Top 5 Plants for a Low-Tech Planted Aquarium (Video)

What plants are best suited for low-tech planted tanks? Thomas, our Aquatics Expert, gives you his TOP FIVE favorites!

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Top 5 Plants for a Low-Tech Planted Aquarium (Video)

  1. Adri Deleon

    probably a dumb question. but do you have to remove fish to put the plants? and what do you need for plants to grow in gravel?

    Reply
  2. Captain Van

    Big Al's store…i was disappointed you weren't wearing the chicken suit… really good video, cool set up, quite informative & a damn well cool at that, love the humour thing you've got going on….Do i need to say we want more? Keep 'em coming. ; )

    Reply
  3. Creative Journeys

    Is there any plant I can use that does not need any extra attention. I don't want to deal with the co2

    Reply
    1. Big Al's

      Anubias are your safest bet – Just make sure not to use overly bright lighting if you aren't providing CO2.

      Reply
    1. Big Al's

      They even do well in high tech tanks, but there are forgiving enough for low tech as well. Great plants no matter what your skill level, really!

      Reply
  4. Golden State Warriors Fan

    I have a 20 gallon long with a pair German blue rams i would like to add live plants i am afraid of using CO2 i heard CO2 is bad for rams any advice ??

    Reply
    1. IŹŹY MØNTANA

      Joseph Jones not really.. avoid fine substrates like sand or something otherwise your fish will pull them up if they aren't tied down, you can always order some plant substrate from amazon your plants will love you!

      Reply
    2. Neon Tetra Aquarist

      Joseph Jones Seachem Flourite is a great and cost effective method! The one he is using in the video is Flourite Red.

      Reply
  5. bonez bonez

    well said man, very nice video… I have a 10 gallon tank, I've had anubius b4 an banana plant wich is similar… there very pretty an actually grow quite well… I'm in the process of redoing my tank now… had alot of algae n stuff in there… I took alot of my rocks out an I'm soaking some wood for the tank… but great videos man, I've learned a few things I didn't know… I'm still semi new as u would call it… but I love fish an tanks, an got attached to mine… it use to look beautiful, then it went to crap an i haven't done anything with it in a while, just let it run… so I'm in the cleaning process n stuff an aquascaping it a little bit diff… keep the videos coming man… maybe do one on driftwood an logs for the aquarium if u haven't yet…

    Reply
    1. bonez bonez

      Np man… I see a lot of people now days going with a more natural look in there tank… expecially with driftwood an all… bust most don't know how to cure an clean it to have it ready… expecially seeing alot of people using slate rock as well… wich looks nice to tank an a great added touch…

      Reply
  6. Eve Munoz

    I like the look of subwassertang and vallisneria asiatica (like jungle vallisneria in the video- but doesn't grow as tall and has gently twisted leaves). Max height for the asiatica Val is 12-14 inches. Perfect for most 10-30 gallon tanks! Jungle Val grows crazy long so it will give a canopy effect if that is what you like.

    Reply
  7. Sharon Alvarez

    I don't have any substrate dirt in my 10 gallon tank I have gravel and will like to keep it can some of these plants You just mention be planted under the gravel? thanks

    Reply
  8. IŹŹY MØNTANA

    Is there a low tech carpet plant? Something that will grow reasonably fast? I've ordered some Co2 but it'll take a while to arrive so would like something that isn't too reliant on co2….

    Reply
    1. WoundrousMindTrick

      Not easy to get a true low tech carpet. Easiest is dwarf sag or a moss. The sag can get high though.
      I've seen true carpet plants like monte carlo, some marsilea species and elatine hydropiper grown successfully without CO2 if the other conditions are right for the species but it's a gamble.
      Best way to grow a low tech carpet is to do a dry start using a rich substrate and let it fully carpet before flooding and then avoid fast growing species that compete for CO2 with the carpet species. Monte carlo is a good dry start species.

      Reply
    1. Bob J-M Gervais

      ive tried bamboo and it's true the goldfish don,t attack it, but unfortunatly, the leafs where submerge by the water. It didin't die but i notice it wasn't doing well… maybe if the bamboo was bigger it could work :). they definitivly don,t destroy it. the problem with duckweed is that it get stuck in hang in back filter. maybe in a pound or with another type of filtration it would do well? anyway, thanks a lot for your answer :). sadly my aquarium don't seem to be suitable for does, but you are definitivly right :). Do you have a youtube channel about fishkeeping? I could check it out and support it if you want :). i also do some videos about my goldfish aquarium, maybe it would help you to suggest me others plants as well? 🙂

      Reply
  9. pusc1f3r

    My only issue with val is if it likes your tank you'll never get rid of it, it's the snail of plant… My preference would be tiger lotus.

    Reply
    1. Neon Tetra Aquarist

      Téa Lafabiana Hi there! Thanks for doing your research before diving right in to this hobby! Seachem makes some great substrates but there are some other great one out there. Other options are to dose liquid or dry (dry can be complicated) fertilizers or to use an inert (or no nutrient value or phone changer) substrate with root tabs! I hope this helps bud?

      Reply
    1. WoundrousMindTrick

      Healthy plants in an aquarium will never produce dead fish.
      If the plants are dying and decomposing in your tank it can be a problem and create an ammonium spike if your filter can't handle it. Ammonium can kill fish.

      Reply
  10. Penny Drake

    Hi what plant would you recommend for a sailfin pleco? What is the length of them. As long as your arm,hand etc. Videos don't show with a yard stick to compare. Plz help. thx

    Reply
  11. anthony Pope

    Hi I just want to ask can you put java moss into the substrate or would you just lie it on the substrate cheers happy fish keeping

    Reply
    1. WoundrousMindTrick

      Anubias doesn't demand much light, ferts or CO2. You can't give them too much light however in a non CO2 tank as you get green spot algae and possibly other algae like BBA.

      Reply
    1. WoundrousMindTrick

      You want low demanding fast growing stem plants like most Hygrophila species and Rotala rotundifolia and Limnophila sessiliflora. These plants will absorb nutrients like nitrate very fast and help stabilize your tank.

      Reply
    2. Nix C

      galaxy star how's your lighting? For beginner "low to moderate lighting" ludwigia repens or narrow leaf ludwigia or red Ludwigia are very easy. As mentioned too, hygrophila are very easy to care for with no special lighting (illegal in some states as they are an invasive species and grow like crazy in streams/rivers when hobbyists flush/throw them out.) jungle Val is very easy and in a year you tank will also be pretty much taken over with "runners" or baby plants and you don't need to worry about propagation because the plant is self propagating (same with saggitaria and crypts but crypts are VERY slow growing.) When it comes to plants the most important thing is lighting. I never use CO2 and ferts and 3 of my tanks are overgrown with "easy plants" checkout my Instagram: Zenaquarist so we can share info and progress 🙂

      Reply
  12. Matt S

    Hey Thomas. seems like you really know you're stuff. watched a few vid's. do you think it is suitable to use a Koralia Wave Maker for a low tech 50G planted tank. I have 2 Blue Rams, 4 Rosy Barbs, 1 Bristlenose Catfish, and 2 Red Finned danios. Plant species include thus far Anubias Nana, and Amazon Sword. Thankyou.

    Reply
    1. Thomas B

      A smaller one would work well for extra circulation. They provide a gentle wide-spread flow pattern, while still turning over a lot of water. Just avoid rippling the surface too much as it will degas your CO2. 🙂

      Reply
  13. No Thanks

    Don't put java moss in your tank. You have to completely break your tank down to get it out. Exception being you want an all java moss tank.

    Reply
  14. Vaibhav Patel

    there is only normal stones on layer ? I wann 2 plant jungal val, amzon sword, java moss so I need fertiliser liquid or fertiliser layer on base ? or any substrate ?

    Reply
  15. Tommy Tse

    I've been here before, it's the chain store at Vaughan mills. love the plants there. the people are really nice and especially informative. many of the other places that sells aquatic plants doesn't know what they are talking about but you won't find that problem here

    Reply
    1. Big Al's

      We're so happy you enjoy our Vaughan store– we'll be sure to pass on your praise to the folks over there 🙂

      Reply
  16. Xeno Marc

    Hello, I'm interested in getting a fish tank. Can these plants be used in a sand substrate? Thanks for the great vid 🙂

    Reply
  17. Mohd Imtiyaz

    Hi bro,is it co2 tablet safe for plant,fish,and shrimp? I have plant some japanese hairgrass and anubias,,i affraid will die if not enough co2..some say need co2 some say not..they suggest me a root tab..thanks for answer me

    Reply
  18. kawasaki000000000000

    it would be great to show hot to treat these plants when you get them for snails as I purchased some and now I can't seem to rid of the snails

    Reply
  19. Noel Kavanagh

    I'm starting a new tropical tank and have never used live plants before.Should I decide what fish I want to put into it first and then decide what plants and substrate or does it really matter.Its a 180 litre tank .

    Reply
  20. Javier Espinoza

    I have planted anubias and java fern on my tank and I followed directions found here on youtube to glue the rhizome to the rocks they all looked nice and healthy but a week later the leaves are turning yellow on the anubias and brown on the java fern. I am now using liquid CO2 and API Leaf Zone to try to save them but I don't see any changes, do you have any tips?

    Reply
  21. Matarese28

    I've been looking everywhere for Java moss and I can't seem to find it, I checked my LFS, none, I checked some aquarium websites, NOTHING, I could only find it on amazon for a bit over my price range

    Reply
  22. Fresh Falcon

    Excellent video as always.
    Do these plants "spread"…as in, if I buy one of each for a big tank, will they eventually be able to multiply and fill more space (sort of like a mint plant in the garden…makes many offshoots which can be replanted elsewhere .)

    Reply
  23. Predatorboy92

    Hi, do I need some sort of gravel for the jungle val? And is it a beginner's plant? Do snails grow on them of so how do I prevent it? Thanks

    Reply
  24. Luke Smith

    jungle val seems like it needs a lot. I just got mine and it is dying. I use a bright led light also have a great substrate and i dose it with phosphorus

    Reply
  25. Detra Isham

    At petco I saw some betta bulbs. Could I use those for betta?
    I'm just asking because a lot of things at petco for bettas aren't really okay for them.??

    Reply
  26. Владимир пушкин

    My amazon sword is doing very well in my sand aquarium, its already sprouding some new leaves befor i put the root tabs in…just make sure u get root tabs though

    Reply

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