Aquarium plants that grow in gravel are an excellent choice for tanks with poorer water quality because they’re more resilient to changes in water clarity, temperature, and salinity.
Aquarium plants that grow in gravel are also ideal if you have fish or snails that like to eat the leaves of other plants, since plants that grow in gravel are much harder to chew than the leaves of rooted plants, and they’re usually too big to fit inside a fish tank anyway.
Aquarium plants have specific needs when it comes to what sort of environment they can thrive in. Of course, every plant needs certain conditions to help it grow, but certain types of aquarium plants are very finicky about the water conditions and substrate they live in.
Luckily, there are many types of aquarium plants that grow in gravel or other substrates, not just those that require special pots or other planting apparatus.
Aquarium plants that grow in gravel are some of the easiest types of aquatic plant life to keep in an aquarium setting. Here, we’ll explore 10 different types of aquarium plants that grow in gravel or other substrates so you can learn more about these easy-to-keep varieties!
Can you grow aquarium plants in gravel?
Gravel is an excellent medium for growing aquarium plants, whether you are growing in a brand-new tank or an existing one. A few fish-safe rocks, rubber bands, and plants are all you need.
Just above the roots of the plant, secure the plant with a rubber band. Plant roots will be kept stable beneath the gravel by using this as a weight once they are placed in the fish tank.
It’s important to remember, however, that not all aquarium plants survive on gravel. Other plants, such as Java moss, flourish in water, and they make excellent aquarium walls, carpets, and trees when placed with other decorations.
Best aquarium plants that grow in gravel
Amazon Sword (Echinodorus grisebachii)
The Amazon Sword (Echinodorus grisebachii) is one of the popular aquarium plants that grow in gravel very well. It’s widely available and easy to grow. This plant will do well in both high and low lighting conditions, making it suitable for most tanks. The Amazon Sword is also not sensitive to a wide range of water conditions.
However, it does need very frequent pruning to maintain a healthy appearance in the tank. They can be propagated by dividing them into small pieces or taking small stem cuttings. Stem cuttings should be allowed to dry out before planting them. To keep this plant thriving, it needs plenty of light and CO2 injection from an air stone or other device.
Madagascar Lace (Aponogeton madagascariensis)
Madagascar Lace is a beautiful and easy-to-care-for plant with long, lacey leaves. This plant grows well in water that is only lightly filtered, so it’s perfect for those who want to create a low-maintenance aquarium.
This plant can be rooted in gravel or left to float on the surface of the water, but it’s best to provide it with plenty of room so that its lacy roots can grow freely and unencumbered. If you’re going to put your Madagascar Lace at the bottom of your tank, make sure there are other plants growing near it; this will help provide good airflow around the roots as they filter out toxins from the water.
Cryptocoryne wendtii (Wendt’s Water Trumpet)
Cryptocoryne wendtii is a plant that can grow in gravel, and it’s also one of the easiest to care for. The leaves are usually around 18 inches long, and they can grow up to three feet tall. You will find this aquatic plant in dark green or brown colors.
Cryptocoryne wendtii does well in low light but can also handle high lighting. This plant is best suited for an aquarium with moderate water flow, which will help it keep its coloration. If you’re looking for plants that grow in gravel and love having plenty of space, then this is the perfect choice for you. They are hardy plants so if you want to start a new batch from cuttings, then you should be good to go.
Java Fern (Microsorum pteropus)
Java Fern is a hardy plant that grows in gravel. Java Fern is one of the most popular aquarium plants because it is easy to grow and thrives in many different water types, including freshwater and saltwater. It needs bright light but not direct sun. It can also grow in low-light conditions if provided with sufficient nutrients.
Java Fern can be planted on top of the substrate or grown as an attached plant through the use of a fishing line or nylon string. When planting, Java Fern should be anchored firmly into the gravel so it does not move around too much. The plant’s roots are usually under the soil so they do not need to anchor into the gravel at all times.
Red Tiger Lotus (Nypmhaea zenkeri)
Red tiger lotus, also known as the red lily, the water lily, or the red-flowered lotus is a plant species of the family Nymphaeaceae. They are aquatic plants that grow in gravel and need to be planted with their rhizomes just below the surface of the substrate. These plants can be found near bodies of freshwater in parts of India and Nepal.
Red tiger lotuses generally bloom during late summer and early fall. The flowers vary in size and color but are typically large, showy blossoms with six spreading tepals. The flowers have a fragrance reminiscent of honey which attracts bees and other pollinators.
This type of plant is one of the best plants for beginners because it’s very hardy and you can find it in many stores. It grows well in low light, so it’s perfect for tanks that are not always on. The only downside to Vallisneria is that they do get large quickly and need a lot of space.
They also grow new leaves by sending out runners near the root, so your tank will look fuller with more plants. Vallisneria does not need CO2 supplementation or fertilizer, but be sure to monitor it if there isn’t enough natural light in your aquarium. You can help the leaf color stay bright by using high-quality water filtration and lighting.
The Bucephalandra Plant is a perfect example of an aquarium plant that grows in gravel. The plant gets its name from the Greek word boukephalos which means ox-head. The leaves are either solid green or variegated with stripes and spots of green, pink, and red.
These plants grow best in a mix of soft and hard water and they need to be planted in a substrate that doesn’t exceed 2 inches deep. They also require bright light but not direct sunlight.
Waterweeds (Anacharis elodea)
Anacharis elodea, also known as waterweeds, is one of the most popular plants for an aquarium. These beautiful plants come in green and red colors and grow best when submerged in gravel. You can plant them directly into your tank or use a net to help support them.
Although they may require more maintenance than other plants, they can create a stunning addition to any home aquarium! What’s even better is that this type of plant has been shown to be helpful in reducing nitrates levels. They also help keep fish tanks clean by eating leftover food on the bottom.
Dwarf Sagittaria (Sagittaria subulata)
Dwarf Sagittaria is a type of aquatic plant that grows in gravel. This species has dark green leaves and can grow up to eight inches in height. This aquatic plant prefers temperatures between 68 degrees Fahrenheit and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
Dwarf Sagittaria does not like much sunlight, so it is a good idea to keep it at the bottom of the tank where there isn’t much light or in an area with little to no sunlight. As for care, this plant likes water that is on the soft side. It also requires more CO2 than most other plants; if you are using any fertilizers be sure to use less than what would normally be recommended.
Anubias is one of the best plants for aquariums because it can grow in gravel and has a low light requirement. It’s also easy to propagate and takes on a beautiful dark green color when grown in gravel. Be careful not to overwater this plant, as it does not tolerate flooding.