Best Beginner Aquarium Plants – 3 Top Reviews, Guide, FAQs & More

You’ll agree with us when we say that when you’re first starting out on your fishkeeping journey, finding aquarium plants that are easy to take care of can be a challenging task. 

That’s why we decided to compile this list of aquarium plants that are suitable for novice fishkeepers. 

Today, we’ll look into the best beginner aquarium plants on the market and discuss what it takes to properly take care of them.

Here are some quick summaries of beginner aquarium plants we’ll be looking at today:

Top Pick

This hardy plant is perfect for beginners since it doesn’t require too much light and is easy to plant. It comes securely packaged so it doesn’t get damaged.

Runner Up

This plant is perfect for many different tank sizes and can be attached to many different things in an aquarium. It’s a forgiving plant that can grow in many conditions.

Also Great

This plant adds a lot of color and brightness to your aquarium. It does not require any special kind of lighting and it grows very rapidly over a small time period.

Now for a detailed look into these beginner aquarium plants.

Best Beginner Aquarium Plants - Best 3 Reviews

1. All-Around Best Beginner Aquarium Plant - Greenpro 3-Bundles Amazon Sword Review

Greenpro is the leading brand when it comes to providing fishkeepers with fresh and healthy aquarium plants and with this 3-pack bundle, they are showing why. 

We received our package which had reinforced packaging which ensured the plants would not get damaged in any way no matter how the couriers handled it. The plants we received were strikingly green and free from any pests. 

The Amazon Sword requires a temperature of anywhere between 72 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit (22 to 27 degrees Celsius) which makes it perfect to keep in harmony with tropical fish.

Features of Greenpro 3-Bundles Amazon Sword – Best Beginner Aquarium Plants

  1. Pack of 3 separate Amazon Sword aquarium plants
  2. Require moderate light
  3. Can grow up to 20 inches
  4. Give shelter and security to aquatic pets
  5. Pest-free
  • Come thoroughly checked for diseases and pests
  • Securely packaged
  • Does require special care or equipment
  • Does not require a CO2 booster
  • Great value for money
  • Has a tendency to droop 

If you’re looking for an aquarium plant that is easy to take care of and also comes at a reasonable price, you’ve just found it. This product provides you with plants that are in great condition which will help you kick-start your aquarium plant journey.

2. Best Low-Light Beginner Aquarium Plant - Greenpro Java Moss Review

Java Moss is an aquarium plant that almost every novice fishkeeper opts for and Greenpro is doing a great job of providing them with high-quality Java Moss to make them get started. 

Java Moss works perfectly as a carpet plant and you’ll find that it spreads rapidly but at the same time, it’s also very easy to trim. So, you don’t need to worry too much about it over-growing and taking over your aquarium. 

Greenpro provides them to you in neat little 4.8 oz portion cups so you can easily judge how many cups you would need for whatever size aquarium you have. 

Features of Greenpro Java Moss

  1. 100% authentic Java Moss
  2. Parasite-free
  3. Comes in a portion cup
  4. Grows very rapidly
  5. Requires low to medium light
  • Purposefully packed to retain freshness
  • Neatly packaged to avoid damage
  • Appropriate for a wide variety of sizes
  • Easy to take care of
  • Easy to plant
  • Needs to be washed gently first and can get damaged while washing

If you want to fill your aquarium with a dense plant carpet and you want to do it quickly, this is the product you’re looking for. It grows at an incredibly fast rate and looks beautiful in all types of aquariums.

3. Best Low-Maintenance Beginner Aquarium Plant - Aquatic Arts Java Fern Review

This plant comes in a variety of shapes and sizes and grows very quickly underneath low lighting. You’ll find that the leaves will go brown if you put it under a light that’s too bright. 

It’s perfect for tropical fish tanks and it has large leaves that provide great hiding places for fish who are shy, fish who like to explore as well as for breeding tanks. 

Overall, the Java Fern is a very hardy plant and it is very difficult to mess up taking care of a Java Fern plant. 

Features of Aquatic Arts Java Fern

  1. 3 inches by 5 inches mat 
  2. Requires low to moderate light
  3. Fast-growing
  4. Perfect for breeding tanks
  5. Securely packaged
  • Provides security and hiding places to fish
  • Inexpensive
  • Low-maintenance
  • Grows rapidly
  • Does not need special or high-intensity lighting
  • Some reviews say the plant came infested with snails

If you’re lazy or don’t have a lot of time on your schedule to babysit your aquarium plants then this is the product for you. It brightens up your aquarium wonderfully and provides hiding places to your fish without you having to worry too much about its welfare.

best beginner aquarium plants

Buyers’ Guide

How do I judge which aquarium plants would be most suitable for me? 

There are a few factors which you can keep in mind which will help you decide what type of aquarium plants would be most suitable for you. Some of these factors are: 

  • The Type of Fish you Have

It’s very important to think about what type of fish you’re going to have in your aquarium alongside your aquarium plants. This is so that you can ensure that the fish you keep won’t harm your plants in any way as some fish are plant-eaters. 

Not only this, but you also need to think about the fish in your tank because you have to ensure that the tank conditions that your fish and aquarium plants need are compatible. If you have fish that require high-intensity lighting but you get aquarium plants that require low light, you will not be able to provide both of them with the best possible conditions they need in order to grow. Thus, always keep fish and plants that require similar conditions within the same tank. These conditions include things like lighting, pH, temperature, water salt content, etc. 

  • Substrate Inside your Tank 

We strongly recommend that you decide on what aquarium plants you’re going to get first and then buy your aquarium substrate accordingly. However, if you already have your aquarium set up, you’re going to want to buy aquarium plants that can be accommodated by that particular substrate. 

For example, if you’ve bought aquarium gravel that does not contain nutrients, you should not buy root-feeder aquarium plants that require nutrients to be present in the aquarium substrate.

  • Level of Maintenance 

If you’re a beginner, obviously, you’re going to want to get aquarium plants that don’t require too much maintenance and are forgiving of beginner mistakes. This is also true if you have a busy schedule and don’t have a lot of time to devote to the welfare of your aquarium plants. 

  • Price 

Aquarium plants can get quite expensive if you start going into the exotic varieties. If you have the money to spend then you can opt for expensive plants all you want but if you’re building an aquarium in your home on a budget, you might want to stick to aquarium plants that come at a reasonable price. 

As a beginner, should I have more background or more foreground aquarium plants

Most aquarists will tell you that a combination of both background and foreground plants is the best way to go since it not only adds variety to your aquarium, it also gives you a taste of both worlds so you develop a sense of the differences and nuances that are present in terms of taking care of both of these varieties. 

Overall, most background aquarium plants are easier to take care of and more forgiving than foreground plants. However, there are exceptions such as Java Moss, Lilaeopsis and Dwarf Baby Tears. 

Where should I buy aquarium plants from? 

There are a number of different places where you can acquire aquarium plants. Different varieties of aquarium plants are readily available online on websites like Amazon. Other than that, if you want to go out and buy aquarium plants in person, you’ll most definitely be able to find them at your nearest local pet store or your nearest plant nursery. 

What are some things to avoid when buying aquarium plants? 

If you’re buying aquarium plants from your local pet store or plant nursery, you’re going to want to observe the aquarium plants closely in order to ensure they’re not bruised or damaged in any way. Look at their stems and make sure there’s nothing broken, look for signs of wilting or browning. Also, ensure that the plants you’re getting are not infested with pests such as snails. Introducing an aquarium plant into your aquarium that has snails in it can be a nightmare since snails are very difficult to get rid of completely. 

If you’re buying aquarium plants online, be sure to look at the reviews in order to ensure the plant you’re getting comes securely packaged. Avoid all companies which have a history or reputation for poorly packaging their aquarium plants during shipping. There’s nothing worse than receiving an aquarium plant that’s dead or dying because it wasn’t packaged properly.

How do I maintain my aquarium plants? 

Unless you have exotic aquarium plants that require special care, regular tank maintenance is really all you need to properly maintain your plants. We recommend regular weekly water changes along with regular cleaning of your aquarium substrate using a gravel cleaner. 

It’s also a good idea to invest in an aquarium plant fertilizer. They can help boost the speed at which your aquarium plants grow by a drastic amount. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What should I do if one of my aquarium plants dies? 

There’s only one thing to do when an aquarium plant dies: take it out. Dead leaves can be quite harmful to the inhabitants inside your aquarium so it’s important you remove the dead aquarium plants as soon as possible. You can use your bare hands or tongs to remove the aquarium plant. Ensure that all of its roots are completely removed from within the aquarium substrate. 

After the aquarium plant is removed, it’s essential that you test your water’s conditions such as pH, ammonia and nitrate levels, etc. in order to ensure that the aquarium is still operating at acceptable water conditions. 

Is a dead aquarium plant toxic to fish? 

Yes. Dead aquarium plants have the tendency to rot in an aquarium which will release ammonia and other nitrogen compounds into the water. These compounds are severely toxic to fish. Not only this, but dead aquarium plants can also lower the pH inside your aquarium which can have unforeseen consequences for your fish as well as for other plants inside your aquarium.

What should I do if one of my aquarium plants has a parasite or disease? 

Your best bet is to set up a quarantine tank, i.e., a temporary space for your aquarium plant to stay in while you nurse it back to health. It’s very important that you separate the infected aquarium plant as soon as possible from the rest of your tank’s inhabitants. Once you have your aquarium plant set up in a quarantine tank, you can apply remedies to it for whatever disease or parasite it has. Once you’ve cured the aquarium plant, you can put it back into your main aquarium. 

My aquarium plant’s leaves are browning. Why is this? 

Browning leaves could be due to a number of reasons but the most common culprit is insufficient or inappropriate lighting. Having an aquarium light that is bright is not enough, you also need to ensure that it’s the correct spectrum of light in order to ensure your aquarium plants grow effectively without turning brown. 

Some plants also turn brown for a little while, while they’re adjusting to a new aquarium. Give them some time and they will return to their green selves. 

My aquarium plant’s leaves have holes in them. Why is this? 

Small holes developing in your aquarium plant’s leaves is usually a sign of a disease known as Cryptocoryne Rot. The cause of this disease hasn’t been concretely identified but the most commonly agreed upon reason is due to poor water quality and an increased level of nitrate in the water. Some things you can do to combat this disease is to perform a large water change (25% to 50%) in your aquarium and also clean your aquarium substrate using a gravel cleaner. 

Can too much light be harmful to my aquarium plants? 

Yes. Excessive light can cause two major problems for your aquarium plants: bleaching and algae growth. 

Bleaching refers to the fading of the color in your aquarium plant’s leaves. It is usually followed by your plant dropping or wilting until it dies. 

Algae growth refers to the growth of excessive algae within your aquarium which can cover your plants and hinder their photosynthetic process. 

Can my aquarium plants grow in aquarium gravel? 

Yes. There are certain aquarium plants that are known as water-column feeders which derive their nutrients completely from the water. These aquarium plants can simply be tied to the aquarium gravel from where they can grow efficiently inside your fish tank. Too large-sized aquarium gravel is still not appropriate for harboring these aquarium plants though, we do recommend that you get aquarium gravel that is fairly small so you are able to securely attach your aquarium plants inside it. 

What color of light is most appropriate for growing aquarium plants? 

The most beneficial color of light for the effective growth of aquarium plants has been proven to be blue and violet. Other than that, cool-white light that lies in the 6500K to 10,000K kelvin rating is also quite appropriate for the aquarium plants. Also, red light when used in combination with cool-white and blue light can cause your aquarium plants to flower.

Can too many aquarium plants kill fish? 

Yes. Too many aquarium plants can lead to oxygen depletion in your aquarium at night which could cause the CO2 levels inside your aquarium to increase as well, thus, depriving your fish of much-needed oxygen.

Are real plants better for fish than artificial ones? 

You can make a case for both of them but we agree that having real plants is much better for your fish and your aquarium in general, than having artificial ones. Real plants can be a lot harder to take care of but they reward you immensely by turning your aquarium into a full-blown ecosystem with inhabitants that depend on each other.

Final Verdict

As a beginner, it’s important you find an aquarium plant that isn’t too intimidating and forgives your initial mistakes which you are more or less bound to make. 

After much deliberation, we had to choose the Greenpro 3-Bundles Amazon Sword as the best product on this list. The plants come to you fresh and green, they are incredibly easy to set up and take care of and Greenpro does a fantastic job of securely shipping them to you. 

And with that, we’re at the end of our post for best beginner aquarium plants. 

Let us know in the comments what aquarium plants you first started out with.

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