One of the best ways to start creating an aquarium setup is by choosing fast growing aquarium plants that are easy to take care of and will thrive under your beginner-level care if you’re interested in it but aren’t sure what to put in.
You may be an aquarium enthusiast with years of experience, or you might have just recently decided to start your very own aquatic ecosystem at home. Either way, the number one question on your mind will likely be, What are the best fast growing aquarium plants available?
Aquariums are fantastic ways to bring the beauty of underwater life into your home. They’re calming and meditative, especially when you have the right kind of fish and plants in them. However, even the best aquariums won’t look so good if you don’t keep up with regular water changes and cleanings, but that doesn’t mean you can only grow standard-issue aquarium plants in them!
Your aquarium plants are constantly growing, and you might notice that not all of them grow at the same pace. Some of them grow really slowly, and some actually die after just a few weeks or months in your fish tank.
If you’re looking for fast growing aquarium plants that are perfect for beginner aquarists, you might want to give these 15 species a try!
Fast growing aquarium plants for beginners
Echinodorus bleheri (Amazon Sword Plant)
Echinodorus bleheri is one of the most popular aquarium plants due to its broad leaf and tall stature. It can grow up to 5-6 feet in height, making it perfect for those with limited tank space.
The Amazon Sword Plant is often used as a background plant, but can also provide a great foreground accent with its large leaves reaching out into the water column. Another benefit of this plant is that it does not require much lighting or fertilization.
However, because it does require higher levels of carbon dioxide and nitrates than other species, an airstone should be added to the tank when setting up an Echinodorus bleheri planted aquarium.
Limnobium laevigatum (Amazon Frogbit)
Limnobium laevigatum, also known as Amazon frogbit, is a great option for beginners looking for plants that are easy to maintain. It grows well in low-light conditions and has an established reputation as one of the hardiest aquarium plants.
In addition, it will continue growing even if you forget about it for months at a time! The only downside to this plant is its distinctive smell; some people find it unpleasant.
Sagittaria subulata (Dwarf Sagittaria Carpet)
Sagittaria subulata is a popular aquarium plant because it’s easy to take care of and can grow in a variety of conditions. It’s a carpet plant, which means it spreads out rather than grows up. This makes it perfect for beginners looking to add some instant green without worrying about trimming or pruning.
The dwarf sagittaria carpet will spread slowly, so it won’t cover too much surface area in your tank. If you need to remove the plant from the tank, simply pull on the leaves to detach it from the base without any roots getting caught and tear off any other root systems that are growing on top of one another.
You’ll want to wait until new growth appears before adding it back into the tank. At around three inches tall, this plant doesn’t require much light, making it an excellent choice for tanks with little space for taller plants.
Vesicularia dubyana (Java Moss)
Vesicularia dubyana is one of the most popular aquarium plants. It has a slow growth rate, but it can be propagated quickly by dividing the plant in half. It’s great for use in any freshwater or saltwater aquarium and is often used as a carpeting plant.
The Java moss requires low light levels, making it perfect for setups with minimal lighting. Additionally, Java moss has many other benefits: it can be used to remove toxic ammonia from the water and reduce nitrates; this plant helps reduce algae by competing with algae spores; also because it doesn’t have roots (and therefore no competition), Java moss gives fish more space to swim around without being disturbed.
Ceratophyllum demersum (Coontail Plant Or Rigid Hornwort)
Ceratophyllum demersum, or coontail plant, is a popular aquarium plant for beginners. It is particularly fast-growing and can reach about 4 inches in height within a few weeks of being placed in an aquarium.
This makes it perfect for those who are just starting out with aquatic plants and need instant gratification! In terms of care, Coontail Plant does best in water that ranges from slightly acidic to neutral pH levels. You may want to supplement the substrate in your tank with some peat moss for optimal growth.
Brazilian Pennywort (Hydrocotyle leucocephala)
Brazilian Pennywort is a great plant for beginners because it’s easy to find and hardy. It grows well in low light and can be grown both submerged or on the surface of the water. It’s also one of the few plants that can grow in brackish water (water with a higher salt content).
The leaves are small, round, and green, which helps it go unnoticed by goldfish when grown near the bottom. The only downside to this plant is its short life span: after about six months, most pieces have begun to deteriorate.
Water Wisteria (Hygrophila difformis)
The water wisteria is a popular choice for aquariums because it is an extremely fast growing plant. In fact, this plant can grow to be over 3ft in just a few weeks! The best part about water wisteria is that it does not need much light to survive.
It will grow without any trouble in shaded areas of the tank, but it will also do well in sunny spots if you provide supplemental lighting. You might have noticed from looking at your own plants at home, different plants require different amounts of sunlight and nutrients depending on their needs. Keep this in mind when designing your fish tank so all of your plants are able to thrive and grow together as a community.
Marsilea hirsuta (Bristly Water Clover)
Marsilea hirsuta is a popular aquarium plant that grows well in low light. This hardy plant can grow in just about any water condition and usually grows at a fast rate. If you want to know more about this interesting aquatic plant, read on!
Marsilea hirsuta is an easy-to-grow aquatic plant that likes a lot of sunlight. It can grow in any type of water but it does best with soft, clean water without high levels of carbon dioxide. You may also see this plant referred to as Bristly Water Clover or Water Pennywort. Its most common use is as an oxygenator for fish tanks but has other uses as well.
Lilaeopsis brasiliensis (Brazil Sword Plant)
The Lilaeopsis brasiliensis is an aquatic flowering plant that is native to South America. It grows on the surface of the water and can float or root in mud or sand. The sword-shaped leaves are emerald green, with bright red petioles, and can grow up to six feet long.
It does not need CO2 injection, but prefers slow-moving water and a high level of light. It can also be used as a foreground plant because it will make your tank look more lively and create depth.
Hygrophila corymbosa (Giant Hygro)
Hygrophila corymbosa, also known as Giant Hygro, is one of the most popular plants in the aquarium trade. One of the reasons for this popularity is its fast growth and low maintenance requirements.
This plant will grow quickly and can easily adapt to different conditions in an aquarium. It’s very tolerant to both light and water levels, which makes it a perfect beginner plant. When planted in the ground, the Giant Hygro prefers medium-light and medium-water levels.
In the tank, however, it’s pretty much impossible to provide these specific needs. The best way to make sure your plant stays healthy is by replanting every 2 weeks. Other than that, you won’t need to do much else besides keep your tank clean and change water regularly.
Lemna minor (Common Duckweed Plant)
Lemna minor is a very common and popular aquarium plant. The only downside to this plant is that it can be invasive in your tank, so you will have to keep it trimmed to control the growth. It looks great floating on the surface of the water or even just sitting on the bottom of your tank.
You can also place this plant on top of stones or other submerged objects if you want it to cover those as well. There are many different varieties of lemna minor with some being larger than others. When purchasing this plant make sure to read the information about what type you are buying and its size.
Egeria densa (Brazilian Waterweed)
Egeria densa is a fast-growing aquarium plant that does well in both freshwater and saltwater. It is hardy and easy to maintain, making it the perfect choice for beginners who are just starting out with their first aquarium.
It can grow up to 12 inches long, so make sure to keep your aquarium well-watered for optimal growth.
The long leaves are dark green on top and a lighter green below, which helps this plant blend into the background of your tank nicely. Due to its ability to grow easily and quickly, you may need to trim its shoots regularly, or else it will quickly overgrow your tank.
Aponogeton crispus (Ruffled Sword Plant)
Aponogeton crispus is a popular plant with a lot of character. Its leaves are shaped like ruffles and it has spikes that grow upward on the stem. The word crispus means curly or crinkled, which is what this plant’s leaves do when they get too much light. Aponogeton crispus can grow up to two feet tall, so be sure to have enough room for it before buying.
It does well in low-light conditions but grows taller in more intense lighting. It prefers warmer temperatures, ranging from 70°F to 80°F. It will only grow under these conditions. Aponogeton crispus is one of the best plants for beginners because it requires very little maintenance and will live even if you forget to feed it every once in a while!
Setaria viridis (Green Foxtail Grass)
Setaria viridis, more commonly known as Green Foxtail Grass, is a great choice for beginner aquarists.
This plant can grow up to twelve inches high and is made up of long, thin green leaves that spread across the surface of the aquarium substrate. With regular trimming and care, it will flourish and provide excellent hiding places for your fish.
It grows best in low-light conditions so if you’re worried about getting enough light, this plant is perfect for you.
This species grows at an average rate and thrives in freshwater with temperatures between 22-25 degrees Celsius (72-77 degrees Fahrenheit). It prefers less acidic conditions but doesn’t require a specific pH level.