Aquatic plants are highly beneficial to aquariums. Living plants help control nutrients in your aquarium as well as maintain stable water conditions. Numerous aquatic plants are available at most pet stores and choosing the right one can be a daunting task for a beginner. A few aquatic plants, however, are resilient in most conditions and make excellent additions to any aquarium.
Water trumpet (Cryptocorynes) is a large-leaf aquatic plant that does best in darker conditions. The large leaves of the water trumpet make it vulnerable to algae cover if placed under direct light, so it is best planted in the corner of an aquarium or in the shade of a larger plant. Water trumpet grows well when directly planted in small-sized substrate and the roots will spread quickly. Once established, do not disturb the substrate around the established roots to prevent stress and damage to the plant.
Amazon Sword Plant
The Amazon sword plant (Echinodorus bleheri) is a very hardy aquatic plant that will grow in almost any conditions. It is a large plant with numerous long leaves that radiate from a central root system. Amazon sword plants grow so well that you must often cut them back from time to time to keep their size in check and so that you can see your fish. When planting an Amazon sword, carefully observe other plants as they may not receive enough light as the Amazon sword grows.
Watersprite (Ceratopteris thalictroides) is a fast-growing, hardy plant that can be planted in the substrate or left to free-float on the water surface. Watersprite is particularly useful for maintaining water conditions as it readily soaks up excess nutrients and utilizes them for growth. Part of their popularity as an aquarium plant is due to their ease of propagation and reproduction. Watersrpites produce small miniature plants on the edge of their leaves when reproducing. It grows well under any lighting conditions and can tolerate the presences of algae and snails with ease.
There are multiple species of eel grass (Vallisneria) that vary in size, but all have a similar structure and growing requirements. Eel grass is a tall-growing plant with many thin, ribbonlike leaves that makes it a perfect background plant for aquariums. Eel grass grows best under high lighting conditions. Once established, eel grass will reproduce by sending out runners under the substrate. The daughter plants that emerge from the substrate can be cut away from the parent and replanted.