I’ve already discussed the types of fish and invertebrates you can keep in a room temperature aquarium, but now I am going to talk about the live plants you can keep in the same type of environment. Live plants have major benefits to your aquarium and its inhabitants. Live plants oxygenate the water, remove nitrates, help fish and invertebrates feel safer in a more natural environment, and not to mention they look pretty cool. 🙂 If you are worried about how much care would be involved with live plants, I’ve narrowed down the types of plants you can keep in a room temperature and lower light aquarium. These plants are hardy and you won’t need to worry about adding chemicals or fertilizers to the aquarium.
Java Moss: Java moss is an extremely hardy plant that can grow in a wide range of conditions. It does great in tropical, room temperature, and cold water aquariums. It can grow in low to high lighting, and can even grow under water or on land, in wet conditions. Another great things about java moss is you don’t even have to worry about planting it. Java moss actually attaches itself to driftwood, rocks, or any other aquarium decorations you might have. It also doesn’t grow too fast, so you don’t have to worry about it over taking your tank.
Java Fern: Java moss and java fern are not related; however like java moss, java fern can also grow in a wide variety of conditions. It grows in cold to warm water aquariums, with low to high lighting. Java fern can actually even grow in brackish water (part fresh, part salt). Java fern may look like it has roots, but it does not need to be planted, and actually does best when attached to driftwood or rocks. One way people attach java fern is with black thread, and just tie it to a piece of driftwood. Over time it will attach itself and you can remove the thread. Many fish stores sells java moss attached to different objects, like driftwood. It’s a low maintenance plant that is easy to keep.
Marimo Ball: You have probably seen these at your local fish store in their tanks or in little cups. A marimo ball is technically an algae, and is pretty straight forward to care for. You essentially take the ball and drop it in your tank. It does well in low or high light and with room temperature water. If you see debris building up on it, you can squeeze the ball to help clean it off.
Anubias: Technically anubias is a genus of plant, but generally you find the ones suitable for aquariums at fish stores, Anubias barteri var. nana. This is an easy aquarium plant that would grow in a room temperature tank well. It also does not require much light and also grows best when attached to a rock, driftwood, or some other decoration. It’s a slow grower and would make an excellent plant for the front or middle of the aquarium since it won’t grow too tall.
Anacharis: Anacharis, also known as Elodea, is a very easy to care for plant that does very well in low light room temperature aquariums. The problem with anacharis is, recently it is becoming increasingly difficult to find. This is because when released into lakes and pond, it can quickly grow and over take the water body. Because it can tolerate lower temperatures, it is even able to survive in lakes that freeze over. Because of this you may find it difficult to find because many states have banned selling it. If you are lucky enough to find it and buy it, it is an excellent plant for removing nitrates and oxygenating the water. You don’t need to plant it, but you can weigh it down so it doesn’t float in your tank. Eventually it will anchor itself down with thin root like structures. Even floating, anacharis will do well in your aquarium. It will grow tall so I would recommend putting it in the back of your aquarium.
Cabomba: Like anacharis, cabomba is an excellent oxygenator in your aquarium. Cabomba does well in low light at room temperature. It has a unique look and its very fluffy and feathery looking which can add a cool element to your aquarium. It tends to grow tall so placing it in the back of your aquarium is best.
Hornwort: Hornwort is similar in care to cabomba and anacharis. It does well in low light and at room temperature. It also, can grow quite long so placing it in the back of the aquarium is best. If it starts to grow too long you can cut it in half with scissors and keep both halves in your aquarium as separate plants. Each half will grow into its own plant. You can also do this with Cabomba and anacharis as well. Hornwort is a fast growing plant so you will likely need to trim it back when it does grow too large.
Thanks for reading the three part series of what can thrive in a room temperature aquarium. As you can see, your decision to not use a heater will still allow you to have a great aquarium. If you found this or any of the past articles helpful, please share using one of the buttons below. Thank you!
All images provided by Wikimedia Commons