9 Best Plants For Turtles Tanks: Specifications & Comparison

Turtles are a popular pet since they are adorable and easy to care for. However, this does not negate the fact that they require adequate care. Indeed, if you do not provide them with the attention they need, they may become ill and possibly die. A source of heat, basking platforms, substrate, and other items must all be included in their tank for their well-being. These items assist you in creating an environment that is similar to what they were used to living in while they were in the wild. You must also add plants to their aquarium in addition to these. They will be more at ease and happy as a result of this. Naturally, you’re interested in learning about the best plants for a turtle tank. So, let us investigate the best options. 

Best Plants For Turtles Tanks

To know more about Turtle care, here. 

Or, read this for perfect basking platform for your Turtle.

Here are the plants for turtle tank (Our Picks)

1. Hornwort

Hornwort (Ceratophyllum demersum) - Bunch Aquatic Plant


Care RequiredEasy
Growth RateFast
Tank Size15 gallons
pH required 6.5-7.5
Water Hardness5-15 dGH
Water Temperature 59-86°F

Ceratophyllum, also known as hornwort, is a common freshwater aquarium plant. The exact number of species is unknown. Over 300 species names have been reported, but due to misidentification, only 100-150 species are likely to exist. Ceratophyllum Demersum is the most common aquarium species. Its hardiness makes it perfect for beginners or those wishing to add a low-maintenance plant to their aquarium. While hardiness is advantageous in an aquarium, it might be problematic in the wild. Its tolerance for a wide range of circumstances, combined with its rapid growth rate, enables it to spread as an invasive species to new places. In locations like New Zealand, where it is outcompeting native plant species and interrupting hydroelectric power generation, this has become an issue. Hornwort’s success can also be attributed to its allelopathic properties. This means it can create toxins that hinder other species from growing, giving it more space and resources. The different sites where this plant can be found worldwide — it has a cosmopolitan spread – illustrate its accomplishments. Except for Antarctica, this plant can now be found on every continent. The popularity of this plant has resulted in great demand, and it is now available in many stores. Because this species proliferates, it can be grown in huge numbers at a low cost. Hence it is frequently offered at a low price. A few bunches of hornwort will cost between $5 and $10. Although pricing per plant will vary depending on where you buy them and how many you buy all at once. 

2. Dwarf Hairgrass

Aquatic Arts Dwarf Hairgrass - Live Aquarium Plant


Care RequiredEasy
Growth RateFast
Tank Size10 gallons
pH required 6.5-7.5
Water Hardness2-10 dGH
Water Temperature 50-85°F

Eleocharis Parvula and Eleocharis acicularis are the two species of dwarf Hairgrass. It belongs to the Cyperaceae family of freshwater plants. These species can be located worldwide, from North America to Europe and even as far as Asia. It can be found in shallow freshwaters where there is plenty of light. Dwarf Hairgrass is commonly utilized as a carpet, covering the tank’s bottom in a lush green carpet. Because it’s a fast-growing plant, you can get this effect with a small amount that quickly grows. This carpet protects bottom-dwelling species (such as Pictus catfish) while also oxygenating and cleaning the aquarium. It’s popular in the fishkeeping industry because it’s a low-maintenance aquatic plant. It has only the most basic requirements, requiring only light, nutrients, and CO2. It’s also simple to maintain, so even inexperienced users may take care of it. Dwarf Hairgrass can be used for a variety of purposes. For starters, it has a variety of practical applications. It oxygenates the water while also assisting in the regulation of nitrate levels and the removal of contaminants. Because dwarf Hairgrass is a carpet species, it provides services that only other carpet species can supply. The primary function is to give a haven for bottom-dwelling species. It can also be used as a food source and a current shield, not to mention its unusual appearance. 

3. Moneywort

4 Moneywort Bunches


Care RequiredVaries from set up to set up
Growth RateSlow
Tank Size10 gallons
pH required 6.0-7.5
Water Hardness5-20 dGH
Water Temperature 72-82°F

When it comes to plants for your turtle tank, moneywort is yet another fantastic alternative. They are elegant and hence enhance the appearance of your tank. In the sense that it has higher and longer stems with tiny leaves originating from them, this is a straight-growing plant. They’re also quite frail. One thing to keep in mind is not to overcrowd your tank with this plant. If you add too many, they may take up too much room in your tank water because they grow rather tall. These plants are not only gorgeous, but they are also entirely edible and may be used as treats for your pet turtles. Though the turtles will eat them, you need not be concerned because they proliferate.

Moneywort can be found in the southern United States, Asia, Africa, India, Australia, and most tropics. It’s most common near the fringes of freshwater marshes and wetlands and in some brackish and wooded environments. In at least four nations, it’s also designated an invasive species. It’s a creeping herb that forms thick mats and “creeps” over mud and sand, rocks, trees, and whatever else it comes across. It rarely, if ever, grows in water more profound than a foot deep, preferring instead to skirt around it. Moneywort does not thrive in frigid temperatures and requires a moderate to high light level to succeed. If your lighting is poor or your tank is deep, you may wish to float it to bring it closer to the light. You also don’t have to grow it underwater, though you can if you want to. There’s no limit to what you can do with this stuff:

  • Let it crawl over the edges of your tank.
  • Plant it in the substrate.
  • Let it grow tall.
  • Keep it cut short.

It’s also an excellent addition to aquariums and terrariums.

4. Java Moss 

Java Moss Portion in 4 Oz Cup


Care RequiredVery Easy
Growth RateLow to Fast
Tank Size5 gallons
pH required 5.0 to 8.0
Water Hardness3-12 dGH
Water Temperature 59-86°F

Moss gives a tank a natural, aged appearance and can bring it to life. Java moss is easy to cultivate, manage, and install. It’s nearly impossible to kill. It can stick to various surfaces, including gravel, driftwood, rocks, and commercial decorations. It’s a delicate moss with short branching branches that are uneven. The stems are covered with tiny, oval-shaped leaves that are 2mm long and overlapped. Underwater Java moss contains brilliant green leaves that are significantly smaller than the plants found on land. It attaches itself to surfaces using rhizoids, which, unlike roots, have the sole aim of connecting themselves to an item instead of providing nourishment. Java moss receives nutrients mainly through its branches and leaves since it lacks true roots. Surprisingly, there is still some confusion about Java’s scientific name; it was once known as Vesicularia Dubyana but was recently renamed, Taxiphyllum Barbieri. The accuracy of the alteration is still a point of contention. The majority of name confusion is caused by Latin names being mismatched with standard terms. Although they both belong to the Taxiphyllum genus, Vesicularia Dubyana (commonly known as Christmas moss or Singapore moss) is very distinct from Taxiphyllum Barbieri (Java moss). When buying plants, always attempt to use the Latin name to avoid any mistakes. 

5. Frogbit

6 Amazon Frogbit (Limnobium Laevigatum)


Care RequiredEasy
Growth RateFast
Tank SizeAny
pH required 6–7.5
Water Hardness4–20 dGH
Water Temperature 64–80° F

The Amazon Frogbit is an aquarium plant that is incredibly easy to care for and is widely utilized in the aquarium hobby today. Limnobium Laeviatum is the scientific name given to the aquarium plant. The plant is native to Central and South America, yet there have been instances spreading to North America as an invasive species. It can now be located across much of California. This is most likely due to human activity due to which part of the plant escapes from the hands of persons who use it in the aquarium trade. The Amazon Frogbit is an aquarium plant that is incredibly easy to care for and is widely utilized in the aquarium hobby today. Limnobium Laeviatum is the scientific name given to the aquarium plant. The plant is native to Central and South America, yet there have been instances spreading to North America as an invasive species. It can now be found across much of California, most likely due to human activity in which part of the plant escapes from the hands of persons who use it in the aquarium trade. 

Even though the plant is effortless to care for and strong, you must follow some guidelines to grow. Because the top section of the plant will decay if it is allowed to get wet, it must be maintained somewhat dry at all times. If the plant is housed in a tank inside a house, the water must be changed regularly. Allowing the plant to sit in the same stale water for an extended period will lead it to decay. 

6. Duckweed

Duckweed (Lemna Minor) - 200 Live Plants (100) by DBDPet


Care RequiredEasy
Growth RateVery Fast
Tank Size1 gallon
pH required 6.5 – 7.5
Water HardnessDoes not matter
Water Temperature 60 – 90 F

Duckweed can be discovered in freshwater ponds and slow-moving streams on almost every continent except Antarctica, ranging from tropical to temperate climates. The plant spreads quickly across calm bodies of water that are rich in nutrients, and it thrives in environments with yearly daytime temperatures ranging from 60 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit (15 to 32 degrees Celsius). Duckweeds also have adaptation mechanisms to survive when the water ecology dries out, or temperatures fall below a certain threshold. The plants descend to the base of the water body and become trapped in dried mud due to late summer flowering or the creation of starch-filled structures or turions that are heavier than the fronds. The simple oval form of these vivid green plants is devoid of a visible stem or leaves. A small organized “thallus” or “frond” structure, 1 – 8 mm (0.04 – 0.3 inches) length and 0.6 – 5mm broad. It makes up the majority of each plant. On the surface of water bodies, the fronds can adhere to one another and form a large mat or blanket. This gives it a lush green appearance that stands out. Both Spirodela and Lemna have sporadic roots. The roots range in size from a few millimeters to 15 centimeters deep, and they descend into the water column to assist the plant in stabilizing itself and absorbing essential nutrients. Duckweed reproduces both vegetatively and sexually through asexual budding or division and sexually through flowering, which is uncommon. The fruits contain several ribbed seeds that are capable of hibernation but will sprout. 

7. Java Fern

Java Fern Bare Root | Microsorum Pteropus


Care RequiredEasy
Growth RateSlow to moderate
Tank Size10 gallons
pH required 6.0-7.5
Water Hardness3-8 dGH
Water Temperature 68-82°F

Java Fern hails from the Polypodiaceae family, which includes around 60 taxa. Microsorum is a genus of tropical ferns that has approximately 50 different species. Microsorum Pteropus, sometimes known as Java Fern, is one of the most well-known species in the Microsorum genus. It is a jungle plant that grows on rocks, the ground, and around tree trunks along the waterline of streams and waterfalls. It is native to Southeast Asia. It, like grass, flourishes in tropical rainforests. It can grow fully immersed as well as half submerged. Java Fern has been around for a long time, and new types have been evolved. Narrow-leaf, needle leaf, trident, and Windelov are the most common varieties found in fish stores. 

It’s reasonably priced; a modest plant costs roughly $4-5. They sometimes come pre-attached to driftwood, making them very simple to place in your tank. Plants already growing on the wood are more expensive, ranging from $10 to $20 depending on the size. They’ll usually be around 3-5 inches long when you acquire them. Make sure the plant is healthy, with no brown edges and green, healthy-looking leaves. Avoid buying a bunch since some stores will bundle a bunch of leaf cuttings together without the rhizomes. If you’re on a fixed budget, this is an excellent choice. It’s nearly impossible to kill this plant unless you make a concerted effort! 

8. Water Lettuce

Water Lettuce - Floating Live Pond Plant


Care RequiredModerately Difficult
Growth RateFast
Tank Size10 gallons
pH required 6.5-7.2 
Water Hardness8-10 dGH
Water Temperature 70 to 80 °F

Water lettuce (Pistia stratiotes), sometimes known as water cabbage or Nile cabbage, is an aquatic plant that can be a challenge to grow in a home aquarium. However, with a bit of effort, these plants can grow into an appealing maze of dangling roots, providing the ideal setting for young and nervous fish. Water lettuce is thought to be an African native, yet there is no consensus on where it originated on the continent. It was first discovered near Lake Victoria on the Nile River. It has spread over the world in the years since its discovery, posing a severe threat to local vegetation and fish. It is unlawful to own or carry water lettuce in certain states and nations. So, anyone interested in purchasing these plants should first verify local legislation. 

Depending on the variety, water lettuce can rise to 10 inches (25.5 cm) in diameter. Water lettuce is usually smaller in home aquariums. The leaves of this plant have no stems and are covered with tiny, silky hairs on their surface, which trap air and boost the buoyancy of the plants.

In water lettuce, leaves form a rosette on top of the water, with dense roots submerged below.

Outside, these plants grow like weeds, but they can be challenging to grow in a home aquarium. However, they can fully overrun an aquarium if given the perfect conditions. So, removing a few plants during weekly tank maintenance is usually a good idea. 

9. Red Ludwigia

Ludwigia palustris red


Care RequiredEasy
Growth RateFast
Tank Size10 gallons
pH required 6.0 – 8.0
Water HardnessSoft to Hard
Water Temperature 68 – 82 °F

This plant is native to Mexico and the southern United States of America. It can be found in tropical seas throughout North and Central America. It grows abundantly in shallow waterways like ditches, ponds, rivers, streams, and lakes. It can be found throughout Asia, Africa, and Australia.

Ludwigia Repens creates dense trailing or creeping populations in shallow water, with its shoot tips rising above the water’s surface. Ludwigia Repens is a beautiful aquatic trailing plant cultivated wholly or partially submerged in the water column. When grown fully immersed, this colored stem plant will produce lobed leaves ranging from deep green to brownish red to deep crimson. 

Ludwigia Repens is a thick mat-forming enduring herb with creeping stems. It ranges in length from 12 to 20 inches and width from 1.5 to 2.5 inches, depending on typical leaf growth. The leaves are oriented in opposite directions on red stalks. The tops of the leaves are olive green and the undersides reddish (this is subject to changes depending on the light intensity). Aerial roots, or roots that develop from the stems’ internodes, emerge from the plant. Ludwigia Repens has tiny blooms with four yellow-colored petals (about 3mm long) inserted on a base of four-pointed sepals that may be significantly longer. 

How to Choose Plants For A Turtle Tank

You can consider the following points when choosing plants for your Turtle Tanks. 

1. Low Light 

The primary thing you need to look for are plants that need little or no light. The reason for this is that turtle tanks don’t usually have the most adequate lighting. So, if you choose plants that demand full sunshine, they’ll wither, die, and filth up the tank, making it uninhabitable for your turtles. In a nutshell, choose plants that can grow in warm, low-light conditions. Java Moss, Java Fern, and Dwarf Hairgrass are examples of low-light plants. 

2. Hardiness

Next, seek plants that can withstand the elements. Turtles, as previously said, can claw, dig up, chew on, and generally beat up plants. Delicate plants will not survive. If they fulfill your turtles’ appetite, they might not even last a few weeks in the tank. There will be no dislodging mishaps if the plants you add to the tank are hardy enough, and they will have enough time to grow to their full potential. Add in their requirement for light, and you’ve got yourself the ideal plant for your aquarium! Hornworts and Java Fern are two popular hardy plants. 

3. Growth Rate

Naturally, if you want to acquire the required results as soon as possible, you should opt for plants with strong growth rates. A faster rate of growth is preferable, but this isn’t always the case with low-light plants. If you only have a few options, choosing vigorous plants over plants with a high growth rate is always preferable. Non-hardy plants might be harmed quickly. Java Moss, Hornwort, and Moneywort are some of the most significant plants for high growth rates. 


Turtles make excellent pets and have a long life expectancy. Although they are not as expressive as some other pets, watching them move around in your tank makes you feel lovely. Turtles, like other pets, require care and attention. Adding plants, in addition to keeping the proper conditions in your tank, is highly advantageous. Your pet will enjoy hiding amid the plants as well as playing with them.

Furthermore, they enjoy eating plants, so you must exercise extreme caution while picking your choices. Now that you know what constitutes a good turtle tank plant. You should have no trouble finding one. Choose any of these, and your turtles will be extremely happy, and your tank will also look nice.

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