The Fish Guru

Creating a Thriving Aquarium: The Importance of Aquarium Plants and Best Plant Fertilizers

Introduction to Aquarium Plants

Aquariums can be an alluring and calming aesthetic addition to any home or office space. The glistening water reflecting the colorful fish and corals creates a mesmerizing and tranquil scene.

As aquatic enthusiasts, we often strive to maintain a healthy and thriving environment for the inhabitants of our aquariums. To that end, the inclusion of plants in aquariums is an essential component to achieving this goal.

Not only do plants provide a pleasing appearance, but they also serve several critical functions. In this article, we will discuss the importance of incorporating plants in aquariums and the different types of plants that are best suited for aquariums.

Types of Aquarium Plants

Aquarium plants can be classified into three distinct categories based on their placement in the aquarium- foreground, mid-ground, and background.

Foreground plants are the ones which are placed at the front of the aquarium.

These plants are generally much smaller in size and grow up to a maximum height of around 5-6 inches. Common foreground plants include dwarf hairgrass, java moss, and riccia fluitans.

Mid-ground plants are placed between the foreground and background plants. They have a more moderate growth rate and a plant height of around 6-12 inches.

Some common mid-ground plants include Anubias nana, Amazon sword, and java fern. Background plants are placed at the back of the aquarium and grow up to a considerable height.

These plants are generally chosen for their taller stature and for their ability to provide hiding places for different aquatic creatures. The most popular background plants include Vallisneria americana, Ludwigia repens, and Hygrophila difformis.

Why You Need Water Plants for Your Aquarium

Incorporating plants into your aquarium is a crucial aspect of maintaining a healthy and thriving ecosystem. Here are some of the reasons why they are so important:

Purifying the air inside the water

Like all living things, aquatic animals require oxygen to survive. However, aquarium water typically has poor air circulation, making it challenging for aquatic animals to obtain the necessary amount of oxygen.

Aquarium plants play a vital role in providing oxygen to the water by purifying the air. They absorb carbon dioxide and produce oxygen through the process of photosynthesis.

Providing security and shelter for aquatic animals

In nature, aquatic animals find refuge in rocks, caves, and plants. Similarly, in an aquarium, plants offer hiding places for aquatic creatures, providing them a safe haven to retreat to when threatened.

The presence of plants also enhances the natural behavior of fish, allowing for more play and exploration.

Reducing the growth of algae

One of the most common issues faced by aquarium owners is the growth of unsightly and harmful algae in their aquarium. Algae can quickly take over your aquarium and potentially harm the fish and other species in it.

The inclusion of plants helps to regulate the growth of algae by competing with them for nutrients and light. This reduced growth of algae ensures your aquarium water remains clear and healthy.

Aesthetically enhancing the aquarium

The most apparent reason for adding plants to aquariums is the visual appeal. Plants add a unique beauty and a natural look to the aquarium, creating an environment that captivates and soothes the senses.

They help to mimic the aquatic ecosystem and create a more relaxing and attractive environment.


In conclusion, having live plants in your aquarium provides a wide range of benefits, both aesthetically and functionally. By adding plants to your aquarium, you can create a healthier environment for your aquatic inhabitants while also enhancing the overall look and feel of your aquarium.

With the different types of plants available, it is essential to choose the appropriate one for your specific aquarium based on the species, size and placement of the plants. Bring the beauty and benefits of nature to your aquarium by adding some aquatic plants.

Best Aquarium Plant Fertilizers

Maintaining a healthy and thriving aquatic ecosystem requires more than just the right temperature and water conditions. Adding plants to your aquarium is an excellent way to enhance the beauty of your aquatic environment and provide additional benefits such as oxygenation, regulating algae growth, and providing shelter for your aquatic residents.

However, for your plants to thrive, they need essential nutrients that may not be available in your aquarium water. Therefore, it makes sense to supplement your aquarium with the best plant fertilizer for optimal plant growth.

Here we look at some of the best aquarium plant fertilizers in the market.

Thrive C By NilocG Aquatics

Thrive C Aquatic Plant Fertilizer is a highly sought-after all-in-one liquid fertilizer. It is designed to enhance plant growth and health in freshwater aquariums.

Its unique formula contains vital micro and macronutrients that your plants need to thrive. The effortless dosing system makes it convenient and economical.

With a high sucrose content, Thrive C nutrients will remain stable and available for plant uptake, promoting vigorous growth of your plants. The additional benefits of using Thrive C include the prevention of algae growth and the enhancement of fish coloration.

Roots Tabs by API

API Root Tabs are effective and easy to use when it comes to promoting root growth in your aquarium plants. The fertilizer works by providing essential nutrients to the roots of the plants in your aquarium.

Its nutrients are specifically formulated for freshwater aquariums, making it suitable for most aquarium plants. API Root Tabs are an affordable option, which means you can enjoy healthy plants without breaking the bank.

They are effective for about a month after which you can add more if needed.

Seachem Flourish Excel by the Seachem Store

Seachem Flourish Excel is arguably the best plant food for planted aquariums. This liquid fertilizer contains important elements such as iron, potassium, and magnesium, which are critical for plant photosynthesis.

It also contains organic carbon, which is used by plants as a nutrient for growth. Seachem Flourish Excel is safe and friendly to both animals and plants, making it an ideal choice for aquarists.

The product is easy to use, with doses depending on the size of your aquarium and the number of plants in it.

Highland Rim Aquatic Fertilizer by Winchester Gardens

Highland Rim Aquatic Fertilizer is an affordable solution to maintaining healthy and thriving aquatic plants. This fertilizer is specifically formulated for water lilies and lotus plants, but it can also be used for other aquatic plants.

Highland Rim Aquatic Fertilizer promotes healthy and robust growth in plants by providing essential nutrients and minerals. The fertilizer promotes flower potency through its unique blend of potassium and phosphorus.

Winchester Gardens’ Highland Rim Aquatic Fertilizer is a dry fertilizer that makes it convenient to use and store for future use.

Pondcare Aquatic Plant Food Tablets by API

Pondcare Aquatic Plant Food Tablets are an excellent option for enhancing the growth of aquatic plants in artificial aquariums. The dry fertilizer comes in tablet form, making it hassle-free to use.

Its unique formulation ensures that it releases nutrients gradually, providing your plants with effective nourishment for weeks. The nutrient-rich tablets are excellent at promoting root proliferation while also ensuring the safety and good health of both the aquatic plants and its inhabitants.

Aquarium Plant Fertilizer FAQ

Why do aquarium plants need fertilizer? Like all plants, aquatic plants require several essential nutrients for growth and health, such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.

In natural bodies of water, these nutrients naturally occur in soil and water. However, in an aquarium, these nutrients are often limited or absent.

Adding fertilizer to your aquarium ensures that your plants receive the necessary nutrients for healthy growth and appearance. Can aquarium plant fertilizers harm aquatic animals?

Contrary to popular belief, most commonly used fertilizers in aquariums do not harm aquatic animals. Manufacturers design these fertilizers specifically for aquarium use, with minimal to no harmful compounds.

However, excessive dosing or spillage of fertilizer into the aquarium water can prove harmful to aquatic animals. So, it is essential to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines when applying the fertilizer.

How often should aquarium plant fertilizers be used? The frequency of applying fertilizer to your aquarium plants depends on several factors, such as plant species, aquatic animal density, and the fertilizer used.

Generally, it is best to use fertilizer as per the manufacturer’s instructions. Regular application is necessary for effective results.

In most cases, adding fertilizer to your aquarium once or twice a week is sufficient for healthy plant growth.


Adding aquarium plants to your aquatic environment is an excellent way to enhance the overall appearance of your aquarium. However, it is essential to supplement your aquarium with the necessary nutrients for healthy plant growth and appearance.

Choosing the best aquarium plant fertilizers for your aquarium plants is vital, and it is always advisable to follow manufacturer’s guidelines when using them. With the right fertilizer, you can enjoy the beauty and benefits of a thriving aquatic environment.

In conclusion, the importance of choosing the right aquarium plant fertilizer cannot be overstated. Providing essential nutrients, enhancing root growth, promoting photosynthesis, and regulating algae growth are just some of the benefits that come with using plant fertilizers.

Fertilizers such as Thrive C by NilocG Aquatics and

Seachem Flourish Excel by the Seachem Store are excellent options for planted tank enthusiasts, while API Root Tabs and Pondcare Aquatic Plant Food Tablets are great choices for freshwater tanks and artificial aquariums, respectively. Regular use based on the manufacturer’s instructions ensures that your aquarium plants are healthy, thriving, and aesthetically pleasing.

With the right fertilizer, you can enjoy the beauty of aquatic plants while enhancing the overall health and wellbeing of your aquarium inhabitants.

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