How To Care For Plants In Aquarium?

Live plants are beneficial for any freshwater aquarium. They add beauty, protection for fish, and keep the water clean. Here’s how to care for aquarium plants:

Choosing Plants

There are three types of aquarium plants, and you have to understand the benefits when choosing the right plants for your fish tank.

When selecting a plant for your aquarium, be sure that the plant can survive submerged—for example, java moss, Amazon sword plants, and java moss.

Check that the plants you choose are compatible with the fish and other aquatic animals in your tank. Some animals don’t like certain plants, and some like to eat a particular plant.


When caring for plants in your aquarium, it’s essential to choose the right substrate. The substrate is the bottom layer of your fish tank. It can be sand, soil, or gravel.

The substrate you use needs to provide nutrients and support the roots of your plants. But, not all plants will need a substrate, for example, floating aquarium plants.

Substrates like gravel and sand offer little to no nutrients for rooted plants. But, the soil does. If you want to use gravel or sand, use it as a top layer while rooting your plants in a nutrient-rich bottom substrate.


Plants won’t grow without lighting. They will wither and die. Without light, plants can’t carry out photosynthesis. Photosynthesis provides energy for plants and oxygen for fish and other animals. Try to aim for 10 – 12 hours of light per day. A full spectrum fluorescent light is a must-have accessory for planted aquariums.

Algae Prevention

Algae can hinder aquatic plant growth as they compete for light and nutrients. But, there are algae-eater fish, snails that eat algae, and algae-eating shrimp that you can add to your tank to help combat algae growth.

To further prevent the growth of different types of algae that grow in aquariums, try not to overfeed fish as leftovers can lead to algae growth.

If you don’t keep snails and other algae-eating animals, scrub away the algae on your tank’s glass using an algae scraper on a weekly basis.


Like plants in a garden, you can boost the development of aquatic plants using fertilizer. But, you have to use a fertilizer that’s safe for fish and other marine life. An iron-based slow-release fertilizer is best. Avoid phosphate-based fertilizers as they promote algae growth.


Be sure to trim or clip leaves that grow so tall or large that they cover the top of the aquarium. It is to prevent them from blocking light needed by other plants. Always make sure to remove dead and decaying leaves. Follow these tips on how to care for aquarium plants and your aquarium should be bustling with life.