9 Best Low Light Aquarium Plants You Need to Know

Best Low Light Aquarium Plant

Aquarium plants give real-life experience of the wild to the fishes. There are different kind of plants available to be installed in an aquarium, low light plants being the finest choice to make.

The best low light aquarium plants are also known as the easy plants because these are less in maintenance and can easily thrive in low light. These can thrive in less than or equal to 2 watts per gallon.    

Plus, these also don’t require any specific pH level of the water or a certain temperature condition. But like any other under water plant, they are great in sanitizing the water and maintaining oxygen in it to the good health of the fishes.

Considering the high fondness of low light plants, we will here suggest some of the greatest options that you can consider installing in the aquarium.

9 Best Low Light Aquarium Plants

For most of the good low light aquarium plants, the level of care is less. However, in the below content, we will put together all kind of options.

1.  Java Moss

Java Moss
  • Compatibility: Large Aquariums
  • Level of Care: Beginner

Without a doubt, Java Moss is an easy low light aquarium plant which is quite suitable for the beginners. This one is also ranged among floating plants because you can let it float on the surface as well while roots stay in the substrate.

There is no need of specific water conditions for the plant to thrive. Also, the light requirement is low. The ambience created by the plant is quite homely for the fish, especially shrimp.

The growth of the plant is quite rapid and you may have to trim it frequently. Without any constant maintenance, the plant grows and sometimes comes out of the surface.

One thing that you should be pretty careful about is that it should not be exposed to high light. Otherwise, the moss will obtain algae and the water will eventually contaminate.


  • Low lighting requirement
  • Dense growth adds a stunning element to the aquarium
  • Give homely environment to the fish
  • Suitable for the beginners


  • Algae may appear on the moss
  • Fast growth will require frequent trimming

Buy on Amazon: Aquatic Arts Java Moss

2. Anubias

Anubias Nana
  • Compatibility: All Size Aquariums
  • Level of Care: Beginner

Unlike Java Moss, the Anubias is not very dense or takes a lot of space. Thus, it is suitable for smaller aquariums as well. But the common traits are that this is also easy plant and quite convenient to maintain.

You can find it in various rivers, marshes, streams, etc. and its tendency to grow without any care makes this the best low light aquarium plant for beginner.

The growth is not fast at all so this means you don’t have to trim it a lot. Plus, there is no specific water quality such as temperature or pH level for this plant to grow.

You can add it to the driftwood or any other accessory in the tank. All other things are great with this plant but you will find it little expensive than others available in the market.


  • The maintenance cost is negligible
  • Does not require specific water pH level
  • Great option for beginners
  • Can easily fit in all kind of aquariums


  • Growth is too slow
  • Expensive compared with others in the market

3. Java Fern

Java Fern
  • Compatibility: Large Aquariums
  • Level of Care: Beginner

While Java Fern has impeccable appeal but the tall leaves are simply not suitable for small aquariums. The growth is too fast and within days, they will go beyond the water level. So, as much as you like this plant, it is not for the smaller aquarium keepers.

But of course, the care need of this plant is also quite minimal so the beginners can surely have it. Everything about this plant is quite amazing however, while handling the roots, you have to be extra vigilant. Just make sure that nothing goes wrong with the rhizomes.

The propagation process is easy and does not require expensive fertilizers for this. The plant itself shed spores that sits on the bottom and new growth commences. This is one of the most affordable plants available.


  • Quite cost effective
  • Makes the aquarium look quite pleasant
  • Easy propagation
  • Does not require any fertilizers


  • Not recommended for small aquariums
  • Roots should be handled very carefully

Buy on Amazon: Aquatic Arts Java Fern

4. Vallisneria 

  • Compatibility: Large Aquariums
  • Level of Care: Beginner

The tall bush like appearance of this plant makes it unique from the counterparts. Technically, it has grass-like look that can be a perfect accessory to the aquarium which is also suitably priced.

People also address this one as eelgrass. Maintenance of this plant is quite less so it will not trouble the keeper. However, the growth is quite fast. You should be ready with a pruner all the time and prim the overgrowth.

Other than the trimming, the plant ask for no added fertilizers and the life is also long. We don’t recommend this to be the only plant in the aquarium. However, this can complement various others and look stunning.


  • Not too expensive
  • Beautiful large leaves
  • Don’t need any specific care


  • Leave grow really fast so you need routine trimming

5. Sagittaria 

  • Compatibility: All Size Aquariums
  • Level of Care: Beginner

Simplicity of Sagittaria is simply commendable as it calls for least amount of maintenance from the keeper. Why people prefer this plant is because they don’t have to devote any time taking care of it.

The bright green colour and lush presentation adds a perfect hue to the aquarium. The size is relatively small and the growth is also controlled. You don’t have to make any excessive attempt in maintaining the plant.

The light requirement is low and it can thrive in all kind of water conditions as well. Just make sure that the plant is not exposed to excessive light or else it will react badly.


  • Suitable for all sizes of aquariums
  • Does not require any extra efforts in maintenance
  • Great for the beginners
  • Does not need special water conditions to thrive


  • Excessive light will damage the plant

6. Sunset Hygro 

Sunset Hygro
  • Compatibility: All Size Aquariums
  • Level of Care: Beginners   

If you want to add variety and colour to your aquarium then Sunset Hygro is a perfect addition to make. The plant is mostly present in rivers, ponds, lakes, and streams.

The growth is quite easy and the natural colour comes as a result of mild lighting and limited nitrate level of the water. It can bring colours such as red, orange and even pink on the leaves.

The pH level of water may vary and also it is compatible with different temperature conditions as well. Maintenance is quite easy as you don’t have to make any special efforts to help the plant thrive.

Also, there is no specific substrate need as you can plant the stem in any substrate and it will grow. But a virus of white vein can appear on the leaves which can contaminate the water. This is with the result of excessive lighting. So, you should be careful.


  • Bring more colours to the aquarium
  • Can thrive in various water temperatures
  • Easy to grow and maintain
  • Size compatible with all kind of aquariums


  • Virus in the form of white veins appear on the leaves that can hamper water quality

7. Rotala Indica 

Rotala Indica
  • Compatibility: All Size Aquariums
  • Level of Care: Beginner    

The shape of Rotala Indica is upright and with 4 beautiful sepals that turns pink with a green stem. This plant is widely found in Asia, however now the cultivation has also started in other regions as well.

The plant requires meagre maintenance as it can thrive in most of the typical water conditions. You have to plant it directly on the substrate that can contain a thin layer of gravel.

The growth is quite swift and you may have to be hands on for the pruning. If not, it will transform in a bushy self that make a great place for hiding for the fish but it will take a lot of space in the aquarium, maybe even getting over the water surface as well.

The tank should have high phosphate level, high iron dosage that will result in intensifying the colouration in the plant.

The plant is sensitive and breakable and should not be installed in an aquarium with large fish.


  • Grows up in mesmerizing shades of green and pink
  • No specific care requirements
  • Colours can easily be intensified
  • Great for all kind of aquariums


  • May require frequent pruning
  • Sensitive and should not be used in a tank with big fish

8. Hornwort 

  • Compatibility: Large Aquariums
  • Level of Care: Intermediate   

Hornwort is a spectacular looking green foliage that the aquarium keepers must have. The water pH requirement is 6.0 – 7.5 that should be maintained to safeguard best growth.

The plant takes shape of densely packed long leaves that gives a perfect hiding spot to the fishes. The growth is also too fast so you just have to prune it every now and then. It can grow up to the length of 6 ft, making this completely unfitting choice for small aquariums.

This one will help in generation of oxygen in the tank that removes excessive and wasteful nutrients and also sanitize the water. This can be a floating plant or appended to the base. It can work great in both the conditions.

While Hornwort does not require usage of any special and expensive fertilizers for growth and maintenance, it is known to shed needles that has to be cleared immediately. That’s the high maintenance this plant will demand.


  • The foliage looks great
  • Helps in removing wasteful and excessive nutrients in the water
  • Oxygenate the water
  • Good to thrive in various water temperatures


  • Requires a lot of maintenance
  • Growth is too fast so you have to regularly trim

9. Bacopa

  • Compatibility: Large Aquariums
  • Level of Care: Beginners    

Bacopa is one of the widely liked and best freshwater low light aquarium plant that does not ask for a lot of upkeep. It is quite popular among the beginners because of the easy handling.

Considering the size of the stem and the leaves plus the hardiness, this plant works as furniture for the fish and a great place for hiding and laying eggs.

Also, the growth is slow so you don’t have to be ready with the pruner and keep pruning the overgrowth. It can thrive well in various water temperature conditions and also demand low light for growth.

Categorized as one of the most decorative plants, this is certainly a great addition to the aquarium. With the beautiful natural colours that appear on the leaves, you will find it extremely attractive.

The propagation is also easy but the wide size of the leaves make it completely unsuitable for small aquariums.


  • Most suitable for the beginners
  • Easy propagation
  • Does not require special handling
  • Acts as a hiding place for the fishes


  • Large leaf size makes it unfit for smaller aquariums


The Low light plants demands for less maintenance. That is why, more people are interested in having best low light aquarium plants than any other variety.

Most of these plants have rapid growth. So, the only maintenance task that you have to do is to trim them frequently. Other than that, they hardly need any fertilizers for growth.

You will enjoy having the low light foliage in aquarium and also enjoy the little care that you have to give. All the recommendations made above are economically priced and will suit your needs.

Make any selection from above and you will surely like your aquarium better than before. Happy Shopping!

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