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52 Best Freshwater Aquarium Plants For Beginners (And Care Guide)

Plants are great! There are a lot of benefits to keeping live plants in an aquarium.

They provide oxygen to the fish at the same time they help to lower carbon dioxide in the aquarium.

They also help to reduce ammonia in the aquarium.

Besides, they help to emulate the natural habitat of the fish and offer you a chance to design your aquarium and give it a unique look.

In short, they help to improve the overall health of your aquarium.

I personally do think that any aquarium is incomplete without live plants.

But when you are just starting out in the hobby it can be very confusing to decide what plants are good for you.

No worries…

In this article, I am going to show you the best freshwater aquarium plants that are perfect for beginners.

So let’s get started.

Best Freshwater Aquarium Plants For Beginners image
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How to choose the right aquarium plants for your aquarium?

Before choosing the right aquarium plant for your aquarium, you should clear a few things so that it will be a lot easier for you to make a decision.

Why you want aquarium plants in your aquarium?

There are a lot of good reasons why you want plants in your aquarium.

There are some obvious reasons like 

But there are also some specific reasons like you want to create a certain type of aquascape in your aquarium.

You want to breed fish and want to add some plants that can provide protection to the fry and fish eggs.

Now for the obvious reasons, you can use any kind of aquarium plant in your aquarium and it will be just fine.

But for specific reasons, for example, if you want to provide protection to the fry and eggs, there are certain plants that better than the others. 

Like Java Moss is a very good plant to provide protection to the young fry and fish eggs.

What’s already in your aquarium?

This is also very important questions to ask before introducing any plant in your aquarium.

The most common reason behind asking this question is there are a certain fish like Goldfish that are aggressive plant-eaters.

So, for this kind of fish, you will have to choose the plants that the fish don’t usually eat or the plants that grow fast so that they can survive nibbling of the fish.

So, you should know the behavior of your fish towards plants and that will help you to choose the right plant for your aquarium.

Besides, you should also know what kind of water parameters your fish prefers and choose the aquarium plants that do well in a similar water parameter range.

Lighting conditions

Plants require light to make their own food. So light is very important for thriving aquarium plants.

You should know what kind of light you already have in your aquarium and choose the plants accordingly.

Or you can always install external light or upgrade your lighting with new suitable lighting set up for the plant you want to keep in your aquarium.

Don’t get overwhelmed

Now, these questions might scare some of you and will completely leave the thought of keeping live plants in the aquarium.

But I don’t think it is a good idea because there are actually a lot of benefits of keeping live plants in the aquarium.

If you are really having a hard time choosing the plant then you can simply start with some hardy and cheap plants like Java moss and Java fern and then go from there.

Check out 20 Tips to Maintain a Healthy Aquarium

What are the different types of aquarium plants?

There are several different types of aquarium plants. So you can choose the plant according to your purpose.

Now I am going to cover a couple of examples of each type of plant later in this article.

But, for now, I am just going to give you a brief overview of each type of aquarium plant.

Background/mid-ground aquarium plant

As the name suggests these are the plants that are kept in the background or middle ground of your aquarium.

Usually, these are tall growing aquarium plants.

Should you plant them in the background or midground, it really depends on the tank size of your aquarium.

For example, if you are going to plant Amazon sword in a 10-gallon aquarium then you should keep it in the background of your aquarium.

But if you have a larger tank maybe 50 gallons then you can easily keep it in the middle ground of your aquarium.

Foreground aquarium plants

As the name suggests, these plants are planted in the foreground of your aquarium.

And these are short plants.

Carpet aquarium plants

Carpet aquarium plants are the plants that produce carpeting effect in the aquarium.

Generally, these plants are planted in the foreground of the aquarium.

These kinds of plants propagate very fast and create a nice carpeting effect.

Besides, some of these plants are very useful while breeding fish because they provide a lot of hiding places to the fry and protection to the eggs.

Floating aquarium plants

As the name suggests, these are the floating aquarium plant that floats on the surface of the water of your aquarium.

These plants also provide a lot of hiding places to the fry so they are very useful if you are breeding fish.

Besides, these plants also help to lower the temperature in the water.

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

Background/mid-ground aquarium plants for beginners

1. 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 tall-growing aquarium plant.

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

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

How much light does it require?

Anacharis do well under moderate lighting conditions.

You should provide it around 2 watts of light per gallon.

If you provide less light then it is likely to die. On the other hand, if you provide it very bright light then it can cause algae growth on this plant.

What’s the best place to keep it in an aquarium?

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

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

Another way is to plant it in a substrate.

As anacharis grow tall, you should keep it in the middle ground or background of your aquarium.

Many people found that when you keep it as a floating aquarium plant it grows quickly.

This is because it gets a lot of light when it is kept floating on the surface of the water of your aquarium.

But you can also grow it faster even when it is planted into the substrate by planting it into a nutrient-rich substrate.

Ideal water parameters

As mentioned earlier, anacharis is can tolerate a wide range of water parameters and that’s what makes it a great aquarium plant for beginners.

That being said, the ideal temperature for anacharis between 60-82 degrees Fahrenheit.

Its pH tolerance ranges between 6.5 to 7.5 and hardness tolerance ranges between 3 to 8 KH.

Substrate requirements

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

As this plant can draw nutrients through its roots planting it into a nutrient-rich substrate will definitely help it to grow faster.

Fertilization requirements

If you are planting anacharis in cold water aquarium then you don’t really need to provide it any additional fertilizers.

But if you are going to plant in a tropical aquarium, you should supplement it with some fertilizers that are rich in carbon dioxide.

You can supplement it fertilizers in the form of root tabs or liquid fertilizers after the weekly water change.

Check the latest price of this plant at Amazon here

2. Aponogeton Crispus

Aponogeton Crispus
PARAMETERSVALUES
PLANTAponogeton Crispus
SCIENTIFIC NAMEAponogeton Crispus
FAMILYAponogetonaceae
CARE LEVELEasy
LIGHT REQUIREMENTModerate
GROWTH RATEFast
TEMPERATURE64-86° F
pHbelow 7.5
PLACEMENTBackground
MAXIMUM SIZE 9-10 inches
MINIMUM TANK SIZE20 gallon

Aponogeton Crispus is a very hardy plant that can tolerate a wide range of water parameters. So it is a very good choice for beginners.

This plant features dark green to reddish-brown color. And it is also one of the few flowering aquarium plants.

This is a fast growing plant. So you can easily keep it in a fish tank containing herbivorous fish species and it will easily survive their nibbling.

How much light does it require?

Aponogeton Crispus is not very light-demanding.

This plant can do well under moderate lighting conditions.

But you should provide it at least 0.5 watts per liter light.

What the best place to keep it in an aquarium?

Aponogeton Crispus is a tall-growing aquarium plant that can grow as tall as 10 inches. 

So depending on the size of your aquarium and what you are trying to accomplish, you can keep it in the middle ground or background of your aquarium.

If you have a small tank of about 10 gallons then you can keep it as a background plant.

If you have a larger tank then you can also keep it in the middle of your aquarium.

Besides, if you are going for a jungle effect you can keep it in the middle ground of your small aquarium as well.

Ideal water parameters

Aponogeton Crispus can tolerate a wide range of water parameters and that’s what makes it a beginner-friendly aquarium plant.

That being said, the ideal temperature for the proper growth of Aponogeton Crispus is between 64-86 degrees Fahrenheit

It can tolerate pH up to 7.5.

Substrate requirements

Aponogeton Crispus does require a decent amount of nutrients for its proper growth. So ideally you should plant it in a nutrient-rich substrate.

But you can also plant in a gravel or sand substrate and then provide it nutrients through fertilizers in the form of root tabs.

Fertilization requirements

As mentioned earlier, Aponogeton Crispus does require a decent amount of nutrients to thrive.

So you should regularly supplement it with fertilizers.

You can supplement it fertilizers in the form of root tabs or liquid fertilizers after the weekly water changes.

More Background/mid-ground aquarium plants for beginners

3. Hornwort

4. Amazon Frogbit

5. Water wisteria

6. Giant Hygro

7. Green Foxtail

8. Ludwigia Repens

9. Italian Vallisneria

10. Corkscrew Vallisneria

11. Cryptocoryne Wendtii

12. Rotala Rotundifolia

13. Bacopa

14. Moneywort

15. Guppy grass

16. Water Sprite

17. Java Fern

18. Stargrass

19. Anubias

20. Pearl weed

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

Foreground aquarium plants for beginners

21. Brazilian Pennywort

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PARAMETERSVALUES
PLANTBrazilian Pennywort
SCIENTIFIC NAMEHydrocotyle leucocephala
CARE LEVELEasy
LIGHT REQUIREMENTModerate
GROWTH RATEFast
TEMPERATURE68 – 82°F
pH6.0 – 7.8
PLACEMENTFloating or Foreground
MAXIMUM SIZE8 inches
MINIMUM TANK SIZE10 gallon

Brazilian pennywort is a short aquarium plant that can grow a maximum of 8 inches tall which makes it a very good plant to keep in the foreground of your aquarium.

This plant is not very demanding and it is very easy to maintain which makes it a good choice for beginners.

How much light does it require?

The growth rate of Brazilian pennywort is dependent on the light.

Though this plant can survive easily in moderate lighting conditions, under high lighting condition it will grow very rapidly up to two inches per week.

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

What’s the best place to keep it in an aquarium?

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

As it is a short plant, usually it is kept as a foreground plant in most of the aquariums.

But you can also keep it as a floating plant and it will do just fine.

When you keep it as a floating plant it may grow very rapidly as it will get more light on the surface of the water of your aquarium.

Ideal water parameters

Brazilian pennywort can tolerate a decent range of water parameters.

Its water temperature tolerance range is between 68 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit.

Its pH tolerance range is between 6 to 7.8 and it does well in soft to moderately hard water.

Substrate requirements

Brazilian pennywort is not very demanding when it comes to the substrate.

You can plant it in any substrate of your choice whether that is sand or gravel.

Fertilization requirements

Brazilian pennywort is a very undemanding plant and it will do well without any additional fertilization.

But if you notice its leaves are turning yellow and overall growth is slow then it’s a sign that it’s not getting sufficient nutrients.

So, in this case, you should supplement it fertilizer.

You should use liquid fertilizers for this plant. And add it after the weekly water change.

Check the latest price of this plant at Amazon here

22. Riccia Fluitans

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PARAMETERSVALUES
PLANTRiccia fluitans
COMMON NAMESFloating Crystalwort
SCIENTIFIC NAMERiccia fluitans
FAMILYRicciaceae
CARE LEVELEasy
LIGHT REQUIREMENTModerate
GROWTH RATEModerate
TEMPERATURE56-86°F
pH6.0-8.0
HARDNESSModerate soft to very hard water
PLACEMENTSurface or foreground
MAXIMUM SIZE1.9 inches
MINIMUM TANK SIZE10 gallon

Riccia fluitans is a short aquarium plant that can grow a maximum of 1.9 inches tall which makes it a very good foreground aquarium plant.

This plant is similar to Java Moss and you can also use it as a carpet plant in your aquarium.

This plant got popular when Takashi Amano started using it as a carpet plant by tying it to rock or driftwood.

In case you don’t know Takashi Amano, he is a very famous aquascaper.

It can tolerate a wide range of water parameters and it is pretty hardy and undemanding which makes it ideal for beginners.

How much light does it require?

Riccia fluitans do well in moderate lighting conditions.

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

What’s the ideal place to keep it in an aquarium?

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

The simplest way is to keep it as a floating plant in your aquarium.

When you keep it this way, it will grow very rapidly.

Another way is to attach it to any rock or driftwood and use it as a carpet plant in the foreground of your aquarium.

Ideal water parameters

Riccia fluitans can tolerate a wide range of water parameters.

It can tolerate temperature as low as 56 degrees Fahrenheit to up to 86 degrees Fahrenheit.

So you can easily keep it in a cold water aquarium.

Its pH tolerance range is between 6 to 8 and it does well in medium hard water to very hard water that is between 120 to 400 PPM.

Substrate requirements

Riccia fluitans doesn’t really have any true roots.

So it doesn’t actually require any substrate to keep it in your aquarium.

You can keep it floating or tie it to any object in your aquarium like driftwood or rock.

Fertilization requirements

Like with all the aquarium plants Riccia fluitans will definitely benefit if you supplement it some fertilizers.

This plant is a water column feeder i.e. it absorbs nutrients through its leaves.

So, you should supplement it fertilizers in the form of liquid fertilizers.

You should add these fertilizers after the weekly water change.

Check the latest price of this plant at Amazon here

More foreground aquarium plants for beginners

23. Christmas moss

24. Bucephalandra

25. Echinodorus Red Devil

26. Ludwigia Palustris

Carpet aquarium plants for beginners

27. 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 aquarium plants in the hobby.

This plant is very commonly used in aquascaping as a carpet plant. And it is one of the best plants for Guppies.

It can tolerate a wide range of water parameters and it is very hardy which makes it beginner-friendly.

Besides, Java Moss provides very good protection to fry and fish eggs and helps to improve the overall health of your aquarium.

How much light does it require?

Java Moss is not very demanding when it comes to light.

This plant can survive in almost any lighting condition.

You can keep it in a low light environment and it will do just fine. But it will grow thin compared to when you keep it under high lighting conditions.

If you want to get its carpeting effect then you should keep it under high lighting so it can grow denser.

What’s the best place to keep it in an aquarium?

The best part about Java Moss is that there are several ways you can keep it in your aquarium.

The simplest way is to keep it as a floating plant in your aquarium.

Another common way is to attach it to any object in your aquarium like rock or driftwood.

And it is also used as a carpeting plant in aquascaping.

Ideal water parameters

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

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

So you can easily keep it in a cold water aquarium.

Its pH tolerance range is between 5-8 and it does well in soft water up to 333 PPM.

Substrate requirements

Java Moss doesn’t have real roots and it doesn’t draw nutrients through its rhizomes. So it is not necessary to use any substrate for planting it in your aquarium.

Fertilization requirement

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

But as with all the plants, if you supplement it fertilizer then it will grow faster and denser.

Check the latest price of this plant at Amazon here

28. Marsilea Hirsuta

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PARAMETERSVALUES
PLANTMarsilea Hirsuta
SCIENTIFIC NAME Marsilea hirsuta
FAMILYMarsileaceae
CARE LEVELEasy
LIGHT REQUIREMENT Low
GROWTH RATEFast
TEMPERATURE64 to 84°F
pH5 and 7.5
HARDNESS17.9 ppm to 400 ppm
PLACEMENTForeground and carpeting
MAXIMUM SIZE1 inch
MINIMUM TANK SIZE10 gallon

Marsilea hirsuta is another undemanding aquarium plant.

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

As it is a short plant and it grows denser, it is commonly used as a carpeting plant in the aquarium hobby.

How much light does it require?

Marsilea hirsuta is not very light-demanding

It can grow in almost any lighting condition.

But if you are going for its carpeting effect then you should provide it high lighting condition so that it can grow denser.

What is the best place to keep it in an aquarium?

Marsilea hirsuta is a fast growing short plant so it is usually used as a carpeting plant in the foreground of an aquarium.

Ideal water parameters

Marsilea hirsuta can tolerate a wide range of water parameters.

That being said by ideal temperature for this plant is between 64-84 degrees Fahrenheit.

Its pH tolerance range is between 5 to 7.5. 

And its hardness tolerance range is between 17.9 to up to 400 PPM which makes it a great plant for any kind of hard water aquarium

Substrate requirements

You can use any kind of substrate for planting Marsilea hirsuta in your aquarium whether that is sand or gravel and obviously nutrient-rich substrate.

Fertilization requirements

Marsilea hirsuta can do well without any fertilizers.

You just have to provide sufficient lighting.

But for denser and faster growth you can supplement it some additional carbon dioxide fertilizers.

Check the latest price of this plant at Amazon here

More carpet aquarium plants for beginners

29. Pearl weed

Floating aquarium plants for beginners

30. Salvinia Natans

Salvinia Natans

Photo by Le.Loup.Gris under CC BY-SA 3.0

PARAMETERSVALUES
PLANTSalvinia Natans
COMMON NAMESFloating Moss, Floating Fern, Floating Watermoss, Water Butterfly Moss
SCIENTIFIC NAMESalvinia Natans
FAMILYSalviniaceae
CARE LEVELEasy
LIGHT REQUIREMENTModerate to High
GROWTH RATEFast
TEMPERATURE54 – 86° F
pH6-8
PLACEMENTFloating
MAXIMUM SIZE2-3 inches
MINIMUM TANK SIZE10 gallon

Salvinia natans is also known as floating fern, floating water moss, floating moss and water butterfly.

It is a fast growing aquarium plant.

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

This plant also helps to prevent algae attacks in your aquarium.

How much light does it require?

Salvinia natans do well under moderate to high lighting conditions.

The more the light it gets the faster it grows.

So ideally, you should provide it light anywhere between 2-4 watts per gallon.

What is the ideal place to keep it in an aquarium?

Salvinia natans is a floating aquarium plant so you should keep it floating on the surface of the water of your aquarium.

When you keep it that way, it will provide a lot of good hiding places for fry and eggs and promote breeding.

Ideal water parameters

Salvinia natans can tolerate a wide range of water parameters especially the temperature.

It can tolerate temperature as low as 54 degrees Fahrenheit to up to 86 degrees Fahrenheit.

So you can easily use it in a cold water aquarium.

Besides, its pH tolerance range is between 8-6.

Substrate requirements

Salvinia natans is a floating aquarium plant so it doesn’t require any substrate to keep it in your aquarium.

Fertilization requirements

Salvinia natans can do without any fertilizers.

But if you supplement it fertilizers then it will grow faster.

It draws most of its nutrients through its leaves so you should supplement it fertilizers in the form of liquid fertilizers.

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

31. Subwassertang

Subwassertang

Photo by Rǫgn under CC BY-SA 4.0

PARAMETERSVALUES
PLANTSubwassertang
COMMON NAMESSüsswassertang, Süßwassertang, Round Pellia, False Round Pellia
SCIENTIFIC NAMESüsswassertang
FAMILYLomariopsidaceae
CARE LEVELEasy
LIGHT REQUIREMENTLow to moderate
GROWTH RATESlow
TEMPERATURE68-73° F
pH6-8
HARDNESS0 - 21°dKH
PLACEMENTFloating
MINIMUM TANK SIZE5 gallon

Subwassertang is a moss like plant.

It is actually a great plant for shrimp.

It is also very popular among breeders because it provides a lot of protection for the fry and eggs.

How much light does it require?

Subwassertang can do well under low to moderate lighting conditions.

So you should provide it light anywhere between 1.5 to 3 watts per gallon.

What’s the best place to keep it in an aquarium?

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

The simplest way is to just toss it into the aquarium and let it float.

Ultimately, it will find a resting place for itself.

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

Ideal water parameters

The ideal temperature range for the proper growth of Subwassertang is between 68-73 degrees Fahrenheit.

Its pH tolerance ranges between 6-8 and it prefers soft water.

Substrate requirements

Subwassertang doesn’t have real roots so it doesn’t actually require any substrate to keep in the aquarium.

Fertilization requirement

Subwassertang is a very undemanding plant and it can do well without any additional fertilizers.

But as with all the aquarium plants, if you supplement it fertilizer then it will grow faster and denser.

More floating aquarium plants for beginners

32. Giant Hygro

33. Guppy grass

34. Red Root Floater

35. Christmas moss

Low light aquarium plants for beginners

36. Cryptocoryne Wendtii

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PARAMETERSVALUES
PLANTCryptocoryne Wendtii
COMMON NAMESWendt’s Cryptocoryne, water trumpet
SCIENTIFIC NAMECryptocoryne Wendtii
FAMILYAraceae
CARE LEVELEasy
LIGHT REQUIREMENTLow
GROWTH RATEMedium
TEMPERATURE72-82° F
pH6.0-8.0
HARDNESSKH 3-8
PLACEMENTBackground
MAXIMUM SIZE6 inches
MINIMUM TANK SIZE5 gallon

Cryptocoryne wendtii is one of the most popular aquarium plants in the hobby.

This plant is very easy to care for which makes it an ideal choice for beginners.

This plant features different color and size variations.

Its color ranges from deep green to red.

And its leaves range from 5-18 inches.

The green variation of Cryptocoryne wendtii is the shortest and so it is suitable for small aquarium plants.

How much light does it require?

Cryptocoryne wendtii is not very demanding when it comes to light.

This plant can do well in low to moderate lighting conditions.

Ideally, you should provide it light anywhere between 1.5 to 3 watts per gallon.

What is the best place to keep it in an aquarium?

Depending upon the variety of the Cryptocoryne wendtii, you can keep it in the middle ground or background of your aquarium.

The green variety of Cryptocoryne wendtii is the shortest that can grow 10 to 15 cm and other varieties of Cryptocoryne wendtii like Cryptocoryne wendtii pink or brown grow much larger.

So if you have a small aquarium up to 10 gallons then you should use the green variety of this plant and keep it in the background or midground of your aquarium.

If you have a larger tank then you can choose the pink or brown variety of Cryptocoryne wendtii and keep it in the background of your aquarium.

Ideal water parameters

The ideal temperature for the proper growth of Cryptocoryne wendtii is between 72 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit.

Its pH tolerance range is between 6 to 8 and hardness tolerance ranges between 60-160 PPM.

Substrate requirements

You can use any state of your choice whether that is sand or gravel and of course nutrient-rich substrate for planting Cryptocoryne wendtii in your aquarium.

When it comes to the substrate for this plant, make sure the substrate is at least 2 inches thick which will allow it to develop a strong root system.

Fertilization requirements

For thriving Cryptocoryne wendtii, you should regularly supplement if it fertilizers in the form of root tabs and liquid fertilizer.

Check the latest price of this plant at Amazon here

37. 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 one of the most popular aquarium plants.

This plant can tolerate a wide range of water parameters and it is very cheap as well which makes it ideal for beginners.

How much light does it require?

Java fern does well in low to moderate lighting conditions.

When you keep it under high lighting conditions it will turn brown and transparent.

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

What is the best place to keep it in an aquarium?

Java fern can grow tall up to 13.5 inches.

So ideally, you should keep it in the mid-ground or background of your aquarium.

It doesn’t have any real roots so it is not necessary to plant it into the substrate.

You can just tie it to any object in your aquarium like driftwood or rock and keep it in your aquarium.

Ideal water parameters

The ideal temperature for the proper growth of Java fern is between 68 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit.

Its pH tolerance range is between 6 to 7.5 and hardness tolerance ranges between 60 to 160 ppm.

So you can easily keep it in a hard water aquarium.

Substrate requirements

Java fern doesn’t have real roots so it doesn’t actually require any substrate to keep in the aquarium.

You can tie it to any ornament in your aquarium like driftwood or rock and then put inside the aquarium.

Fertilization requirements

Java fern can do well without any fertilizers.

But for faster growth, you can supplement fertilizers.

As it draws most of its nutrients through leaves, you should supplement it fertilizers in the form of liquid fertilizers.

And you should add them after the weekly water change.

Check the latest price of this plant at Amazon here

Low light aquarium plants for beginners

38. Java moss

39. Marsilea Hirsuta

40. Stargrass

41. Rotala Rotundifolia

42. Bacopa

43. Anubias

44. Red Root Floater

45. Subwassertang

46. Bucephalandra

Red aquarium plants for beginners

47. 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 one of the most popular coloring plants in the aquarium hobby.

This plant features color ranging from deep green to deep red.

This plant is also very easy to care and maintain so it is a good choice for beginners who are looking for some red aquarium plants.

It is also one of the best plants for Tetras.

How much light does it require?

Ludwigia repens will do well in moderate to high lighting conditions.

But if you want to get its red coloration then you should definitely keep it in a high lighting condition.

You can provide it light anywhere between 2-4 Watts per gallon.

What’s the best place to keep it in an aquarium?

Ludwigia repens is a tall-growing plant that can grow as tall as 19 inches.

So it is an ideal plant to keep in the background of any aquarium.

Ideal water parameters

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

So you can easily keep it in a cold water aquarium.

Besides, its pH tolerance range is between 5-8 and it can do well in very soft to hard water that is from 71 PPM to up to 321 PPM.

Substrate requirements

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

If you plant it in a nutrient-rich substrate, it will definitely help to get its red coloration and faster growth.

Fertilization requirements

Ludwigia repens is a pretty hardy plant and can do well without any fertilizers as far as it is getting nutrition from fish poop and remaining fish food.

But to get its red coloration and encourage faster growth, you can supplement it with some additional fertilizers that are rich in iron and carbon dioxide.

Check the latest price of this plant at Amazon here

48. Red tiger lotus

PARAMETERSVALUES
PLANTRed Tiger Lotus
COMMON NAMESRed Tiger Lotus
SCIENTIFIC NAMENymphaea zenkeri
FAMILYNymphaeaceae
CARE LEVELEasy
LIGHT REQUIREMENTModerate to high
GROWTH RATEModerate
TEMPERATURE71.5-82.5 °F
pH5-8
HARDNESS5-11 °d
PLACEMENTMid-ground, background
MAXIMUM SIZE31 inches
MINIMUM TANK SIZE10 gallon

Red tiger lotus is another beginner-friendly red aquarium plant.

Unlike most other red aquarium plants it doesn’t require a lot of light and additional CO2 to get its rate coloration.

Provided with the ideal lighting and nutrients, this plant can grow very massive.

So you should regularly keep an eye on it and prune it regularly.

How much light does it require?

Red tiger lotus is not very light-demanding compared to other red aquarium plants.

This plant can do well under moderate to high lighting conditions.

You should provide at least 2-3 watts of light per gallon.

What’s the best place to keep it in an aquarium?

As mentioned earlier, provided with sufficient nutrients and light red tiger lotus can grow very big.

So ideally, you should keep it in the middle ground or background of your aquarium.

Ideal water parameters

The ideal temperature for the proper growth of Red tiger lotus is between 71 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit and its pH tolerance ranges between 5 to 8.

Its hardness tolerance range is approximately 100 to 220 PPM, so you can easily keep it in any kind of hard water aquarium.

Substrate requirements

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

But if you plant it in a nutrient-rich substrate, it will definitely benefit from it and grow faster and denser.

Fertilization requirements

To get the best of Red tiger lotus you should supplement it with some additional fertilizers that are rich in iron and carbon dioxide.

You can also supplement it with additional carbon dioxide gas but it is not necessary.

More red aquarium plants for beginners

49. Alternanthera Reineckii

Check out 11 Best Red Aquarium Plants (Beginner Friendly and Undemanding)

Fast growing aquarium plants for beginners

50. Amazon Sword

See more images at Amazon here

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 one of the most popular aquarium plants in the hobby.

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

This plant is very hardy and easy to maintain which makes it an ideal choice for beginners.

This plant is a very good choice if you are going for a jungle effect in your aquarium.

How much light does it require?

Amazon sword can do well in almost any lighting condition.

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

And it should get light for at least 11 to 12 hours every day.

What’s the best place to keep it in an aquarium?

Amazon sword grows tall and wide so ideally, you should keep it in the middle of your aquarium so that it will have a lot of space to grow.

But if you have a larger tank then you can also keep it in the background of your aquarium.

Ideal water parameters

Amazon sword can tolerate temperature as low as 60 degrees Fahrenheit to up to 82 degrees Fahrenheit, so you can easily keep it in a cold water aquarium.

Its pH tolerance range is between 6.5 to 7.5.

And its hardness tolerance ranges between 160-300 PPM, so you can easily keep it in hard to very hard water aquarium.

Substrate requirements

You can use any kind of substrate for planting Amazon sword in your aquarium whether that is sand or gravel.

Like with all the aquarium plants, if you plant it in a nutrient substrate it will definitely benefit from it and grow faster and better.

When it comes to the substrate for Amazon sword, no matter what substitute you choose, the substrate should be at least 2.5 inches thick so that it can form a strong root system.

Fertilization requirements

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

But if you supplement it with some additional fertilizers then it will definitely benefit from it.

As it is a heavy root feeder plant, you should add fertilizer in the form of root tabs.

Check the latest price of this plant at Amazon here

51. 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 a tall fast growing aquarium plant.

This plant can tolerate a wide range of water parameters and it is very easy to maintain as well which makes it an ideal choice for beginners.

How much light does it require?

When it comes to light for Hornwort, the more the light it gets the greener and denser it grows.

So you should provide it moderate lighting condition of at least 2 to 3 watts per gallon.

What’s the best place to keep it in an aquarium?

Hornwort can grow very tall up to 10 foot which makes it a very good background aquarium plant.

Hornwort doesn’t have any real roots. So it is not necessary to plant it in a substrate. 

You can keep it as a floating aquarium plant, though it is not a very common practice.

Ideal water parameters

Hornwort can tolerate temperature as low as 59 degrees Fahrenheit to up to 86 degrees Fahrenheit.

So you can easily keep it in a cold water aquarium.

Besides, it’s pH tolerance range is between 6-7.5 and hardness tolerance range is between 100 to 300 PPM so you can easily keep it in hard water to very hard water aquarium.

Substrate requirements

As mentioned earlier, Hornwort doesn’t have any real roots so it doesn’t require any particular substrate for planting into the aquarium.

You can use any substrate of your choice and use its leaves to anchor it into the substrate.

Fertilization requirements

Hornwort has allopathic abilities that basically allows it to absorb all the available nutrients in its surrounding.

So Hornwort can do well without any fertilizers.

But if you have other aquarium plants in your aquarium then you should add fertilizers so that they can also get nutrients.

Check the latest price of this plant at Amazon here

More fast growing aquarium plants for beginners

52. Dwarf Sagittaria

Check out 14 Best Fast Growing Aquarium Plants (without CO2)

Aquarium plant care (Beginner Tips)

Now for thriving aquarium plants, you have to provide a few things to your aquarium plants.

And that’s what I am going to share below.

Lighting

Plants make their own food by doing photosynthesis and to do that they require light.

The lighting requirement of every plant is different. Some plants require high lighting conditions and some can do well in low lighting conditions.

So you should provide the light according to the plants in your aquarium.

Substrate

Most of the aquarium plants can do well in any kind of substrate.

But there are some plants that require a good amount of nutrients.

So for such plants, you should provide a nutrient-rich substrate.

Besides, if you are planting root feeder plants like Amazon sword in your aquarium.

Though they can do well in any kind of substrate whether that is sand or gravel, you should plant it in a nutrient substrate because they can draw nutrients from the substrate.

And planting them into a nutrient-rich substrate will definitely help them grow faster and better.

Trimming

There are certain plants like Red tiger lotus that can grow pretty fast and can easily take over your tank.

So, you should regularly trim such plants.

Maintaining ideal water parameters

Maintaining ideal water parameters like the temperature of the water, the hardness of the water is essential for thriving aquarium plants.

So you should regularly check these water parameters and try to adjust the range if you notice any major difference from the ideal range.

FAQ

Can I grow aquarium plants in gravel?

Yes, you can grow aquarium plants in gravel.

Examples of the plant that you can plant in gravel include anubias, Amazon sword, Java Moss, etc.

I have written a detailed article no this topic on my website here.

Do live plants keep an aquarium clean?

Yes, live plants do help to keep aquarium clean up to a certain extent.

Plants help to emulate the natural habitat of the fish and create an ecosystem in your aquarium.

They help to lower the CO2 level and ammonia levels in your aquarium.

Do aquarium plants grow with LED lights?

Yes, aquarium plants can grow with LED lights.

You don’t necessarily have to buy expensive LED lights to grow aquarium plants but any inexpensive aquarium LED light is sufficient to grow aquarium plants.

Do you need soil to grow aquarium plants?

No, there are a lot of aquarium plant species that can grow in gravel or sand substrate.

There are also some aquarium plants that don’t require any kind of substrate and you can just keep them floating in your aquarium.

How long do aquarium plants last in a fish tank?

Aquarium plants can live anywhere between 1 year to up to 20 years.

It really depends on the species of the plant, the environment and nutrients it is getting in the fish tank.

Do live plants make aquarium cloudy?

No, live plants don’t make aquarium cloudy.

But while planting live plants if you mess up the substrate that may make water cloudy but it will not last for a long time.

Water will get clear within an hour maximum.

Besides, when you add live plants in the aquarium, you will need to add some additional fertilizers.

And that may cause bacterial bloom that can cause cloudy water in your aquarium.

Besides, there are other reasons that can cause cloudy water in your aquarium.

Why do my aquarium plants keep dying?

There could we are several reasons that can cause your aquarium plants to die.

Usually, it is caused due to various plant deficiencies.

I have written a few articles addressing the same issue.

You can read them below:

Will aquarium plants grow in sand?

Yes, there are several aquarium plants that can grow in sand.

Examples of this kind of plants include Java fern, Amazon sword, Jungle Vallisneria, Aponogeton Crispus.

I have written a detailed article about this topic on my website here.

Conclusion

So these are the best freshwater aquarium plants for beginners.

I hope you found this list helpful.

If you do, please share it!

Also, let me know if you have any questions or suggestions in the comments section below.

Happy fishkeeping!

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