Aquascaping For Beginners: 11 Beautiful Aquatic Plants

Aquascaping is the art of creating a miniature landscape in your fish tank. You can create mountains, miniature gardens, waterfalls and pretty much any landscape you have in your head. Perhaps you’ll want to recreate your favorite place or area right in your living room.

Robert Woods, expert from Fishkeeping World, is here to share some of the best plants which you can include in your aquascape, the majority of these are easy to care for and don’t require much maintenance making them perfect for beginners.

1. Java Moss

Java Moss is one of the easiest plants to grow and look after. It has low lighting and water quality requirements making it a popular choice among aquarists. It can be used to cover the floor and give a mossy-grassy type look, or to edge features such as a stream or waterfall.

2. Staurogyne Repens

This is a fantastic plant to cover the lower areas of the tank and for creating carpets. Staurogyne Repens is bright green in color and has stiff stems with busy densely packed leaves. Carpets made with this plant reach between 2 and 4 inches tall.

3.  Anubias Nana

This short plant has broad leaves and is dark green in color. It’s another great species for a beginner because of its care requirements and slow growth. They grow to 7.5 inches in height and occasionally they produce a creamy white flower. This plant can be attached to driftwood using a clear fishing line.

4. Amazon Sword

One of the most impressive plants, which is often used as a centerpiece for aquariums, is the Amazon Sword. This is a bushy short plant and with its long bladelike leaves, it is perfect for almost all setups.

5. Java Fern

This is a classic and very popular aquarium plant. It’s slow growing and has a unique shape which reaches a height of around 13.5 inches. It comes in a few different varieties and can be used as a mid-ground plant.

6. Anacharis

Also known as Egeria, this is a tall thin plant with small green leaves which cover the entire stem. The stems can grow up to 3 feet tall, but do need trimming down quite often. This plant can be used as a background and edging plant for an aquascape setup.

7. Micro Sword

Micro Sword is a grass like plant which grows well under moderate to high lighting. This is one of the less easy plants to maintain because it needs quite specific conditions, however with high lighting and a good fertilizer; it can make a great grassy carpet for an aquascaped tank.

8. Crypt Wendtii

Crypt plants play a critical role in most aquascape setups, there are around 60 different species and Crypt Wendtii is one of the most commonly used. It has textured wide leaves, which allow it to grow even in shaded areas of the tank.

9. Dwarf Baby Tears

Another really popular aquarium plant is Dwarf Baby Tears. This plant is slow growing and one of the smallest carpet plants available for aquascaping. It is bright green in color and can stretch over the entire floor of a tank with ease.

10. Rotala Green

This plant adapts well to most conditions, making it ideal for beginners. It grows at a medium to fast rate reaching heights of 20 inches. It produces lots of side shoots which give it a bushy feel, and it needs to be pruned regularly to avoid it taking over the tank.

11. Water Wisteria

Water Wisteria is undemanding and easy to care for; it can be used to create a carpet or it can be rooted in the substrate to grow upright. If left uncontrolled this plant can take over the tank so will need trimming to stop it blocking out light for plants which are kept in the lower levels.

If you love gardening, and the thought of keeping fish in your home, why not combine the two and create your own aquascaped garden in a fish tank. Which plants were your favorites?

About Author: Robert Woods is a keen aquarist and aquascaper. He developed his website Fishkeeping World to share his experiences and in depth information about caring for a huge range of fish and plants.