Best Low Light Aquarium Plants [Review and Buying Guide 2021]

If you are an aquarium enthusiast and have done your research, you must know live aquarium plants need some sort of lighting set up to grow appropriately.

Not all plants require the same lighting setup, Some plants’ species need much nurture and lighting to grow correctly. Usually, those plants need bright lights, and bright lights do not come cheap.

But do not get disheartened. There are plenty of beautiful low light plants that thrive in low lights. They can grow in their natural state with the minimal presence of light.

If you want a natural touch to your aquarium but do not want to break the bank, pick some low light plants for your beloved aquarium. In our article, you will get to know more about which best thriving low light live plants.

Our Picks Best Low Light Aquarium Plants

Best of the Best Low Light Aquarium Plant

GreenPro Freshwater Cryptocoryne Balansae
Perfect in every aspect

Best Java Fern Low Light Live Plant

Aqualeaf Aquatic Java Fern
Perfect background for the fish tank

The Rapid Grower Live Aquarium Plant

Mainan Cryptocoryne Parva Vitro Cup
Velvety green carpet like 

The Most Durable Aquarium Plant

GreenPro Low-light Freshwater Juncus Repens
Heavy Duty plant with aesthetic of elegance 

Best Background Aquarium Plant

GreenPro Java Fern Philippine
Rare plant with long leaves

A Quick Comparison Table:


Our RatingPreviewProductView


petlover-5-starGreenPro Freshwater Cryptocoryne BalansaeGreenPro Freshwater Cryptocoryne Balansae


view on amazon petloverblog


petlover-4.5-starAqualeaf Aquatic Java FernAqualeaf Aquatic Java Fernview on amazon petloverblog


petlover-4.5-starGreenPro Low-light Freshwater Juncus RepensGreenPro Low-light Freshwater Juncus Repens


view on amazon petloverblog


petlover-4-starMainan Cryptocoryne Parva Vitro CupMainan Cryptocoryne Parva Vitro Cup


view on amazon petloverblog



GreenPro Java Fern Philippine

GreenPro Java Fern Philippine


view on amazon petloverblog

Also, Read More: The Best Aquarium Grass

Why do you need a low light live plant in your aquarium?

To be completely honest, a plant in a tree is not a necessity. Your fish can live happily with or without a plant as long you feed them well and change their water frequently.

However, if you add some live organisms to your tank, they have some added benefits.

Basically, there are two types of aquarium plants, live and artificial. Artificial plants are just decoration pieces and, in some cases, resting and hiding spots for fishes.

But on the other hand, live plants have many things to offer. Firstly they produce useful oxygens and take the toxic carbon dioxide from the water.

Low light live plants help the fish tank habitat because these particular plants do not need many nutrients to grow. They often cleanse the water from nitrate also. So if you own an aquarium, and want a live plant, consider getting a very low light live plant for your fish tank.


Best Low Light Plants for an Aquarium

Here we have accumulated some of the best low light aquarium live plants found in the marketplace. We have selected these plants from our extensive research on various plants and the market. Also, we looked into customer satisfaction as well.


1. GreenPro Freshwater Cryptocoryne Balansae


GreenPro Freshwater Cryptocoryne Balansae


See The GreenPro Cryptocoryne Balansae  On Amazon

GreenPro Cryptocoryne Balansae is popular among expert and beginner aquascape artists because of their dark green colors. They fit perfectly in any aquarium as a background plant adding a different contrast to it.

The GreenPro Freshwater Cryptocoryne Balansae is a fantastic choice as a low light live plant. Usually, Cryptocoryne Balansae needs moderate to high lighting to grow, but not these ones.

They can grow to their natural size in low lights as well. You will get one Balansae potted. It would be 5-8 inches in length in a bright deep green color.

Like other green pro plants, the Cryptocoryne Balansae are also grown in a controlled and hygienic environment. Free from any harming algies and diseases.

The greenpro Cryptocoryne Balansae is perfect for any aquarium set up. It does not matter if you have a nano or a massive aquarium.

Even if you got a high tech one, whether a low tech one, this low light plant for an aquarium thrives everywhere. It comes with a robust root system. Also can spread quickly under any circumstances.

The dark green leaves are durable. So you won’t have to bother looking after it. It would be a great addition to any natural ecosystem. It grows pretty tall.

That is why it can act as a shelter for the smaller residence of the tank. The greenpro Cryptocoryne Balansae are raised with a baby like care. You will be amused by its growing power under low lights.

And it is also a robust plant, almost an immovable one. This is one of the best background live plants available for aquascaping.

Check Price on Amazon

2. Aqualeaf Aquatic Java Fern


Aqualeaf Aquatic Java Fern

See The Aqualeaf Aquatic Java Fern On Amazon

Java fern is a popular choice aquarium plant. It is usually a background plant, as they tend to grow big. They are so loved because they are low maintenance.

Many live aquarium plant suppliers provide java ferns. From them, one of the best java fern suppliers is Aqualeaf Aquatic.

The Aqualeaf Aquatic sells 1 bare root java fern in a package. The fern is usually 6-8″ in size when packed. The size fits all size aquariums. It is only 1 oz in weight.

So it can drift in water if you do not tie it down with driftwood or rocks. It is the #1 best seller fish tank plant on amazon.

The Aqualeaf Aquatic java fern is one of the best thriving low light plants available in the market. And here are the reasons why. Firstly, They can grow without access to much light.

If you install the java fern in your aquarium, it will add a new splash of life into your fishbowl. The fern will bring a beautiful naturalistic look.

Secondly, the ferns can grow pretty big. It provides a natural resting and hiding place for the small fishes. Also, the live plant is easy to install as well. Just tie it down with a stone.

And thirdly, there is no aquarium too big for this java fern. It WIll grow into any size of an aquarium with just minimal care.

The Ferns come green and healthy out of the box. On top of that, these beautiful plants can spread really fast under the right circumstances. The aqualeaf aquatic java fern helps in eliminating nitrates from the tank water.

However, the plant does not eat up all the nutrients that come with the water. It is a convenient little thing to have in an aquarium.

Check Price on Amazon

3. GreenPro Low-light Freshwater Juncus Repens


GreenPro Low-light Freshwater Juncus Repens

See The GreenPro Low-light Freshwater On Amazon

Juncus Repens are gaining popularity for their grasslike appearance. Alongside that, they have a unique growing habit. They tend to grow slower than other stem-like plants. They are low maintaining live aquarium plants.

The GreenPro Low-light Freshwater Juncus Repens is a fantastic choice if you are looking for a low light fore-ground plant. The green Juncus repens comes with a sturdy and robust root system.

These plants are grown with the help of the latest technology in a controlled nursery environment. That is why these plants are totally disease and algae free. Also, you don’t have any fear of snails either.

The GreenPro Juncus Repens is USDA approved live aquarium plants. These plants can thrive with the help of dim light. This is not only a good thing going for them.

They have many perks up their sleeves. The biggest pros of this plant are that they are root feeders. They get nutrients from substrates. And aquarium substrates are filled with fish wastes.

These Juncus perens can overgrow just from feeding on fish wastes. Alongside this beautiful feature, this low light live plant is a foreground plant that does not need special care.

You just need to root them with your substrate and walla. The plants are good to go.

The good things do not stop just here. These low light aquarium live plants have more perks as well. One of them is they provide a splash of life in your aquarium.

They are live plants. So that they will clean the aquarium water from CO2. And produces oxygens for the fishes to breathe. The Greenpro Juncus repens will create an excellent ecosystem inside the fish tank.

On top of everything, the fish will have an ideal resting place over these grass-like plants. Whether you are an amateur or an expert aquarium owner and looking for a very low light aquarium foreground plant, this one is perfect for you.

Check Price on Amazon

4. Mainan Cryptocoryne Parva Vitro Cup


Mainan Cryptocoryne Parva Vitro Cup

See The Mainan Cryptocoryne Parva On Amazon

The Mainan Cryptocoryne Parva Vitro Cup is a premium quality aquarium live plant. It helps to circulate oxygen into the water and take away the excess CO2 from the water.

Mainan is a reputed company, which produces top-notch live plants for aquariums. They use the highest quality cultivation methods and packaging to deliver the freshest possible aquarium plant to you.

Cryptocoryne are lovely plants to put in an aquarium. They tend to grow faster than other live plants in the aquarium game. Mainam is a famous live plant manufacturer.

They offer many plants. They provide both heavy light and low light aquarium live plants. The Mainan Cryptocoryne Parva Vitro Cup is one of the best cryptocoryne plants available in the general market.

The Mainan Cryptocoryne Parva Vitro Cup is a fantastic low light aquarium live plant. The plant is an excellent option for both amateurs and expert aquarium owners.

The Mainan Cryptocoryne is a rapid grower and only takes 3-4 days to fully grow. It got many other perks as well. This live plant is terrific for aquarium pets.

These plants create a 100% natural perspective inside the tank, but the plants are totally snail deceased free.

The plants come really alive and green. And takes no time to grow. You just put it inside your aquarium and see them grow. Alongside this, the plant is elementary to separate into smaller pieces.

So that you can plant them inside your aquarium as you wish. The cryptocoryne looks like grass inside the aquarium. Just like a long bright meadow.

If you are looking for a plant that thrives the best in low light circumstances, the Mainan Cryptocoryne Parva Vitro Cup is for you.

If you are looking for a great foreground or midground plant, you can pick this up without a doubt.

Check Price on Amazon

5. GreenPro Java Fern Philippine


GreenPro Java Fern Philippine

See The GreenPro Java Fern Philippin On Amazon

Java Ferns are widely used background aquarium plants. They are widely used because of their power to reduce nitrates from water. And java ferns are low demanding plants.

They do not require a lot of nutrients to grow. So that other members of the habitats can use more nutrients.

The GreenPro Java Fern Philippine is a rare java fern. You get a 4″ potted java fern in the package. Like all java ferns, they are effortless to set up and maintain.

As this product is from the famous manufacturer greenpro, you should stay assured about its quality. This low light plant for aquarium is produced with much care and nurture.

The ferns come as ready to go. You just set them inside your fish tank; that’s it.

The GreenPro Java fern fits every kind of tank. No matter whether the tank is low techy or high techy. If you need a very low light aquarium plant, this one’s for you.

It will grow to its ideal size, whether in low lights too. The greenpro java fern is terrific for the aquarium for two reasons. One is because it is a live plant that will provide oxygens for the tank habitats.

As an added bonus will suck up the water’s carbon dioxide—which outcomes in a great environment inside the tank.

Besides the java fern, Philippines provides a natural hiding and resting spot for the younger and smaller tank habitats. Sometimes big fishes tend to eat up the smaller ones.

If you have a greenpro java fern in your tank, the youngsters can easily hide behind the ferns. The greenpro java ferns are well produced and do not come with any disease or algies.

They are pure organic, grown with the latest technology. They are hassle-free plants; just plant and grow. They are lovely choices for a low light thriving aquarium plant.

Check Price on Amazon


See The 9 Coolest Aquariums for Your Home.

Watch how to choose the low light aquarium plant – A step-by-step buying guide.

Live Aquarium Plants Buying Guide, What to and What not to?

Aquarium owners take a lot of time in picking up the perfect tank or the ideal substrate. But they do not always consider that plants are equally crucial for aquariums.

An excellent live plant can come really handy for the inhabitants of the tank. However, picking a perfect plant could be stressful. As there are many types of live plants available, not every plant is the right fit for you.

Here are some aspects to consider before buying your next live aquarium plant.

Types of live aquarium plants

There are basically three types of live plants for aquariums. They are:-

Foreground Plant

There are plants which are for the front part of the fish tank. These plants grow slower than other types of plants. These plants are generally known as carpet plants.

They got their name because they grew outwards somewhat upwards, creating a carpet-as surface inside the aquarium.

Midground Plant

These types of live plants do not take much swimming space from the habitants. These particular plants add an absolute splash of elegance to the tank.

Usually, they do not grow much tall and sit in the middle or on the tank’s sides.

Background Plant

The largest aquarium plants are background plants. They make a beautiful background for your plants. Alongside that, they make a perfect hiding spot for your small fishes too.

Factors to Consider

If you select what kind of plants you are getting, the second step is to decide what kind of plants are suitable for your unique need.


One of the essential benefits of aquarium plants is to add color to the water. There are plants of multiple colors available in the market.

You can go for an all green tank, or also you can put some other bright color here and there. If you want something extreme, there are many color options in artificial plants as well.


Live plants need lighting to function correctly. They can not thrive without the proper lighting setup. Lighting is an essential item for plants to live as they need photosynthesis.

8 hours of illumination is a must for living plants. However, there are different plant options available that need different lighting set up. Some plants are highly demanding. Requires a powerful lighting setup.

On the other hand, some need as low as 1.5 watts of lights to thrive properly. Choose plants according to your lighting setup. This is important.


Looking at fish alone can be a time-consuming hobby. As the tank needs to be cleaned frequently. So, you don’t want to take an extra headache with the plant too.

Choose a plant that is not much hassle. Artificial plants do not need any looking after. But live plants need some care here and there. However, there are many low-maintenance aquarium plants available in the market.

If you want less drama, go for them.


Artificial plants can live on any substrates. But this is not the case in live plants. Live plants need substrate in which they can grow their roots into.

They take nutrients from the substrate and live on them. There are many natural substrates for live plants. Substrates like sand and gravel are fantastic substrates for live plants.

Choose your live plant according to your substrate, as not all substrates fit all plants.


Size is one of the vital things to consider. As fish need a lot of space for comfortable living inside the tank, you need to consider the size of the tank you are getting and your preferred plant’s size.

You do not want to jam your fish tank by any means. You can have some tall plants in the back of your tank and smaller ones in the front. So that fishes will have quality time playing, resting, and hiding in between the plants.


If you are a fish owner, you can consider adding some low light aquarium live plants in your fish tank. Your fish will have a fun time swimming between them.

They can rest on them quickly and add natural oxygen to the water and deduce carbon dioxide. On top of everything, live plants make sure that your aquarium looks visually outstanding.

Low light plants are the best option because they require zero maintenance to grow. So they can be a really hassle-free edition ion to your tank.

Hope our article helps you in choosing the perfect low-light live aquarium plants. Hope you have a successful fish journey.