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15 Best Coldwater Plants for Aquascape Aquarium

When starting to gather stuff to create an aquascape, whether as a hobby or as a decoration in your home office, the first thought that would pop in your mind is how to keep this aquarium easily maintained while making it look like the best out there.

If you’re reading this the first idea that might have come to your mind would have been if cold water plants existed, so let me bring good news because yes, they very well exist and are here to make our lives a whole lot easier!

Best Coldwater Plants for Aquascape Aquarium

While normal plants may require a constant temperature provided by an internal heating system, it is correct to think that this is not the case with cold water plants and they can survive normal or cold water, relieving us a whole lot of responsibility we might have suffered otherwise.

Although it is also known that not all cold-water plants have a great chance of survival, some do make it through successfully. Below are the top 15 plants best adapted for survival.

#1 Java Fern

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This dainty but hardy looking plant is one of the most easily maintainable cold water plants out there. Its initial growth may be slow but that should not be a worry as once it starts, it will become a fully bloomed plant in no time.

Its amphibious nature just adds to its charm as it grows easily fully or half-submerged. The only thing to note about this plant is it should be tied to a rock or driftwood rather than being planted in the substrate.

Scientific Name – Microsorum Pteropus

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Water temperature needed – 60-82°F

pH level – 6-7.5

Alkalinity – 3-8 KH

Lighting – Low to Moderate

Height – 8 inches

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#2 Marimo balls

Best Coldwater Plants for Aquascape Aquarium

This plant is a form of algae and will make the aquarium look more attractive by adding to the variety of shapes found in the aquarium. As they are found naturally in Iceland, they make the best candidate to be kept in cold water.

With its lush green and spherical appearance, it is easy to be the center of attention while also requiring very minimal demand for survival. Once grown, they should be rolled to give it a proper spherical shape and then, are good to go.

Scientific Name – Aegagropila linnae

Water temperature Needed – Below 77°F

pH level – 8.4

Lighting – low to moderate, avoid direct sunlight

Height – 8-12 inches

#3 Floating Moss

Best Coldwater Plants for Aquascape Aquarium

As understood by the name, this is a floating plant that gives a mesmerizing spread of green leaves when seen from the top of the aquarium. As it is a floating plant, it does not require any substrate and thus is bound to cut down on your expenses even more.

This wonder of nature also makes sure none of its good appearance is hidden by preventing any kind of algae growth on top due to the hair on its leaves.

Scientific Name – Salvinia Natans

Water temperature needed – 54-86°F

pH level – 6-8

Lighting – moderate to high - For all your creative needs!

Height – 2-3 inches

#4 Amazon Sword

Best Coldwater Plants for Aquascape Aquarium

Amazon sword is a well-demanded plant due to its low maintenance coupled with its big green leaves spreading outwards; making a perfect contrast with a black background. Due to this, it makes an impeccable background plant, giving the aquarium its very needed wild look.

Its unique look will make it stand out yet blend in perfectly with the rest. One good tip when keeping an amazon sword is that an iron-rich fertilizer will make it sprout and grow in no time.

Scientific Name – Echinodorus Grisebachii

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Water temperature needed – 60.6-82.4°F

pH level – 6.5-7.5

Lighting – moderate

Height – 16 inches

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#5 Water Hyssop

Best Coldwater Plants for Aquascape Aquarium

Water hyssop is a stem plant with succulent leaves and is widely kept in aquascape aquariums due to its red color (under good sunlight). This red color contrasts nicely with the green color of the other plants, earning a definite second glance from the onlookers.

It is also commonly known as Lemon bacopa as the leaves smell like lemon when crushed. One more thing that is appealing about these plants is that it grows tiny blue flowers, hence once again adding a good color to the aquarium. This along with its low demands makes it a definite choice.

Scientific Name – Bacopa Caroliniana

Water temperature needed – 69.8-80.5°F

pH level – 6.8-7.2

Lighting – low

Height – Above 11 inches

#6 Round Pellia

Best Coldwater Plants for Aquascape Aquarium

Round Pellia is a small, green floating plant concentrated in a small place and is very easy to keep. It is an ideal plant to keep as not only is it catchy to the eye but also it purifies the water from harmful chemicals. Furthermore, if your aquarium consists of other plants or fishes, it’s a mandatory keep as it also oxygenates the water very well.

Scientific Name – Subwassertang

Water temperature needed – 68-72°C

pH level – 6-8

Lighting – low to moderate

Height – 3-4 inches

#7 Cabomba

Best Coldwater Plants for Aquascape Aquarium

Cabomba is a very unique looking plant with its leaves in the form of long needles which in reality are very soft and silk-like. Although it is a hard plant to grow for beginners, if managed, will add a good variety to your aquarium.

Also found in purple and red colors, this plant will give the aquarium a further splash of colors hence making it a very ideal plant to keep. Lastly, what makes it even more popular is that it can also act as a floating plant.

Scientific Name – Cacomba carloniniana

Water temperature needed – 72-82°F

pH level – 6.8-7.5

Lighting – medium to high

Height – 30-80cm

#8 Madagascar Lace Plant

Best Coldwater Plants for Aquascape Aquarium

This plant is one of the catchiest looking plants out there and is in great demand by the hobbyists. The characteristic that differentiates it from the rest is that its leaves are net-like and very delicate thus standing out in other types of plants.

Although it doesn’t require a controlled temperature, this is not an easy plant to take care of so is not found everywhere. However, its appearance makes it one of the best cold-water plants.

Scientific Name – Aponogeton Madagascariensis

Water temperature needed – 59-75°F

pH level – 6.5-7.5

Lighting – moderate

Height – 20 inches

#9 Red Repens

Best Coldwater Plants for Aquascape Aquarium

Ludwigia is one of the most popular plants kept to boost the color of the aquarium. It is a very probable chance that one sees this plant once in their life. What makes this plant so special is its ability to survive easily with very minimal attention.

This plant is also amphibious hence can survive fully or partially submerged in the water. The change of color provided by this plant is phenomenal and thus is highly demanded.

Scientific Name – Ludwigia Repens

Water temperature needed – 60-80°F

pH level – 5-8

Lighting – low-high

Height – 7-19 inches

#10 Hornwort

Best Coldwater Plants for Aquascape Aquarium

This plant is quite popular in fish aquariums as it can grow until it touches the surface of the tank, thus becoming the ultimate background plant. Its leaves are in the shape of needles and huddle together to form dense whorls.

Its fast growth and low maintenance add to its character making it one of the most wanted plants. Hornwort will survive easily in water that is soft or hard and will cover a huge chunk of the space with its widespread branches.

Scientific Name – Coontail

Water temperature needed – 15-30 °C

pH level – 6-7.5

Lighting – low to high

Height – max 10 feet

#11 Amazon Frogbit

Best Coldwater Plants for Aquascape Aquarium

Amazon frogbit is a floating plant with its leaves lying flat like disks on the top of the water, its appearance making it a highly ornamental plant. Its easy-to-care-for nature makes it high in demand and is seen as the utmost way to adorn an aquarium.

The flowers it sprouts on reaching maturity is one of the favorite parts for some people, as it highly lifts the spirits of the aquarium. It can be kept in a water type ranging from soft to moderately hard and in a wide range for temperature (also called a freshwater plant for the same reason).

Scientific Name – Limnobium levigatum

Water temperature needed – 64-84°F

pH level – 6-7.5

Lighting – low to medium

Height – 20 inches

#12 Java Moss

Best Coldwater Plants for Aquascape Aquarium

Java moss is a grass-like plant as it settles on the surface of objects and thus giving the aquarium a very natural look. Its feathery leaves and an occasional flower here and there makes the aquarium feel like it “belongs”. Additionally, it doesn’t need any extra materials such as Co2 or extra fertilizers which makes it one of the easiest and vital plants added in aquariums.

To prevent the middle parts of the plant from turning brown, it is supposed to be trimmed at regular intervals. Other than this it is a highly demanded plant and is sure to spruce up your aquarium.

Scientific Name – Taxiphyllum Barbieri

Water temperature needed – 15-30°C

pH level – 5-8

Lighting – low to high

Height – 5 inches

#13 Eelgrass

Best Coldwater Plants for Aquascape Aquarium

Eelgrass is popular for its astonishingly fast growth, which makes it grow even up to 6 feet! This plant has been a favorite from the start and not surprisingly, is still on the list. Its ability to grow fast, in lower temperatures, and any kind of substrate is what makes it an all-time favorite.

However, to grow tall it does require an iron-rich substrate and if not provided, will result in very slow growth. It can be seen from the name that Eelgrass is a grass-like plant, its thick leaves grow straight from the ground and cover large areas of the bed in green.

Scientific Name – Jungle Vallisneria

Water temperature needed – 65-85°F

pH level – 6-8

Lighting – moderate

Height – 3 feet

#14 Brazilian Pennywort

Best Coldwater Plants for Aquascape Aquarium

Brazilian Pennywort is a very adaptive plant with very minimal demands. All that needs to be done is to grow this plant is to bury the stems in the substrate and wait for it to grow roots. This plant is known to be sturdy and is a plant that can be grown by beginners easily.

Pennywort has big leaves almost round with a cut at one side. It can also become a floating plant if you want it to be.

Scientific Name – Hydrocotyle leucocephala

Water temperature needed – 18-28°C

pH level – 6-8

Lighting – moderate to high

Height – 8 inches

#15 Red Root Floater

Best Coldwater Plants for Aquascape Aquarium

Red root floater is a small leafy plant that grows in clusters on the bed of the aquarium, its name ‘red root’ is given due to its ombre shade of red and green. Talking about its growth tendencies; the plant is very easy to care for, making it ideal for beginners.

A floater is a relatively fast-growing plant and can tolerate up to 70 degrees Fahrenheit as the aquarium temperature. It’s a relatively risk-free plant. However, be sure to keep it in an open-top tank as it cannot tolerate too much humidity. It is also a relatively easy plant to grow due to its undemanding quality when it comes to light; it can do well in less light as well.

Scientific Name – Phyllanthus fluitans

Water temperature needed – 70-82°F

pH level – 6.5-7.5

Lighting – low to high


This list above now provides you with all the information you need to make a wise choice about the plants you would want in your aquarium to make it enamoring and a healthy place.