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10 Best Cold Water Aquarium Plants – Reviews & Top Picks

The natural flora in your aquarium relies on aquatic plants for support and stability, helping to keep things under control.

In addition to providing a calming and pleasant atmosphere, trees also provide some hiding places for your fish.

You can turn your aquarium into a work of art that brings the beauty of nature into your home or business with the right plants. Fish-friendly, low-maintenance cold-water plants can be found if you have a cold-water aquarium.

Based on feedback from other aquarium enthusiasts, BestForPets (bestforpets.org) has come up with the best cold water aquarium plants, whether they're marine or freshwater.

Purchase the Best Cold Water Aquarium Plant: A Buyer's Guide

In a cold-water aquarium, why would you want to have live plants?

There are various advantages to keeping plants in a cold-water aquarium, such as:

  • Improving the quality of the water
  • A way to keep algae from growing
  • Oxygen production
  • Reducing the impact of acid rain
  • Providing plants with places to hide
  • Enhancing the aesthetic appeal of your aquarium

Choosing the right plants for your aquarium is a crucial consideration. Keep a balance between fast-growing tall plants and filler plants and horizontally-growing plants in your garden so that they don’t compete for resources.

Consider if the plants in your aquarium are acceptable for the types of fish and invertebrates in your aquarium.


Your fish and the look of your cold water aquarium will benefit from the addition of ornamental plants. BestForPets (bestforpets.org) has come up with the best cold-water aquarium plants based on user feedback.

Since it’s widely available and requires little maintenance, the Java Fern is the overall best cold water aquarium plant for your tank.

When it comes to cold water aquatic plants, Marimo Moss Balls are the most cost-effective option. They also help maintain your aquarium healthy. Anacharis is the best choice as it grows fast and provides a safe haven for your fish.


Overall, Java Fern is the best.

  • Growth is slowing down
  • 9-11 inches is the maximum height.
  • Tanks with low light requirements
  • CO2: Low
  • Difficulty: Easy

Since it’s widely available and requires little maintenance, the Java Fern is the finest cold-water aquarium plant overall for your tank. For tanks with active fish, such as cichlids, this long-lasting and beautiful plant is great.

However, it may be used in any cold-water tank habitat. A pH range of 6.0 to 7.5 and temperatures ranging from 60°F to 82°F are ideal for Java Ferns.

Depending on the amount of light it receives, this fern may reach a height of 11 inches. Inexperienced aquarium plant keepers will find the Java Fern, which is easy to care for and can withstand varying water temperatures, ideal for novices.

Because the Java Fern is sluggish to mature, it requires little attention. Java Fern, on the other hand, can obstruct light and nutrients from lower plants.


  • Aquarists with little or no experience can purchase this kit.
  • Low wattage
  • An attractive addition to the tank, making it a good choice


  • Slowly increasing
  • Light is blocked

The most cost-effective option is Marimo Moss

  • Growth is slowing down
  • 8-12 inches is the maximum permissible height.
  • Low to medium-intensity direct light
  • CO2: Low
  • Difficulty: Easy

When it comes to cold-water aquarium plants, Marimo Moss Balls are the finest value for the money. As a result of their unusual spherical form, they’re easy to include into your aquarium and help enhance water quality by producing oxygen and dissolving nitrates. Aquatic plants with a greater height complement the green spheres nicely.

Cooler temperatures (below 77°F) are ideal for these moss balls, and they don’t require any extra illumination. Direct sunlight is excellent for photosynthesis with these plants. A pH range of 6.0 to 8.0 is ideal for these low-maintenance plants.

There is only one drawback to Marimo Moss: Goldfish and crayfish will consume it, as well as other invertebrates. They can’t survive in water that’s too warm or in an environment that’s too hot or too bright all the time.


  • Oxygenates water in a practical manner.
  • In an area with little or no sunlight


  • Some creatures may consume it.
  • Warm water or direct sunshine should be avoided.

Anacharis – The Best Option Available

  • Faster than average.
  • 3 inch maximum height
  • Demands that aren’t overwhelming: Low to moderate
  • CO2: Low
  • Difficulty: Easy

Small, green leaves and long stalks make Anacharis a desirable premium aquarium plant. Fast-growing plants like this one are ideal for aquariums where hiding places are a must.

It is possible for Anacharis to develop swiftly and to its full height if the right circumstances are present.

The water should have a pH between 5.0 and 7.5, be soft to fairly hard, and have a significant amount of light. It’s great for novices because it doesn’t require a substrate and can thrive in situations of little water.

Isn’t good for tanks with limited space since it might deplete oxygen levels, resulting in an unhealthy environment for aquatic life.


  • Beginner-friendly, if that’s possible
  • Excellent shelter is provided.
  • Survives in water that is less than optimal.


  • Quickly expands in size
  • Small tanks are not recommended.

Valerie the Jungle

  • The pace of expansion:
  • 4-7 inches is the maximum allowable height.
  • Bright illumination is required
  • CO2 is not necessary.
  • Difficulty: Easy

An aquarium plant known as “Jungle Vals” grows quickly and looks like wild grasses. Like its natural habitat, it thrives in strong sunshine and does not require CO2.

Although it may grow to many feet in tall tanks, Jungle Vals grows swiftly and can reach 4 to 7 inches in height. In comparison to other aquarium plants, the Jungle Vals needs more pruning due to its rapid growth.

The ideal water temperature for Jungle Vals is between 64°F to 82°F, with a pH of 6.0 to 9.0. As a result, the Jungle Vals is an excellent choice for novice aquarists since it is resilient and can survive in a variety of water conditions.

Your fish will be safer and healthier since Jungle Vals absorbs harmful pollutants in the tank.


  • Attractive
  • There is no necessity for CO2 to be present.
  • Adsorbs chemicals


  • Can grow out of control
  • Bright light is required

A sword from the Amazons

  • Growth is slowing down
  • 18-20-inch maximum height
  • Demands that aren’t overwhelming: Moderate
  • CO2: Low
  • Difficulty: Easy

Plants like Amazon Swords thrive in community aquariums, where they may spread their lush foliage to all members. In the aquarium, Amazon Swords are known for their sword-shaped leaves that may be easily incorporated into the landscape.

A terrific choice for novices, Amazon Swords are tough and forgiving, making them an excellent weapon.

Swordfish require medium illumination but have a low requirement for CO2, which they may manufacture when they are healthy.

The Amazon Sword’s pH ranges from 6.5 to 7.5, and it thrives in temperatures ranging from 60°F to 82°F. If you’re looking for something that grows quickly, this isn’t it.


  • Very low-maintenance
  • Slowly advancing
  • CO2 isn’t a prerequisite.


  • Only a few new leaves are added to the plant each time it develops.

Author Image

Dr. Barry Buttler

Dr. Barry Buttler, DVM, MS, DACVIM, is an experienced veterinarian who specializes in the care of small animals, specifically dogs. Dr. Barry K. Buttler is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association and holds multiple certifications in small animal emergency medicine and geriatric pet health.

Veterinarian (DVM) Dr. Barry Buttler


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