Going Green: Best Animal-Plant Combinations for Tropical Fish Aquariums

In tropical fish aquariums you need the right combination of fish and plants. It’s important, for instance, to have fish that won’t eat or attack each other. The plants should not only offer decoration but also places for fish to hide as well as food for the fishes, at least in some cases. It can be a tricky business, working out the right combinations, but good advice can make it easier.


Water trumpet is a low growing plant with red, crinkly leaves. It is an ideal plant for the foreground of tropical fish aquariums. As it prefers moderate to low light, you should plant it where it’s shaded by taller plants that trail on the surface of the water. It will need a substrate rich in nutrients to thrive.

Java fern doesn’t need to be in the substrate. Instead, the roots attach themselves to driftwood or rocks. With its distinctive sword-shaped green leaves, the java fern grows slowly and works well with most fish. Water wisteria has lovely fronds that change color in the waves. It’s very hardy and quite tall, meaning it’s ideal as a background plant. Give it moderate light.

Many tropical fish aquariums have an Amazon swordplant. It can easily grow to be quite large, given a good substrate and lighting, so it’s best placed as a background plant. All of these plants will do well with fish in tropical fish aquariums. They present no dangers to the fish and offer good foliage for swimming and hiding.


Several factors are important when considering fish for tropical fish aquariums. You have to be sure they won’t grow too big for the aquarium, that the style of aquarium will suit them, and that they’ll get along with the other species of fish. You also need to check that the fish and plants will co-exist well. These fish will work well in most tropical fish aquariums.


When thinking of tropical fish, most people think of goldfish. They have a storied history and the best part is that they’re very simple to care for. There’s actually a very wide variety of goldfish with different colors.

Betta Fish

Betta fish are among the most beautiful, and hypnotic to watch with their long trailing fins. Better known as Siamese fighting fish, the name might put people off, but it’s all a myth and they will co-exist quite peacefully with most species of fish.

Oscar Fish

Oscar fish are extremely lively, always moving and darting around the tank. They’re very popular, partly because of their comic antics and their bright colors.

Discus Fish

Discus fish are very popular in tropical fish aquariums. They originally come from the Amazon basic, and their spectacular colors are most attractive in a tank. There are three main types of discus fish, and all will live well in tanks. All of these fish will go well together in tropical fish aquariums and work well with the different types of plants mentioned above.