Best Freshwater Aquarium Plants Guide

In this guide on the Best Freshwater Aquarium Plants for beginners, you will learn How to choose Aquarium plants and different types of plants.

Why do You Want Aquarium Plants?

Live plants can provide a variety of benefits to your aquarium. Here are some benefits of having live plants in your aquarium.

  • Convert carbon dioxide into breathable oxygen for your aquarium fish.
  • Live plants use nitrates and other chemical waste products, helping remove them from the water so they do not harm your fish.
  • It can saturate your fish tank with oxygen which helps aerate the tank.
  • Provide shelter and security for fish.
  • It will improve your tank’s aesthetics.

In addition to these benefits, aquarium plants help improve and maintain the quality of your fish tank.

However frequent water changes are essential for maintaining high water quality in your aquarium.

Change 10% to 15 % of your tank’s volume once a week or every two weeks. And also keep eye on your filter to make sure it is not clogged.

Live plants come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes,s, and colors. Choose your plants depending on your tank size and how you want to decorate your tank.

Different Types of Aquarium Plants

Now you know the basics of why you need live plants in your aquarium. lets us get into the next part. what type of plant you want to use.

Based on their placement in the tank, aquarium plants can be divided into three different categories:

  • Foreground Plants.
  • Mid-ground Plants.
  • Background plants.

Foreground Plants are the plants you place at the front of the tank. They are generally shorter and grow slowly.

Sometimes these plants are also called Carpet plants because they tend to spared outward rather than upward like a green carpet.

Mid-ground Plants are taller than foreground plants and can be used along the side of your tank and in the middle.

This kind of plant can add to the aesthetics of your tank. Background Plants are the larger plants that you use in your tank. It also helps to make hiding places for your aquarium fish.

Choosing the right plants for your Aquarium Tank

Aquarium plants certainly make your aquarium a more visually appealing look. Please keep in mind that what plants you put into your tank can have a great effect on the inside of the tank environment. Before choosing any plants please keep those things mentioned below.

  • Size: While selecting a plant choose a favorable size for your tank. It is important to remember that like your fish your plants will also grow. In the later part of this article, I will cover some of the Best Freshwater Aquarium Plants in a detailed review.
  • Substrate: It is simply the material that lines the bottom of your tank and it is where the plant’s root will grow. Just like on the land, plants in water need a secure place to lay their roots. The aquarium plants also need nutrients as other plants do. And most of the nutrients will be absorbed by the plant’s root.
  • Sand and gravel substrates are good for only fish tanks. But if you wanted to plant into this tank you will have to fertilize the tank occasionally to make sure they get the nutrients they need.
  • CaribSea Eco-Complete or ADA aqua soil is designed specifically for planted tanks.
  • Lighting: Light is the source of energy for every green plant. So aquarium plants also need light for photosynthesis. Your plants will need at least 8 to 10 hours of full-spectrum light per day. It will mimic the natural sunlight and it is best for photosynthesis. Be care full to use natural light (such as placing your tank next to a window) because too much light can contribute to algae growth and also worm up the water in the aquarium tank. The best type of lighting for a planted tank is LED aquarium lighting.
  • Water: It is also a factor for living plants. Most plants live in water from 72 to 78 degrees Fahrenheit and have a pH of 6.8 to 7.8. In this article, we will discuss only freshwater aquarium plants.

If you are interested in Freshwater Fish click here.

Best Freshwater Aquarium Plants

Now you have a good understanding of aquarium plants. You can use the above information to make an informed buying decision. Now let us go through some freshwater aquarium plants.

Java Moss

Java moss is a great carpet plant because it spreads quickly. This plant grows best in well-circulated and clean water.

  • Light Required: Moderate.
  • Growth Rate: Fast.
  • Ideal water parameters: 74-82ºF, KH 3-8, pH 6.5-7.5
  • Difficulty: Very easy.
Aquarium Plants
Java Moss

Dwarf Baby Tears

Dwarf Baby Tears are ideal for breeding tanks. This plant makes a bunch of tiny leaves and forms a dense carpet layer with good lighting conidiation.

  • Light Required: High.
  • Growth Rate: Moderate.
  • Ideal water parameters: 68 to 82ºF, KH 0 to 10, pH 5.0 to 7.5
  • Difficulty: Moderate.
Best freshwater aquarium plants
Potted Dwarf Baby Tears


Lilaeopsis is also known as Brazilian Micro Sword. It is a short-stemmed plant. It can grow fully or partially submerged and also forms a dense carpet with the right combination of lighting, CO2, and other nutrients.

  • Light Required: High.
  • Growth Rate: Moderate.
  • Ideal water parameters: 70 to 83ºF, soft to moderately hard, pH 6.8 to 7.5
  • Difficulty: Moderate.

Water Wisteria

Water Wisteria produces lace-like leaves that vary in size according to the water temperature. They can be easily propagated by cuttings from the lower leaves.

  • Light Required: Moderate.
  • Growth Rate: Fast.
  • Ideal water parameters: 74 to 82ºF, KH 3 to 8, pH 6.5 to 7.5
  • Difficulty: Easy
water wisteria
Water Wisteria

African Water Fern

African Water Fern plant grows fairly slowly even in ideal conditions. Once established, it is easy to maintain.

  • Light Required: High.
  • Growth Rate: Slow.
  • Ideal water parameters: 74 to 84ºF, KH 5 to 15, pH 6.0 to 8.5
  • Difficulty: Easy.
Water fern
Water Fern

Java Fern

Java fern is extremely easy to grow and it comes in different sizes and leaf shapes. If the lighting is too strong the leaves can turn brown.

  • Light Required: Low to moderate.
  • Growth Rate: Moderate to fast.
  • Ideal water parameters: 72 to 82ºF, soft to moderately hard. pH 6.0 to 8.0
  • Difficulty: Easy
Java Fern
Java Fern

Hey, I am Shuvradeb Biswas a content writer. Fishkeeping is my hobby. There are many problems I faced during my first fishkeeping. So, I made the blog to help new fishkeepers.

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