The Fish Guru

Aquarium Plants: Benefits Best Choices and Maintenance

Introduction to Aquarium Plants

Aquarium plants are a great addition to any fish tank, not only do they enhance the beauty of the aquarium but also provide numerous benefits. These plants not only help in oxygenation but also provide a natural habitat to the fish, which helps them thrive.

Moreover, the plants also help in controlling the algae growth, which is one of the major problems that fish tank owners face. In this article, we will discuss the benefits of aquarium plants, the importance of choosing the right plants for small aquariums, as well as the best plants suitable for small tanks.

Benefits of Aquarium Plants

Boost Oxygen: Plants play a significant role in improving the oxygen level in the water. They take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen through photosynthesis which helps in maintaining a healthy ecosystem for the fish.

This increased oxygenation helps the fish to thrive and reduces the risk of diseases and illness. Control Algae Growth: Algae is a common problem that many aquarium owners face.

A sudden growth of algae can not only hamper the beauty of the aquarium but also create an unhealthy environment. Aquarium plants help in controlling and balancing the nutrient level in the water, which can prevent the growth of unwanted algae in the water.

Balanced Ecosystem: Adding aquarium plants creates a natural environment and helps in establishing a balanced ecosystem. The plants and fish thrive together and create a harmonious environment.

The plants provide the fish with a natural habitat where they can hide, rest and seek refuge, while the fish provide the necessary nutrients needed for the growth of the plants.

Importance of Choosing Suitable Plants for Small Aquariums

For beginners with small fish tanks, selecting the right aquarium plants is essential. Small aquariums require low maintenance and selecting plants that complement the tank is crucial.

Having a large and time-consuming plant can create more problems than benefits in small tanks.

Best Plants for Small Aquarium

Anubias Nana Petite: These plants are native to West Africa and are incredibly easy to grow. They do not require much light or nutrients, hence making them the perfect choice for beginners.

Anubias Nana Petite has low maintenance requirements, and their small size and texture make them an excellent addition for small fish tanks. Cryptocoryne Parva: Cryptocoryne Parva is native to Sri Lanka and is one of the smallest Cryptocoryne varieties.

It’s an excellent choice for small fish tanks because of its grass-like appearance and moderate lighting requirements. They are relatively undemanding plants and require a nutrient-rich substrate for optimum growth.

Dwarf Hairgrass: Dwarf Hairgrass is also known as aquatic grass and is an excellent option for foreground planting. This plant is perfect for small tanks that house bottom-dwelling fish species, and its long and narrow leaves provide a lot of cover for the fish to hide.

They require a moderate amount of light, and a nutrient-rich substrate is useful for optimum growth. Bucephalandra Spp.: Bucephalandra is native to Southeast Asia and has several varieties with unique green, brown, and red color.

The Bucephalandra Mini Coin is an excellent addition to small tanks because of its low temperature tolerance, making it adaptable to different types of fish. They require moderate lighting and a nutrient-rich substrate.

Christmas Moss: Christmas Moss is native to Southeast Asia and is an excellent option for fish spawning. The plants provide an excellent hiding spot for the fry, and the fish can find a source of food in the moss.

Christmas Moss requires moderate lighting, and a nutrient-rich substrate is useful for optimum growth. Monte Carlo: Monte Carlo gives an aquarium a velvety touch and has a silky mat appearance.

It’s a lateral growing plant and requires moderate to high lighting conditions. Monte Carlo is also known for its fast growth, giving the aquarium a lush green look.

Staurogyne Repens: Staurogyne Repens provide the aquarium with a fresh greenish look, making them an excellent addition to small fish tanks. They have low density, making it possible to grow many plants in smaller spaces.

These plants require moderate lighting and a nutrient-rich substrate for optimum growth. Helanthium Vesuvius: Helanthium Vesuvius is also known as the spiral sword plant, and its beautifully shaped leaves make it attractive in small tanks.

These plants can grow out of the water and have a unique appearance, making them an excellent addition to small tanks. They require moderate lighting and a nutrient-rich substrate.

Sagittaria Subulata L.: Sagittaria Subulata L. is characterized by its ribbon-like leaves and grass-like appearance.

They create an excellent background for aquariums and can form thick clusters. These plants require moderate to high lighting and a nutrient-rich substrate to grow efficiently.

Alternanthera Reineckii: The Alternanthera Reineckii is a dwarf variant of the plant and is an excellent choice for small tanks. It has a reddish-purple hue and requires high lighting conditions for optimum growth.

However, this plant has poor water parameter tolerance and requires regular maintenance. Aegagropila Linnaei: Aegagropila Linnaei, also known as moss balls, create a unique look in small aquariums.

The balls consist of algae and have a cool water requirement, making them suitable for small tanks. This plant requires moderate lighting and requires occasional cleaning to maintain their appearance.


In conclusion, aquarium plants are an excellent addition to small tanks, providing many benefits such as oxygenation, balancing the ecosystem, and controlling algae growth. Selecting the right plant for small tanks is vital, and plants such as Anubias Nana Petite, Cryptocoryne Parva, Dwarf Hairgrass are some examples of low maintenance plants suitable for small tanks.

Gardening your aquatic den enhances the beauty of your home space.

Advantages of Aquarium Plants

Aquarium plants provide several benefits to an aquatic environment. They not only add beauty to the tank but also contribute to creating a natural and comfortable environment for the fish.

In this article, we will discuss the advantages of aquarium plants that contribute to the vital aspects of a fish’s life, such as cleaning water, providing shade, acting as a source of food, and enhancing the beauty of a tank.

Cleaning Water

One of the most significant benefits of aquarium plants is their ability to clean the water by controlling the level of nutrients present in the tank. Plants absorb excess nutrients in the water, including nitrates and phosphates, thus reducing the growth of algae.

This prevents the water from turning green and cloudy, making it clear and ideal for fish to survive. The plants also absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen through photosynthesis, which helps the fish to breathe and thrive.

Additionally, aquarium plants also absorb toxic waste produced by fish, which is converted into nutrients that the plants use for their growth.


Aquarium plants provide shade for the fish by creating a natural environment similar to their natural habitats. The plants create hiding spots for the fish to retreat to when they feel threatened or stressed.

They also act as a replacement for caves and other hiding places that fish may not thrive without. Additionally, the plants shield the fish from direct light, which can cause stress and discomfort.

Having a comfortable and safe environment contributes to healthier and happier fish.

Source of Food

Aquarium plants are an excellent source of food for herbivorous fish and provide essential nutrients that the fish need to maintain their health. The live plants that are part of the tank’s ecosystem stimulate the natural feeding behavior of the fish.

These plants help to create an environment that mimics a fish’s natural food source. Additionally, adding live plants to a tank provides a variation to the fish’s diet, contributing to their overall health and wellbeing.

Aquarium Beauty

Aquarium plants add beauty to a fish tank and contribute to a natural environment that is pleasing to the eye. The plants create a backdrop that provides the perfect setting for showcasing the fish.

They can also serve as a spawning site for many species of fish, contributing to the growth and propagation of the aquarium’s inhabitants. The plants create a natural aesthetic and transform tanks into an appealing and attractive home dcor.

Placing rocks and other dcor along with the plants creates a well-balanced ecosystem, making the aquarium a piece of art.

Choosing the Right Aquarium Plant

When considering the addition of plants to an aquarium, it is essential to choose the right plant that meets the needs of the fish and the owner. There are two types of aquarium plants: artificial and live plants.

Artificial plants are plastic and do not contribute to maintaining a natural aquatic ecosystem. On the other hand, live plants, as discussed earlier, provide numerous benefits that contribute to a healthy environment for fish.

Some live aquarium plants include Java Fern, Anubias, Amazon Sword, and Dwarf Baby Tears. It is essential to research the living conditions of the plant and the type of fish that are present in the tank to determine compatibility.

A plant that thrives under low light may not survive in a high-light environment. Similarly, a plant that requires a high level of nutrients may not survive without the addition of fertilizers.

The right plant will make fish feel at home and contribute to the overall wellbeing of the aquarium’s inhabitants.

Maintaining Aquarium Plants

One of the advantages of aquarium plants is their low maintenance requirements. Water changes and the addition of fertilizers are vital to keeping the plants healthy.

The plants require a substrate that supplies roots and a nutrient-rich environment to grow, absorb nutrients, and thrive. Snails and insects can be harmful to aquarium plants, and it is essential to monitor and remove them if found.

Furthermore, lighting conditions are essential for plant growth. Too much light can cause algae growth, while inadequate lighting may lead to the plants’ demise.

Finally, pruning and trimming the plant is essential to promote growth and keep the plant from overgrowing and taking over the tank.


Aquarium plants provide numerous advantages to fish owners. They enhance the beauty of the tank, provide a natural habitat for the fish, and contribute to the overall health and wellbeing of aquarium inhabitants.

Proper research when selecting the right plant is vital to ensure that it thrives in the aquatic environment. By maintaining the plants, aquarium owners can create a well-balanced ecosystem that benefits the fish and enhances the beauty of the tank.

In summary, aquarium plants provide various advantages to both the fish and the tank’s owners. They clean the water, create shade, provide a food source, and enhance the beauty of the aquatic environment.

Choosing the right plant and maintaining it properly is crucial to achieving these benefits. Live plants are the better and most natural option, and research should be done to ensure compatibility with the fish.

Overall, adding plants to an aquarium, along with other dcor pieces, creates a well-balanced ecosystem that contributes to a healthier, happier, and visually appealing aquatic environment for everyone to enjoy.

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