Top 10 Low-Maintenance Aquarium Plants

Adding plants in your aquarium may seem like a great idea for a number of reasons. For starters, they add to the beauty of the fish tank and help you achieve a natural look.

You’ll be surprised to see how a couple of plants can make an aquarium so much more lively and vibrant.

Apart from this, plants are good for your fish as they convert carbon dioxide into breathable oxygen. They also consume nitrates and other harmful chemical wastes in the tank to promote the health of your fish.

They will keep the tank clean and healthy, which in turn will keep your fish happy.

While this may sound exciting, beginners often fail to realize that a lot of effort goes into taking care of aquarium plants.

If not taken care of properly, the green foliage may turn brown after just a few days and make your tank go from a good to bad real quick on the aesthetics scale.

Before you get overwhelmed and start having second thoughts about adding aquarium plants in your tank, let’s tell you that you can start with some low-maintenance and beginner-friendly aquarium plants that aren’t likely to get damaged easily.

They’ll grow quickly in almost all kinds of environments and most importantly, they won’t break the bank!

We’ve rounded up the top ten low-maintenance aquarium plants for you.

Amazon Sword Plant

Amazon Sword is a classic choice when it comes to choosing a background aquarium plant which is also low maintenance.

Amazon Sword Plant

It is characterized by large, broad leaves and is known for growing into a huge plant that can cover most parts of the fish tank.

It doesn’t require any special substrate or lighting, which makes it beginner-friendly.

When you first place an Amazon Sword plant in the aquarium, it may have big, round leaves that will melt back once they come in contact with water.

The plant will reabsorb the nutrients in its leaves to produce longer, narrower leaves that will grow underwater.

The only thing that you need to keep in mind is that this plant should be fed a lot of root tabs, especially if you see the leaves turning yellow.

Eventually, the mother plant will create long spikes that turn into baby plants. You can place them in other aquariums.

Java Moss Plant

Java Moss is one of the most popular aquarium plants for beginners. It spreads quickly like a carpet and is difficult to kill.

Java Moss

As it starts to grow, you can easily trim it too, depending on the size of your fish tank and the space available in it.

This plant grows best in medium to high lighting. You must also try to keep the water clean and well-circulated to ensure optimal conditions for its growth.

Please note that Java Moss may start to float in the water, so it is best to keep it attached to something solid. You could simply attach it to a rock in the aquarium and it will automatically start crawling over the tank’s surface.

Marimo Moss Ball Plant

This velvety green plant is known as one of the easiest aquarium plants out there. Contrary to its name, it is not a moss. It’s also not a plant either but more like a ball of Ciliophora algae.

Marimo Moss Ball

If you’re all about aesthetics, this unique-looking plant has to be on your list!

The best thing about Marimo Moss Ball is that they are inexpensive. So, there’s no harm in going a little overboard and add an army to your fish tank.

In case you’re feeling more creative, you can always wrap these little balls around driftwood and place them as tiny miniatures in the aquarium.

While this plant doesn’t have any special water condition requirements, make sure you pick them up and lightly roll them in your hands every time you get the aquarium’s water changed.

This will ensure that the plant maintains its round shape and all the parts get exposed to light for optimal growth.

Dwarf Baby Tears Plant

Dwarf Baby Tears is another tough carpeting plant that is specifically suited for breeding tanks. When given proper lighting, they form a dense carpet-like layer in the tank.

Dwarf Baby Tears

This plant produces clusters of tiny leaves that show little bubbles on the surface when it produces oxygen.

You can easily get your hands on this plant at an affordable rate and use it as a decoration piece, substrate covering, or carpet protection.

Ideally, you should provide this plant with bright lighting conditions because the brighter the light is, the more compact its growth will be.

Bacopa Caroliniana Plant

If you’re a fan of stem plants, you’ll love growing Bacopa Caroliniania in your aquarium. This low-maintenance plant belongs to the southern United States. The straight stem is adorned with small, round leaves.

Bacopa Caroliniana low maintenance aquarium Plant

This plant is usually grown at plant farms. When placed in an aquarium, they start growing submersed-grown leaves at the top part while the emersed-grown leaves below start dying off.

As time passes, you may notice that the bottom half of the stem resembles a skinny trunk. At this point, you’d want to cut off the top portion and replant them for a more aesthetic look.

This means that you’ll keep on getting new plants as your Bacopa Caroliniana continues to grow taller.

That being said, this aquarium plant grows best in low light. Excessively bright light and iron dosing can make its leaves turn coppery red. Also, adding liquid fertilizers may be a good idea with this stem plant.

Dwarf Saggitaria

Dwarf Saggitaria is another carpeting plant that requires little to no effort from you. This grass-like plant resembles a miniature vallisneria.

What makes this plant unique is that it stays short if you provide high light. On the other hand, if your fish tank has a low lighting condition, it will continue to grow taller in the direction of the light.

This means that you can sort of customizing the look of this plant depending on the size of your aquarium.

As far as nutrients are concerned, this plant grows best when given root tabs and liquid fertilizers in the water. Once set in place, this plant quickly starts spreading across the substrate.

You can always pull out the new shoots and replant them elsewhere if they enter an unwanted area in the aquarium.

Water Wisteria

Water Wisteria is a fast-growing plant that produces lace-like leaves.

Water Wisteria Plant

The size of the leaves may vary based on the water temperature in your fish tank. Propagation is quite easy with this plant, as you can simply take cuttings from the lower leaves.

This plant grows best in moderate lighting conditions and is super easy to take care of.

Marsilea Minuta

This beautiful aquarium plant offers unlimited aqua escaping possibilities. You can place it next to a stone or on dark sand or soil to make your fish tank look more beautiful.

Marsilea Minuta

Most importantly, it is incredibly easy to grow and take care of. In fact, you may often find yourself trimming it in your spare time!

This plant is characterized by its clover leaves and it spreads like a carpet in most aquarium environments. It prefers medium to high lighting conditions to thrive in the tank.

You can use this plant as a decorative piece to accentuate the hardscape features of your tank, such as stone and wood. It can also be used as a protection carpet.

Cryptocoryne Wendtii

Cryptocoryne Wendtii is one of the most popular low-maintenance aquarium plants that don’t require carbon dioxide injection or liquid fertilizers to grow and thrive.

Cryptocoryne Wendtii

While its growth takes a little more time than others, it can survive in almost any lighting condition and with any substrate.

That being said, this plant likes to feed on its roots. So, if you have an inert substrate that’s low on nutrients, you should consider adding root tabs after every few months to ensure optimal growth.

Another great thing is that you can choose from a range of colors when buying a Cryptocoryne Wendtii, including brown, green, red, and tropica.

You can add additional iron supplements in the aquarium water to enhance the redness of the leaves.

Just like Amazon Swords, the leaves of this plant also tend to melt back when placed in the tank.

Instead of throwing away the plant, you should wait for it to adjust to the tank’s water chemistry. Once that happens, it will grow new leaves.

Aponogeton Crispus

Aponogeton Crispus Low maintenance aquarium plant

If you want to build a fancy aquarium that has beautiful flowers growing in it without spending too much money, placing an Aponogenton Crispus plant in the tank is the answer!

This inexpensive, low-maintenance aquarium plant is super easy to care for.

In low light conditions, it grows from a bulb and produces wavy-edged leaves. All you have to do is to put a bulb on top of a substrate and it will automatically start sprouting roots and leaves.

This plant grows really fast and can even produce flowers!

In case you notice some of the larger leaves dying, wait for new growth instead of throwing the plant away.

The Bottom Line

Now that you have a list of low-maintenance aquarium plants, get ready to decorate your fish tank and make it look greener than ever!

The tank’s water quality will improve significantly and your fish will thank you for it. Just make sure you choose wisely and provide optimal conditions for the plants to grow.

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