Guppy-Friendly Plants For Your Aquarium

what plants to put in a guppy tank

Plants are an essential part of any guppy tank. They help to oxygenate the water, provide hiding spots for baby guppies, and simulate a natural habitat. Mossy plants, such as Java Moss, are a great option as they are hardy, easy to care for, and provide ample space for biofilm to develop. Other options include Flame Moss, Christmas Moss, and Water Sprite, which all offer excellent coverage for baby guppies and protection from adult fish. When choosing plants, it's important to consider the lighting conditions of your tank and select plants that can survive under those conditions.

Characteristics Values
Purpose To simulate a natural habitat for guppies, provide hiding spots for baby guppies, and maintain water quality
Types Mosses (Java Moss, Christmas Moss, Flame Moss), Water Sprite, Hornwort, Amazon Sword, Anubias, Java Fern, Cryptocoryne, Vallisneria Spiralis, Guppy Grass, Mayaca Fluviatilis, Water Lettuce, Duckweed, Najas Guadalupensis
Light Conditions Varied; some plants require low, medium, or high light levels
Maintenance Varied; some plants are low maintenance and hardy, while others require regular trimming and fertilizer
Benefits Provides cover for baby guppies, maintains water quality by absorbing toxins and excess nutrients, serves as spawning sites, and cultivates microfauna for food

petshun

Floating plants for guppies

Floating plants are a great addition to guppy tanks. They are low-maintenance, easy to grow, and beneficial for the tank. They provide cover for guppy fry, help clean the water, and combat algae without the use of chemicals. Here are some of the best floating plants for guppies:

Frogbit

Frogbit is a very easy-to-keep floating plant that reproduces at a significant rate. It grows long, fluffy roots that provide an excellent hiding place for baby guppies. However, it may not be suitable if you have snails in your tank as they can damage or eat the plant.

Dwarf Water Lettuce

Dwarf water lettuce is very similar to frogbit and reproduces in the same way. Its roots can grow long, reaching the bottom of your tank. It is a smaller plant compared to frogbit but can grow pretty large in aquariums with low water flow. Dwarf water lettuce requires good lighting, at least 10 hours a day, to grow healthy.

Salvinia

There are multiple types of salvinia plants, such as salvinia natans, salvinia auriculata, and salvinia minima. This plant grows at a medium rate and requires very high and strong light. It is a very invasive plant and can grow to block all light from other plants. Salvinia has cup-shaped leaves covered by tiny hairs, which help it remain on the water surface.

Red Root Floater

The red root floater is a beautiful floating plant native to Central and South America. It grows and reproduces at a fast rate, creeping and growing mostly in length like a vine. The plant gets its name from its red-colored roots, which develop when certain conditions are met, such as good light and nutrients. This plant requires iron to develop its pinkish-red roots, so regular fertilisation is recommended.

Duckweed

Duckweed is a very invasive plant that multiplies every 24 hours. It is easy to maintain but requires regular maintenance due to its fast growth. Duckweed can cover your entire aquarium in just one week, suffocating other plants and blocking light and oxygen exchange. It is an excellent plant for removing nitrates from the water and combating algae. Duckweed is also a superfood, containing 40% protein and lots of vitamins and minerals, making it a great addition to your guppies' diet.

petshun

Live plants for breeding

Live plants are a great addition to a guppy tank, as they simulate a natural breeding environment and provide safe hiding places for fry, protecting them from hungry adults. They also play a vital role in water purification by absorbing harmful ammonia and nitrite from waste produced by the fish.

Java Moss (Vesicularia Dubyana)

Java Moss is a popular choice for aquarists due to its hardiness and ease of care. It grows slowly, so it doesn't need frequent trimming. It provides shelter for fry and ample space for biofilm to develop, which shrimp can snack on. It can be attached to rocks, driftwood, or other decor, making it a versatile option. It thrives in low light conditions and doesn't need a substrate to grow.

Water Sprite (Ceratopteris Thalictroides)

Water Sprite is a fast-growing plant that helps maintain good water quality by absorbing nitrates and other excess nutrients. It can be left floating at the top of the tank or planted in the substrate. When floating, it spreads out over time, creating a cover for fry to stay hidden from adult fish. It requires adequate lighting to thrive.

Hornwort (Ceratophyllum Demersum)

Hornwort is one of the hardiest aquarium plants and is perfect for breeding guppies. It can be left free-floating or rooted to the substrate. It provides excellent cover for fry, keeping them safe from predators. It is a fast-growing plant even in low-tech setups, helping to improve water quality.

Amazon Sword (Echinodorus Bleheri)

The Amazon Sword is a great option for larger breeding tanks. It can grow up to 20 inches tall, providing dense foliage that creates cover for fry. The large sword-shaped leaves can also act as visual barriers, reducing aggression in the aquarium. It requires decent lighting and preferably a nutrient-rich substrate.

Anubias (Anubias sp)

Anubias are slow-growing, low-maintenance plants that provide a lot of cover for fry. They help maintain good water quality by absorbing excess nutrients. They are epiphyte plants, which means they can be placed in the cracks of rocks or wood to grow but should not be buried under the substrate as it may cause their rhizome to rot. Anubias Nana is a popular choice for guppy tanks as it requires low lighting and helps oxygenate the tank.

Java Fern (Microsorum Pteropus)

Java Ferns are a popular choice for breeding tanks due to their hardiness and ease of care. They can grow up to 14 inches tall, providing shelter for fry and cover for adult fish. Adult breeding pairs can also lay their eggs on these leaves. Java Ferns help maintain water quality by absorbing nitrates and prefer low to moderate lighting conditions.

petshun

Dense plants for baby guppies

Dense plants are essential for baby guppies as they provide hiding spots and cover from adult guppies. They also help to keep the water clean and well-oxygenated. Here are some recommendations for dense plants that are perfect for baby guppies:

Guppy Grass

Guppy Grass, also known as Oxygen Plants, offers dense leaves that provide protection for baby guppies. The tiny fry can swim freely while the parents avoid diving completely into the plant. Guppy Grass can be rooted in the substrate or left floating around the tank. It is a fast-growing plant that requires liquid fertiliser to thrive. It grows tall, making it a good background plant, and its dense foliage provides cover for baby guppies.

Water Sprite

Water Sprite, or Water Fern, is a versatile and simple-to-care-for plant. It can be left floating or planted in the substrate. When planted, it grows into a dense cluster with intricate leaves, providing a secure hideout for baby guppies. It also helps maintain good water quality by absorbing nitrates and other excess nutrients.

Hornwort

Hornwort is a hardy plant with tough leaves that are too difficult for most fish to eat. Its tiny leaves offer excellent refuge for baby guppies, keeping them safe from potential predators. Hornwort can be rooted in the substrate or left free-floating at the top of the tank. It is a fast-growing plant, even in low-tech setups, and helps improve water quality.

Amazon Sword

The Amazon Sword is a dense plant that creates a forest-like effect, making it perfect for baby guppies to hide in. It can grow up to 20 inches tall and is a hardy plant that only requires decent lighting and a nutrient-rich substrate.

Java Moss

Java Moss is a hardy plant that provides lots of hiding spaces for baby guppies. It can grow under any light level but thrives in low to medium light. Java Moss is easy to care for and can be attached to rocks, driftwood, or other aquarium decor.

Cryptocoryne

Cryptocoryne is a slow-growing plant that provides plenty of coverage for baby guppies. It needs to be rooted in a nutrient-rich substrate as it is a heavy root feeder.

petshun

Low-maintenance plants

Guppies are hardy and low-maintenance fish that don't require much attention. Choosing similar plants will keep things simple and improve the success of your aquarium. Here is a list of low-maintenance plants that are easy to maintain and don't require CO2:

Java Moss is a hardy plant that can be left floating in the aquarium or attached to driftwood or rocks. It provides excellent cover for guppy fry and helps filter the water by absorbing excess nutrients. It can grow under any light level but thrives in low to medium light as high light might cause it to grow too dense and lead to algae growth.

Christmas Moss is a slow-growing plant that requires moderate care and occasional trimming to keep it healthy. It grows into branches that resemble Christmas trees and provides excellent coverage for baby guppies.

Marimo Moss Balls are extremely easy to keep and can be attached to driftwood, rocks, or left floating. They help filter the water by absorbing excess nutrients.

Anubias Nana is a slow-growing plant that does well with low to moderate lighting. It has broad leaves that provide relief and hiding spots for guppies. To prevent root rot, it should be tied to rocks or driftwood, rather than buried in the soil.

Hornwort is a versatile plant that can be used in the midground, background, or left floating. It provides cover for guppy fry and aids in water filtration. While it can be planted in the soil, it is a column feeder with small roots that don't anchor well.

Moneywort is a great midground plant for low-tech setups that is adaptable, easy to maintain, and grows steadily. It will grow faster with good lighting but will also do fine with moderate lighting. It is a root feeder, so it should be planted in nutrient-rich soil.

Guppy Grass is a fast-growing plant that requires low to medium light and no CO2 or fertilizer. It grows wild and provides excellent hiding places for fry. To propagate, simply cut a piece and stick it back into the substrate or leave it floating.

petshun

Fast-growing plants

Water Sprite (Ceratopteris Thalictroides)

Water Sprite is a popular choice for a guppy tank due to its bright green colour and versatility. It offers great coverage for fry and can be left to float or planted in the substrate. When left floating, it quickly spreads out and covers the surface of the tank, providing newborn guppies with a safe space away from adult fish. Water Sprite grows best in medium to high light conditions and can be boosted with liquid fertiliser.

Hornwort (Ceratophyllum Demersum)

Hornwort is a hardy plant that can be potted in the substrate or left to float. It is a fast-growing plant with tough leaves that most fish cannot eat. Its tiny leaves provide excellent shelter for young guppies, keeping them safe from predators. Hornwort is especially beneficial for breeding guppies and smaller nano fish species.

Anacharis Elodea Densa (Brazilian Taer Weed)

Anacharis Elodea Densa is a fast-growing plant that can reach up to 8 inches in height. It has dark green stems and plenty of leaves that provide shelter for guppies to lay eggs and for the fry to hide. This plant thrives in most water conditions and grows continuously, so regular trimming is required. It also benefits from liquid fertiliser.

Vallisneria Spiralis

Vallisneria is a fast-growing, grass-like plant that is perfect for larger tanks. It can grow to be 8 to 12 inches tall and creates a beautiful cascading effect when it grows taller than the waterline. Its height and quick growth provide a dense jungle for guppies to take refuge in. Vallisneria is a heavy root feeder, so it thrives in planted tanks with aquarium soil.

Frequently asked questions

Java Moss, Flame Moss, and Christmas Moss are all easy to care for and provide excellent coverage for baby guppies.

Water Sprite, Water Wisteria, and Guppy Grass are all plants that can be left to float in your guppy tank.

Live plants such as Water Sprite, Hornwort, and Java Fern help maintain water quality in freshwater aquariums by absorbing nitrates and other excess nutrients.

Written by
Reviewed by
Share this post
Print
Did this article help you?

Leave a comment