15 Best Red Aquarium Plants: Review & Care Tips (2024)

A planted aquarium provides a holistic environment for fish with hiding spots, snacking, and nutrient conversion that help your fish thrive. Ferns and mosses are common, but a beautiful red aquatic plant can be challenging to find. 

The red color is striking in an aquarium, and the vivid tones instantly brighten a dull tank. With so many live and decorative plants available, it can be a challenge to choose the best for your aquarium. 

Luckily, we’ve got the best red aquarium plants for you to buy this year.

Best Red Plants for Your Aquarium (Our Picks)

1. CNZ Aquarium Decor Artificial Plastic Plant Red

CNZ Aquarium Decor Artificial Plastic Plant Red

Top of our list is the CNZ Aquarium Decor Artificial Plastic Plant Red. This one is a general favorite, mainly because of its affordable price range. The vibrant red color spruces up an aquarium instantly.

The lifelike appearance of this plastic plant is stunning once you add it to the aquarium. The root part of the plant has a weighted plate that makes it easier to anchor to the substrate at the bottom of the tank.

The plant is made of non-toxic plastic, and the base is ceramic, which provides stability and enough weight to anchor it. The plastic leaves are flexible without sharp edges that could injure or cut vulnerable fish in your tank.


  • Vibrant and bright color
  • It has a ceramic bottom
  • Non-toxic composition


  • It has a strong chemical smell to it (but this improves after rinsing)

2. QUMY Large Aquarium Plants

QUMY Large Aquarium Plants

The QUMY Large Aquarium Plants are unlike anything else on the market. The combination of bright red with specks of green livens the aquarium. This artificial plant features a plastic body with a ceramic base, like most quality artificial plants.

The ceramic base keeps the plant anchored to the substrate in the tank and allows for easy aquascaping. The vibrant red adds a bold splash of color to the aquarium, making the décor stand out. The base of the plant has several hiding spots in the coral-like structure.

Unlike live plants, artificial ones require less maintenance. They only need the occasional rinse, and you are good to go. The soft branches of the plant’s structure appear lifelike when your tank has a good current.


  • The plant has a unique design and color combination
  • Durable and stable ceramic base
  • Made with non-toxic materials with a flexible branch structure


  • It takes up a lot of space in the aquarium (though you can easily cut it smaller)

3. QUMY Fern Aquarium Plants

QUMY Fern Aquarium Plants

Another red aquarium plant from Qumy worth considering is this fern-like alternative. Combining wine red with vibrant green tips makes this a good choice for beginner aquarists.

Like most artificial plants from Qumy, this one features a broad-weighted ceramic plate to anchor the plant. It adds a bold splash of color to the tank and makes a good hiding spot for different fish species.

The natural design of this aquarium plant suits a natural-looking aquarium, especially when contrasted with smooth substrate hills in the tank. Also, it doesn’t require much maintenance, which makes it great for those new to aquatic plants.


  • Requires minimal maintenance 
  • It looks very realistic inside the tank
  • It offers impressive hiding spots for the fish species


  • It has sharp edges around the top that can cut fish fins

4. Tfwadmx Large Aquarium Plants Artificial Seaweed Water Plants

Tfwadmx Large Aquarium Plants Artificial Seaweed Water Plants

These large aquarium plants are ideal to add a bit of height to your tank, and the bright red tips on the dark green branches make for a fascinating visual spectacle. The soft plastic won’t cut up your fish, and young fish can hide among the leaves after spawning. 

A stone base gives the plant enough weight to stay anchored where you place it, but given the height, you’d do well to anchor the plant further from your water inlet to avoid it blowing over. The non-toxic plastic is colorfast and safe for fish, ensuring your water parameters remain stable with the plants added. 

The soft branches are realistic, and they move on the current, bringing rhythm to your tank. The pack includes two plants of about 12.5 inches in height, so it’s real value for money, and you can create your own colorful forest.


  • Made from non-toxic plastic
  • Soft plastic branches won’t cut fish fins 
  • Ideal for a realistic effect as the branches move with the water flow
  • Two plants per pack to help “plant” a large tank on a budget


  • Fish may become entangled in the branches, so take care with smaller fish.

5. MyLifeUNIT Artificial Seaweed Water Plants

MyLifeUNIT Artificial Seaweed Water Plants

Adding seaweed to an aquarium is loads of fun. But, maintaining live seaweed is a hassle. So, why not switch it out with MyLifeUNIT Artificial Seaweed Water Plants? This artificial seaweed water plant has a combination of pinkish-red leaves with specks of green.

The plant is eco-friendly and made with non-toxic PVC material, contributing to years of use. Also, the versatility of the water plant makes it ideal for freshwater and seawater aquariums.

The edges of this artificial plant are pretty soft and smooth, making it ideal for tanks with smaller fish species. Not only can fish hide away under the leaves and use them for laying eggs and keeping them safe, but the leaves won’t damage delicate fins.


  • Tall and sleek design
  • Eco-friendly and manufactured with PVC material
  • Soft and smooth edges


  • The ceramic base is relatively small, which can result in the plants floating

6. Marina Naturals Silk Plant

Marina Naturals Silk Plant

When looking for high-quality red aquarium plants, people often forget about high-quality silk plants. However, if you want a vibrant artificial plant that moves in the current like a natural plant, the Marina Naturals Silk Plant is perfect.

This silk plant is quite prominent in the aquarium space, making for an impressive display, but you can’t deny that the plant is more challenging to clean and maintain. The larger leaves ebb along with the tank’s water flow and add a natural look to the aquarium environment.

The easy-to-install plant with the broader ceramic base is sturdy enough to remain anchored where you place it. If you have gravel substrate in the bottom of the tank, the weighted base helps you maintain an orderly tank. It is pretty easy to secure this silk plant, and because it’s soft, you won’t have any fish injured by it.


  • Made from high-quality material (silk) with a ceramic base
  • Reflects the water current and flow
  • Adds a natural look to the tank


  • Quite complicated to clean

7. J-Star Red and Green Aquarium Artificial Plant

J-Star Red and Green Aquarium Artificial Plant

Why not create an interesting underwater feature with a bonsai-styled plant? This plastic miniature tree makes a wonderful centerpiece. Small fish can play hide-and-seek among the leafy branches, while it’s simply stunning with correct tank lighting. 

The plastic material is non-toxic, and the weighted base will keep your tree where it belongs. With just a hint of green on the tips of the final leaves, the tree has a distinct look that will complement any aquatic landscape.

Thanks to the excellent colorfastness, this tree will last a long time, and it’s easy to clean when it gets a little gunky or algae start to grow on it – simply rinse in clean water.


  • An ideal centerpiece for an artificially planted tank
  • Bright red leaves with green tips
  • Made from non-toxic plastic
  • Colorfast 
  • Height of 11.22 inches
  • Weighted ceramic base to keep the tree in place  


  • The leaf tips may nick fins with certain fish species

8. Polar Bear’s Aquarium Alternanthera Lilacina Bunch

Polar Bear’s Aquarium Alternanthera Lilacina Bunch

This live aquarium plant features a deep red-colored leaf that’s uniquely marked with deep pink veins. The plant is dense, making for a great backdrop in tanks. Fish enjoy playing among the leaves, and it’s relatively easy to maintain for beginner aquarists. 

The alternanthera needs partial to full sun or intense aquarium lighting to maintain the red color. When correctly lit, the leaves have a luminous quality that livens any tank.


  • Affordably priced 
  • Easy to grow
  • Thrives in planted tanks
  • Fish can hide among the leaves 
  • Creates a vibrant backdrop to other plants


  • You need to add weights to plant the plants

9. Norgail Large Aquarium Plastic Plant

Norgail Large Aquarium Plastic Plant

For a larger aquarium, these 20-inch seaweed-type plants are ideal for creating some rhythm in the tank’s flow. The tall, bright red stems are made from non-toxic plastic that’s colorfast. Fish hide among the leaves, while the extra length creates more room in the tank. 

The addition of slightly pink leaves makes the coloring all the more vibrant. Since you can just rinse the plants to clean them, they are easy to maintain. The ceramic base is sturdy enough to keep the plants in place in the tank.


  • It brings height to the tank
  • Makes an excellent dividing feature
  • Easy to clean 
  • Non-toxic plastic material 
  • Affordably priced


  • Not suitable for tanks with a height of less than 20 inches

10. Vtapliea 2PCS Aquarium Plastic Plants Artificial

Vtapliea 2PCS Aquarium Plastic Plants Artificial

Our next option is a gorgeous silk aquatic plant. The large silk leaves offer fish places to hide, swim around, and lounge on the leaves. It’s a great way to add a larger leaf structure to the bottom part of the tank. 

The silk is soft and won’t damage fins or injure fish, and it’s also colorfast, ensuring long-lasting quality. Silk is lifelike, and the leaves move in the tank’s current. The two plants come with weighted ceramic bottoms, which make placement easy. 


  • Beautiful coloring, available in two shades of red
  • Easy to clean and low maintenance
  • Quality that lasts
  • Two plants in a set to help populate your tank with plants


  • The design includes plastic “trailer” pieces, which can damage fish fins

11. REIRQIE Aquarium Decoration Plants Simulation Artificial Water Grass

REIRQIE Aquarium Decoration Plants Simulation Artificial Water Grass

Add something magical with the artificial water grass plant that enhances your tank with some shimmer. The soft leafy structure is made of threaded bands of color in shades of green and red with glitter integrated on the elongated leaves. 

The artificial kelp comes in five different color combinations, and the leaves are a soft PVC material that moves with the tank’s current. Under fluorescent light, the leaves become luminous, glowing in your tank at night for that memorable and magical experience. 

The soft leaves are ideal playgrounds for small fish to scuttle around, and you can create a sense of rhythm in your aquatic environment.


  • Made with non-toxic PVC silicone material 
  • Soft leaves won’t harm fish 
  • Adds length to the tank
  • Easy to maintain, just rinse in water


  • Remember to choose the length suitable for your tank to prevent overly large leaves from collecting at the water line.

12. Red Rotala Rotundifolia

Red Rotala Rotundifolia

If you’re up for the care of a live aquatic plant, then red rotala rotundifolia is an ideal choice. This bright red leafy plant is perfect for creating a forest appearance in your tank. Fish will love hiding among the leaves, though if the plant gets too dense, fish may become tangled in the leaves. 

Your tank will require medium to high light to maintain the rich red coloring of the plant, and it takes some time to get the plant to root in your tank substrate. Getting the plant to root takes some careful planning to anchor it in place. 

While the plants don’t need CO2 injections if you have a healthy nitrogen-producing system with fish, it may require some careful management.


  • Creates a vibrant color display
  • Quickly populates a bare tank for a beautiful look 
  • Affordably priced for six plants 
  • Beginner-friendly  


  • Knowledge needed to prune it regularly and the addition of appropriate tank lights

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Adding red root floaters, or Phyllanthus fluitans, is an ideal way to integrate the surface and upper level of your tank with live plants. The medium-sized leaves float on the water while a delicate red root structure adds a fun environment to your tank where fish can swim and play. 

Live plants contribute to the nitrogen cycle in your tank, removing harmful ammonia and increasing water oxygenation, which is perfect for keeping healthy fish that are active and a pleasure to look at. With over 30 leaves in a set, you’re sure to instantly beautify your tank while helping to create a more natural environment.


  • Over 30 leaves in a set which ensures the plants will thrive 
  • Doesn’t require anchoring or CO2 injections 
  • A quick way to dramatically improve the appearance of your tank 
  • Soft leaves won’t harm fish 


  • Requires specific lighting conditions, so an LED light is needed

14. Tiger Lotus Bulbs

Tiger Lotus Bulbs

A creative use of space is the tiger lotus bulbs, which create large red leaves that feature beautifully among the bottom greenery. Fish like to lie on the leaves or hide under them. The large leaf is also soft and kind to fish fins. 

The tiger lotus plants are also easy to care for, requiring minimal effort once it’s established. In the right lighting conditions, the leaves grow to a deep red with purple flecks. Live plants add to the nitrogen cycle, improving the health of your water parameters. 


  • The leaves create stunning focal points
  • Add dimension to the aquarium for fish to hide among the leaves
  • Bright red color with purple spots is unique
  • Rare aquatic plant 


  • It is quite expensive for one bulb, which still needs to grow leaves

15. Red Flame Sword

Red Flame Sword

Last on our list is the red flame sword, a large-leafed plant that creates a focal point in a planted aquarium. The leaves are soft and large and have a fabulous ombre coloring from green to red. 

In the right light, the green leaves turn red, giving it the characteristic flaming sword coloring. The plants are relatively easy to grow and require minimal care. The red veins and large leaves create a dense structure for fish to play and hide from predators in a community tank.


  • Easy to grow 
  • Large leaves instantly add dimension to your aquarium
  • Easy maintenance with pruning as needed
  • Contributes to the tank’s overall water parameters 


  • The leaves remain green if the lighting conditions aren’t suitable

Caring Tips for Red Aquarium Plants

Finding live red aquarium plants can be difficult. Live aquatic plant options are pretty limited in the red color spectrum, and maintaining them is challenging.

That said, we will highlight some of the easy ways you can care for your red aquarium plant, both the live and the artificial ones.

Live Plants

Caring for live aquarium plants is very intensive. You must check each plant’s requirements, especially the light exposure, fertilizer requirements, pH, water temperature, and current. 

If your fish tank has fish species busy chomping down on your plants, we recommend removing the plants immediately. Also, ensure you always quarantine new live plants in the same optimal water parameters before introducing these to the fish tank.

Artificial Plants

For artificial red plants, you also need to check on them regularly for signs of damage, unintended drifting, slimy buildup on the leaves, and algae growth on the branches. 

The best solution is regularly cleaning your plastic and silk plants under running water but without soap. A good rinse will remove any unwelcome bacteria, algae, fish waste, and slime. For very soiled plants, use a stiff brush to scrub the plants, rinse, and then return to the tank. 

Also Read: 5 Best Low Light Aquarium Plants


Q: Can red aquarium plants grow without CO2?

The CO2 requirement for a live red aquarium plant depends on the plant species. A few of the mosses can self-sustain without carbon dioxide. However, most red ferns need exposure to CO2 for optimal growth.

Q: Why are my red aquarium plants turning green?

The biggest reason the red aquarium plants lose color is due to excess nitrate in the water. You need to monitor for any signs of weak growth, especially if you don’t want the plant to lose color and vibrance.

Also Read: 20 Best Freshwater Aquarium Plants for Beginners


Adding live red aquarium plants boosts the nutrient levels, making a vibrant addition to the aquarium. However, red artificial and live plants comprise the bulk of our plant list. The rich reds contrast so well with green leaves, which makes for a stunning showpiece.

If you add live plants to your aquarium, familiarize yourself with their requirements first. Some live red plants have particular growing needs, especially regarding the water parameters and the chemicals in the water.

Have you found the perfect red aquatic plant to decorate your tank? Which red plant is your favorite? Please share your pics in the comments.

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