25 Best Tall Aquarium Plants For Your Tank Reviewed

Generally, tall aquarium plants are great. They fill up the tank, grow above the water, give the aquarium a natural look, and make it roomier.

The visual aesthetic they give aquariums isn’t the same as short plants; it’s on a different level. Tall aquarium plants are beautiful and might just be the last touch you need in your aquascape.

tall plants
Image Credit: modestfish.com

This article discusses the best tall aquarium plants to grow in your tank. Get ready to find out!

Benefits of Tall Aquarium Plants

Tall plants do more than just stand tall in aquariums. They offer certain benefits.

  • Aesthetics

Tall aquarium plants are background plants that make your aquarium come alive. They brighten up your plain substrate and beautify your tank. Depending on the color you decide on, you can make your aquarium look more than just plain glass.

  • Serve as shade

Tall aquarium plants serve as an extra shade in the tank. Their stems, leaves, and plant density can hide small fish and protect them from aggressive fish. Fish can also relax and hide if they want. 

  • Help with aeration and oxygen

Plants generally help with many things in the tank, and tall aquarium plants are not left out. They can help with aeration and supply your fish with oxygen in the tank. In addition, they supplement the water’s chemistry, making it safe for your fish and free from toxins. 

Are Tall Aquarium Plants Easy To Grow?

Generally, tall aquarium plants are easy to care for and grow. But, of course, some plants are easier to grow than others. Some plants are hardy and won’t need active care to grow well.

On the other hand, some delicate plants require much care, so if you’re a beginner and can’t handle them, you’d better stick to other plants. Also, some tall plants grow fast and may need pruning often, so they don’t grow out of hand.

It is important to supply your plants with everything they need to grow.

Tips For Growing Tall Aquarium Plants

As mentioned earlier, tall aquarium plants will grow well and easily when they get everything they need. Plants don’t need much to grow, but the most important things they need are:

  • Lighting

Every plant needs light to grow. It will help them grow to their full length and deepest colors. In fact, lighting is a good way to bring out your plant’s color best. Of course, you have to be careful there because the light requirements for each plant are different.

  • Prune and trim at intervals

Another way to grow your tall aquarium plants is to prune and trim them at intervals. This will help them look their best rather than grow out of control and look weird in the tank. 

  • Give them enough nutrient

Your tall aquarium plants need enough nutrients to thrive in the tank. Ensure you plant them in a nutrient-rich substrate for root feeder plants, and sometimes supplement with natural fertilizers. The water conditions should also be intact without sudden fluctuation.

Before planting it in your tank, ensure you find out more about the tall aquarium plant you choose.

Best Tall Aquarium Plants For Your Tank

Many tall aquarium plants will probably suit your tank and brighten it up. You may just find the one you like below:

1. Amazon sword

This plant is native to the United States and Argentina. Its maximum height is 20 inches and has a pleasing aesthetic. This plant doesn’t need bright light to grow well and is low maintenance.

It is hardy, and beginners won’t have issues growing it because it doesn’t require active care. In fact, low to moderate nutrients are enough to make it grow. Lastly, it suits moderately-sized aquariums and larger tanks.

2. Banana lily

The banana lily plant features bright green and round leaves and is 6-inches in height. It also has a white flower on top, and both the leaves and flowers grow from a bulbous base rather than the stem. 

The plant is beautiful and would serve other benefits in your tank.

3. Red tiger lotus

The red tiger lotus is native to Africa and is popular for its red color. It has large leaves and grows up to 31 inches in height. The red leaves also have green variations, and the color depends on how much light they get.

Even though it’s easy to care for, you would need to prune it always because of its leaves.

4. Moneywort

Moneywort is more of a creeping plant with small round leaves. It can grow up to 13 inches if tended to properly. It attaches itself to decor, so you don’t necessarily need to plant it on a substrate. It thrives better in nutrient-rich substrates and high light conditions.

5. Onion plant

This plant has long leaves that can grow up to 48 inches. Not only does it beautify the tank, but it also helps with filtering ammonia and nitrate in the tank. It thrives well under bright light and moderate nutrients. The plant’s base adds a distinct look to the tank.

6. White Egyptian lotus

This is a large flowering plant with wide leaves and white flowers at the top of it. It spreads fast and well over the water, making a good shade for fish and aquatic life beneath. It can grow up to 12 inches and needs low light and many nutrients to grow.

It’s perfect for beginners and when you need color in your tank.

7. Asian ambulia

Asian ambulia (Limnophila sessiliflora) is a native plant to Southeast Asia and is common among aquarium hobbyists. This is because they’re attractive and easy to care for. They have a fern-like appearance, and their green shade is unique.

It needs an iron-rich substrate to grow, supplemented with bright lighting and fertilizer. One major benefit of this plant is that it can help prevent algae.

8. Water wisteria

As one of the popular aquarium plants and its height, it is the only normal water wisteria on this list. The plant is beautiful and grows to fill the tank with its leaf density. It can grow up to 20 inches high in the tank.

Even though its leaves are tiny, the stems are fuller, supplementing the plant with the perfect look. It doesn’t need many nutrients and is easy to grow for beginners.

9. Corkscrew Vallisneria

Corkscrew Vallisneria, with the scientific name Vallisneria torta, is a native to Japan. They grow tall up to 20 inches, and their wavy leaves will match any aquarium look. Their leaves twist around like a corkscrew. Maybe that explains their name! 

They’re fast-growing and will quickly take over the tank. They require low light to grow well and are easy to care for. In addition, they need a nutrient-rich substrate to grow well, so keep that in mind. You may also supplement their growth with fertilizers.

10. Jungle Vallisneria

Jungle Vallisneria is a hardy plant and won’t be much work to grow. It can survive different water parameters and grow up to 72 inches long. They’re more suitable for large aquariums but not so bad in medium ones but will require occasional pruning.

They’re easy to care for and need moderate light and nutrients.

11. Creeping primrose willow

Creeping primrose willow or ludwigia repens is another tall aquarium plant fit for your tank. Their red stem and green-red leaves are beautiful and will brighten your fish tank.

They grow up to 20 inches in length. To attain their full color, they need moderate to bright light. Also, they need many nutrients to survive and look healthy. They’re not so easy to grow but not high maintenance.

12. Bluewater hyssop

Bluewater hyssop (Bacopa Caroliniana) is an excellent plant choice for minimal tank setups. Their maximum height is 12 inches, requiring bright light to grow well. Also, they don’t need much care, nutrients, or fertilization to grow well and brightly.

They’re good for beginners, and the major work you’d probably do would be trim their leaves with your hand or pruning scissors. Just ensure you plant them on a healthy substrate.

13. Madagascar laceleaf

Madagascar laceleaf is unique in its appearance. Its leaves are perforated in nice shapes, making the plant look lace-like. It’s beautiful enough to make you stop and look again. 

Its maximum length is 20 inches and is easy to care for. However, its survival depends on the nutrients and light it gets. It needs an iron-rich substrate and fertilizer.

14. Roundleaf toothcup

Also known as Rotala rotundifolia, this plant is lovely and is good for when you need a not-so-tall plant. Its maximum height is 12 inches, and it needs high light to grow well and attain its full color.

This plant needs stable water chemistry to thrive, so you need to pay attention to maintaining it. It needs moderate nutrients and occasionally pruning so the leaves look more uniform.

15. Java Fern

Java Fern is also a popular tall aquarium plant with long broad leaves. This plant is very hardy, can withstand most water parameters in fish tanks, and can even thrive in brackish water.

It doesn’t need much light, nutrients, or care to grow up to its 14 inches maximum height. Regular leaf trimming may require the most work to keep the plant healthy and promote new growth.

16. Carolina watershield

Carolina watershield or Cabomba caroliniana is a wild plant native to Southern Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, Northeast Argentina, and Southern and Eastern USA, and present in large water bodies. 

Their uniqueness can beautify your tank, and they can serve as a nice backdrop. Their maximum height is 6 feet, and they can be difficult to grow, especially for beginners. This plant needs high light and nutrient-rich substrates to grow well.

17. Anacharis

Growing anacharis in a fish tank is simple. It doesn’t need special treatment or attention to grow to its 6 feet maximum length. The major thing is to plant it in peat moss or sand substrate.

However, it absorbs most of its nutrients from the water column. It’s easy to care for and needs only low to moderate light.

18. Water sprite

Water sprite is popular, especially because it’s a low-light plant. Also, it is a free-floating aquarium plant and doesn’t need to be rooted in the substrate. You can hang it around driftwood, hold it up with a fishing line or let it float in the water.

It grows up to 12 inches and is very easy to grow for beginners.

19. Brazilian pennywort

Brazilian pennywort is an easy plant to grow in aquarium tanks. It grows long stems and wide leaves that can serve as hiding spots for your fish in the tank. It needs moderate light to grow; however, it can withstand high light, which can help it deepen its hue.

This plant can grow up to 24 inches. However, you should keep it away from snacking fish, as they can eat and damage it and prevent it from growing well.

20. Green foxtail

Another tall aquarium plant to grow in your tank is green foxtail. They’re easy to care for and don’t require much active effort. With proper care, they can grow up to 4 feet in length. 

You should support their growth by anchoring them into the substrate with a fishing line or other materials. It can grow up to 2 inches weekly, so it may need pruning at some point.

21. Temple plant

Growing temple plants in your fish tank isn’t a bad idea, and they are popular among aquarists. They don’t need much light or nutrients to grow, and you won’t have a hard time tending to them in your aquarium.

If you want the plant to grow thicker stems and leaves, it needs to get much light within a 5-inch range.

22. Water trumpet

Water trumpet has leaves that look like arrowheads but in dark green color. It is suitable for medium-sized aquariums and is easy to care for. It needs low to moderate light and nutrients to grow well, up to 10 inches.

23. Ruffled sword plant

You can picture the ruffled sword plant with ruffled edges and a sword-like shape. They grow fast and quick and don’t require active tending to grow well.

They’re thick, sturdy, and grow up to 12 inches. You would need to supplement the water column with fertilizers at intervals as this helps their growth.

24. Hornwort

Hornwort is another popular and common aquarium plant. Its long thin leaves and stems help to give the aquarium a natural look. With the right tank conditions, this plant can grow up to 6.5 feet and spread quickly.

You can either grow it in a substrate or let it float in the tank.

25. Italian Vallisneria

Italian Vallisneria or Vallisneria spiralis is also known as spaghetti grass or plant. It has long, thin leaves that spiral like noodles. It can grow up to 3 feet and does well in any water condition.

It’s easy to care for and needs high nutrients and light.

How To Prevent Your Tall Aquarium Plants From Dying

A few things can cause your tall aquarium plants to die in the tank. For example, poor lighting, food, and fish waste, excess filtration, lack of or wrong fertilizers, incompatibility with fish, excess filtration, and substrate instability can affect them badly and make them die.

However, you can prevent that by ensuring the water parameters and conditions are good for your plant. They need plenty of nutrients, light, and favorable water chemistry to survive. 

This includes planting them in the right fish tank, pruning them, and supplementing the water quality.


Choosing which talk aquarium plants to opt for is easy. But the work begins after you have bought them. You have to ensure they stay healthy and don’t die. If you don’t have that much time to monitor and tend to it, you should go for hardy plants that don’t require much care.

Additional Contents

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