Best Terrarium Plants for Freshwater Fish
Choosing the appropriate plant life for your freshwater aquarium goes beyond the aesthetics of a beautifully arranged, underwater plantscape. Live plants benefit your fish in a number of ways, such as converting carbon dioxide into oxygen, aerating the tank, and providing hiding places. Plants also use the chemicals from fish’s waste products as food, which helps keep the water clean and safe.
Aquarium plants are generally divided into three groups depending on their placement within the tank:
- Foreground plants, the shortest flora which are placed near the front.
- Mid-ground plants, which are taller. These are arranged at the sides and middle.
- Background plants are the tallest and provide a natural-looking backdrop.
When choosing terrarium plants, it’s best to stick to those with an easy to moderate care level, especially if you’re a beginner to adding live plants to your fish tank. You’ll also need to purchase aquarium substrate, a nutrient-rich material for the bottom of the aquarium. Spread a thin layer of gravel on top to help keep it in place.
Best Foreground Plants
- Java Moss. It grows best in a well-lit tank, is easy to trim, and makes an ideal “carpet plant.”
- Brazilian Micro Sword. This is a short-stemmed plant resembling grass.
- Dwarf Baby Tears looks a lot like moss with its dense clusters of tiny leaves and works well for breeding tanks.
Best Middle or Background Plants
- Water Wisteria is a fast-growing plant with lace-like leaves (think parsley).
- Amazon Sword. This is one of the most popular aquarium plants with its flat, broad leaves.
- African Water Fern is a slow grower best anchored to driftwood.
- Java Fern comes in different varieties and is exceptionally easy to care for. It may turn brown if the lighting is too bright, so a moderately lit aquarium is best.
- Anubias. Like Amazon Sword, this hardy plant is best anchored to driftwood or rocks.
- Water Trumpet is a slow-growing plant that does well in low to moderate light.
- Aponogeton Ulvaceus Bulb. One bulb can produce up to forty rippled leaves.
- Dwarf Aquarium Lily develops green, red, and pink leaves as it grows. The bulb should be planted only halfway into the substrate.
All the plants listed above are safe for freshwater fish. If you decide to try other types, be sure the plants are fish-safe by purchasing from a reputable supplier. When in doubt, check with your animal care specialist to ensure the safety of your pets. For assistance with the habitat needs of fish or other exotic animals, consult Andes-Straley Veterinary Hospital. Our experts in exotic pets take pride in providing high-quality care to animals with fins, fur, scales, or feathers. Contact us today.