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The 7 Best Plants For Nano Aquariums

If you are interested in starting a nano aquarium, there are a number of items and pieces of information you must have. In case you were unaware, a nano aquarium is a small aquarium that is typically 1 or 2 gallons in size, but may be as large as 4 gallons.

As with regular aquariums, these micro tanks include both plants and fish. BestForPets (bestforpets.org) are here to assist you in locating the best plants for nano aquariums. We selected plants that are modest, low-maintenance, somewhat resilient, and aesthetically pleasing. Let's jump right in!


Staurogyne Repens

This is one of the greatest nano aquarium plants available. Staurogyne Repens is native to the Amazon River and its environs, where it grows between rocks in somewhat swift-moving water.

This plant is advantageous since it grows both underwater and above the waterline. This extremely low and dense plant has green stems and green leaves. It is an excellent front or midground plant (You can buy Staurogyne Repens here).

It is an excellent option for micro aquariums since it grows slowly. Additionally, it likes to develop a carpet as opposed to growing taller, which is undesirable in a nano tank.

It can reach a maximum height of 10 centimeters but is easily kept shorter. Also, its breadth will increase to between 5 and 10 cm. It is a fantastic plant for grouping since, when properly pruned, it forms a beautiful carpet.

The Staurogyne Repens is very simple to care for, or at the very least quite resilient. It works rather well in a variety of water conditions, but it thrives when specific parameters are adhered to. This material is light-sensitive and also responds well to CO2 injection.

The substrate should be rather soft and dense, as well as nutrient-rich. Adding fertilizer to the water will also be beneficial. Temperatures between 68 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit are acceptable, as are pH levels between 6 and 8. Water hardness should be maintained between 2 and 3 DH.


Anubias Nana Petite

An additional excellent plant for your nano aquarium, the Anubias nana petite resembles a little form of the standard Anubias nana plant. It has long roots that are excellent for penetrating the substrate and adhering to rocks and driftwood. It has tiny, spherical, green leaves that form clusters at the base of the stem.

These organisms have a thick leaf structure and growth structure. In other words, despite their little size, they are not carpet plants but make excellent foreground or middle-ground plants.

This plant will never reach a height of 5 centimeters. This is one of the reasons why it is perfect for nano aquariums, as it does not grow quickly and hence requires less maintenance.

It is perfect for tiny aquariums, such as nano aquariums, because of its slow growth rate and modest size. Numerous individuals choose the Anubias nana tiny because it requires less maintenance.

The ideal water temperature for the Anubias nana petite is between 65 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. The optimal pH range for water acidity is between 6.5 and 7.5. This plant requires little sunshine, which is usually a plus.

The plant is linked to a little piece of driftwood in this specific variant, which is accessible via the link provided. This facilitates installation, but it also means that the roots are not in the substrate, thus fertilizers must be added to the water.


Dwarf Hairgrass

This is another interesting plant for a micro aquarium. Dwarf Hairgrass has a maximum height of 4 inches, making it excellent for very tiny aquariums. It is also a very slow-growing plant, which further enhances its suitability for micro aquariums.

It has grass-like stems that are slender, long, and green, with a red, yellow, and purple flower at the top. This is commonly regarded as one of the most attractive plants for nano aquariums.

It is an ideal foreground plant since it never grows too tall, especially if it is periodically pruned. It may be readily spread and distributed to create a pretty dense carpet. The health of this material requires a reasonable quantity of illumination.

In addition, CO2 and quality fertilizers are required. Dwarf hair grass must be planted in a nutrient-rich medium since it feeds through its roots. Aside from that, this plant requires little care, making it an excellent option for novices.


Bolbitis Heudelotii

This plant is often known as the African water fern; hereafter, we shall refer to it as such, as repeatedly spelling its scientific name is a headache waiting to happen.

This plant is native to the tropical parts of Africa, particularly around the Congo and adjacent locations with dense rainforests. It thrives in clean, acidic waters, connected to rocks and wood, and immersed in water. It is also a really attractive plant.

The African Water Fern has long, semi-translucent, green leaves that are alternately oriented. This plant is not ideal for micro aquariums, as its leaves may reach 40 cm in length and 25 cm in width.

However, a few leaves should not be a problem, especially if you frequently prune them and keep the plant small. It is a slow-growing plant, which is usually advantageous. It is finest utilized as a mid-ground plant, similar to a focal point.

The African water fern is a fantastic plant for beginners since it is resilient and simple to maintain. It may be rooted in a suitable substrate, but it thrives best when connected to a rock or driftwood. It does require a great volume of nutrients, therefore adding fertilizer and carbon dioxide to the water is crucial.

This plant grows best in water with a temperature between 68 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit, a pH between 5 and 7, and a water hardness between 4 and 12.


Dwarf Baby Tears

Dwarf Baby Tears are also commonly referred to as Cuba or pear grass. It serves well as both a foreground plant and a carpet plant. It can form a dense, dark-green carpet if allowed to mature properly.

This plant, as its name suggests, is endemic to Cuba, namely the east side of Havana. Currently, this is the smallest carpeting plant that can be purchased for a nano aquarium. It often grows in stony rivers during the dry months.

This plant has short, green stems that are rather thick despite their little stature. Additionally, it has small, spherical, soft green leaves that are particularly attractive. It will not exceed 3 cm in height but will reach 10 cm in width, making it suitable for carpets.

Its low growth rate also makes it suitable for smaller tanks. It is suggested that you plant it in bunches only a few inches apart so that it may produce a dense carpet.

Now, one thing to bear in mind is that this plant requires considerable care. It requires a great deal of nutrients, a nutrient-rich substrate, clean water, and an abundance of light, and CO2 infusion wouldn’t hurt either.

The water should have a temperature between 68 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit, a pH between 5 and 7.5, and a water hardness between 4 and 5. This plant is neither the toughest nor most durable plant in existence, so be kind.


Cryptocoryne Parva

If you are wondering what this plant looks like, it resembles a combination of your lawn grass and cat grass, with the notable difference that it grows underwater. It has long, green leaves.

That concludes it. This plant is native to the central region of Sri Lanka, where it thrives in wetlands, marshes, and marshy places. The majority of individuals would agree that Cryptocoryne Parva is one of the finest plants for a nano aquarium.

If allowed to develop, it will reach around 10 cm in height, which may be too tall for a nano aquarium. First, it is extremely simple to trim, and second, it has an unusually sluggish growth rate, which makes it suitable for nano aquariums. As long as you provide the correct circumstances, Cryptocoryne Parva is rather simple to care for.

For this plant to thrive, it requires moderate to high sunlight. Consider that an abundance of light will stimulate growth, which is likely not what you want for your nano tank.

The water should have an acidity level between 6.5 and 8 pH and a temperature between 65 and 84 degrees Fahrenheit. As this is a rooted plant, you should attempt to supply it with an excellent, nutrient-dense medium.


Rotala Indica

Rotala Indica is commonly referred to by its non-scientific name, Indian tooth cup. The origins of this plant include the Philippines, China, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Japan, and, of course, India. This plant is likely to be found in almost any place where there are several rice paddies.

This plant is a rooted plant with stems that protrude from the surface of the water, making it a partially submerged plant. Keep in mind that this is a delicate plant, so do not house it with fish that are excessively active.

This is a nice-looking plant for a nano tank, with long green stems, and red and pink foliage. The leaves are arranged from top to bottom in perpendicular pairs. The leaves may be up to 3 cm long, and the entire plant can reach a height of 60 cm.

However, it is a plant that grows extremely slowly and may be readily pruned. It is known to expand slightly, but not excessively. It is best utilized as a mid-ground or background plant.

The Indian Tooth Cup can grow and adapt to most water conditions, which is a positive trait. The substrate should be fairly nutrient-dense, as this organism mostly feeds through its roots.

This plant does require CO2 input, and fertilizer, and it needs a heck of a lot of light. It also requires the water temperature to be between 72 and 82 degrees, with a pH level between 6 and 7.5. Overall, the Indian Tooth Cup is not a very challenging plant to maintain.

Buyer's Guide

If you’re looking for advice on aquascaping a planted nano aquarium, you’ve come to the correct spot! Let’s make your planted nano aquarium as gorgeous as possible!

What Do You Desire?

Determine your goals for the aquascape beforehand. Various individuals desire jungles, mountains, reefs, plains, and so forth. Before doing anything else, you must determine the type of aquascape you desire. This will determine the kind of plants and fish you may add to the aquarium (see our detailed aquascape guide here for some tips).


Some individuals like to put smaller plants in the front and larger ones in the back. This is how conventional aquariums are typically arranged. However, this is not necessarily aesthetically pleasing in a micro aquascape. Try placing plants with smaller leaves in the front and those with bigger leaves in the rear. It may sound strange, but it adds an interesting viewpoint.

Many individuals attempt to construct a vanishing point, such as a runway that tapers from the front to the back of the tank. This can contribute to adding depth to the equation. It is also a good idea to include some rocks or anything elevated, such as a mountain or ridge-like structure. This will assist create a great deal of depth and numerous interesting viewing angles.

Quick Or Slow?

Regarding the plants, you must determine if you are in it for the long haul or not. Do you like plants that grow, blossom, and maybe perish quickly, or plants that grow slowly and have a long-lasting development?

Tank Circumstances

Always keep in mind that plants require light. Some require less care than others, but you must select plants that complement one another. The amount of light required by one plant may not be sufficient for another.

The pH, water hardness, and temperature of the water are other important considerations. You cannot have plants with vastly different requirements for survival.


If you intend to keep fish in the tank, you must ensure that they will not consume the plants otherwise your aquascape will be destroyed rapidly. Moreover, in terms of filtration, a tank with simple plants requires little filtration.

However, fish in the aquarium will need filtration and maybe even oxygenation.


It is advised that you choose a fine-grain substrate. Plants perform poorly on extremely gritty and large gravel. Since this is a planted aquarium, you should not use that substrate. Something thick and nutrient-rich that is beneficial to plant roots is optimal (we have covered seven good options here).


We honestly appreciate your time in reading thus far. BestForPets (bestforpets.org) believes this article will assist you in selecting the best plants for nano aquariums for your needs

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Dr. Deborah Fletcher

Deborah R. Fletcher, DVM, is a skilled veterinarian with more than 15 years of experience dealing with companion and exotic animals. She has experience caring for a variety of animals, including household cats and dogs, reptiles, birds of prey, and even primates. Dr. Fletcher is a valuable part of the BestForPets team, where she contributes to their aim of providing pets and their owners with the finest possible treatment and services.

Veterinarian (DVM) Dr. Deborah Fletcher


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