Aquatic plantAquarium

How to Choose Aquatic Plants for Beginners

Aquatic plants are often beautiful and delicate, and they bring so many benefits to the aquarium and the creatures in it. Recommended aquatic plants for experienced people; Intermediate and advanced aquarists tend to be different from first-time and beginner aquarists

This article focuses on how to choose aquarium plants for beginners and also points out some ideal species for your tank.

Factors to consider when choosing a tree

As a beginner aquarist, you should consider the following factors when choosing plants for your aquarium:

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1. Nature of plants:

Aquatic plants have many different characteristics; There are significant differences in size, growth characteristics between different plants.

In terms of growth rate, some live plants grow fast or medium while others develop shoots slowly. Also, some species are quite robust, tolerant and mildly responsive to changing water conditions while others are super sensitive and will die or rot when the water is not ideal to support their growth.

  • Take care of: Aquatic plant grow fast will cause overgrowth and result in frequent pruning. If you are not ready for that, it would be better to choose slow to medium growing plants.
  • Sensitivity: You should avoid sensitive plants until you have some experience.
  • Specific conditions . For example, fast growing tree often need a lot of nutrients and light to catch up with their fast growing habits. Be very careful with that if you are a beginner, otherwise your tank will be covered with algae in no time.

So an ideal plant for beginners is a hardy plant with a slow to medium growth rate and minimal requirements.

2. Light:

The type of light in your tank will affect the types of aquatic plants you can grow.

For example, most species wax and Java Fern will grow and thrive in low light, but the same cannot be said for aquatic plants such as prunes, which require a lot of light for optimal growth and to maintain their natural color.

That said, if you don't have a high wattage light that can provide the right intensity to grow light-loving or light-loving plants; Choose those that can thrive in relatively low to medium light.

3. Size of fish tank:

The size of the aquarium can also affect the selection of aquatic plants as some plants are large so they can achieve a large growth rate and fill the aquarium faster.

As I mentioned, always consider slow-growing and small-sized plants first if you have a small aquarium or don't want to regularly prune overgrown plants.

4. Type of fish and animals you want to keep:

The problem is that there are some fish that have a habit of gnawing on aquarium plants and tearing the foliage, for example Koi, Scats, Texas cichlids and Goldfish.

As a beginner, you should choose super hardy and durable plants that can withstand gnawing if you want to keep them in the same tank as the plant and shoot-eating fish.

Most types  crayfish  nice  freshwater crab the same . These animals will cut, eat and spit everything in the tank. Therefore, as a hint, you can:

  • Choose floating plants . They simply won't be able to eat floating plants.
  • Use artificial tree .
  • Choose inexpensive plants that you are willing to lose.
  • Choose crab and crayfish species that are safe to keep in the aquarium, such as the dwarf crayfish (Crayfish  Mexican , Cajun Crayfish , Brazos Crayfish , Small Crayfish , Swamp Crayfish , etc.), Small Thai Crab, Pom Pom Crab, Red Devil Crab, Vampire Crab , etc

5. Type of aesthetic layout you want to create:

The layout that you intend to create in your aquarium is another factor that can influence the choice of aquatic plants.

To create a beautiful floor mat, you will need these orchid plant on the background or small in size so that it can easily form a low, compact rug. Whereas if you want to spruce up your aquarium decor, you'll need a moss or fern.

You can introduce combinations of colorful plants to create different contrasts in the aquarium.

Growth requirements for aquatic plants

1. Ideal water conditions

Degree pH of water should be between 6.5 and 7.5 (subject to change). Many aquatic plants will thrive in aquarium water that has stiffness between 3° and 8° dKH, while some species will prefer hard water.

The ideal water temperature should be between 25-28 degrees Celsius to stimulate the optimal growth of your aquatic plants.

2. Nutrients

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There are specific nutrients required for aquatic plants to grow and develop. Some of these include nitrogen and phosphorus as well as potassium, iron, magnesium and manganese.

Minerals such as nitrogen and phosphorus can be obtained from metabolic wastes and fish feed. Nutrients can also be added to tank water, and they are available as plant fertilizers (usually in liquid or pellet form).

Additionally, partial water changes should be done from time to time as this helps remove nitrates, prevents harmful algae growth and creates a steady supply of essential minerals.

3. Lighting schedule

The choice of aquarium lighting depends on the species of aquatic plants you want to grow and the size or dimensions of your tank.

Aquatic plants grow healthy and develop best with a standard light cycle of 8 to 12 hours per day.

It is important to note that if aquatic plants do not receive enough light, their growth and health will be negatively affected.

4. With and without substrate

In general, all plants can be divided into 3 categories:

  • Root Cultivation Kit (takes nutrients mainly from the substrate).
  • Floating (takes nutrients mainly from water).
  • Versatile (they can be planted in the background or left floating).

However, these definitions are not entirely correct because in some cases the substrate can only act as an anchor. For example, Java moss It is not a floating species, but this plant also does not require a substrate. It can be attached to stone, stone, gravel, driftwood, rosewood or any kind of decoration.

So you should do your research first. It will help you create the optimal environment for your plants or choose plants according to your tank.

Follow me, The easiest type is the multipurpose aquatic plant. So if you're a newbie to aquatics, pick them up and you won't go wrong.

Note: Fine/medium gravel or coarse sand are best for growing plants and they also facilitate healthy root growth. These types of media are ideal for growing many beginner aquatic plants.

It is also possible and appropriate to mix different layers to improve texture and aesthetics. Remember that ultra-fine textured sand should be avoided; they often clump together and entwine the roots of living plants. Also, very coarse gravel is also not ideal as it prevents solid rooting.

5. CO2

CO2 is very important for healthy and optimal aquatic plant growth.

During the day, aquatic plants use CO2 and give off Oxygen; However, during the night, the opposite happens. CO2 supplementation improves the overall appearance and condition of aquatic plants as their size, color and growth rate are markedly improved.

However, It is imperative to consider aquatic plants that can grow without the addition of CO2 as most beginners play low tech pools.  

Note: CO2 and high light always go hand in hand. When plants do not have enough light, they cannot process (absorb) food (CO2). However, when the plant has too much light without CO2, it will make the plant grow poorly and cause algae and moss outbreaks.

Some good aquatic plants for beginners

1. Java Fern

Java Fern Care Guide
  • Recommended tank size : 40 liters
  • Growth : Slow to Medium
  • The light: Low to Medium

Java fern is a very hardy, versatile and easy to grow aquatic plant. This aquatic fern is suitable for aquarists of all experience levels due to its low need and ease of care.

It can thrive in low light and is slow growing unlike many aquatic ferns.

Furthermore, Java fern is an epiphytic, which means it grows attached to rocks, wood, and any other hard material.

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It comes in different varieties that feature different leaf shapes, and they can be grown in a number of ways to achieve dramatic looks and aesthetic effects.

2. Ray

Anubias nano
  • Recommended tank size : 40 liters
  • Growth : Slow to Medium
  • The light: Low to Medium

Ayurveda is a genus of tough, thick-leaved plants from the tropics of West Africa. This aquatic plant comes in many varieties, however, common ones include:

  • Barteri, has large foliage and stature. To decorate the background/middle of the aquarium.
  • Ray nana. This is a dwarf species with a few sub-varieties. It's a much better choice if you have a nano aquarium.

This slow-growing aquatic plant is able to survive harsh water conditions and can thrive in low light.

Breeding this plant is not a big deal. A sharp knife can be used to cut the rhizomes and separate them into individual plants. Care should be taken to ensure that each plant has several leaves. Also, do not cut the roots intentionally or randomly.

3. Spoon grass

Dwarf Centaur Care Instructions - Planting, Growing and Propagation
  • Recommended tank size : 20 liters
  • Growth : Medium to fast
  • The light: Medium

Dwarfariesaria, also known as the Amazon Sword Dwarf, has a grass-like appearance and is small in size.

It is a great choice for a ground cover aquatic plant and can be used to create a lawn-like effect in your freshwater aquarium. To get the desired carpet effect, it is advisable to plant small sections of the plant 2-3 cm apart. And a lush carpet appearance will be achieved in about a few weeks.

Small seedlings are made from runners and these make up more plants that can be transferred to another aquarium, sold or given away to like-minded people.

4. Le children – Bacopa caroliniana

Bacopa caroliniana - emersed form (blooming flower)
  • Recommended tank size : 40 liters
  • Growth rate : Medium
  • The light: Medium

Le Nhi – Bacopa caroliniana is great for beginners as it can withstand a wide range of water conditions. It is ideal for background in the aquarium, but it can also be suitable as an aquatic plant in the middle.

This species can be grown in most media and it produces bright blue flowers that contrast beautifully with the light green of the plant.

5. Beep

Dwarf lettuce (Pistia stratiotes)
  • Recommended tank size : 40 liters
  • Growth : Fast
  • The light: Medium

It is an attractive and hardy aquatic plant. As a floating plant, it is ideal for decoration on top of aquariums.

It is tolerant of a wide range of water parameters and it can thrive in almost any condition; making it great to use for beginners.

Although its growth is quite fast, it is also very pruning and easy to control.

6. Java Moss (Taxiphyllum sp.)

Java moss (Taxiphyllum barbieri)
  • Recommended tank size : 20 liters
  • Growth : Slow to Medium
  • The light: Low to Medium

This is a popular plant to grow in aquarium. It is commonly used to create moss walls in aquariums, and it can also be used to adorn the front and center of the planted tank.

Java moss does not require high light, and it is a hardy plant that can survive a wide range of water temperatures as long as extreme temperatures are not reached. This plant also does not need CO2, medium and for fertilizer.

7. Marimo Moss Balls (Aegagropila Linnaei)

Marimo moss ball (Aegagropila Linnaei)
  • Recommended tank size : 20 liters
  • Growth : Slow
  • The light: Low to Medium

Marimo Moss Ball is not a common moss. Technically, this is not a plant at all, but a rare spherical form of algae. However, it is so plant-like… that everyone wants to have it in their tank.

In Japan, Marimo Moss Balls are considered good luck charms.

They are an optional special species that is suitable for any type of tank setup, including those with gravel or sandy substrates.


With the optional options above and more, an aquatic beginner exploring aquatic plants will have no trouble creating a beautiful underwater landscape in the surrounding area. .

Always remember to consider the aforementioned factors before selecting and introducing plants to your aquarium.

See more: Retired Horn Moss – Causes And Treatments

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