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An aquarium has always been, and continues to be, a common item in a lot of houses today. Aquariums range from the simple, single goldfish bowl to large pieces that span across people’s living rooms.
What we have to understand is that when keeping an aquarium, we’re literally breeding an ecosystem within the confines of our home. The fish derive their livelihood out of the space, so it is pertinent to ensure that one’s aquarium has a lot of plants and flora within it.
There are a whole lot of reasons why plants inside an aquarium are crucial euipments. The best plants for aquarium could most probably range from making the space look a lot more attractive to the plants themselves being essential to the survival of the species growing in the aquarium.
It has also been proven that the species being kept within would feel more safe and comfortable with an environment similar to that of natural water bodies. Plants offer fish some sort of refuge inside the space and also serve as the ideal location for laying eggs.
Some vegetarian fish also have several varieties of plants as a part of their diet, which also serve as places where fish reproduce, etc. A lot of times, this greenery doesn’t necessarily have to be real plants. Often, the reason behind putting vegetation or plant-like objects within an aquarium is to simulate the natural spaces in which fish grow.
Now here is why we’re discussing about aquarium plants in the first place: some of the best aquarium plants can actually aid the atmosphere of your fish tank. However not picking plants which are the correct and mostly appropriate variety could lead to a ruptured ecosystem within the aquarium.
Best Aquarium Plants: How to Choose One?
These are only a few reasons why acute contemplation and an understanding of what kind of plant one wishes to put inside for fish is important.
For instance, the wrong plant or house plant could lead to the water decaying, and the fish residing in that ecosystem may consume that water and fall sick.
Even when purchasing fish, most people who sell them do not have an idea of what kind of ecosystem the fish must swim in. They aren’t aware of the kind of plants that are healthy and promote a good environment and the types that could lead to harm.
A whole lot of plants that grow in an aquarium may harm the space by doing things like using up important nutrients in the water – nutrients that are important for fish to consume. These are minute aspects that must be kept in mind when picking out plants.
Several varieties of plants are even forbidden from being immersed in aquariums, and consumption of such plants will lead to adverse consequences for the fish. Only a certain category called aquatic plants are meant for aquariums.
Now, it is vital to note that there are certain things to be borne in mind when getting plants for your aquarium, and we enlist some of them for you here.
1. Let There Be Light! (Or Not?)
There is an interesting connection between your plant, the fish, and the amount of light that the aquarium tends to get.
There are certain plants that require more light to grow,while others do not require as much natural illumination to thrive. At the absolute end of the spectrum, there are also plants that need no light to grow and fare well in dark surroundings, like mosses.
A similar analogy exists with the fish you keep. Some of them need a little light, while there are species that are harmed by the presence of intense amounts of light.
This is also another reason why studying about the flora that one puts in with the fish is so important. Think of a scenario where a plant requiring high amounts of light is coupled with a species that needs almost negligible illumination; this could cause problems for its growth.
It is important to bear in mind that the plant species one picks has to complement the fish. And light is a notable feature that both have to be in harmony with.
The best aquarium plants seem to find the right balance.
Another critical pointer to note here is that too much light can also cause the growth of algae in a lot of cases, which leads to contamination of the water contained in the fish tank.
So bear in mind how much light the tank receives before introducing plants and fish species into the fish tank.
Note: when buying plants for your fish tank, look for specifications, like the following three, among the options available to you:
- Plants requiring more light
- Medium-light-seeking plants
- Low-light-growing fauna
2. What Kind Of Plants Are You Looking For?
There are plants that need to grow completely submerged within water, then there are some which can exist slightly on the outside and slightly below surface level.
There’s also a wealth of ‘water-scaping’ styles that can be chosen out of many, depending on the type of plant. Water-scaping is a term that has been gaining relevance in recent times. A host of interesting configurations of plants can be sought if one is interested in doing so.
Should customers like elaborate fish tanks which boast dense, luxurious plants that add beauty to the water tank ecosystem, the best freshwater aquarium plants could look into the different styles and types of water scaping. There are several elaborate styles available to meet every person’s specific needs.
Depending on the type of plant, the water-scaping style varies immensely. Make sure when picking ornate styles for your fish tank that they are functional and do not hinder the basic routines of fish.
Remember, just like many things out there in an actual ecosystem, maintaining a balance between all constituents within a water-based ecosystem is important. How it operates is generally analogous to a normal biosphere.
Another factor would be where the plants grow and where will they be located. The best aquarium plants thrive on the floor and spread across the bottom of the aquarium. This makes for an attractive set-up but is extremely high-maintenance.
There could be plants that grow in the back and those that sit right in the middle, which are the ones that fish usually hide behind or seek refuge in. On the other hand, there are species that only sprout from the earth. Look out for these specifications when buying a plant for your fish tank.
Other kinds include ones that branch out from the aquarium and fall outside through the edges, which also makes for an attractive display.
When picking out the flora of your choice, keep in mind whether or not that particular plant type requires soil or certain kind of grounding to grow properly. There are some species that need soil, while there are others which need lesser amounts of it.
Side note: The kind of soil you pick out is also critical. Make sure you get mud that is fit for underwater growth andt doesn’t promote excess growth of unnecessary, harmful bacteria.
A whole lot of customers opting for this type would also suggest plastic plants instead of actual live ones.
If you want something fuss-free and do not really care much about the inter-dependent existence of live plants along with the fauna you are rearing, but also at the same time you want some amount of beauty exuding from your fish tank, you could also go for plastic plants and not real aqua plants for your fish tank.
3. Do You Know What Live Plants Are?
This is rather interesting to understand.
In the process of adopting water-organisms, several key aspects have to be kept in mind. Among other things, one of them is the process of making sure that the ammonia levels in the water tank do not exceed mandated levels.
This is something that has been termed by most people as the nitrogen cycle. What happens here is that aquatic dwellers kept in small water-filled spaces give off gases and excreta into the same water that they swim in.
While it isn’t harmful in small amounts, over a period of time, the excreta tends to make the water toxic due to the immense amounts of ammonia.
So you must be wondering what plants have to do with this process?
Well, among the several things that plants within an aquarium are helpful for, offsetting the excess accumulation of ammonia happens to be one of them.
There is a category of vegetation that battles this process – live plants.
Now, how they function is that they emit certain gases which cancel out the effects of ammonia in the excreta. Essentially, the best aquarium plants make sure that the water within the aquarium remains a healthy space for fish. There is also a certain breed that absorbs ammonia and helps create a better environment within.
Note: One caveat that is to be issued when informing anybody about the existence of live plants and the process by which they help offset the ammonia accumulation in the water is this.
While yes, admittedly the live plants which are put in, do introduce a host of healthy live bacteria which acts on the ammonia, it is important to make sure that certain harmful bacteria are not introduced into the fish-tank.
This could fast turn the environment in the fish tank more noxious than it would have been even with the ammonia excess.
But a whole group of people practice putting in live plants inside their fish tanks for a lot of reasons (most of which were mentioned above).
4. Why Aquatic Plants And Not Regular Plants?
Among the exposition above, there are also several other reasons why aquatic plants are ideal for fish tanks over regular plant species.
Plants meant for an aquarium tend to have smaller pores in their roots, which helps them flourish in water. Also, they are quite useful when it comes to the removal of nitrates from tanks.
Additionally, keeping actual plants improves the general ecosystem of the tank since they emit oxygen.
It is interesting to note that fish and plants in an aquarium could serve an interdependent role with each other.
On one hand, while plants (as mentioned above) may prove to be protected spaces for fish that coexist in the ecosystem, it is also a well-known fact that fish supply numerous nutrients to plants that help them grow.
Note that another caveat in introducing live plants into an aquatic ecosystem is that those plants could die and turn into debris. If allowed to rot and not removed soon, it will harm the ecosystem of the fish tank rather than help out.
A large number of people who breed fish in aquariums usually plant a lot of live plants inside the fish tank ecosystem. Remember that some species of fish only reproduce amongst dense greenery.
Having read the primer to what we deem as important to anybody who’s looking to keep plants in their aquariums, we now enlist the plants that we deem suitable to keep in one’s fish tanks. These have been picked out based on a varied list of specifications amongst the several options listed on Amazon.
Their characteristics, suitability, care, etc. have all been elaborated upon.
While there may be a whole lot of options available out there, these are only a few that we felt were suitable among the many.
Top 12 Best Aquarium Plants 2019
1. 25 Plus Stems And Six Species Of Aquarium Plants (Live) Plant Package
This product is being sold by Aquarium Plants Discounts.
This comes highly recommended and is even fairly affordable. Each varied plant that you purchase has several stems which can be used to cultivate many more plants once the growing begins.
This setup is mostly ideal for fish tanks that are considerably large in size and boast several kinds of fish or other aquatic animals. The good thing about it is that it consists of harmless live plants which your fish can also feed on.
Another thing about the six pieces picked out in the selection is that they are highly varied. While some are the longer plants that provide refuge to fish, others are small, moss-type plants. There are also medium-sized plants that add the needed beauty to a fish tank.
An added advantage that people must bear in mind when putting in a lot of plants in an aquarium is that if there’s enough vegetation already, there’s much lesser scope of any algae growth. And this happens because algae require sufficient quantities of nutrients along with stable water to grow properly.
Sometimes when there are a lot of plants in an aquarium, along with algae also being there, this causes a sort of competition of survival between the plants and the algae.
This could lead to disastrous consequences for the aquarium ecosystem.
All in all, this is a highly recommended buy for one’s fish tank, bearing in mind all the factors included.
2. Anubias, Ferns, Mosses And More Aquarium Decoration On Driftwood
There won’t be any problem with tying up the plants and placing them in the aquarium as they already come attached with wood, which provides enough nutrients. This makes it rather convenient for one to keep these plants.
This product is sold by GreenPro company. These are also some of the best aquarium plants out there.
The plants will grow in about 10-15 gallon aquariums. Note that there is no downside to placing them in larger aquariums either.
3. Red Flame Sword Plant: Beginner Tropical Live Aquarium Plant
It is a rather large plant and requires good amount of sunlight, so make sure it does not tower over the smaller ones and take away their share of light. The expanse of its leaves is large, and it certainly is a popular decorative plant for aquariums.
This is one of those plants that provide visual appeal and are easy to maintain within a fish tank. It is fuss-free and also reproduces on its own within the tank, provided it receives adequate amounts of sunlight with the water kept moderately clean.
This product is being sold by Aquarium Plants Discounts.
With this plant, it’s crucial to make sure that the water remains free of ammonia and is not contaminated for long hours. Otherwise, it might cause harm to the plant, resulting in the leaves weathering and discoloration. This, in turn, also ends up harming the fish if they consume any of the flora present in the tank.
Thus, bearing these points in mind, this definitely is a recommended product and is an easy-to-grow decorative aquarium species.
This fancy but functional aquatic plant is highly suggested by most that have used it.
4. Mainam Anubias Barteri Coin Leaves Live Aquarium Plants Freshwater Rhizome 3 Days Live Guaranteed
It has heart-shaped leaves and is also safe for any kind of fish one might want to keep.
Note: It is important to check whether or not this plant is compatible with your pet.
The plant generally tends to remain healthy and does not attract bacterial growth fast. Because of its intricate root system, it makes sure that it is firmly established within the tank and does not get eroded because of water pressure (which is a concern with a lot of aquatic plants kept in aquariums). Some of the best aquarium plants types have been included as part of this.
This product is offered by Maimam.
5. Qumy Large Aquarium Plants Artificial Plastic Fish Tank Plants Decoration Ornament Safe For All Fish
This vibrant-colored plant is an artificial one. However, you shouldn’t be worried since it is safe enough to be kept around aquatic creatures. It also is a glow-in-the-dark plant, which provides the added visual appeal to your aquarium setting.
Some of the best aquarium plants need not necessarily be live plants either.
Maintaining these plastic plants is not an issue either. A minor trouble one might have to intermittently go through is cleaning up possible algae or sediments on the plastic plant.
This is also available in a host of different colours, and its tall leaves will make sure your fish always have a place for refuge.
This product is being sold by QUMY and is available at good prices on Amazon’s website.
6. Potted Tall Hairgrass By Aqualeaf Aquatics – Easy Aquatic Live Plant
Planting it across the bottom of the aquarium would not only replicate the natural surroundings of fish but also serve as possible resting places for reproduction and other activities.
It also ensures they have more room for themselves. Because of its tall height, fish absolutely love hairgrass in aquariums.
One thing to be kept in mind with live aquatic plants in your aquarium is that you must be careful not to order them during adverse weather conditions – they will not be able to adapt. And also, take good care of the plants in extreme seasons. This is pertinent for their sustenance.
This product is being sold by Aquarium Plants Discounts
7. Mainam Nymphaea Rubra Bulb Dwarf Water Lily Live Aquarium Plants Decorations
An interesting red-colored plant which produces a lot of leaves, this is a floating plant. Being easy to grow, it also multiplies quickly, sometimes giving out water flowers that add further eye-candy to the aquarium.
Like some of the best aquarium plants, this takes little time to adjust to the surroundings.This is important, because a lot of buyers of the previous listings complained about the fact that the plant took too long to adapt in the aquarium, and some even died in the process.
This species does not give that sort of trouble at all. So you wouldn’t have to worry about any uprooting with this rather solid-on-the-roots species.
A good thing about it is that because it transforms into a large leafy plant in a short amount of time, one can keep trimming it to get the required size.
This product is sold by Mainam
8. Jungle Vallisneria Rooted Plants 1.5-2 Feet Tall – Easy Background Aquarium Plants
Also known as tapegrass, this plant offers a good supply of oxygen for plants. This is one of the best aquarium plants, and highly recommended by most people.
The long stems make it a pleasant sight to behold while in water, and the plant isn’t harmful for consumption by fish either. The root structure is solid and will ensure that it sustains for a longer period.
All in all, this is an excellent background plant from Amazon. This product is sold by Aquarium Plants Discounts
9. Jungle Vallisneria Rooted Plants 1.5-2 Feet Tall – Easy Background Aquarium Plants
This is an excellent collection of more than ten plant species and is meant for anyone thinking of buying a larger tank. There are several advantages to keeping all-natural plants in your fish tank. One of them is that they create an ideal ecosystem for fish and ensure that the waste excreted is decomposed better.
Living plants also boost the quality of water in your tank. This is a set that definitely is worth all the money put into it. Each type of plant species is offered to customers with about six to seven stems.
The plant types which are part of this product are:
- Amazon sword
- Anachris aquatic plant
- Ludwigia plant (Reddish copper colour)
- Moneywort (standard small-leafed plant available in several colours)
- Hornwort (a common aquarium staple, this plant has very thin needle like stems making it a high visual appeal plant when it responds to the water pressure in the tank)
- Red flame sword
- Cambomba (a small rubbery, shrub-like plant available in reds and greens, highly known for its visual appeal and carbon dioxide offsetting)
- Rotala Indica (lotus leaf shaped, medium shaped green coloured plant, no flowering, produces a lot of stems).
The interesting thing about the well-thought-out selection of plants in this package is that most of them are suitable to be kept together.
A majority require almost similar amounts of light, and none of the plants are harmful to aquatic species, making them complementary to one another. They also visually complement the other species in the aquarium and do not interfere with the ecosystem in the tank.
Ideal for those that have large aquariums and want to build a natural ecosystem for their aquatic residents.
This product is being sold by Aqua Leaf Aquatics
10. Florida 10 Species Live Aquarium Plants Bundle
This product gives you ten different types of plant species. The kinds picked out range from smaller, colored plants which decorate the floor of the aquarium to medium-sized plants, taller plants, and plants that branch out of the aquarium, etc.
A lot of options are offered for everybody to choose from the varied species available in this package.
The good thing about having these many plants of different varieties in your fish tank is that they serve as a natural filter, trapping the bad bacteria, nitrates, ammonia, excreta of fish, and other impurities. They generally keep the ecosystem healthy and also contribute positively with their pleasant appeal.
Did You Know?
We stress on the importance of creating a natural environment for fish in a tank for a variety of reasons:
- One reason comes from the fact that such plants decompose and serve as natural filters for the tank
- It has also been proven now that fish that happen to stay in tanks where they dislike the environment tend to fall ill more often. A natural environment simulates their general wellbeing and helps them live better.
This product is sold by Aqua Leaf Aquatics.
11. Micranthemum Monte Carlo New Large Pearl Grass Live Aquatic Plant In Tissue Culture Cup For Aquarium Freshwater Fish Tank By Greenpro
This is a bright green plant that mostly covers the floor of the tank. It is quite versatile and can grow rapidly in most conditions.
There is no doubt about whether or not this plant will sustain. It is tough and at the same time nice-looking, which adds beauty to its surroundings.
You can let it grow densely in your tank, or you could style and keep it according to your wish- this makes the plant rather flexible to maintain too.
The plant is not high maintenance and requires basic care only. It also isn’t harmful for any kind of fish.
Another interesting thing about this plant is that it can grow in most surroundings, be it driftwood, soil, or the normal floor of the tank.
For its healthy growth, this plant will thrive well in bright conditions. Originating in South America, it has been widely used in aquariums. In addition, it is extremely popular with customers on the website too and is typically employed for carpeting the floor of the fish tank, thereby adding beauty to it.
This product is sold by Green Pro.
12. Greenpro Echinodorus Bleheri | Amazon Sword Paniculatus Potted Live Aquarium Plants For Aquatic Freshwater Fish Tank
This is a medium-to-large-sized plant and needs to be trimmed often. It does, however, provide a lot of benefits.
Owing to the larger size, its leaves need to be trimmed often to make sure they live comfortably within the tank. However, you may also allow them to fall from the side of the tank.
This plant adapts to different surroundings surprisingly fast. It is also an ideal plant for fish to seek refuge in and reproduce, giving them a natural environment.
This product is sold by Green Pro company.
Conclusively, while there are a whole lot of plants available out there, this list was drawn out to give the reader a good idea about what one needs to be looking at when buying plants for their aquariums.
It is important to be an informed consumer when buying plants that have an effect on the species that you choose to keep.
The plants you pick can have both a positive as well as harmful influence. Make sure you opt for those that complement your fish. Moreover, ensure that you provide the plants with enough light so that they can grow comfortably.
It is therefore essential for these factors to be kept in mind before making the purchase. You can turn your plants into an integral component of the ecosystem of your fish tank.
Different types of plants were chosen, be it live ones or even the plastic kind. Make sure you find out about the needs of the plant before you buy one, whose importance cannot be overstated.
Do not let the plants decay in your tank, and do your research on the adjustment period of plants in a tank.
Make sure you pick out a good ‘substrate’, which is nothing but the produce with which you cover the bottom of your aquarium. These may be items ranging from aquarium soil to rocks (in this case, note that keeping live plants might get a little difficult; you could, however, still keep potted live plants in the fish tank in case you have rocks at the bottom). Some people even keep driftwood, which is also suitable for plants to grow on.