Eco-Friendly Plant Options for a Freshwater Aquarium Eco-Friendly Plant Options for a Freshwater Aquarium

A freshwater aquarium is a beautiful addition to any home. There are many options for plants, but the trick is finding the best eco-friendly plants for the freshwater aquarium. There are many options available, but it’s important that they meet the right parameters for your freshwater aquarium.


Having the right conditions in the aquarium is vital to have the plants grow properly. Lighting is important. Each plant needs different levels of lighting and almost always more tan that which comes with the freshwater aquarium. Good light means photosynthesis. In addition to the lighting, photosynthesis needs CO2, which cane come from the fish, unless the tank is heavily planted, when you’ll need a CO2 injector. Always check the necessary Ph, water hardness and lighting requirements of plants before buying them for your freshwater aquarium.


Not all fish and all plants go together. Goldfish and Olivers will dig plants up while Silver Dollars will eat them. It’s important to know which fish and which plants will go together, and that involves research. Feed the plants with freshwater plant food weekly. Make sure there’s a good substrate for the plant. Although some can go directly into the gravel, others are helped by clay planters.

Umbrella Fern

The umbrella fern can grow up to 12 inches high. The stems are thin, and the leaves at the top form a star shape. Don’t completely submerge, but allow the plant itself to grown on the surface with the roots below. It does require intense light, which is the only drawback.

Amazon Sword

Plant loosely in the gravel and make sure you use an iron fertilizer as a supplement to help it grow. As it only requires 50 watts of lighting per 25 gallons of water it makes and excellent freshwater aquarium plant.

Vallisneria Spiralis

Looking somewhat like grass, Vallisneria Spiralis is a very easy plant to grow in a freshwater aquarium as it’s tolerant of most conditions. Place along the rear or sides of the freshwater aquarium for the best effect. It grow up to 24 inches in height and needs 50 watts of lighting per 50 gallons of water. This is an ideal plant for those starting out with aquariums as it needs very little attention

Anubias Barteri

The leaves of Anubias Barteri can grow to 16 inches in length and it will need CO2 fertilization, especially in a heavily-planted tank. The good news is that it only requires moderate lighting and fish don’t dig it up or eat it.

Hygrophilia Polysperma

An excellent freshwater aquarium plant, Hygrophilia Polysperma needs relatively strong lighting at 50 watts per 25 gallons of water. The leaves are green or red and are large (24 inches), so it needs ample room. Placing it at the back center of the tank is ideal.

Argentine Sword

The Argentine sword requires the same lighting strength as Hyrohpilia Polysperma and works well in most types of freshwater aquariums. Like the Amazon sword it will need an iron fertilizer in order to grow well.

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