5 Aquarium Plants That Stay Small

Having an aquarium can be great. But what can add more charm to it would be some aquatic plants. We’re not talking about artificial plants here, but actual ones.

It can be a tricky task to identify which ones won’t grow too long in your tank, as the fish will get less space and it can look quite messy as well. Hence, in this article, we will be discussing some of the plants that stay small.

Outlook of Aquarium Plants

Generally, aquatic plants are a great way for hobbyists to mix gardening with their love of fish and plants. Aquatic plants, however, must be pruned regularly to prevent them from overgrowing and the dead leaves should be removed timely to prevent algae and debris which can pollute the water and ruin the quality. Besides that, it requires a lot of care and attention. You should avoid mixing plants with plant-eating fish and invertebrates.

Before heading into the specifics, let’s first discuss the benefits of keeping aquatic plants in your aquarium.

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Benefits of Aquarium Plants

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  • Aquarium plants oxygenate the water, creating a healthy environment for the fishes.
  • They eliminate toxins and carbon dioxide from the water
  • They add to the beauty of an aquarium and it can be an aesthetically pleasing sight to witness.
  • They can be a source of food for the fish and even deemed as a home for fish who like to stay on the ground.
  • They may increase the production of good bacteria in a newly set up fish tank.
  • They prevent the water from getting polluted and can improve the water quality too.

Without further ado, let’s jump right into the five aquatic plants which remain small.

  • Bucephalandra
    A great thing about this plant is that it comes in different sizes, so you can pick the one that stays small. It’s a plant that produces tiny underwater flowers and they are not high maintenance. They can make your aquarium look vibrant and colourful. Besides that, the plant does not require any high-tech lighting or specific nutrition. Though, it should be noted that if you provide them with nice lights and good fertilization, then they will grow quicker and become more colourful.Bucephalandra
  • Anubias Nana Petite
    The most popular type of a plant that stays small in an aquarium and will only be 3-5 inches at maximum. This flowery plant has hard and deep green leaves which can modify the look of your fish tank. It’s also a low-maintenance plant that does not require much. It should be noted that it is a slow grower and people claim that it is impossible to kill. That’s a good thing because they will last a long time in your aquarium. You will not have to replace them very often.Anubias Nana Petite
  • Blyxa Japonica
    This is an extremely popular aquatic plant that is used as a foreground plant in many gorgeous aquascapes. This plant is moderately high maintenance as it requires brighter lights than most plants. You may need to invest in good lighting for that purpose. However, they do not require CO2 injection or ultrahigh lighting. Moreover, they can look great once they grow, but you have to be careful when adding additional iron as some fishes like shrimp do not prefer high iron concentrations. Besides that factor, this plant is highly nutritious for the fishes too!Blyxa Japonica
  • Dwarf Hairgrass
    Another great aquarium plant that will remain small will be Dwarf Hairgrass. It is one of the popular foreground plants that can turn your fish tank greener than the actual grass in your neighbourhood. It is synonymous with carpet plants. This plant needs a medium to high lighting to promote growth horizontally across the fish tank. Moreover, you should be trimming this plant weekly, so that it grows in alignment. The lush green bed of your fish tank through this plant is surely going to be irresistible.Dwarf Hairgrass
  • Java Moss
    Finally, we have Java Moss. This aquatic plant can be ideal for your fish tank if you love creative and unique props. This plant can be fixated on rocks or woods which can enhance the look. Besides that, you can grow it as a carpet and if you use other design ideas, you can make your aquarium stand out from the rest, easily. It’s not very high maintenance either.Java Moss


All in all, it can be said that aquarium plants not only look attractive in your aquarium, but they are very beneficial for the fishes as well. They can naturally filter out toxins and keep debris at bay. Besides that, they are a great way to make your fishes feel at home as you will be imitating their natural habitat in a realistic way. It can be safe to say that aquatic plants do require some maintenance even if they stay small, but they are worth the effort in the long run.

Scott Evans

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