Why keep plants?
Having plants in your aquarium is not just aesthetically pleasing, it serves much more than just an ornamental purpose. Aquatic plants are beneficial for your fishes, snails, and shrimps as they provide natural shelter, food, and oxygen for your beloved creatures. Leaves in various shapes and sizes help provide suitable hiding places for shy fishes of different sizes. Some fishes, snails, and shrimps even feed on the plants directly. Finally, photosynthesis allows plants to generate fresh oxygen in the day which is critical for your fish survival. Having plants is also great for conditioning your tank water. It facilitates the essential tank cycling process by absorbing ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate, thereby ensuring great water parameters for your livestock. As a secondary benefit, this reduces the algae growth as much of the nutrients are absorbed by the plants.
There are thousands of aquatic plant species to choose from and most of you might not even know most of them due to their complicated scientific names. And there are simply too many to remember. The team at FishyHub has come up with a list of the top 10 plants perfect for beginners in aquascaping. This list includes low-maintenance plants that do not require a CO2 system, are easy to manage, and are perfect for beautifying your tank. We have classified the plants into background, midground, foreground, and bonus categories so that you will have an idea of where to place the plants. Even if you are not getting the entire list (but we strongly recommend you do so), you can get a selection based on the placement categories to create a harmonious and balanced aquarium scape.
Background plants are taller and perfect for placement at the back of the tank. If your tank does not have background wallpaper, this is the perfect backdrop for your aquarium to give your fishes a sense of security and also hide those unsightly cables and pipes running behind your tank. These tall plants also act as a physical sunshade from sunlight and reduce algae growth.
1. Dwarf Rotala - Rotala Rotundifolia
The Rotala Rotundifolia is a fast-growing stem plant that has cute circular leaves. The amazing thing about the rotala rotundifolia is that it can produce red leaves if your lighting is sufficient.
2. Fanwort - Cabomba Caroliniana
The Cabomba Caroliniana has fine spiny leaves. It is very much like a fluffy mini tree, well-loved by many smaller livestock species.
Midground plants are perfect for the center portion of the tank which might also be occupied by other driftwoods or rocks. These plants blend harmoniously with rocks, woods, and other ornaments and could easily occupy the largest space within the tank.
3. Trident Java Fern - Microsorum Pteropus
The Java Fern is one of the most undemanding plants suitable for most aquariums. This plant simply cannot die even if uprooted. Its signature large long leaves will easily attract the attention of both humans and fishes alike.
4. Brazilian Pennywort - Hydrocotyle Leucocephala
The Pennywort has its signature penny-shaped leaves along with a slender curvy sprout. You will be amazed by its beauty as its leaves will grow at different heights along the stems, creating a stratified layer of circular steps from the base to the top.
5. Pygmy Chain Sword - Echinodorus Tenellus
The Pygmy Chain Sword is a beautiful carpeting plant that is one of the best substitutes for other more challenging carpeting plants like hairgrass or monte carlo. It is the type of plant where rabbits will hop around if rabbits live in aquariums.
6. Dwarf Hygrophila - Hygrophila Pinnatifida
The Hygrophila Pinnatifida is an epiphyte that does not need substrate and can anchor itself to woods and rocks. This beautiful mid-sized plant has two distinct colors on the top and bottom. It is like an underwater version of mimosa.
Foreground plants are typically placed at the base of the aquarium and so it is essential to allow sufficient light to pass through from the top to the bottom. These plants are best for bottom-dwelling fishes to hide and find food. They also bring a sense of balance to your aquascape and prevent your tank from looking like a thick messy overgrowth.
The Anubias Nana Petite is a fun-sized flowering plant that loves shade. Since it is an epiphyte, it is most suitable for being attached to hard substrates or woods
8. Brownie Ghost - Bucephalandra Pygmaea
The Bucephalandra Brownie Ghost is one of the most beautiful and sought-after plants that grow purple-red leaves. It is also an epiphyte so you will have to decide where to lodge this jewel of a plant inside your tank.
As a bonus, we are recommending two more amazing plants that you can enjoy inside your aquarium. These plants can easily become the centerpiece plants inside your tank due to their distinctive features and colors.
The Cryptocoryne Flamingo has flamingo pink leaves which make it stand out from other plants inside your aquarium.
10. Anubias Pinto
The Anubias Pinto has a distinctively white coloration in its leaves making it look like a pretty flower inside your tank.
We know that you might be at a loss about what aquatic plants to buy when you visit your local aquarium store next. You might be overwhelmed by the wide selection of plants available and you might not know what is lower maintenance and what is not. We hope that this list will help you in your plant shopping on FishyHub or when you go to your local fish stores nearby.