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Can Aquarium Plants Grow in Rocks? (5 Easy plants that grow on rocks)

Can aquarium plants grow in rocks? This is the question I am going to answer in this article.

I will also tell you some easy aquarium plants that you can grow in your aquarium on rocks.

So let’s get into it.

Can Aquarium Plants Grow in Rocks? (5 Easy plants that grow on rocks) image

So, can aquarium plants grow in rocks?

There are several aquarium plants that you can grow on rocks and keep in your aquarium.

However, you will need to either tie or glue them to the rock for at least a few weeks. So that they will have enough time to get attached to the rack by themselves.

How to attach aquarium plants to rocks?

There are actually a couple of ways you can attach aquarium plants to rocks and then put them in your aquarium.

  1. Tieing plants to the rock
  2. Gluing plants to the rock

Tieing plant to the rock

To tie an aquarium plant to rock you can either use a fishing line or cotton thread.

You can also use a rubber band to tie the plant to rock.

Though there are some pros and cons of using any of the above material.

Cotton thread

If you use cotton thread to tie aquarium plant to the rock then the benefit is you can choose the color that matches the color of the rock. So you will not notice it in your aquarium and it will not mess up aesthetic.

But its con is, it will get dissolved after 3 to 4 weeks so in this time period if the plant gets attached to the rock then there’s nothing to worry.

But if the plant didn’t get attach to the rock then it will start floating in your aquarium.

And then you will have to attach it to the rock again.

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Fishing line

The benefit of using the fishing line for tieing aquarium plants on the rock is, it will not get never dissolved in the aquarium.

So it will permanently hold the plant on the rock.

The con of using the fishing line is, you may notice it in your aquarium so it may mess up aesthetic a little bit.

But you can always cut and remove the fishing line once the plant got attached to the rock.

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Rubber band

Using rubber bands to attach aquarium plant rock is very convenient.

But the con of using rubber bands to tie aquarium plant to rock is, the rubber band will get dissolved in the aquarium after some time.

So if by the time the rubber band gets dissolved if the plant is attached to the rock by itself then it is totally fine.

But if the plant didn’t get attached by itself to the rock then it will start floating in your tank.

Besides, when the rubber band gets dissolved in the tank, the habitats in the tank can consume the small particles of the rubber band which can cause issues.

As you can see there are pros and cons of using any material to tieing the aquarium plant to rock.

If you ask me you should go with the fishing line because it will hold the plant permanently. 

And once the plant gets attached to the rock by itself (after a couple of months), you can cut down and remove the fishing line from your aquarium.

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How to tie aquarium plants to the rock?

Once you have chosen the material to tie the plant to the rock, first of all, you should put the plant on different locations on the rock and see which location looks good to you.

You should also imagine how you want the aquarium plant looks when it grows in your aquarium once it is attached to rock and kept in your aquarium.

Once you have decided on the location, you should place the roots of the plant on the rock and wrap the plant with cotton string, fishing line, or rubber band.

Just be careful not to wrap the plant very tightly. And make sure that you are not damaging the roots of the plant.

Remember, you just have to provide support to the plant so that it will stay in place.

Gluing aquarium plants to rock

Attaching aquarium plants to rock using glue is very convenient and simpler than tieing the aquarium plants.

How to glue aquarium plants to rock?

First of all, decide the place you want to put your aquarium plant on the rock.

Then apply super glue gel on the rock and put and hold the rhizome of the plant on the rock for about one minute.

After a minute the plant will get attached to the rock.

Now let the plant sit on the rock for 5 to 10 minutes and then you can put it in your aquarium.

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5 Easy aquarium plants that grow on rock

Now I will share with you 5 easy aquarium plants that you can easily attach to rock and keep it in your aquarium.

1. Anubias

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.

This is a short and slow-growing aquarium plant.

This plant is very hardy and you can easily keep in your tank even if you are a beginner.

How much light does Anubias require?

Anubias is not very light-demanding.

It can do well under low to moderate lighting conditions of anywhere between 2 to 3 Watt per gallon.

If you keep it under high lighting conditions then it will grow faster. But under high lighting, there is also a risk of algae growth on the leaves of this plant.

So ideally, you should provide it moderate lighting conditions of 2 to 3 Watt per gallon.

What’s the best place to keep Anubias in aquarium?

Anubias is a short, slow-growing aquarium plant. This plant can grow a maximum of 11 inches.

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

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 between 3-8 KH.

How to attach Anubia to rock?

You can either tie Anubias using a fishing line or a cotton string or rubber bands to the rock.

You can also glue it using super glue to the rock.

Fertilization requirements for Anubias

Plants require several micro and macro nutrients for their proper growth. To provide all the essential nutrients you’ll need to feed fertilizers to plants.

For optimum growth, you should regularly supplement Anubias with liquid fertilizers.

Check the price of this plant at Amazon HERE

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2. Java Fern

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 plants in the aquarium hobby.

This plant can do well in a wide range of water parameters. And it is very easy to keep that’s why it is a very good choice for beginners.

Besides, this plant is very cheap.

How much light does Java fern require?

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

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

So you should provide it 2-3 Watts light per gallon.

What’s the best place to keep Java fern in aquarium?

Java fern is not the fastest growing plant. But this plant does grow relatively long (up to 13.5 inches) and it has pretty wide leaves.

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

Ideal water parameters 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° F.

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

How to attach Java fern to rocks?

You can attach Java fern to rock by gluing or tying to the rock.

Fertilization requirements for Java fern

Java fern is not a very demanding plant. But for optimum growth, you should supplement it with some liquid fertilizers regularly.

Check the price of this plant at Amazon HERE

7 Best Aquarium Plants That Don’t Need Fertilizers

3. Java Moss

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 aquarium hobby.

This plant is commonly used in aquascaping to produce beautiful results in the aquarium.

It is a very hardy plant and it is very undemanding so you can easily grow it in your aquarium.

How much light does Java moss require?

Java moss is very undemanding when it comes to light.

This plant can do well in almost any lighting condition.

However, under low lighting conditions, it will grow lankier. And under high lighting conditions it will grow denser.

What’s the best place to keep Java moss in aquarium?

Java moss is a short plant so you can either use it as a carpet plant and keep it in the foreground of your tank. Or you can attach it to rock or driftwood.

How to attach Java moss to rock?

Attaching Java moss is very simple. 

This plant doesn’t have any roots so you just have to pick up some Java moss and tie it to rock or you can also glue it to the rock.

Fertilization requirements for Java moss

Java moss is a very hardy and undemanding plant and it can do well without any fertilizers.

But to speed up the growth and more healthy plant, you can supplement it with liquid fertilizers.

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Ideal water parameters for Java moss

Java moss can tolerate a wide range of water parameters.

It can tolerate temperature as low as 59° F so you can easily keep it in a cold water aquarium. And it can tolerate temperature as high as 86° F so you can easily keep it in a tropical aquarium.

Besides, its pH tolerance range between 5 to 8, and it prefers soft water.

Check the price of this plant at Amazon HERE

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4. Hygrophila Pinnatifida

PARAMETERSVALUES
PLANTHygrophila Pinnatifida
COMMON NAMESHygrophila Pinnatifida
SCIENTIFIC NAMEHygrophila Pinnatifida
FAMILYAcanthaceae
CARE LEVELMedium
LIGHT REQUIREMENTMedium
GROWTH RATEMedium
TEMPERATURE59-78 °F
pH6-7.5
HARDNESS2 - 12°dKH
PLACEMENTMid-background
MAXIMUM SIZE11+ inches
MINIMUM TANK SIZE10 gallon
PROPAGATIONCuttings

Hygrophila pinnatifida is becoming more and more common in the aquarium hobby.

This is a pretty common plant especially in the aquascaping because of its red coloration and unique shape of its leaves.

This plant can tolerate a wide range of water parameters so it is very easy to keep in aquarium.

It is also one of the flowering plants and it produces small purple flowers.

How much light does Hygrophila pinnatifida require?

Hygrophila pinnatifida does well in medium to high lighting conditions.

This is a slow-growing plant. So for a decent growth rate, you should provide it at least a moderate lighting condition of 3 Watt per gallon.

For the red coloration, you’ll need to provide it high lighting conditions.

What’s the best place to keep Hygrophila pinnatifida in aquarium?

Hygrophila pinnatifida is a tall-growing aquarium plant that can go up to 11 inches. So you should keep it in the middle ground of your aquarium.

Ideal water parameters for Hygrophila pinnatifida

Hygrophila pinnatifida can tolerate a wide range of water parameters especially the temperature.

It can tolerate temperature as low as 59° Fahrenheit so you can easily keep it in a cold water aquarium. And it can tolerate temperature up to 78° Fahrenheit.

Besides, its pH tolerance range between 6 to 7.5, and the water hardness tolerance range is between 2-12 KH, so you can easily keep it in a hard water aquarium.

How to attach Hygrophila pinnatifida to rocks?

You can easily attach Hygrophila pinnatifida to rocks by tieing it to the rock or by gluing it super glue.

Fertilization requirements for Hygrophila pinnatifida

For optimum and healthy growth of Hygrophila pinnatifida, you should regularly supplement it with liquid fertilizers.

Check the price of this plant at Amazon HERE

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5. Dwarf Baby Tears

PARAMETERSVALUES
PLANTDwarf baby tears
COMMON NAMESDwarf baby tears
SCIENTIFIC NAMEHemianthus Callitrichoides
FAMILYScrophulariaceae
CARE LEVELModerate
LIGHT REQUIREMENTHigh
GROWTH RATESlow
TEMPERATURE68-82° F
pH5.0-7.5
HARDNESSKH 0-10
PLACEMENTForeground
MAXIMUM SIZE6 inches
MINIMUM TANK SIZE5 gallon
PROPAGATIONCuttings, Runners

Dwarf baby tears is one of the smallest aquarium plants.

It is commonly used as a carpeting plant in the aquarium.

This plant is ideal for your tank if you are planning to breed fish because it creates very good places for fish to hide their eggs.

How much light does Dwarf baby tears require?

Dwarf baby tears is a slow-growing aquarium plant.

And if you want this plant to grow faster, thrive, and look its best then you will need to provide it high lighting conditions.

What’s the best place to keep Dwarf baby tears in tank?

Dwarf baby tears is a short plant and it is commonly used as a carpeting plant.

So you can use it as a foreground plant if you want to plant it in the substrate of your tank.

Or you can easily plant it on the rock and it will get rooted.

Ideal water parameters for Dwarf baby tears

Dwarf baby tears can tolerate a decent range of water parameters

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

Its pH tolerance range is between 5 to 7.5. And the water hardness tolerance range is up to 10 KH.

How to attach Dwarf baby tears to rock?

You should tie Dwarf baby tears to rocks using a cotton string and it will get attached to rock after a few weeks.

If you are attaching it to porous rocks then you don’t even need to tie it to rock. It will get attached to the rock by itself after some time. But tying it to the rock is always a good idea to keep it in place.

Fertilization requirements for Dwarf baby tears

To see the best results and fast growth of Dwarf baby tears, you should regularly supplement it with liquid fertilizers.

Check the price of this plant at Amazon HERE

Besides, these plants there are several other plants that you can easily plant on rock or driftwood. I’ve written a detailed article covering all the plants. Read it here.

FAQ

FAQ image

Can you grow aquarium plants without substrate?

Yes, there are a lot of aquarium plants that you can easily grow without any substrate.

You can plant these plants on rocks or driftwood.

You can also let these plants just float on the surface of the water of your aquarium.

A few examples of such plants include Hornwort, Java moss, Java fern, Anacharis, Duckweed, Amazon frogbit, etc.

I have written a detailed article on this topic covering all these and many other plants. You can read it here.

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What plants can grow in gravel?

Below is the list of the best plants you can grow in gravel substrate

  • Anubias
  • Amazon sword
  • Jungle Vallisneria
  • Ludwigia repens
  • Asian Ambulia
  • Java moss
  • Water Sprite
  • Italian Vallisneria
  • Cryptocoryne wendtii
  • Giant hygro

I have written a detailed article covering all these plants with their requirements in this article.\

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How do plants attach to rocks?

How the plant will get attached the rock depends on its root structure.

Some plants get attached to the rock by wrapping its roots around the rock.

If you are using a porous rock then the plants can get rooted in the rock.

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Do I need soil to grow aquarium plants?

No, you don’t need soil to grow aquarium plants.

There are several plants that can grow in sand substrate.

Also, there are several plants that can grow in gravel substrate.

There are also some plants that you can attach to rock and driftwood and then put it in your tank or aquarium.

There are even some plants that can grow without any substrate.

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

How do you glue aquarium plants to rocks?

To glue aquarium plants to rock, take super glue gel and apply it on the part of the rock where you want to attach the plant.

Then you should press and hold the rhizome of the plant or roots of the plant on the gel for about a minute. And your plant will get glued to the rock.

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Do you need special light to keep live plants in aquarium?

Plants require light to make their own food through the process of photosynthesis. That’s why lighting is very important for the proper growth of plants.

Besides, the spectrum of normal light is different than the spectrum a live plant requires to make its own food. That’s why you need special lighting set up to keep live plants in your aquarium.

Sure, there are some hardy plants like Java moss, Duckweed, etc that can do well in any lighting conditions. But still, they will not be their best and their growth will be slower under normal light.

You can check out my recommended lighting set up here.

What are the easiest plants to grow in aquarium?

There are several aquarium plants that you can easily grow in your aquarium.

I have written an article covering 52 aquarium plants that you can easily keep in your aquarium even if you are a beginner. You can read it here.

20 Tips to Maintain a Healthy Aquarium

Conclusion

In a nutshell, there are several aquarium plants that can easily grow on rocks.

You just have to tie them or glue them to the rock for at least a few weeks so that their roots can get attached to the rock.

I hope you found this article helpful.

If you do, please share it.

Happy planting!

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