Top 22 Floating Aquarium Plants You Should Know About

Floating aquarium plants

Floating aquarium plants are an attractive way to fill your fish tank with life and color, but it’s important to choose the right ones for your fish tank if you want to be sure they’ll live.

There are plenty of different floating aquarium plants to choose from, and you have to decide which ones will work best for your tank. Not every plant will thrive in the same environment, but there are several that can grow quite well in floating environments, giving you tons of options.

Aquatic plants are an important component of any aquarium, and floating plants are no exception. Though they’re often overlooked in favor of their non-floating counterparts, these plants are an excellent choice for helping your fish feel at home in the water and can even prevent algae blooms that might disrupt your aquatic environment.

Plus, many floating plants look quite beautiful when placed within an aquarium, adding color to the space and making it more visually appealing to visitors.

Here are the top floating aquarium plants that you should know about if you want to successfully set up your own aquarium without wasting your time on dying plants that won’t survive in your aquarium setup, no matter how much you care for them.

Best floating aquarium plants

Anacharis (Egeria densa)

Floating aquarium plants

Anacharis is a popular plant for aquariums because it can grow in low-light and high-light conditions, it’s tolerant of most water parameters, and it’s even able to survive freezing. A quick search on Google will show you that this is one of the most commonly used plants for an aquarium.

It’s also good for beginners because you don’t need to worry about any toxic effects to your fish or other tank mates. That being said, there are some drawbacks. The long trailing leaves might get into the filter or create too much shade over lower-growing plants like java moss.

Duckweed (Lemna minor)

Floating aquarium plants

Duckweed is a type of floating aquatic plant that has the ability to reproduce and grow quickly. Duckweed is actually not a true weed, but it does have many similar characteristics. It can be very difficult to control due to its rapid rate of growth, but with careful management, it can be used as an excellent food source for freshwater fish, invertebrates, and waterfowl.

Duckweed is easily identified by its heart-shaped leaves and tiny flowers. It grows in clumps in a shallow layer on top of still or slow-moving waters and can survive even in environments where sunlight cannot penetrate the surface, such as under tree branches or submerged in deep lakes.

This type of plant absorbs dissolved oxygen through its leaves while providing shade below it to help prevent algae growth and promote healthy oxygen levels in your aquarium.

Java Moss (Vesicularia dubyana)

Floating aquarium plants

Java moss, Vesicularia dubyana, is a popular aquatic plant because it’s hard to kill, doesn’t need much light, and doesn’t have any special requirements. Java Moss is also easy to find and can be bought at most pet stores or online. It’s a great beginner plant for those just starting out with aquariums.

Java Moss will grow like crazy in the water so you’ll need to trim it down every month or two to keep it from taking over your tank. Make sure to use scissors that are specifically designated for plants since they’re usually duller than scissors used for other purposes. You should also wash your hands before handling it since bacteria on our skin can kill plants.

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Hornwort (Ceratophyllum demersum)

Floating aquarium plants

Hornwort is one of the most popular floating aquarium plants and it’s easy to see why. It’s hardy, adaptable, and grows quickly. Plus, it has beautiful foliage that looks great in any tank. They are not difficult to maintain as they can survive a wide range of light conditions.

On the downside, they are prone to algae growth and can become rooted if they reach the bottom so take care when positioning them.

Amazon Frogbit (Limnobium laevigatum)

Floating aquarium plants

Amazon Frogbit is a beautiful, peaceful plant that is great for beginner and expert aquarists alike. It is able to grow at any water level, which makes it perfect for both low-tech and high-tech tanks. The leaves are long and thin, so they don’t create too much of a mess when the surface of the tank gets stirred up. Be sure not to let this plant go without light! They like as much light as possible.

Dwarf Water Lettuce (Pistia stratiotes)

Floating aquarium plants

Dwarf water lettuce is a floating plant that grows in a rosette shape, with light green leaves. The leaves are dark green on the underside and can grow up to several inches long. Dwarf water lettuce has excellent air filtration qualities, as it takes up carbon dioxide and releases oxygen.

It also helps remove nitrates and phosphates from the water, which reduces algae growth. Dwarf water lettuce requires little care, except for occasional trimming if it begins to take over the tank. When trimming this plant, cut off all of the old roots and leave just the new ones behind so it will regrow quickly.

Water Sprite (Ceratopteris thalicotoides)

Floating aquarium plants

One of the most popular and common aquarium plants is the water sprite, also known as Ceratopteris thalicotoides. These plants are very easy to grow and care for, which makes them a great plant for beginners. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, so you should be able to find one that fits your tank perfectly.

They can even survive with low light levels. The key thing to know about this type of aquatic vegetation is that it will not tolerate cold temperatures, so if you live somewhere where winters get below freezing, then it’s best to keep these plants inside during this time.

In addition, they require more sunlight than other types of aquatic vegetation. The good news is that they’re super simple to take care of! Just be sure not to let the roots dry out or else they’ll start turning brown and dying off.

Cabomba (Cobomba caroliniana)

Floating aquarium plants

Cabomba is one of the best floating aquarium plants you should know about. They are easy to take care of and can grow up to three feet in length. These plants have a long, ribbon-like leaf that makes them perfect for hiding those unsightly pumps and filters on the bottom of your tank.

They are also known as fanwort and water cabbage. It is important to remember that these plants need a lot of light and CO2 because they are demanding plant species. If you want to keep it healthy, feed it with a liquid fertilizer every week.

Water Spangles (Salvinia minima)

Floating aquarium plants

The water spangles, also known as Salvinia minima, are a very popular floating aquarium plant. The plant itself is a very interesting-looking one. It has a bright green color and it has many small leaves that hang over the edges of the pot. These plants will grow to be about 3 to 4 inches tall.

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Water spangles do not need much light to survive and they can work in both low-light or high-light environments. They are great for tanks with shrimp because they provide them with hiding places. The only downside is that these plants release harmful chemicals into the water which can stunt growth and even kill other plants nearby.

Water Wisteria (Hygrophila difformis)

Floating aquarium plants

Water wisteria is a perfect plant for beginners because they grow easily and can tolerate different water conditions. They are hardy and can grow in both fresh and saltwater aquariums, as well as under low-to-moderate light.

The only downside to these plants is that they do not contain any flowers, which may be attractive to many people. Nevertheless, this plant makes a great addition to any fish tank.
Most importantly, they make the perfect hiding spot for your fish or other creatures to escape from predators!

Pennywort (Centella asiatica)

Floating aquarium plants

Pennywort is one of the best floating aquarium plants for beginners because it’s easy to grow and maintain, and provides excellent cover for a fish fry. It can grow up to six inches tall but usually remains smaller than that.

It thrives in both low and high-light conditions, so it’s a good option if you have a tank with limited lighting. The only downside is that pennywort doesn’t work well as a live carpeting plant. Instead, you’ll need to provide a structure on which it can attach itself (like an aquarium decoration) or plant it in the substrate.

Rotala indica (Indian Toothcup)

Floating aquarium plants

Rotala indica is an attractive aquarium plant that grows in a rosette shape. Rotala indica has a variety of colors and leaf shapes and is often chosen as a foreground plant, but it can also grow up to two feet tall if not trimmed. The leaves are a dark green color with red stems on the underside of the leaves.

One way to keep your Indian Toothcup looking healthy is by trimming it regularly. If left unattended, this plant will quickly grow taller than other plants in your tank and may start to shade them out. When trimming this plant, make sure you leave about 2 inches of stem above the waterline so that new growth can take place.

Mosquito Fern (Azolla filiculoides)

Floating aquarium plants

Mosquito ferns are fast-growing floating plants that can be grown as a single plant or in large clumps. They can grow up to two inches per day and will completely cover the surface of the water.

These plants are great for soaking up excess nutrients, reducing algae growth, and providing cover for fish fry. Mosquito ferns also have a natural mosquito repellent property, which makes them an ideal choice for those who live in areas where mosquitoes are prevalent.

However, they require a lot of light and air circulation in order to thrive so they should not be placed directly below the aquarium lights or close to the filter intake.

Ludwigia repens (Creeping Primrose-Willow)

Floating aquarium plants

Ludwigia repens is a creeping plant that can be found in many an aquarium. It’s also known as creeping primrose-willow and will grow to about three inches tall. This plant prefers to grow along the ground, but it can do well with some help.

One of the best ways to propagate this plant is by cutting off a branch and planting it in gravel or sand, which should then be covered with water. They are easy plants to maintain, so they are perfect for beginners! They are pretty low maintenance and don’t need much light to survive. Just make sure you give them enough room to spread out and there won’t be any issues!

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Red Root Floater (Phyllanthus fluitans)

Floating aquarium plants

Red Root Floater is a common freshwater aquarium plant in India. It is also known as Phyllanthus fluitans. This floating aquatic plant has heart-shaped leaves, with a small, red root that is used for attachment to the surface of the water. The entire plant can grow up to 30 cm and it thrives in low light and high light.

The Red Root Floater requires an acidic pH level between 5 to 6 and a temperature range of 70 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit. It is considered one of the easiest plants to grow because it does not require any special care. If you are looking for easy floating plants for your tank, this is one that you should consider.

Brazilian Pennywort (Hydrocotyle leucocephala)

Floating aquarium plants


Brazilian pennywort is a great plant for the aquarium because it grows in water and requires little maintenance. The Brazilian pennywort is also known as Hydrocotyle leucocephala, and has been found to be an effective treatment for stomach aches. It can be grown in fresh or salt water and is typically grown as an underwater plant. When trimmed regularly, the leaves will grow back quickly.

It’s best to trim this plant at least once every 2 weeks, otherwise, you’ll end up with more plants than your tank will have room for.

The Brazilian Pennywort is a good plant if you want something that won’t require much care and attention. Brazilian Pennywort plants are easy to find at most pet stores or on amazon as well!

Floating Fern (Salvinia natans)

Floating aquarium plants

Salvinia natans is a floating plant that has been classified by the IUCN Red List as being of least concern. This means that it is not at risk of becoming extinct. This plant is also known as water sprite, water fern, and mosquito fern, among other names. It can be found in many parts of the world including Australia, New Zealand, South America, Asia, Africa, and North America.

It can grow to be over one foot long if left alone. Its leaves are very wide but they only grow up to six inches tall. It can survive in both freshwater and saltwater environments because it is considered a hydrophyte which means that it needs little or no soil to thrive.

Salvinia cucullata (Salvinia cucullata)

Floating aquarium plants

Salvinia cucullata is an aquatic plant in the water hyacinth family, sometimes called mosquito fern. The leaves are arranged in a rosette shape and float on the surface of the water. It originated in South America but has been widely introduced elsewhere, including Australia.

In some countries, it is considered a weed. But for those who have or want to have a great-looking tank with plants, this is an excellent choice. Some say that these plants can be kept alive by submerging them during the day and floating them at night.

Crystalwort Riccia (Riccia fluitans)

Floating aquarium plants

Crystalwort Riccia, also known as water moss, is an interesting plant that grows in the water column of aquariums. This hardy aquatic plant can be found all over the world but is native to parts of Europe and Asia. Crystalwort Riccia is known for being a good oxygenator and filter feeder.

Elodea canadensis (Canadian Waterweed)

It looks great with plants like Java Fern or Anubias because they are taller plants that help to obscure the lower-lying crystalwort riccia. However, when it comes to choosing between these two plants, it is best not to mix them together.

The Java Fern does best when its roots get covered by the substrate so it does not do well with the riccia floating above them. On the other hand, if you want your java fern stems to grow long and lanky then make sure to cover their roots with enough substrate before adding some riccia floating near its leaves.

Mosaic Plant (Ludwigia sedioides)

Floating aquarium plants

The mosaic plant (Ludwigia sedioides) is a nice low-maintenance floating aquarium plant. It has leaves that are wide and round, and it will grow up to 10 inches long. The leaves have light green color with darker green spots on them, which makes the plant look like it has mosaics on it.

The leaves are also covered in small hairs to help the plants absorb more nutrients from the water. One downside of this particular plant is that it can grow really big and fill your entire tank. But if you don’t mind having your tank full of one type of plant, then this might be for you!

Subwassertang (Lomariopsis lineata)

Floating aquarium plants

Lomariopsis lineata, also known as the subwassertang, is an aquatic plant that grows in an upright fashion. The leaves of this plant will grow to a length of about 3 inches, and the stem will be about 1 inch long.

This plant often has dark green leaves with light green stripes running vertically down them. They grow in clusters on branches that are at the top of skinny stems. These plants do well in tanks that have warm water and lots of sunlight, but they can also survive with less sunlight.

When first planting this type of plant it should be done so 2-3 feet deep into the substrate because they like a lot of water coverage. These plants are often seen floating or attached to rocks or driftwood.

Banana Plant (Nymphoides aquatica)

Floating aquarium plants

The banana plant, also known as the water nymph, is a popular floating aquarium plant. The leaves of this plant are long and narrow and it will grow to be about a foot tall. It has beautiful yellow flowers that bloom at the top of each stem in the summertime.

This plant is an excellent choice for beginners because it’s easy to care for and can survive most neglectful owners. In order to propagate this plant, you must divide its rhizome. There are two common ways to do so: use a knife or simply pull on them until they snap off.