, you should not plant it in the substrate. Instead, you should keep it floating in your aquarium.

Water conditions requirements

Hornwort is a pretty hardy plant. And it can tolerate a wide range of water parameters.

It can tolerate temperature as low as 59° Fahrenheit to up to 86° Fahrenheit.

Its pH tolerance range is between 6 to 7.5. And the water hardness tolerance range is between 5 to 15 GH.

These parameters come under the ideal water parameter range of African cichlids. So you can keep them both together in the same tank.

Light requirements for Hornwort

Hornwort does well under moderate lighting conditions of anywhere between 1-2 Watts per gallon if you’re using fluorescent light. Or between 35 to 50 micromoles if you’re using LED light.

You can also keep it under high-intensity light if you want to encourage faster growth.

Fertilizer requirements for Hornwort

Hornwort is a pretty hardy plant and it can do well without any additional fertilizers.

It has allopathic abilities which basically means that it releases some chemicals that prevent other plants in its surroundings from absorbing nutrients. So it can absorb all the nutrients for itself.

That’s why you should add fertilizers if you have other plants in your tank. So other plants can also get nutrients.

Do I Need to Fertilize My Aquarium Plants? (Is it really necessary?)

Best place to keep hornwort in African cichlids aquarium

In your African cichlids tank, you should keep Hornwort floating.

If you keep it this way, there is no way African cichlids can uproot it.

Check the price of this fish at Amazon here

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4.  Green Cabomba

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PARAMETERSVALUES
PLANTGreen Cabomba
COMMON NAMESGreen Cabomba, Carolina Fanwort, Brazilian Fanwort, Fanwort
SCIENTIFIC NAMECabomba caroliniana
FAMILYCabombaceae
CARE LEVELModerate
LIGHT REQUIREMENTMedium to High
GROWTH RATEFast
TEMPERATURE72 – 82 ℉
pH6.8 – 7.5
HARDNESSKH 3-8
PLACEMENTBackground or Floating
MAXIMUM SIZE11 inches
MINIMUM TANK SIZE10 gallon

Green Cabomba is also known as Cabomba carolina, Fanwort, or Brazilian fanwort.

This plant it is delicate, so it can be a bit tricky to keep in an aquarium. So it is not a good choice for beginners.

However, if you have some experience then you can easily keep it in your tank.

Why Green Cabomba is the best plant to keep in African cichlids aquarium?

Though Green Cabomba is a bit delicate plant, if you keep it floating in your African cichlids aquarium then the African cichlids will not harm it.

Besides, African cichlids don’t like the taste of Green Cabomba so they will not consume it.

Substrate requirements for Green Cabomba

You should plant Green Cabomba in gravel substrate if you want to plant it. However, I’ll advise you to keep it floating in your African cichlids tank.

Water conditions requirements for Green Cabomba

The ideal temperature range for Green Cabomba is between 72° Fahrenheit to up to 82° Fahrenheit.

Its pH tolerance range is between 6.8 to 7.5. And its water hardness tolerance range is between 3-8 KH.

These ideal water parameters are similar to that of African cichlids. So you can easily keep them both together in the same tank.

Light requirements for Green Cabomba

Green Cabomba is a bit demanding plant when it comes to light.

If you’re using fluorescent light then you should provide it at least 3 Watts light per gallon.

Or if you’re using LED light then you should provide it light between 35 to 50 micromoles. The more the better!

Do Aquarium Plants Need Light? (Do they really need a special light)

Fertilization requirements for Green Cabomba

For robust and vibrant growth, you should regularly supplement Green Cabomba with liquid fertilizers.

And you should add these fertilizers after the weekly water change.

Best place to keep Green Cabomba in an African cichlids aquarium

African cichlids are known to uproot the plants. So you should keep Green Cabomba floating in the tank

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5. Java Moss

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PARAMETERSVALUES
PLANTJava moss
SCIENTIFIC NAMEVesicularia dubyana
FAMILYHypnaceae
CARE LEVELVery easy
LIGHT REQUIREMENTLow to Bright
GROWTH RATEFast
TEMPERATURE59-86°F
pH5.0 to 8.0
HARDNESS60- 240 ppm
PLACEMENTForeground
MAXIMUM SIZE4 inches
MINIMUM TANK SIZE5 gallon

Java moss is one of the most popular plant in the aquarium hobby.

This plant is very undemanding and it can do well in almost any environment.

If you’re a beginner, then Java moss is the best choice for you.

Why Java moss is the best plant to keep in African cichlids tank?

The best part about Java moss is that it doesn’t require a substrate to keep in the aquarium. You can attach it to anything in your aquarium like driftwood or rock, etc. So there is no way that African cichlids will uproot it.

Besides, African cichlids don’t eat Java moss.

Substrate requirements for Java moss

Java moss doesn’t have real roots so substrate is naot necessary to keep it in the aquarium.

It has rhizoid to attach to surface.

Ideal water parameters for Java moss

Java moss can tolerate temperature as low as 59° Fahrenheit to up to 86° Fahrenheit. So you can easily keep it in tropical aquarium.

Its pH tolerance range is between 5 to 8. And its water hardness tolerance range is between 60 to 240 PPM.

Light requirements for Java moss

Java moss can do well in almost any lighting conditions.

Under low light, its growth will be lankier.

If you want compact growth than you should provide it highlight.

Under highlighting, it will also grow faster.

Fertilization requirements for Java moss

Java moss is a pretty hardy plant. And it can do well without any additional fertilization.

However, if you want to encourage faster, compact, and vibrant growth then you should supplement it with liquid fertilizers.

Best place to keep Java moss in an African cichlids aquarium

In your African cichlids aquarium, you should keep Java moss by attaching it to any ornament in your tank like a rock or driftwood.

Check the price of this fish at Amazon here

6. Anacharis

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PARAMETERSVALUES
PLANTAnacharis
SCIENTIFIC NAMEElodea
FAMILYHydrocharitaceae
CARE LEVELEasy
LIGHT REQUIREMENTModerate
GROWTH RATEFast
TEMPERATURE60-82° F
pH6.5-7.5
HARDNESSKH 3-8
PLACEMENTBackground
MAXIMUM SIZE6 to 8 inches
MINIMUM TANK SIZE10 gallon

Anacharis is also known as Brazilian Elodea, Waterweed, Brazilian waterweed and Egeria.

It can tolerate a wide range of water parameters. And it is very and demanding which makes it an ideal choice for beginners.

Why Anacharis is the best plant to keep up in the African cichlids tank?

African cichlids don’t like the taste of Anacharis so they will not eat it.

Besides, when you keep anacharis floating in your African cichlids tank then there is no way that the African cichlids can uproot it.

Substrate requirements for anacharis

You can use any substrate of your choice whether that is sand, gravel, or nutrient-rich substrate to plant Anacharis in your tank.

Anacharis does absorb nutrients from the substrate. So if you plant it in a nutrient-rich substrate, it will grow faster.

However, in the African cichlids tank, you should keep it floating.

Ideal water parameters for Anacharis

Anacharis can tolerate a wide range of water parameters.

That being said, the ideal temperature range for Anacharis is between 60-82° Fahrenheit.

Its pH tolerance range is between 6.5 to 7.5. And its water hardness tolerance range is between 3-8 KH.

Light requirements for Anacharis

Anacharis does well under moderate lighting conditions.

So if you’re using fluorescent light then you should provide it light between 2 to 3 Watts per gallon.

And if you’re using LED light, then you should provide it light anywhere between 35 to 50 micromoles.

Fertilization requirements for Anacharis

Anacharis usually don’t require any additional fertilization in a cold water tank.

However, in your African cichlids tank, you need to provide it fertilizers that are especially rich in CO2.

Best place to keep Anacharis in African cichlids tank

In your African cichlids tank, you should keep Anacharis as a floating plant.

If you keep it this way, there is no way your African cichlids can destroy it or uproot it.

Check the price of this fish at Amazon here

African cichlids have unique personalities, and some African cichlids will not even touch your aquarium plants. Whereas, others will destroy it no matter which plant you keep in the tank and how you keep it.

However, there are more chances of success with the plants I’ve mentioned above.

Are Aquarium Plants Hard To Keep? (And how to keep them healthy)

FAQ

Can you put live plants with African cichlids?

African cichlids are known to destroy live aquarium plants.

But there are some live plants that you can keep in your African cichlids tank.

Some examples include Java moss, Anacharis, Anubias, Hornwort, Green Cabomba, etc.

African cichlids don’t like the taste of these plants. And when you keep this plant floating or by attaching to any ornament in your tank, then there is no way that the African cichlids will uproot them.

What are the best plants for South American cichlid tank?

South American cichlids are not as aggressive as African cichlids.

And there are a variety of plants you can keep it in a South American cichlids tank.

Some examples include Amazon sword, Cryptocoryne wendtii, Water wisteria, Rotala Indica, Java fern, Java moss, Brazilian pennywort.

Which cichlids don’t eat plants?

Almost all the cichlids are very aggressive. And they will show some aggression and try to destroy plants.

However, there are some cichlids that usually don’t mess with plants.

Some example includes Angelfish, Discuss, Firemouth cichlid, Rainbow cichlids.

Are Aquarium Plants Good? (Everything you need to know)

Conclusion

So these are the best live plants for your African cichlids tank.

I hope you found this article helpful.

If you do, please share it.

Happy fishkeeping!

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