Great Aquatic Plants for Beginners

10 Easy Aquatic Plants for Beginners (and Why!)

Ready to add live aquatic plants to your freshwater aquarium, but not quite sure where to start? You’re not alone! Adding live plants to your tank for the first time can be intimidating for beginners, especially for those who aren’t familiar with which live plants to start out with and how to care for them. If this sounds like you, consider the following list of 10 easy aquatic plants for beginners as you think about your first aquascaping project. 

Anubias Barteri

Anubias Barteri is a great aquatic plant for beginners that can tolerate a wide variety of aquarium environments and is easy to grow! This plant has thick leaves and is an especially great addition to Cichlid and Goldfish tanks. 

Anubias Nana

Another midground plant, Anubias Nana’s short and stout appearance makes it a great plant for beginners that can adapt to several aquatic environments. 

Crypt Wendtii (Green)

The green variety of Cryptocoryne (Crypt) Wendtii is known as a great plant for beginners in both aquariums and terrariums. It has bright green leaves and can tolerate most light conditions. Additionally, this plant does not require any CO2 or fertilizer! 

Sagittaria Dwarf

Sagittaria Dwarf is a fantastic foreground or midground aquatic plant for beginners. It has short green blades, making it appear similar to grass, and is easy to grow.

Java Fern

Java Ferns are a great addition to any freshwater aquarium. They’re great for beginners and very easy to care for. Additionally, they can thrive when either partially or fully submerged in water


Adding a bunch of Bacopa to the mid-ground or background of an aquarium is a great choice for beginners. It can thrive in a wide variety of lighting and pH conditions, and it is very easy to grow. Our favorite thing about Bacopa is that you can replant any trimmings!

Moss Balls*

Though moss balls are actually made of algae, they won’t cause algae to build up in your aquarium! In fact, these moss balls grow extremely slowly at about 5mm per year, and are an especially good choice for betta fish tanks.

*Note that moss ball sales have been suspended for the time being, as an invasive species of zebra mussels was found on moss balls in several states. We appreciate your patience!

Vallisneria Italian

Italian Vallisneria is a great choice for beginners, as it is adaptable to a wide variety of conditions such as lighting and temperature. It grows quickly and can get relatively tall, making it a good live aquatic plant for the background of your aquarium

Java Moss

Java Moss is a great plant for beginner aquascapers because once you plant it, there is little that has to be done to care for it. Java moss can be used to carpet the bottom of the tank, and attach to rocks, roots, and driftwood. It can be trimmed to prevent overgrowth as well. 

Dwarf Hairgrass

Similarly to java moss, dwarf hairgrass is one of our favorite foreground plants and makes a great dense carpeting for any aquarium. It has green blades that will look similar to the grass on your lawn, and can tolerate a variety of tank conditions.  

We hope this list is helpful as you begin your first aquascaping project! Click on the links to order any of the plants above, or check out our Starter Package. Good luck!

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