Best Aquarium Background Plants

Last update: 2023-03-27

Whether you want something beautiful to cover ugly pieces of equipment in your aquarium, like filters and heaters, or simply create a natural, lively background, you’re in the right place.

In this article, we’re going to list out the 8 best aquarium background plants that are beginner-friendly, uniquely good-looking, and versatile for most fish tanks. Read on!

Ludwigia Repens

Best Aquarium Background Plants

To medium- and big-sized aquariums, Ludwigia Repens is going to definitely be a nice addition because of its beautiful red-figure combined with rounded leaves and large stem.

It might not be wide but if planted in good conditions, it can thrive and reach up to 18” tall.

That’s why if you intend to grow it as a background plant in small aquariums, remember to trim it often.

About the demands in CO2, nutrients, and light of Ludwigia Repens, they’re too high, which is ideal for beginners.

Bacopa Monnieri

Best Aquarium Background Plants

Another low-maintenance background plant for aquariums is Bacopa Monnieri.

It requires no special treatment or addition of CO2 but just a nutrient-rich substrate as well as a fine amount of lighting every day. However, take note that it is better for large-sized aquariums because the plant thrives strongly.

It grows wide and tall super-fast with fairly thin stems, each of which has clusters of rounded leaves growing in regular intervals. So, the overall look will be like a little bush with lots of stems and leaves.

Onion Plant

We only recommend Onion Plant for intermediate to pro aquarist because it requires a bit of specific treatment. Aside from loving a nutrient-rich substrate, the plant requires lots of fertilizer, CO2, and light to grow healthily.

In turn, it fits all kinds of tanks while adding to the aquarium a uniquely cool and bright looking, making it feel more lively.

It has a compact center from where multiple stems grow out of in every which direction and have various little green. The leaves are rounded and cute.

With this background plant, it is perfect for medium- and large-sized aquariums.

Giant Hairgrass

Best Aquarium Background Plants

Next up is the Giant Hairgrass!

As its name implies, this is exactly a cluster of grass from where many leaves grow out of very tall and long, looking just like numerous little spindles. Each leaf or stem has a petite dark knob on the end and a couple of shoots are going to grow out of there.

It thrives fast but don’t worry, you still can control it easily.

In fact, Giant Hairgrass not only adds a simple yet good looking to your aquarium background but also provides cover (as long as it is trimmed down to a proper size that fit your tank)

Talking about how to grow them, the good news for beginners is it isn’t too difficult. What you need to do is to provide them with a nutrient-rich substrate, some extra CO2, and lots of light.


Best Aquarium Background Plants

This is a controversial aquarium background plant.

For those who don’t know, cryptocoryne leaves are green if grown on the ground, but will turn into reddish red in the water. Combined with a fairly thick, longleaf shape that comes to a point at the end, some people feel like it is dying and rotting.

Meanwhile, many others like how it adds extra colors to their all-green aquariums, creating a nice accent and lively look as the leaves undulate and flow all the way through.

Unlike the previous aquarium background plants listed above, Cryptocoryne is a bunch of short stems. But in ideal growing environments, it can reach a height of 18”, which is also our recommendation for medium tanks or larger.

Regardless, it is easy to take care of.

Green Cabomba

Best Aquarium Background Plants

Except for its huge demands in lighting, Green Cabomba is quite easy to grow and it can reach a max height of 2 feet.

Don’t fret, it is controllable and the plant tends to thrive vertically while growing just a little bit in width so no matter your fish tank size, it can fit beautifully.

Aquarists love growing Green Cabomba because it looks like a pine tree underwater with several brown stems from where long, thin needles grow out of in regularly spaced clusters.

Echinodorus Bleheri

Best Aquarium Background Plants

This is one of the most popular aquarium background plants for novice people. Some people even joke that it is easier to keep the plant alive than it is to kill.

The best environment for Echinodorus Bleheri to grow is a nutrient-rich substrate with a fine amount of light daily. Regardless, it requires no complicated maintenance or special treatment. It, in fact, can grow happily in different environments no matter of water and temperature parameters.

We recommend it for small to medium fish tanks or aquariums according to its beautiful structure consisting of bare, thin, and long stems with one and only huge leaf at the top of each stem.

These leaves prefer to grow above the water’s surface and based on their unique shape, Echinodorus Bleheri is absolutely a nice background in your aquarium.

Rotala Indica

Best Aquarium Background Plants

Similar to Echinodorus Bleheri, this plant is easy to grow in various environments with different lighting, temperatures, and water conditions. But the most ideal one should be a nutrient-rich substrate with a huge amount of CO2.

This is perfect to be grown as an aquarium background because it tends to grow upwards rather than outwards, featuring a cluster of various stems with rounded, green, and short leaves.

In other words, it looks like green vines underwater.

The biggest bonus about this aquarium plant is it provides oxygen to the fish tank aside from its cool looking.


We’ve just come through a list of 8 best aquarium background plants that are not just easy to grow but also look beautiful. Hopefully, with these recommendations, you’ll have got an idea or two about which one is suitable for your fish tank. Thanks for reading!

Harry Ramos
Harry Ramos

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