Did you know fish are the fourth most popular pets among people? After dogs, cats, and birds, fish are the most loved pets worldwide. Are you surprised? Well, you shouldn’t be.
Who does not love a vibrant aquarium? A lively fish tank, bright in colour, always enhances the interior beauty of your room or office.
On the contrary, if you look at a lifeless aquarium filled with algae, your impression is officially doomed!
In order to make your aquarium an excellent one, you need to follow some measures.
Nowadays, people are more attracted to artificial plants. But, including the live plants is also essential for oxygen and hiding spots.
But you can not just put any types of grass or moss in the aquarium, right? For that, you need to know some specific plants and their types.
Java Moss, Dwarf Hairgrass, African Water Fern, Wendt’s Water Trumpet, Anacharis, Dwarf Rotala are a few plants that can be added to the aquascape.
Getting confused? Don’t worry when we are here. We will help you with the beginner’s guide to aquarium plants.
List of Best Aquarium Plants for Beginners, Bettas and Turtles
Now that you have gathered a firm knowledge about what living plants do, you might be looking for some of the aquarium plants to keep.
Here is a list of the seven best live aquarium plants for beginners.
1. Java moss (Taxiphyllum barbieri):
Java moss is from the family Hypnaceae. This is one of the most popular types of live aquarium plants. These plants are pretty easy to maintain. And for this reason, the Java moss is ideal for beginners. They grow incredibly fast. Sometimes the growth becomes so much that they resemble the green carpet inside the aquarium.
You don’t want to create a never-ending maze for your lovely pets, do you? If you let the java moss acquire ample space in the tank to grow, your fish might start hating you. Every 3 to 8 weeks, you should trim them properly to maintain the balance. These plants grow well at a water temperature between 71-75°F. For optimal growth, you should keep the pH level of the water from 6 to 8. The Java moss prefers low lighting. Hence, I would recommend you keep the lighting dim and soothing.
If you want to control the growth pace of these plants, you can keep the water temperature anywhere between 60-82°F and let the bright lighting shine in your aquarium. The tiny green leaves of these plants will surely add an aesthetic touch to your aquarium.
They are natives of Vietnam. What? Are you planning to fly to Vietnam to get these? Well, the good news is they are available on many online platforms. Check it out here.
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2. Dwarf Hairgrass (Eleocharis acicularis):
This plant, from the family Cyperaceae, looks like it just came from your garden straight away. The beautiful plant can enhance the looks of your aquarium as well as oxygenate the tank water. Like Java Moss, they also grow very fast. You should have a good hand at trimming these. Otherwise, you will end up having an aquarium darkened by the plants.
These live plants love warmer temperatures. You can keep the water temperature anywhere between 50-85°F. But do not increase the temperature too much unless you want to obtain boiled fish with boiled plants!
Keeping the lighting medium high and controlling a clean water flow can add extra credit to your tank if you have these plants.
3. African Water Fern (Bolbitis heudelotii):
African water ferns are dark green in color and so delicate. Sometimes they come with transparent leaves. If taken care of properly, these plants can be the best friends to your lovely pets. These aquarium plants are not supposed to be buried in the substrate. Instead, you should attach their rhizomes to the surface like driftwood or rocks. Unlike Java Moss or Hairgrass, these aquatic plants do not grow so fast. Therefore, they do not need much trimming.
To keep these ferns, you will need to maintain the water temperature between 68-80°F. Also, keeping the pH of the water between 6 to 7.5 (slightly acidic or neutral) will help you maintain these plants.
4. Wendt’s Water Trumpet (Cryptocoryne wendtii):
Cryptocoryne wendtii, widely known as Wendt’s Water Trumpet, is a quite popular type of aquarium plant. Since they have color variations, the fish tank automatically looks beautiful. These plants come with red, brown, or green leaves. These plants are incredibly hardy and can withstand high and low light, both soft and hard water conditions. Preferably, the water temperature should be somewhere between 68-83°F, and the pH level should be between 6 to 7.5. One small thing you should know is that these plants tend to wither when introduced to a new environment. But don’t worry, your plant is alive. You will see fresh leaves sprouting from it shortly.
Since these aquarium plants grow slowly, you don’t really need to trim the plants that much. Being a flexible and hardy plant, this one can be an optimal choice for your aquarium.
5. Anacharis ( Egeria densa):
This aquarium plant is from the Hydrocharitaceae family. They are called by many names ((Anacharis, Elodea, Brazilian Waterweed). One can quickly identify them by their distinctive appearance. Anarcharis, the natives of tropical South America, prefer warm water (water between 72-78°F). But they can easily manage at 60°F. Usually, these plants grow well in medium light and a pH level of 6.5-7.5. If kept in ideal conditions, these plants will proliferate, and you will have to give them a nice trim from time to time.
These aquarium plants absorb the nutrients in water quickly. So there is less chance of algae accumulation if Anarchis is in your tank. Hence, these plants are excellent for your tank.
6. Dwarf Rotala (Rotala rotundifolia):
The Dwarf Rotala, from the family Lythraceae, is also a popular type of aquatic plant. These are pretty famous among aqua hobbyists. Here’s what you need to know about them if you are a newbie in this world.
Dwarf rotala is a beautiful aquatic plant that has narrow red and green leaves. These leaves grow in clumps along the stem. These plants can survive at a very low water temperature. But 68-82°F is optimal for them. You should keep medium to high lighting in the aquarium. The brighter the light is, the redder the leaves grow. Also, the pH level of the water should be somewhere between 6-8. These plants do their best in nutrient-rich water. They can grow submerged, floating, or immersed. Since these plants have a high growth rate, you will have to give them a nice trim frequently.
7. Water Lettuce (Pistia stratiotes):
Water lettuce is one of the most popular aquarium plants among aqua enthusiasts. It looks almost like a cabbage. It has many different names because of its looks. People call them water cabbage, water lettuce, Nile cabbage, or shellflower. Basically, it is a floating plant with wavy leaves that has a wax coating on them. In the wild, these species are large. But when it comes to the aquarium ones, you will not find them more than 10 inches in size. Their most notable feature includes the waxy surface hairs that help them to create foam bubbles to stay afloat.
Keep these plants at a temperature between 70-80 °F and keep the pH level of the tank water somewhere between 6.5-7.5. You should keep the aquarium lights low to medium because of their preference. Use tubing ropes to restrict them in a specific area. By doing this, they will not create problems for filters.
Aquariums are delicately balanced enclosed ecosystems. Your final goal here should be to provide natural comfort. Precisely, for that purpose, the aim should be to recreate the natural setting of freshwater bodies or saltwater bodies. Just as you like to rest and relax after a day of a hectic schedule, your pets might also feel the same. To provide them with ample hiding spots and relaxation areas, you should consider keeping living plants in the aquarium. Also, they oxygenate the tank water, making it easier for your lovely pets to breathe. Some plants do prevent algae accumulation. Considering all of the reasons, you might want to include living plants instead of an artificial one.
Brian wasn’t just another Civil Engineer. His passion for Aquarium life was unknown to many until he decided to showcase it for the world. It seems like he made the right decision after all!