5 fast-growing aquarium plants that help purify your aquarium & fight algae

Author

Gilles

Published

December 23, 2015

Snelgroeiende planten aquarium

Have you just started your aquarium? Your tank is still very susceptible to algae right now. Your filter’s bacterial culture is not yet strong enough to adequately process all the waste products. Your aquarium plants probably have yet to convert from their “emersed” to “submersed” form. Your CO2 system, if you have one, is also not yet fully up to speed. A small adjustment can have dire consequences for plant growth & algae, precisely because there is no “balance” in your aquarium yet.

How can you speed up that process so your aquarium is nice and stable, reducing the chance of algae? With easy, fast-growing aquarium plants.

The benefits of fast growing plants in your aquarium

A nice group of fast-growing aquarium plants is ideal for a newly started tank. Why?

  • They filter a lot of waste products (e.g. ammonium) out of the water and thus help the bacteria with the water purification of your aquarium;
  • They are often dirt cheap so you can add them in large bunches. More plants means that your aquarium matures much faster;
  • They provide extra oxygen in the aquarium, which in turn is healthy for your fish;
  • They are low maintenance. Even if your lighting, CO2 or fertilizers aren’t in order yet, they survive with ease;
  • They grow nice and fast (duh), giving you more fun. You can grow them easily, allowing you to use them for other aquascapes.

Just keep in mind that they really do grow fast, so regularly pruning your aquarium plants is definitely recommended.

5 fast-growing aquarium plants that look great in your tank

Vallisneria : you have seen this plant before. “Vallisneria” is available in different varieties: curly (asiatica), straight (spiralis), particularly large (gigantea), slightly smaller (nana), …

This aquarium plant is quite easy to maintain and copes well with different water conditions. It also looks very nice as a background plant, a real eye-catcher.

Vallisneria gigantea
Vallisneria gigantea

Egeria densa: THE beginner plant among aquarium plants. It can be used both as a floating plant and as a stem plant and is particularly great at “survival.” In fact, it grows so fast that it can sometimes become a plague.

This little plant can also be used perfectly well with goldfish by the way!

Egeria densa - waterpest
Waterpest

Hygrophila polysperma: one of my favorite plants. Hygrophila polysperma is a plant that has few requirements and yet looks very nice in your aquarium, whether you go for a Dutch aquarium or prefer the “Nature style”.

This aquarium plant grows out of the water when it reaches the water’s surface. This can add a nice, extra dimension to your tank.

Hygrophila polysperma - Belgisch groen
Hygrophila polysperma

Ceratophyllum demersum: this easy aquarium plant has finely needled leaves that give off a nice amount of oxygen. It can survive in both warm and cold water aquariums and grows well in a variety of water conditions.

If you suffer from algae, you can easily dim the light by pruning this plant and using it as a floating plant. It does grow extremely fast, so regular pruning is the message here!

Ceratophyllum demersum - Hoornblad
Ceratophyllum demersum

Hygrophila difformis: want a fast-growing aquarium plant with a slightly different leaf shape? Try Hygrophila difformis. It has a light green color and the leaves are like feathers. It is known to adapt very quickly to its new environment and grows quickly.

A nice little plant if you want some contrast in your tank.

hygrophila difformis - vaantjesplant
Hygrophila difformis

Which fertilization for your fast-growing aquarium plants?

The above mentioned fast-growing aquarium plants are not that picky when it comes to plant nutrition and care. But if you want to get the best out of these little plants, I still recommend the following:

  • Complete aquarium fertilization (nitrate, phosphate, potassium, trace elements, …), for instance my All-in-One;
  • Sufficient CO2 or a liquid carbon source;
  • Do not forget to provide sufficient water circulation.

And you?

Do you know of any other fast-growing plants for your aquarium? Or do you have any other tips to help a tank stabilize faster? Feel free to let me know in the comments below!

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