Whimsical aquariums often include an array of plastic plants or flowers, and while some fish enthusiasts may genuinely prefer the look of fake plants along with their low maintenance profiles, a majority of tropical fish owners prefer living plants that help with water quality and provide a more natural environment for fish.

So, what are the best plants for your aquarium?

Freshwater fish tanks can accommodate a wide range of plant types, some of which can grow very large to create ample hiding spaces for tank inhabitants. Knowing which types of plants are best for a given setup is necessary in order to prevent potential inter-species problems, and to get the most benefit from aquarium greenery. Some of the hardiest aquarium plants that are also the easiest to care for are included below, and can make great starting points for new tanks.

The Amazon Sword Plant is a visually impressive species that performs well in many different types of tanks, and will be appreciated by most types of fish. The plant can grow up to about twenty inches, which makes it suitable for medium and large tanks, though smaller setups may require regular trimming. The plant can be placed in gravel and other loose bottom substances, and will appreciate the occasional iron supplement to promote healthy growth.

One of the most easily recognizable tropical fish aquarium plants is the Java Fern, a plant that in its traditional form produces large, bright green leaves with pointed tips. New varieties have been produced with narrow leaves, spiral leaves or finely branched leaves. These plants can add an exotic look to nearly any tank, and are among the simplest to care for just tucking the rhizomes under some drift wood or rocks can produce great results with minimal maintenance.

Pearl Grass is another popular choice thanks to its ability to create a lush, full appearance without too much upkeep. Able to be planted in clay and sand based substrates or other types of aquarium bottoms with proper nutrients, this plant will help provide ample cover for fish that like to nestle in greenery, and will also make your aquarium more attractive.

Choosing the right plants for your fish tanks may be one of the less demanding tasks involved in aquarium maintenance, but it should still receive fair consideration and research before you start putting down roots. If you remember that keeping an ecosystem running well is your primary task, your incorporation of live plants is sure to work well.