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Aqualife Beauty Uncategorized Floating water plants for fish tanks; 8 of the best

Floating water plants for fish tanks; 8 of the best

Do you want that wild and awesome natural look in your aquarium? I sure hope your answer is YES! Well, if it is then, knowing how to keep floating plants in aquarium will do that for you. They’ll bring in unrivalled aesthetics; that is besides a host of other benefits. Just read on and I will explain how.

Floating aquatic plants vary both in sizes and shapes. Another unique trait of these floater plants is that most (if not all) have no attachment to the tank’s base. However, their roots are suspended in the aquarium water. These surface water plants literally sit on the water surface.

Why the floating water plants for fish tanks are important:

Below are five reasons why floating indoor aquarium plants are important besides decorating your tank.

Providing shade in the aquarium

These low light floating aquarium plants reduce excessive light penetration through to the water. Being surface water plants, they cut light rays reaching down the tank.

Shy pet fish species love it that way. It makes them feel “at home” and free as they roam the tank less exposed. As a result, this freeness subsequently reduces the stresses that come with uncomfortable exposure. Just so you know, stress kills fish’s immunity.  

However, don’t let floater plants overly cover the water surface. This is because they’ll chock other aquatic plants, inhibiting not only their growth but also their survival.

That said however, ensure to match the intensity of cover to the requirement of other lives in the aquarium. Besides, floating aquatic plants are not for all pet aquarium fish; some love their habitat not shaded or well lit.   

Providing cover and hiding spaces

Some fish species love to hide in the dark corners and caves in the tank. They are naturally shy and skittish.

Floater plants provide them with great hiding areas, especially floating aquarium plants with long roots.

They not only feel comfortable but also very secure hiding in the “safe spaces” under these plants. The effect is a great stress relief.

Helps with filtration:

Fish will naturally deposit waste in the aquarium water. In addition, dead matter as well as uneaten foods will also add to the waste.

Now if you leave the waste to decay, it will release excessively toxic compounds. One of such is ammonia which can easily poison your pet fish. You therefore need a filter to remove that waste. Here is how to treat your fish should ammonia afflict it.

Luckily, floating freshwater aquarium plants in the tank supplement the filtration system. How you ask? Well, a bacterium naturally develops on the roots of these live floating aquarium plants. It is this bacterium that breaks down these toxic compounds.

As a result, the fish are shielded from the incumbent risk of these toxins.

Fixing oxygen into the water

Really, do floating plants oxygenate the water? Yes!!! Just as plants release oxygen to the air, so do these floating freshwater aquarium plants to the water. They are a good compliment to aquarium air stones.

Your fish tank inhabitants need the oxygen to live. When oxygen is short in the tank, your pet fish will definitely suffocate. That’s besides the stress therefrom. You’ll actually see fish swimming near the water surface gasping for air.

Part of the fish diet

Duckweed aquarium plant is especially a great food source. Most other floater plats are loved by fish. They will spend time nibbling and snacking on these fast growing plants.

These plants are a good source of vitamins and other minerals. Subsequently, the fish is healthy and not exposed to nutritional deficiency related infections.

Criteria for picking floating water plants for fish tanks:

I hope you now appreciate the importance of the top water plants for aquariums. Now, in deciding which floater plants are ideal for your tank, you may need to consider a few factors. These include:

How fast the plant will grow:

First, fast growing aquatic plants will definitely need regular attention. Failure to do this, their invasive nature will make them engulf and crowd the tank unnecessarily.

Yes, plenty of them will help to aerate the tank besides managing nitrite and other toxins effectively. However, they could easily cause fish stress. This is if these floating aquarium plants inhibit their easy swimming.

For that reason, check out the growth rate of each prospective plant before deciding on which to stock.

How big is your fish tank?

Small plants are most ideal for small tanks. This is so if you don’t want uncontrollable vegetation crowding your small aquarium.

The vegetation should leave enough room for your pet fish to swim about freely. An overly dense small tank will make it very stressful for the fish to swim.

However, if you have a larger tank, you may choose to stock it with multiple but compatible fast growing plants.  

Pet fish species stocked:

Pick appropriate floating aquarium plants depending on the likings of different fish species. If the fish thrive well in tanks with hiding places, then get floating aquarium plants with long roots. They provide a good shelter particularly for the fry.

Besides fish stock size, species also differ in their level of waste production as well as messing the tank. Therefore, rapidly growing easy floating aquarium plants will help reduce the effect of toxins. These plants are a good filter compliment.

The amount of light needed in the aquarium:

Low light floating aquarium plants will help dim sections of the tank where fish can take cover.

However, be careful not to affect the survival of other aquatic plants. If not well managed, floater plants will cut out much needed light for the other plant’s nourishment for growth.

It’s now time check out the best:

8 of the best floating aquarium plants:

Live Duckweed Plants

Topping the list of floating water plants for fish tanks live duckweed plant. It is best suited for small tanks common with beginner aquarist. This is because it can do well in almost all environments.

Floating water plants for fish tanks

Duckweed in aquarium forms a beautiful green canopy on the water surface. The cover from its small leaves notwithstanding, it will still permeate light down the tank. In addition, with little care, they make great plant feed source for your fish.

Besides, it’s a fast growing water surface plant which needs to be worked on often or replaced. If trimming is not done, its good “fast growing” trait can unfortunately cause fish beneath stress. If this vegetation is allowed to densely occupy the tank, it in effect restricts movement of fish.

Unfortunately, it experiences hard to manage overgrowths extending out of the tank. Therefore, to prevent this, a cover on the tank is advised prior to adding the plant.

Finally, if you are not too sure you want it, leave it. It’s a real headache to completely remove it should you wish to. 

Java Moss:

It’s a near no maintenance, fluffy-like, hardy and fast growing floating water plant good for fish tanks. These attributes make it one among the popular aquarium floating plants.

While it’s not discriminatory on environment, its growth is highly dependent on light amount exposure.

This stunning floating aquarium plant can thrive in a variety of environments, either carpeted or even floating. It essentially needs to be buoyed to float. However, it is a good substrate cover.

Floating water plants for fish tanks

To float it therefore, it needs to be secured on an anchor. The anchorage is important to keep this aquarium plant from floating about.

Besides, it needs something to cling on because it can easily be sucked up in a filter. The slimy bacterial layer forms a thin microfilm by which sticking on anchors possible.

Its small oval leaves and stems (instead of roots) are easy to trim to your desired shape.


Well, if looking for a hardy and an easy to care floating plant, then this one is. It will easily survive where most other plants will struggle. In addition, it can sit on the substrate or better still float.

The leaves on their stems have a deep green color that makes tanks stunningly beautiful. That however changes if allowed to grow long and stringy. You’ll need to therefore limit lighting to prevent that.

aquarium floating plants

In addition, this fast growing floating plant is compatible with many fish species. They love it for hiding and forage. A bunch/Sqft of it for your aquarium is good enough.

However, you need to watch out lest it overgrows to chock your tank and appliances in it. Moreover, it will occasionally shed “needles”; unwanted dead matter. This matter is a recipe for stress in fish by affecting the water quality.

Water Spangles

This is another of the easy floating aquarium plants that will give your fish tank a fantastic look. When fully grown, it beautifully spreads the 6 leaves on each of its 12 spangles.

A water spangles aquarium is full of food for both herbivorous and omnivorous fish. It also provides a good cover for skittish and shy fish.

It is also a helpful bio-filter feeding off nutrients in the aquarium water. As a result, algae blooms are prevented.  This is essential in neutralizing aquarium’s mineral contents.

Floating aquarium plants

While this floating plant won’t need any substrate or CO2, it will however need special aquarium lighting. Well, this is only if kept indoors. In addition, it’s a low maintenance hardy plant surviving even in extreme water conditions.

Amazon Frogbit

Frogbit root length makes it so attractive in the tank. Just a little under currents and the effect down there is amazing. In addition, it forms large rosettes with its broad leaves giving a good cover.

Betta fish for instance love to hide in its branching long roots.

This floating water plant will do just fine in a wide range of temperatures. Besides, it needs very little care making it ideal for beginner aquarist especially.

floating plants for aquariums

Its roots can however be challenging to contain. They’ll find their way to the filters. You obviously don’t want that. Well, you may have to bind this floating plant to one side of the aquarium.

On the flipside however, it denies other tank plants access to light, hindering their growth.

On the same vein, ensure the stocked pet fish don’t need a lot of lighting lest it suffers like those sunken plants.

Water lettuce

Two main benefits of water lettuce in aquarium are fantastic aesthetics and dimming the tank. It brings out a pretty natural look.

In addition, its ease in maintenance makes it even more endearing to many aquarium keepers. You’ll love it too.

However, it requires a bit of space and grows very fast. These two factors make it un-ideal for small aquariums. Moreover, its long roots will reach the substrate, subsequently competing with the other tank plants for nutrients.

Floating water plants for fish tanks

Just like with Amazon Frogbit, you’ll need to bind it to one corner of the aquarium. This will help prevent nutrients competition as well as stopping the roots from getting to the filters.


Well, this is just a weed; probably why its least considered a good floating water plant for fish tanks. With just average lighting, it will thrive in a wide range of water conditions.

floater plants

It is a hardy plant that doesn’t call for too much care. You can plant it or let it freely float. All the same, it provides a good environment for fish that love hiding.

A bonus is that, it can do well in both small and big tanks.

Water Wisteria

I promise you that with good illumination, you’ll absolutely love its color and the aesthetic appeal. Besides, it’s in its stems where fish enjoy hiding.

Floating aquarium plants

To enjoy its beauty, some management is needed else it’ll chock the tank. It can cover the tank denying other plants access to light.

Final word:

From the above list of floating water plants for fish tanks, you can choose any and you’ll definitely have a beautiful tank.

They are also easy to care. Just DON’T neglect them though.

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