Best Aquarium Plants to Reduce Nitrates: 9 Best Plants You Can Consider

Are you looking to reduce the amount of nitrates in your aquarium? If so, you’ll want to add some aquarium plants to your arsenal! These plants can transform nitrate into nitrogen gas and release it into the atmosphere. This process not only helps reduce the nitrates in your aquarium but also helps to improve the overall water quality. So whether you’re looking to reduce the nitrates in your tap water or add some new plant life to your tank, aquatic plants are a great way!

9 Aquatic Plants That Can Reduce Nitrates

Live Hornwort Plant

Live Hornwort plants are some of the best aquarium plants for reducing nitrates. This is due to their ability to convert nitrogen gas into a less harmful form. Studies have shown that having a healthy dose of this plant in your aquarium can reduce nitrogen gas emissions by as much as 70%! Live Hornwort plants can also improve health and increase oxygen levels in an aquarium. With these benefits alone, it’s easy to see why they’re so popular with aquarists everywhere.

Marimo Moss Ball

Marimo Moss Ball is an excellent value for the price. It is a high-quality product that will last for years. The ball has a lot of surface area, which helps trap and reduce nitrates. It is not the most attractive moss ball that you’ll find in a pet store. It will help control the number of nitrates from fish waste and bacteria, so your new moss ball won’t kill your tank!


The popularity of green aquarium plants is partly due to their stunning foliage and dramatic color changes. However, one of the best qualities of these plants is their ability to reduce nitrates in your tank.

Anubias species are an excellent choice for reducing nitrates because they are fast-growing and do not require a lot of light. They also have extensive root systems that can take up large amounts of nitrates from your water column, helping to keep your tank at a lower nitrogen level.

Dwarf Hairgrass

Dwarf Hairgrass is a hardy grass that can be used to reduce nitrates in aquariums. This grass can grow up to 2 inches per day and can help to reduce the number of nitrates in the water. This plant is also known for its dense growth and can be used in areas without much light.

Aquarium Grass Seeds

Aquarium Grass Seeds are a great way to reduce nitrates in your aquarium. These seeds grow dense and lush plants that can remove nitrates from the water quickly. Some of these grasses remain in the aquarium, while others only live for a year and then die.


Frogbit is a plant that is often used to reduce nitrates in aquariums. Frogbit grows quickly and densely, and its large leaves can filter large amounts of water. This makes it a good choice for tanks with high nitrate levels.


Duckweed is a green alga found in both fresh and saltwater. It is a fast-growing plant that can reach up to two feet long. Duckweed absorbs nitrogen from the water, reducing the number of nitrates in the water. It is often used as an addition to aquariums to reduce nitrate levels.

Water Wisteria

Water wisteria is an aquatic plant found in many tropical locations. This plant is known for reducing nitrate levels in the water. Nitrates are a by-product of the nitrogen cycle and can cause problems for fish and other aquatic creatures. Water wisteria can trap and convert these harmful chemicals into harmless byproducts. This plant is perfect for tanks with high nitrate levels, as it will help keep the level low without having to use expensive additives.


Moneywort is a plant that can help reduce nitrates in your aquarium. It absorbs the nitrates and converts them into nitrogen gas, which can be expelled from the aquarium. This will help to reduce the amount of nitrates in your water and make it more habitable for fish. Moneywort is also known as a “bacteria eater,” so it’s good for keeping your tank clean.

How to Choose Which Aquarium Plants to Grow?

The best aquarium plants to reduce nitrates have a low surface area to volume ratio. This means the plant has few leaves and a trunk and instead contains many roots. These plants absorb nitrogen from the air, so they are a good choice if you try to lower your nitrate level. Other good options include crypts and Anubias, which have extensive root systems.

What Is Nitrate And How Does It Get Into Your Aquarium?

Nitrates are nitrogen-containing compounds found in the water column of an aquarium. They form when nitrogen gas from the air combines with organic material in the water. This process can occur naturally or be caused by several factors, including fertilizer use, fish waste, and decaying plant material. Aquarium nitrates can be a problem because they can lead to harmful nitrate levels in the water. Nitrite is a toxic compound that can cause fish death and make your aquarium environment unpleasant to live in.

How Do Plants Remove Nitrates?

Nitrates are a by-product of the nitrogen cycle in an aquarium. Plants can remove nitrates from the water through a process called denitrification. This process uses oxygen from the air to break down nitrates into harmless nitrogen and water. Plants can denigrate because they have extensive root systems that can access many aquarium parts at once. This makes them better at removing nitrates than fish, which have smaller mouths and cannot consume nitrate particles as efficiently. Plants also have a higher tolerance for high nitrate levels, so they are usually chosen over fish when reducing nitrate levels in an aquarium.

How Do Your Aquarium Plants Use Nitrates?

Aquarium plants can use nitrates as a source of nitrogen. This means that they help reduce the amount of nitrates in the water. In some cases, aquarium plants may even be able to convert nitrates into nitrogen gas. This helps keep the water cleaner and healthier for fish and other aquatic creatures.

Other Ways To Reduce Nitrates In The Aquarium

Besides adding plants, there are many other ways to reduce nitrates in an aquarium. Some standard methods include:

  • Using a gravel cleaner to remove food and substrate that has accumulated over time
  • Using a filter with a high flow rate to keep the water turnover rate high
  • Adding salt to the water (but only if it is dechlorinated) and stirring it every day or two
  • Raising the temperature of the aquarium