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Top Floating Aquarium Plants

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There are many types of floating plants to choose from.

There are many types of floating plants to choose from.

Best Floating Aquarium Plants

Aquariums are excellent as a decoration for your living room, office, or store. Everyone likes looking at colorful fish as they swim around. There's something very relaxing about fish tanks, but you can't have a thriving ecosystem without the right aquarium plants.

There are many different types of underwater plants, but there are also those that float on top of the water. You will find some of the best floating aquarium plants in the passages below.

Water spangles

Water spangles

Water Spangles

Water spangles (Salvinia minima) are found in many aquariums all over the world. The plant has beautiful tiny oval leaves that float over the water in your aquarium and serve as food for some fish species. Every order comes with 12 water spangles, and each plant has 4 to 6 leaves. There are 10 known species of Salvinia, and this one originates in Florida. It's usually found in still-water areas that have lots of organic content.

The spangles grow together with other aquatic plants, so they won't get in their way or limit their growth. Each fern is about 3/4 inches long, and they look like roots but are really underwater leaves. The leaves have stiff hairs on the top side and nutlike sporocarp on the bottom side. One thing is for sure: Water spangles look good in almost any aquarium.

Red Root Floater

The red root floater (Phyllanthus fluitans) originates in South America, and it got its name because it turns red in high light conditions. It also has red roots that grow substantially below the surface, creating a perfect place for your fish to breed and hide. In ideal conditions, the plant will flower, so you'll see some tiny white flowers in the middle of the plant.

It grows very quickly, but you'll need to provide enough light if you want it to turn red. It will grow in darker areas, but it will stay bright green. Red root floaters are great for aquariums, but they can also survive in outdoor lakes and ponds. The leaves are round and grow to about an inch in diameter. The ideal water temperature for these floaters is 65° to 85° F, and you will have to trim them often because of the super-fast growth. Each order contains 6 seeds.

Cabomba Caroliniana

Cabomba Caroliniana

Cabomba Caroliniana

Cabomba Caroliniana is part of the water lily family. It has a high growth rate and originates in South America. It's a trendy aquarium plant that reaches up to 80cm in length. It creates a natural habitat in your tank, and since it grows a lot, it provides a great hiding place for your fish. Every order includes 4 stems, but since it's susceptible to temperature changes, you shouldn't get this plant if the temperature outside is below 20°F or above 100°F.

This plant is also known as the Carolina fanwort. It has green leaves that divide into segments and grow very densely. You have probably seen it in many aquariums because it's the perfect background plant. It grows best in freshwater and moderate lighting. The water temperature needs to be 72° to 82° F and the pH level 6.5 to 7.5. These plants may not do well after trimming, and they require a steady stream of CO2 to thrive. However, you can trim entire branches off and relocate them to another aquarium.

Java Moss

Java moss is a floating plant that is one of the most popular aquarium plants, especially for beginners. It is a fast-growing plant that is very hardy and will not die on you. This means it is very low maintenance. If you want to connect it to a large stone of the base of your aquarium, it will grow to extend over the surface of your tank.

Because of the floating nature of Java moss, it is highly suggested that you attach it to anything that will grapple it to some degree so that it doesn’t roam freely around the aquarium.

Java moss has a low, carpet-like growth pattern that looks almost ‘fluffy.’ It can live in waters between 72° and 90° Fahrenheit, but it has been known to grow best at around the 73° mark. It can also grow in just about any lighting condition, making it really easy to accommodate. However, Java moss grows the fastest in mid-high lighting environments.

You can use it as a substrate covering, stabilization, or embellishment. It can even act as carpeting, protection, and in the rearing of certain types of fish.

Amazon Frogbit

If you are looking for an amazing floating plant for your aquarium that has big rosettes and long, elegant roots, then the Amazon frogbit is for you. It is very easy to nurture and grow, and it can easily withstand temperature variations. Plus, it will give your bettas plenty of covers.

Amazon frogbit blocks a lot of light, but due to the dull water biotope environments these are normally kept in, this should not be a problem because the fish and other plants in this type of tank will prefer lesser light environments.

If you are having difficulty with the Amazon frogbit roots blocking the filter, bind the frogbit to one side of your aquarium. You can do this with angling wire attached to suction containers, then placing the frogbit in their designated area. This will keep them from floating towards the filter.

These are very affordable and completely risk-free for your fish and other animals. You will be able to transform a dull tank into an eye-catching aquarium that will make people stop and stare. You can mix different styles and colors to show your creativity and make your tank unique.

Final Thoughts

Aquarium plants make all the difference in any fish tank. You can't have a great-looking aquarium without any plants, but you also have to know which plants to get. Live plants are much more complicated to take care of than artificial plants. You will have to take a lot of things into consideration before you make your choice.

However, if you're not up for spending a lot of time caring for aquarium plants, you should get artificial plants that look and behave like the real thing. The final choice is up to you, but artificial plants are far easier to care for, and they stay the same for many seasons, while live plants need far more maintenance.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 Ben Martin


Larry Slawson from North Carolina on August 13, 2019:

Really interesting article (and suggestions). Thank you for sharing!