5 Best Low Light Aquarium Plants

5 Low Light Aquarium Plants

What are low light plants and what can they do in your aquarium? They are often referred to as the “easy plants” as they are very easy to maintain and they can thrive in low light aquariums.

Usually used as an underwater decoration and a hideaway for fish, these low light aquarium plants do not need extra lights, specific water regulations, or even CO2 to survive.

Low Light Aquarium Plants

Here are the five best low light plants and an explanation about how they work and what they need.

  • Java Moss
  • Anubias
  • Java Fern
  • Vallisneria
  • Sagittaria

Java Moss

Low Light Aquarium Plants - Java Moss

This adaptable moss is capable of enduring difficult conditions and can attach itself to any object. Using string, staples, or pins, you can connect it to a cork or a foam background if you want.

It can grow in low light and will create a living wall for your aquarium where fish can play and eggs can hatch peacefully.

You need to trim your Java Moss occasionally though to prevent overgrowth and to keep your tank looking beautiful. To know more about Java Moss, you can read my previous post – Java Moss: What You Should Know?

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Low Light Aquarium Plants - Anubias

An Anubias is a semi-aquatic flowering plant that can usually be found in streams, rivers, and in marshes and it originates from the vast African jungle streams.

They are extremely adaptable to a variety of shades and irregular rising and falling of water levels.

They do not only require low maintenance and low light, but they are great for a beginner’s aquarium. These types of plants will attach themselves to driftwood if you have it in your tank.

Always cut the leaves of the Anubias and remember to trim your plant for best growth result.

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Java Fern

Low Light Aquarium Plants - Java Fern

There are six species of Java Fern that can be identified by their leaves; some has short leaves and others have wide leaves, or you may find some with long, thin leaves and others with very detailed, lacy, branching leaves.

In the wild, these aquatic ferns normally grow along the edges of rivers, waterfalls, and rocks.

Using a cotton thread, you can attach the fern to ornaments, rocks, and driftwood. They adapt very well to low light and do not require a lot of maintenance to keep them looking beautifully complex.

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Low Light Aquarium Plants - Vallisneria

A Vallisneria is a freshwater aquatic plant, which some people call eelgrass, and are used at the sides or back of a tank to frame the rest of the aquarium.

Vallisneria is an underwater plant that grows by runners and often forms a tall underwater meadow, shading out other plants. Leaves will grow in clusters from the roots.

They can be identified by their interesting leaves that have raised veins and round tips.

They are very adaptable and will grow under low light, but at a slower rate. As soon as they get “comfortable” with their surroundings, the female flowers will then grow to the surface on very long stalks.

A male flower, however, grows on shorter stalks and can become detached to float to the surface. They bear fruits that are a banana-like capsule with a lot of tiny seeds.

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Low Light Aquarium Plants - Dwarf Sagittaria

Sagittaria is an ascendant of about thirty species of aquatic plant, most of them know as duck potato, arrowhead, Katniss, Kuwait, Tule potato, Swan potato, and Wapato.

They are bright green, grass-like plants that can make a beautiful background, foreground, or mid-ground depending on the species.

Growing in rosettes, they will send off a runner that will generate a new plant. Their bright green clumps work well in color and give great form with other aquatic plants.

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A great mix of these easy-to-grow low light plants will help a beginner aquarists develop a vast, long lasting, low cost low-light planted aquarium that will provide a calming effect and pleasure for years to come.

With all of this information, you can now enjoy and grow your own complex aquarium with a combination of simplicity of this inspiring underwater paradise without all of the hassles of constant maintenance that comes with high-tech planted tanks.

4 thoughts on “5 Best Low Light Aquarium Plants”

  1. Wonderful news for all people starting a planted tank, success will keep them in the hobby and progress to more difficult plants in the future!!


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