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Live Aquarium Plants

Aquatic plants are used to give the aquarium a realistic appearance, oxygenate the water, and provide habitat for fish, especially fry (babies) and for invertebrate species. Some aquarium fish and invertebrates also eat live plants. more...

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Many commonly-used plant species come from the rivers of South America.

While most of them are plants that live fully-submerged in nature and can live in the same way in aquariums, some are semi-aquatic plants that usually live in marshes of near the water. From the last category only some of them can actually survive fully submerged in aquariums, but usually with a slow or uneasy growth (for example, Saururus cernuus). Plants like these usually need to grow only half submerged, and are better for a paludarium than an aquarium.

Listed alphabetically by scientific name

As a very important note, the taxonomy of most aquatic plant genera is not final. Scientific names and classifications have changed often in the past years, creating confusion for most aquarists. Most of the old names are still in use today on some web sites.

Common aquarium plant genera and species:

  • Alternanthera sp.
  • Ammannia sp.
  • Anubias sp.
  • Aponogeton sp.
  • Bacopa sp.
  • Barclaya sp.
  • Blyxa sp.
  • Cabomba sp. (fanwort)
  • Ceratophyllum sp. (hornwort)
  • Ceratopteris sp.
  • Crinum sp.
  • Cryptocoryne sp. (water trumpet)
  • Echinodorus sp. (sword plant)
  • Egeria sp.
  • Hygrophila sp.
  • Lemna (duckweed; floating plants)
  • Limnophila sp.
  • Ludwigia sp.
  • Marsilea sp.
  • Microsorum sp.
  • Myriophyllum sp.
  • Nymphaea sp.
  • Pistia sp. (water lettuce; floating plant)
  • Riccia fluitans
  • Rotala sp.
  • Sagittaria sp.
  • Saururus cernuus
  • Vallisneria sp.
  • Vesicularia dubyana (Java moss)

Fake or pseudo-aquarium plants

Several species of land plants such as umbrella pine and aluminum plant (Pilea cadairei) are also frequently sold as "aquarium plants". While such plants are beautiful and can survive for some time under water, they will eventually die and must be removed so their decay does not contaminate the aquarium water.

There are 3 categories of pseudo-aquarium plants:

  • Semi-aquatic plants, that live near water or in marshes, but cannot live fully submerged. They usually last for about a year.
  • Garden plants, which usually last from 2 weeks to a maximum of 6 months.
  • Rock plants, which usually last for less than 2 months.

List of semi-aquatic plants

  • Acorus sp.
  • Alisma sp.
  • Baumea sp.
  • Canna sp.
  • Colocasia sp.
  • Crinum americanum
  • Cyperus sp.
  • Dichichium sp.
  • Equisetum sp.
  • Eriophorum sp.
  • Euryale ferox sp.
  • Hibiscus sp.
  • Houttuynia sp.
  • Hymenocallis sp.
  • Ipomea sp.
  • Iris sp.
  • Juncus sp.
  • Lobelia sp.
  • Lysimachia sp.
  • Myosotis sp.
  • Orontium sp.
  • Pontederia sp.
  • Ranunclus sp.
  • Scripus lacustris
  • Thalia dealbata

Read more at Wikipedia.org


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Prices current as of last update, 07/09/24 9:57pm.

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