Aquarium plant – types, planting and care

One of the essential elements of a fish tank are plants. Thanks to them, the aquarium takes on its character. The creatures that live in the water gain better shelter and comfort. Aquarium plants – tall, short and of various colors – are available in stores. How not to get lost in all this? Check which aquarium plant you like best. Read our guide and decide which one to choose!

What plants for the aquarium?

The choice of plants for a home aquarium is influenced by many factors. Much depends on the creatures that will be in the tank, the available equipment (e.g. lamps, filter, substrate) and of course the knowledge and commitment of the aquarist. It is worth considering each of these aspects carefully to be able to show off a beautiful and effective aquarium later.

Live plants for the aquarium or artificial?

Which plants you eventually become convinced of depends on your commitment to caring for them and your general aquarium knowledge. What aquarium plant will be the right one? Some believe that for people who are just learning about aquarium plants, the best option is to buy their artificial counterparts.

An artificial aquarium plant and its advantages

It cannot be denied that some artificial plants look extremely effective. In addition:

  • practically no work required;
  • you do not need to trim them or take care of a suitable substrate;
  • cleaning them is also not a major challenge.

In addition, they will be suitable as a hiding place for fish as well as live plants.

Advantages of live plants for the aquarium

However, you must know that live aquarium plants perform functions that the artificial ones cannot cope with:

  • enrich the aquarium ecosystem with oxygen;
  • many of them are additional food for fish;
  • most importantly – they contribute to the good mood of aquarium creatures, as they remind them of their natural habitat.

Although many people are surely convinced by the advantages of artificial plants, in the long run, the living ones will be better.

Durable plants for the aquarium

If you are a beginner, you should look for aquarium plants that are resistant and do not require too complicated care. This way you will be able to enjoy a nice tank without stressing too much about the welfare of the plants.

Which resistant aquarium plant to choose?

Robust aquarium plants include, for example, anubias. Depending on the species, they differ in both the size and shape of the leaves. The advantages of anubias include:

  • resistance to various temperature ranges and water parameters, thanks to which they can grow in a wide variety of conditions;
  • thick leaves, thanks to which they will not be an easy morsel for fish;
  • resistance to worse lighting.

However, be careful that they do not get too little light, as then they will not develop properly. Also pay attention to the algae in the aquarium, which can harm anubias.

Echinodorusy and mosses, other resistant aquarium plants

What other aquarium plant will be easy to care for? You can buy echinodorusy. It is enough to provide them with medium lighting and get rid of old leaves regularly. Echinodorusy grows quickly and takes root easily.

Beginners are also recommended a variety of mosses, for example:

  • christmas moss;
  • mech jawajski;
  • water recess;
  • weeping moss.

Most types of mosses are delicate plants, and therefore can be an object of “attack” by fish. However, they are easy to breed, grow quickly and don’t need much lighting.

Plants floating into the aquarium

Some people are attracted to the possibility of growing floating plants in an aquarium. Which floating aquarium plant is worth recommending? The most popular are:

  • pistia rozetkowa;
  • duckweed;
  • floating salvinia.

These plants look effective and help to shade a brightly lit aquarium, which is useful if there are fish that like partial shade. If the tank is not very well lit or there are creatures in it that require special care, it is worth considering buying other plants.

Colorful plants for the aquarium

Plants in clear and unusual colors often catch the eye of aquarists. Red aquarium plants that contrast nicely with the green leaves are especially popular. The popular colorful plants include the echinodorus “Red Devil” and “Red Diamond”, Ludwigia and Rotala. However, it is worth remembering that they need special care, strong lighting and fertilizers that will allow them to grow. In addition, it is worth bearing in mind that the colorful aquarium flora is sometimes the target of an attack by fish, which attracts with its flashy colors.

Diseases of aquarium plants

Unfortunately, it sometimes happens that aquarium plants, despite the most sincere intentions of the aquarist, suffer from various diseases. What is the most common cause of plant problems? We present their main causes.

Incorrect lighting

Both the time and the degree of light intensity are important for the proper development of the aquarium plant. Before buying, it is worth finding out what kind of light plants need to develop properly. Their dying out may mean, for example, that the lamp is insufficient or the exposure was too short. Most aquatic plants take about 10-12 hours.

Violation of the biological balance of water

Aquarium plants need a specific environment to thrive. One of its most important elements is water – more specifically:

  • appropriate pH;
  • overall hardness;
  • carbonate hardness.

To make sure that all parameters are adapted to specific plant species, it is worth having special tests for aquarium water.

Incorrect fertilization

The shortage of properly selected fertilizers may result in the sterilization of the substrate, but not only. Such a deficiency for an aquarium plant may result in a sudden change in the color of the leaves, stunted growth, and even complete death. The use of fertilizer should save aquarium plants from weakening them.


Every aquarist has come across a variety of worms and small creatures in his tank at least once in his life. The most common are snails. Although there are species that do not pose a threat to plants and fish, the most common are creatures that attack the flora of the aquarium. There are several ways to fight them, although getting rid of them completely is not easy. Chemicals available on the market are often selective and manually selecting snails from the aquarium is too laborious in the long run. It may be a good idea to buy a species of fish that will deal with the problem of unwanted “guests” (eg great loaches).

How to plant aquarium plants?

When planning the overall appearance of your aquarium, you should take a moment to think about the conditions that will prevail there. Different plants react differently to light, the type of substrate or the presence of different species of fish. Here are some important tips that will come in handy when planting any aquarium plant:

  1. Beginners are not recommended to plant light-loving plants and those that prefer shade at the same time – it will be difficult to choose lighting to suit both types.
  2. Before planting aquarium plants, a suitable substrate should be selected. Most often, aquarists decide to use quartz or marble litter, enriched with a special fertilizer, approx. 2-6 mm. This allows the plants to take root properly and grow quickly.
  3. The way in which the aquarium plant was transported also matters. It is best to buy plants in places where they are issued in baskets with cotton wool.
  4. Then it is enough to remove it, and rinse the plant and possibly clean it.
  5. Before planting, it is a good idea to fill the aquarium with a little water and mark where the plants will be located. You should keep at least a few centimeters of space between individual seedlings.
  6. It is enough to place most of the plants in a small depression in the ground and cover them up.

You already know how to plant an aquarium plant and what to remember before buying. If you are a beginner aquarist, you can, of course, opt for artificial plants, but the living ones have many advantages. Whichever you choose, we wish you to develop your passion!