20 Plants for Fish Bowl

When selecting plants for your fish bowl, think of the species’ requirements and compatibility with your fish. Consider plant size, light needs, and temperature tolerance. Be mindful of how much maintenance the plants require.

plants fish bowl

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Anubias Nana

Anubias Nana is a variety of aquatic plant ideal for fish bowls. This particular species is low maintenance which makes it perfect for novice aquarists.

anubias nana

  • Care Level: Easy
  • Growth Rate: Slow
  • Temperature Range: 72ºF–82ºF (22ºC–28ºC)
  • Light Requirements: Low to moderate; it can tolerate a wide range of light levels.
  • Nutrient Requirements: Low. Extra nutrients can be added in the form of root tabs, but this isn’t necessary.
  • Propagation Method: Rhizome splitting. When a new shoot grows from the rhizome, you can detach it and plant it separately.
  • Substrate: Not necessary. It can be attached to driftwood or rocks. Anubias Nana doesn’t like its roots being buried in substrate.


Java Fern

Java Fern is a lovely addition to any fish bowl. This tropical plant is both hardy and attractive.

java fern

  • Care Level: It’s incredibly easy to care for. Newcomers and veteran fish bowl owners alike will appreciate this.
  • Growth Rate: Moderately slow, but reliability ensures a beautiful backdrop in the bowl.
  • Temperature Range: Works well between 68–82°F, that’s 20–28°C.
  • Light Requirements: Low to moderate light suits it just fine. Avoid direct sunlight as it can damage the plant.
  • Nutrient Requirements: It needs a moderate amount of nutrients, primarily iron and potassium.
  • Propagation Method: The plant replicates by creating small plantlets on its leaves.
  • Substrate: You don’t need to worry! Java Fern attaches itself to rocks, driftwood or decorations instead of rooting in the substrate.


Marimo Moss Balls

Marimo Moss Balls are a unique and visually appealing addition to any fish bowl. They are species of green algae, spherical in shape, originating from Japan.

marimo moss ball

  • Care Level: Easy. No special attention needed.
  • Growth Rate: Slow. They can expand up to 5mm per year.
  • Temperature Range: 68-82 degrees Farenheit (20-27 degrees Celsius).
  • Light Requirements: Low to moderate. Too much light may cause browning.
  • Nutrient Requirements: Low. Absorbs nutrients from surrounding water.
  • Propagation Method: Division. They multiply by dividing into smaller balls.
  • Substrate: Not necessary. They float around or can be attached to decoration.

Overall, Marimo Moss Balls are a low-maintenance choice for your fish bowl.


Java Moss

Java Moss is an excellent choice for your fish bowl. It’s an aquatic plant native to Southeast Asia and it’s popular for its hardiness, versatility, and easy care requirements.

java moss aquarium

  • Care Level: Easy. It can thrive in almost any water conditions.
  • Growth Rate: Moderate. Grows up to 4 inches (10 cm) in height.
  • Temperature Range: Can handle temperature variations from 59°F to 86°F (15°C to 30°C).
  • Light Requirements: Low to Moderate. Doesn’t require specialized lighting.
  • Nutrient Requirements: Low. It uses nutrients in the water to grow, but supplementing with a fertilizer can boost its growth.
  • Propagation Method: Fragmentation. Any pieces that break off can become new plants.
  • Substrate: Not necessary. The moss can be tied to rocks or driftwood in the fishbowl.



Hornwort (Ceratophyllum demersum) is another fantastic choice for a fish bowl. Here’s a quick rundown on the care of this plant:


  • Care Level: Easy – ideal for beginners.
  • Growth Rate: Fast – can add a lush green color in no time.
  • Temperature Range: Can tolerate 59-86°F (15-30°C), extremely adaptable.
  • Light Requirements: Low to moderate, can thrive even in relatively dark conditions.
  • Nutrient Requirements: Medium – prefers nutrient-rich water but can make do with less.
  • Propagation Method: By division, just cut off parts of the stem and let them float until they’re ready to be planted.
  • Substrate: Not required – it’s a non-rooted, floating plant.

The hardy nature of Hornwort makes it nearly impossible to kill, perfect for those just starting their foray into underwater gardening.



Cryptocoryne, often referred to as ‘Crypto’, is an aquatic plant that thrives in a fish bowl environment. It’s popular with aquarium enthusiasts for its lush, bushy leaves and low-maintenance attitude.

cryptocoryne wendtii

  • Care Level: Moderate. Requires some attention but is not overly demanding.
  • Growth Rate: Slow to moderate. Patience is needed to allow this plant to establish.
  • Temperature Range: 75-82°F (24-28°C). Don’t let your fishbowl get too cold.
  • Light Requirements: Low to moderate. Avoid direct sunlight but ensure it has enough light to grow.
  • Nutrient Requirements: Moderate. Requires a good balance of nutrients but not excessively so.
  • Propagation Method: Division. Simply split the plant into multiple parts and replant.
  • Substrate: Prefers a soft or sandy substrate. Avoid gravel or sharp stones that could damage the roots.


Dwarf Hairgrass

Dwarf Hairgrass is a popular aquatic plant species that’s known for its bright green coloration and unique grass-like appearance.

dwarf hairgrass

  • Care Level: Dwarf Hairgrass tends to be easy to moderate to care for, making it a great choice for beginners.
  • Growth Rate: The growth rate of Dwarf Hairgrass is relatively fast.
  • Temperature Range: This adaptable plant thrives in temperatures ranging from 70 to 83 degrees Fahrenheit (21 to 28 degrees Celsius).
  • Light Requirements: While it can survive in low-light conditions, brighter light will encourage dense, carpet-like growth.
  • Nutrient Requirements: Dwarf Hairgrass benefits from regular fertilization with a broad-spectrum aquarium plant fertilizer.
  • Propagation Method: This plant propagates easily via runners, which will naturally spread across the substrate.
  • Substrate: Sandy or fine gravel substrates are best for Dwarf Hairgrass.


Water Wisteria

Water Wisteria is an aquatic plant species with lacy, green leaves. It makes a striking addition to any fish bowl due to its vigorous growth and attractive appearance.

water wisteria

  • Care Level: Easy. This plant is ideal for beginner aquarium enthusiasts.
  • Growth Rate: Fast. It can reach up to 20 inches (50 cm) in height.
  • Temperature Range: 74 to 82 degrees F (23 to 28 degrees C). It prefers warmer water temperatures.
  • Light Requirements: Moderate to high. It requires at least 8 hours of light per day.
  • Nutrient Requirements: Moderate. Regular feeding with a liquid fertilizer will ensure healthy growth.
  • Propagation Method: By cuttings. Simply trim the stem and plant it in the substrate.
  • Substrate: Any well-draining substrate will do, though it prefers nutrient-rich soil.


Guppy Grass

Guppy Grass, scientifically known as Najas guadalupensis, is a versatile and beneficial aquatic plant ideal for fish bowls or aquariums. Its rapid growth rate gives it an added advantage to become a natural filter and a great hiding spot for fish. Let’s understand some of its specifications:

guppy grass

  • Care Level: Easy, perfect for beginner aquarists.
  • Growth Rate: Fast, grows quickly to fill your bowl.
  • Temperature Range: 50-86°F (10-30°C), prefers cooler environments.
  • Light Requirements: Low to High, adaptable to a wide range of light conditions.
  • Nutrient Requirements: Moderate, benefit from regular fertilization.
  • Propagation Method: Cuttings, can easily multiply and expand.
  • Substrate: Not Required, can grow free-floating or secured to decor.

Use guppy grass to create a lush, calming environment for your aquatic pets.


Bacopa Monnieri

Bacopa Monnieri is a relatively easy plant to care for and it enhances the aesthetics of your fish bowl. Known for its small, round leaves, this staple comes with an impressive list of features.

bacopa monnieri

  • Care Level: Easy – You’ll find it straightforward to maintain, and it’s known for its hardiness.
  • Growth Rate: Moderate – The more light it gets, the faster it grows.
  • Temperature Range: 70°F-82°F (21°C-28°C) – Ideal for tropical fish environments.
  • Light Requirements: Medium to High – Thrives in well-lit conditions.
  • Nutrient Requirements: Medium – Supplement with fertilizers if you notice slower growth.
  • Propagation Method: Cuttings – Simply take cuttings from the main plant and re-plant.
  • Substrate: Any type – Does well in any medium to high-quality substrate.

It’s an excellent choice for both novice and experienced fish hobbyists.



Duckweed is a popular choice for fish bowl environments. This fast-growing aquatic plant floats on the water’s surface, providing perfect hiding spots for fish and shrimp. It can help to control algae growth by absorbing excess nutrients.


  • Care Level: Easy. Just drop it into your bowl and it’ll start to multiply.
  • Growth Rate: Fast. It can double in size in just 24 hours.
  • Temperature Range: 42-85°F (5-29°C). A wider range allows duckweed to thrive in various conditions.
  • Light Requirements: Moderate. It needs sunlight, but not direct light.
  • Nutrient Requirements: High. Duckweed absorbs nutrients from the water.
  • Propagation Method: Division. Tiny buds break off the parent plant and grow into full-sized plants.
  • Substrate: Not required. This plant floats on the surface.


Water Sprite

Water Sprite, also known as Ceratopteris thalictroides, is a fantastic choice for any fish bowl. Here’s what you need to know about caring for this aquatic plant:

water sprite

  • Care Level: Easy, making it perfect for beginners.
  • Growth Rate: Fast, providing your fish with ample hiding spots in a short time.
  • Temperature Range: Thrives best between 68-82°F (20-28°C).
  • Light Requirements: Prefers medium to high light but can tolerate low light.
  • Nutrient Requirements: Feed with a high-quality plant fertilizer to boost growth.
  • Propagation Method: It propagates by producing plantlets that you can separate and plant elsewhere.
  • Substrate: Can live as a floating plant, but for a healthier plant, rooting it in a rich substrate is recommended.

A versatile plant, the Water Sprite will bring natural beauty to your fish bowl and keep your aquatic buddies happy.


Rotala Indica

Rotala Indica, a vibrant, stem plant, is a favorite among many fish bowl enthusiasts. It brings charm to your bowl with its charming ambiance and lush green-to-pink leaves.

rotala indica

  • Care Level: Easy
  • Growth Rate: Fast
  • Temperature Range: 70-82°F (20-27°C)
  • Light Requirements: Moderate to High
  • Nutrient Requirements: Medium. Rotala Indica grows well when supplemented with CO2 and micronutrient fertilizers.
  • Propagation Method: Stem cutting. Simply trim the stem and plant the cutting in the substrate.
  • Substrate: Sand, split and fine gravel.

Remember, while it’s a fast grower, trimming Rotala Indica regularly is necessary to maintain a neat appearance.


Amazon Frogbit

The Amazon Frogbit (Limnobium laevigatum) is an international dwellers specific delight.

amazon frogbit

  • Care Level: The Amazon Frogbit has a moderate care level. It requires a level of attention to thrive, but it’s not overly demanding.
  • Growth Rate: It grows quite fast under optimal conditions, you must be ready to trim it frequently.
  • Temperature Range: It flourishes best in temperatures between 64 to 84°F (18-29°C).
  • Light Requirements: Medium to High light is needed for optimal growth.
  • Nutrient Requirements: This plant absorbs nutrients from the water, therefore requiring liquid fertilizers.
  • Propagation Method: The Amazon Frogbit propagates through nodes found along its stems.
  • Substrate: It does not require a substrate as it’s a floating plant. Water column nutrients are sufficient.


Ludwigia Repens

Ludwigia Repens, known for its vibrant red coloring, is a favorite in fish bowls. This fast-growing plant can enrich your aquarium with an exquisite hint of color.

ludwigia repens

  • Care Level: Easy – it’s suitable for beginners.
  • Growth Rate: Fast – it can fill up your bowl quickly.
  • Temperature Range: 59°F to 79°F (15°C to 26°C) – keeps it quite versatile.
  • Light Requirements: Moderate to High – it loves light, but partial shading is okay.
  • Nutrient Requirements: Moderate – regular nutrient supplementation is beneficial.
  • Propagation Method: Cutting – just snip off a branch and replant.
  • Substrate: Any – this plant isn’t picky and thrives in even gravel and sand.



Elodea, a versatile water plant, often called ‘Waterweed,’ can flourish in fish bowls. This floating or rooted plant is native to North America and is cherished for its capacity to oxygenate water.


  • Care Level: Elodea is an excellent choice for a beginner. Its care level is easy.
  • Growth Rate: It grows rather rapidly in optimal conditions.
  • Temperature Range: Elodea likes cooler waters. It does best at 50-77°F (10-25°C).
  • Light Requirements: This plant prefers moderate to high light, but it can manage in low light too.
  • Nutrient Requirements: Elodea consumes nutrients from the water, limiting the growth of unsightly algae.
  • Propagation Method: Propagate Elodea by simply cutting off sections from healthy stems.
  • Substrate: If rooted, it performs well in gravel and other loose substrates. However, substrate isn’t necessary for growth; it can freely float too.


Dwarf Sagittaria

Dwarf Sagittaria is a perfect candidate for a fish bowl. This aquatic plant species has arrow-shaped leaves and a lush, green hue that can add vibrancy to your setup.

dwarf sagittaria

  • Care Level: Easy, ideal for beginners
  • Growth Rate: Moderate to Fast
  • Temperature Range: 68-82°F (20-28°C)
  • Light Requirements: Moderate to high, appreciates some shade
  • Nutrient Requirements: Moderate, benefits from a nutrient-rich substrate
  • Propagation Method: Dove-tail propagation, with the plant producing runners
  • Substrate: Prefers a sandy substrate, but adaptable to other types

Remember, despite its adaptability, Dwarf Sagittaria thrives best under specific conditions. Use the information above as a guide to keep this plant healthy and thriving.



Hygrophila is often conveniently preferred due to its higher adaptability to change. Its striking beauty and attractive leaf formations will undoubtedly enrich your fish bowl. This plant is appreciably low maintenance and yields quicker results in right conditions. A semi-aquatic in nature, it grows both underwater and above water.


  • Care Level: Easy. Perfect for beginners.
  • Growth Rate: Fast. Very adaptive and easily flourishes.
  • Temperature Range: 72-82°F (22-28°C), pretty accommodating to different environments.
  • Light Requirements: Moderate to high. Longer periods of light accelerates growth.
  • Nutrient Requirements: Moderate. Requires regular supply of nutrients, particularly iron.
  • Propagation Method: Stem Cuttings. It’s all about cutting and planting them again.
  • Substrate: Any, but nutrient-rich substrate is preferable for optimal growth.



Pennywort, or Hydrocotyle vulgaris, is a fully aquatic plant loved by hobbyists. It’s versatile, fast-growing, and provides vital shade for your fish companions.


  • Care Level: Easy. Suitable for beginners as well as experienced aquarium keepers.
  • Growth Rate: Fast. Expect to entertain regular pruning.
  • Temperature Range: Thrives best in 70-80°F (21-27°C) temperatures.
  • Light Requirements: Adapts to low to high light but prefers moderate intensity for optimum results.
  • Nutrient Requirements: Moderate. A well-fertilized substrate or routed nutrients will provide a lush growth.
  • Propagation Method: Cuttings. Just pinch a stem and plant it straight into the substrate.
  • Substrate: Sand or small gravel work perfectly, giving the roots something to anchor down.

With the right conditions, pennywort will form a vibrant, light-dappled canopy over your fish bowl. It’s a captivating sight and an embracing environment for your fish.


Dwarf Vallisneria

Dwarf Vallisneria is a fantastic aquatic plant for any fish bowl. It’s a low-maintenance aquatic plant suitable for beginner aquarists yet rewarding for those more experienced. Known for its lush, grass-like appearance, it creates a natural backdrop for your fish.


  • Care Level: Easy
  • Growth Rate: Moderate
  • Temperature Range: 64-82°F (18-28°C)
  • Light Requirements: Moderate-High
  • Nutrient Requirements: Low
  • Propagation Method: Runners
  • Substrate: Needs substrate

To flourish, the Dwarf Vallisneria requires a nutrient-rich substrate. It can grow in moderate light, but more illumination results in denser foliage. Although it’s tolerant of a wide temperature range, an ideal setting falls between 64 to 82°F (18 to 28°C). Propagation is straightforward – through runners that sprout naturally.


Now that you know about the top 20 plants suitable for a fish bowl, you can begin to experiment and see what works best for your setup. Remember, the right plants can create a healthy and aesthetically pleasing habitat for your fish. Feel free to leave a comment sharing your experiences or any additional suggestions you might have.

Questions and Answers

Thanks for your generosity of sharing your knowledge and providing lots of good tips. I find your website a good resource center for beginner like me. Simple to understand and well organised! 👍

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