6 Best Floating Aquarium Plants: Duckweed, Hornwort & More

Best Floating Aquarium Plants

Floating plants are a perfect addition to the aquarium. These plants don’t necessarily have to be appended to the base of the aquarium and keep floating on the surface. However, there are some of the floating plants that have longer roots connected to the bottom.

There are various species in best floating aquarium plants that are available in different sizes. Thus, the aquarium size also has to be synonymous as per the size of the plant.

They make good combination with other plants in the aquarium and also creates a spectacular look. If you are fond of fish tank décor then there are some pleasant options to consider.

In this article, we will suggest some of the best freshwater floating aquarium plants.

Benefits of Floating Plants

Just like other floating plants, there are certain things that you will want to check with the floating plant species as well.

The aquarium plants are known to provide a sanitized environment to the pet fishes. Here in this section below, we will specify some of the benefits of floating plants:

1. Easy to Grow and Need Less Maintenance

While most of the fish-keepers are excited about adding plants in the aquarium, there are very few with the appropriate amount of time for the best plant care.

Every plant has distinctive need for maintenance and care. Some of them require extra light whereas others demand high nutritional intake. But same is not the case with floating plants.

  • Less in maintenance
  • Require occasional pruning to cut the overgrown stems
  • Easy to keep and grows rapidly without needing any extra nutrition

There is no specific method for growth of upkeep of these plants. They require least efforts from their keepers.

2. Provide Shade and Cover

You need floating plants for shade and cover for various species of fish in the tank, especially the betta fish. These are the fish that require immense shade.

While there are various options available in these plants that offer great cover but Duckweed is the best floating plant for betta fish tank that de-stresses the fish and offer it suitable environment to feel comfortable.

There are some other related plants also that offer great place for hiding to the fishes. These plants also help the fishes to protect them from additional lighting.

3. Aerate

You probably want to add some oxygen to the fish tank and these floating plants become a great source for that.

  • These plants act like an air circulation system, just like any other plant in conventional harvest.
  • They boost the life of the tank fishes.
  • These provide safety against toxins

The task of floating plants is identical to any other plant that is to regulate oxygen for the aquarium pets to breath.

6 Best Floating Aquarium Plants

Here, we will give you some strong recommendations of the best floating aquarium plants that are easily available and makes a great accessory to the aquarium.

1. Duckweed

  • Aquarium Size: Any
  • pH Level: Any
  • Water Temperature: 70° – 80° F
  • Light Conditions: Low

Duckweed is one of the most popular floating plants among the aquarists. If you are just a beginner then you will find this plant really amazing as it asks for no maintenance at all.

The growth is rapid but still because of the small leaves and short roots, it can fit in a smaller tank as well as accessories the large ones. It also balances the mineral level in the water.   

The only problem here is rapid growth of the plant that you may have to keep changing them periodically. Or you may have to prune the roots frequently to keep the Duckweeds from growing outside the tank territory.

The overgrowth becomes difficult to remove. If you find pruning problematic then its best to keep the tank covered most of the time and restrict the rapid growth of the plant.


  • Small leaves and roots are suitable for any size of aquariums
  • Maintains the mineral level of the water
  • Less in maintenance
  • Easily available in the market


  • Overgrowth is difficult to remove
  • Rapid growth makes difficult to keep the plant in the tank for long time

Buy on Amazon: Live Duckweed Plants

2. Amazon Frogbit

Amazon Frogbit
  • Aquarium Size: Large
  • pH Level: 6.0 – 8.0
  • Water Temperature: 64° – 86° F
  • Light Conditions: High

Amazon Frogbit is a show-stopper with its beautiful three-leaved looks. Other than just being pleasing to the eyes, the plant has tendency to remove unhealthy inorganic nutrients from the water, sanitizing it and giving more oxygenated environment to the fishes.

While the plant itself is smaller in size, it shows rapid growth and becomes really thick to cover more area in the aquarium. That is why, we don’t recommend it for the smaller tanks or else you will find the removal of roots extremely complicated.

It is best to bind the plant at one place to prohibit it from scattering and restrict the movement of fishes inside.

Also, it requires specific temperature of 64° – 86° F and pH level of 6.0 – 8.0 for good maintenance. The light requirement is also high so you may have to install some full spectrum aquarium lights.


  • Extremely pleasing to the eyes
  • Remove unhealthy nutrients
  • Sanitize the water


  • Grows fast, widens itself and take extra space  
  • May require binding at one place or it will restrict movement of the fishes

Buy on Amazon: G&Z Amazon Frogbit

3. Water Lettuce

Water Lettuce
  • Aquarium Size: Large
  • pH Level: 6.5 – 7.2
  • Water Temperature: 70° – 80° F
  • Light Conditions: Medium

Just like Amazon Frogbit, this is also highly decorative floating plants with longer roots. Because the rosettes of this plant are large, it is not recommended for the smaller tanks.

The growth of this one is also quite rapid so it will obstruct the light from coming inside. Best is to install a smaller number of water lettuce to the tank.  

This plant will require angling wire strategy so that it can be bounded to one side of the tank. The species can become great source of oxygen supply to the tank and furniture to the fishes.

You are recommended to remove yellow and overgrown lettuce plant from the tank to let it stay healthy and green throughout.


  • Highly decorative
  • Supply oxygen to the water
  • Does not require a lot of light for growth
  • Acts as a great furniture option for the fishes


  • Not suggested for smaller tanks

4. Hornwort

  • Aquarium Size: Large
  • pH Level: 6.0 – 7.5
  • Water Temperature: 59° – 86° F
  • Light Conditions: Medium

Hornwort looks amazing and can survive in varied water conditions. However, the pH level of 6.0 to 7.5 has to be maintained.

It is a bunch plant so clearly unfit for the smaller tanks. They take densely packed structure in dark green colour. This way, it will help the fish to hide.

Just like all other the growth of this plant is also quite rapid. And thus, it grows up to the length of 6 ft. So, pruning is extremely required on frequent basis.

The plant is known to oxygenate the water and removal of excess nutrients and harmful wastes. You can either keep its roots planted to the base or set it free. This can work either ways.  

The only setback is that this plant is known to shed needles which may hamper other components of the tank. You might have to clear them alongside which means that this plant requires a lot of maintenance.


  • Extremely pleasing in looks
  • Remove excess and waste nutrients from the water
  • Improves water quality and oxygenate it
  • Compatible with various water temperatures


  • Requires a lot of maintenance
  • Excessively fast growth will require frequent pruning
  • Not suitable for smaller tanks

5. Java Moss

Java Moss
  • Aquarium Size: Large
  • pH Level: 5.0 – 8.0
  • Water Temperature: 56° – 86° F
  • Light Conditions: Low

This is yet another highly popular aquatic plant that people prefer buying because of low maintenance. It is easy to grow and also does not demand a lot from the keepers.

The beautiful looking plant is easily available at economical price. One of the key characteristics of this foliage is that it can grow in various water temperatures. The light requirement is less so you don’t have to invest in high intensity lights.

It is a great plant that also provide hiding space for the younger fishes. You can either append the plant to the driftwood or let it float freely.

While everything about this plant is great, you cannot prevent the growth of algae on the moss. Also, it become really difficult to remove the algae later.


  • Can survive in various temperature conditions
  • Extremely beautiful-looking plant
  • Economically priced
  • Maintenance is quite less


  • Algae usually grows on the moss

Buy on Amazon: Aquatic Arts Java Moss

6. Azolla  

  • Aquarium Size: Large
  • pH Level: 4.5 – 7.0
  • Water Temperature: 64° – 82° F
  • Light Conditions: Low

Azolla is also recognized as Mosquito Fern and a common floating plant used by various aquarists. This keeps to the surface of water and has to be placed in the fern group.

This plant is known to bring colours to the aquarium. The stems arrive in various shades of red and ultimately turn green.

Just like various other floating plant, Azolla also provide hiding space to the fish in the tank. However, the growth of this plant is extremely dense and should be trimmed on regular basis.

If you are unable to do so then the growth will cover the entire water surface, prohibiting the light to get inside to other plants inside the aquarium. This will hamper the growth of all the other plants inside the tank.


  • Extremely beautiful foliage
  • Bring various colours to the aquarium
  • Provide great hiding space to the fishes


  • Massive growth and should be trimmed on regular basis
  • Dense in structure which will restrict the entrance of light


The need of every buyer is dissimilar. Some people don’t have enough time to give to the aquarium plants. That is why they require less demanding and easy to maintain plants such as Duckweed, or Amazon Frogbit that hardly require any help from the keepers.

But we also recommend the plants that may require additional efforts such as Azolla or Hornwort but the foliage is quite impressive and beneficial for the water.

All these are top floating aquarium plants that you should consider buying whether you are on a budget or want something easy yet highly presentable. Happy Shopping!

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