For low light aquarium plants rooted in the substrate, roots tabs are great for providing nutrients and promoting growth. For low light floating aquarium plants, liquid fertilizer is best to encourage growth as these plants absorb nutrients from the water column. Things you’ll need to care for low light aquarium plants:

These are the best low-light aquarium plants:

Anubias Barteri

Anubias Barteri is a lush green plant that is easy to care for. It thrives in a variety of water temperatures, grows fully or partially submerged, and tolerates low to moderate lighting conditions. Anubias Barteri is versatile enough to decorate the foreground or background of an aquarium. The plant gathers nutrients through its roots so a substrate where the roots can grow is best.

Anubias Nana

Anubias Nana hs the same dark green pointed leaves like Anubias Barteri. This plant is easy to care for and can grow in varying tank conditions regardless of temperature and light. To ensure optimal growth of this low light plant, plant it in gravel and use fertilizer.


Anacharis is a beautiful plant that is made up of a long green stem with small green leaves along the entire length. It can range in color from grass-like to a deep dark dense green.


Bacopa is a common and hardy aquarium plant that grows slowly. This plant is easy to propagate and tolerates low light conditions.

Brazilian Pennywort

Brazilian Pennyworts have rounded green leaves that are as big as a penny. The leaves grow on a creeping vine that prefers the surface of the water. It’s a fast grower under high light conditions, but it also tolerates low light which slows the growth rate.

Christmas Moss

Christmas Moss is excellent for carpeting your aquarium with a lush green look. It grows in shaded areas in the wild, so it makes for a great low light aquarium plant. For carpeting, tie the moss to the substrate using cotton threads. You can attach it to decorations, driftwood, or rocks. It grows on most surfaces.


Cryptocoryne plants grow best in low light conditions. There are many different species each with a unique look but similar care requirements. Cryptocoryne Wendtii is the most popular variety.

Green Hygro

Green Hygro plants grow fast and develop long leaves that range from green to brownish-red. The plant draws in nutrients using its roots so a nutrient-rich planted aquarium substrate is best.

Guppy Grass

Guppy grass is great for breeding tanks and shrimp tanks. This low-light aquarium plant has long, tangled stems and narrow leaves which offer adequate hiding places for fry and small freshwater fish. It’s easy to care for but requires frequent trimming as it is a fast-growing plant.


Hornwort is a rootless plant prefers to grow in high light conditions. But, due to its hardiness, it thrives in low light too. Although, it does grow slower with less light.

Java Fern

Java Fern is a popular aquarium plant that thrives in low light aquariums. The plant has broad leaves that grow in clusters and act as resting places for fish and other aquarium pets.

Java Moss

Java Moss grows naturally floating in the water. There are no roots, but the plant can attach to decor, driftwood, or the substrate. It’s a slow grower that requires little attention. It tolerates low light levels, but you increase the light to promote growth.

Marimo Moss Balls

Marimo balls require very little maintenance. This ‘plant’ is excellent for low-light aquariums as it does not require special or high-intensity lighting. It grows very slowly and will not overrun your tank.

Red Ludwigia

Red Ludwigia adds a bit of color because it grows bright red leaves under the right lighting conditions. The plant grows quickly and needs regular trimming. Red Ludwigia needs a substrate for its roots and looks best in the foreground of the aquarium.