Plants for the bottom of a cold water aquarium

Updated February 21, 2017

Think of aquariums and tropical fish tanks usually spring to mind, with warm water and colourful fish. But there are cold water tanks as well with many fish that thrive in those cooler conditions. Colder tanks require a different approach to planting and it is important to choose the right plants for these conditions.


Anacharis is one of the easiest cold water plants to grow. This is a tall growing plant that is good for planting at the back of the tank to provide decoration and cover for shy species of fish. The anacharis will grow in both warm water and cold water tanks, but it requires supplementary fertiliser in tropical aquariums. With a cold water tank you can skip this requirement and just give the plant plenty of light.


Duckweed is one of the most popular pond plants and a good choice for home aquariums as well. You can use duckweed as a floating plant to provide shelter for top-swimming fish and newly hatched fry, but you can also buy duckweed as a potted plant and place it on the bottom of the tank. In fact, many hobbyists prefer this approach since duckweed grows fast and can quickly get out of hand if left floating at the top of the tank. Goldfish and white clouds love to nibble on this plant, and it provides excellent nutrition for them.


Cabomba is an easy plant to grow in the cold water aquarium and it will root readily as long as the stems are buried in gravel. This is a tall plant and it can reach a height of up to 51 cm (20 inches). As the plant grows it requires regular trimming to keep it attractive and within the bounds of the aquarium. Cabomba will thrive in nearly any environment and it is particularly suited to cold water tanks.

Creeping jenny

Creeping jenny is a good choice for the cold water tank since its natural environment is in cold water marshes and small streams. This plant can be placed at the foreground of the tank, where it will grow across the tank and provide shelter for the fish. You can also use creeping jenny in the middle of the tank where it will provide good contrast with taller plants in the back of the tank.

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About the Author

Based in Pennsylvania, Bonnie Conrad has been working as a professional freelance writer since 2003. Her work can be seen on Credit Factor, Constant Content and a number of other websites. Conrad also works full-time as a computer technician and loves to write about a number of technician topics. She studied computer technology and business administration at Harrisburg Area Community College.