Best Freshwater Aquarium Plants For Beginners – Comprehensive Guide For Beginners

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Many people are interested in keeping plants in their aquarium but don’t know where to start.

It can be challenging to figure out which plants are best for your tank and how to care for them.

We’ve written a comprehensive guide on beginners’ best freshwater aquarium plants.

This guide includes everything you need to start, from choosing the right plants for your tank to setting up the perfect fish tank with plants!

Here’s what you’ll learn:

  • How to choose aquarium plants
  • The different types of aquarium plants
  • The best foreground (or carpet) plants
  • The best mid and background aquarium plants

Overview Of The Best Aquarium Plants

Freshwater aquarium plants come in all shapes, sizes, and colors.

Depending on the type of fish you are keeping, and what kind of look you want to achieve, they can be used as a foreground or background plant!

There’s something for everyone with different species of plants available to suit your every need. Let’s explore what we know about freshwater plants!

Top 11 Aquarium Plants for Beginners Reviewed

Next, we’ll get into the list of our top aquarium plants for beginners. We are starting with foreground and carpeting plants.

The Best Foreground & Carpeting Plants for Beginners

Carpet plants are an excellent choice for beginners because they are easy to care for and can be used to create a beautiful foreground in your aquarium.

These plants can be easily propagated, and they will quickly spread across your tank to create a lush carpet of greenery.

1. Java Moss

Java Moss is an excellent plant for beginners because it is easy to care for and doesn’t require a lot of light or nutrients.

It is a small, mossy plant that can be used as a foreground or background plant in your aquarium.

Java Moss grows best in tanks with low to moderate light levels, and it can thrive in a wide range of water temperatures.

2. Lilaeopsis

Lilaeopsis is a small, mossy plant that can be used as a foreground or background plant in your aquarium.

Lilaeopsis grows best in tanks with low to moderate light levels, and it can thrive in a wide range of water temperatures.

This plant is easy to care for and doesn’t require a lot of light or nutrients.

3. Dwarf Baby Tears

Dwarf Baby Tears, or Helxine soleirolii, is a small plant perfect for beginners.

It grows quickly and can be easily propagated, and it doesn’t require a lot of light or nutrients to thrive.

Dwarf Baby Tears is great for tanks with low to moderate light levels, and it can thrive in a wide range of water temperatures.

This plant is perfect for beginners because it is easy to care for and grows quickly!

The Best Plants For Mid-Ground Or The Background Of Your Tank

Many people choose to use plants as a middle or background plant in their aquarium because they are low maintenance and can help to create a beautiful and lush environment.

Some of the best plants for the middle or background of your tank include:

4. Water Wisteria

Water Wisteria is an excellent plant for beginners because it is easy to care for and grows quickly.

It can be used as a foreground or background plant in your aquarium, and it thrives in tanks with low to moderate light levels.

This plant doesn’t require a lot of nutrients, and it can thrive in a wide range of water temperatures.

5. Amazon Sword

The Amazon Sword, or Echinodorus amazonicus, is a large plant that can grow up to 2 feet tall. It is an excellent plant for beginners because it is easy to care for and grows quickly.

This plant thrives in tanks with high or low light levels, and it requires a lot of nutrients to grow properly.

The Amazon Sword is an excellent choice for beginners because it is easy to care for and grows quickly!

6. African Water Fern

African Water Fern, or Crinum calamistratum, is a large plant that can grow up to 2 feet tall.

This plant is an excellent choice for beginners because it is easy to care for and grows quickly.

African Water Fern thrives in tanks with high or low light levels, and it requires a lot of nutrients to grow properly.

This plant is perfect for beginners because it is easy to care for and grows quickly!

7. Java Fern

Java Fern, or Microsorum Pteropus, is a small plant perfect for beginners.

It grows slower than most other plants but can be easily propagated, and it doesn’t require a lot of light or nutrients to thrive.

Java Fern is great for tanks with low to moderate light levels, and it can thrive in a wide range of water temperatures.

One of my favorites!

8. Anubias

Anubias is an excellent freshwater aquarium plant for beginners because it is relatively low-maintenance.

It can grow in a wide variety of water conditions and doesn’t require a great deal of light.

Anubias also grows slowly, so they won’t overtake your aquarium in a hurry! This makes it the perfect plant for beginners who are still learning the ropes!

9. Cryptocoryne Beckettii

The Cryptocoryne Beckettii plant is an excellent choice for beginners. It is hardy, easy to care for, and can grow in various conditions.

This plant is a great background plant and can reach up to 12 inches in height. It prefers medium to bright light and can tolerate a wide range of water temperatures.

10. Aponogeton Ulvaceus Bulb

Aponogeton Ulvaceus Bulb is an excellent plant for beginner aquariums. It is a small, bulbous plant that does not require much light or space.

It will grow slowly in most conditions, making it a perfect choice for those just starting.

This plant is also very low maintenance and can be left to grow on its own without any additional care.

11. Dwarf Aquarium Lily

Dwarf Aquarium Lily is one of the best plants for a beginner’s tank. It is a small, hardy plant that does not require a lot of light or maintenance.

It will grow in most water conditions and can easily be propagated by dividing the tubers.

Dwarf Aquarium Lily makes a great mid-ground plant and can be used to create a beautiful, natural look in any tank.

Choosing Your Aquarium Plants

Aquarium plants come in all shapes and sizes.

There are low-maintenance plants and ones that require more care, depending on what you need.

When selecting a plant, you’ll need to take into account the following;

  • The amount of light your aquarium gets,
  • How big the plant or plants will grow,
  • The substrate,
  • Type of fish you have in your tank,
  • Do you use Co2 gas to help plants grow better?
  • Do you use fertilizer?

Why You Should Use Aquarium Plants

Using live plants in an aquarium is a great way to help beginner fish thrive.

Plants provide essential nutrients and oxygen to the water, and they can also help reduce algae growth.

Additionally, using live plants in your aquarium can create a more natural and beautiful environment for your fish.

By adding a few plants to your tank, you can improve your aquarium’s overall look and feel!

Here are a few more benefits;

  • Adds oxygen to the water
  • Reduces stress in fish
  • Filters the water and removes toxins
  • It helps keep the tank clean
  • Provides a natural habitat for fish

The Different Types of Aquarium Plants

There are three kinds of plants for aquariums: Foreground, Mid Ground, and Background.

Foreground plants are closest to the front of the aquarium, and you can see them easily.

Examples of Foregrounds include Anubias and carpeting plants like mosses.

A Mid Ground is a plant that stands in the middle of everything. It is hard to see this plant because it is in the middle, but it needs more light than background plants do.

This type of plant includes Cryptocoryne Beckettii and Java Fern.

Background plants are at the back, so they can’t be seen as much as foreground or mid-ground plants can be seen from all sides.

These types of plants grow faster than other types, and they typically require lots of light, so you need to put them in the back part of your tank, or they will block your view.

Examples of background plants include Amazon Sword or Dwarf Aquarium Lily.

Lighting & Aquarium Plants

When it comes to aquarium plants, lighting is critical.

Different plants require different light levels to thrive, so choosing the right plants for your aquarium’s lighting conditions is essential.

If you have a tank with low light, you will need to choose plants that can tolerate low light levels.

These plants will include mostly background plants that do not need a lot of light to grow.

If you have a tank with high light, you will be able to choose from a wider variety of plants, including foreground and mid-ground plants. These plants will need more light to grow properly.

It is best to avoid using high-light plants in low-light tanks and vice versa.

Types of Aquarium Plants to Use In Low-Light Tanks

A few types of low-light aquarium plants will work best for tanks with lower light levels.

These include Java Moss, Java Fern, and Anubias.

Java Moss is in my opinion the best plant for aquariums with low light, they are the easiest type of moss to grow because it does not require a substrate or CO2 injection to thrive.

It can be used in virtually any type of tank, given proper lighting conditions!

Anubias plants can also survive in lower lighting conditions if they receive enough water flow.

They grow very slowly, but they are worth it because they look great!

If they are attached to driftwood or other decorations, Java fern plants can also be used in low-light aquariums because they do not have roots that grow into the substrate.

Best Types of Aquarium Plants to Use In High-Light Tanks

In tanks with high lighting conditions, you can use several types of plants.

You can achieve a more natural look by creating a combination of low and high-light-level varieties in your tank.

One excellent option is to add a few Cryptocoryne plants to your tank because these only require moderate light levels to survive.

This type of plant will thrive if it receives plenty of light. This aquarium plant can also multiply very quickly if provided with proper care!

Summary

Aquarium plants come in all shapes, sizes, and colors, making it easy to find the perfect plant for your tank.

No matter what type of lighting you have in your aquarium, there is a plant that will thrive!

In this article, we explored the different types of plants available for the foreground, mid-ground, and background of your tank.

We also explored options for both low and high-light tanks.

Lastly, we explained how important lighting is for plants and gave some tips on choosing the right plants for your aquarium.

If you are looking for live plants, click here to sign up for our newsletter and receive a discount on live plants so you can start stocking up on beautiful aquarium plants!

If you need help with keeping your plants alive check out this article: How To Keep Aquarium Plants Alive For Beginners [Care Guide]

FAQ

What is the most hardy aquarium plant?

Amazon Swords, Java Ferns, and Anubias are all very hardy plants that are great for beginners.

They do not require much care, and they can thrive in almost any tank condition!

What are low-maintenance aquarium plants?

Low-maintenance plants require very little care to thrive. The easiest plants to grow are java moss, anubias, and java fern.

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