The Best Aquarium Plants to Reduce Nitrates for 2023

Aside from aesthetics, plants play a vital role in building a natural ecosystem. They significantly aid in producing oxygen while at the same time does a valuable job in absorbing nitrates and carbon dioxide – all of which assist in keeping the aquarium healthy and tidy.

In addition to this, fish look up to the abundant habitat they provide. With vigorous green hues and lush foliage, plants could be a very appealing addition to your freshwater aquarium.

Nonetheless, plants just like all living creatures require proper care. The truth is, it is crucial to obtain a vast insight into some specific plants; fortunately, there are plenty of plant species that are recommended for newbie aquarists.

Take in mind that caring for your plants starts with selecting the ones which are appropriate for your aquarium. Hence, you should ensure that the plants you pick are certified as underwater plants; this conveys that they can totally and safely survive even when they are submerged in water.

Selecting the right plants to get nitrates out of fish tank aquariums requires much research. After all, several factors will impact whether a plant is right for your tank. So before we dive into the reviews, let’s take a quick look at some of these factors:

  • Effectiveness at Reducing Nitrates: The most delightful-looking plant won’t do much good for your purposes if it can’t remove nitrate from aquarium tanks effectively. So look at customer reviews to better understand how well it performs.
    To be clear, aquarium plants’ nitrate levels vary according to cultivars. A few prime candidates with high nitrate removal rates are duckweed, water lettuce, Pothos, and water sprite. In comparison, a plant like java fern offers a much slower reduction of nitrates.
  • Aesthetically Appealing: Buyers don’t want an ugly plant inside their tanks messing up the established aesthetic. Instead, look for options with a reputation for removing nitrates effectively and a meshable appearance.
  • Resilience: Don’t purchase freshwater or saltwater plants to reduce nitrates if they have a short lifespan. It’s a much better idea to choose one with well-established resilience. In doing so, you won’t have to replace it regularly.

If you are prepared to add plants to your freshwater aquarium, it is certainly useful to take a careful look of the best aquarium plants to reduce nitrates reviews below so you can ensure providing them with a suitable form of care and come up with well-informed decision if they are the right option for you.

Best Overall


9GreenBox Golden Devil's Ivy

✔ Makes a superb office plant
✔ A good embellishment to your dwelling
✔ Looks best in moderate or bright light


Premium Choice


Florida Aquarium Plants

✔ Come in a variety of plants
✔ Excellent at converting carbon dioxide into oxygen
✔ Ideal for any freshwater aquarium


Editor’s Choice


Big Pete's Aquatics Aquatic Plant

✔ Easy to grow at a quick rate
✔ Arrived healthy and in good condition
✔ Doesn't require high maintenance or care


Top-Quality Aquarium Plant To Reduce Nitrates Reviews 2023

1. 9GreenBox Golden Devil’s Ivy


Are you currently searching for high nitrate absorbing plants? This heart-shaped and glossy house plant will help you bring more color to your dwelling place or workplace. It comes with crawling stems that could grow as high as 8 feet or more.

It possesses aerial roots that could be prepared to move up in a trellis or moss stick. It is famous for being a tree-crawler in its natural tropical hub.

They require a good dose of plant lights or a fair amount of sunlight on a daily basis. Moreover, you need to water them once per week and they will do just fine. You can put them in a well-draining potting mix; see to it that you feed them with houseplant fertilizer every two weeks and once per month during the coldest season of the year.

You will find yourself adoring these plants for they look amiable and can soothe your exhaustion in a more natural and effective approach. They make you’re dwelling a good sight to behold and also detoxify the air that you breathe in!

  • Makes a superb office plant since it easily grows under fluorescent lights
  • Considered one of the easiest houseplants to grow especially for those with green thumbs
  • A good embellishment to your dwelling
  • Does not require high maintenance and care
  • Looks best in moderate or bright light
  • Mostly young with almost no roots and are slightly susceptible to wilting
  • Not recommended for people who do not have green thumbs

These plants are easy to care for and very adaptive which makes them ideal gifts to plant lovers. Their foliage was vibrant and full and is guaranteed to bring life and more delight in an ordinary-looking ambiance. While this plant is easy to grow and is not quite demanding, it is still crucial that you transplant them immediately once received.

These are wise purchases since they are not too demanding to maintain; they are sold at a budget-friendly price and could provide an aesthetic appeal and appearance wherever you put them. You need to be gentle on them though as they could easily wilt and dry once not transplanted immediately.

2. Florida 10 Species Live Aquarium Plants


Do you wish to come up with a natural biological filter in your aquarium and have plants that could effectively suck in nitrates from waste? Then, this aquatic plant is for you! It is good at providing natural dwelling and hiding hubs for your tinier fish as well as invertebrates.

This is ideal for 10+ gallons tanks. It is capable of forming a natural terrain for various fish species and invertebrates as well.

These plants are sold at a reasonable price and come with a number of diversity and adequate stems that could fully fill a 7+ gallon aquarium. Please be guided that a few plants will take a few weeks to transition to its aquatic form as a few of them are grown by submerging them in liquid.

  • Known for being live plant bundles that are ideal for any freshwater aquarium
  • Specially grown in the US and come with plenty of stems
  • Excellent at converting carbon dioxide into oxygen that makes a better and healthy habitat for your aquarium inhabitants
  • Such plants are helpful in terms of warding off steep algae growth through combatting with algae for nutrients
  • Come in a variety of plants included in the package
  • They could deteriorate easily if not taken with proper care. They are also a favorite hub of tiny snails, so beware as this could affect the health and safety of your fish
  • The “reddish†colored plants scarcely have any color at all

What makes these live plant bundles a must-have is that they are outstanding aquarium plant combinations that are specially meant to bring life to your tank. You will adore their nice assortment of grass, broadleaf, and narrow-leaf plants.

Apart from their beauty, they can provide you with great and relaxing sight and can ensure that your fish are in good hands.

If you opt for investing in aquarium nitrate removal products, then give this option a try. They come in premium quality and ideal size variety that won't only delight you but benefit your fish as well.

3. Big Pete’s Aquatics Aquatic Plant Bundle


Aquarium plants don’t get much more appealing than Big Pete’s Aquatics Aquatic Plant Bundle. It earns this praise by offering a versatile 3-pack of one java fern, a Microsorum Pteropus, and an Anubias Var Nana. All these plants had no problem brightening up the inside of my tank.

Their beautiful green color isn’t the only positive attribute of these plants. In fact, each one arrived healthy and in good condition, which isn’t always a given. I’ve been tricked before by other manufacturers who provided me with pond plants that were dead on arrival.

Buyers will also love their quick and easy growth rate. Once I put them into my tank, these plants immediately started thriving without issue. It was even faster than my wildest expectations, especially with all the column feeder fish in the tank.

Of course, these features only matter a little if it doesn’t offer solid removal of nitrate for plants. But all of the plants more than hold their own in this regard. I used them effectively to stabilize the nitrate levels in my tank.

Another worthwhile attribute is these plants are low-maintenance. Aquarium owners can place them into their tanks and let them do their job on their own accord.

I noticed a few customers complaining about slow shipping speeds, though. So it’s vital to be aware of this issue before spending money on it. Another thing to consider is these plants do require disinfecting before adding into an aquarium.

  • Versatile plant bundle with three beautiful inclusions
  • Arrived healthy and in good condition
  • Easy to grow at a quick rate
  • Offers solid and effective nitrate absorption
  • Doesn’t require high maintenance or care
  • Slow shipping speeds
  • Requires disinfecting before adding to an aquarium

Thankfully, my plants arrived on time without any shipping or packaging issues. I proceeded to disinfect them properly and haven’t had a complaint since placing them in the tank. Each plant has been a delightful addition to my aquarium.

4. Exo Terra Moss Ball


Have you decided yet what to add to your tank and make it an enticing and healthy place for your fish to dwell in?

Exo Terra Moss Ball comes with a distinctive absorption resin that is ideal for lessening plenty of the compounds that cause unwanted organic matter build-up. Basically, by means of taking in and blocking nitrate, nitrite, and phosphate within its core, this plant aids in establishing pleasant conditions for plants as well as animals.

In like manner, it aids in making aqua-terrarium maintenance a plain sailing activity to deal with. This is especially meant for bigger terrariums. Unlike other synthetic aquatic plants, this one does wonder in keeping the odor to a minimum in an aquarium.

  • Does a great job of minimizing odor and clearing the water in the tank
  • Serves as a very effective deodorizer, good at blocking nitrate, nitrite, and phosphate
  • Aids in eliminating organic matter build-up
  • Has the capability to provide your pet fish with clean water in the tank
  • A great addition to your aquarium and a nice sighting for you to observe any time of the day
  • While it is true that it aids prevent organic compound build-up, it is still inevitable that there is an occurrence of mold or mildew accumulation after longer periods of time
  • If your pets eat vegetation, please be cautious of this because they might consume it and this could eventually cause health problems

If you are the type who is too busy and cannot handle regular tank cleaning activity, then this product is for you. It is good at keeping the water tidy for a long time so frequent cleaning is not strictly needed.

Additionally, if you do not want your aquarium to look plain and ordinary, why not consider adding this as an adornment and cleaning aid to your tank? For sure, your fish and other pets in the tank will enjoy their new habitat.

You only need to check it once in a while to ensure that no algae, mold or mildew are seriously accumulating. For an affordable price, this product is a nice purchase that could make you and your pets assuredly satisfied.

5. Aquatic Arts Live Hornwort Plant


Aquatic Arts live hornworts plants may aid in bringing high nitrites to a new aquarium. These are perfect plants for newbies as they are not actually challenging to grow. They are recognized for being an adorable upgrade over artificial plants and they are capable of growing by up to 8 inches in height provided they are given suitable nutrients. They serve a very vital role in biological filtration.

More than that, these are uniquely-looking plants in that they float without roots in them. They remain fine with low light setups; however, it is important to consider that exposing them to more light could lead to a denser and more instant growth period.

They grow through sucking in waste comprising of nitrates and ammonia from the water, evidently, this indicates fewer pollutants that could cause cloudy and smelly water – so, this makes fish healthier and happier.

  • Does not call for a vast knowledge regarding plants, no need for special equipment and not too demanding to look after
  • Lovely adornment to aquariums making them look natural and soothing to behold
  • Are capable of growing in no time
  • Works well at alleviating water changes
  • Surprisingly grows through utilizing pollutants and waste in the water
  • They smell like sewage at first. Luckily, this isn't that disturbing though as the smell disappears after some time with proper care and maintenance
  • The individual needles of the plant have the tendency to break off and be all over the bottom part of the aquarium so this makes the tank look messy; hence, it requires frequent cleaning

Over and above, the plants are not that pricey, they are worth every single cent you spend on them. They could naturally go together with the fish in the tank. Most importantly, this type of plant is highly recommended for those who do not have much knowledge and experience yet in caring for plants.

They are easy to take care of, do not need special equipment to grow them and do not need to be spoiled when it comes to maintaining them.

So, if you have no idea yet what plants to get for your tank, how about this Aquatic Arts Live Hornwort Plant?

6. Mainam Anacharis Elodea Densa


Anacharis is a robust grower. It comes with tiny branches that have the tendency to break off from its mother plant instantly and it has the capability to produce new plants. It is surprising to know that it could also form roots that could support itself; it mainly feeds by means of its leaves.

Likewise, this plant is easy to grow, so even if you are still a beginner, you won't have serious problems to handle. However, they are a bit tiring to take care of because they keep growing without trimming and replanting. Be sure to check them every so often to avoid them from being messy.

Anacharis won't let you down if you are planning to invest in a type of aquatic plant that could grow in a short span of time, capable of adding color and texture to your tank and can provide you a nice sight whenever you look at your fish in the aquarium.

  • This is highly acclaimed for being one of the most superb oxygenators for an aquarium
  • It has the capability to multiply outstandingly
  • It is deemed helpful at keeping the aquarium healthy and clear provided that you follow the proper maintenance procedure
  • Aids in making your tank maintain an impressive and vibrant appearance
  • It is economical so it's recommended for those on a budget
  • It is prone to shedding plenty of leaves so it could be messy and may require regular cleaning and frequent water changes
  • There is a need for you to check them periodically because if you do not cut or replant them, they will keep growing and can make your tank congested and looking untidy

Since they are quite easy to grow, they could be laborious to care for and maintain. But, you only need to trim and replant them- not burdensome work for you to deal with. Luckily, this plant is priced at an affordable cost. So, even if you have a limited budget for adornment to your tank, this won't hurt your pocket.

Don't you think this is a smart purchase that you can give your most valued pets? Give it a try!

Outdated Products

Aquaculture Nursery Farms (Outdated)


Are you seriously having a hard time looking for top-drawer saltwater plants for your tank? Then, your search is over. This type of plant is capable of sustaining pure water conditions for varieties of fish and corals.

It is worth mentioning that this coral food contains prawn eggs, whole organism copepods, oyster eggs, rotifers, decapsulated brine shrimp eggs, urchin eggs, as well as, copepod eggs. Truth is this ideal and nutrient-filled type of food for all fish and corals.

If you are going to observe this product closely, you will see that it could grow quite well and is capable of creating a nice habitat for pods. In like manner, it could function excellently as a nutrient remover in the septic tank.

Also, you could put these saltwater macro algae anywhere; it could be in a refugium or in the main aquarium – it does not matter where you place it so long as it obtains a sufficient amount of light. This does not possess any roots.

This product is a valuable investment in that the macroalgae grow by means of taking in and processing the nutrients obtained from leftover or unconsumed food and fish water which is especially known to be the cause of poor-quality of water.

  • A superb food that could guarantee Amphipod and Copepod population's explosion
  • Capable of providing a pleasant breeding ground for shrimps, tiger pods, tisbe, amphipods, and copepods
  • This is a very renowned hatching food
  • Makes a nice dwelling place for seahorses
  • Comes at affordable price
  • This product has the tendency to be infested by pests
  • The package contains just a small amount

Not to mention, this product is considered as one of the most recommended techniques that aid sustains the quality of water in the saltwater coral reef aquarium. Simply knowing that you will have no reason why you will hesitate to provide this to your pets in the tank.

So, if you badly want to sustain and escalate the population of your Copepod and Amphipod, then it is not right to have second thoughts on whether to invest in this product or not.

Aquatic Arts Duckweed Portion (Outdated)


Duckweeds are adorable because they look like a water lens floating type of plant that grows easily in no time. The fronds or leaves are quite tiny and they come in lovely light green color. Typically, this type of plant thrives in dense areas and is capable of providing hiding spots for tiny fish and other invertebrates.

Such a plant is uncomplicated to grow and maintain. It is okay with low light conditions; on the other hand, if you prefer fast growth, it is best if you provide it with more light. You don't need to worry about filling your tank with pollutants since this type of plant helps clear away the mess by taking in the waste in the water and with that their growth becomes even a lot faster.

Obviously, this is not merely favorable for you but for your pet fish and other invertebrates. Basically, your aquarium stays admirable and your fish are guaranteed to be happy and in good health at the same time.

Once purchased, it comes with a total of 250 pods or more. As you can see, for a pocket-friendly price, you can have a beautiful addition to your aquarium already!

  • A no sweat plant to grow in no time
  • Instantly grows by means of taking in nitrates and ammonia from the water
  • Does not necessitate special tools and equipment to maintain them
  • Highly acclaimed for being one of the most highly rated aquarium plants
  • Certified grown in the US so they're not illegally imported
  • Does not come in a pleasant smell and the entire house may absorb the smelly odor that may last for some time
  • They are not filter-friendly. They have the tendency to consistently block the filter vents

Truly, it is favorable to purchase live plants primarily because they come with a lot of agricultural uses. They are good at combatting bacterial and algae growth, can aid in eliminating waste as well as an overabundance of nutrients from hydroponic systems, and also in keeping educational tanks tidy.

If you are a newbie, then you can start with this plant. There are no detailed insights, proper care methods or special equipment needed to care for them!

Luffy Marimo Moss Ball (Outdated)


Are you troubling searching for the right gift for a special friend or loved one who love aquatic plants? If you prefer something that symbolizes timeless love, then marimos are great picks!

Such plants are multi-purpose; they are one-of-a-kind ornaments and varieties of fish species love them for they consider them as their convenient and comfortable hiding place. In other words, if you wish to make your fish take pleasure in roaming around your aquarium, then give them an amusing toy to play with.

It is interesting to note that Marimos are quite exceptional at enhancing the quality of your tank in a way that they are capable of transforming the aquariums into a very conducive habitat for your most treasured aquatic pets. These are not difficult to grow and maintain as they could be placed in any part of the tank, glass, or jar with tap water.

Please be guided that if they float, you need to squeeze them carefully in order to enable them to sink naturally. What makes Marimos a wise investment is that they could serve as a natural biological filter system; they are capable of taking in unwanted nitrates, ammonia, and nitrites from your tank.

  • Ideal gift to give away for loved ones, children and close friends
  • They come in low maintenance and look stunning in the tanks
  • Do not cause algae to grow and they are certified snail-safe
  • They can be used as a return present to children during parties, decorative items or themes in social events such as weddings
  • They commonly come with strong and foul odor at first. Luckily, the strong smell vanishes after a few days

To avoid further problems, it is highly advised to adhere to the instructions provided in the package.

Marimos are top-notch options for many aquatic plant lovers because they are believed to be good luck charms. They are easy to grow; all they require is ceiling light and tap water. And, best of all, you only need to change the water every two weeks which means it is not tedious to care for. These are great options to ensure nitrite in the aquarium is at an acceptable level.

SunGrow Luffy Aquarium Grass Seeds (Outdated)


Are you wondering how to lower nitrates in a freshwater aquarium? Then, you need to look for aquatic plants that are not solely good to behold but are also beneficial to your most cherished fish in the tank. These aquarium plant seeds are great even for those who do not have much knowledge or experience in caring for plants.

When the seeds develop, the water grass becomes quite unburdensome to look after. At the period it begins growing in the tank, it is a lot easier to trim; as a result, it maintains good health and the appropriate fit. They only necessitate 2 to 4 watts of light per gallon and with an adequate amount of lighting, it will for sure become a stunning embellishment in your aquarium.

Without question, just like in taking care of other types of plants, it is a must to be patient and keep the seeds wet till they grow in appropriate sizes. Rushing will lead you to nowhere, so you better follow the instructions stringently.

  • A piece of cake to shear and trim in order to sustain its healthy height and allow it to remain fit
  • The perfect aquarium plant for newbies
  • An admirable adornment to your aquascape
  • Can guarantee instant and effortless propagation
  • Capable of creating a healthy environment for varieties of fish
  • They do not grow fast if placed in a container; however, it is the other way around when grown in aquariums
  • The seeds are prone to be messy and can instantly get all over the aquarium

These plants are good to have. Moreover, if you wish to encourage more instant growth, you may consider breaking away the individual stem from the mother plant and planting them separately. What is more, to aid in making your plant grow healthier, add more iron to the water.

It is worth mentioning that if you carry out the dry start approach, what you need to do is simply cover the aquarium with the aid of a cling wrap and then moderately spray once in a while. See to it to keep a good light on till the seeds begin to sprout.

6 Marimo Moss Ball (Outdated)


If you hope to buy a live aquarium embellishment, then Marimos will perfectly fit your reference. These are certified lovely aquarium adornment that comes with spherical form and profound green color and is quite easy to take care of. Indeed, their out-of-the-ordinary look makes them a wonderful centerpiece aquarium décor in any tiny aquarium.

Marimos are ideal wedding presents and these are conventionally given as gifts that symbolize commitment and love to a lover in Japan. They are broadly renowned for use in various containers, vases, jars as well as terrariums.

These plants can be displayed anywhere to make a certain place look livelier. Besides being conventional house plants, these are ideal gifts for those who are ailing and are hospitalized. They come in good value and a fascinating addition for any freshwater tank!

  • A wonderful decor to aquarium rocks, driftwood and other natural adornment of a big aquarium
  • Easy to maintain
  • These are 100% natural and do not contain any pesticides, dye or other contaminants
  • Marimos are beneficial to various fish species and are capable of growing easily as compared to other types of aquarium plants
  • Best gifts for weddings and sick people
  • There is a tendency of larva or algae infestation if not properly cleaned once in a while
  • Marimos seem identical to horsehair and they nearly immediately dry upon squeezing them

Marimos are a great addition to your aquarium because they do not require ample care. For a fact, they are deemed as the easiest to grow aquarium plants around the globe. They are known to be ideal alternatives to artificial plants. These are mostly displayed in world-class aquascapes for their distinctive appeal and aesthetics.

It is vital to squeeze and rinse them as per instructions in order to ensure that they will grow properly. With proper care, they will look impressive and relaxed in their new habitat. Basically, marimos are one of the best aquarium plants to reduce nitrates. They are not just visually appealing but they are also advantageous to the health of the tank.

What To Look For When Buying An Aquarium Plant To Reduce Nitrates


When it comes to purchasing an aquarium plant to minimize nitrates, there are some factors that you need to bear in mind so as to ensure that your preferences and requirements will be successfully met, and some of these are comprised of the following:

  • Look for the one that could be utilized as floating plants and for fish that prefer getting some shade or cover.
  • Opt for the one that could grow instantly and could reproduce in an instant approach.
  • Check if it has the capability to consume up a whole lot of nitrates, nitrites as well as ammonia.
  • Go for the one that is convenient and comfortable for fish varieties to use and enjoy.
  • See if the plant is easy to maintain and does not require special tools, equipment or other materials when it comes to cleaning and maintenance. It is nice to get a plant that would not require an ample amount of time to clean and maintain.
  • Choose the aquarium plant that is visually-appealing so as to provide your fish with beautiful habitat and for you to have a kind of sight that is relaxing and stunning to behold after a long and exhausting day at work.
  • Review first if the aquatic plant can serve as a natural water filter that could keep your fish safe and healthy.
  • Invest in a really nice plant that could grow fast and pretty well regardless of where you place it in the aquarium.
  • Aquarium plants that do not require many nutrients; go for the ones that only necessitate a bit of light and do a very good job when planted in different substrates.
  • Choose a sturdy and resilient aquarium plant that you won't have any issues with in terms of keeping alive for a long period of time.

Other Important Factors To Consider


When buying aquarium plants, it is most suitable to deal only with reputable and highly trusted brands or companies. The reason behind this is that credible companies will guarantee only the top-tier products that are worth every single penny you pay for them.

In the same way, choosing a highly trusted company will benefit you in several ways; for instance, in the event that you have issues with the product you purchased, you can always rely on customer service to address and settle your concerns.

Also, conduct research first prior to shopping proper. Take into account that if you are well-informed, you're more likely to get the best possible product.

What is an aquarium plant to reduce nitrates?

Aquatic plants could actually aid in reducing the quality of water. Moreover, if you are not capable of satisfying the needs of aquatic plants, they are more likely to shed leaves, wilt and eventually die.

Of course, the dead plant material will deteriorate over time; and this will produce more nitrogen compounds such as nitrite and ammonia.

Hence, if you do not take proper care of your aquarium plants, these could lead to unpleasant compromises in terms of the quality of the water. The fact is, this is the reason why it matters to look after your plants by providing them with carbon dioxide and strong light.

It is noteworthy that nitrates should not be present in the water of your aquarium. While it is true that it is not the sole most dangerous substance to various fish species, it is still not good to contain in any type of container or tank. Fortunately, there is a myriad of nitrate-consuming plants available these days that could aid in filtering your tank from this harmful substance.

How does it work?

In particular, fast-growing aquarium plants come with superior demand for elements like phosphate and nitrate among others. Therefore, they could aid in contributing to the decline of phosphate and nitrate concentrations.

Furthermore, the aquatic plants are capable of providing a pleasant hiding habitat and spawning opportunities for different animal inhabitants like shrimp and fish.

Aside from this, oxygen is produced through the process of photosynthesis which in turn does wonder to the tank's occupants. In this aspect, the introduction of aquarium plants is a very natural method when it comes to minimizing nitrates, which effectively supports the tank's entire ecosystem.

And, in order to ensure the maximum growth of your aquarium plants, take in mind that it is deemed crucial to supply them with all the necessary nutrients.

It is essential to understand that nitrate-consuming plants serve a very indispensable role when it comes to filtering the aquarium of harmful substances.

What are the different types of aquarium plants to reduce nitrates?

Some of the top aquarium plants that are quite reliable at reducing nitrates include the following:

  • Moss balls – These look cool and look like tiny furry tennis balls. They come with a lot of perks, but most importantly, they are highly acclaimed for superb absorption, process, and utilization of ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates in the water.
  • Duckweed – This is top-rated for consuming up and sucking in nitrates in the water. They have rounded floating leaves and are known for being floating plants.

This is a great option for an aquarium that could utilize several floating plants and for fish that prefer getting shade or cover. They grow fast, multiply instantly and are superb at devouring nitrates, nitrite, and ammonia.

  • Water Sprite – This is a stunning plant that is exceptional at filtering the tank particularly in getting rid of nitrates, nitrite, and ammonia from an aquarium. It does a very wonderful job, easy to maintain and requires pruning to be done every now and then.
  • Frogbit – This is also a floating type of plant that has rounded green leaves floating on top of the water. They serve as a cover or shade for fish as well. They grow quite fast that it requires regular trimming to ward them off from overtaking the aquarium.

Allowing this stuff to grow excessively could lead to having an excessive shade that impedes an ample amount of light from getting into the aquarium.

  • Anacharis Elodea – This looks identical to water sprite. It has long green stems that have slightly elongated leaves. It does not matter where you prefer to put it in the aquarium.

This plant grows really tall; hence, it is better to utilize it as a mid-ground or foreground plant. It is easy to maintain, does not need more nutrients and is outstanding in filtering the water.

  • Water Lettuce – This looks like a blossoming flower with a head of lettuce. It has green and long square leaves that are moderately rounded at the front.

This aquatic plant requires more nutrients and takes in more substances in the water. However, it comes in a large size so it is intended for bigger tanks. It is good at filtering water and sucking in nitrites, ammonia, and nitrates.

Why do you need aquarium plants to reduce nitrates? Benefits?

Aquarium plants are not merely natural adornment but also come with a number of physical and chemical benefits. They are very valuable in terms of keeping a healthy and clean tank. These are especially recommended for both newbies and expert tank enthusiasts.

Here are some of the perks that you can enjoy with aquarium plants that reduce nitrates:

  • They serve a very vital role in a distinctive kind of filtration system.
  • They come with the capability to aid get rid of the waste that is discharged by the fish.
  • They do a very pivotal role in eliminating decaying substances or matter.
  • Aquatic plants suck in nitrates by means of using their leaves and with the aid of substrate.
  • They function well in the carbon cycle.
  • They help in promoting a considerable reduction in Algae.
  • They are a great provider of safe and shielded habitats for fry and fish.
  • Aquarium plants help reconstruct the natural habitat of varieties of fish and animals.
  • They could naturally aid in enhancing chemical filtration.
  • Aquatic plants greatly help in the aeration of the water column.
  • The root systems of aquarium plants encourage substrate security.

Frequently Asked Questions


How fast do plants remove nitrates?

The removal rate will differ from plant to plant. However, top performers like Pothos and other fast-growing plants will start to reduce nitrate levels within 4 or 5 days. So it’s a relatively quick and painless process to control nitrate with these plants.

But again, four to five days is only for the top performers. So please, carefully research and choose plants for aquarium water quality when looking at ways to get nitrates down. Otherwise, the process may be much slower than anticipated.

Can fish survive high nitrates?

High nitrates aren’t a complete death sentence. Generally, most fish species will tolerate exposure to overly high nitrate levels, sometimes up to 50 ppm, without immediately dying. But it remains imperative to do whatever you can to lower aquarium nitrates back to acceptable levels as soon as possible.

Otherwise, your fish will eventually start showing symptoms and dying. So you’ll want to attempt water changes and perform numerous tests to evaluate the issue. As aquatic plants absorb nitrates or nitrites, they would come in handy in helping you fix high nitrate in fish tank aquariums.

If you’re looking for a generalized nitrate range, anything below 15 ppm is acceptable. Your fish shouldn’t have any issues surviving and thriving in those circumstances. I suggest lowering them down to 5 or 10 ppm if possible.

Do dead plants increase nitrates?

Dead plants become problematic and release nitrates if they aren’t removed. So owners must look to dispose of them as soon as possible. It’s one of the simplest ways to remove nitrates from aquarium tanks.

I should mention that this rule also applies to dead creatures. Their presence in your tank’s water will only increase nitrates. It’s another reason aquarists must be vigilant about what’s happening in their tanks and have emergency nitrate reduction aquarium plans, such as using absorption resin, in case something crops up.

Is 40 ppm nitrate too high?

Any nitrate level above 20 is too high to provide a suitable tank environment. In these cases, owners must do whatever they can to get rid of nitrates. If they don’t, their fish/plants become compromised.

One of the easiest ways is buying plants that clean fish tanks and absorb nitrates. Any options mentioned in this article will be enough to get the job done. Some will even help reduce ammonia levels and prevent algae.

Water Wisteria Vs Water Sprite: What's the difference?

Water Wisteria and Water Sprite are effective nitrate remover for freshwater tanks. In this case, the plants aren’t much different. It’s why aquascapers often swear by them when trying to control water quality in their tanks.

However, these two plants do have a few distinct differences. The primary one comes from their growth habits, where Water Spirit grows much faster from a central location. Meanwhile, Wisteria can grow above water and produce flowers to offer one of the coolest aesthetics.

What are the most popular aquarium plants to reduce nitrates brands?

The most renowned aquarium plants that have the capability to minimize nitrates include:

  • Duckweed
  • Water Sprite
  • Moss balls
  • Anacharis Elodea
  • Frogbit
  • Water Lettuce

How to plant these plants?

When adding live aquatic plants to the tank, the following must be observed:

A good substrate commonly comprises of 2 layers that are specially designed to grip and provide the necessary minerals that are substantial for the plants. In addition to this, a combination of potting soil and laterite for the lower layer could help guarantee a safe reservoir of minerals- this should be 2 by up to 3 inches.

On the other hand, the top layer must comprise of gravel or sand at least 1 by up to 2 inches. Please be guided that waste particles are a lot uncomplicated to isolate from gravel when extracting the substrate.

Needless to say, plants especially require light for photosynthesis. As you know, fluorescent light is commonly recommended because it is mainly in the blue and red spectrum. The red spectrum is the one that promotes photosynthesis while a mixture with full spectrum lighting is highly advised.

Hinging on the type of plant, 2 watts per gallon is already adequate; plants or deeper aquariums that need more extreme lighting might require 3 watts per gallon.

Since light serves as the sole energy source, see to it that it is on for 10 by up to 12 hours every day and this must be evenly distributed all the though the tank. Carbon dioxide, light, and substrate are the primary factors for flourishing plant growth.

Where can I plant these plants?

Remember the following when placing plants in the tank or aquarium:

  • Utilize foreground plants in the front of the aquarium because this remains short.
  • Utilize middle-ground plants that usually grow approximately 4 by up to 10 inches in height, along the sides of the tank and be sure to set aside an open swimming spot close by the middle section of the tank.
  • Consider using the tallest aquatic plants to conceal the heaters and filter tubes of the tank; this must be positioned against the back of the wall of the tank.

How to reduce nitrates in aquariums?

Here are some useful steps to keep nitrates low:

  • Make sure to keep the aquarium clean. Wastes are the prime reason for nitrate production. So, if your tank is clean, there will be fewer nitrates.
  • Never overfeed the fish. One of the main contributors to excessive nitrates and other unwanted wastes is overfeeding.
  • Administer regular water changes. Take note that RO/DI water is an exceptional option when it comes to minimizing nitrate levels.
  • Keep the aquatic plants alive. Since live plants use nitrates, this shall aid in keeping nitrates regulated.
  • Employ nitrogen-reducing filter media. Special filters and costly denitrators are quite pricey, so better utilize a special media filter. While this may not considerably reduce nitrates, if utilized together with other techniques, the outcome will be advantageous.

How to take care of these aquatic plants?

Just keep the water in the tank clean. Do not forget to trim the plants if necessary. Provide the necessary lighting, carbon dioxide, and substrate. Follow the proper care and maintenance procedure of the aquarium plants that you buy and add to your tank.

Where to buy aquarium plants?

Luckily, aquarium plants are not difficult to find. You may start your search in your local fish store but expect that the options are limited. Meanwhile, there are a number of legit online sites like eBay and Amazon where you can buy aquatic plants and these sites often offer a limitless number of options that you can select from.

You only need to conduct research of other highly trusted online sites where you can buy one.


By far, the most significant benefit that live plants provide for your tank is that they are capable of taking in carbon dioxide as well as ammonia that varieties of fish produce; most importantly, these are adept at producing oxygen.

Essentially, adding aquatic plants in the aquarium greatly helps in reconstructing a natural habitat for various fish and this might be one of the most advantageous means to keep your fish safe, happy and healthy!

Without a doubt, plants provide security and shelter for the fish. And, since they contend with algae for nutrients, these plants could aid in cutting down the growth of algae.

Nonetheless, it is worth stating that adding live plants does not decline the need for water changes. Hence, when picking the best aquarium plants to reduce nitrates, see to it that you choose species that are genuine aquatic species and which are quite appropriate for your particular fish species as well as water type.