Aquascaping is considered by some to be the best part of keeping fish. Using aquatic plants to recreate a natural habitat is both a challenge and joy. For some, aquarium gardening is a way to grow plants when winter sets in and their terrestrial gardens are sleeping. Others may want to make the perfect natural set up for their beloved water-loving pets.
Java fern (Microsorum pteropus) is a popular low-maintenance plant for beginner aquarists. It does not require much light and is adaptable to many growing conditions. Usually not bothered by snails and fish, it is content to spread over driftwood and rocks. Java fern is at its best when it is grown with medium lighting and attached to porous rock or wood.
Java moss (Taxiphyllum barbieri) , like Java fern is a good beginner plant. It spreads quickly and has the same growing requirements as Java fern. Java moss can be attached to wood, rock or left free floating in the aquarium. This plant is readily utilized by spawning fish and is a good hiding place for tiny fry. It is one of the most widely used plants for this purpose.
Creeping Jenny (Lysimachia nummularia) is commonly seen as a lawn weed. It can be successfully grown in an aquarium if the lighting is strong enough. Consistent pinching will encourage a bushier habit. When deprived of sufficient light, creeping Jenny can become leggy and unattractive. This plant roots easily by sticking healthy trimmings into the substrate (soil).
Cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis), is a beautiful, bright green plant suited to larger aquariums. When given high light, a rich substrate and the addition of carbon dioxide, this plant can become a centerpiece in the aquarium. This is a good plant for formal and informal tanks. When larger plants are grouped together, they can be underplanted with smaller species such as glosso (Glossostigma elatinoides).