Here’s a Compilation of Some of the Most Most Popular Aquarium Plants

Level up your aquatic game by implementing these popular aquarium plants in your home aquarium.

By: THURSD. | 19-04-2023 | 11 min read
Indoor Plants
Aquarium plants for beginners header

If you've ever had a freshwater aquarium, you know how stunning it can look when filled with genuine live aquarium plants. Although there are hundreds of aquarium plants you could incorporate, these ten are among the most popular to achieve a planted aquarium in your home.

Some of the Most Popular Aquarium Plants That Are Worth Having

Nothing compares to the appearance of a freshwater aquarium that has been properly planted with vibrant, healthy aquatic plants. Live aquarium plants are essential because they provide refuge for your fish and a location for them to reproduce and raise their young.


The five most popular aquarium plants for a home aquarium
Photo: theaquariumkeeper on Unsplash

The fact that aquarium live plants create oxygen and absorb the carbon dioxide and ammonia that your fish produce is by far the biggest advantage of having them in your fish tank. The development and survival of the inhabitants in your aquarium will benefit from this. That said, these are five of the most popular aquarium plants that'll create an astonishing live aquarium.


Live aquarium plants and fish
Photo: Łukasz Łukaszewski on Unsplash


Marimo Moss Ball (Aegagropila Linnaei)

This velvety green sphere, which is referred to as the world's 'simplest' aquarium plant is actually a ball of Cladophora Algae that grows naturally rather than moss or a plant. Every time you change the water, the Marimo moss ball needs to be lightly rolled in your hands to retain its circular shape and ensure that all of the algae have access to light.


Marimo moss balls are great aquarium plants
Photo: Aquatic Arts


People frequently purchase a large quantity of these to fill their goldfish or betta aquariums due to their low cost and distinctive appearance. To make a small tree, you can even unroll them and wrap driftwood in them. One of the most popular and worth-having aquarium plants for sure!

Amazon Sword (Echinodorus Grisebachii)

Another aquarium plant that makes it into the list of the most popular ones to have in your home aquarium is the traditional aquarium plant known as 'Amazon Sword'. It is renowned for its capacity to expand significantly and cover your fish tank with lush beauty. Ensuring it receives a ton of root tabs is more crucial than lighting and substrate. The sword typically has large, circular leaves that are emersed grown when you first purchase it (or grown outside of water).


Aquarium plant amazon sword
Photo: Aquatic Arts


These enormous leaves melt back once submerged in water as the plant reabsorbs nutrients to produce longer, narrower leaves (or grown underwater). The Amazon Sword aquarium plant may eventually get large enough to become a mother plant, producing long spikes that develop into young sword plants that you can place in different tanks.

Wendt's Water Trumpet (Cryptocoryne Wendtii)

This low-maintenance plant is one of many people's favorite aquarium plants because it doesn't need carbon dioxide or liquid fertilizers to survive. This slow-growing plant thrives in practically any substrate and under almost any lighting conditions. It does like to eat from its roots, therefore for best health, add root tabs regularly. There are numerous variations of Crypt Wendtii, including green, brown, and red. Consider adding more iron supplements to the aquarium water to help increase the color of its leaves.


Aquarium plants that liven up the aquarium is wendts water trumpet
Photo: Amazon


Much like Amazon Swords, crypt's leaves are known for melting back when they’re first added to a new tank. If you see this happen, don’t throw away your 'dead' plant, rather leave it planted in the substrate, and once it has adjusted to the water's chemistry, it'll quickly rebound and grow new leaves.

Blue Water Hyssop (Bacopa Caroliniana)

Bacopa is a wonderful starter aquarium plant if you're interested in going for stem plants. Native to the southern United States, the 'Blue Water Hyssop' has small, oblongish leaves on a vertical, straight stem. Although it can grow in little light, intense light and iron dosing cause the leaf tips to turn coppery-red.


Bacopa Caroliniana aquarium plant
Photo: Florida Aquatic


As with most aquarium plants, bacopa is usually grown out of the water at plant farms. Once you plant it underwater, the top of the plant starts producing submerse-grown leaves, while the emersed-grown leaves down below begin to die off. Eventually, the bottom half of the stem looks like a bare, skinny trunk, so just snip off the tops and replant them for a fuller-looking plant.

Christmas Moss (Vesicularia Montagnei)

Get your aquarium looking amazing with a dose of Christmas moss if you're putting together a breeding tank! Its fluffy fronds, which are like little Christmas trees, offer great protection for young fish and shrimp. They are frequently fastened to rocks and driftwood by aquascapes to create the appearance of an overgrown, moss-covered forest. Invest in tiny algae-eating creatures like amano shrimp and give this slow-growing moss some liquid fertilizer to speed up its growth to maintain it looking its best.


Christmas moss aquarium plant
Photo: Fish Laboratory


Now that you know what some of the most popular aquarium plants are, you can make clear choices as to where to start and get the most out of your aquatic journey at home.

5 Aquarium Plants for Beginners

Is it your first time with aquarium plants? Then, let's take a look at the easiest aquarium plants to take care of. These are the most suitable aquarium plants for beginners, so they will be just perfect for you!

Java Moss (Vesicularia Dubyana)

Java moss is a popular aquatic plant in the hobby of aquascaping due to its hardiness and versatility. It is native to Southeast Asia and can be found in freshwater streams, rivers, and lakes.


Java moss aquarium plant
Photo: @jclifeisbeautiful


This live aquarium plant for beginners is a low-growing plant that can attach to almost any surface, including rocks, driftwood, and substrate. It has thin, branching stems that can reach up to 10 cm in length and are covered in small, bright green, needle-like leaves. It is a slow-growing plant that can form dense mats over time.


Anubias is another easy-to-care-for aquarium plant that is perfect for beginners. It can tolerate low lighting conditions and doesn't require much fertilizer. Anubias is also a slow-growing plant that won't take over your aquarium. Anubias is a genus of aquatic and semi-aquatic flowering plants in the family Araceae, native to tropical central and western Africa.


Aquarium plant anubia
Photo: @submergedgarden


Java Fern (Microsorum Pteropus)

The java fern is a popular and easy aquarium plant that is also another great choice if you're just starting your aquarium plant journey. This aquatic plant can grow in low to moderate lighting conditions and doesn't require much fertilizer.


Java fern aquarium plant for beginners
Photo: The 2hr Aquarist


Water Wisteria (Hygrophila Difformis)

Hygrophila Difformis, also known as water wisteria, is one of the most popular aquaria stem plants for beginners as well. It's a great, fast-growing addition to any shrimp tank. Its easy care makes it suitable for beginners, while its feathery, deep green leaves are sure to brighten up any aquascape!


Aquarium plant Hygrophila Difformis also called water wisteria
Hygrophila Difformis also called water wisteria
Photo by @york@aquatics


Dwarf Sagittaria (Sagittaria Subulata)

Dwarf Sagittaria is a common name for the versatile plant species Sagittaria Subulata. This vibrant grasslike plant is among the most popular aquarium flora. It is undemanding, hardy, and easy to grow, even for beginners.

f you want to start your aquarium journey with something easy, take into account these five amazing beginner aquarium plants that'll facilitate your life a lot in the process.


Aquarium plants for beginners dwarf sagittaria
Photo: @homelyhobby


5 Advanced Aquarium Plants

For those who have already had an aquarium for years and are looking for a more advanced option of aquarium plants, here's a list of five that'll work great to enhance your aquarium.

Hemianthus Callitrichoides (Dwarf Baby Tears)

Hemianthus Callitrichoides, also known as 'Dwarf Baby Tears', is a small and delicate plant that is considered one of the most challenging plants for an aquarium. It requires high light, CO2 injection, and nutrient-rich substrate to thrive.


Dwarf baby tears
Photo: @myaquagardens



Bucephalandra is a rare and exotic live aquarium plant that is highly sought after by advanced aquarists. It requires high lighting, CO2 injection, and nutrient-rich substrate to grow well. Bucephalandra is slow-growing and can be difficult to propagate.


Bucephalandra adavanced aquarium plant
Photo: The 2hr Aquarist


Rotala Macrandra

Rotala Macrandra is a vibrant and colorful advanced aquarium plant that requires high lighting, CO2 injection, and nutrient-rich substrate to grow well. It is a demanding plant that requires consistent care and attention to thrive.


Rotala Macrandra aquarium plant
Photo: @greennote77



Eriocaulon is a unique and challenging plant that requires high lighting, CO2 injection, and nutrient-rich substrate to grow well. It is a slow-growing plant that requires precise water conditions and can be difficult to propagate.


Eriocaulon green aquarium plant
Photo: Azaqua


Staurogyne Repens

The aquarium plant Staurogyne Repens is a small and delicate plant that requires high lighting, CO2 injection, and nutrient-rich substrate to thrive. It is a demanding plant that requires consistent care and attention to maintain its vibrant green color and compact growth habit.


Staurogyne Repens
Photo: @jczineg


How to Care For Your Aquarium Plants

Aquarium plants are a beautiful addition to any aquarium, providing natural filtration, oxygenation, and aesthetic appeal. Proper care of aquarium plants is essential to maintain their health and growth and to prevent issues such as algae growth and fish stress. Here are some tips for caring for aquarium plants:

Aquarium Plant Lighting

Proper lighting is essential for aquarium plants to thrive. Most aquarium plants require moderate to high lighting to photosynthesize and grow. It's important to research the lighting requirements of the specific plants in your aquarium, as different plants may require different levels of lighting.

Aquarium Plant Soil

A nutrient-rich substrate is important for aquarium plants to grow and thrive. Most aquarium plants prefer a substrate that is rich in nutrients such as iron, potassium, and nitrogen. You can use specialized aquarium plant soil or add plant-specific fertilizers to your aquarium to provide the necessary nutrients for your plants.

CO2 Injection

A CO2 injection can greatly enhance plant growth and health in aquariums. It helps plants to photosynthesize more efficiently, leading to faster growth and better health. There are several ways to add CO2 to your aquarium, including using a CO2 injector system or adding liquid CO2 supplements.

Water Quality

Maintaining good water quality is essential for the health of your aquarium plants. High levels of nitrates and phosphates can promote algae growth and stress your plants. Regular water changes and proper filtration can help to maintain good water quality in your aquarium.

Algae Control

Algae growth is a common issue in aquariums and can be harmful to your plants if left unchecked. Regular maintenance and cleaning can help to prevent algae growth, as well as keep a proper balance of nutrients and lighting.


Regular pruning of your aquarium plants can help to maintain their health and appearance. Pruning can help to prevent overcrowding, which can lead to poor growth and algae growth. It's important to use sharp scissors or pruning tools to avoid damaging the plants.


When selecting aquarium plants, it's important to consider their compatibility with your fish and other inhabitants. Some plants may be eaten or uprooted by certain fish species, while others may release toxins that can harm your fish. Research the compatibility of your plants with your fish to ensure a harmonious aquarium environment.

In summary, proper care of aquarium plants involves providing the necessary lighting, substrate, CO2, water quality, and pruning. It's important to research the specific requirements of your plants and maintain a proper balance of nutrients and lighting to prevent algae growth and promote plant health. With proper care, aquarium plants can provide a beautiful and natural addition to your aquarium ecosystem.

Why Are Aquarium Plants Necessary?

Aquarium plants are not only a beautiful addition to an aquarium, but they also serve several important functions that are necessary for the health and well-being of the aquatic ecosystem. The oxygenation of plants is vital for the living creatures in your aquarium. Aquarium plants produce oxygen through photosynthesis, which is essential for the survival of fish and other aquatic animals. Without plants, the oxygen levels in an aquarium can become depleted, leading to stress and the potential death of the fish.

Aquarium plants also act as natural filters by absorbing nutrients such as nitrates and phosphates from the water. This helps to maintain good water quality and prevent algae growth, which can be harmful to fish. Not only that, but live aquarium plants add color, texture, and depth to an aquarium, creating a natural and visually appealing environment for fish and other aquatic animals.


Importance of aquarium plants
Photo: Daniel Corneschi on Unsplash


Freshwater aquarium plants also add behavioral enrichment. Many fish and aquatic animals enjoy interacting with plants, using them as hiding places, food sources, and areas for spawning and breeding. An aquarium with plants can provide important behavioral enrichment for fish, helping to reduce stress and promote natural behaviors.

Last but not least, including some of the best aquarium plants mentioned above can increase biodiversity, creating a more natural and healthy ecosystem for fish and other aquatic animals.



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