12 Best Colorful Aquarium Plants For Beginners

best colorful aquarium plants

For beginners, choosing the best colorful aquarium plants can be tricky because so many of them look the same. They’re all colorful, they may be all floating, and they all need to be placed in specific spots in order to avoid algae growth. However, there are a few types of aquarium plants that are more beginner-friendly than others, and some colorful aquarium plants are some of the easiest to maintain.

An aquarium can be an amazing addition to any home, but if you don’t have much experience with fishkeeping, it can be hard to know which plants and fish to pick out to make your tank look beautiful.

Fortunately, there are plenty of colorful aquarium plants available that will add life to your aquatic habitat without being too difficult to care for!

If you’re planning on starting your first aquarium, or even if you’ve had aquariums before but want to get some new colorful fish for your aquatic home, it’s important to choose the right plants for your tank. After all, plants are one of the best ways to make your tank look great, as well as serve as hiding places and breeding grounds for your fish.
Keep these colorful aquarium plants in mind when setting up or redecorating your tank!

What color are fish attracted to?

Some fish are attracted to different colors, but the most popular color is blue. This is because blue light penetrates deeper into the water than other colors and so it makes it easier for fish to find food. Some examples of popular blue light fish are guppies, bettas, and angelfish.

Fish are also naturally drawn to green lights. Unlike other LEDs, green emits 130 lumens per LED and has a wavelength of 520 nm. Insects and shrimp have color vision that includes both these wavelengths and green light receptors in the range of 530 um. As a result, a green light is both bright and attracts bait that will attract more fish.

Best colorful aquarium plants

Ludwigia Repens (Creeping Primrose-Willow)

best colorful aquarium plants

Ludwigia Repens is a favorite amongst beginners because of its simple needs and great looks. It has a relatively short lifespan, usually only living up to 3 to 5 years, but it will grow quickly in the right conditions. The creeping primrose-willow can easily be planted on top of driftwood or rocks to create an interesting look in your tank.

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This plant does well when exposed to high levels of lighting and low levels of nutrients. However, this makes it difficult for beginners as they are less likely to have enough light for this plant.

After planting the creeping primrose-willow, you should wait about 4 weeks before introducing any other plants into your tank so that you give the roots time to become established. Once introduced to other plants, ludwigia repens will grow more slowly than it would alone.

Echinodorus cordifolius (Creeping Burhead)

best colorful aquarium plants

Creeping Burhead is a good beginner plant because it does not need too much light and it can grow in lower temperatures. It is easy to grow but will require the occasional trimming to keep it from overgrowing. This plant prefers to be planted on the substrate and will spread out along the bottom of the tank or pot.

The new leaves are blue-green with a white stripe down the center. The leaves then turn green as they mature.

Rotala rotundifolia (Dwarf Rotala)

best colorful aquarium plants

Rotala rotundifolia, or Dwarf Rotala, is a beautiful flowering plant that thrives in low-light conditions. It’s also one of the most popular and easiest plants to care for on this list. The flowers are very small and grow directly from the stem. Although they’re not as flashy as other flowering plants, they are sure to add some color to your tank.

They come in many different colors including red, pink, purple, green, white, and orange. In addition to being easy to care for, these plants can be used as both foreground and background plantings depending on how large you want them to grow.

Ammania senegalensis (Copper Leaf Ammania)

best colorful aquarium plants

This is one of the most beautiful plants for aquariums and it does well in low-light environments. The leaves are a deep green, with a red/copper tinge. It grows to about two feet in height. This plant produces a small white flower that blooms at night and reopens in the morning.

It’s easy to grow, though you should be careful not to over-water it. If water accumulates on the surface, simply remove it from the pot and drain any excess water out before replacing it back in its container. When watering Ammania senegalensis (Copper Leaf Ammania), use soft fresh water only; do not mix hard tap water with salt or chemicals as this will cause injury to your plant.

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Vesicularia dubyana (Java Moss)

Alternanthera reineckii (Scarlet Temple)

best colorful aquarium plants

Alternanthera reineckii is one of the most beautiful aquarium plants available. Its broad leaves grow in a rosette shape and are a bright red color with white tips. Alternanthera reineckii is one of the hardiest plants on this list and can thrive in a variety of conditions. It can do well with both high and low light levels but does prefer higher levels for the best growth rates.

Make sure to keep it moist at all times. The main downside to Alternanthera reineckii is that it grows rather slowly and isn’t suitable for nano tanks or small setups.

Ludwigia palustris (Marsh Seedbox, Water Purslane)

best colorful aquarium plants

Ludwigia palustris, also known as the Marsh Seedbox or Water Purslane, is a species of plant found in marshes and other wetland environments. It grows to about six inches tall with four-inch wide leaves that grow in clusters of three. The leaves are usually covered with a sticky substance, which helps them to attach themselves to other plants or objects.

This has earned it another common name: Sticky Ludwigia. A popular use for this plant is as an effective cover for smaller fish to hide from predators such as larger fish. Many new aquarium hobbyists choose this plant because it can survive in both acidic and basic water conditions, making it very easy to maintain.

Pogostemon stellatus (Octopus Plant Aquarium)

best colorful aquarium plants

A popular plant for aquariums, the Pogostemon stellatus (Octopus Plant) is easy to care for and keeps a low profile. This plant needs to be placed in hard water with a pH of 7-8 and a temperature range of 72-82 degrees Fahrenheit. The pogostemon stellatus has broad leaves that emit a strong mint scent, which makes this plant great for aquariums that house fish or invertebrates.

There are many other benefits to this type of plant including being long-lasting, fragrant, and noninvasive. One downside is that it does not grow very tall so if you are looking for something to hide your filter intake then you may need a taller variety like java fern.

Cryptocoryne wendtii Red (Wendt’s Water Trumpet)

best colorful aquarium plants

Cryptocoryne wendtii is one of the best aquarium plants for beginners. It is hardy and will do well in almost any lighting or water type. This plant has a broad leaf, which adds natural cover to your tank and they are fun to watch as they sway back and forth with the current.

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Wendt’s Water Trumpet can grow up to six inches in height, which makes it a great foreground plant that you can use to hide equipment or decor. They also help to keep algae from forming on rocks because their leaves create extra shade. If you have fish that like to nibble on plants, this is an excellent choice because it tastes bad and will not cause any harm if eaten by accident.

Lobelia cardinalis (Cardinal Flower)

best colorful aquarium plants

Lobelia cardinalis, also known as Cardinal Flower, is a beautiful and versatile plant that can be used in many different ways. It is best known for its long-lasting blooms that can be seen throughout the year. Cardinal flowers are also great for fish tanks because they are not toxic to them like other plants.

This makes them a good choice for beginners who are looking for colorful plants to start their tank off with. They do well when planted alongside other varieties of plants but should be kept away from slower-growing varieties such as Java Fern.

The lobelia cardinalis likes a fair amount of light so it should be placed near an aquarium window or under a light fixture. They also need less water than some of the other aquarium plants so frequent watering is not necessary.

Rotala indica (Indian toothcup)

best colorful aquarium plants

It is a popular plant for beginners and can thrive in many different water conditions. The Rotala indica (Indian toothcup) has long, green leaves that are light to dark green. It grows to about 16 inches tall, which makes it perfect for small aquariums.

It’s a stem plant, so it needs to be planted in the substrate and not have any of its roots submerged under the water. They also like medium-low lighting levels and grow best when they’re placed in areas with low flow rates. They like nutrient-rich soil, but it should never be over-fed.

When planting them, place them 2-3 inches below the surface, and don’t bury the root crown. Like other plants, this one likes clean water and moderate fertilization.

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Red Tiger Lotus (Nypmhaea zenkeri)

best colorful aquarium plants

Red Tiger Lotus is a hardy aquatic plant that can be found in the wild in the countries of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Laos, Myanmar, and Nepal. It is one of the most popular plants for beginner aquarists because it grows quickly and can adapt to many different water conditions.

This plant also has a beautiful red color that makes it stand out from other plants in your tank. Red Tiger Lotus plants are typically sold as seedlings at pet stores or online so they are easy to find. Once you have selected your new plants you will need to transfer them into their new home by using an aquarium net.

You should add some gravel or small rocks to help anchor them before filling the container with water. The depth of the container should be shallow enough so that there is only an inch or two between the top of the gravel/rocks and the surface of the water.

Rotala Yao Yai

best colorful aquarium plants

There are many varieties of Rotala Yao Yai, typically with leaves ranging from bright red to pink. The leaves on this Rotala species are much more vividly colored than on other Rotala species. As a result, it creates an attractive plant that can be placed in the middle or background of an aquarium depending on the set-up.

A lush thick forest can be created by repeatedly trimming and replanting Rotala Yao Yai. The rich color it adds to any planted aquarium makes it a perfect addition. Even though it is colorful, this Rotala is adaptable to a wide variety of tank settings. In order to get the most out of this plant, you are advised to use CO2, a rich fertilizer, and a substrate that will hold the soil in place.