26 aquarium plants that need little light
This lush green plant is a favorite among aquarists because of how easy it is to care for it. It can thrive in a wide range of water temperatures, can be fully or partially immersed in water and resistant to low to moderate lighting conditions.
Bright pointed leaves make it a good choice for both the anterior and posterior landscapes in the aquarium.
Anubias barteri is a root plant, so you will need a substrate that allows enough space for its roots to germinate. The plant grows fast, but has a modest maximum size.
Anubias nana belongs to Anubias barteri and has the same dark green pointed leaves that grow in a dense formation just above the base of your aquarium.
Like A. barteri, A. nana is easy to care for and ideal for beginners, as it can grow under most standard conditions in the aquarium and is resistant to changes in temperature and light.
Anubias nana is the root nutrient and grows better with fertilizers, especially if a lot of organic detritus does not get to the bottom of the aquarium. You should plant it in a gravel substrate, not in the sand, so that the roots can grow.
3. African water fern (Bolbitis heduelotii)
This fern is native to the Congo Basin in Africa and is suitable for medium and large reservoirs, as its maximum size is 55 cm.
However, the plant grows slowly, especially in low light conditions. African water fern also requires slightly warmer fresh water than other similar plants in order to thrive.
Although the African water fern is easy to care for.
You will need to use a fishing line or thread to attach the roots of a fern to a snag or stone. In addition, this plant should not be placed in an aquarium with goldfish, koi or cichlids.
4. Javanese moss (Vesicularia dubyana)
Javanese moss is extremely hardy and easy to care for, which can be used to cover the bottom of the freshwater aquarium in a green landscape.
This plant, attached to a gravel substrate, driftwood or stones, using its rhizomes, but takes nutrients from the water column through leaves similar to ferns.
Javanese moss is very tolerant of the temperature range in fresh water tanks and can be grown as patches or as a lawn all over the bottom of your tank. Although it grows rapidly, especially if you add more light, it reaches a maximum length of just a few cm.
Another advantage of Java moss is that it is compatible with almost all common freshwater aquarium fish.
5. Java Fern (Microsorum pteropus)
Java ferns have wide and pointed green leaves that stick out in the water column so that the plant can feed. Meanwhile, the base of the plant is attached to the substrate of your aquarium or driftwood thanks to a number of rhizomes.
Java fern is a popular plant among beginners because it is compatible with almost any fresh water tank and will grow in a wide range of temperatures and lighting conditions. The plant grows slowly and reaches a maximum height of 35 cm, and, therefore, practically does not require maintenance in most tanks.
However, the appearance of the Java fern will vary depending on the lighting. In high light conditions, the leaves will darken and the plant will grow in thick lumps. At lower light, the leaves will be bright green and will be more stretched from the base of the plant.
6. Hygrophila (Hygrophila polysperma)
Green Hygro is known as an extremely easy-to-grow and hardy freshwater aquarium plant, although due to its high growth rate it needs decent pruning.
Pruning a green hygro will also make it grow even more, so you can use it as a way to stimulate the renewal of leaf formation in areas that are starting to brown.
The plant is rooted in a substrate at the bottom of your aquarium, but you can use almost any type of substrate because it gets its nutrients from the water column.
Although green hygro is compatible with almost any freshwater tank and usually does not apply to herbivorous fish, it may be disturbed by a goldfish or digging cichlids.
7. Hornwort (Ceratophylum demersum)
Hornworth is a fast-growing plant that can reach a maximum height of up to 3 meters, so it is best suited for aquarists with large aquariums and great patience for pruning.
In addition, a horned plant can produce chemicals that inhibit the growth of other plants, so it is possible that other plants will die off after adding a horned variety to their aquarium.
However, the horned beast is extremely hardy and can fill the landscape of the aquarium thanks to the many stems that grow on this plant.
Hornworth feeds from the water column and can freely attach to the substrate with rhizomes or float freely on the surface of the water. It is useful that a horned beast can be raised without problems both in cold water (60 degrees Fahrenheit), and in tropical freshwater reservoirs.
8. Hygrophilus multi-seeded (Hygrophila polysperm "Rosanervig")
Sunset hygro is a green leafy plant that looks almost as if it is blooming, thanks to the purple and red leaves on the top of the plant stem.
This fast-growing tropical freshwater plant can either be attached to the base or swim freely in the upper part of the aquarium, and reaches a maximum length of up to 40 cm. When planted in a substrate, the sunset gigro absorbs nutrients both through the roots and through the leaves.
The sunset gigro comes from Southeast Asia, and as a result strongly prefers warm water tanks. Otherwise, this versatile plant makes little demands - it is quite hardy, requires minimal maintenance and can grow under different lighting conditions.
Rotala rotundifolia is a stem plant that feeds on columns with short, needle-shaped leaves that grow steadily towards the top of your aquarium and are rarely limited by their maximum length.
Although this plant is quite hardy and can be serviced by beginners, it is better suited for more experienced aquarists because it is well adapted to combine low to moderate lighting and nitrate restriction.
However, it is compatible with a wide range of freshwater fish and is able to thrive at various water temperatures.
Rotala rotundifolia requires pruning and can grow into dense bushes with proper care.
Rotala Indiga is a stem plant with needle leaves, very similar to Rotala rotundifolia. However, the leaves of this plant are not uniform in color, green above and red below.
Rotala Indica is a little fragile and requires a moderate level of care in order to constantly grow.
This requires water whose temperature exceeds 32 grams - and preferably closer to 35 degrees - a substrate to which it can firmly fix, and a tank without digging cichlids, which can damage its root system.
Even in this case, this plant will be especially fragile in low light conditions and may not turn into a dense shrub without additional lighting.
11. Brazilian caterpillar (Myriophyllum aquaticum)
This beautiful plant has a lush set of blue and green leaves that extend from the stems attached to the bottom of your aquarium. The parrot feather is ideal for fish who like to hide among plants, given the density of its foliage.
This root plant grows in a wide range of temperature conditions, but requires a high level of nutrients in the substrate of your aquarium, so you usually want to add fertilizer to your aquarium to grow it.
This is especially good in fine-grained substrates that mimic its natural soil and mud bases at the edges of water bodies.
12. Bacopa Monnier (Bocapa monnieri)
Moneywort (unfortunately, this is not the money tree we all hoped for) is ideal for small tanks, because its height reaches 12 inches in height and can stretch above the surface of the water in your tank in moderate light.
The plant is bright green in color with small rounded leaves that allow it to receive nutrients directly from the water column.
Moneywort care is easy to care for because it can be left to grow until it reaches its maximum height, or it is well suited for pruning if you want to keep it in a smaller area. This plant prefers moderate temperatures between 72-82 degrees Fahrenheit, but is relatively tolerant of all lighting conditions.
13 White-headed Hydrocotyl (Hydrocotyle Leucocephala)
A Brazilian rodent (again, without cents) is a colorful green plant with rounded leaves, each about the size of a penny, that grow along a creeping vine.
A plant can grow very fast in high light and nitrogen conditions, but can also adapt to growth at a slower pace in low light conditions. Although he prefers warmer water temperatures, he also carries relatively cold tropical freshwater tanks.
A Brazilian rodent is a column-shaped feeder that can grow either rooted in the substrate of your aquarium or floating freely near the surface of the aquarium.
This property makes it extremely versatile, although the vine can also choke in small tanks.
14. Cryptocoryne Wendt Cryptocoryne wendtii
Crypt wendtii is an easy-to-care plant that prefers highly stable conditions.
This plant is uniquely suited for tanks with low light, because it responds to a lack of available light by growing longer rather than shorter leaves. The leaves themselves form wide fingers up to 18 inches long.
The main problem of Crypt wendtii is that initially it can die when planting in a new aquarium, because it does not tolerate new conditions.
However, the plant usually returns to normal within a week or so. Also note that this is a root plant and a substrate with a higher grain size is required for root propagation.
15. Cryptocoryne balance (Cryptocoryne balansae)
This large Crypt plant forms broad leaves with fingers that stick into your aquarium and wave any currents present in the aquarium.
While Crypt balansae usually prefers high-light conditions, it adapts to low-light conditions, but does not form ridges that distinguish the leaves of this plant.
Crypt balansae is a root crop that thrives in reservoirs with high concentrations of nitrogen and phosphorus. Under ideal conditions, it can grow up to three feet in length, although it can be cut in smaller tanks.
You especially need to take care to cut the skids along the bottom of your tank, as otherwise the plant will spread horizontally.
16. Cryptocoryne Spiralis
The crypt of the spiral forms long narrow leaves, similar to grass, which rise up through the water. Crypt spiralis actually grows best in low light conditions, but it is not necessarily the most suitable plant for beginners due to a number of other requirements.
This root plant requires an iron-rich substrate, which usually means adding fertilizer to the aquarium, and it is best used as a single plant or as a bunch of Crypt spiralis.
In addition, Crypt spiralis has a narrow acceptable temperature range of 75 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit. Leaves can reach heights of up to 16 inches in stable and favorable tank conditions.
17. Cryptocoryne Usteriana
Cryptocoryne usteriana is ideal for adding layers to the aquarium thanks to its wide leaves that turn into a dense bunch. The tops of the leaves are dark green, while the bases of the leaves can turn bright red.
This root crop requires a medium grain size substrate and responds well to fertilization. While it grows slowly, even under optimal conditions, the plant can reach a maximum height of up to 20 inches.
Although trimming can be used to prevent capture of your Cryptocoryne usteriana aquarium, this is not necessary, and overall installation requires minimal maintenance.
18. Guppy Grass (Nahas Guadalupensis)
Guppy grass is usually planted in aquariums for breeding and shrimp, because its long, tangled stems and narrow leaves provide many places where small creatures can hide.
Guppy grass is very tolerant of a wide range of lighting conditions, although in low light a darker green color should be expected than is typical for this plant.
As a fast-growing column feeder, guppy grass may require frequent mowing if you do not want it to completely capture your aquarium. Otherwise, this plant is extremely easy to take care of, and it can grow in fresh water tanks up to 85 degrees.
19. Pelia (Monosolenium Tenerum)
Pelia, also known as Pelia moss, is like shrub moss that sits at the bottom of your aquarium without laying roots or rhizomes.
Since the plant is delicate, many aquarists prefer to fasten Pelia with nylon or cotton, especially on days after transplantation.
This moss feeding column is resistant to various conditions, including temperature and nutrient levels, and has a very low effect on the chemical composition of the water in your aquarium.
While Pelia may need some pruning to keep its size suitable for your aquarium, otherwise any aquarist is very easy to take care of.
20. Aldrovanda (Aldrovanda vesiculosa)
The water wheel plant is one of the few carnivorous aquatic plants that allows it to be grown in low light conditions, since it does not depend on photosynthesis.
Although the carnivorous nature at first repels many aquarists, there is no need to worry about this plant eating your fish - it mainly feeds on microorganisms and tiny plankton and receives nutrients from the water column, like other plants.
Although this plant is quite small and free-floating, it can be difficult to care for, because you need to make sure that it has a food source. This may mean adding zooplankton to the aquarium, which will also affect the chemical composition of the water and serve as an alternative food source for your fish.
21. Bacopa (Bacopa caroliniana)
Bacopa is an extremely common and versatile aquarium plant that can be easily landscaped with pruning and proper care.
This column-fed plant has a greenish yellow leaf color and grows relatively slowly, reducing the amount of maintenance required to preserve it. It is tolerant to a wide range of lighting conditions and fully tolerates poor lighting.
The stems of this plant can grow up to 1 foot in height if they are not pruned.
The advantage of Bacopa for more advanced aquarists is that it is easy to propagate by cuttings, so you can grow one stalk or bunches of bacopa in your aquarium.
22. American Seaweed (Elodea canadensis)
American algae is an extremely common aquarium plant that closely resembles Brazilian algae or Hydrilla.
It grows in stems and grows up to three feet in length, with small leaves protruding from each stalk. American algae can grow in a variety of conditions, and such a nutritious plant is very easy to care for.
American algae produce an abundance of oxygen and provide plenty of shelter for fish fry and other small critters.
However, it is important to note that this plant does not provide sufficient habitat for large fish and can grow quickly to capture your aquarium.
23 cryptocoryne petch - cryptocoryne petchii
This small crypt plant, originally from Sri Lanka, is ideal for creating a groundcover plant in your aquarium, as its growth reaches a maximum of six inches in height and does not require a lot of light.
It is very easy to care for, and the root system allows Micro crypt to spread quickly along the bottom of the aquarium.
Micro crypt is a fodder plant that requires a substrate with larger grains, such as gravel, to propagate. Despite the fact that it responds well to fertilization, there is no need for the plant to grow its broad leaves from green to red.
24. Red Ludwig (Ludwigia repens)
Red Ludwigia is a beautifully colored stem plant with wide leaves from red to bright orange.
Although it can be planted separately, many aquarists prefer to plant sets of red ludwig together, because this increases their decorative effect. Frequent pruning is not necessary, but prompts the plant to form a dense appearance.
Red Ludwigia is the root feeder and grows best when fertilizing the substrate, especially with iron-rich fertilizers.
While it grows best when the water temperature is above 75 degrees Fahrenheit, it can also grow in such cold conditions as 59 degrees. The stems can grow up to 20 inches in height, which makes this plant the best for medium and large aquariums.
25. Anubias coffee leaf (Anubias barteri v. "Coffeefolia")
Anubias Coffee Leaf is hardy and easy to clean, with wide, dark-colored leaves.
This species of Anubias grows slowly and works better in low light conditions, as too much light can actually stimulate the growth of algae on the leaves. It grows best in warm water up to 80 degrees Fahrenheit, and stems can reach up to 16 inches in height.
It is important to note that Anubias coffee leaf is a root vegetable and usually requires the addition of iron-rich fertilizers to the substrate for good growth.
Unlike many other plants, this plant can grow in aquariums with goldfish and cichlids and is not eaten by many herbivorous fish species.
Marimo balls are essentially fuzzy green moss balls that are at the bottom of your aquarium. From a technical point of view, they are a type of algae, not real plants, but aquarists love them because they provide a huge range of benefits and are extremely easy to care for.
Marimo Balls are column feeders that draw in nitrates from your tank and release oxygen. Although they do not require much habitat for fish, they can provide a resting place for small fish.
Another advantage of marimo balls is that they require almost no cropping or maintenance. They are almost impossible to kill with changes in the conditions of the aquarium and even surprisingly well tolerate salt compared to most freshwater plants.