Simple Care Guide

Planted Aquarium

Follow these simple steps for a thriving planted aquarium. Start from the beginning, or navigate through various topics for your specific needs.

  • Start Up & Change Water icon
  • Adding Fish icon
  • Regular Care icon
  • Plant Care icon
  • Water Problem Solving icon
  • Fish Problem Solving icon

Planted aquariums add an exciting dimension to your freshwater or saltwater environment, and encourage additional creativity as you design your underwater world! When placing plants in your aquarium, you’ll want to “aquascape,” or arrange the plants to display them in a way that highlights their beauty and vibrancy.

Many new fish owners start with a freshwater tank, opting to incorporate live plants as they recreate a realistic habitat for their fish. Commonly available freshwater plants include Sagittaria, Java Fern, Anubias, and Cryptocoryne species. Each type of plant will have different lighting needs, so it is important to only purchase plants that will do well under the lighting you have. Low light plants can be tucked in shadier spots under aquarium decorations, if your lighting would normally be too high for them. Most popular community fish species you might select for your aquarium will be compatible with a planted aquarium, but not all. like guppies, goldfish, and Bettas. Avoid species of highly herbivorous fish that will eat your aquatic plants like goldfish, the Buenos Aires Tetra, and Silver Dollars. Some larger Cichlids and Plecostomus (such as the Common Pleco) may also want to be avoided, as they have a tendency to “redecorate” or push plants out of place.

Saltwater planted tanks are less common, but are no less stunning. Most saltwater planted aquariums include different species of Seagrasses, which are true plants, as well as many Macro-Algaes such as Sea Lettuce, Caulerpa, and Chaeto. Keeping Macro-Algaes can reduce any excess nutrients that could contribute to smaller nuisance algaes.

NOTE that many of the products and treatments recommended in this guide are geared toward planted aquariums with fish, and may not be necessary for strictly planted aquariums that don’t contain fish.

By providing your email address, you confirm that you are over 16 years old, and would like to be kept up to date with exciting promotions and new product developments from Mars Petcare and its affiliatesOpens in new window.

You may change these preferences at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in any communication you receive.

From time to time, we may use your data for research to enhance our product and service offerings. You can find out how Mars Petcare and its affiliatesOpens in new window collects and processes your data, contact us with privacy questions, and exercise your personal data rights via the Mars Privacy StatementOpens in new window.

Need help button