There are many advantages of having fast growing live plants in your aquarium, but the biggest is that they clean and remove nitrates from your water. I have compiled a list of 10 plants to grow to reduce the nitrates in your tank. Doing less water change sounds like something I’ve done before, so take a good look at these fast-growing plants.
Generally, the maintenance of aquarium plants is not so difficult. However, finding them when they are needed can be challenging because they often miss out on the surplus.
This distinguishes fast-growing plants from other plants. If your current situation gets out of balance, it can become visible and annoying like algae. You may find yourself in a situation where you have been enjoying rapid growth for weeks, only to see your plant die. To prevent this, you must ensure that there are sufficient nutrients in your aquarium at all times. Fast-growing plants can quickly deplete the nutrients in your water, and growth will come to an ugly halt once the nutrients are gone.
Once you have set up a new aquarium with nutrients and water, you must start dosing liquid fertilizer. When you add a fast-growing plant to an established tank, it soaks up nutrients for about a week. If you see your plants struggling, immediately add liquid fertilizer.
Make sure you use a high-quality fertilizer such as Seachem Flourish or the one I recommend. You can order them on Amazon.
After you add the fertilizer, you will have to spend some time trimming the plants. Once your plants reach the top of your tank, there will be a time when you need to trim. They provide the plants with what is needed and this leads to daily plant growth.
You can use the cuttings to propagate plants, or you can give them to other fish farmers to make them happy. And, of course, you can throw them away.
1. Elodea Densa (waterweed)
You can find this beginner plant in a local fish shop, so you can try it out. This plant, also called water herb, made me trim my aquarium. I found it one of the easiest stem plants that exist, and it is also very cheap.
Water weed needs moderate lighting to stay alive. If the lighting is too low, the water will turn brown and fall apart, which is what happened to me. I saw him in the goldfish department, where he was hiding. Like other plants, water herb grows best when additional CO2 is added to the water, but this is not necessary.
When you plant this plant, take a few stems and slide them into the substrate. Make sure you push the stems into your fish current and do not pull them out. If they stay that way, they will start to take root and grow. To reproduce, cut the plant back and stick the loose ends into the ground.
2. Dwarf Ambulia (Limnophila Sessiliflora)
The second on the list is my favorite plant, the dwarf bulia. It is a beautiful, lush green plant with fine leaves. Myve got the first few strains from my grandfather and I bred them all in my aquarium. The picture above shows a large green background plant on the left.
If the plant stands too close to the water surface or receives too much light, the tips of the plant turn red. If you want to have a nice aquarium, throw off the tips, when you cut the plant, pull out the remaining plants and replant them. The plant grows well in a well-balanced aquarium, but it grows too fast and needs to be pruned. It can be propagated by cuttings.
Make sure that you do not keep the stem the same length when planting it. Plant small cuttings on both sides to give the shrub a rounded feel. So don’t distrust the tips.
3. Dwarf Hygro (Hygrophila Polysperma)
Another fast growing plant are dwarf hygros. I have been growing them for just over a year now and can confirm that they can be grown under the right circumstances. They deserve their place on this list, and if you want a wild aquarium, give it a try. Although they are not among my favorite plants, stem plants do not grow very fast. From the stems of these plants new plants sprout, and they grow into dense shrubs.
You will see what I mean when I say that later, but for the moment that is all.
One of the most popular plants for aquarium hobby is hornwort. It is a fast breeder who has to be on the list. It has beautiful detailed leaves that make it beautiful.
Hornwort is very beginner-friendly and tolerates many aquarium parameters as long as it gets enough light and food from the water. In fact, it can grow in many water parameters and has spread to all continents of the world except Antarctica. This is an impressive achievement, as it tends to take over lakes and overgrow other plants. Hornwort does not make heavy root feeding, which means that it can float in aquariums and grow in sand, gravel and fertilizer.
In order to propagate, you take a cut-out and plant it in the substrate. I recommend grabbing a few stems and pushing them into the substrate to make the plant look so beautiful. Keeping your hornwort alive is easy, just make sure you have enough fertilizer and water.
5. Water Wisteria
This next option is called Water Wisteria, and the plants grow massively. It is best suited for aquariums and is about 100 litres in size.
I love the way this plant looks, so next time you meet the local fish shop, be sure to try it out. When I leave it alone, I remember a salad of some kind.
You do not have to buy as many stems as you will grow water wisteria, and it is easy to propagate them yourself. No need to spend money. It gives you very little effort in making sure you provide enough fertilizer for it to grow. It is very undemanding and very hardy.
6. Rotala Rotundifolia
This plant is used as an aquas caper all over the world to give an aquarium more color, depth and general characteristics. With sufficient iron it can be a beautiful red eye-catcher for plants and aquariums.
The other trunk of this plant, Rotala rotundifolia (also called dwarf red rota), can be propagated by cuttings.
7. Amazon Sword (Echinodorus Bleheri) The middle plant is the Amazon Sword
It is the stems of these plants that tend to grow fastest. I hope that you do not tire of the stalk. Another plant that is not missing from this list is the Amazon sword (Echinodorus bleheri).
It is a plant that can be used as a background plant for large aquariums if they can grow large enough. I have used it in the past to cover filters and intake heaters, so this is a great application. You can buy Amazon sword plants, but they are not very big. Approximately 50 cm are not uncommon.
I bought two of them when I bought this plant for my first aquarium. I guess if I had done more research, I could have guaranteed that it would grow much faster in a beginner’s pool. Within a week it was already big enough in the tank to cover all the other plants in the light.
Like the other plants listed on Amazon, Sword is a root feeder, meaning you need to add a few root tabs to the substrate before planting the plant.
Many years ago, I was part of a Facebook group where people kept asking me how they could get rid of duckweed if they fed them. Lentil is a great plant to keep goldfish in aquariums because they eat them and keep the quantity manageable. On the other hand, it is great for removing nitrates from the tank and provides a great shelter for your fish. Beware of this plant in your aquarium, as it can be difficult to remove it. It will continue to grow if you don’t get rid of it by taking a single piece out of the tank.
If you have gouramis, they love to cover themselves as much as anything, if not more.
Just make sure that you do not let the surface of the filter outlet flow quickly or disturb the water / air bubble.
9. Amazon Frogbit
I love the way Amazon Frogbit looks, and if I wanted to add a floating plant to one of my pools, it would fit. It takes away a lot of nutrients from the water and if you have too much of it, you can sell it to the local fish shop or give it to other fish farmers to make them happy. It multiplies really well without needing to be helped. Floating plants are slightly less invasive than plants such as Amazon frogs.
Be careful when changing water, make sure you place the power of your filter far enough away to not disturb the water surface. It is important to always keep the top of the leaves dry, otherwise they will start to rot.
They absorb nutrients from the water, so it is important to keep adding high-quality liquid fertilizer until the new growth dies. If you are curious about which liquid fertilizer you should add, you can try it here. There is no need to add CO2 when it is removed from the air.
10. Ludwigia Repens
The last plant on this list is Ludwigia repens. It is a fast growing beginner plant, suitable for medium to large aquariums. It needs medium lighting and can be propagated by cuttings. This plant grows quickly and is easy to propagate, but buying several stems at the beginning can be a mistake if you do not have much space. When you put this plant in your aquarium, you do not have to worry much about it, but you will want to prune and move it.
This plant is a great addition to your aquarium. The red color will make it very attractive inside and out.
What do plants need to grow faster?
All aquarium plants need light, fertilizer and CO2. You need to be balanced so that you have optimal growth. If one of the three is missing, they grow slowly and stop growing completely. That is why plants can die if they are given a lot of light but no fertilizer, or if there is not enough light or CO2.