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Low Tech but rewarding plants?

I'm looking for the all time greatest hits list of low maintenance but high yield plants.

Basically I just want plants that grow. The particular looks of the plants don't really matter, I'm just want rapidly growing plants to provide ample cover for more peaceful fish and for younger fish fry.

One tank is indoors and 'd be willing to spring for an eco-complete substrate or something, to get things started but then i'd want to set it and forget it. I also plan for this tank to be heavily stocked with plant friendly fish, so i imagine i'll have good natural fertilization once the tanks established.

In my other tanks, I'm likely going bare bottom, and thus, looking for your list of mosses, floaters, or anything else that can hang without a substrate.



Well-Known Member
High yield always means more maintenance. lol

Hornwort and guppy grass are my go to plants for that. Just have to pull half of it out every other week. Jungle val for substrate plants is another easy and quick spreader. Java fern doesnt use substrate just need to tie it to a rock or drift wood to keep it in place. Any of the common crypts would be fine in the substrate. They dont grow and spread as fast but are way less maintenance. Just a root tab would be good for them now and then.
All these would do just fine with just the indirect sunlight outside. They would fair much better with a light over them indoors.


CCA Members
dwarf water lettuce + hornwort = huge mat and nitrate sponge. But yeah you tearing half of it out every week. (I use this is my feeder guppy tanks) Java moss is easy as pie as well, I've even had those sword in moss balls from petco take off and do well with a crappy marine land LED


CCA Members
If your lightning is at least medium strong, try the maybe fastest growing aquatic plant: Mexican oak leaf (Shinnernia rivularis).
For low light, you could also try Pogostemon stellatus 'Octopus.'
Any of the Vallisneria species will grow well.
Or even an Echinodorus would work. That would be truly low maintenance.

For substrate, I recommend mineralized top soil; here is the recipe:
It's cheap and lasts years. It does take some work and time to make it though.


I am having good luck with Anubias. I just have to remeber to turn the tank lights on for a bout 6 to 7 hours per day 6 days per week.


CCA Members
I am having a hard time finding local snail free Jungle val.
Snail free is not something you'll likely find with Jungle Val. You might be able to dip it to eradicate some snails before adding it to your tank. The only "guaranteed snail free' plants out there are tissue cultured. They're pricey and usually pretty small. It really doesn't pay to do this with jungle val. That said, jungle val spreads quickly, so if you got one small sprout/plant you could manually clear it of snails and eggs and plant it. Not completely risk free, but it might work.


Well-Known Member
What's wrong with snails?
If you want snail free plants, set up a puffer tank and put the plants in there for a couple weeks then transplant to where you want them.


CCA Members
I dont remember who hosted the last group buy on plants, but in a ton of plants I had exactly one snail. It was dispatched and I haven't seen a snail in that tank since adding the plants. If you look through the posts in the market place im sure you could find it.