Which Plants to Buy for Your Fish Tank? (Complete Guide: Including the Criteria, FAQs & More)

You’ll agree with us when we say that buying plants for your fish tank can be just as confusing as buying fish

Keeping this in mind, we’ve tested several different aquarium plants to bring you this comprehensive guide

In today’s post, we’re going to be helping you figure out what aquarium plants are best suited for your needs.

Why should you have Aquarium Plants in your Fish Tank

Some people think that aquarium plants are merely there to make your fish tank more pleasing to look at. While yes, this is most certainly true, aquarium plants offer so much more than just aesthetic value. 

Just like us, the fish in your aquarium breathe oxygen and produce CO2. If you took Biology in school, you’ll know that if you have plants in the aquarium, they will take this CO2 and convert it back into oxygen. This will provide your aquarium with a naturally balanced oxygen conversion cycle that will benefit both your fish and your plants. 

Not only this, plants can also help reduce the toxins in your fish tank produced by the waste of your fish. They do this by utilizing these waste products for their own growth. 

Also, the oxygen these plants provide can also help keep your substrate clean and prevent it from decaying. 

Lastly, these aquarium plants provide a natural environment for your fish to grow and thrive in. Growing up in a familiar environment that is natural to your fish will help keep them stress-free and healthy.

What To Look For When Buying Aquarium Plants?

Why do you want Aquarium Plants? 

While aquarium plants obviously have benefits for your fish. You need to keep in mind why you’re getting them in the first place. You will need to keep in mind the maintenance that these plants will require such as frequent water changes and changes in light intensity throughout the day. If the water quality falls, your plants will wither which will result in low oxygen levels that will harm your fish.

You need to think about whether you want to create a lush-green surface at the bottom of your fish tank or if you want to make a natural backdrop in the background of your aquarium. 

What type of Fish do you have? 

Which Plants to Buy for Your Fish Tank (Complete Guide - Including the Criteria)

This is very important to consider because if you have fish that are herbivores and like to feed on submerged plants, you’re going to end up with aquarium plants that have holes in their leaves. 

Be sure to research this and get plants that your fish are unable to munch on.

What type of Heating and Lighting do you have?

It’s important to note what type of lighting and heating you have. You need to make sure that the plants you’re getting are able to coexist with the heating and lighting conditions that the fish in your aquarium require. 

The Best Foreground Plants For Your Fish Tank

Java Moss 

Java Moss is a carpet plant that grows extremely quickly and is easy to trim. We recommend getting this plant if you’re a beginner fish-keeper. It grows best when placed in well-circulated clean water with bright lighting. You should keep your water temperature between 23 and 28 degrees celsius for this plant to thrive. Thus, this plant works well if you have tropical fish in your aquarium.


Another common name for this plant is Brazillian Micro Swords. These are slightly more difficult to maintain as they require a delicate balance of CO2, lighting and nitrates in order to thrive. These also work well with tropical fish and they can grow when they are both fully or partially submerged in water. 

Dwarf Baby Tears

This is a carpet plant that you should definitely be looking into if you want your fish to breed. It requires a high amount of light and forms a dense carpet at the bottom of your aquarium. It’s a little tricky to set up but once established, it is easy to take care of. It grows at a moderate rate and prefers water temperatures that are similar to that of tropical fish’s requirements.

The Best Background Plants For Your Fish Tank

Water Wisteria 

This is a plant that has lace-like leaves. It works best as a backdrop to provide a very natural look to your aquarium. This plant is very easy to propagate as you can just take cuttings from their lower leaves and plant them in your gravel elsewhere. It requires a moderate amount of light and is fairly easy to take care of. We recommend you have neutral pH of your tank water if you have this plant. The size of this plant varies heavily depending on the temperature of your water. 

Amazon Sword

Amazon Sword is one of the most common aquarium plants and its broad leaves are easily recognizable even to people who aren’t into fish-keeping. It’s a plant that’s extremely easy to plant and to take care of. It prefers loose substrate that its roots are able to bind to. It can grow quite well even with just a moderate amount of light given to it each day.


If you’re a beginner, you might want to invest in this background plant as it is easy to plant and take care of. It’s a hardy plant that can grow very quickly even in low to moderate lighting conditions. It’s normally anchored to rocks or driftwood in your aquarium instead of being rooted in the gravel.

Dwarf Aquarium Lily 

If you want a plant that stands out in your aquarium, this is it. It produces uniquely-shaped leaves that are a sight to behold. Not only this, it is also not that difficult to maintain as it can thrive even in low light. It grows very quickly. Just be sure to plant the bulb halfway out of the substrate, otherwise, your plant will die. 

Java Fern

Which Plants to Buy for Your Fish Tank (Complete Guide Including the Criteria)

Java Fern is a plant that comes in a variety of sizes and leaf shapes that can be suitable for all sorts of aquariums. They do well in moderate lighting, neutral pH and a water temperature that coincides with tropical fish. Just be sure not to provide them with too strong lighting for too long as this can result in their leaves turning brown. 


It’s not easy deciding what aquarium plants are best suited for the fish and fish tank you happen to have. Many people bring home plants that are incompatible with what they have in their tank. 

We’ve tried our best demystify the factors when it comes to buying plants for your fish tank and we hope you’ve gained value out of our words. 

Give us feedback and let us know what plants you have in your aquarium.

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