Top 13 Best Floating Aquarium Plants

floating plants

Whether you’re an aquarist, a plant parent, or both, this article will feel like Disneyland for you! Join us as we explore all of the aquatic plants your aquarium deserves.

By the end of this article, you’ll surely know which floating aquarium plants to take home.

Quick List: 13 of the Best Floating Aquarium Plants

In case you’re in a hurry, here’s a brief list of our best picks: 

  • Amazon Frogbit
  • Anacharis
  • Brazilian Pennywort
  • Cabomba
  • Crystalwort Riccia
  • Duckweed
  • Dwarf Water Lettuce
  • Floating Bladderwort
  • Hornwort
  • Java Moss
  • Red Root Floater
  • Water Spangles
  • Water Sprite

We suggest reading through our next heading for an in-depth review of these floating aquatic plants!

First Things First: Why Should You Get Floating Plants?

You may be wondering why people are taking these plants seriously. Well, adding floating plants offers lots of benefits for your tanks.

They Improve the Water Quality

We know how plants produce oxygen and are naturally suitable for living creatures like us – and even fellow plants. Fish, shrimps, and your other water pets are not excluded.

Floating plants act as natural filters that clean your water.

Like the Floating Bladderwort, some consume harmful microorganisms more effectively than artificial filters.

They Help with Creatures’ Quality of Life

Moving schools of fish into tanks can create immense stress on them. That’s why many aquarists do their best to mimic natural habitats.

Water surface plants help shy creatures hide during stressful triggers, or they prove to be effective shades for when it’s too hot or the lighting is too intense for them. Some use it to eat their food.

When creatures nibble on these plants, they get nutrients too. These are benefits that you won’t get from an artificial plant.

That’s why it’s also vital to get floating plants or accessories that are 100% safe for your tank creatures. There will be nibbling and eating!

They Are Aesthetically Pleasing

There’s no judgment for people who want to keep plant aquariums because they look cool. They do look cool.

More so, the sight of nature relieves eye strain, makes you feel more relaxed, and improves the air quality around you. The natural aesthetic adds to the overall design, and we’re all for it.

They Are Good for Your Mental Health

Building on the relaxing benefit, these plants can also help keep your mental health afloat. Taking care of and maintaining them requires DISCIPLINE and GOOD HABITS.

It’s like owning other pets such as dogs, cats, and birds. Maintaining something will make you a lot happier as you care for life and watch them grow.

Thorough Review: Which of the Best Floating Aquarium Plants Should You Get?

We’ll discuss these plant species’ characteristics, benefits, and care points here. Find out which one is for you.

Amazon Frogbit

If you’re looking for a hardy plant that’s easy to grow and maintain, Amazon Frogbit is the way to go.



Characteristics and Benefits of Amazon Frogbit

Like most floating aquarium plants, Amazon Frogbit is a native plant from Central and South America.

One of our favorite characteristics of this aquatic plant is how absorbent it is.

Once you plant it in your fish tank, it acts as a filtration system sucking up the unwanted chemicals – leaving your water noticeably cleaner.

It’s also low maintenance. It’s a fast-growing plant, but you don’t need any special nutrients for its growth. It does its thing while you do yours!

Care Points to Look Out For

But just because it’s low maintenance doesn’t mean you can do whatever with it. Of course, for this free-floating plant to live well, you may want to note some specifics.

  • Temperature: 64-84 degrees Fahrenheit
  • pH Level: 6-7.5 pH
  • Lighting: Medium

Also, note that the top of Amazon Frogbits shouldn’t be left too wet for too long. Else, you risk speeding up its rotting process.

Some may find these specifics hassle. But that’s about all you need for the Amazon Frogbit, then the rest of the care process is easy and stress-free.

Anacharis or Elodea

Are you looking for an aquarium plant for your freshwater tank? Anacharis is here!


Characteristics and Benefits of Anacharis

Anacharis goes both ways. It can be one of the rooted plants or serve as surface plants for your fish tanks.

The plant growth of the Anacharis is fast, and beginners will find it easy to care for it. They thrive best in colder temperatures.

An interesting point about this aquarium plant is that it floats higher during the day. It soaks up the heat, and it submerges during cooler nights.

Care Points to Look Out For

The Anacharis grows larger. If you have a small fish tank, you may find this taking over your aquarium surface. We suggest trimming it according to the size of your planted tank.

If you have fish species that eat plants, you don’t have to worry. This plant is one of the best choices for this kind of environment.

It’s safe for both your fish and for the plant.

Brazilian Pennywort

If you’re after thicker live plants with unique aesthetics, you might appreciate the Brazilian Pennywort more.


Characteristics and Benefits of Brazilian Pennywort

It’s one of the best floating plants that look good, especially as you let it cover the entire surface. Like the Anacharis, they also belong to categories of floating and submerged plants.

If taken care of well, it may even gift you white flowers as it grows up to the water surface.

Care Points to Look Out For

This aquarium plant isn’t difficult to care for, but it’s also not the best choice for beginners. Don’t get us wrong, it’s still low maintenance, but there are additional points to consider.

For one, its growth rate depends on the light it receives. It adapts to different lightings, but if you want it to grow faster, put it under moderate lighting.

The Brazilian Pennywort also has a growing stem. So as it grows longer, make sure to trim or adjust it accordingly to make sure it won’t disturb the other creatures in your planted aquarium.

The stem can also float freely if you want.

And lastly, if you have a school of fish swimming around, don’t cover up the entire surface. It may suffocate them or bar the light.


Steering away from beginner-friendly plants for a bit, let’s step up the challenge for our advanced aquarists and plant parents.

Try the Cabomba floating plant!


Characteristics and Benefits of Cabomba

Cabomba comes in green, red, and purple variations. The green floating plant is the most popular since it’s the easiest to grow and maintain.

They filter the water column and help prevent algae growth.

It has one of the most unique looks for a floating aquarium plant. We think it’s an underrated option! They also grow daughter plants fast.

Care Points to Look Out For

But we get it. People don’t rave about this interesting floating plant too much because they’re not the easiest to maintain.

It’s a more delicate plant, so don’t merge them with nibbling creatures (i.e., goldfishes!) in the floating aquarium.

Instead, they’re perfect for the shy fish types who love to hide behind aquarium floating plants.

Crystalwort Riccia (Riccia Fluitans)

Another addition to the interesting floating aquatic plant list is the Crystalwort Riccia.

Source: Pinterest. ph

Characteristics and Benefits of Crystalwort Riccia

Originated from Japan, Crystalwort Riccia is a beautiful-looking plant that doesn’t require too much attention. A win-win!

If your fish tank is composed of shrimps and fish fry, the Crystalwort Riccia makes an excellent natural habitat for them.

Care Points to Look Out For

It’s more common as a rooted plant than a floating one, but people love it either way.

However, we think it’s way less maintenance to have them as surface growing plants since you don’t have to cut stems and whatnot.

But overall, it’s a BEGINNER-FRIENDLY floating plant that will garner lots of compliments for sure.


If you’re on the hunt for freshwater aquarium plants that grow rapidly, Duckweed will be your best option. You may also be familiar with how it looks, as it’s commonly seen in ponds!


Characteristics and Benefits of Duckweed

Here’s a cute fun fact, ducks love Duckweed!


But even if you don’t have a duck, Duckweed is a popular floating plant for many aquarists. They’re one of the most low-maintenance aquarium plants, and they grow even without much care or supervision.

Care Points to Look Out For

One of the reasons it’s a favorite is that it’s not fussy about its surroundings; regardless of the temperature, lighting, or pH level, these floating plants can still grow fast.

Its rapid growth can become a con.

If you don’t like weeding excessive plants out of your freshwater aquarium or your fish tank is tiny, you might find Duckweed a little hassle since constant trimming is required.

Dwarf Water Lettuce

We’re pretty sure that you’ve seen water lettuce. If so, then you know exactly how the Dwarf Water Lettuce looks like.


Characteristics and Benefits of Dwarf Water Lettuce

Similar to Duckweed, this is also known to grow rapidly.

But we think the required maintenance is worth the effort because of its filtering characteristic. Goodbye fish waste and other chemicals!

It’s good for fishes and shrimps to hide in, too!

Care Points to Look Out For

Since it already does the filtering, you may want to stay away from strong filtration systems if possible. These two don’t work quite well, as this floating plant is a little delicate.

And since it grows fast, it’s more suitable for bigger aquariums. Or else, it covers up the water surface, making it difficult for your creatures to adapt.

Floating Bladderwort

Are you looking for the most interesting and unique floating aquarium plant? Believe us when we say there’s a carnivorous option.


Characteristics and Benefits of Floating Bladderwort

For those familiar with the Venus Flytrap, consider this as the floating aquarium plants version.

But don’t be alarmed; it doesn’t devour your fishes or pets.

It consumes other organisms such as the invasive species that may harm your aquarium plants. So in a sense, it’s a “guard” for your floating aquarium!

Care Points to Look Out For

It’s not too difficult to care for, but it requires a certain amount of lighting, temperature, and pH levels to grow faster and healthier.

If maintained well, you’ll even be rewarded by blooming yellow flowers.

If you’re struggling with microorganisms, you might find the Floating Bladderwort helpful to clear your water column from unwanted organisms.


Like most floating plants on this list, the Hornwort is low maintenance, newbie-friendly, and hardy floating plant.


Characteristics and Benefits of Hornwort

As you can see, they look like fan brushes. And yes, they’re one of the floating plants that do a good job filtering the water surface and water column.

They can also be rooted or placed as a floating plant on the water surface.

It’s a GREAT oxygen provider and food hideout for fish and fry creatures. But be wary because floating plants like the Hornwort grow fast – which you may need to watch out for.

Care Points to Look Out For

Again, constant trimming is needed. Be sure you’re up for that before going for this as one of your aquarium plants.

These floating plants also thrive BETTER in certain aquarium conditions (59 to 86°F; 6-7.5 pH level), which are pretty normal plant requirements. But it doesn’t mean they’ll die elsewhere. 

Java Moss

The Java Moss looks like Hornwort. They also possess similarities – so it’s your choice!


Characteristics and Benefits of Java Moss

This plant is more commonly used as rooted floating aquarium plants. But let this article be the one to debunk that misconception.

A floating moss is quite cool too, and it’s likewise an excellent filter for your tank.

Care Points to Look Out For

For aquarists who are a little lazy, you’ll be happy to know that these floating plants survive in any kind of living conditions.

Even without specific pH or lighting levels, best believe that the Java Moss will thrive and grow fast.

Just a little warning, though; it can look a little messy. It’s like a ball of dark green moss floating in your tank. A little extra maintenance will help.

Red Root Floater

Many floating plants are green – which some think to be a boring and typical color already. If you want to take it up a notch, this red plant might be what you need.


Characteristics and Benefits of Red Root Floaters

You may think that because it’s unique, the catch is that it’s challenging to maintain.

Wrong! It’s the best of both worlds. It’s a pretty and chill plant – except for a few conditions (that are highly doable). 

Under low light, the leaves are normally green. But as you turn on high lighting, you’ll see these floating plants turning red like it’s fall season in your aquarium!

Care Points to Look Out For

To achieve the red color, set it to 70° to 82°F with pH levels between 6.5 to 7.5. Set the lighting to high too.

It’s one of the floating aquarium plants that serve as good shades for your fishes. Of course, you don’t want to overdo it and suffocate them.

But the added shade allows shy creatures to come out more which is the ideal condition for your pets.


Water Spangles

Here’s another rapid grower that is big and needs frequent trimming. But it’s easy to maintain, helpful, and popular.


Characteristics and Benefits of Water Spangles

Again, it’s one of the floating plants that survive in almost any kind of water condition. It’s hardy with no-fuss at all.

And on the plus side, they make good feeding areas for your pet fish and other creatures.

Care Points to Look Out For

As long as you place these floating plants anywhere with temperature levels of 69 to 85 degrees and pH levels ranging from 6.5 to 8.0 with moderate lighting, this plant will live long.

Additionally, note that low water movement is best for these types of floating plants!


Water Sprite

If you’re looking for low-light floating plants that drink up nutrients without extra fertilizers, Water Sprites will check the boxes.


Characteristics and Benefits of Water Sprite

Water Sprites floating plants are easy to find. Almost all aquarist or aquarium stores will have this – so you don’t have to go the extra mile to propagate them should you need more.

Aquarists love them because the shy fish loves them too. It reduces their stress by providing a great shade for them to hide under for long periods.

Care Points to Look Out For

You don’t have to do anything intensive to ensure that they grow fast and thrive easily in tropical areas.

Like most plants on this list, it’s newbie-friendly and easy to grow. If you want a similar plant, you may also check out Water Wisteria to get the same benefits.

Water Wisteria even looks similar to Water Sprites, and they have similar care processes as well.

Best Floating Aquarium Plants [TL;DR]

That was quite a long read, wasn’t it? Here’s a brief TL;DR of what we’ve discussed.

13 Aquatic Plants to Try Out

Here are 13 of our best picks. Most of them are easy to take care of and don’t require much maintenance:

  • Amazon Frogbit
  • Anacharis
  • Brazilian Pennywort
  • Cabomba
  • Crystalwort Riccia
  • Duckweed
  • Dwarf Water Lettuces
  • Floating Bladderwort
  • Hornwort
  • Java Moss
  • Red Root Floaters
  • Water Spangles
  • Water Sprites

Benefits of Floating Plants

Here’s why you should consider getting them if you have an aquarium:

  • They improve water quality.
  • They improve the pets’ and creatures’ quality of life.
  • They’re aesthetically pleasing and relaxing for the aquarist.
  • They’re good for your mental health.



Did we help you settle for floating aquarium plants that suit your circumstances? We hope we did.

Whether professional aquarists or newbies, there are perfect plant types that will thrive under your care. You just have to choose the best one for you!

Leave a Comment