Aquarium planted tank guide

Fish tank plants

Live aquarium plants are a fantastic addition to any fish tank. Not only are they a natural decoration, but they can be very beneficial. Plants can use up some of the harmful chemicals in your water. Fish waste produces harmful chemicals, and plants use those certain chemicals as a fertiliser. A natural cycle. This helps with your main priority when keeping fish, the water quality. They also provide hiding places, a lot of fish need cover to dart into. If the fish feel safe they won’t be stressed. Some people find keeping plants alive, difficult. However there are some that are very easy to keep and will thrive in almost any aquarium.

Easy to keep plant species

These include species such as Anubias, Vallis, Elodea, java moss and many more. These are among many that are great for beginners. Plants don’t need huge amounts of lighting, and they don’t need added fertilisers to keep them alive. Plants however do need some lighting. A cheap and efficient lighting unit is usually an LED overhead light. You can then time to come and off during the day and night with a plug timer. This keeps a natural light cycle for the tank. Not only will a light provide enough energy to grow your plants but it also allows you to observe your fish. Always avoid direct sunlight as this will cause algae build up and your tank can turn green very quickly.

Floating plants

Duckweed and Frogbit species are a good example of plants, that float on the water surface (like miniature lily pads). These species replicate themselves at an extremely fast rate. A small amount will cover the surface of your tank in no time. They’re great for soaking up harmful chemicals such as nitrate, but they can also block out a lot of light. If aquarium plants are being starved of light, they will start to die off.


You can purchase small amounts of plants and end up with more than you know what to do with. You can achieve this by propagating, and re-planting. With stem type plants this can be achieved manually by snipping off-cuttings from the larger plant, and then re-planting them back into the substrate. Most plants can be propagated this way. Some grass types will automatically send off runners beneath the substrate, and sprout new plants above. While floating plants such as the ones mentioned above, will replicate themselves automatically. With enough lighting and nutrients, you can create a carpet of plants. Covering over the entire bottom of your tank.