Can Aquarium Plants Grow in Cold Water? What’s The Best Temperature

Lauren Kiekbusch
Can Aquarium Plants Grow in Cold Water

As most freshwater fishes and plants love tropical water temperatures, it can always be tricky to keep cold water in an aquarium. And this has been one of the most asked questions by hobbyists, can aquarium plants grow in cold water?

Everywhere you will get the shortest and simplest answer, “Yes”. But how does it happen or what is the best temperature for aquarium plants? A lot of things to know more about this topic. In this article, we will explain broadly the cold water plants in the aquarium. 

Some plants such as Vallisneria or Hornwort (Coontail) like cold water in their tanks. Usually, they are known to us as “Cold Water Plants”. Though, it doesn’t mean that they only need cold water to survive. 

In fact, most species that live in tanks are familiar with the tropical environment. That is to say, they will like the lowest temperature of 70°F (21.11°C). 

Still, you have some options who love to grow in cold environments. So, these are the most suitable plants for a cold water aquarium with fish like goldfish. Now, let us answer the question to give you a better idea of the temperature issue for aquarium plants. 

What Is The Best Temperature for Aquarium Plants?

As aforesaid, maximum plant species love to live in tropical conditions. Accordingly, they want their aquarium temperature to correspond to tropical climates.

In general, most aquarium plant species prefer a temperature around 70°F to 80°F. Yet, some plants like to grow in cold water. But, most species can exist in warm conditions.

We’d recommend you consider both aquarium fish and plants together instead of considering them in two separate items. That is, assume that you are going to keep fish such as discus, and ram cichlids.

That means your fish will prefer a high water temperature of more than 80° Fahrenheit. At the same time, you want to keep plants in your aquarium. Which kind of plants should you prefer? In this case, you should keep the plant species that love high temperatures.

In the same way, conserve cold water plant species with the corresponding fish species. While in the cold water, you can keep goldfish, weather loach, danios, and minnows. These fish have no difficulties growing in cold weather.

Maximum aquariums with plants tend to grow in average tropical water conditions. It can be around 73°F to 78°F. This is the optimal temperature for most plant species to plant in the aquarium. In the same way, most fish species will love the same temperature in the freshwater fish tanks.

5 Aquarium Plants That Can Grow in Cold Water

As you know now, some aquarium plants can grow in cold water. Then, you’d want to know which aquatic plants are most suitable to survive under cold water conditions.

Another thing that most fish keepers possess, is only goldfish setups are reliable in cold conditions. But, the true fact is that you will get plenty of options for keeping plants in cooler aquariums. 

Let’s come to the list of the top 5 best aquarium plants that can grow in cold water. 

1. Anacharis (Elodea densa)

Elodea densa is also familiar as anacharis. Anacharis is a lovely aquatic plant originating from South America. It comes with a long stem including tiny green leaves. Again, this plant offers different shades on different aquariums.

This species loves to grow in relatively hard water having a pH of 5.0-7.5. Plus, it loves medium lighting.

Anacharis is familiar with “Brazilian Elodea” as well. In fact, this plant is especially recommended for new fish keepers. The plant can grow up in an extensive variety of conditions. You can keep it under a variety of temperatures as well. (Keep the water temperature anywhere from 50°F to 82°F). 

In this way, Anacharis is an aquarium plant that is able to grow in not only cold but also tropical conditions.

You Can Buy This Anacharis Plant From Amazon. 

2. Java Fern (Microsorum pteropus)

Java fern or called Microsorum Pteropus is a bulky, but elegant aquatic plant. This plant can be a great addition to your planted aquarium.

Besides, if your aquarium includes boisterous fish, then this plant will be very handy for you. For example, you can keep cichlids or other big South American fish with Java fern.

Indeed, this is an appropriate mid or background plant for your fish tank. It gets around 8″ in length including creeping, green rhizomes. Again, as the Microsorum pteropus is amphibious, it is either partly or completely drowned.

Java fern can survive in a basic range of 3-8 KH with, a pH of 6.0-7.5. Plus, it can grow in low to medium lighting. Like the previous plant, Java fern can also live in the water temperature anywhere between 60°F to 82°F. 

Overall, it is a good plant for cold water aquariums. Plus, it can also thrive in the violent nature of goldfish. If you are confused about the Java fern to use, then this is the recommended Java fern that I’ve been using.

3. Marimo Balls (Aegagropila Linnaei)

Marimo ball is commonly found in cool water conditions such as in Iceland. That is to say, the plant is ideal for cold water and an unheated fish tank. 

Again, Marimo balls or Aegagropila Linnaei don’t need much maintenance. You can just keep them in a vase or bowl. Still, the Marimo balls suit best in normal fish tanks. But, you should not keep the plants with disastrous tank mates such as goldfish or larger crayfish.  

You can Buy Marimo Balls From Amazon.

Aquarium Plants in Cold Water

4. Java moss (Taxiphyllum Barbieri, Or Vescicularia Dubyana)

Java moss is another famous and beautiful plant. This plant is very easy to grow in your fish tank. Java moss is a handy plant to keep in subtropical and cold water conditions. You can keep this plant in the water temperature from 15 to 30 °C or 59 to 86 °F. 

Especially, Java moss can be kept in combo with smaller fish and (dwarf) shrimp. Food components may be interpolated in the moss. Thus, there comes a terrific grazing surface for shrimp in the aquarium.

In addition, the plant doesn’t require any extra plant food, Co2, fertilizer, or extra lightingYou can make a worthy purchase of Java moss from Amazon. Check out the Java Moss.

Find more information about growing aquarium moss in the video below:

5. Hornwort (Coontail)

If you are looking for a free-floating and drowned plant for your aquarium, then the Hornwort aquarium plant is exactly for you.

This plant has been very widespread among both hobbyists and professional fish keepers. You can easily start with the plants in a wide variety of water conditions.

Hornwort is perfect for cooler aquariums and also for tropical fish tanks. In addition, it can soak up nitrates in planted aquariums. Again, Coontail can give concealing spaces for shrimp or fry.

Overall, the plant can survive in conditions from soft to relatively hard water, all lighting conditions, and a pH from 6.0 to 7.5. Guide for keeping Hornwort.

Let’s Wrap Up

After all, to keep plants in unheated water conditions, you have to be picky in choosing certain types of plants and corresponding fish in your aquarium.      

Having finished the discussion, now you should have no questions like, can aquarium plants grow in cold water? In addition to this, we made a list of the top 5 best cold water aquarium plants. You can find your plant as per your requirement. Happy fishkeeping!   

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