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Easy To Grow Plants for Planted Aquarium

The following are easy to grow plants that I have found grow well in my Planted relatively low tech aquariums. I must emphasise that all of the pictures below are of the ACTUAL PLANTS IN MY TANK, and the advice below is borne out of MY  OWN EXPERIENCE.   This is the spec of my tanks and below is a picture of one on the tanks.

Easy aquarium plants
Easy aquarium plants – my tank

Lighting: LED, 8000 k RGB

Co2: DIY CO2 yeast reactor- erratic and not consistent high levels as with pressurised co 2

Fetiliser: nitrate and general to reach 20 ppm nitrate.

Foreground Plants

generally the foreground mat growing plants are some of my the the hardest of the aquarium plants to cutivate. Glossostigma and hemianthus for example require high light levels and CO2 injection. However, there are some less demanding foreground plants that will fill the front of aquarium slot quite well.

sagittaria subulata 

Easy aquarium plants

This spreading plant is pretty foolproof. Growing to 10-15cm it spreads rapidly by rhizomes. Provides a good foreground to taller plants and provides a good contrast to tidier mat forming in plants such as hemianthus.

Staurogene repens

This attractive spreading plant grows to not munch more than 5cm in height and will spread slowly but reliably  in an aquarium without high light intensity and CO2 .


A number of the aquarium mosses will  grow slowly over the bottom of the aquarium and will provide a neat and fine textured foreground with planting. The ones that have grown for me on my non- high tech tanks are as follows:

Phoenix fissidens ( Phoenix moss)

An attractive delicate but extremely slow growing moss in my experience. It does grow reliably but in the tank that I have it in it has barely doubled in size in the last  year !

Pellia (Monoselenium tenerum )

This is technically a liverwort but has a somewhat superficially moss like appearance. It has a deep green colouration and forms mounds of coral like growth in the aquarium. I have found this to be very undemanding and will even grow at a steady but restrained rate even in the shadier parts of the aquarium.

Mini Pellia ( Riccardia chamedryfolia)

This is an attractive and popular choice amongst aquascapers as it is used effectively to cloak stones and driftwood and can be trimmed into compact tidy mats of vegetation. I have found this one of the slower growing mosses but generally undemanding but requires patience in a low tech tank.

Mid-ground Plants 

There is probably the greatest range of plants for this section of the tank. These are medium height plants between 15 and 25 cm. The plants that I have successfully used in my tank that are not fussy and grow reasonably fast are listed below.

Rotala walichii

This delicate stemmed plant has a feathery appearance. It is quick growing and will colour up with red hues with iron supplementation.

Myriophyllum mattagrosense 

This delicate feathery plant grows  up  to 30cm  . It  is fast growing and undemanding. It can readily be propogated by cutting off lengths of stem and planting in substrate.

Hydrocotyle leucocephela ( Brazilian Pennywort)

I find this pretty much bomb proof. It has attractive light green rounded leaves borne on stiff stems that have aerial roots growing from the leaf nodes. Fast growing but easy to control more plants can be rapidly generate by simply breaking off stems and planting in substrate.

Cardamime lyrata ( Japanese Cress)

This plant in some ways bears a resemblance to the Brazilian Pennywort described above but has a more delicate trailing habit and smaller, finer more scalloped leaves. This will grow at a reasonable rate and does not need to be rooted as it bears many ‘aerial’ roots.

Java ferns

These are one of the bread and butter aquarium plants. Widely recognised as foolproof with low light requirements and not in need of any specialist treatments. They are quite slow growing and propogate by small offset (baby plants) that can be removed from the parent plant. They are best tied to rocks or wood initially as the plants will decline if their roots are too deeply buried in substrate.

Java ferns are tough and are resistant to attack     by most  fish.



The same applies to this hardy group of Plants as applies to Java ferns, they are slow growing but tolerant of most conditions.