Colorful Aquarium Plants for Your Tank's Color Variety

Colorful Aquarium Plants for Your Tank’s Color Variety


When it comes to sprucing up an aquarium tank and making it more visually appealing, there are many paths to go down. You could add lots of colorful rocks on the floor of the tank that reflects light beautifully, or could you buy a few trinkets like a small lighthouse to go in the corner of the tank. On the other hand, you could elevate your aquarium by purchasing several colorful plants. 

Plants serve multiple purposes in an aquarium. In the way they absorb carbon dioxide on land, they absorb CO2, nitrate, and ammonia underwater. They also help enhance the water quality in the tank, reduce algae production, and provide your fish with protection and safety. 

This guide will give you a list of some of the best colorful aquarium plants for your tank! Our list will include growth rates, light demands, and even the scientific names for each plant. Let’s get right into it. 

8 Best colorful aquarium plants (Our Picks)

1. Ludwigia Palustris

Ludwigia Palustris is our first pick because, in addition to being beautifully colored, it is also one of the easiest aquarium plants to find. It is commonly referred to as a Water or Marsh Purslane plant. This particular plant will be green when you buy it, but it will turn into a more intense shade of red as time passes. It needs an iron substrate. Otherwise, it will not turn red. Ludwigia Palustris is the perfect addition to your fish tank. It absorbs excess carbon dioxide while adding aesthetic appeal to the aquarium. 

You will be required to take note of the following care requirements: 

  • Growth Rate: Its growth rate is medium. 
  • Max Height: It can grow from four to 12 inches.
  • Light Demands: It needs medium to high levels of lighting.
  • Temperature: 59° to 79° F
  • CO2 required: Not required, but the plant will thrive better if extra CO2. 

Pros: 

  • This plant is beautiful and aesthetically appealing. 
  • It absorbs CO2. 

Cons: 

  • These plants are high maintenance as they require bright light and grow very quickly. Their fast growth rate means that you need to watch them not take up too much space in the fish tank. 

2. Echinodorus Cordifolius

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Our next pick is Echinodorus Cordifolius. This lovely plant is also often referred to as the Radican Sword, Creeping Burhead, or Spade-left Sword. It has heart-shaped leaves, so you’re guaranteed to love how it looks in your aquarium! In addition to growing in America, one can find this plant in parts of the West Indies, South America, and Mexico. 

We wouldn’t recommend this plant for short and small aquariums because it proliferates. Suppose you choose to buy this plant. If you do, we’d suggest that you refrain from crowding it near the Echinodorus Cordifolius because it grows large leaves and its roots spread out widely. It thrives when fed plant foods that are rich in iron and nitrogen. 

You will be required to take note of the following care requirements: 

  • Growth Rate: Its growth rate is medium or average. 
  • Max Height: It can grow up to 24 inches. 
  • Light Demands: It needs medium to high levels of lighting.
  • Temperature: 72° to 82° F. 
  • CO2 required: It is not required. 

Pros: 

  • These plants are ideal for bigger and taller aquariums. 
  • They grow quickly. This means that you can prune and grow more plants and sell them. 

Cons: 

  • You have to keep pruning these plants if you grow them in a smaller aquarium. 
  • Their fast growth rate could over-crowd your other aquarium plants. 

3. Ammania Senegalensis

Next up on our list is Ammania Senegalensis. These West African plants are commonly referred to as copper leaf ammonia. They are marsh plants that thrive in aquariums. Depending on the lighting in the aquarium, these plants can appear red, bronze, or orange! We admit that Ammania Senegalensis is a high-maintenance aquarium compared to other available varieties. Still, we can assure you that your aquarium will thank you if you are up to the challenge! This type of plant can live in the middle or back of the fish tank without needing much space. However, if you place it in a spot with moderate lighting, the colors in the leaves will not be as vibrant. 

You will be required to take note of the following care requirements: 

  • Growth Rate: Its growth rate is fast.   
  • Max Height: It can grow up to 20 inches. 
  • Light Demands: It requires moderate to high levels of lighting. 
  • Temperature: It requires 68° to 82° F. 
  • CO2 required: This plant would benefit from additional CO2, but it isn’t necessary. 

Pros: 

  • This plant comes in shades of orange, yellow, and red. 
  • It is relatively new in the aquarium spaces, which means that your fish tank will stand out. 

Cons: 

  • It is a high-maintenance plant. 

4. Red Cryptocoryne Wendtii

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Red leaved plants are some of the most popular aquarium industry! Many refer to the Red Cryptocoryne Wendtii as Wendt’s Water Trumpet in honor of the botanist Albert Wendt, whose specialty was aquatic plants. If you are willing to take care of multiple little fish and a few of these low-maintenance plants, then the Red Cryptocoryne Wendtii is the perfect choice for you. These plants are initially from Sri Lanka and belong to the Cryptocoryne species. It is important to note that plants from the Cryptocoryne species are sensitive to different types of environmental change, including temperature, the quality of water, and lighting. 

You will be required to take note of the following care requirements: 

  • Growth Rate: Its growth rate is medium to fast.  
  • Max Height: The average height that this plant grows is six inches or 15 centimeters. 
  • Light Demands: It requires low to moderate levels of lighting. 
  • Temperature: It requires 73° to 84° F. 
  • CO2 required: It does not require any additional CO2. 

Pros: 

  • It is the ideal plant for aquarium beginners because it does not require special lighting. Therefore, you don’t need to purchase any extra technical equipment. 
  • This plant grows very slowly, so you don’t have to spend much time pruning it. 
  • It is ideal for aquatic landscaping, meaning that you don’t need fish to purchase this plant. 

Cons: 

  • It doesn’t react well to harsh lighting. This means that if you have other aquatic plants that require bright light, the Red Cryptocoryne Wendtii will die. 

5. Alternanthera Reineckii

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Next up on our list of the best colorful aquarium plants is the Scarlet Temple plant, or, scientifically known, Alternanthera Reineckii. One of the great features of this plant is that its growth rate is prolonged. This means that you don’t need to spend a ton of time taking care of and monitoring the plant in the aquarium. It also means that if you are a newbie at aquatic plant care, then the Alternanthera Reineckii offers you an excellent jumping-off point. It comes in shades of red, orange, and pink. 

You will be required to take note of the following care requirements: 

  • Growth Rate: Its growth rate is slow.
  • Max Height: Its height is usually between ten and 20 inches. 
  • Light Demands: It requires medium-high lighting levels. 
  • Temperature: It typically requires 71.6° to 82.4° F. 
  • CO2 required: This plant will thrive with CO2 injections but can survive without them. 

Pros: 

  • This plant doesn’t require as much care as other aquarium species, which is ideal if you don’t have much time. 
  • It is perfect for beginners with no plant-care experience. 

Cons: 

  • The Alternanthera Reineckii is extremely defenseless against algae. If you don’t have any algae-eating plants, this plant will slowly die. 

6. Ludwigia Repens

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Ludwigia Repens is arguably one of the most popular and colorful plants for an aquarium tank. It’s also called the creeping-rose willow! When this plant is submerged in water, its leaves turn into a beautiful shade of red. It can even become orange! It originated in parts of North America and Mexico. One of the best things about buying this plant is that it requires very little maintenance. This plant is average-sized but has the potential to grow very tall. Therefore, we suggest you purchase a medium or large aquarium to fit this plant with various others comfortably. 

You will be required to take note of the following care requirements: 

  • Growth Rate: Its growth rate is moderate to fast. 
  • Max Height: Its height is usually between 10 and 20 inches. 
  • Light Demands: It requires medium to high levels of lighting. 
  • Temperature: It requires 74° to 79° F. 
  • CO2 required: It doesn’t require any additional CO2. 

Pros: 

  • This plant is ideal for complete beginners because it requires very little maintenance and care. 
  • It adds a lot of color to the aquarium. 

Cons: 

  • It will not do well in a small aquarium because as it grows over time, this plant will start to overcrowd the other plant species you have. As a result, it could threaten the lives of the aquatic creatures you have. 

7. Lobelia Cardinalis

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Even though we’re nearing the end of our list of recommendations, we’ve made sure to keep some of the most colorful aquarium plants for the end. Lobelia Cardinalis, or the cardinal flower as it is commonly known, is one of the more vibrantly colored aquarium plants out there! These plants grow beautifully colored red flowers and thrive when fed natural fertilizers. If the aesthetic appeal of your aquarium is one of your primary areas of concern, then this plant makes sure it looks lovely at all times. 

You will be required to take note of the following care requirements: 

  • Growth Rate: Its growth rate is moderate to high. 
  • Max Height: It can grow anywhere from four inches to one foot tall. 
  • Light Demands: It requires medium to high levels of lighting. 
  • Temperature: It requires 63° to 82° F. 
  • CO2 required: This plant requires moderate amounts of CO2 to thrive. 

Pros: 

  • This plant is ideal for aquarium owners that prefer aesthetically pleasing plants. 
  • These plants do not grow very tall, perfect for small fish tanks. 

Cons: 

  • They require moderate amounts of CO2, which is slightly more challenging to maintain than other plants. 

8. Rotala Rotundifolia

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Our final recommendation is the Rotala Rotundifolia. These plants are also called Pink Baby Tears and Roundleaf Toothcups. This glorious plant is colorful, easy to maintain, and ideal for beginners at maintaining an aquarium. Even though they require regular pruning, their pinkish-red leave makes up for any time spent taking care of them. Additionally, suppose you have any adult fish or aquatic worms. In that case, you needn’t worry about pruning them often because those creatures take shelter under this plant. A fantastic bonus that comes with Rotala Rotundifolia is that if it grows above the water level in your aquarium, it starts to grow purple flowers. 

You will be required to take note of the following care requirements: 

  • Growth Rate: These plants grow very quickly. 
  • Max Height: It can grow anywhere from eight inches to one foot tall. 
  • Light Demands: It requires medium to high levels of light. 
  • Temperature: It requires 70° to 86° F. 
  • CO2 required: It does not require any additional CO2. 

Pros: 

  • This plant is ideal for aquarium owners with aquatic worms and adult-aged fish. 
  • They thrive under bright lights. If you purchase several plant species that thrive under bright light, this plant is a beautiful option to add to your collection. 

Cons: 

  • They require regular and constant pruning. 

Choosing The Right Plants

Even though it can seem easy to buy several colorful aquarium plants and place them all inside a fish tank, choosing the right plants is a process that requires serious thought and planning. Thankfully, we’re here to tell you that planning an aquascape doesn’t need to be daunting. 

Here is a quick list of factors to consider when buying new plants: 

1. Keep CO2 in mind.

While most plant species can survive without CO2, you don’t want to group plants with different needs in the same tank. Therefore, we would suggest buying different types of plants that all need similar amounts of CO2 or none at all, especially if you are a beginner. 

2. Consider plant growth. 

As you can see from the list of recommendations above, the colorful plants we talked about all grow at different rates. Therefore, you want to consider the growth rates for each plant so that you don’t overcrowd the tank and suffocate your fish. 

3. Maintenance and time. 

It would help if you also keep your schedule in mind. Purchase plants based on the amount of time you can spend taking care of them. 

Lighting To Help Aquarium Plants Grow

Lighting is another essential factor to keep in mind. We would suggest that you research each of the plants you want to buy and their lighting requirements. Suppose some plants don’t require much lighting but live under harsh lighting conditions. In that case, it affects the amount of carbon dioxide the plants breathe in and can produce excessive amounts of algae. Overall, please remember to research your plants, fish, and their relationship with lighting. If possible, consult an expert!

Wrapping Up 

This guide took you through a list of eight of the best colorful aquarium plants! We made sure to include plants with varied maintenance and care levels. While it can be easy to go out and buy any plants you want for an aquarium, it’s good to remember that plants need love and attention, so please buy them with caution and give them the care they deserve!



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