A lot of people believe that fish make really good pets. They’re easier and less expensive to feed and that’s enough to convince a lot of people to keep them as pets in custom-made aquariums at home.

However, many people keep fish solely for aesthetic reasons as well. An addition of a beautifully-designed aquarium in the heart of your home looks amazing. It adds an aesthetic look to the overall environment. And that’s where the floating aquarium plants come in.

A floating aquarium plant brings a completely new dynamic to your water tank. When it comes to looks, the aim is to give your aquarium an exotic, wild feel.

A set of complementing lights, shades, plants, and ornaments for your fish aquarium can do wonders.

Interestingly, the benefits of such a practice are not only limited to aesthetic pleasure but have a plethora of positive effects on the fish as well. Think about it, you’re keeping the fish in a tank they’re not exactly made for. However, inducing an ocean-like simulation does have its benefits.

While it’s not always possible to develop an ocean-like experience, you can always utilize and explore your options to improve their habitat, make it seem more natural, and contribute to the overall look of your tank.

Why Do You Need Floating Plants For Your Fish Tank?

The floating plants bring a visual appeal for your aquarium and that reason tops the list for many. Aesthetic pleasure aside, there are several benefits to having a floating plant in your fish tank.

  • For instance, a plant will influence the amount of light that enters your aquarium and ultimately, reaches the fish. Some species of fish might be more comfortable in shady waters and a floating plant will make them feel more at home. At the same time, it’s possible that some other species of fish will be more comfortable in well-lit waters and you will have to make a choice accordingly. A wise decision in this regard will involve the right research and consultancy while buying the fish/aquarium.
  • Plants also operate as effective filters for your tank water. The amount of dust that’s present in your water – your plants will make a significant impact in its reduction. The nitrate levels that many people dislike managing, your aquarium plant will make the process breezy.
  • A plant can help balance the oxygen levels inside your tank. While an oxygen pump is essential and a good alternative, a plant will go through the photosynthesis process and oxygenate your aquarium’s interior in day-time even further.
  • Your pet fish are dependent on the food you are providing them with. However, having a plant inside will provide them with another tasty snack for munching. Your fish will have another thing to nibble on, providing you a seamless way to up their nutrition game.

 

 

Types Of Floating Aquarium Plants

There are a plethora options when you are planning to buy a floating plant for your aquarium. And there is no right or wrong option. The options just vary under a spectrum of plant maintenance and approachability.

Let’s have a look at some popular options in this regard and they’re certainly not limited to:

Anacharis

This plant is super approachable and no matter how experienced you are, maintaining Anacharis should not be a problem at all. No matter what you fish you have, this plant should serve as a great addition. Firstly, they’re good for any water temperature – so that’s taken care of. Secondly, they don’t need a lot of light, so that’s a plus point as well.

It grows well and will require trimming when it’s time. It’s neat. It looks good. There’s a good chance that your fish will nibble on its leaves. Anacharis, as anticipated, doesn’t suffer as a result of being nibbled on.

Duckweed

Duckweed is one of the most common plants you’ll find in fish tanks. They’re easy to grow and maintain. However, once the Duckweed is settled, it can be a bit difficult to remove – so make sure you’re not planning on doing that often. It’s a great food alternative for a few species and it provides excellent cover for the newborn fish.

Brazilian Pennywort

A very neat-looking floating plant that provides excellent cover. If you’ve got a fish that breeds often, this plant can provide excellent cover for the newborns. The large circular leaves add to the wildlife aesthetic and the light still goes in. Also, the growth rate of Brazilian Pennywort is significantly impacted by the amount of light it receives.

Java Moss

Java Moss is known for its beautiful and unique appearance. However, this plant is mainly setup dependent. You’ll have to be careful with the plant – the maintenance can be tricky since you have to anchor it to a cork to make it float. We suggest not going with this one if you’re not truly passionate about being an aquarist.

Red Root Floater

The red root floater plant is a very unique plant from an aesthetic angle. The leaves of the red root floater turn red when exposed to a lot of light. If you can manage to achieve some kind of setup where it gets exposed to light in instances, you’re going to have yourself a very cool aquarium. The root and bottom of this plant is mainly red. It’s easier to maintain and thrives in almost any water environment.

How To Choose The Best Floating Aquarium Plants For Your Fish Tank

Since you’re now well-aware of the basics of a floating aquarium plant, let’s get you hooked up with a buying guide that will ensure a seamless and regret-free purchase.

  1. Tank Lighting

You need to get an aquarium plant that provides just the right amount of shade for your tank’s inhabitants. Some plants are known for their good amount of shade that prevents unhealthy glares of the sun from getting into the tank. However, when not trimmed properly, increased amount of shade will have negative effects for your fish in the tank.

  1. Plant Growth

You need to get a plant that has a growth rate you’re comfortable with. The growth rate of some plants is directly impacted by the amount of light they’re exposed to. A plant with a very high growth rate can be disturbing – primarily because it will require regular maintenance.

  1. Aquarium Size

Don’t end up going for a Java Moss when your aquarium is only good enough for Anacharis. You must consider the size of your aquarium before finalizing on a floating plant. You will also have to consider the growth rate, maintenance-comfortability, etc. while doing so.

  1. Desired Look

Buying a floating aquarium plant is mostly a one-shot game. Once you’re done planting it, it may take you some time before you are ready to change the core plant of your aquarium. Hence, before you finalize your purchase, make sure that this is exactly the look you want to go for.

  1. Fish Types

Small fish like bettas dislike a crowded environment and prefer roaming freely – but they do lay eggs on the plant roots. Therefore, it’s best to know what type of fish you’re going to keep in the tank. Some like living in a wild while others prefer roaming in a free space. Choose accordingly.

 

Our 10 Favorite Floating Aquarium Plants 2020

As we have mentioned before, there are a number of options when you are choosing a floating aquarium plant. Our editorial team has finalized 10 floating plants and we’re telling you, the editors are picky. So, without further ado, let’s begin!

ProductPriceEdible for fish
Floating Aquarium Plants (10 Species pack) Floating Aquarium Plants (10 Species pack)$$$Yes
Java Moss Java Moss$$Yes
Aquarium Floating Plants Package (4 Floating Plants) Aquarium Floating Plants Package (4 Floating Plants) $$Yes
Amazon Frogbit (Set Of 12) Amazon Frogbit (Set Of 12)$$Yes
Floating Duckweed Plants (100 Pieces) Floating Duckweed Plants (100 Pieces)$Yes
Red Root Floater (Set of 6) Red Root Floater (Set of 6)$Yes
Moss Balls Moss Balls$$Yes
Water Sprangles Water Sprangles$No
Water Lettuce Water Lettuce $$No
Java Fern Bare Root Java Fern Bare Root$No




  • Size: 9 x 4 x 3 inches
  • Weight: 6 ounces
  • Package Includes: 10 different plants
  • Edible for Fish: Yes
  • Difficulty: Easy to Moderate

This set of 10 floating aquarium plants can be an excellent addition to your aquarium. It’s best to go for this package if you’re only just setting up your aquarium from scratch or planning to. All the plants are ideal for enhancing the biological ecosystem of your aquarium.

The plants included are Amazon Sword, Anacheri, Cryptocoryne Wendtii Bronze, Red Ludwigia, Moneywort, Hornwort, Red Flame Sword, Vallisneria, Rotala Indica, and Cambomba. Also, the manufacturers have explicitly mentioned that if there’s an accidental missing/out-of-stock occurrence for any species, they will replace that plant with another species. However, the chances of such an occurring are very rare.

In simple words, all you will need is this set, a gravel, and light. Rest assured, your aquarium will be ready to thrive.

Pros

  • Amazing set of plants – they’re designed to thrive in any 10 – 25 gallon tank!

Cons

  • The only con would be to receive a substitute plant in case of an out-of-stock scenario for any species

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  • Size: 17 x 2.76 x 2.32 inches
  • Weight: 2 ounces
  • Package Includes: 4×6 cm Loc – Java Moss (Vesicularia Dubyana)
  • Edible for Fish: Yes
  • Maintenance Difficulty: Easy/Tricky

Java Moss, also known as Vesicularia Dubyana is a very undemanding and easy-maintenance plant. However, the maintenance part can be slightly tricky when it comes to anchoring the plant to make it float. It’s a very popular beginner plant and it can be cultivated in almost any kind of water.

The plant is intensively branched with lots of tiny stems surrounded by leaves and rhizoids. The Vesicularia Dubyana does not have any role in nutrients absorption, particularly because it doesn’t have any roots. Instead, it is cultivated by spreading a thin layer of Java Moss on top of a solid substrate as a rock.

This plant can grow on any substrate, even on the aquarium glass. This is a must have plant if you want to add some solid color to your aquarium.

Pros

  • You get a good amount for the price
  • Self-oxygenating

Cons

  • Tricky maintenance for a floating plant

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  • Size: N/A
  • Weight: 5 ounces
  • Package Includes: 12 Amazon Frogbit, 12 Dwarf Water Lettuce, 12 Water Sprangles, and 12 Red Foot Floater
  • Edible for Fish: Yes
  • Maintenance Difficulty: Easy to Moderate

This set of 4 best floating aquarium plants comes with a 100% AOA Guarantee. However, the G’z store does suggest not ordering this package if the day temperature in your area is below 35 or above 85 in the expected-delivery week.

They may also change the shipping date in case of unfavorable weather conditions. Water sprangles grow in a specific-lit environment so you will have to consider that as well. Strong current, frequent water movement, etc. should be avoided while placing these plants.

If you’re concerned about the unanswered dimensions – please note that these plants will be individually bagged in small zip-locks. However, the bags may not be labelled. All of these plants have excellent growth rates. Therefore, don’t worry if a few leaves look mushy due to transit. They’ll just grow right back.

Pros

  • Decent shipping and packaging
  • 100% AOA guarantee

Cons

  • You may have to face the consequences if you order these in unfavorable temperatures/weather conditions

more reviews and price on Amazon

  • Size: 5 – 1 inches
  • Weight: N/A
  • Package Includes: 4 x 4 inches covering – 12 Plants (+3 leaves each)
  • Edible for Fish: Yes
  • Maintenance Difficulty: Extremely Easy

This freshwater floating aquarium plant comes with a 100% alive guaranteed. In case one of the plants is dead on arrival, you can contact the G’z on Amazon and get it replaced right away.

Since it’s a freshwater floating plant, the substrate and CO2 supplementation is not necessary. The Amazon Frogbit will also serve as an excellent solution to remove any unwanted and unhealthy inorganic nutrients.

If some roots get mushy during transit, don’t worry. Just place them and it will only take them two days to become and look super healthy. They’ll be shooting out fresh roots in no time.

Pros

  • Clean, snail-free and perfectly-shaped
  • Come with a guarantee

Cons

  • They may not grow outdoors, in a tank with no fish

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  • Size: They’re super tiny (100 plants)
  • Weight: N/A
  • Package Includes: 100 Protein-rich duckweed plants
  • Edible for Fish: Yes – Koi love it
  • Maintenance Difficulty: Extremely Easy

Duckweed is a tiny floating plant with only low to moderate lighting requirements. Most of the times, each plant would have one root hanging in the water with one, two, or three leaves each.

As more leaves will grow, the plant will start to divide and start producing independent individuals. Also, your fish will eat it down and they won’t last much longer. So, make sure you spray these on top of your aquarium in a while and notice their decline/growth. You can move forward accordingly.

The plants come on a wetted card, wrapped in paper, and sealed inside a plastic package.

Pros

  • Excellent packaging
  • They provide shade and serve as a source of food for the fish

Cons

  • Not always, but they can be smelly at times – like many plants

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  • Size: They’re tiny (Smaller than Frogbit)
  • Weight: N/A
  • Package Includes: 6 Red Root Floater Plants
  • Edible for Fish: Yes – Betta likes it
  • Maintenance Difficulty: Moderate

The Red Root Floater is an aquarium plant that is very safe for your fish. Especially when it comes to betta, it gives your fish tank a very natural habitat feel that bettas enjoy. They use its shade and they like to munch on it.

They flourish in freshwater and normal water temperature. The whole package contains 6 Red Root Floater plants, also known as Phyllanthus Fluitans. It’s one of the best-looking plants and it propagates well.

However, keep in mind that this plant does not do well when there is a high level of surface agitation. It does not need CO2 supplementation but it does benefit from Seachem Flourish, Flourish Excel, Nitrogen, and Iron supplementation.

Pros

  • Bright red roots
  • Very hardy and durable

Cons

  • It does not propagate well with high surface agitation

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  • Size: 5 x 0.38 x 2 inches
  • Weight: 8 ounces
  • Package Includes: 2 – 2.5 inches – 5 Marimo Moss Balls
  • Edible for Fish: Yes
  • Maintenance Difficulty: Extremely Easy

The Marimo Moss balls that are normally available and labelled as ‘giant’ are only 1.5 inches in size. These ones are up to 2 – 2.5 inches and they’re extremely easy to take care of. Whether you are looking to add decorative ornaments to your aquarium or an office jar, these Marimo Moss balls should prove as a unique and intriguing addition.

This is an aquatic plant that grows slowly. So, most balls that you will receive should be around 8 – 15 years old. You can get creative with these.

Leave them in your aquarium and add some interesting lights combo. They have also proved to be a food alternative for some fish. So, get them if these plants spark the aquarist inside you.

Pros

  • They’re 100% clean and tank-ready for a B grade plant
  • Fresh, great deal, and super-fast shipping

 Cons

  • We suggest you give them a wash first before putting them in the tank

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  • Size: 7 inches
  • Weight: 1 ounce
  • Package Includes: 12 Water Sprangles – Enough To Cover a 5 x 5 inches surface
  • Edible for Fish: No
  • Maintenance Difficulty: Moderate to Easy

The water sprangles, also known as Salvinia Minima are great for feeding off nutrients in the water. They act as a bio-filter and help to ward-off algae blooms. These plants come with a 100% Alive on Arrival guarantee – just as other G’z products.

We suggest you to avoid ordering water sprangles if the temperature in your area is below 35 or above 85 in the coming week – or you may have to face the consequences on your own.

The water sprangles are highly effective in blocking sunlight, feeding off nutrients in the water, preventing algae blooms, and more. They provide shade for your fish, offering them space to hide. Also, the water sprangles do not require CO2 supplementation but will flourish with other supplementations, just like many floating plants.

It’s worth mentioning that water sprangles only flourish in freshwater. They’re less than an inch long but can soon grow up to reach 4 inches – enough to cover a pond/aquarium within weeks/days.

Pros

  • They grow pretty fast
  • Provide excellent shading for betta fish
  • Should serve you great if you need a dense mat for your aquarium

Cons

  • Temperature restrictions must be considered
  • Prone to snail-like creatures in adverse situations

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  • Size: 3-4 inches
  • Weight: 2-3 ounces
  • Package Includes: 2 Large Water Lettuces
  • Edible for Fish: No
  • Maintenance Difficulty: Moderate to Easy

Water lettuce can be an awesome, filling addition to any aquarium. While water lettuce is compatible with most fish, larger fish like cichlids may still damage it. These live aquarium plants will always create a very natural look in your tank.

The plant provides more oxygen and biological filtration for the aquarium’s water as well. If you’ve got a larger aquarium, a bunch of these can light up your aquarium right away. It’s a floating rosette of beautiful foliage on the surface of your tank’s water.

The growth rate and reproduction of water lettuce is very fast. The reproduction is very fast by sending runners from the mother plant, each terminating with a baby plant.

Lastly, if you are looking for a natural algae controller for your aquarium, water lettuce may just be the right choice. It’s also feasible to note that a tank that contains goldfish or any other herbivore fish will not have any water lettuce – these fish will end up munching all of it.

Pros

  • Provides very natural appearance
  • Natural algae-controller
  • Easy to maintain

Cons

  • It’s a large floating plant, may not always work with smaller aquarium-setups

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  • Size: 4-6 inches in height
  • Weight: 1 ounce
  • Package Includes: 1 Java Fern (Microsorum Pteropus) Bare Root
  • Edible for Fish: No (Very hard leaf texture for fish)
  • Maintenance Difficulty: Moderate to Easy

The Java Fern is a very strong, hardy, and firm plant. It is difficult to be torn apart and even the herbivore fish tend to stay away from this plant. But, the smaller fish do utilize its leaves for shade. This Java Fern provides a great, easy way to attach it to driftwood, rocks, and such.

It provides natural hiding and resting places for your invertebrates and smaller fish.

You must also note that this is a live plant and you must not order it if your region is freezing. They’re live plants and will likely arrive unstable and frozen.

Pros

  • Very hard, sturdy plants – ideal if you want a plant that fish don’t eat up
  • Great hiding place for fish

 Cons

  • You can’t order this plant in frozen, low-temp regions

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Do Floating Plants Oxygenate Water?

The floating plants that mainly cover the surface of water create a barrier on the water surface that prevents oxygen from entering into the water. If a plant grows too crazy, it has the potential of blocking the required oxygen and ultimately killing the fish.

However, the floating plants that have roots inside the water and go all the way to the top, such a setup should not generate problem. In fact, these plants will help to oxygenate your water even more during day time.

How Are Underwater Plants Different From Floating Plants?

The term ‘floating plants’ is traditionally used for plants that stay afloat on the water surface. However, aquarists are also using this term for plants that have large leaves coming out on the water surface.

On the other hand, the ‘underwater plants’ are found deep under the water bodies.

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Java Moss