Best Fish for Planted Aquarium: Top 10 Fish Species You Should Consider

No specific fish can be recommended as the best fish for a planted aquarium without knowing the size of your tank and what kind of plants you will be using. However, some popular choices include ember tetra, betta fish, neon tetra, and cardinal tetra. 

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Best Planted Aquarium Fish

Some popular choices for fish in a planted tank include:

Tetras

Tetras are one of the most popular fish for a planted tank because they are so well suited to living in this environment as they are energetic and not aggressive. They require plenty of oxygen and can easily adjust to changes in their water condition, making them a good choice for someone new to planted tanks.

Another great thing about tetras is that they tend to be lively and interactive with their surroundings, meaning they will probably enjoy spending time near plants. Some other fish that would make great companions for tetras include neon tetra, betta fish, and cardinal tetra.

Rasboras

Rasboras are a popular choice for fish in planted tanks because they are both hardy and playful. However, they require minimal maintenance, making them an excellent option for someone new to aquarium keeping.

Another great thing about rasboras is that they enjoy swimming in water filled with plants, meaning they will be busy exploring their new home and looking after the plants nearby. Some other fish that would make good companions for rasboras include cardinal tetra and dwarf cichlid.

Livebearers

Livebearers are a popular choice for fish in planted tanks because they are adaptable. They can live in both peaceful and active environments, which makes them an excellent option for someone who wants a fish that will be able to thrive in their new home.

Gouramis and Bettas

Some other popular choices for fish in a planted tank include gouramis and bettas. Both of these fish are very adaptable and can live in quiet and active habitats, making them an excellent choice for someone who wants a versatile fish.

Gouramis are known for their gentle personalities, which makes them an excellent choice for new aquatic enthusiasts. They also enjoy swimming near plants, meaning they will be busy looking after the plants nearby and get some good exercise.

On the other hand, Bettas are known as some of the best interactive fish out there. They are very playful and enjoy swimming in water filled with plants and nipping at other fish.

Dwarf Cichlids

Another great option for fish in a planted tank is dwarf cichlids. These fish are active and enjoy swimming around quickly in water filled with plants. They also require minimal maintenance, making them an excellent choice for someone new to aquarium keeping.

Angelfish & Discus

If you want a fish capable of thriving in peaceful and active environments, angelfish and Discus may be the perfect option. These fish are very social and enjoy swimming around with other species members.

Angelfish can also be kept in planted tanks as standalone individuals or grouped with other similar-sized water-dwelling companions. On the other hand, Discus is known for its beautiful colors and large scales. They make excellent display specimens but also enjoy swimming around quickly in water filled with plants.

Killifish

Killifish can also be an excellent choice for someone looking for an active fish that can live in a planted tank. These fish are known for their quick movements and playful nature.

They love to swim around and explore the surroundings of their tank, making them an excellent choice for someone who wants a lively aquarium.

Dwarf Catfish

If you are looking for a fish that can survive in peaceful and active environments, dwarf catfish may be the perfect option. However, these fish are active but tend to keep to themselves when not interacting with other species.

They make an excellent choice for someone who wants a low-maintenance aquarium as they require little water care besides regular cleaning.

Some Perfect Additions for Planted Aquarium

Freshwater Shrimp

Freshwater shrimp make an excellent choice for someone looking for a fish that can thrive in peaceful and active surroundings. These small, lively creatures are known for their hardiness and ability to live in various water conditions.

They also make great additions to planted tanks as they love exploring the various areas of the tank. Adding freshwater shrimp to your aquarium will add life and activity to your tank, making it more enjoyable for you and your pets!

Freshwater Snails

Freshwater snails may be the perfect option if you want an active fish that can thrive in a planted tank. These tiny creatures love to explore their surroundings and can quickly become your aquarium’s new best friend.

Adding freshwater snails to your tank will add life and activity to your water column as they feed on plankton and other tiny organisms. They also make great additions if you want an aquarium with a natural look as they hide among plant leaves.

What Makes an Aquarium Fish Suitable for a Planted Tank?

Generally, fish that live in water are not as well suited to living in a planted tank because they require plenty of movement and swimming space. In contrast, many fish mentioned above are stationary and do well when kept with plants.

That said, it’s always essential to research the specific needs of your chosen aquarium fish before buying them so you can make sure they will be happy living beside plant life.

Benefits of Live Plants in an Aquarium

Plants in an aquarium add life, color, and dimension to your tank. They work hard absorbing sunlight and minerals from the water, creating a cleaner environment for you and your fish.

Aquarium plants also provide shelter for fish as well as food sources. For example, plants can help reduce algae growth in planted tanks while providing hiding places and other refuge areas for smaller fish or invertebrates.

Planning a Planted Aquarium

Before adding any plants to your tank, you must first decide what type of aquarium you would like to create. Various types of tanks are available, including freshwater and saltwater, reef tanks, and planted aquaria.

Once you have decided on the type of tank right for you, begin by gathering all the necessary supplies. This will include aquatic plants, fish food, and glass ornaments or pre-made stands designed for planted aquariums.

You should also purchase an aquarium plant substrate when setting up your tank. This will help to anchor your plants and keep them from floating around.

Once you have all of the supplies, it is time to begin setting up your tank.

Basic Needs of a Planted Aquarium

Aquarium Lighting

Unlike fish in an aquarium that needs aquatic plant light to thrive, most modern-day lighting is adequate for planted and non-planted tanks. If you want additional light or to create a natural look for your tank, you can use low-wattage LED lights or compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs).

Substrate 

There are several different types of substrates available for planted aquariums. The most popular option is an inert substrate from natural substances such as sphagnum moss, peat moss, or bark chips. Other options include sand, coral sand, or even live plants.

Choosing the correct type of substrate for your tank is essential and ensuring it is appropriately moistened when installed. To do this, add water until the substrate feels damp but does not contain any pools of water.

Nutrients and Fertilizers 

Unless you live in a tropical climate, your tank will not receive direct sunlight. Instead, it needs light from plants to thrive. Add a balanced plant fertilizer or liquid seaweed extract to the water every week to provide the necessary lighting and nutrients for your plants.

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