triglochin maritima

List of freshwater aquarium plant species

Aquatic plants are used to give the aquarium a natural appearance, oxygenate the water, and provide habitat for fish, especially fry (babies) and for invertebrate species. Some aquarium fish and invertebrates also eat live plants. Recently, there has been a movement in the hobby to use aquatic plants as part of aesthetic aquarium design and aquascaping, spearheaded by Japanese aquarist Takashi Amano.

Most of these plant species are found either partially or fully submersed in their natural habitat. Although there are a handful of obligate aquatic plants that must be grown in water (Cabomba sp., for example), most grow and thrive fully emersed if the soil is kept moist.

Listed alphabetically by scientific name

As a very important note, the taxonomy of most plant genera is not final. Scientific names and classifications have changed often in the past years, creating confusion for most aquarists. Most of the old names are still in use today on some web sites.

Common aquarium plant species:

False aquatics or pseudo-aquarium plants

Several species of terrestrial plants are frequently sold as "aquarium plants". While such plants are beautiful and can survive and even flourish for months under water, they will eventually die and must be removed so their decay does not contaminate the aquarium water.

Freshwater Plant Images Gallery




  • Hiscock, Peter (2003). Encyclopedia of Aquarium Plants. United States and Canada: Interpret Publishing. ISBN 0-7641-5521-0.
  • (1976). Simon & Schuster's Guide to Freshwater and Marine Aquarium Fishes. New York, New York, United States: Simon & Schuster, Inc.. ISBN 0-671-22809-9.

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