Low Tech Plants For Aquarium

As an avid aquarist, I’ve uncovered the ultimate secret to creating a lush and vibrant underwater world: low tech plants for your aquarium.

These remarkable flora, like Anubias, Java Fern, Cryptocoryne, Hornwort, Amazon Sword, and Java Moss, require minimal maintenance and thrive in a variety of water conditions.

With their rich colors and delicate textures, these plants not only enhance the aesthetic appeal of your tank but also provide essential oxygen and shelter for your aquatic friends.

Get ready to witness the magic of nature unfold right before your eyes.

Key Takeaways

  • Anubias and Java Fern are hardy and low-maintenance plant options for low tech aquariums.
  • Cryptocoryne and Hornwort are versatile and hardy plants that can adapt to various water conditions.
  • Amazon Sword is adaptable to different pH levels and provides hiding places for fish and fry.
  • Java Moss is easy to care for, acts as a natural water filter, and provides hiding spots for fish fry and small aquatic creatures.


Anubias is a popular choice for low tech aquariums due to its hardy nature and attractive foliage. As an aquarium enthusiast, I’ve found Anubias to be a reliable and low-maintenance plant option.

One of the key Anubias care tips is to provide it with low to moderate lighting conditions. This plant thrives in shaded areas, making it an excellent choice for tanks with minimal lighting setups.

Another important factor to consider is the variety of Anubias and its specific growth requirements. There are several different varieties available, including Anubias barteri, Anubias nana, and Anubias coffeefolia.

Each variety has slightly different growth patterns and requirements, so it’s essential to choose the right one for your aquarium. For instance, Anubias barteri grows best when attached to rocks or driftwood, while Anubias nana can be planted directly into the substrate.

Understanding the growth requirements of the specific Anubias variety you choose will ensure its optimal growth and overall health in your low tech aquarium.

Java Fern

When it comes to low tech aquariums, one plant that I highly recommend is Java Fern. This versatile plant offers several benefits for those looking to create a beautiful and low maintenance aquarium setup.

Here are some of the key benefits of using Java Fern in a low tech aquarium:

  • Hardiness: Java Fern is known for its resilience and ability to thrive in a variety of water conditions. It can tolerate low light levels and fluctuating temperatures, making it perfect for beginners or those with less experience in aquarium keeping.
  • Low light requirements: This plant doesn’t require intense lighting, making it ideal for low tech setups. It can flourish under moderate to low light conditions, reducing the need for expensive lighting equipment.
  • Natural filtration: Java Fern has the ability to absorb excess nutrients from the water, helping to prevent algae growth. It also releases oxygen during photosynthesis, improving the overall water quality and creating a healthier environment for fish.
  • Easy propagation: Java Fern reproduces through rhizome division, which means it can easily be propagated by separating the plant into smaller sections. This allows for the growth of new plants without the need for additional purchases.
  • Aesthetic appeal: With its beautiful and distinct leaf shape, Java Fern adds a unique touch to any aquarium. It can be placed on rocks, driftwood, or even attached to the substrate, providing endless possibilities for aquascaping.

To properly care for Java Fern in a low tech setup, follow these guidelines:

  • Lighting: Provide moderate to low light levels, as excessive light can lead to the growth of algae.
  • Water parameters: Maintain stable water parameters, including a pH range of 6.0-7.5 and a temperature range of 68-82°F (20-28°C).
  • Substrate: Java Fern can be attached to rocks or driftwood using fishing line or plant-safe glue. It can also be planted in the substrate, making sure not to bury the rhizome.
  • Fertilization: Although Java Fern doesn’t require additional fertilization in a low tech setup, you can add liquid fertilizers or root tabs to promote healthier growth.
  • Maintenance: Trim any yellow or damaged leaves to maintain the plant’s aesthetic appeal. Additionally, remove any debris or decaying matter from the tank to prevent water quality issues.


What are the key benefits of incorporating Cryptocoryne into a low tech aquarium setup?

Cryptocoryne is a versatile and hardy plant that’s perfect for low tech aquariums. It offers several benefits to aquarium enthusiasts, making it a popular choice for beginners and experienced hobbyists alike.

Cryptocoryne plants are known for their adaptability to various water conditions, including low light and low nutrient levels. This makes them ideal for low tech setups where maintaining a stable environment can be a challenge. They’ve a slow growth rate, which means they require minimal maintenance and are less likely to overrun the aquarium.

Caring for Cryptocoryne is relatively simple. They prefer slightly acidic to neutral water with a pH range of 6.0-7.5. The temperature should be kept between 72-82°F (22-28°C). It’s important to provide them with a substrate rich in nutrients, such as gravel or sand, as they absorb nutrients through their roots.

Propagation of Cryptocoryne can be done through several methods, including division and rhizome cuttings. Dividing the plant involves separating the offshoots or daughter plants from the main plant. Rhizome cuttings can be taken by cutting a portion of the rhizome and planting it in the substrate.

Cryptocoryne varieties that are best for beginners include Cryptocoryne wendtii, Cryptocoryne undulata, and Cryptocoryne retrospiralis. These varieties are hardy, adaptable, and can tolerate a range of water conditions.

Incorporating Cryptocoryne into a low tech aquarium setup offers ease of care, adaptability, and a visually appealing addition to the aquascape. With proper care and maintenance, Cryptocoryne can thrive and enhance the overall aesthetics of the aquarium.


Now let’s shift our focus to another low tech plant that’s commonly used in aquarium setups – Hornwort.

Hornwort, known by its scientific name Ceratophyllum demersum, is a versatile plant that offers several benefits for aquariums. Here are some key points to consider when caring for hornwort in an aquarium:

  • Easy Maintenance: Hornwort is a low maintenance plant that requires minimal care. It can thrive in a wide range of water conditions and doesn’t need additional fertilizers or CO2 injection.
  • Oxygenation: One of the significant benefits of hornwort is its ability to oxygenate the water. As a fast-growing plant, it releases oxygen during the day, enhancing the overall health of fish and other aquatic organisms.
  • Algae Control: Hornwort has the potential to outcompete algae for nutrients, helping to control their growth. Its dense foliage provides shade, reducing the amount of light available for algae to thrive.
  • Natural Filtration: The dense structure of hornwort serves as a natural filter, trapping debris and particles in the water column. This helps to maintain water clarity and reduces the need for mechanical filtration.
  • Habitat for Fry: The fine branches of hornwort provide an ideal hiding place for fry (baby fish), offering them protection from predators. This makes it a popular choice for breeding tanks.

To care for hornwort in an aquarium, simply place the plant in the substrate or allow it to float freely. Regularly trim any excess growth to prevent overcrowding and maintain its shape.

Amazon Sword

Moving on to the next low tech plant for aquariums, let’s explore the versatile benefits of the Amazon Sword.

The Amazon Sword (Echinodorus amazonicus) is a popular choice among aquatic enthusiasts due to its numerous advantages in a low tech aquarium setup.

One of the significant advantages of using Amazon Sword in a low tech aquarium is its ability to thrive in various water conditions. It can adapt to a wide range of pH levels, from slightly acidic to slightly alkaline, making it suitable for different types of aquarium setups. Additionally, it can tolerate low to moderate lighting conditions, making it an ideal choice for beginners or those who prefer a low maintenance aquarium.

To maintain healthy Amazon Sword plants, it’s essential to provide them with nutrient-rich substrate, such as gravel or aquatic soil, as they’re heavy root feeders. Adding root tabs or liquid fertilizers specifically formulated for aquarium plants can also help promote their growth. Regular water changes and trimming of damaged or yellowing leaves are crucial for their overall health.

Furthermore, it’s advisable to provide enough space for the Amazon Sword to grow, as they can reach a considerable size. Proper spacing prevents overcrowding and allows each plant to receive adequate light and nutrients.

Java Moss

I highly recommend using Java Moss as a low tech plant for your aquarium. Java Moss, scientifically known as Taxiphyllum barbieri, is a versatile and hardy plant that offers numerous benefits for aquarium enthusiasts. Here are five reasons why you should consider incorporating Java Moss into your aquarium:

  • Easy to care for: Java Moss is incredibly low maintenance, making it perfect for beginner aquarists. It can adapt to a wide range of water conditions and doesn’t require any special lighting or fertilization.
  • Natural habitat: Originating from Southeast Asia, Java Moss is commonly found in slow-moving streams and rivers. By adding it to your aquarium, you can create a natural and aesthetically pleasing environment for your fish.
  • Water filtration: Java Moss acts as a natural filter, absorbing nitrates and other pollutants from the water. This helps to maintain good water quality and reduce the risk of algae growth.
  • Hiding spots: The dense growth of Java Moss provides excellent hiding spots for fish fry, shrimp, and other small aquatic creatures. It also offers a sense of security for more timid fish species.
  • Breeding ground: Java Moss serves as a breeding ground for various fish and invertebrates. Its fine branches and dense structure provide a safe haven for eggs and fry, increasing the chances of successful reproduction.

To care for Java Moss in your aquarium, simply tie or attach it to rocks, driftwood, or mesh. Ensure that it receives indirect light and trim it periodically to maintain its shape and prevent overgrowth. Regular water changes and removal of debris will also contribute to its overall health and appearance.

With its many benefits and ease of care, Java Moss is a fantastic addition to any aquarium.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Often Should I Trim My Anubias Plant in Order to Maintain Its Growth and Appearance?

I trim my anubias plant every 4-6 weeks to maintain its growth and appearance. Trimming frequency depends on how quickly the plant grows and the desired look. Pruning techniques involve carefully removing old or damaged leaves.

Can Java Fern Be Grown Successfully in Low Light Conditions or Does It Require Intense Lighting?

Java fern can thrive in low light conditions, making it suitable for low tech aquariums. It does not require intense lighting like other plants. Regular pruning of anubias ensures their growth and appearance are maintained.

What Is the Ideal Water Temperature for Cryptocoryne Plants to Thrive in an Aquarium?

The ideal water temperature for cryptocoryne plants in an aquarium is between 72-82°F. To maintain their growth and appearance, it is important to provide adequate lighting, nutrient-rich substrate, and regular water changes.

Will Hornwort Plants Cause Any Harm or Interfere With the Growth of Other Aquatic Plants in the Tank?

No, hornwort plants will not cause harm or interfere with the growth of other aquatic plants in the tank. It is compatible with most plants and its dense growth provides shade and shelter. Trimming techniques for Anubias can help maintain its size and shape.

Is It Necessary to Supplement Fertilizers or CO2 for the Healthy Growth of Amazon Sword and Java Moss in a Low Tech Aquarium Setup?

In my experience, I have found that low tech plants like Amazon sword and Java moss can thrive without the need for supplemental fertilizers or CO2 supplementation. They are hardy and adaptable.


In conclusion, the commendable combination of low-tech plants for aquariums, such as Anubias, Java Fern, Cryptocoryne, Hornwort, Amazon Sword, and Java Moss, showcases their suitability for aquatic environments.

Their adaptability, resilience, and minimal requirements make them ideal choices for beginner aquarists.

With their lush foliage and ability to purify water, these plants not only enhance the aesthetic appeal of the aquarium but also contribute to the overall well-being of its inhabitants.

Embrace these botanical beauties and watch your aquarium thrive.

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