The Best Aquatic Plants For Blackwater Aquarium

The Best Aquatic Plants For Blackwater Aquarium
Live Aquatic Plants Grow In Black Water Tank (Copyright: @dperezgancedo On Instagram)

The Best Aquatic Plants For Blackwater Aquarium – The list of aquarium plants can seem limitless and sometimes confuse us to differentiate it. Especially if you want to build a black water aquarium, you should carefully select what kind of plant can live there.

As we know, only a few aquarium plants can grow and thrive in water conditions with many dissolved substances. Because of it, only a few aquarists put live aquatic plants into their darkwater tank.

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Blackwater conditions happened when an organic compound called tannin (usually produced by leaf litter such as dried Indian almond leaves) enters and blends with the water, which turns its color brownish or yellowish.

Tannins also reduce the water pH, makes mostly aquatic plants hard to survive there. Only the hardy and strong plants can be lived well in this environment. They typically have strong, heavy, and thick body parts.  It can help them to adapt and live well in acidic water conditions.

As an alternative, you can use blackwater extracts to create tea-colored conditions instantly in your tank without spends more time. You can make your own extract by boiling the leaf litter or buy a liquid product on the online market.

These aquarium plants can live in various conditions in their habitat and are easy to control. So, if you want a new experience that has more color in your tank, you should try these plants. Below is the list of freshwater aquarium plants you can add as live vegetations for your blackwater aquarium.

The Best Aquatic Plants For Blackwater Aquarium


Anubias Species

Anubias is a semi-aquatic or aquatic flowering plant that originates from western and central Africa. Mainly they are found in streams and rivers, but some populations can be seen live in marshes.

These freshwater aquatic plants typically have thick, broad, and dark leaves colored. They come in many different varieties with various leaves shapes. Their name is taken from the Egyptian god “Anubis,” the god of the afterlife. It’s because of the often shady areas where these plants thrive.

Most anubias plants species can grow well in black water conditions. They are one of the favorite aquarium plants that many aquarists often keep in their dark water tank.

Their resistance to acidic water and tolerance to the small amounts of CO2 and light making them perfect vegetation to inhabit your tanks. There are a lot of types of Anubias of different sizes and colors. For a small type such as Anubias nana golden, you will need at least a 5-7 gallon tank, while the larger varieties, such as Anubias gracilis, recommended using a 25-gallon tank size.

Their prices are also very different, a rare anubias species (marbled Anubias white) usually sell about $20, and the common such as anubias nana will sell around $4-$5 per plant.

There are some types of Anubias species that you can read on our site, and the list is below:

Read Also: COMPLETE Blackwater Fish Tank Setup Guide



Bucephalandra is another tropical aquarium plant that is often seeing live in dark water tanks. There are 30 varieties of Bucephalandra species which all of them was discovered in Borneo Island by P.C. Boyce and S.Y. Wong.

In the wild habitat, they are usually found and grow on the stones in streams or tropical river forests as dense mats. However, they have many types, but they can be the maintenance in a similar method.

The Best Aquatic Plants For Blackwater Aquarium
A Few Piece Of Submerged Bucephalandra Plants Live By Attached On Rocks (Copyright: @blckshrimp On Instagram)

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As hardy plants which tolerant to various water conditions make them suitable for blackwater aquariums and beginners aquarist. They have strong roots, so whatever the substrate you use, these black water aquatics plants can still thrive well.

Even the substrates are not a requirement for them; by sticking on the woods, stones, or other decorations on your tank, they are still alive and growing. Like other easiest plants, fertilizers, CO2 injection, and lighting capacity are optional.

At least, it would be best to use a 5-gallon tank size to keep them happily in there. A larger tank is preferred and gives more space for bucephalandra spread out. A piece of entirely medium submerged bucephalandra usually is pricing at around $5 in the trade.

Read Also: Asian Popular Freshwater Aquarium Fish Types That Originally Live In Blackwater


Amazon Sword

Echinodorus grisebachii (Echinodorus amazonicus), popularly known as “Amazon Sword,” is an aquatic plant found in Central America, Cuba, and South America. Their name is based on uniquely leaf form that resembles a sword blade and can reach 40-60 cm in length.

These freshwater aquatic plants are robust and well survived in many tank environments. That’s why the Amazon sword plant is fit for your blackwater aquarium.

The Best Aquatic Plants For Blackwater Aquarium
Live Amazon Sword Plants In Pot (Copyright: @pacificaquatica On Instagram)

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We recommended choosing a substrate with rich nutrients with a thick minimize of around 2.5 inches. It will help them grow faster and healthier although planting in the slightly acidic. You can position them in the central aquarium or around the hardscapes.

Finding the Amazon sword is easy; they are almost available in local stores near your home. Or you can buy them in the online trades; E. amazonicus commonly sells around $5-7 per plant. An extra-large Amazon sword usually starts from $10. You will require a 10-15 gallon tank for the minimum tank size.

Read Also: South American Fish For Aquarium That Native To Blackwater


Amazon Frogbit

This tropical tank plant is a floating aquatic plant member with “Limnobium laevigatum” as their scientific name. They are native to subtropical and tropical South and Central America.

Other common names include the South American sponge plant, West Indian spongeplant, and smooth frogbit.

The Best Aquatic Plants For Blackwater Aquarium
A Population Of Amazon Frogbit On Nano Blackwater Aquarium (Copyright: @green.n.brown On Instagram)

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They tend to inhabit the slow-moving bodies of ponds, ditches, bogs, swamps, and marshes. The propagation of frogbit is easy; they can spreading quickly by dispersal of their seeds.

Limnobium laevigatum is a vigorous freshwater floating aquarium plant. They can adapt and grow within various environments, including black water aquatics conditions.

Roots of South American sponge plants can reach 20 inches (50 cm) in size with fine trailing hairs. They have beautiful bright green leaves with almost perfect round shapes. It also does not have marked and is smooth.

The minimum tank size for Amazon frogbit is 10-gallon. But, they should be kept in the larger tanks because their growth is faster, so they can be quickly covering all areas on the water surface and blocking the light reaches the inside of the aquarium. It may interfere with the thrive level of plants and fish species at the inside of the tank.

Finding the Amazon frogbit plants are easy. Commonly you will need around $10 for a combo pack of these float plants. You can buy them at local aquarium stores or in online markets. Let’s collect them for your blackwater aquarium.

Read Also: The Best Leaf Litter For Dark Water Aquarium


Cryptocoryne Species

If you want to keep foreground plants for your beloved blackwater aquarium, Cryptocoryne species is a perfect choice to put on the substrate. These plants are native to Southeast Asia, India, and New Guinea.

Most Cryptocoryne varieties inhabit rivers or streams with slow to medium flowing water in the lowland forests. These tropical plants can be found in forest fools that are seasonally inundated or on river banks that submerged only at high water.

Cryptocoryne Parva and C. X Willisii are popular and commonly used as foreground or midground plants in many aquarist tanks. They are hardy plants and can be adapted well in different water conditions, although growing slowly.

You can use high nutrients substrates (Such as Fluval Soil) to achieve perfect thrives and spreads. They can survive without CO2, which is rarely used in black water aquatic wold.

Read Also: 3 Best Tropical African Fish For Blackwater Aquarium


Tiger Lotus

Are you looking for tropical colorful aquatic plants for your blackwater aquarium? The tiger lotus can be a distinctive option. These plants come in multiple colors and varieties where will offering you a different aesthetic view of your tank.

These freshwater plants are species of water lily under the Nymphaeaceae family with the scientific name Nymphaea lotus. They have mainly come from East Africa and Southeast Asia.

The Best Aquatic Plants For Blackwater Aquarium
Live Submerged Aquarium Tiger Lotus Plants (Copyright: @scaper16 On Instagram)

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Tiger lotus species are relatively larger aquarium plants. They can grow up to 7-31 inches tall and wide between 9-23 inches at the water surface. Because of that, you should have a big enough tank to accommodate them.

Their leaves generally have arrow-shaped or classic round forms. Most of the Tiger lotus usually can be found in the trades are green or red. So choose your preference.

Nymphaea lotus can be planted in different water conditions; they are tolerant to quite acidic water, making them suitable for your dark water tank. In the aquarium store, they require a cost of $5 or more for a single plant. It would be best if you prepared at least a 20-gallon tank to keep them.

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