Choosing Live Freshwater Aquarium Plants

Before you start adding plants into your aquarium, it is very important that you understand the pros and cons of adding freshwater plants to your aquarium. Fully understanding both the benefits and negative aspects of having freshwater plants in your fish tank will lead to a more satisfying experience with your aquarium hobby.

Pros of Freshwater Aquarium Plants

During the daytime, freshwater plants take in carbon dioxide, while giving off oxygen, aiding in a healthy habitat.

Most plants harbor bacteria that aid in the breakdown of wastes. This may lessen the need for chemical filtration.

Some aquarium plants may also act as a food source for some fish in the tank.

Cons of Freshwater Aquarium Plants

If left untended, some plants may outgrow your fish tank and may need regular trimming.

Dead plant matter can create a lot of debris and waste.

At night, freshwater plants tend to reverse their daytime process by giving off carbon dioxide while taking in oxygen levels causing a problem for some fish species.

Below is a list of some of the best freshwater aquarium plants for beginners.

Java Moss

Java moss is used by many aquarium enthusiasts to replicate moss, algae, and tree leaves. To make the best of it, it is suggested to take a piece of the java moss and tie it to some driftwood with some fishing line. After a few months, it will start to grow around the driftwood piece replicating an underwater tree.

Baby Tears

Baby tears come in two different sizes (baby tears and dwarf baby tears. Dwarf baby tears are generally recommended because they are much easier to maintain.

Dwarf Hair Grass

Hair grass is another type of grass-like aquarium plant similar to the pygmy chain sword, but it has much thinner leaves. The thin grass gives the aquarium a very unique type of feel, especially when currents move the stands of hair grass back and forth with ease.

Pygmy Chain Sword

Pygmy chain sword is known for its similarity to grass. It creates a feel much like the dwarf hair grass, but with slightly thicker leaves.

Amazon Sword

The amazon sword plant is one of the hardiest and best freshwater aquarium plants for beginners. Amazon swords are known to grow 12+ inch leaves, so you will definitely be needing to trim them every once in a while.

Anubias Nana

The anubias nana is another great type of freshwater aquarium plant for beginners. The biggest benefit of this plant is the amount of coverage it provides. If you have fish that love to hide, or are in need of hiding spots in your fish tank, the anubias nana is the plant you are going to want to go with. It does not grow past 6 inches, so you won’t have to worry about trimming often.

Cryptocoryne Wendtii

Cryptocornes (also known as crypts) are a family of plants that are used by a lot of fish-keepers. The colors range from green to reddish-brown. There are many different sizes of cryptocrynes as well. Size and color all depends on the lighting being used and the species of crypts that you have.

Java Fern

Java fern is a great addition to any aquarium because of its beauty and easiness to care for. It is important that you keep the rhizome (the creeping root stock)  planted above the substrate, otherwise, your entire plant may rot. Does great planted on driftwood.

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