How to Grow Aquarium Plants & 37 Best Aquarium Plants Ideas

How to Grow Aquarium Plants & 37 Best Aquarium Plants Ideas

Aquarium Plants

Emma DowneyByEmma Downey
Updated on 6/30/2022

There's an art to picking out the perfect aquarium plants for your fish tank, but there's also some science involved in the process. Many newbies make the mistake of focusing just on the former and asking themselves questions like, "how amazing will this look in my brand-new fish tank?"

Here are a few things you need to know to avoid the unpleasant experience of witnessing the once-beautiful plants in your aquarium quickly transform into a desolate brown color within a few days.

This manual will walk you through the most common aquarium plants and explain how to care for each one correctly. Let's get started!

The Most Common Aquarium Plants

When you look into a fish tank that has been tastefully decorated, all you can see is the lush greenery that provides the fish with a natural environment to roam and investigate. However, if you look closely, you'll notice three different aquarium plants merging.

Expertly decorated fish tank with lush vegetation

Foreground plants, mid-ground plants, and background plants comprise the three primary categories that aquarium vegetation can be categorized into. The primary consideration is the height to which these plants can mature.

As a general rule, you should avoid having tall grasses in the foreground because they completely block the view. The fish will most likely appreciate the added level of seclusion, but you won't have a lovely view of the aquarium.

Did you know that the process of designing the environment of your fish tank is referred to as aquascaping?

Aquarium Foreground Plants

In the foreground of the aquarium, you should have plants that grow slowly and are not too tall. This will allow you to create the ideal environment for aquatic life.

foreground and background plants

The most delicate plants in front of your tank spread out rather than grow up, producing a lush, verdant carpet for the environment.

Dwarf Baby Tears

DBT, often referred to as Hemianthus Callitrichoides, is a plant that is commonly used as a carpeting plant since it multiplies and produces a vibrant green covering at the bottom of your tank. The water should be somewhat acidic to thrive, and the temperature should be between 70 and 84 degrees Fahrenheit.

Dwarf Baby Tears

Ensure that it has a bright light at 2 watts for every gallon of water. If it does not receive adequate sunlight, your lush emerald carpet will start to rise closer to the surface to get it.

Java Moss

When selecting foreground aquarium plants, Java Moss is one of the most excellent options available for novices. Because of its rapid pace of development, it will become a lush, verdant carpet in a short amount of time, particularly if it is exposed to an abundance of light.

Java Moss

Java moss is a plant that requires little care but must have water constantly moving through it. The optimal range for water temperature is 74–82 degrees Fahrenheit.

Brazilian Micro Swords

Because it is native to South American countries like Brazil, including Brazil itself, the plant is known as Lilaeopsis Brasiliensis, also known as Brazilian Micro Swords, and thrives along the riverbanks of those countries.

Brazilian Micro Swords

Because this plant has a relatively short stem, its utmost height will only reach three inches.

It has a growth rate that is around average and is utilized extensively in the carpeting industry. However, Brazilian Micro Swords require intense direct lighting of at least 3 watts per gallon, and the water in which they are kept should be slightly alkaline.

Before you plant them in the tank, you should trim the roots with sharp scissors to grow more quickly.

Aquarium Plants For The Midground

Because they will serve as the primary point of interest in your aquarium, middle-ground aquarium plants require careful consideration while selecting them. The eye is drawn not only to the vibrant fish but also to the clump of plants positioned in the exact center of the aquarium.

Java fern as mid ground plant in aquarium

Unless these plants are kept at a reasonable height, no one will be able to make out what's happening in the backdrop. The following are some of the most common aquarium plants in the mid-ground layer.

Java Fern

The Java fern is one of those plants that even inexperienced gardeners can successfully cultivate and maintain.

aquarium plants java fern

This plant is native to the island of Java in Indonesia, and it may be found growing in a variety of forms and sizes. However, the trident and the needle variants are the ones that are most commonly used as aquarium plants.

They can reach a height of 13 inches and only require a dim light source. In terms of the water conditions, Java fern demands an environment with a pH ranging from 6 to 8, and it is tolerant of temperature changes ranging from 68 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit.

Alternanthera Reineckii

The usage of Alternanthera Reineckii as an aquarium plant is one of the most effective ways to aquascape the section of the fish tank in the middle.

The brilliant green of the foreground stands in striking contrast to the bright scarlet of its leaves. It has a slow growth rate and requires very acidic water to survive.

Alternanthera Reineckii

A helpful hint is to prune it regularly so that you can get new baby stems and so that it does not become too bushy and obscure the view of other plants.

Anubias Barteri Var. Nana

The fact that this small plant requires very little care and can easily adjust to various water conditions has contributed to its widespread adoption. This is an excellent companion plant because it won't cause you any additional headaches if you already have a more demanding plant in your aquarium.

Anubias Barteri Var. Nana

It has a moderate pace of development, but its leaves will last for years, and it flowers consistently to boot. It can reach a height of 4-6 inches and does best in shady conditions.

Aquarium Background Plants

Fish can play a game of hide-and-seek within this sort of aquarium plant, which is used to create a background for your aquarium and is used to decorate the background of your aquarium.

If you desire, the background aquarium plants you use can grow to be as tall as the walls of your tank.

Water Wisteria

The water wisteria, also known as Hygrophila difformis, is a hardy plant and requires little care, making it an excellent option for novice gardeners.

It can reach a height of twenty inches and a width of ten inches, but this is dependent on the amount of light that it receives.

It will appear substantially less expansive if enough illumination is not provided. The water temperature should be kept around 75–82 degrees Fahrenheit, and the PH level should be kept between 6.5 and 7.5.

Amazon Sword (Echinodorus)

Because of its long leaves that resemble swords, this plant is an excellent option for the background of an aquarium. It does not call for the attention of a trained professional either.

All that is required for it to flourish is water with a pH of little less than seven and temperatures ranging from 72 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit. The amount of illumination that it receives ought to be considered moderate.

Ludwigia Repens

Ludwigia Repens can reach a height of up to 20 inches, and as a result, it is best suited for medium to large fish tanks due to the lovely crimson color of its leaves, which are highly regarded among aquarists. Because it quickly multiplies, there is no need to purchase more than a few stems.

Which Type Of Aquarium Plants Do You Need: Saltwater Or Freshwater?

Most people just starting with aquariums choose freshwater tanks because they are simpler to maintain. However, saltwater aquariums allow you to cultivate a wider variety of fish species. Plants, like fish, have a certain kind of water that they grow best in.

Freshwater Aquarium Plants

A broad range of aquarium plants may be used in a freshwater tank. These plants can be used not only for aesthetic purposes but also to maintain the health of the fish in the tank because they act as a natural filtration system for the water.

The Java moss, the Amazon sword, the Java fern, the Anubias and Anubias Nana, the Cryptocoryne, the Pygmy Chain Sword, and the Hornwort are freshwater aquarium plants that are the most popular.

Saltwater Aquarium Plants

The animals that live in saltwater and the plants that can survive in this type of water have a more vibrant range of colors and species.

The following is a list of some of the plants that you should take into consideration if you are thinking about building up a saltwater fish tank: Mermaid's Fan, Red Mangrove Propagule, Green Finger Algae, Dragon's Tongue Algae, and Turtle Grass Shoots are all types of algae that can be found in the area.

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