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13 Best Aquarium Plants For Gravel Substrate

If you are looking for the best aquarium plants for gravel substrate then you are at the right place.

In this blog post, I am going to show you the aquarium plants that can be kept in an aquarium that has a gravel substrate.

So let’s get started.

Best Aquarium Plants For Gravel Substrate

Best Aquarium Plants For Gravel Substrate

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 aquarium plants in the hobby.

This plant is very hardy and easy to care for.

So even if you are a beginner, you can easily keep it in your aquarium.

It can tolerate temperature as low as 72 degrees Fahrenheit.

So depending on the fish species in your aquarium, you may keep it in a cold water aquarium.

Provided with ideal temperature, this plant can produce flowers in your aquarium.

Light requirements

Anubias can tolerate almost any lighting conditions.

It can grow in low lighting as well as high lighting conditions.

Under low lighting conditions, it will grow slowly and under high lighting conditions, it will grow fast.

Ideally, you should keep it in moderate lighting conditions of at least 3 watts per gallon.

Checkout our lighting recommendation

Substrate requirements

You can use any substrate for planting Anubias in your aquarium.

So obviously, you can plant it in a gravel substrate.

Fertilization requirements

For better treatment, you should regularly supplement Anubias with fertilizers.

You can also supplement it with additional CO2 and it will definitely benefit from it,

though it is not necessary.

Ideal water parameters

The ideal temperature for the proper growth of Anubias ranges from 72 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit.

Its pH tolerance range is between 6.5 to 7.8 and the water hardness tolerance range is between 3-8 KH.

How to keep it in an aquarium?

You can plant Anubias in your gravel substrate.

It is a short plant so you should keep it in the foreground of your aquarium.

You can also attach it to any rock, driftwood or any other decoration in your aquarium and then put it inside your aquarium.

Check the latest price of this plant at Amazon.com here

Check the latest price of this plant at Amazon.co.uk here

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

2. Amazon Sword

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PARAMETERSVALUES
PLANTAmazon sword
SCIENTIFIC NAMEEchinodorus grisebachii
FAMILYAlismataceae
CARE LEVELEasy
LIGHT REQUIREMENTModerate
GROWTH RATEFast
TEMPERATURE 60.8-82.4°F
pH6.5-7.5 pH
HARDNESS8-15°dH
PLACEMENTBackground
MAXIMUM SIZE16 Inches
MINIMUM TANK SIZE10 Gallons

Amazon sword is another most popular plant in the aquarium hobby.

It is a tall fast growing plant that can grow as tall as 16 inches.

This plant is very easy to care for and can tolerate a wide range of water parameters which makes it ideal for beginners.

This plant can grow in temperature as low as 60 degrees Fahrenheit, so it is a very good plant for a cold water aquarium.

Besides, it is also a very good oxygenating plant.

Light requirements

Amazon sword is not very light-demanding.

It can do well in low to moderate lighting conditions.

Ideally, you should provide it at least 2 watts light per gallon.

Another thing to keep in mind is that you should provide it light for at least 11 to 12 hours every day.

Substrate requirements

You can use any substrate and certainly gravel as a substrate for Amazon sword.

Just make sure that the substrate is at least 2.5 inches thick so that it can form a strong root base inside the substrate.

Fertilization requirements

Amazon sword is a very hardy plant and can do well without any fertilizers.

But as with all the aquarium plants, if you supplement it with additional fertilizers it will definitely benefit from it.

Ideal water parameters

As mentioned earlier, Amazon sword can tolerate a wide range of water parameters.

That being said, the ideal temperature for the proper growth of Amazon sword is between 60-82 degrees Fahrenheit.

Its pH tolerance range is between 6.5 to 7.5 and its water hardness tolerance range is between 8 to 15° DH.

How to keep it in an aquarium?

You can plant Amazon sword in gravel substrate.

Amazon sword is a tall-growing plant that can grow up to 16 inches.

So it is a very good plant to keep in mid or background of your tank.

Check the latest price of this plant at Amazon.com here

Check the latest price of this plant at Amazon.co.uk here

Check out 6 Tips to Take Care of Live Plants in Aquarium (For Beginners)

3. Jungle Vallisneria

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PARAMETERSVALUES
PLANTJungle Vallisneria
COMMON NAMESJungle Val, water celery, tape grass or eelgrass
SCIENTIFIC NAMEVallisneria Americana
FAMILYHydrocharitaceae
CARE LEVELIntermediate
LIGHT REQUIREMENTMedium
GROWTH RATE Fast
TEMPERATURE65° – 85° F
pH 6.8 – 8.0
HARDNESSModerately Hard to Very Hard
PLACEMENTBackground
MAXIMUM SIZE6 feet (2 meters)
MINIMUM TANK SIZE10 gallon

Jungle Vallisneria is one of the best oxygenating plants and it is commonly used in aquariums.

It is a fast growing plant that can grow up to 6 feet.

This plant is very hardy and can do well in diverse water conditions.

It can survive in temperature as low as 65 degrees Fahrenheit so it is a good choice for a cold water aquarium.

This plant is a bit tricky to maintain so it is not a very good choice for beginners.

Light requirements

Jungle Vallisneria can tolerate almost any lighting conditions.

It can survive in low lighting conditions and it will grow fast under high lighting conditions.

Ideally, you should keep it under moderate lighting conditions of at least 3-4 watts per gallon.

Substrate requirements

You can use gravel or sand as a substrate for planting Jungle Vallisneria in your aquarium.

Fertilization requirements

Jungle Vallisneria does require a decent amount of iron for its proper growth.

So you should regularly supplement it with iron-rich fertilizers.

You should add these fertilizers after the weekly water change.

Ideal water parameters

Jungle Vallisneria can tolerate a wide range of temperatures.

It can tolerate temperature as low as 65 degrees Fahrenheit to up to 85 degrees Fahrenheit.

Its pH tolerance range is between 6.8-8 and you should keep it in moderately hard to very hard water.

How to keep it in an aquarium?

Jungle Vallisneria is a tall-growing plant that can grow up to 6 feet.

So you should keep it in the background of your aquarium.

Check the latest price of this plant at Amazon.com here

Check the latest price of this plant at Amazon.co.uk here

4. Ludwigia Repens

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PARAMETERSVALUES
PLANTLudwigia Repens
COMMON NAMESLudwigia repens, Ludwigia repens Rubin, Red repens, Ludwigia sp. Weinrot, Red-Leaf Ludwigia, Creeping Primrose-Willow
SCIENTIFIC NAMELudwigia repens
FAMILYOnagraceae
CARE LEVELEasy
LIGHT REQUIREMENTLow to very high
GROWTH RATEModerate to Fast
TEMPERATURE60- 86oF
pH5 - 8
HARDNESSVery soft to hard level
PLACEMENTBackground
MAXIMUM SIZE7-19 inches
MINIMUM TANK SIZE10 gallon

Ludwigia repens is a very popular coloring plant in aquascaping.

The leaves of this plant range from deep green to deep red.

Under ideal conditions, it can grow pretty fast and provide a lot of hiding places to small fish like Tetras.

It is very easy to care for and can tolerate a wide range of water parameters so it is a good choice for beginners.

Light requirements

Ludwigia repens does require a good lighting condition, especially to get it its red coloration.

You should keep it under moderate to high lighting conditions of at least three to four watts per gallon.

Substrate requirements

You can use any substrate and certainly gravel as a substitute for planting Ludwigia repens in your aquarium.

Fertilization requirements

Ludwigia repens can do well without any fertilizers.

But to get its red coloration, you should supplement it with additional CO2.

Ideal water parameters

Ludwigia repens can tolerate a wide range of water parameters.

It can tolerate temperature as low as 60 degrees Fahrenheit to up to 86 degrees Fahrenheit.

So it is a very good plant to keep in a cold water aquarium.

The pH tolerance range of this plant is between 5 to 8 and you can keep it in very soft to very hard water.

How to keep it in an aquarium?

You can plant Ludwigia repens in your gravel substrate.

It can grow tall up to 19 inches which makes it a very good background plant.

Some people just let it float in their aquarium, so you can also keep it floating in your aquarium.

Check the latest price of this plant at Amazon.com here

Check the latest price of this plant at Amazon.co.uk here

5. Asian Ambulia

Asian Ambulia

Photo by Andreus Felipen under CC BY-SA 3.0

PARAMETERSVALUES
PLANTAsian ambulia
COMMON NAMESDwarf ambulia, Ambulis, Asian marshweed
SCIENTIFIC NAMELimnophila sessiliflora
FAMILYPlantaginaceae
CARE LEVELModerate
LIGHT REQUIREMENTLow
GROWTH RATEFast
TEMPERATURE59-82° F
pH5 - 8
HARDNESS2 - 21°dKH
PLACEMENTMid-Background
MAXIMUM SIZE15 inches
MINIMUM TANK SIZE10 gallon

Asian ambulia is also known as dwarf ambulia, ambulis, and Asian marshweed.

It is a very good fast growing flowering plant that can grow as tall as 15 inches.

This plant is a very good alternative to Cabomba which is a very demanding plant.

This plant is very easy to care for and can tolerate a wide range of water parameters so it is a very good choice for beginners.

Light requirements

Asian ambulia is not very light-demanding.

This plant does well in low to moderate lighting conditions.

You should provide it at least 2 to 3 watts per gallon light.

Substrate requirements

You can use any substrate and certainly gravel as a substrate for planting Asian ambulia in your aquarium.

Fertilization requirements

Asian ambulia is a very hardy plant and can do well without any additional fertilizers.

But as with all the plants, if you supplement it with some additional fertilizers it will benefit from them.

Ideal water parameters

As mentioned earlier, Asian ambulia can tolerate a wide range of water parameters.

This plant can tolerate temperature as low as 59 degrees Fahrenheit to up to 82 degrees Fahrenheit which makes it a very good choice for a cold water aquarium.

Its pH tolerance range is between 5 to 8 and water hardness tolerance range is between 2-21° KH

How to keep it in an aquarium?

Asian ambulia is a tall-growing stem plant that can grow as tall as 15 inches.

So depending on the size of your aquarium, you can keep it in the mid-ground or background of your aquarium.

For example, if you have a small to medium size aquarium then you should keep it in the background.

If you have a larger tank then you can keep it in the mid-ground or background of your aquarium.

6. 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 another popular aquarium plant in the hobby.

This is the easiest plant to keep in an aquarium, so it is a very good choice for beginners.

Also, it can also tolerate a wide range of water parameters.

It is a fast growing plant and it provides a lot of hiding places and protection to small fish like Guppies.

It is also one of the best plants for a Shrimp tank.

Light requirements

Java Moss can grow in almost any lighting conditions as far as it is not in shade.

This plant can grow in very low light as well as in high lighting conditions.

Though the lighting will affect the growth rate of this plant.

For example, when you keep it under low lighting, it will grow slowly and its growth will be lankier.

On the other hand, when you keep it under high lighting conditions, this plant will grow very fast and dense.

Substrate requirements

Java Moss doesn’t really require any substrate to keep in an aquarium.

This plant doesn’t have any true roots.

Instead, it has rhizomes that help it to get attached to anything in your aquarium, whether that is rock, driftwood or even the gravel substrate of your aquarium.

Fertilization requirements

Java Moss is a very undemanding and hardy plant and can do well without any additional supplementation of fertilizers.

That being said, as with all the plants, it will benefit and grow faster if you supplement it with some additional fertilizers.

How to keep it in an aquarium?

Java Moss is a very versatile plant and there are several ways you can keep it in your aquarium depending on the aesthetics you are looking for

The simplest way to keep it in an aquarium is to just let it float in your aquarium.

You can literally just toss it inside your aquarium and it will find its place to get attached.

Another way is to tie it to any ornament like driftwood or rock and then put it inside your aquarium.

You can also just keep it on the surface of the gravel in your aquarium and it will get attached to it.

Check the latest price of this plant at Amazon.com here

Check the latest price of this plant at Amazon.co.uk here

Other Aquarium Plants For Gravel Substrate

7. Cryptocoryne Wendtii

8. Italian Vallisneria

9. Corkscrew Vallisneria

10. Giant Hygro

11. Water Sprite

12. Anacharis

13. Hornwort

FAQ

Can aquarium plants grow in gravel?

Yes, there are certain species of aquarium plants that can easily grow in a gravel substrate.

These plants are usually water column feeders or at least they can get nutrients through their leaves.

All the plants I have mentioned above are such plants.

What aquarium plants can grow in sand?

There are certain varieties of aquarium plants that can grow in a sand substrate.

They are as follows:

  1. Cryptocoryne wendtii
  2. Java fern
  3. Amazon sword
  4. Jungle Vallisneria
  5. Italian Vallisneria

I have written about them in detail in this blog post.

Can you have a planted tank with just gravel?

Yes, there are a lot of water column feeder species of plants that get nutrients through their leaves.

You can easily keep such plants in a gravel substrate.

Is sand or gravel better for a planted aquarium?

Usually, gravel is better for most of the freshwater aquariums than sand.

Firstly, gravel comes in different shapes, sizes, and colors that basically offer you a chance to customize your aquarium and give it a unique look.

Gravel allows the water to flow through it that basically helps the growth of the plant.

On the other hand, sand doesn’t allow water to flow through it as freely as gravel does.

Also, sand substrate can cause suffocation of the roots of the plants.

But there are certain species of plants that can easily grow in a sand substrate.

Is gravel a good substrate for plants?

Yes, for most of the water column feeder plants, gravel is a good substrate.

It allows the water to flow through it freely and it also helps the roots of the plant to form a strong web of roots inside the substrate.

Besides, as they will come in different sizes, shapes, and colors, it allows you to customize your aquarium and give it a unique look.

Check out 20 Tips to Maintain a Healthy Aquarium

Conclusion

So these are the best aquarium plants for gravel substrate.

I hope you from this list helpful.

If you do, please share it.

Also, let me know which plant you are going to keep in your aquarium in the comments section below.

Happy fishkeeping!

2 thoughts on “13 Best Aquarium Plants For Gravel Substrate”

  1. Thank you for this article! Exactly what I was looking for, as I have an established 46 gallon freshwater… and did not want to begin from scratch to use sand substrate.

    Reply

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