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Top15 Best Aquarium Carpet Plants for Beginners

Carpet plants for aquariums are so amazing that no fish tank should ever go without these live aquarium additions.

Aquarium carpet plants are one of the most popular types of aquarium decorations and for good reason. They’re easy to care for, low maintenance, and can add a lot of color to your fish tank. If you’re looking to get into the world of aquarium carpet plants but don’t know where to start, read on.

We’ll show you 15 different varieties that will help give your tank a nice natural look while also keeping your fish tank healthy.

moss for freshwater aquarium

Best Carpeting Plants For Fish Tank

Carpet plants can be the most important component of your aquarium because they help maintain a healthy environment for fish as well as bottom dwellers like snails, fry, and shrimp.

They also add freshness and make everything look more vibrant while adding places to hide and swim from larger aquarium mates.

Throughout our roundup on the best 15 carpet plants for aquariums, we will supply you with our:

  • top choices
  • important carpet plant care information
  • a breakdown of each carpeting plants benefits

…so you can enjoy a lush aquatic fish tank filled with green healthy carpet plants.

Best Live Aquarium Plants: Carpeting Plants For Your Fish Tank Short-List

1) Dwarf Baby Tears Hemianthus Callitrichoides

2) Glosso (Glossostigma Elatinoides)

3) Marsilea Hirsuta

4) Staurogyne Repens

5) Dwarf Sag (Sagittaria Subulata)

6) Dwarf Water Clover (Marsilea Minuta)

7) Monte Carlo (Micranthemum Tweediei)

8) Dwarf Hairgrass (Eleocharis Arcicularis Or Eleocharis Parvula)

9) Micro Sword (Lilaeopsis Novae-Zelandiae)

10) Dwarf Chain Swords (Echinodorus Tenellus)

11) Shoreweed (Littorella uniflora)

12) Java Moss (Taxiphyllum barbieri)

13) Flame Moss (Hypnaceae)

14) Monosolenium Tenerum

15) Christmas Moss (Vesicularia montagnei)

What Plants Keep Aquariums Clean?

Live aquarium plants can help tackle the issue of cleaning a dirty fish tank. They provide oxygen for fish and reduce co2 in fish tank water. Some of the best types for help with aquarium cleanliness are carpet plants. A carpeting plant is exactly as it sounds.

A plant that spreads out and “carpets” an aquarium.

An aquarium carpet plant is a great way to showcase a well-decorated fish tank but also have the added benefit of co2 production for your fish and filtering out pollutants as they can absorb them in your live aquarium.

Adding Moss To an Aquarium

Aquarium plants can be intimidating to beginner aquarists, but rest assured, the plants on this list are perfect for those new to fish keeping.

Most of the carpeting plants on the list are sturdy and hardy, but you will still want to consider choosing carpet plants that match your tank, oxygen levels, lighting such as LED light and carbon dioxide.

But, there is good news. These aquarium plants will thrive as long as your fish are with little upkeep like betta fish.

As long as you trim appropriately and have the right mix of fish species, shrimp, snails, or whatever your fish types are, you won’t have to worry about much except for proper light levels. You will want to understand what a low light level is as well as too much lighting in your tank. Here you will learn about the best aquarium carpet plants for beginners and experience fish keepers.

Baby Dwarf Tears

best carpet plants for aquariums

This low maintenance carpet plant species, the first on our list, is the Dwarf Baby Tears Hemianthus callitrichoides.

It requires low lighting levels, needs a moderate amount of co², and has very few requirements for water values as long as you don’t over-fertilize it.

This carpeting plant adds some welcome color to your aquarium while also providing a hiding place from bigger fish.

Glosso (Glossostigma Elatinoides)

glosso carpeting plant

Carpet plants like Glosso require more light than other types like Dwarf Baby Tears plants.

Glossostigma elatinoides from New Zealand is one of the smallest aquarium carpet plants. It can reach up to 3 cm in height and requires a lot of light for it’s carpet growth, so make sure larger plants don’t outshine this plant by blocking its sunlight!

When planting Glossostigma elatinoides into your tank small clumps (approx 1/8 pot) should be spaced at intervals every few centimeters to help them grow together faster and can adhere to gravel substrate.

CO2 addition will encourage their growth significantly as well as soft water which helps these little guys thrive for aquarists.

Marsilea Hirsuta

carpeting aquarium plants

When Marsilea hirsuta was first discovered in Australia, it had leaves like a four-leaf clover. After some time, it transforms into different forms with two to four lobes depending on the environment that they are living in.

This plant is really fascinating and can be found anywhere from your backyard garden all the way up to Antarctica and of course in your aquarium.

This foreground plant does well during water changes and requires moderate lighting. Perfect for beginners, these carpet plants have a mild growth rate and make a good plant choice for your fish.

Staurogyne Repens

foreground carpeting plants

Staurogyne repens is a great plant for the beginner Aquarist! This stem-less aquatic herb has colorful, feathery leaves that are about 12 inches long. It can grow to be an impressive height of up to 30 inches if you have enough space and light in your tank.

The Tropica Aquarium plant is sourced from South Africa and Madagascar. It’s similar to the Marsilea Crenata, but has a larger leaf size with more variety in shape!

Dwarf Sag (Dwarf Sagittaria Subulata)

dwarf sag carpeting aquarium plant

This carpet plant, also known as Dwarf Sagittaria is a perfect choice for the aquarium that doesn’t have enough room to grow taller plants. It has medium-sized leaves in a rosette shape and can be found growing across Asia, Africa, Europe, North America, and South America!

Dwarf Sagittaria grows well with soft water which makes it an excellent option for those living near large soft water reserves. Your Dwarf Sagittaria will not grow well if you tend to have hard water in your fish tank.

Dwarf Water Clover (Marsilea Minuta)

dwarf water clover carpeting plant

Miniature water clover is a small aquarium plant. These carpeting plants are two to three-inch tall aquatic carpet plants that grow in shallow water.

The leaves have little picturesque markings on them and the green leaves are not uniform in size. This makes an interesting contrast when grown near taller plants. A delightful addition for garden fairies and perfect for beginner aquarium fanatics.

Monte Carlo (Micranthemum Tweediei)

monte carlo carpeting plant

There are so many fantastic live aquarium carpet plants available for beginners, and the Monte Carlo is no exception. This is a tall carpet plant that branches out to grow up to two feet in height.

Monte Carlo has small green leaves and it grows best when there’s plenty of light available for any underwater plants.

Micranthemum tweediei ‘Monte Carlo’ is a plant that originates from Argentina. It creates an instant carpet in the front of your aquarium with its green, round and fresh leaves. The plant will not grow without good lighting throughout the water column and CO2 additive.

Dwarf Hairgrass (Eleocharis Arcicularis Or Eleocharis Parvula)

dwarf harigrass fish tank plant

The Dwarf Hairgrass carpet plant is a great choice for beginners because it’s super easy to keep alive.

Dwarf Hairgrass grows well in low-light conditions and has small green leaves. Dwarf Hairgrass is perfect for the green floors of your aquarium!

They’re a soft and flowing species that grows in any size tank with ease. Dwarf Hairgrass prefers to grow without fertilizer or special lighting, giving them an easy-care rating as well.

These carpeting plants have been used since ancient times because they are so hardy!

Micro Sword (Lilaeopsis Novae-Zelandiae)

micro sword


Micro Sword is a tough, resilient plant that can survive in low-light and even poor water conditions. Micro Sword has long, thin leaves with a wild-grasslike affect.

It’s a good idea to remove the yellowing, dying leaves so that they don’t affect your water quality.

Micro Sword is great for creating a green aquascape and compliments cool fish tank decorations, whatever your style.

Dwarf Chain Swords (Echinodorus Tenellus)

pigmy/dwarf chain sword


The name “Amazon Sword” should make you think of a heavily rooted plant. These dwarf chain swords are no exception…

I recommend using an aquarium substrate that is not just plain gravel. You can also use Fluval Stratum or other store-bought substrates to grow these guys!

Shoreweed (Littorella uniflora)

moss care


American Shoreweed is a type of carpet plant that has grass-like leaves and propagates by runners. It thrives in both high-tech and low-tech setups, but it needs adequate lighting for the best appearance as carpeting foreground plants.

In moderate lighting, this carpet plant’s height will be taller with less horizontal growth in your aquarium while still growing quickly with a nutrient-rich substrate; CO2 supplementation also benefits this kind of plant.

Java Moss (Taxiphyllum barbieri)

java moss for aquarium


Java moss is often used as a decorative element in aquariums because of its attractive color and unique texture. It also works well with Hairgrass species and requires some co2 rich water.

The only downside to this plant, however, is that it needs more attention than other plants would require due to the finer strands making up the leaves. Java

Moss can be grown outdoors if you live somewhere warm year-round like Florida or Hawaii but typically requires warmer water temperatures (70 degrees Fahrenheit) so not all tank setups are compatible with java moss.

If you’re looking for an easy aquatic species that will work well no matter what your setup looks like then we have just one word: “moss.”

Flame Moss (Hypnaceae)

flame moss for aquariums


Flame moss is a great carpet plant addition to aquariums! Flame plants grow fast at a high growth rate and does not need much light.

Flame Moss belongs in the Taxiphyllum genus of plants, so if you ever want more variety than just this one plant type give it a try too!

If you’re looking for an easy aquatic species that will work well no matter what your setup looks like then we have just one word: “moss.”.

Flame Moss (Hypnaceae) belongs in any aquarium because it grows fast and does not need much light.

Monosolenium Tenerum


The Asian Monosolenium tenerum is a type of liverwort that grows to only 2-5 cm high. These low growth rate carpet plants mostly resemble Riccia, but it stays at the bottom and forms cushions, unlike Riccia.

These carpet plants are brittle, so pieces will break off easily.

Therefore, you should attach carpeting plants such as Monosolenium to the bottom using a fishing line or place it in small clumps with other plants such as Eleocharis which are just an example of how undemanding they can be!

Pellia isn’t hard to put back on. If you drop one, it will grow again. They are hardy.

Christmas Moss (Vesicularia montagnei)


Christmas Moss is a tropical moss species that can be grown in humid locations across SE Asia.

These versatile carpet plants grow underwater, on land, or even on rocks and branches! They get their name because they have leaves branching out at 90° intervals just like the tips of fir trees.

This creates an interesting texture for any terrarium!

Carpet Plants Explained

Live aquarium carpet plants are a great way to add some color and life to your fish tank.

They’re low maintenance, easy to care for, and can help give your aquarium the natural look you want without spending hours on upkeep.

If you need more variety in your plant selection or have any questions about what’s best for your type of fish, feel free to reach out below!

We hope you enjoyed our list of 15 different types of aquarium carpet plants that will work well with even the most finicky fish tanks.

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