One of the most effective ways to bring out the color in your tank is by choosing red aquarium plants to accent your fish and tank décor. Note that I’m not saying the plants in this list are the hardiest or easiest plants to care for; it’s simply a list of red aquarium plants that are popular among aquarists, whether they are beginners or advanced hobbyists.
Starting an aquarium can be an exciting experience, but it can also be tricky if you don’t know much about maintaining and caring for aquatic animals. Although there are tons of different varieties of fish, the plants in your tank might be the most important aspect of keeping your pets healthy and happy.
An aquarium with live plants provides an extra dimension to the underwater world you’ve created, and the vibrant reds of these aquarium plants offer just that! Whether you’re just starting out with a freshwater or saltwater aquarium or are looking to add some new plants to your existing setup, these red aquarium plants offer brilliant hues that will help make your tank really stand out from the crowd.
Popular red aquarium plants
Alternanthera Reineckii (Scarlet Temple Plant)
Also known as Magenta Water Hedge, one of the most popular red plants for aquariums is Alternanthera Reineckii. This plant has a green stem and leaves with red undersides, and its flowers are also bright red. It is best suited for mid-level light but can grow in lower levels as well.
Alternanthera Reineckii prefers to be planted in soil with a little bit of sand at the top and water level so that it cannot get too wet or dry. The Scarlet Temple Plant grows up to 8 inches tall, making it perfect for hiding small fish from view.
In order to maintain this plant’s coloration, fertilizer should be used every few weeks; however, if it starts looking yellowish-brown or straw-colored then fertilizer should not be given until new growth starts.
Red Tiger Lotus (Nypmhaea Zenkeri)
Red Tiger Lotus is a slow-growing, shade-tolerant plant that is one of the most common aquarium plants. This low-maintenance plant requires very little light and can live for up to three years.
This hardy aquatic plant does well in a range of water conditions, from soft to hard, and prefers medium to low light levels. It’s also great for beginners because it can grow in fresh or saltwater conditions and doesn’t need much care. The red tiger lotus has wide leaves that will do best with moderate water movement so be sure to keep this in mind if you plan on placing it near an outlet.
If you’re looking for a decorative plant, the red tiger lotus will add some eye-catching color to your tank.
Rotala Yao Yai
This plant gets long and thin leaves that are a brilliant shade of red. The leaves grow vertically up the stem and they’re shaped like little hands with fingers curled inward. It looks really delicate, so it might be best to keep it in a low-light area or near the surface of the water where it doesn’t have to compete for light with other plants.
It will also do well in a tank without too many other tall plants that would block out its sunlight.
Rotala Yao Yai also makes a great plant for beginners because it grows relatively slowly and is easy to take care of, plus it has really vibrant colors that make your aquarium look lively!
It’s important to keep in mind that this plant is sensitive to copper, ammonia, nitrates, high temperatures, and salt levels. If you notice any leaf discoloration (brown spots) then move the plant to another location or change the water completely before anything else happens.
Rotala Macrandra (Rose Red Rotala)
Many aquascaping enthusiasts love the Rotala Macrandra (Rose Red Rotala) because it offers a beautiful contrast to the green plants that are typically found in an aquarium. This plant’s leaves are dark red and its stems are pinkish to white.
It needs quite a bit of light, so you may need to supplement it with additional lighting for optimum growth. The Rotala Macrandra is also one of the best plants for removing nitrate from your aquarium water. If you want something low-maintenance, this might be a good option for you. You can use this plant in many different types of aquariums: saltwater tanks, freshwater tanks, and even planted tanks!
Ludwigia sp. Red
Ludwigia sp. red is a stem plant with narrow, red leaves that can grow up to about 18 inches tall. Ludwigia sp. does not get very large and should be planted in the back of the aquarium where it will provide a vertical accent.
This aquatic plant prefers low lighting levels and would do well in an aquarium that has live plants growing around it. It is a versatile option for beginners as it requires little care and can survive in most water conditions.
It also grows fast, so if you’re looking for something that stays short, this might be the one for you. You will want to replant them every now and then, but they are incredibly resilient!
These are some of the best red aquarium plants for beginners who want their tank to look colorful but still want low-maintenance plants.
Ludwigia repens (Creeping Primrose Willow)
Also known as Red-Leaf Ludwigia, Ludwigia repens is a popular aquarium plant that is easy to maintain and propagates quickly. It can be used as a ground cover and will grow in both shade and sun, but grows best in the shade. The creeping primrose will need weekly fertilization with liquid fertilizer during the summer months when it’s actively growing.
To propagate this plant you will need to remove about six inches of stem and replant it in new soil. Be sure to leave the roots submerged for at least two days before planting it back into your tank. In order for your plant to thrive it needs plenty of iron supplementation and should be placed near an iron-rich rock or clay pottery that has been heavily planted.
Lagenandra Meeboldii Red
Lagenandra Meeboldii is a low-light red aquarium plant that is the perfect choice for beginners. It will thrive with little to no attention, and it’s not picky about water quality.
Plus, because it’s a stem plant, you can cut it back to promote new growth and make your Lagenandra Meeboldii bushier! It’s important to note that any of these plants are capable of producing sharp leaves and spines.
Some fish may eat them, but in general, they don’t pose any real threat to pets or people.
Barclaya longifolia red
Barclaya longifolia is a red plant that grows in a shrub shape and it blooms flowers in the winter. When you think of the word red, you might think of Barclaya longifolia. This plant is very easy to care for and it’s perfect for beginners who want to try their hand at gardening.
The only downside to this plant is that it needs high levels of CO2 which not many people have, but if you do then this would be a great addition to your aquarium. It also needs good lighting so make sure your lights are on for at least 10 hours every day.
Also known as Bacopa red or Bacopa caroliniana red, Bacopa has a bushy habit and grows to about 12 inches tall. You can propagate it by cutting off about 6 inches of stem and planting it in moist soil with the cut end down. It will grow roots on its own and produce new plants that are identical to the original. With time, you’ll have an entire bed or carpet of Bacopa.
Persicaria Sao Paulo
One of the most popular red aquarium plants is Persicaria Sao Paulo, also known as Brazilian waterweed. This plant can grow up to 18 inches tall and has a bushy appearance. It comes in two different forms: either with a reddish stem or with a green stem.
The best way to keep this plant alive is by tying it up onto driftwood or another type of prop that will allow it to float freely in your tank. As long as you give it enough light and CO2, this plant should thrive for months.
You’ll need an iron-rich substrate for this plant because iron helps promote root development. When you purchase these plants from pet stores, they may already have tiny white roots on them when you get them home – which means they are ready to be planted!
Myriophyllum Tuberculatum Red (Myriophýllum tuberculátum Roxb)
Myriophyllum Tuberculatum Red is a beautiful freshwater aquarium plant that is fairly easy to take care of. It prefers well-oxygenated water with a pH between 7 and 8.5, so it can be grown in most freshwater tanks.
Furthermore, Myriophyllum Tuberculatum Red grows best under moderate lighting conditions or partial shade. Overall, Myriophyllum Tuberculatum Red is one of the easiest and ideal red aquarium plants for beginners!
The only problem that some people have with this plant is its relatively slow growth. Other than this, the only thing you need to worry about is the algae on the leaves. Just remove it from time to time and your tank will be looking great again in no time!
Ammania Senegalensis (Copper leaf ammania)
The Ammania Senegalensis (Copper leaf ammania) is a beautiful plant that does well in low light and is also able to grow in water. It is one of the most popular aquarium plants for beginners because it is hardy, easy to care for, and attractive.
The other good quality about this plant is that it’s not a demanding type which means that you don’t have to do much in order for it to stay healthy. Additionally, this variety will help reduce nitrates and provide oxygen while filtering out CO2. If you’re looking for an easier way to care for your plants, then look no further than the copper leaf ammania!
Echinodorus Red Devil
Red aquarium plants are a lovely addition to any aquarium. They provide contrast and color, as well as help, keep the water clean by absorbing nitrates from it. Echinodorus Red Devil is among the best red plants for beginner aquarists, because it is tolerant of lower light levels and low-to-moderate temperatures.
It does require a bit more care than other varieties, but beginners are likely to be more successful with this plant than with others. When it’s time to trim or repot, use scissors rather than pruning shears or scissors so you don’t accidentally remove too much at once.
You can propagate new plants by splitting off one side of the root system into another pot; only do this when there are already plenty of roots in both pots.
Rotala Indica (Indian toothcup)
Indian toothcup is a popular red aquarium plant for beginners because it’s so easy to grow. It can tolerate the conditions in the home aquarium, but also be grown in outdoor water gardens. It’s a low-growing plant with beautiful red leaves and white flowers that are reminiscent of water lilies.
The leaves are long and thin, giving it an elegant look and feel. Its versatility makes it a great choice for any beginner looking to add some color to their tank. They will do well with strong lighting, but they need plenty of oxygen as well. They prefer having shallow waters and thrive when given fertilizer at least once a week.
Ludwigia Palustris (Ludwigia ‘Mini Super Red’)
Ludwigia Palustris is one of the best red aquarium plants for beginners. Not only is this plant relatively inexpensive, but it’s also very easy to grow and takes care of itself. The vibrant color of this plant makes it stand out amongst other green foliage and the compact growth habit means that you can create a nice border with just two or three Ludwigia Palustris plants.
When planting your Ludwigia Palustris, make sure to place them in the foreground of your tank so they get enough light. In general, these plants should be planted at least 2-4 inches deep in an area with good water flow. These plants require plenty of nutrients from both nitrates and phosphates so make sure to add liquid fertilizer every other week.
Ammania Gracilis (Red ammannia)
Ammania Gracilis, also known as red ammannia, is a slow-growing plant that is perfect for beginners. It has heart-shaped leaves and flowers that can be either white or pink. They thrive in low-light conditions and are easy to maintain.
The downside of this plant is its height: it may grow too tall and need trimming. Another disadvantage of the ammannia gracilis is the thinness of its leaves; they are susceptible to damage if they fall on any rocks or gravel.
Rotala Wallichii (Rotála wallíchii (Hook. f.) Koehne)
Rotala Wallichii is a popular red aquarium plant due to its fast growth, low light requirement, and ability to adapt to many conditions. It can grow in both acidic and alkaline water with a pH range from 4.5 to 8.0.
This plant does not require CO2 injection and will grow in almost any lighting condition including full-spectrum LED lights. The stems of the plant are usually short and bushy which makes it perfect for planting on the surface of the substrate.