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13 Best Freshwater Aquarium Plants Reviewed

Plants are the ideal way to liven up your freshwater tank. With vibrant greenery, your aquarium gets an extra boost of color and adds to a realistic tank environment.

Plants help your freshwater tank look similar to a fish’s natural habitat. This, as well as, other benefits helps improve your fish’s overall health. Tank plants are known to have good filtration qualities.

Freshwater aquariums with plants will be better oxygenated and filtered through the use of aquatic fauna. With all these benefits, it would be a mistake to skip out on this vital addition to your tank!

Some people worry that water plants are too hard to take care of. This is understandable, plants can be hard to take maintain in some circumstances.

Still, several freshwater plants will suit new tank owners. You have many options to choose from. So you should definitely invest in this vital item.

Plants not only look great in the water, but they also create a livable, healthy, and fun habitat for fish. Your pet will gain a spot to relax, and if they want a treat to snack on.

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Best Freshwater Aquarium Plants

freshwater aquarium plants

Freshwater plant life comes in all sorts of variations. In this next section, we will preview some of the best freshwater aquarium plants on the market.

You should have the best plants for your freshwater tank, so we picked each plant with care.

All the information you will need on these plants is right here for you in this post.

Best Freshwater Aquarium Foreground Plants

If you want a plant that covers up the bottom of your tank and stays near the front of the aquarium, the following plants are for you.

We’ve chosen some great foreground plants to meet your freshwater aquarium’s needs.

These plants normally grow at a relaxed pace. They will add nice coverage to the whole tank area.

1. Java Moss

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Java Moss are great plants for freshwater tanks. They are easy to maintain, simple fauna that any beginner can cultivate. Java covers the bottom of tanks like grass. They are lush and thick if put in the right condition.

If you want to grow these plants rapidly you can. Use brighter lighting to create this effect. Low lighting can work well too. Your plant will just grow at a slower rate.

Whatever lighting you pick, make sure the water is clean and very well filtered. This will result in optimal plant growth. A temperature between seventy-four degrees Fahrenheit and eighty-two degrees is best for Java.

With Java Moss filling the bottom of the tank, the water will become oxygenated in no time. The coverage created by Java acts as a resting place for fish, as well as, a filtration system.

You can add other plants to your Java or leave it as the sole plant in your tank. The best thing about this specimen is the lack of material needed to care for it.

Java don’t need fertilizers or substrates to multiply. You can add them in if you want to, but this is not necessary. Care is not overly complicated. Simply place your Java in the tank before your fish to let it grow a little. Also, make sure to cut your Moss before it grows too long.

Java Moss is a go-to plant for many fish owners.

This is the perfect freshwater plant for people new to fish keeping. We consider it to be one of the best freshwater aquarium plants!

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Video: “Java Moss Aquarium Plant Profile”

2. Brazilian Micro Swords

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Brazilian Micro Swords are another visually appealing foreground plant for freshwater tanks. The Micro Sword has high lighting needs in comparison to other plants. You’ll definitely want to get a light that is intense enough to keep up with this short fauna.

Keep this Micro Sword in warm water with a temperature of seventy to eighty-two degrees Fahrenheit. Don’t stray from this climate or you could end up killing it.

Well fortified fertilizer is recommended for this freshwater plant. Also, use a substrate to properly root the Micro Sword. You want to be careful putting the roots down, they are pretty delicate.

The Brazilian Micro Sword is not the easiest freshwater plant to care for. But if you follow these instructions you should be able to grow it.

Prune your plant regularly, and change the water to keep the Micro Sword healthy. If you are a beginner to freshwater plants you might want to try a different plant out.

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Video: “Plant Guide: Micro Sword”

3. Dwarf Baby Tears

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The next plant on the list is the Dwarf Baby Tears. This is an elegant plant that works great as a breeding ground for fish. If you are looking to breed fish in freshwater this is the ideal choice. The Dwarf Baby grows pretty thick to keep fish eggs well hidden and safe.

Like other foreground plants, it will apply carpeting to the bottom of your tank. The dense leaves of the plant are a great area for your fish to nest and rest. The only real requirements of this plant are intense light.

Other than this, the Dwarf will survive in a wide range of temperatures and Ph levels. This makes the plant much easier to care for. Fertilizer is something else you should consider getting for the Dwarf Baby as well.

Overall this is a low maintenance plant with a cute look.

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Video: “How To: Hemianthus Callitrichoides (HC) dwarf baby tears”

4. Dwarf Hairgrass

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The Dwarf Hairgrass is even easier to take care of than the Dwarf Baby Tears. The Hairgrass isn’t as visually stunning as the Baby Tear.

Still, this is a good plant for anyone just starting out with planted tanks. You won’t have to worry about lighting the Hairgrass as much. The needs of this plant are much more moderate.

Fertilizer will help the Hairgrass grow taller and stronger. While rooting it in substrate will help keep the plant in place. On the whole, this is a highly adaptable freshwater plant that will survive many water conditions.

If you are looking for a practical plant to fill in your tank with choose the Hairgrass!

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Video: “Dwarf Hairgrass: Carpeting King!”

5. Staurgyne Repens

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The Staurgyne Repens is a robust fauna that fits well in the foreground of freshwater aquariums. This South American greenery enjoys low levels of light or moderate light. It requires very little care and can survive in a number of temperatures.

Even if you make mistakes caring for this plant, it isn’t likely to die like some other species. All you’ll need to do is put in some nutrients and fertilizer. This way the Repens plant grows to its full potential.

It won’t grow fast, but the Repens will cover your entire tank. Keeping this in mind, you won’t want to put this in a tank smaller than ten gallons.

If you have had problems keeping plants alive, try out the Repens. This is a forgiving plant with very few demands.

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Video: “Staurogyne repens”

6. Pygmy Chain Sword

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The Pygmy Chain Sword is the last foreground plant on our list. This plant requires a high level of nutrients and fertilizer to survive. So consider this if you choose to purchase the Chain Sword.

The leaves on the plant are thin and sword-like in appearance. They add an aesthetic appeal to freshwater tanks. You will want to give this plant moderate amounts of light. Temperature is a little more flexible as the plant can survive in water sixty-eight degrees to eighty-four degrees Fahrenheit.

Most people shouldn’t have an issue caring with this plant. Just keep it in the conditions we have outlined. Pygmy Chain Swords will create a beautiful cover for your freshwater tank!

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Video: “Planting Pygmy Chain Sword – Echinodorus Tenellus”

Best Freshwater Aquarium Middle ground or Background Plants

Middle ground plants work to fill either the side of an aquarium or the center. If you want a nice centerpiece for your tank this is the type of plant you should get.

Background plants, on the other hand, fill up more space and are larger. If you want a complete environment for a freshwater tank this is one option to consider.

1. Water Wysteria

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Water Wysteria grows large. In fact, you should not house these plants in freshwater tanks below ten gallons. If you have a big tank and have experience with tank plants get this.

The Wisteria is a unique and striking specimen. And it will take center stage in your tank if you provide it with the right conditions. Warm waters create a livable environment for the plant. And a Ph of around six point five to seven point five is perfect.

When you plant the Wysteria, gravel and other substrate is preferred. Potting is another option though if you want less hassle. Just ensure that you buy fertilizer to help the Wysteria flourish.

This is not a difficult plant to keep in your tank. It just requires a little bit of work and maintenance.

For larger aquariums, this middle ground plant can definitely be worth a purchase. This is one of the best freshwater aquarium plants.

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Video: “Aquarium Plant – Water Wisteria”

2. Amazon Sword

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The next middle ground plant is the popular Amazon Sword. The Amazon is the hardiest plant on this list. Whatever water conditions your tank may have, this plant can grow in them. Temperature is not an issue for this plant. So it will blend in well with whatever environment your fish requires. Just keep in mind the lighting of your aquarium.

The Amazon needs high levels of light to survive in freshwater. Fertilizer and a decent substrate should also be added to your tank. Once you bury the roots of the Amazon in firmly you will have no complications.

This plant will grow large without much care. This is another plant that does well in large freshwater aquariums.

The vivid green leaves of the Amazon Sword will create a beautiful space for any fish to explore. Give it plenty of room to stretch out and develop.

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Video: “Plant Guide: Amazon Sword”

3. Java Fern

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Java Fern is another well-known tank plant. The Fern is versatile and looks good in any aquarium. The best part about the Java Fern is that it requires almost zero maintenance.

This is the easiest plant to care for on our list. With a Java, you won’t have to spend extra money on substrate, fertilizer, or other products. The plant likes dimmed down lights and is not fussy about temperature or other water conditions. In short, this is a great tank plant best suited for new fish owners.

We highly recommend this background plant. You will get all the perks of other plants on this list. You just won’t have to spend as much time caring for it.

For these reasons, we consider the Java Fern the best freshwater aquarium plants for fish owners.

You can put this plant in any size tank, with almost any kind of fish. Overall, this is a hassle-free plant.

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Video: “Growing Dense Java Fern”

4. Anubias

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The Anubias can be a central decorative piece for large freshwater tanks. If you choose this plant for your aquarium, it will grow big. Up to one foot in both width and height. This plant is not for everyone. But if you have a fish that is shy or likes to nap a lot consider this specimen.

The Anubias creates ample shade for freshwater aquariums. You also won’t have to adjust the temperature for this plant as it is extremely hardy. Pick a climate that suits your fish best and the Anubias will adapt.

To survive, moderate levels of light should be applied to the Anubias. If you want your plant to be larger and lush, provide it with more intense light.

The care you decide to give the Anubias will depend on how you want your plant to grow. If you want a massive plant, put fertilizer and extra light. If you want a more manageable Anubias trim your plant often and give it moderate amounts of light.

Driftwood or gravel can be used to root the Anubias. Be gentle with your plant as you place it in the tank. And don’t put the roots in too deep. These tips will keep the Anubias alive!

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Video: “Anubias | Beginner Guide”

5. Dwarf Water Lilly

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The Dwarf Water Lilly adds a spark of color to freshwater tanks! All the plants on this list have a green tint, the Water Lilly gives your tank a fresh red hue.

This Lilly plant requires more nutrients than the average water plant. So fertilizer and substrate are a must for the Lilly.

Root the plant in your chosen material. But don’t put the bulb in the substrate only the roots. Your plant will die if you don’t follow this step.

Good intense lighting is another requirement. And water around seventy to eighty degrees works for the plant. These are some of the easiest Lilly type plants to care for but they do require work.

If you want a plant with some flare and are willing to maintain it carefully, try out the Dwarf Water Lilly!

This is a small plant that grows slow and looks good in small to medium-sized tanks.

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6. Aponogeton Ulvaceus Bulb

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The Aponogeton Ulvaceus Bulb are plants that originate straight from the African Madagascar. The foliage of this plant is slightly transparent and has beautiful twisting leaves.

Be warned, this is a massive plant that should only go in tanks ten gallons and up. If your freshwater tank has the space though, this is a pretty robust plant. You won’t want to put in water higher than seventy-two degrees. But otherwise, it will be fine in almost any tank.

New fish owners should be fine with the Bulb plant. Lighting requirements are low and you won’t need to add in any fertilizer. The only issue would be overgrowth.

Even if you don’t give this plant much care, it will grow rapidly. Trim the Bulb often and it should be kept under control. A substrate also keeps your freshwater plant in its proper place.

The Aponogeton Ulvaceus Bulb is a big plant, but overall an easy plant to care for. It’s great for a large number of freshwater aquariums and fish!

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Video: “Aponogeton Aquarium Garden”

7. Anacharis

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The last plant on our list is the Anacharis Egeria Densa. This convenient plant will provide your freshwater tank with several key benefits. The biggest benefit is the easy care and adaptability of the plant. New tank owners will have minimal issues with this plant.

The Densa is a freshwater plant that can survive in both cold and warm climates with ease. The lighting on this background specimen should be moderate, but it can survive on lower levels of light.

If your fish likes to snack on plants the Densa also tastes great and has nutritional value.

When you plant the Densa, you can leave it floating or purchase some substrate to anchor it down. This is entirely up to you. Letting your plant float will cost you less money though.

Whatever you choose to do with your Densa, this plant will improve the health and look of your aquarium!

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Video: “Anacharis Aquarium Plant: Beginner Plant”

How to Choose the Best Freshwater Aquarium Plants For Your Tank

When you choose to buy anything for your fish, you should do it with caution. This includes tank plants that you plan to purchase. These specimen should not be selected lightly.

You want to make sure to get the best freshwater aquarium plants for your fish. A little bit of research and reading will help you find a great option.

Many of the plants that are sold online and in stores will be able to handle your tank. Still, some plants are hardier and easier to care for. You want to get these kinds of plants.

The variety in freshwater plants is large and diverse. In our guide, we will go over plants with the best qualities for your water and your fish. Before you put anything in your tank, realize that each plant has different needs.

No one plant is the same. Some plants like warm water, while some like more frigid temperatures. Other plants need a lot of light to survive or very little light. This will all depend on the plant and the water conditions your fish needs.

You want to match the plant you put in your water with your fish. This way they won’t be at odds with one another.

Choosing a plant that fits the look you want is also important. Plants can either act as a centerpiece for your tank or a background decoration to fill up the area you want. It all depends on your preference for your freshwater tank.

A Few Plant Care Tips

In reading our post, you will avoid many of the issues faced by new plant owners. The needs of your plant will be detailed in this post as we go through each item. Before this, we will talk about some general plant care tips.

We want to help you make the most of your planted freshwater tank. One of the most important steps in caring for your plant is providing light. Any type of plant will require a light source. So make sure to get a good lighting system for your tank.

Most plants need around eight hours of light per day. The type of light will depend on the plant. Something with an adjustable setting is your best bet. This way you can tailor the light to your plant.

Other products to consider when thinking of plant care are substrate and fertilizer. Not all plants require these materials, but if they do make sure to purchase them. These items will help your tank plants get proper nutrition.

Lastly, you’re going to want to make sure to trim your plants regularly. Plants need to be looked after. Trimming is one part of this. You want to get rid of any decaying or wilting plant matter! These are only a few tips, but they should get you ready for your plant.

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Freshwater tanks are not complete without the addition of an aquatic plant. If you want your fish and your tank to stay in top condition, a tank plant is a must!

In this post, we went over some of the best freshwater aquarium plants. We provided you with all the necessary details. This way, you can find a plant that fits with your tank to a tee. Plants in the market are full of diversity.

We hope we could assist you in your choice for freshwater plants! With your plant, your tank will look fantastic and your fish will thrive!

Aaron Boyd
Aaron Boyd

Hello, I’m Aaron Boyd, the proud owner and author behind Aqua Movement. I hope my article was able to answer your questions. If you want to learn more about me, click the home icon above.

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