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10 Best Plants That Flourish In Hard-Water Aquariums – Reviews & Top Picks

It is possible that the composition of the water is to blame for the undergrowth of your aquatic plants.

A plant's ability to absorb the nutrients it needs can be stunted if it is watered with hard water.

But no need to be alarmed! Even if you use hard water in your aquarium, you can still have plants in it.

To help you restore your outdoor space, BestForPets (bestforpets.org) researched the best plants that flourish in hard-water aquariums and compiled our findings here.

Take a look at the ratings and decide which option best suits your needs.

How to Find and Buy the Finest Plants for Your Hard-Water Aquarium

The upkeep of aquarium plants can be challenging in the presence of hard water. Not many plants can withstand the harsh conditions created by the minerals. Try again with plants that are adapted to harsh water if you’ve had no success in the past.

Where to Find the Right Plants

Certain considerations should be made while selecting plants for a hard-water aquarium. Try to find vegetation that:

  • Are simple to cut and secure
  • Adapts to its environment and thrives without any outside help
  • Excel in any medium
  • Do not require regular upkeep

Is there a reason why hard water is bad for some plants?

Some plant life cannot acquire the nutrients they require to grow because of the hardness of the water in which they are grown. In addition to stunting the plant’s growth, this can also cause the leaves to become lifeless, sickly, and frail.

It’s the water, not how you’re tending to the plants. If you’re having issues with the water pressure in your home, it may be time to consider investing in some plants that can thrive in hard water.

In-Water Plant Life

There are advantages and disadvantages to employing real plants in aquariums rather than fake ones.


  • Aquarium plants are a great way to increase the amount of oxygen in your water.
  • In this way, they serve as natural filters by soaking up fish excrement.
  • When taken care of, they may greatly improve the visual appeal of a space.
  • They consume the surplus nutrients, reducing algal growth.
  • They may multiply and populate your tank, giving it a fuller appearance.


  • Their cost exceeds that of synthetic counterparts.
  • Possibly they are parasite carriers.
  • Keeping them healthy is essential for their success.
  • They might be eaten by fish.


Bacopa Caroliniana is the best general-purpose choice for a plant that grows well in hard water aquariums. Because of its simple maintenance, this plant is very suitable for those who are just starting out in the world of gardening. However, it can overwhelm the tank if not cared for properly.

Java Fern is a great option for a cheap accessory. It is aesthetically pleasing and easy to grow, making it a great addition to the aquarium. However, if it is exposed to an excessive amount of sunlight, burn marks can appear on the leaves.

Thanks to these reviews by BestForPets (bestforpets.org), you’ll be able to make an informed decision about your best plants that flourish in hard-water aquariums.


Overall Winner: Bacopa Caroliniana

  • Reduced Rate of Growth
  • Minimum height: 12 inches
  • Preferences that are light: minimal
  • CO2 Low
  • Difficulty: Easy

Individuals who are able to withstand adversity Bacopa Caroliniana is the greatest plant in general that does well in hard water since it requires little care and grows quickly.

It is a lovely plant that is often placed in the backdrop to add some visual interest. When exposed to bright light, the top leaves might change from their typical greenish-yellow to a pinkish or reddish hue.

The plant may bloom in water, producing blue blooms with five petals. Regardless of the medium or the amount of light, it will flourish. In untrimmed form, it may reach heights of over 12 inches, making it a good choice for large aquariums. It is simple to cut to the desired length and style.

Use this plant as a screen for aquarium machinery. It also serves as a great spot for fish to establish territories and for fry to hide out. If you’re just getting started with gardening, I highly recommend starting with this hardy plant.

A short tank or other plants won’t have a chance against this plant’s rapid expansion. They have the potential to spread rapidly and starve out native species.


  • Good for first-timers
  • Simply kept up
  • Creates blooms


  • Invasive
  • Too tall for small aquariums.


Value for Money: Java Fern

  • Reduced Rate of Growth
  • Infinite height: 13.5″
  • The requirements are moderately low.
  • CO2 Low
  • Difficulty: Easy

The Java Fern is a tough plant that can survive in almost any environment. It just requires moderate illumination and may thrive in tanks as little as 10 gallons.

The number of Java Fern plants in your aquarium is not limited. A thick, bushy appearance may be achieved by allowing these plants to keep growing, or you can remove the offspring and relocate them to another part of the tank, throw them away, or simply ignore them.

The plant is the greatest option for growing in hard water since it is resilient, requires little maintenance, and spreads quickly.

Rhizomes, which resemble hair, allow the plant to spread and attach themselves to new surfaces. When these rhizomes are buried, the plant may not develop at all or perhaps perish. Keeping the rhizomes above ground is essential for the plant’s aesthetic development.

Overexposure to light can also cause the leaves to decay and show signs of burn damage.


  • Adapts to a wide range of moisture levels
  • Reproduces
  • Gives the tank a special touch.


  • Possible leaf decay
  • A plant can be killed by too much sunlight.


Hygrophila Corymbosa “Greenpro” — The Finest Available

  • Exponential Rate of Development
  • A sixteen-inch ceiling is placed on the height of a person.
  • The requirements are moderately low.
  • CO2 Moderate
  • Difficulty: Moderate

Greenpro Hygrophila Corymbosa is offered in three separate bundles for maximum flexibility in tank design. Such rapid growers need frequent trimming to avoid becoming unruly.

The fast-growing plant will provide your fish with plenty of new areas to hide and explore as its broad, long green leaves expand.

By soaking up excess nitrates and ammonia, this plant can aid in maintaining healthy tank conditions. The development of algae can also be reduced. It will fill up your tank quickly by taking up space.

It’s important to know that goldfish love to nibble on this plant, so don’t put it in your tank if you have any. Frayed and torn leaves on plants are a common result of fish eating them.


  • Quickly fills up a void
  • The tank’s settings are easier to manage thanks to this.


  • Needs to be trimmed
  • Fatty fish may easily chew holes in it.


Twenty-Plus-Leaf Aquarigram Amazon Frogbit

  • Exponential Rate of Development
  • Optimal stature: 20 inches
  • The requirements are moderately low.
  • CO2 None
  • Difficulty: Easy

The 20+ Leaf Aquarigram Amazon A frogbit is a plant that grows in water. It floats on the surface of the water and protects the fish underneath. Frogbit is able to purify water of ammonia, nitrates, and metals without using any CO2.

Keep in mind that the plants will quickly expand, thus care must be taken that those in the tank that need lots of light are not shaded. Frogbit may also prevent light from reaching fish, which is especially problematic in a tank with limited space.

Maintaining this plant requires merely covering the area of the tank that does not require as much light.

If the tops of the leaves of a frogbit plant become moist, the plant might rot. However, the plant’s tips still need to be kept dry in order for it to survive, despite the fact that it floats on water.


  • Alternative plant that is truly one of a kind
  • Prolific in terms of plant growth
  • Cleans the water by use of a filter


  • Provides a dark environment for the remainder of the tank
  • Leaves rot if water gets on their tips.


Dwarf Baby Tears of AquaLeaf Aquatics

  • Reduced Rate of Growth
  • Maximum height: one to two inches
  • Weak Requirements: Significant
  • CO2 None
  • Difficulty: Easy

Aquarium flooring is a frequent use for AquaLeaf Aquatics Dwarf Baby Tears. Not only does this make the aquarium seem lovely, but the plants may keep growing all over it. Besides providing food, they also provide a safe spot for fish to lay their eggs. Minor damage from fish nibbling is quickly repaired by the plant.

Dwarf Baby Tears may flourish without carbon dioxide, although doing so would be detrimental to the plant. It’s important to prune this plant regularly to prevent it from taking over the entire tank floor since it rapidly multiplies.


  • Rapidly recovers from fish attacks
  • Carpet aquariums for a special touch.


  • For proper upkeep, pruning is necessary.

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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