Our Guide on the Best floating aquarium plants in 2023
Finding the right kind of plants to place into your aquarium is not only important, but it can be a difficult process.
Plants that are able to be installed on the inside of the tank and grow out of the substrate are easier to shop for, but finding the best floating plants is more difficult, since they don’t exactly stay planted into the tank’s substrate. Given that they aren’t planted like most other types of aquarium plants, floating aquarium plants are available in various different sizes, shapes, and styles.
Not only that, but finding the best type of floating aquarium plants is important because of the fish that reside in your tank. Some fish are picky about what types of plants they’re surrounded by, and the tank environment should be able to resemble that of your fishes’ natural environment.
Given the difficulty of finding the best aquarium plants as well as the diverse market for them in general, I’ve compiled together a complete guide containing the most vital information about what the best floating aquarium plants are. I’ve even included five of the best floating aquarium plants on the market for your convenience.
Benefits of Having Floating Plants
Floating aquarium plants are highly recommended for you to consider because they’re able to offer shade for your fish. Since they rest on top of the water’s surface, they can block out some of the light from entering into the tank. Some fish prefer the shaded regions of the tank anyway, so by having floating plants, they have the ability to rest in the shade in more locations throughout the tank.
Floating plants are also able to offer more aeration for your tank, since they help to regulate the amount of oxygen that’s in the water for your fish. By putting more oxygen into the water, your fish can breathe more easily, thus creating a better living environment for them altogether.
Appearance of floating plants
Since having plants in your tank creates a more natural appearance for your aquarium in general, adding floating plants gives your tank an even more beautiful appearance. It creates a more natural effect, since it adds more green and there are floating plants in natural bodies of water as well.
Alternative food source
Aside from the breathing, appearance, and chemical benefits that floating plants give your aquarium, they have the ability to also act as another source of food for your fish. Some fish choose to nibble on plants, since they’re included within their diet and provide them with the vital nutrients needed in order to remain in good health (1).
Factors to Consider Before Purchasing Floating Aquarium Plants
It’s important that you consider what specific type of floating plants you want in your aquarium with your fish. More specifically, there are various different plant types that are able to deliver varying features and effects to your aquarium, such as Java moss, Duckweeds, Water Lettuce, Salvinia minima, Coontail, and Mosquito Ferns. Each of these are able to offer their own distinct features, and they provide various different benefits and disadvantages.
It’s important that you consider how large or small your aquarium plants should be. Depending on the size of your aquarium, you don’t want floating plants that take up too much of the water’s surface and block out 100% of the light, since the plants and other organisms located inside of the tank will then be deprived of the light and its nutrients.
Aside from the size in particular, you should also consider what shape aquarium plants you want, since their shape will ultimately determine the amount of sunlight that’s able to travel through the water’s surface. You should consider what type of shape and style plants would work best in your aquarium and try those ones out.
Growth rate of floating plants
Considering how fast each type of floating plants are able to grow is important before you buy them because you don’t want a certain type of plant that grows too fast. Having plants that grow too fast isn’t recommended because they’ll likely require too much maintenance in order to keep them under control. If you simply let them grow, then you may risk them taking over your aquarium tank.
If you are planning on installing fast-growing plants inside of the tank, then you’ll want to make sure that you keep them under maintenance and in the shape that’s healthy for your fish and other organisms in the tank. You fish should still be able to swim through the plants without having to worry about getting caught in between the stems.
Lastly, you should make sure that you consider how much maintenance each type of plant requires in order for them to remain in a healthy condition. If you have the time and knowledge to care for them, then installing high-maintenance floating aquarium plants can be manageable for you. But if you don’t have as much time on your hands to care for your fish as well as their aquarium plants, then you’ll want to find a certain type of floating plants that don’t require as much maintenance (2).
Check out why you should have floating plants in your aquarium:
Best Floating Aquarium Plants
1. 200 Live Duckweed Plants
You’re highly recommended to check out this plant product because it’s able to offer you 200 Duckweed plants for your aquarium. The 200 plants included in this product are able to offer the fish in your aquarium with high protein that they can benefit from if they use the plants as an alternative source of food. Not only that, but these Duckweed plants are able to rest on the top of your water’s surface and offer a natural and comforting look to your aquarium.
Furthermore, these Duckweed plants are durable and can withstand a large amount of various treatments, so you don’t have to monitor the condition of these plants continuously everyday. They’re also beneficial for a wide variety of different aquarium tanks, since they’re able to withstand anywhere from low to moderate lighting conditions.
- Contain a high amount of protein, so they act as a good source of protein for your fish
- Durable, since it can withstand a variety of different water conditions in your tank
- A small amount of customers complain that their Duckweed plants were dead within a few days of arrival
2. Aquarium Plants Discounts Pond Oxygenating Hornwort Bunch Plants
This bunch of Hornwort plants are highly recommended for you to check out because they’re able to improve the conditions of the water in your aquarium tank. They can improve your water conditions because they provide your tank with more oxygen for your fish and they also remove any excess nutrients from the water, eliminating the risk of your fish getting sick from poor water conditions.
Moreover, this bunch of Hornwort plants is recommended for you because they can either be untied and released at the water’s surface to act as floating plants, or they can be placed at the bottom of the tank using a lead strip. Because of that, they can act as either floating or standing aquarium plants. Additionally, these plants are resilient to colder water, so you don’t have to always keep the water at a certain temperature to create perfect living conditions for these plants.
- Can either act as standing plants or floating plants
- Thick brush, so your fish can hide from other fish in the tank
- Grow at a faster rate than other types of plants
3. G’z 12 Water Spangles
You’re advised to consider purchasing these plants because they represent Salvinia Minima, which is one of the most common types of floating plants. These plants are so common because they’re easy to maintain and they offer a natural and beautiful appearance to your aquarium tank. You also receive 12 of these plants in one order, so you have the ability to create a grouping effect of them when they’re placed into the water.
In addition to these benefits, this bunch of water spangles is recommended because each plant contains between four to six leaves, so they’re able to offer a full effect. These plants are also only able to be used in freshwater aquarium tanks, and they require a special light that offers photosynthesis for plants indoors.
- Includes 12 spangles in one purchase
- Each plant contains a bunch of leaves, so the plants give a full effect
- Don’t have stems, so your fish can’t swim in between the stems for protection from other fish in community tanks
4. Aquatic Arts Java Moss Live Aquarium Plant
You’re highly suggested to check out this Java moss for your aquarium because it’s classified as one of the best types of floating plants. They’re common among the fishing industry as one of the best types of floating plants because they’re represented in loose bunches. Given that, you have the ability to stretch out the bunch of moss so that it’s able to cover a larger amount of water surface area than other types of plants would be able to.
In addition to these benefits, this Java moss is suggested for you because it’s able to not only rest on the surface of your tank’s water, but it’s also able to grow along other objects in your tank, like driftwood, rocks, and other types of decorations’ surfaces. You also don’t need any special lighting in order to have this plant source grow, since it’s durable and able to withstand practically any lighting conditions.
- Able to grow along surfaces in your tank, rather than only the water’s surface
- Comes in a bunch, so it can be stretched out to cover more surface area
- Doesn’t require any special lighting
- More expensive than some other types of floating aquarium plants
5. Underwater Treasures Floating Moss with Feather Roots
Lastly, this aquarium plant is highly advised for you to consider purchasing because it represents a beautiful and unique appearance. These plants feature a bunch of moss on the top of the surface that can deliver beautiful effects from above. Not only that, but these plants are able to represent a beautiful stem system that your fish can swim through and hide from each other in.
Furthermore, this Underwater Treasure product is advised because the plants are easy to care for and require little to no maintenance. They’re also slow-growing plants, so you aren’t required to trim them very often in order to prevent overcrowding.
- Represents a unique and beautiful appearance
- Includes stems that your fish can swim through for protection
- More expensive than some other floating plants
Overall, each of these floating aquarium plants are able to deliver various different features. But they all have the benefit of providing your tanks shade, aeration, filtration, and they all can even act as an alternative source of food for the fish inside of your aquarium. Given that each of these products is able to deliver varying beneficial features, it can still be difficult to choose the best plants for your specific needs, even after examining each of the products’ reviews.
Consequently, you are most recommended to purchase product #2: Aquarium Plants Discounts Pond Oxygenating Hornwort Bunch Plants. These plants are not only affordable, but they’re also able to offer you a variety of benefits, including the ability to improve the water conditions of your tank as well as the ability to act as both floating plants and standing plants. Given these beneficial features, you’re most recommended to purchase the Aquarium Plants Discounts Pong Oxygenating Hornwort Bunch Plants on the market.