Ideal Freshwater Aquarium Plants For Your Shrimp Tank

First things first, shrimp tanks are awesome.

Second, you’re absolutely spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing your plants. But don’t worry, in this guide, I’ll walk you through how to pick the ideal aquarium plants for your shrimp and then share my top picks for the best plants for shrimp tanks.

What Plants Do Shrimp Like The most?

Smaller tanks are the ideal environment for smaller aquatic plants to grow. Choices such as Java Fern, Anubias Barteri, Java Moss, and Flame Moss will make your aquarium come alive without overcrowding.

On the other hand, if your tank has a lot of room and you want to show off, I recommend larger plants, such as Amazon Sword, Melon Sword, Pennywort, and Water Wisteria.

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Hygrophila Difformis Water Wisteria Potted Freshwater Live Aquarium Plant Fish Tank by Greenpro Hygrophila Difformis Water Wisteria Potted Freshwater Live Aquarium Plant Fish Tank by Greenpro
Water Sprite aka Indian Water Fern (Ceratopteris thalictroides) - 6 to 8 inch Bunch - Live Aquarium Plant by Aquatic Arts Water Sprite aka Indian Water Fern (Ceratopteris thalictroides) - 6 to 8 inch Bunch - Live Aquarium...
Mainam - Brazilian Pennywort Bundle Live Aquarium Plants 3 Days Live Guaranteed for Freshwater Pond Fish Tank Mainam - Brazilian Pennywort Bundle Live Aquarium Plants 3 Days Live Guaranteed for Freshwater Pond...
Greenpro Anubias Barteri Live Aquarium Plants Decoration for Aquatic Water Plants Freshwater Fish Tank Greenpro Anubias Barteri Live Aquarium Plants Decoration for Aquatic Water Plants Freshwater Fish...
Java Fern Microsorum Bundle - 4 Species (Trident, Windelov, Narrow Leaf, Philippine) Easy Low Light Aquarium Plants - Snail Free Guaranteed Java Fern Microsorum Bundle - 4 Species (Trident, Windelov, Narrow Leaf, Philippine) Easy Low Light...
Greenpro Microsorum Pteropus Java Fern Tall Full Potted Live Aquarium Plants Decorations Freshwater Fish Tank Greenpro Microsorum Pteropus Java Fern Tall Full Potted Live Aquarium Plants Decorations Freshwater...
Amazon Sword - Echinodorus Bleheri x3 Plants - Live Aquarium Plant Amazon Sword - Echinodorus Bleheri x3 Plants - Live Aquarium Plant
Greenpro Java Moss Live Freshwater Aquarium Plants Easy Ready to Grow Greenpro Java Moss Live Freshwater Aquarium Plants Easy Ready to Grow
Flame Moss Pad - Live Aquarium Water Plants - Low Light for Shrimp Fish Tank S7P2ONSORUCEBNDPA9SO Flame Moss Pad - Live Aquarium Water Plants - Low Light for Shrimp Fish Tank S7P2ONSORUCEBNDPA9SO
Potted Melon Sword - Beginner Tropical Live Aquarium Plant Potted Melon Sword - Beginner Tropical Live Aquarium Plant

Last update on 2021-10-01 / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

How to Choose Plants for a Shrimp Tank

One of the first things that you should consider when buying plants for shrimp is their light demand. The amount of light they’re exposed to makes a huge difference. Some plants can only survive in high lighting, while others can survive in low lighting but will grow lanky and weak.

So, if you want your plants to grow while looking their best, give them the light that they need.

Temperature also plays a crucial role in the survival of live plants in your aquarium. Most shrimps live in temperatures ranging between 60 and 870°F. If a plant can’t live in these temperatures, they’re not suitable for shrimp tanks.

You should also consider the plant’s growth rate and how that affects the whole aquarium. Most fishkeepers love fast-growing plants because they feel rewarded with how beautiful they look. They also help keep the water cleaner by using up nitrate from fish waste.

Yet, they do need maintenance and trimming in order not to take over all of the tank’s resources, such as light and oxygen. Many of them grow too fast for smaller tanks. So, I recommend them for owners of larger tanks.

On the other hand, slow-growing plants take their time, but they usually need little to no maintenance, which makes them the ideal choice for beginners. Also, many slow-growing plants provide shrimps with much-needed shade, thanks to their density.

Another crucial point to think about when picking aquarium plants is their size. Every plant has its growth rate. A plant’s size decides whether it’ll work for your tank or not. For example, large plants look dwarfed in small tanks and overcrowd them easily.

Plants are usually sold as cuttings or juvenile stages. A common rookie mistake is not checking how long these cuttings will grow eventually, which is how aquarists end up with plants that are too big for their tanks.

If you have a small or nano tank, go for small plants that grow slow and dense instead of long and thin. These will provide shrimps with cover and nutrition without outgrowing the environment that they’re in.

10 Plants For Your Shrimp Tank

For aquarists who want the best for their pet shrimps, the following plants are my favorite choices for shrimp tanks. They’re relatively easy to grow and care for and will definitely make your shrimp tank more authentic and spectacular.

1. Hygrophila Difformis – Water Wisteria

Hygrophila difformis, also known as Water Wisteria, is a stem-plant and a member of the hygrophila group, which grows fast and requires minimal work. If you’re a beginner who wants a stem-plant but finds it intimidating, I recommend this one.

Most Water Wisteria plants seem to thrive in water temperatures of 70-82°F. Also, they don’t require much fertilization or nutrition from your end. Regarding their light demand, they can do well with medium to high lighting, and your choice will depend on how much you want them to grow. 

Medium lighting is a good choice if your tank isn’t the biggest, and you don’t want the plant to take over the whole aquarium. However, if there’s no shortage of space and you want it to get long and bushy, go with high lighting.

Water Wisteria is a fast-growing plant, which means that in no time, you’ll have beautiful wavy leaves that your shrimp would thoroughly explore and enjoy. It provides a lot of foliage, which is beneficial if you have many shrimps.

Nonetheless, its size ranges between 3 and 8 inches, meaning that it might overgrow smaller tanks. Also, you will have to trim it frequently to keep it in control. You can even use the cuttings to root them and grow them into new plants.

Hygrophila Difformis Water Wisteria Potted Freshwater Live Aquarium Plant Fish Tank by Greenpro
Hygrophila Difformis Water Wisteria Potted Freshwater Live Aquarium Plant Fish Tank by Greenpro

    Last update on 2021-10-01 / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

    2. Water Sprite Ceratopteris Thalictroides

    Water Sprite or Ceratopteris Thalictroides is a common aquatic plant that’s known for its versatility. It’s easy to notice with its finger-like, thin, light-green leaves and dark green central stem – It kind of looks similar to Water Wisteria.

    Water Sprites love their light, so expose them to medium or high light. They’ll create a lot of shade for the shrimp, which will make your shrimp happy and keep algae at bay.

    These plants are fast-growing, so they can get very tall and bushy pretty quickly. They might overgrow small tanks, so I only recommend them for medium to large tanks, as they range from 6 to 12 inches in height.

    Yet, you can keep their growth in control with frequent trimming and use the cuttings to make new plants.

    In terms of temperature, Water Sprites love to live in a range between 68 and 82°F. In addition, you can plant them in the substrate or let them float along the surface, which makes them incredibly versatile.

    Water Sprite aka Indian Water Fern (Ceratopteris thalictroides) - 6 to 8 inch Bunch - Live Aquarium Plant by Aquatic Arts
    Water Sprite aka Indian Water Fern (Ceratopteris thalictroides) - 6 to 8 inch Bunch - Live Aquarium Plant by Aquatic Arts

    Last update on 2021-10-01 / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

    3. Mainam – Brazilian Pennywort Bundle

    Hydrocotyle leucocephala, also known as Brazilian Pennywort, is one of the most popular aquatic plants in the aquarium industry. It grows a long skinny stem with small round leaves that look like lily pads.

    These lily pad-like leaves provide a safe shelter for shrimps if they need their own territory. Needless to say, they’re a beauty to look at.

    Beginners who don’t have much light to provide can rest their minds; these plants grow on low light. Their growth rate is medium to fast, depending on the lighting that your aquarium has. The taller you want them to grow, the more light you’ll have to expose them to.

    The size of a Brazilian Pennywort is larger than your average aquatic plant, so I recommend only growing it in tanks not smaller than 10 gallons.

    In terms of temperature, this plant is more than okay anywhere between 68 and 82°F. You can also root it or let it float and grow on the surface.

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    Mainam - Brazilian Pennywort Bundle Live Aquarium Plants 3 Days Live Guaranteed for Freshwater Pond Fish Tank
    Mainam - Brazilian Pennywort Bundle Live Aquarium Plants 3 Days Live Guaranteed for Freshwater Pond Fish Tank

      Last update on 2021-10-01 / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

      4. Greenpro Anubias Barteri

      Anubias Barteri is a West African variety of Anubias. It’s a hardy plant that stands out with its thick rhizome, strong root system, and broad dark green leaves. Most aquarists love this aquatic plant because of its ability to survive in most conditions.

      I love this plant because it’s not picky when it comes to lighting. I can leave it in low-light or high-light aquariums, and it will thrive in both. So, even if you leave the plant in low lighting, its thick, broad leaves will give your shrimps all the shade that they need and more.

      It’s worth noting that Anubias Barteri takes its time growing. Therefore, although it ranges anywhere between 5 and 8 inches, you can easily grow it in smaller tanks without worrying about things getting out of control.

      The plant is on the warmer side in terms of temperature needs, as it grows in a range between 72 and 82°F. Unlike other plants on the list, I don’t recommend rooting it because it will rot. Instead, tie it to rocks or wood if you want it hanging from the bottom.

      Greenpro Anubias Barteri Live Aquarium Plants Decoration for Aquatic Water Plants Freshwater Fish Tank
      Greenpro Anubias Barteri Live Aquarium Plants Decoration for Aquatic Water Plants Freshwater Fish Tank

        Last update on 2021-10-01 / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

        5. Java Fern Bundle

        Everyone who has previous experience with aquatic plants must have encountered a Java Fern at least once. Java Fern is a member of the Polypodiaceae family. It’s known for its large sprouting leaves that look delicate and unique.

        This bundle includes four types of rooted plants: Java Fern Trident, Java Fern Philippine, Java Fern Narrow Leaf, and Java Fern Windelov. Buying a multipack of four different species is a smart way to have enough to scape a small tank in one shot and enhance the biological ecosystem of the aquarium.

        Java Fern is an easy plant to take care of. This hardy plant can survive on very little light, and high light won’t hurt it either. You don’t have to feed it, as it can survive on the wastes of your shrimp. 

        Its growth rate is slow because a Java Fern is never in a rush. So, you won’t have to prune it regularly or do much maintenance. A Java Fern can reach 13.5 inches if you really let it grow. Also, its ideal temperature is between 68-82°F.

        Like Anubias Barteri, you shouldn’t plant the Java Fern in the substrate, or else it would die. It’d be better to tie it to rocks and wood.

        Java Fern Microsorum Bundle - 4 Species (Trident, Windelov, Narrow Leaf, Philippine) Easy Low Light Aquarium Plants - Snail Free Guaranteed
        Java Fern Microsorum Bundle - 4 Species (Trident, Windelov, Narrow Leaf, Philippine) Easy Low Light Aquarium Plants - Snail Free Guaranteed

          Last update on 2021-10-01 / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

          6. Greenpro Microsorum Pteropus Java Fern

          If you’re looking for a single Java Fern instead of a bundle, you’ll like this choice. I recommend the Greenpro Java Fern because it’s so easy to care for. It’ll also provide you with the green shrimp tank you’ve been dreaming of. 

          Beginners can definitely handle this plant, as it doesn’t need much light or nutrition from your end. It’s basically a plant that keeps itself alive for you and your shrimp. It grows slowly, so you can set it and forget about it. In terms of size, the Greenpro Java Fern can grow up to 14 inches.

          Remember to keep it in a temperature range of 68 to 82°F. Furthermore, it’s not meant to be buried or rooted in the gravel, so you’ll have to tie it to a rock or a piece of wood.

          Greenpro Microsorum Pteropus Java Fern Tall Full Potted Live Aquarium Plants Decorations Freshwater Fish Tank
          Greenpro Microsorum Pteropus Java Fern Tall Full Potted Live Aquarium Plants Decorations Freshwater Fish Tank

            Last update on 2021-10-01 / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

            7. Amazon Sword – Echinodorus Bleheri x3

            Amazon sword (Echinodorus Bleheri) is an undemanding aquatic plant. You can recognize it from the rosette arrangement of its large, broad leaves that shrimps love to hang out on.

            This beauty thrives in medium to high light and takes its time to grow. However, its size ranges from 7 to 19 inches, which means that it gets way too big for any tank under 30 gallons. Also, remember to keep in a temperature range between 71 and 83°F.

            Amazon Sword - Echinodorus Bleheri x3 Plants - Live Aquarium Plant
            Amazon Sword - Echinodorus Bleheri x3 Plants - Live Aquarium Plant

              Last update on 2021-10-01 / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

              8. Greenpro Java Moss

              Java Moss is an ideal choice if you have no aquarium keeping skills whatsoever. It’s also ideal for shrimp breeders. Java Moss creates beautiful aquascapes and green carpeting with its messy density and feeding grounds that your shrimp will love to graze on.

              It grows in low to medium light. Also, it grows relatively fast and comes in portion cups. Yet, it’s perfect for all tank sizes, from tiny to large. Just remember to keep it in a temperature range between 59 and 86°F and attach it to rocks or driftwood.

              Greenpro Java Moss Live Freshwater Aquarium Plants Easy Ready to Grow
              Greenpro Java Moss Live Freshwater Aquarium Plants Easy Ready to Grow

                Last update on 2021-10-01 / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

                9. Flame Moss Pad

                Flame Moss or Taxiphyllum ‘Flame’ is a creeping moss that got its name from its flame-like appearance, as it grows into super cool wavy flame shapes.

                Flame Moss does very well in low to medium light. I don’t recommend leaving it in the sun as sunlight can dry it or cause an algae bloom. 

                The plant grows fast, which means you’ll enjoy its lush green color very soon. On average, a flame moss pad doesn’t exceed 4 inches.

                Keep it in water temperature between 68 and 83°F. It needs to be attached to rocks or driftwood, as well.

                Flame Moss Pad - Live Aquarium Water Plants - Low Light for Shrimp Fish Tank S7P2ONSORUCEBNDPA9SO
                Flame Moss Pad - Live Aquarium Water Plants - Low Light for Shrimp Fish Tank S7P2ONSORUCEBNDPA9SO

                  Last update on 2021-10-01 / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

                  10. Potted Melon Sword

                  Echinodorus Osiris or Melon Sword is another species of Amazon sword. You can immediately recognize its beautiful green and red large, broad leaves that shrimps enjoy hanging out on.

                  This rosette plant loves the spotlight, so expose it to medium to high light. Moreover, it takes a bit of time to grow into its full glory. 

                  Nonetheless, it can reach 20 inches in a nutritious environment, so I wouldn’t recommend it for any tank under 30 gallons. Also, you’d want to keep your tank’s temperature somewhere between 65° and 82°F.

                  Potted Melon Sword - Beginner Tropical Live Aquarium Plant
                  Potted Melon Sword - Beginner Tropical Live Aquarium Plant

                    Last update on 2021-10-01 / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

                    Which Is Right For Your Shrimp Tank?

                    You’re definitely spoiled for choice when it comes to plants for shrimps. There are so many options, and the best one will depend on your tank size and lighting (although, most any kind of lighting will do most plants).

                    So, I’m going to categorize them according to the ideal tank size to make it easier for you.

                    Smaller tanks are the ideal environment for smaller aquatic plants to grow. Choices such as Java Fern, Anubias Barteri, Java Moss, and Flame Moss will make your aquarium come alive without overcrowding.

                    On the other hand, if your tank has a lot of room and you want to show off, I recommend larger plants, such as Amazon Sword, Melon Sword, Pennywort, and Water Wisteria.

                    Preview Product
                    Hygrophila Difformis Water Wisteria Potted Freshwater Live Aquarium Plant Fish Tank by Greenpro Hygrophila Difformis Water Wisteria Potted Freshwater Live Aquarium Plant Fish Tank by Greenpro
                    Water Sprite aka Indian Water Fern (Ceratopteris thalictroides) - 6 to 8 inch Bunch - Live Aquarium Plant by Aquatic Arts Water Sprite aka Indian Water Fern (Ceratopteris thalictroides) - 6 to 8 inch Bunch - Live Aquarium...
                    Mainam - Brazilian Pennywort Bundle Live Aquarium Plants 3 Days Live Guaranteed for Freshwater Pond Fish Tank Mainam - Brazilian Pennywort Bundle Live Aquarium Plants 3 Days Live Guaranteed for Freshwater Pond...
                    Greenpro Anubias Barteri Live Aquarium Plants Decoration for Aquatic Water Plants Freshwater Fish Tank Greenpro Anubias Barteri Live Aquarium Plants Decoration for Aquatic Water Plants Freshwater Fish...
                    Java Fern Microsorum Bundle - 4 Species (Trident, Windelov, Narrow Leaf, Philippine) Easy Low Light Aquarium Plants - Snail Free Guaranteed Java Fern Microsorum Bundle - 4 Species (Trident, Windelov, Narrow Leaf, Philippine) Easy Low Light...
                    Greenpro Microsorum Pteropus Java Fern Tall Full Potted Live Aquarium Plants Decorations Freshwater Fish Tank Greenpro Microsorum Pteropus Java Fern Tall Full Potted Live Aquarium Plants Decorations Freshwater...
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                    Flame Moss Pad - Live Aquarium Water Plants - Low Light for Shrimp Fish Tank S7P2ONSORUCEBNDPA9SO Flame Moss Pad - Live Aquarium Water Plants - Low Light for Shrimp Fish Tank S7P2ONSORUCEBNDPA9SO
                    Potted Melon Sword - Beginner Tropical Live Aquarium Plant Potted Melon Sword - Beginner Tropical Live Aquarium Plant

                    Last update on 2021-10-01 / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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                    Christopher Adams
                    Hey there, my name is Christopher and I'm the creator and editor of this site. I've owned successful aquariums for the past 23 years. My mission is to educate, inform, and entertain on everything that's fish.

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