There are many beautiful and easy carpeting aquarium plants that you can choose from when setting up your tank, but some of them can be difficult to grow and even harder to care for.
If you want to add some green to your fish tank, but don’t have the time or skill to do so with plants that require more care, you might want to consider one of these 10 easy carpeting aquarium plants. Most of them will survive in any kind of water, and all of them grow quickly enough that you’ll be able to enjoy their beauty in no time!
The carpeting plants that many aquarists use in their aquariums are some of the easiest ones to grow in the hobby, and you can add them to your setup quickly and easily. Not everyone has the time or inclination to give their aquariums meticulous care, and that’s fine!
If you just want easy carpeting aquarium plants, these plants will fill your tank with natural beauty while only requiring minimal attention from you.
In order to make your fish tank look as nice as possible without much effort, try these 15 easy carpeting aquarium plants, in no particular order!
Easy carpeting aquarium plants
Hemianthus callitrichoides (Dwarf Baby Tears Carpet)
The Hemianthus callitrichoides (Dwarf Baby Tears Carpet) is a very popular carpeting aquarium plant that can grow to a height of 5 to 6 inches (12 to 15 cm). It has densely packed small leaves that are lanceolate in shape and arranged oppositely on the stem. The leaves are attached by sheaths at the base and have a unique underwater growth habit.
The Hemianthus callitrichoides will spread horizontally across your substrate, rooting along the way as it does so. You’ll need to cut it back from time to time if you want it to stay short and compact. If left unattended, this plant will also produce runners which can be used for propagation.
Sagittaria subulata (Dwarf Sagittaria Carpet)
These plants grow submerged and will provide a carpet of green in your aquarium. They are easy to care for, but should be trimmed back every few months to prevent it from overtaking the tank.
Sagittaria subulata is also known as the Dwarf Sagittaria carpet. The plant grows submerged and has short, cane-like leaves that are arranged in a fan-like pattern. This plant should not exceed 12 (30 cm) in height or width and can survive in moderate light.
Sagittaria subulata does not require CO2 supplementation or fertilizer and will typically grow quickly, providing great coverage for the bottom of an aquarium. However, trimming should occur regularly to keep this plant within its desired size range.
Monte Carlo Plant (Micranthemum tweediei)
Monte Carlo plants are a great plant for carpeting the bottom of your aquarium. They are not too tall so they do not take up valuable space, and they grow quickly to provide you with a lush carpet of green in just a few weeks.
The only downside is that these plants require moderate light and moderate amounts of fertilizer. It will also help to add some decoration on the bottom of your tanks such as stones or gravel because it will prevent algae from forming on the leaves. For those without room for real plants in their tank, this is an excellent alternative!
Lilaeopsis brasiliensis (Micro Sword Aquarium Plant)
Also known as Brazil Sword Plant or micro sword aquarium plant, Lilaeopsis brasiliensis is one of the best carpeting plants for an aquarium. It grows quickly, has a nice leaf shape, and stays relatively small. This makes it perfect for nano tanks and low-tech planted aquaria that are less than 20 gallons in size. The sword-shaped leaves on this plant are not too wide which allows them to grow vertically without growing too tall and overtopping your tank.
As one of the most popular and easy carpeting aquarium carpeting plants, Lilaeopsis brasiliensis (Brazil Sword Plant) is easy to grow and provides a long-lasting cover for the bottom of an aquarium.
This plant is also a good oxygenator and has been known to help reduce nitrate levels in aquarium water. It can be propagated by dividing its roots or from cuttings taken from above-ground portions of the stem.
It requires moderate lighting, a well-aerated tank, and enough space between other plants so that it can spread out to form its carpet. The sword-shaped leaves are about 2 inches wide and are green with pink highlights on the underside.
You can use these plants as a ground cover or you can place them in areas where they will show up nicely such as under or next to foreground rocks. These plants will also work well in shaded areas with strong light and medium to low water flow.
They need very little fertilizer because they are constantly being pushed around by fish swimming nearby but do appreciate being replanted from time to time so their roots get re-established. One downside is that this plant does tend to make a mess when grown submerged in water.
Glossostigma elatinoides (Glosso Plant)
Glossostigma elatinoides, also known as Glosso Plant, is a popular carpeting aquarium plant and can be found in pet stores all over the world. This water-loving plant has an attractive red color that can brighten up your home décor, while its long roots allow it to attach itself to stones or decoration in your tank.
When cared for properly, Glossostoima elatinoides will grow rapidly and create a beautiful carpet of green on the bottom of your aquarium. The leaf tips are covered with silky hairs that help protect them from being eaten by fish. The foliage will not show any signs of distress when grown in low light conditions and does not require CO2 supplementation like some other aquatic plants do.
Echinodorus tenellus (Mudbabies Plant)
Echinodorus tenellus, also known as the Mudbabies Plant, is a low-growing plant that will work well on the carpet. It has long, thick green leaves and grows best in cooler water conditions. The Mudbabies Plant is an excellent substrate plant and will help to keep the tank clean.
These plants are very easy to care for and should be planted right at the front of your aquarium. They grow very slowly, so you may have to trim them every couple of months in order to maintain their shape. You can place these plants in any type of environment with no worry because they are quite hardy.
As with most carpeting plants, the Mudbabies Plant will benefit from regular fertilization with a liquid fertilizer such as Seachem Flourish Comprehensive Supplement or CO2 Fertilizer tablets.
Marsilea hirsuta (Dwarf Four Leaf Clover Carpet)
Marsilea hirsuta is a small, low-growing plant that works as an excellent carpet for the substrate of your aquarium. The leaves are very dense and form a mossy green blanket that provides a great hiding place for fish. The only downside to this plant is that it requires more light than most aquarium plants.
If you have a large planted tank with CO2 injection, marsilea will do well with sufficient lighting. It also has the ability to grow in both fresh and saltwater which makes it ideal for those who don’t have time or space for different tanks. Another good feature of this plant is that it spreads fast so you won’t need to worry about buying another one anytime soon.
Dwarf Hairgrass Carpet (Eleocharis parvula)
Dwarf Hairgrass carpet is an easy-to-care-for plant that will grow in just about any substrate. It grows quickly, spreading to cover the surface of a tank, and requires very little maintenance. Dwarf Hairgrass carpet is one of the most popular plants in home aquariums because it does not require much attention and can be left to grow on its own.
If you do want to trim it, keep in mind that it takes quite some time for new shoots to appear again after being cut back. Dwarf Hairgrass carpets are also available in many different colors including green, blue-green, red, and yellow.
Micranthemum umbrosum (Giant Baby Tears)
Micranthemum umbrosum (also known as Giant Baby Tears) is a beautiful carpeting aquatic plant that will thrive in the right conditions. These plants are so easy to grow and care for that they are often used in hydroponics systems. You can even cut them off at the base and replant them elsewhere.
This plant grows best when it gets plenty of light, but not direct sunlight. It needs moderate water flow and CO2 injection. The Micranthemum umbrosum prefers slightly alkaline water with a temperature between 75-82 degrees Fahrenheit.
Taxiphyllum barbieri (Java Moss Or Bogor Moss)
Java Moss is an easy and versatile plant that can be used in a variety of ways in an aquarium. It grows low to the ground and provides a good surface for the fry to hide among. The moss will attach itself to rocks or wood if they are present. Java Moss can also be attached to driftwood, live plants, ornaments, or used as a top dressing.
As it doesn’t require much light, it is great for tanks with lower light levels. Java Moss should be trimmed regularly to keep it from growing too long and getting out of hand. Do not trim too often as this will cause the moss to detach from whatever you have tied it onto.
Monosolenium tenerum (Liverwort Plant)
Monosolenium tenerum is a small, creeping plant that will grow in any direction. It is often used as a carpeting plant and will spread out quickly if given the chance. Monosolenium tenerum does not need much light, but it does require plenty of water to keep its leaves from drying out.
Water thoroughly once every two weeks to prevent browning. You should also fertilize your liverwort with high-nitrogen fertilizer once every month or so. To propagate the plant, use a razor blade to cut pieces off of the mat. Place these pieces on top of moist potting soil for at least one week before transplanting them into an aquarium filled with shallow water.
Eleocharis acicularis (Dwarf hair grass)
Eleocharis acicularis, also known as Dwarf Hair Grass, is a low-growing carpeting plant that has been widely used in freshwater aquariums. The plant is native to India and the Amazon Basin where it thrives in moist soil.
It is one of the few carpet plants that will grow rooted directly into gravel or sand substrate. These plants can be propagated by dividing and replanting them, but they are slow growing and may take up to 3 months before they start to take root. They can also be grown from cuttings.
Once established, these plants need very little care other than occasional trimming with scissors so they don’t spread too far beyond their boundaries and shade out other species planted near them.
Hemianthus micranthemoides (Pearlweed Carpet Plant)
Hemianthus micranthemoides are a staple in many aquariums for carpeting the bottom. They grow relatively quickly and have an attractive appearance with their multiple dark green leaves on top of each other that form a mat. Hemianthus micranthemoides can be planted in your substrate or floated on the water’s surface.
In order to thrive, these plants need medium light, CO2 injection, and regular fertilization. Unlike most plants, they do not require high levels of nitrates. These plants will take root in any loose substrate, so it is easy to propagate them by planting cuttings into rock wool or directly into your substrate.
Fissidens fontanus (Phoenix Moss)
Fissidens fontanus, also known as Phoenix Moss, is one of the most popular carpeting plants in aquariums. It’s an ideal plant for beginners because it grows very slowly and requires minimal maintenance.
The moss itself is found growing on rocks or other hard surfaces submerged in fresh water. It has a long, slender stem that branches out into delicate green leaves sprouting from tufts along the stem.
Although they prefer to grow in shade, they will still grow under bright light. They like cooler temperatures (around 75 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit) but they can tolerate warmer temperatures with regular misting.
They are sensitive to salt concentrations, so make sure to clean your filter media often and don’t add any salt while setting up your tank. Finally, the type of substrate you use can greatly affect their growth rate.