I get commissions for purchases made through links in this post. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

7 Best Aquarium Plants That Don’t Need Fertilizers

If you are looking for the best aquarium plants that don’t need fertilizers then you are in the right place.

In this blog post, I am going to show you some hardy plants that can do well without any fertilizers.

Best Aquarium Plants That Don't Need Fertilizers

Now before diving into the list, let me clear one thing.

All the plans that I have mentioned in this blog post can do well without any fertilizers.

But as with all the plants, if you supplement it with fertilizers they are going to benefit from it.

Also, there are some other factors that affect the growth rate and the overall nourishment of a plant like light, substrate and the fish you have in your tank.

For example, if you provide the ideal lighting and substrate and if you have some messy fish that produce a lot of waste like a Goldfish then these plants will do very good in your tank.

The thing is plants use fish poop as fertilizers.

But, in general, all the plants I have mentioned on the list are hardy enough to survive without any fertilizers.

So with that out of the way, let’s begin the list.

Aquarium Plants That Don’t Need Fertilizers

1. Asian Ambulia

Asian Ambula

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 a flowering plant.

It is a very undemanding plant and can do well without any fertilizers and CO2.

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

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

It is a very good alternative to Cabomba which is a very demanding plant and requires high lighting conditions.

Light requirements

Asian ambulia is a low light aquarium plant.

So it will do well in low lighting conditions.

Ideally, you should provide it 0.5 Watts per liter light.

Substrate requirements

You can use any substrate for planting Asian ambulia in your aquarium.

Ideal water parameters

As mentioned earlier, Asian ambulia is a very undemanding plant and can survive in a wide range of water parameters.

That being said, the ideal temperature for the proper growth of this plant is between 59-82 degrees Fahrenheit.

Its pH tolerance range is between 5 to 8 and the water hardness tolerance range is between 2-21 dKH.

How to keep it in an aquarium?

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

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

If you have a 10-gallon tank then you should keep it in the background of your tank.

If you have a large aquarium then you can keep it in the middle ground of your aquarium.

2. Java Moss

See more images at Amazon here

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 a very popular plant in the aquarium hobby and it is one of the easiest plants to keep in your aquarium.

It is especially popular in aquascaping as it produces beautiful results.

This is a very hardy plant as well and can do well without any fertilizers and CO2.

As Java Moss is commonly used in the aquarium it is widely available in most of the aquarium shops.

This plant is also great for breeding fish because it provides a lot of hiding places to fry and small fish.

That’s why it is a very popular plant among Guppy breeders.

Also, it is one of the best plants for Shrimps.

It is also a very good oxygenating plant and can improve the overall water quality of your aquarium.

Light requirements

Java Moss can do well in almost any lighting condition.

You can keep it in low lighting condition as well as in high lighting conditions and it will just do fine.

But when you keep it in a low lighting condition, this plant will grow lankier. 

On the other hand, if you keep it under high lighting condition it will grow dense but it can also cause algae growth.

Substrate requirements

Java Moss doesn’t have true roots.

Instead, it has rhizomes that get attached to any object in your aquarium like driftwood for rock.

So you don’t really need any substrate for keeping it it in your aquarium.

How to keep it in an aquarium?

As mentioned earlier, you can attach Java moss to any ornament in your tank like driftwood for rock.

Another easy way to keep it in the aquarium is to just let it float in the aquarium and it will find its place.

You can also use it as a carpet plant in your aquarium

Ideal water parameters

Java Moss can tolerate a wide range of water parameters especially the temperature and the pH of the water.

It can survive in low temperatures as low as 59 degrees Fahrenheit to up to 86 degrees Fahrenheit and its pH tolerance range is between 5 to 8.

You should keep it in soft water.

Check the latest price of this plant at Amazon here

3. Java Fern

See more images at Amazon here

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 another popular plant in the aquarium hobby.

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

The best part about this plant is that you can keep it with almost any fish in your aquarium.

It is also a hardy plant and can easily survive without any fertilizers.

Besides, it is widely available in almost all aquarium shops and it is relatively cheap.

Light requirements

Java fern does well in low to moderate lighting conditions.

This plant cannot tolerate high lighting conditions.

When you keep it under high light, its leaves will start turning brown and transparent.

So ideally, you should provide it 1.5-2 Watts per gallon light.

Substrate requirements

Just like Java Moss, Java fern doesn’t have any true roots.

Instead, it has rhizomes that get attached to any object in your aquarium like driftwood for rock.

So basically, Java fern doesn’t require any substrate to keep it in your aquarium.

How to keep it in an aquarium?

You can attach Java fern to any object in your aquarium like driftwood or rock and it will do just fine.

You can also just let it float in your aquarium but it will eventually get attached to any object in your aquarium.

Check the latest price of this plant at Amazon here

4. Water Wisteria

See more images at Amazon here

PARAMETERSVALUES
PLANTWater wisteria
SCIENTIFIC NAMEHygrophila difformis
FAMILYAcanthaceae
CARE LEVELEasy
LIGHT REQUIREMENT Moderate to High
GROWTH RATEFast
TEMPERATURE70-82°F
pH6.5-7.5
HARDNESS 2-8 KH
PLACEMENT Background or Carpet
MAXIMUM SIZE 20 inches
MINIMUM TANK SIZE10 gallons

Water wisteria is a fast growing stem plant that can grow as tall as 20 inches.

This plant can tolerate a wide range of water parameters so it is a good choice for beginners.

It is a very hardy plant so you can easily keep it in your aquarium without feeding it any fertilizer.

It is widely available in aquarium shops and you don’t have to really buy many of them because it propagates very fast.

Light requirements

Water wisteria can do well in almost any lighting conditions as far as it is getting light.

But ideally, you should provide it at least 2-3 watts per gallon light for its proper growth.

Substrate requirements

In its natural habitat, Water wisteria grows in sand substrate.

So ideally, you should use a sand substrate for planting it in your aquarium.

You can also use fine gravel to plant it in your aquarium.

Check out Best Aquarium Plants for Sand Substrate

Ideal water parameters

The ideal temperature for Water wisteria is between 70-82 degree Fahrenheit and its pH tolerance ranges between 6.5 to 7.5.

Its water hardness tolerance range is between 2-8 KH.

How to keep it in an aquarium?

There are a couple of days you can keep Water wisteria in your aquarium.

You can either plant it in the substrate and let it grow tall in your aquarium.

Or you can spread it across the substrate to get carpet effect.

Check the latest price of this plant at Amazon here

5. Hornwort

See more images at Amazon here

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 one of the most popular plants in the aquarium hobby and it is one of the easiest plants to grow.

It is a fast growing tall stem plant and it is one of the best oxygenating plants.

This plant is very easy to care for and can tolerate a wide range of water parameters.

It is a very hardy plant and can do well without any fertilizers and CO2.

Light requirements

When it comes to light for hornwort, the more the light it gets the faster it grows.

So, for faster growth, you should provide it high lighting conditions.

But high lighting conditions cab cause algae growth.

So ideally, you should provide it moderate lighting for its proper growth.

Substrate requirements

Hornwort doesn’t have true roots.

But you can use its leaves to anchor it into the substrate.

You can use any substrate for this plant and it will do just fine.

How to keep it in an aquarium?

There are a couple of ways you can keep hornwort in your aquarium.

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

You can also anchor it into the substrate using its leaves.

Ideal water parameters

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

That being said, the ideal temperature for the proper growth of hornwort is between 59 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit.

As it can tolerate temperature as low as 59 degrees Fahrenheit, it is an ideal choice for a coldwater aquarium.

Its pH tolerance range is between 6-7.5 and the water hardness tolerance range is between 5 to 15 dGH.

Check the latest price of this plant at Amazon here

6. Water Sprite

See more images at Amazon here

PARAMETERSVALUES
PLANTWater Sprite
COMMON NAMESWater Fern, Indian Fern
SCIENTIFIC NAMECeratopteris thalictroides
FAMILYPteridaceae
CARE LEVELEasy
LIGHT REQUIREMENTMedium to high
GROWTH RATELow to Moderate
TEMPERATURE68-82°F
pH6.0-7.5
HARDNESSKH 3-8
PLACEMENTMid to Background
MAXIMUM SIZE13.5 inches
MINIMUM TANK SIZE10 Gallons

Water Sprite is commonly used in aquariums.

It is a stem plant that can grow as tall as 13 inches.

It provides a lot of hiding places for small fish like tetras and Guppies.

This plant can tolerate low temperatures as low as 68 degrees Fahrenheit, so you can keep it in a cold water aquarium.

This plant is very easy to care for and can survive in diverse conditions, so it is a good fit for beginners.

Light requirements

Water Sprite does well in moderate to high lighting conditions.

So, you should provide it at least 2-3 watts light per gallon.

Substrate requirements

You can use any substrate for planting Water sprite in your aquarium.

You can use either sand or gravel as a substitute for this plant 

Or you can also use a nutrient-rich substrate for this plant and it will definitely benefit from it.

How to keep it in an aquarium?

There are a couple of ways you can keep Water Sprite in your aquarium.

The simplest way is to just let it float in your aquarium and it will provide a lot of hiding places to fry near the surface of the water.

You can also keep it planted in the substrate as a background plant.

Check out 17 Best Background Plants for Aquarium (For Large and Nano Tanks)

Ideal water parameters

The ideal temperature for water Sprite is between 68 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit.

Its pH tolerance range is between 6-7.5 and the water hardness tolerance range is between 3-8 KH.

Check the latest price of this plant at Amazon here

7. Anacharis

See more images at Amazon here

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 a very popular plant in the aquarium hobby and it is commonly used in a Tetra aquarium.

It is a fast growing tall stem plant that can grow as tall as 8 inches.

This plant can tolerate temperature as low as 60 degrees Fahrenheit, so you can easily keep it in a cold water aquarium.

This plant is pretty hardy and can do well without any fertilizers and CO2.

Anacharis have allelopathic abilities that basically helps to get as much nutrients as possible from its environment

It is also is very easy to care which makes it an ideal choice for beginners.

Light requirements

Ideally, you should provide moderate lighting conditions for the proper growth of Anacharis.

You should provide at least 2 watts light per gallon to this plant.

If you provide it less light then it will die. 

On the other hand, if you provide it very strong lighting then it can cause algae growth on its leaves.

Substrate requirements

You can use any substrate for planting Anacharis in your aquarium whether that is sand or gravel.

But if you plant it in a nutrient-rich substrate then it will benefit from it and grow quickly.

How to keep it in an aquarium?

There are a couple of ways you can keep Anacharis in your aquarium.

You can just let it float in your aquarium or you can plant it in a substrate.

When you let it float in your aquarium then it will grow faster as it gets more light than when it is planted in the substrate.

But as mentioned earlier, you can increase its growth rate even when it is planted in the substrate by planting it in nutrient-rich substrate.

Ideal water parameters

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

That being said, the ideal temperature for the proper growth of Anacharis is between 60-82 degree Fahrenheit

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

Check the latest price of this plant at Amazon here

FAQ

Can aquarium plants grow without fertilizers?

Yes, there are certain species of plants that are hardy enough to grow without any fertilizers in your aquarium.

All the plants have mentioned above are such plants.

The thing is plants get fertilizers even if you don’t feed them, in the form of fish poop.

So, if you have some messy fish or if you have a lot of fish in your aquarium then the plants will get fertilizers.

Can I grow aquarium plants without CO2?

Yes, for most of the aquarium plants it is not necessary to provide them additional CO2.

In fact, there are a lot of fast growing plants that can grow very quickly without any CO2.

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

The thing is, CO2 just speeds up the growth rate of the plants and in some coloring plants, it will help to enhance their coloration.

Conclusion

So, these are the best aquarium plants that can do well without any fertilizers in your aquarium.

You can check out some more plants that don’t require fertilizers here.

I hope you found this article helpful.

If you do, please share it.

Also, let me know which plants you are going to try in your aquarium.

Happy fishkeeping!

Sharing is caring!

Leave a Comment