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Do Aquarium Plants Need a Heater? (Best temperature for aquarium plants?)

If you are wondering, do aquarium plants need the heater, you are in the right place.

In this article, I am going to answer the same question.

I’ll also tell you the best temperature for aquarium plants. And I’ll share with you some hardy aquarium plants that you can easily keep in your tank without a heater.

So let’s get into it.

Do Aquarium Plants Need a Heater? image

So, do aquarium plants need a heater?

Almost 90% of the aquarium plants don’t need a heater. The live aquarium plants can tolerate a wide range of water temperatures. 

However, there are a few aquarium plants that will require strict water temperatures to survive and thrive in your aquarium.

What is the best temperature for aquarium plants?

The best temperature for aquarium plants depends on the plant.

Each live aquarium plant has its own ideal temperature range. 

But generally speaking, most of the aquarium plants will do good in the temperature range between 72° to 82° F.

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

The temperature in the natural habitat of aquarium plants

fish in their natural habitat

Most of the aquarium plants that we keet in our aquarium grow by the side of a lake or river.

In the wild, the level of the water goes up and down. So sometimes the plants are submerged in the water and sometimes they are not submerged in the water and they directly face the sun.

Besides, in the wild, the temperature fluctuates a lot than the temperature in our aquarium. At night the temperature goes down and during the day the temperature goes up.

From these facts, we can conclude that aquarium plants can tolerate a wide range of water temperatures.

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

When you’ll need a heater?

There are only a couple of scenarios you will need a heater 

  1. If you’re keeping some delicate aquarium plants that require strict water conditions. 
  2. If the temperature of your tank is very low below 60° F.

So if you live in a very cold region then you should install a thermometer in your aquarium. And during cold time regularly check the temperature of your tank.

If the temperature goes below 60° F then you will need to turn on the heater in your aquarium.

13 Best Aquarium Plants For Gravel Substrate

5 Live aquarium plants that can tolerate a wide range of water temperature

Now I will share with you some hardy aquarium plants that can tolerate a wide range of water temperatures.

These plants can tolerate very low temperatures so most likely, you’ll not need a heater for these aquarium plants.

1. Guppy Grass

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PARAMETERSVALUES
PLANTGuppy grass
COMMON NAMESGuppy grass
SCIENTIFIC NAMENajas guadalupensis
FAMILYHydrocharitaceae
CARE LEVELEasy
LIGHT REQUIREMENTModerate
GROWTH RATEFast
TEMPERATURE50-86° F
pH6-7
HARDNESS2-25 dKH
PLACEMENTSurface, background
MAXIMUM SIZE3 feet
MINIMUM TANK SIZE10 gallon
PROPAGATIONSide shoots/clippings

This plant got its name because it is very popular among us Guppy breeders.

It provides a lot of hiding places to guppy fry.

This plant can tolerate temperature as low as 50° F to up to 86° F. So you can easily keep it in your tank without a heater.

Another advantage of this plant is that this plant removes harmful toxins like ammonium, nitrite, heavy metals, etc from the water of your aquarium.

How much light does Guppy grass require?

Guppy grass does well under moderate lighting conditions. Ideally, you should provide it light between 3-4 Watts per gallon.

You can check out my recommended lighting set up here.

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

You can either plant it in the substrate of your tank. Or you can also keep it as a floating plant in your aquarium.

What’s the ideal water parameters for Guppy grass?

The ideal temperature range for guppy grass is between 50 to 86° F. So you can easily keep it in coldwater aquarium as well as tropical aquarium.

Its pH tolerance range is between 6-7. And the water hardness tolerance range is between 2-25 dKH.

Substrate requirements for Guppy grass

Guppy grass doesn’t have any specific substrate requirements.

You can keep it in any substrate of your choice whether that is sand, gravel, or nutrient-rich substrate.

You can also keep it as a floating plant in your tank.

Fertilization requirements for Guppy grass

Guppy grass gets most of the nutrients through its leaves from the water column so you should supplement it liquid fertilizers.

Check price of this plant at Amazon here

10 Best Live Plants For Guppies

2. Salvinia Natans

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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 water moss, floating moss, or floating fern.

This plant can tolerate temperature as low as 54° F to up to 86° F. So you can easily keep it in your aquarium without a heater.

Another advantage of this plant is that it provides a lot of hiding places to fry. So if you’re planning to breed fish in your tank then this is a good plant to keep in your tank.

How much light does Salvinia natans require?

Salvinia natans do well under moderate to high lighting conditions.

Under high lighting conditions, its growth will be faster compared to the moderate lighting conditions.

Ideally, you should provide it light anywhere between 3 to 5 Watts per gallon.

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

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

Ideal water parameters for salvinia natans

Salvinia natans can tolerate a wide range of water parameters.

That being said, the ideal temperature range for Salvinia natans is between 54 to 86° F.

Its pH tolerance range is between 6-8 and the water hardness tolerance range is between 4 to 20 dGH.

Substrate requirements for Salvinia natans

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

Fertilization requirements for Salvinia natans

Salvinia natans can do well without any additional fertilizers.

However, if you want to encourage fast growth then you can supplement it with some liquid fertilizers.

Check price of this plant at Amazon here

8 Best Aquarium Plants for Sand Substrate (Easy to Care and Maintain)

3. 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 looks similar to Java moss.

This plant becomes popular in the aquarium hobby when a famous aquascaper Takashi Amano started using it in his aquascapes.

This plant can tolerate temperature as low as 56° F to up to 86° F. So you can easily keep it in your aquarium without a heater.

Another advantage of this plant is that it is not very demanding so you will not have to give it any special attention and it can grow on its own.

How much light does Riccia fluitans require?

Riccia fluitans do well under moderate lighting conditions so you should provide it light anywhere between 3 to 4 Watts per gallon.

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

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

The most common way to keep it in the aquarium is by attaching it to any ornament in your tank like driftwood or rock.

Another way is to keep it floating in your aquarium.

Ideal water parameters for Riccia fluitans

Riccia fluitans can tolerate temperature between 56° F to 86° F.

Its pH tolerance range is between 6 to 8 and the water hardness tolerance range is up to 21 dGH.

Substrate requirements for Riccia fluitans

You don’t need a particular substrate for Riccia fluitans.

It is commonly kept in the aquarium by attaching it to any ornament like driftwood or rock.

You can also keep it as a floating plant in your tank.

Fertilization requirements for Riccia fluitans

For optimum growth of Riccia fluitans, you should supplement it with liquid fertilizers.

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

Check price of this plant at Amazon here

4. 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 a very popular aquarium plant. And it is available in most of the aquarium shops and online.

This plant is commonly used in aquascaping.

It can tolerate temperature as low as 59° F to up to 86° F. So you can easily keep it in your tank without a heater.

Another advantage of Java moss is that it provides very good protection to eggs and fry. That’s why it is very popular among breeders.

How much light does Java moss require?

Java moss can do well in almost any lighting condition.

However, under low lighting conditions, its growth will be slow and it will grow darker and lankier.

On the other hand, under highlighting conditions it will grow much faster, denser, and compact.

But under high lighting conditions, there is also a risk of algae growth on this plant.

So Ideally you should keep it under moderate lighting condition. And provide it light anywhere between 3 to 4 Watts per gallon.

If you notice algae growth under moderate lighting condition then you should reduce the light.

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

There are several ways to keep Java moss in an aquarium. And this is the reason it is very famous in aquascaping.

Generally, it is kept by attaching it to any driftwood or rock in an aquarium.

You can also use it as a carpet plant.

You can even keep it as a floating plant. To keep it as a floating plant, you just have to toss in the aquarium. Eventually, it will get attached to ornament or to the substrate in your aquarium.

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 to up to 86° F.

Its pH tolerance range is between 5 to 8 and it can tolerate water hardness up to 20 dGH.

Substrate requirements for Java moss

You don’t need any special substrate for Java moss.

Generally, it is kept in the aquarium by attaching it to any ornament in the tank like driftwood or rock.

Fertilization requirements for Java moss

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

However, for optimum and fast growth you should supplement it with some liquid fertilizers.

Check price of this plant at Amazon here

7 Best Aquarium Plants For Tetras

5. Hornwort

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

Hornwort is a very popular tall-growing aquarium plant.

Under the ideal environment, it can grow pretty fast.

It can tolerate temperature as low as 59° F to up to 86° F so you can easily keep it in your tank without a heater.

Besides, it is one of the best oxygenating plant and it is very undemanding which makes it a very beginner-friendly plant.

How much light does Hornwort require?

Hornwort does well in moderate to high lighting conditions.

Under high lighting conditions, its growth will be much faster but there is also a risk of algae growth on the leaves of this plant.

So ideally, you should provide it moderate lighting conditions of 3-4 Watts per gallon

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

Hornwort is a tall-growing plant and it can grow pretty fast so I really you should keep it in the background of your aquarium.

Substrate requirements for foreign Hornwort 

You can use any substitute of your choice for planting Hornwort in your tank.

Hornwort doesn’t have roots so you can use its leaves to anchor it into the substrate.

You can also keep it as a floating plant in your aquarium.  Though it is not very common practice.

Ideal water parameters for Hornwort 

Hornwort can tolerate a wide range of water parameters.

That being said, the ideal temperature range for Hornwort is between 59° F to 86° F.

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

Fertilization requirements for Hornwort 

Hornwort has allelopathic abilities which basically means that it can consume nutrients present in the tank pretty fast which can lead to nutrient deficiency for other plants in the tank.

So if you are going to keep other plants with hornwort, you should supplement the plants with additional fertilizers so each plant can get sufficient nutrients.

Check price of this plant at Amazon here

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

FAQ

Do aquarium plants need a filter?

Though aquarium plants absorb nitrogen and ammonia from the water, you’ll still require a filter for biological filtration if you have fish in your tank.

Even if you don’t have fish in your tank there are still small size nails under the soil in your aquarium that produce waste and die in the aquarium.

Also, the leaves of the plants sometimes degrade in the aquarium which produces a lot of ammonia. And unless you have a lot of plants in your tank, plants will not be able to handle the ammonia level.

Besides, plants cannot do mechanical filtration i.e. they cannot remove the small debris or other small particles from the water. So you need a filter to do the mechanical filtration to keep the water in your tank clear.

Also even in plants only tank you need good water circulation to prevent algae growth and to make your plants look more alive and wavy. And a filter is a very good way to keep water circulating in your tank.

Are Plastic Aquarium Plants Safe? (3 Best fish-safe plastic plants)

How can I heat my aquarium without a heater?

There is no reliable, sustainable, and practical way to keep your aquarium warm for your fish or plants besides installing a heater in the aquarium.

But in case of a power outage, there are a couple of ways you can keep your aquarium heated until the power comes back.

1. Retain the existing heat

After the power outage, the first thing you should do is to try to retain the existing heat in the aquarium.

You can do so by trapping the aquarium with a blanket, cardboard, or a towel.

2. Hot water bottles

Another way is to fill plastic water bottles with hot water and put it floating on the surface of the water of your aquarium.

Just make sure not to use the water bottles that had ever come in contact with any chemicals.

Also, dechlorinate the water before boiling and adding into the bottle just in case the water bottle leaks.

11 Best Red Aquarium Plants (Beginner Friendly and Undemanding)

What are the freshwater fish that don’t need a heater?

There are several freshwater fish that you can keep in your aquarium without a heater.

The list of the fish is as follows:

  • Celestial pearl danio
  • White cloud mountain minnow
  • Rainbow shiner
  • Barbs
  • Hillstream loach
  • Cherry shrimp
  • Dojo lodge
  • Sunset variatus platy

How To Revive Aquarium Plants (Various Symptoms and Cures)

Can fish die if the water is too cold?

Every fish has its own ideal temperature range. And if the temperature drops below the lowest temperature it can tolerate then the fish can die.

The fish may survive for a couple of days and even weeks at low temperature i.e. the temperature below its ideal range. But eventually, it will get susceptible to diseases, its immune system will get weak and it will die.

9 Best Flowering Aquarium Plants

Do aquarium plants need CO2?

Aquarium plants need CO2 for their proper growth. But for most aquarium plants, you don’t need to inject CO2 gas in the aquarium.

Plants can get CO2 exhaled by the fish in your tank.

Besides, you can also provide CO2 to your aquarium plants through fertilizers.

9 Best Aquarium Plants For Shrimp

What are the easiest plants to grow in an aquarium?

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

Some of the plants are as follows:

  • Java fern
  • Java moss
  • Anacharis
  • Hornwort
  • Brazilian pennywort
  • Riccia fluitans
  • Marsilea hirsuta
  • Salvinia natans
  • Cryptocoryne wendtii
  • Anubias

I have written a detailed article covering 52 beginner-friendly aquarium plants in this article.

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

What are the best aquarium plants that can grow without CO2?

There are several aquarium plants that can do well without additional CO2.

The list of a few plants is as follows:

  • Amazon sword
  • Dwarf Sagittaria
  • Hornwort
  • Amazon frogbit
  • Java moss
  • Water wisteria
  • Marsilea hirsuta
  • Micro sword
  • Brazilian pennywort
  • Giant Hygrow
  • Duckweed
  • Anacharis

I have written a detailed article covering all these plants and their other requirements in this article.

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

What are the best beginner-friendly live aquarium plants?

There are several aquarium plants you can easily grow in your aquarium even if you are a beginner.

The list of aquarium plants is as follows:

  • Java fern
  • Java moss
  • Anacharis
  • Hornwort
  • Ludwigia repens
  • Aponogeton Crispus
  • Moneywort
  • Star grass
  • Water Sprite
  • Anubias

I have written a detailed article covering 52 best aquarium plants for beginners in this article.

20 Tips to Maintain a Healthy Aquarium

Conclusion

In a nutshell, most of the aquarium plants don’t require a heater.

In the wild, aquarium plants grow in a diverse environment and they are very adaptive to the temperature.

Unless the temperature is is very cold i.e. less than 50° F, you don’t need a heater for aquarium plants.

I hope you find this article helpful.

If you do, please share it.

Happy aquascaping!

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