Best Floating Plants for Aquarium

Are you new to the fish world? You must be looking for some equipment to decorate your fish tank with. 

Nowadays, there has been a trend of all the artificial equipment that may enhance your aquarium’s beauty. But what we ignore is the need for living plants in the aquarium.

Sounds confusing? Well, you should not be so. Living plants provide oxygen for the fish so that they do not have to come up to the surface and engulf oxygen from the air.

A variety of plants are there to keep inside an aquarium. But to know which one to keep is the essential point here.

The novice aqua hobbyists may not know which types of plants should be cultivated inside a Fish Tank. Therefore, we present this article to provide a plethora of knowledge about the floating plants for the aquariums.

What are floating plants?

Floating plants are a kind of plant that has their roots hanging in the water. They generally do not submerge. Instead, they float on the surface of the tank water. Some of the floating plants overgrow, while others may not give you a headache of trimming them. 

Benefits of floating plants:

Floating plants are, in a way, very useful for aquariums. They are multidimensional. The biggest advantage of floating plants is that they do not require a particular substrate to be settled. Since they do not fix their roots to any medium, you do not need to put any external support for them. 

Peacock Bass Tank

These plants skim on the surface of the water and provide shelter for newly hatched fry. Some fish need dimmed and subdued light in the fish tank to grow. So the leaves of these floating plants do offer the optimal amount of light for their benefit. Some of these aquatic plants (like duckweed) can be used as the source of plant food for the fish. 

You see, how useful they are!

Tips for floating plants:

Certain types of plants need a particular maintenance schedule. And these floating plants also need a special kind of maintenance for their healthy growth. These plants do their best when the tank water is clean and pollution-free. Make sure you have an effective filter installed in your aquarium. 

Moreover, you can add Eco-Bio stone to your aquarium to achieve cleanliness. The Eco-Bio stones are originally made from volcanic rocks. They are rich in minerals. They are infused with beneficial bacterial and the nutrients they need to thrive. You must be knowing about the nitrogen cycle. Once installed, the Eco-Bio stones help to keep the nitrogen cycle going on.

Must Check:- Best Aquarium Filters

Types of floating plants:

Several types of floating plants are there in the world. Not all of them are useful for your fish or not even appropriate for your aquarium. You can not just go and pick any floating plant and put them straight in the aquarium. Knowing the proper types of plants and their habits is necessary for you. 

Here we will be providing you with a list of floating plants that you can put in your aquarium.

Azolla:

Azolla

Azolla is a kind of fern plant from the Salviniaceae family. These floating plants are originally natives of North America but can be found in Central America also. Since they are floating plants, you do not need a medium for them to grow. However, they can survive only in a specific water condition. They will require a pH level between 6.3 – 8. You should also consider the optimal temperature of water for them. They grow well at a temperature between 59 – 80.6°F. They have an average growth rate. So you might have to do the occasional trimming. For the lighting, I suggest you go with medium to bright lights.

Hornwort:

Hornwort

These plants are one of the best aquarium plants I have ever added. They belong to the Ceratophyllaceae family. These plants are found in all continents except Antarctica. Hornwort is a bushy, free-floating, submerged plant with an average length of 1–3 m. but in captivity, you can expect a smaller version of the. These plants require a minimum of 15-gallon tanks to be added. Otherwise, their fast growth will be a problem for smaller tanks. You might need to trim them frequently for their paced growth. They require a pH level between 6.0-7.5 to survive. You should keep the water temperature somewhere between 59-86°F if you have hornwort. Last but not least, they will require moderate lighting to grow.

Duckweed:

Duckweed

These plants are excellent examples of free-floating plants. They belong to the Araceae family. These plants have multifaceted usage. They can even provide food for fish. Duckweed can be found in Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America. These plants grow incredibly fast. Therefore, you will have to shape and reshape them frequently. They require a pH level of 6.5-7.5. You will need bright light if you want to grow them rapidly. Otherwise, low or medium lighting will also do. These plants can withstand almost every other change in the water condition. So they are great options for beginners.

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Dwarf Water Lettuce:

Dwarf Water Lettuce

These plants are also known as shellflower, water cabbage, or Nile cabbage. They were first discovered from the Nile near Lake Victoria in Africa. Water lettuce, belonging to the family Araceae, usually has broad waxy leaves and free-floating roots. They can be floating or in a submerged state. Their size is somewhere between 4 to 10 inches on average. These plants need a pH level of 6.5-7.2 and a water temperature of 70 to 80 °F. You might have to give them a cut from time to time if you see them clogging your filter.

Java Moss:

Java Moss

I am sure you have heard of these plants before. The most common and popular among all the aquatic plants is java moss. Java moss is from the family Hypnaceae. They are pretty easy to care for, which makes them great options for beginners. They grow very fast. So you will have to have your scissors ready to give them a nice trim. They will need a pH level of 6 to 8. You should keep the water temperature between 71-75°F for healthy growth. Also, the lighting of your tank should be low to medium. But if you want to slow down the pace of the expansion, let the bright lights shine in your fish tank.

Water Wisteria:

Water Wisteria

These aquatic plants are also excellent options for an aquarium. Water wisteria is originally native of the Indian subcontinent in Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, and Nepal. They belong to the acanthus family. They have an average size of 20 inches and have a fast growth rate. Other than that, water wisteria needs a minimum of a 10-gallon tank to be settled. You will have to maintain the pH level of the tank water somewhere between 6.5-7.5. They require a temperature of 70-82°F and a moderate to bright lighting setup for their growth. 

Bladderwort:

Bladderwort

Bladderwort is a bushy floating plant, optimal for carpeting the fish tank. These plants are natives of the Northern Hemisphere. The plants belonging to the Lentibulariaceae family have an extraordinary feature. They are carnivorous! Yes, you read it right! This is why these plants are not recommended for a breeding tank, especially for breeding shrimp. Although the new fish fry is larger for bladderwort to grasp, still, precaution is the best method.

The best water conditions for them are to balance the pH between 5.0 to 7.0 and the water temperature between 64° – 77° F . these plants require high lighting set up to grow. Keeping this plant can be a bit challenging for beginners since this requires a moderate care schedule. 

Crystalwort:

Crystalwort

This plant is another excellent example of free-floating plants. They do their best in a fully submerged state. The Crystalwort is a member of the Ricciaceae family. It is pretty popular among aqua enthusiasts. These plants are natives to Asia, Africa, and The United States. They are not compatible with duckweed. These plants thrive at a pH level of 6.0 to 8.0 and a temperature between 59°F to 86°F. You might keep moderate lighting in the aquarium for their growth. Occasional trimming is needed if they create a mess for your lovely pets.

Amazon Frogbits:

Amazon Frogbits

Amazon frogbit is a beautiful free-floating plant that has dark green broad leaves. They are from the Hydrocharitaceae family. This plant is native to tropical and subtropical central and south America. These plants are easy to care for. And that is what makes them an optimal choice for a beginner or novice fish parent. Their maximum size is near about 20 inches. But you can expect a smaller size in captivity. The Amazon frogbits thrive the best at a pH level of 6.0-7.5 and a temperature between 64 to 84 °F. Lighting is not a crucial factor for these plants. But if you want to have healthy growth, you can keep the lighting from medium o high.

Green Cabomba:

Green Cabomba

These plants can significantly enhance the grace of your aquarium with their beautiful green shade. They are available in red and purple shades also. I will suggest you start with the green Cabomba because they are easy to maintain. The plants from the family Cabombaceae require a pH level of 6.8 – 7.5. Some aqua enthusiasts suggest the low pH can also be kept. These plants need a temperature somewhere between 72 – 82°F. For lighting, you can set a medium to high range for the best results.

Pennywort:

Pennywort

Pennyworts are from the Araliaceae family that are semi-floating plants. Meaning they do not need a substrate for thriving, but you can plant them as well. These plants need a minimum of 19l tank to thrive and grow. You may have to keep in mind the pH level of the water. The ideal pH level for these plants is 6-8. You should keep the temperature of the tank water somewhere between 68 – 82 °F. Trim these plants frequently if you notice limitless growth.

Rotala Indica:

Rotala Indica

These plants are natives of Southeast Asia. They are also called Indian Toothcap because they can be found in India. The Rotala plants belong to the Lythraceae family. They can be outstanding options for your aquarium because of their attractive looks. But as a beginner, you must know the optimal water conditions for them. You must keep the pH of the tank’s water between 6.0 to 7.5 and the temperature between 70-82°F. But they say these plants can withstand subtle temperature changes. Medium to high illumination would be ideal for these plants to thrive.

Ludwigia Repens:

Ludwigia Repens

These plants are from the Onagraceae family. It is native to some parts of America and tends to grow fast. That means you will have to cut them every now and then. These are also known as Creeping primrose-willow. They thrive the best in the pH level of 6.0 – 8.0 and the temperature between 68 – 82 °F. They grow up to 50 cm without trimming. But, since you will keep them in an aquarium and give them a nice trim every 3 to 8 weeks, their growth will obviously be controlled. These magnificent Green to reddish plants are easy to maintain. Hence, Can be opted for a beginner.

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 Limnophila:

Limnophila

This is a flowering aquatic plant that has beautiful color combinations. It is a plant that can come in red, green, and purple shades. The beautiful plant is a member of the Plantaginaceae family. It is mainly found in the tropical and subtropical regions of Asia, Australia, Africa, and the Pacific Islands. These plants grow incredibly fast. The ideal pH level for them is somewhere between 5 to 8. They thrive the best in a water temperature between 59 to 83°F. Since they can withstand some changes in the water condition, you can opt for them if you are a complete beginner.

Final words:

The aquarium is an enclosed ecosystem that is kept in captivity. While keeping an aquarium, the main aim of the aqua hobbyists is to ensure the natural environment for the fish. And while speaking o the natural habitat, you must know the necessity of the living plants. They oxygenate the water. Also, they provide food for the fish.

 Another significant usage of the living plants is to provide shelter for the fish. Often the fish in your tank may find shelter to take a rest. That is usually provided by the living plants, especially floating plants. Hence, these plants are necessary for a fish tank. 

But, putting any aquatic plant does not do great for the tank. Therefore, choosing the appropriate plant is essential. From the list mentioned above, I hope you will get a suitable plant for your aquarium.

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