Easy carpeting aquarium plants are great choices if you want to add color and variety to your aquarium without taking up too much space. Although it may seem counterintuitive, carpeting aquarium plants aren’t actually that hard to keep healthy in the right conditions. Plus, because they don’t grow too tall, they won’t shade out any of your other hard-working plants or fish!
Carpet aquarium plants are some of the easiest to maintain and provide an excellent hiding place for fish and shrimp. If you’re just starting out with an aquarium, these carpeting aquarium plants can help you get your tank off on the right foot.
They’re also good options if you have an established tank but are looking to add a little bit of coverage without going overboard.
To help you get started with easy carpeting aquarium plants in your own home, here are 15 of the best aquarium carpet plants for beginners to choose from!
Easy Carpeting Aquarium Plants (With Pictures)
Hemianthus callitrichoides (Dwarf Baby Tears Carpet)
Hemianthus callitrichoides is a popular carpeting aquarium plant that can be grown easily in just about any type of aquarium setup. The dwarf baby tears carpet is a great choice for beginners because it’s hardy, doesn’t require high light levels to survive, and grows fairly quickly.
The best part is that these easy aquarium carpet plants have relatively low requirements when it comes to fertilization, so you won’t need to add much more than your average tap water. If you want the plants to grow faster and fuller, you’ll want to add something like Flourish Iron Cichlid Fertilizer on a regular basis.
When these plants are left unattended for too long, they will grow quite thick and leggy and may even trail down the side of the tank; however, it’s not difficult to trim them back by simply clipping them at an angle with some scissors. These plants will thrive under moderate lighting conditions with no added fertilizers or CO2 injections needed!
Sagittaria subulata (Dwarf Sagittaria Carpet)
Sagittaria subulata, also known as Dwarf Sagittaria carpet, is a great plant for your aquarium because of its small size and low maintenance. This plant can grow up to 12 inches tall, but it will not grow much higher if placed in an aquarium.
Sagittaria subulata only needs to be trimmed every once in a while and it does not need to be fertilized. These plants are resistant to disease and do not require special lighting. When planting this plant, make sure that the crown of the plant is submerged at all times, which makes them ideal for freshwater or brackish water tanks.
Monte Carlo Plant (Micranthemum tweediei)
Monte Carlo Plant is a low-growing carpeting plant that can be used as groundcover or to fill in areas of bare substrate. The leaves are bright green with narrow, wavy white stripes and it produces small yellow flowers on long stems.
It does not tolerate high water conditions and should only be planted in tanks with lower water levels. Otherwise, the leaves will get brown tips. However, because it is so easy to care for and tolerates various conditions, this makes it one of the best carpeting plants for beginners.
Lilaeopsis brasiliensis (Micro Sword Aquarium Plant or Brazil Sword Plant)
Lilaeopsis brasiliensis, also known as the Micro Sword aquarium plant or Brazil Sword Plant, is a carpeting aquatic plant that will grow to be 12-14 inches tall. It has narrow, sword-shaped leaves and grows densely.
This plant prefers medium light and the substrate should be kept moist at all times. Lilaeopsis brasiliensis requires frequent pruning to keep it manageable. In addition to its dense growth habit, this plant releases a fragrant aroma when wet. The flower color ranges from pinkish-purple with red markings on the petals and calyxes. Flowering only occurs if grown in bright indirect light.
Glossostigma elatinoides (Glosso Plant)
Glossostigma elatinoides is a beautiful and durable carpeting plant. It does not require much light and is able to grow in a wide variety of conditions. Glossostigma is great for planted tanks as well as tanks with low-light setups. This plant also has an interesting white stripe on the leaf that gives it a nice appearance.
If you are looking for an easy carpeting plant, then Glossostigma elatinoides should be at the top of your list. Glossostigma needs very little light and can thrive in any environment.
The long leaves make this one of the best options for a planted tank or low-light setup. Glossostigma’s white stripes give it a unique look that can really add some life to your aquarium.
Echinodorus tenellus (Mudbabies Plant)
Echinodorus tenellus is a hardy low-light carpeting aquarium plant. It has long, narrow leaves that are light green and will grow up to 16 inches in height. This particular type of Echinodorus is also known as the Mudbabies Plant.
It grows well in moist soil or sand and can be found for sale at most pet stores or aquatic plant nurseries. The most common complaint with this plant is its susceptibility to snails. If snails are a problem in your tank, consider using snail traps or copper barriers to prevent them from eating away at your plants.
Some other interesting facts about this variety of Echinodorus include its ability to survive even when underwater for weeks if properly stored and its ease of propagation through runners which break off from the main stem.
Marsilea hirsuta (Dwarf Four Leaf Clover Carpet)
Marsilea hirsuta is a very low-maintenance and extremely easy-to-grow carpeting aquarium plant. It is one of the most resilient species and can tolerate a wide range of conditions, from temperatures as low as 64 degrees Fahrenheit to those as high as 122 degrees Fahrenheit.
Marsilea hirsuta’s foliage is typically bright green in color and its leaves are diamond-shaped with pointy tips. Its yellow flowers emerge on short stalks above the surface of the water and it will typically bloom during late summer or early fall. The best way to propagate this species is by dividing the rhizomes when it blooms.
Dwarf Hairgrass Carpet (Eleocharis parvula)
Dwarf Hairgrass is a good carpet plant for beginners because it is easy to care for. It grows slowly and needs to be trimmed occasionally, but it’s tough enough to take some abuse.
The Dwarf Hairgrass does not need much light or fertilizer and will grow in low-light conditions better than most other plants. It can also tolerate a wide range of water temperatures, making it an excellent choice for beginners who live in colder climates. The Dwarf Hairgrass is found on every continent except Antarctica, so it thrives in different environments.
The Dwarf Hairgrass has leaves that are 1/8 to 3/4 long and they are fuzzy when they grow underwater.
This plant only reaches 6 tall when fully grown, so it works well as a ground cover at the front of your tank where the substrate level drops lower than the water line.
Micranthemum umbrosum (Giant Baby Tears)
One of the most popular carpeting aquarium plants is the Micranthemum umbrosum. These plants are very easy to grow and will propagate quickly. One of the greatest features of this plant is that it can withstand a wide range of lighting conditions, from low light to very high light.
The only downside to these plants is their slow growth rate. They also require more nutrients than other types of carpeting plants because they don’t root in soil as other types do.
Taxiphyllum barbieri (Java Moss Or Bogor Moss)
Java moss is an attractive carpeting plant that can even be used as a ground cover in larger aquariums. It has a reputation for being hard to grow, but this isn’t the case if you provide it with the right conditions.
Java moss will do best when attached to rocks or driftwood, as opposed to attaching itself to other plants and stones in your aquarium. If using driftwood, ensure it is tightly secured so it doesn’t move around when your fish swim by.
To attach Java Moss to the driftwood or rock, simply use small pieces of cotton thread. Trim any excess threads before placing your Java Moss into the water. The temperature range for successful growth is between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit (18-26 degrees Celsius).
Monosolenium tenerum (Liverwort Plant)
Monosolenium tenerum, also known as the liverwort plant, is a popular carpeting aquarium plant because it has low light requirements and can withstand high amounts of nitrates. The plants are usually sold in bunches of five and will grow to cover the surface of the substrate in your aquarium.
Liverworts have been used for centuries as a natural remedy to help with inflammation. They are rich in flavonoids which act as anti-inflammatory agents, and their antioxidant levels make them a great choice for any tank.
They’re an easy plant to find at your local fish store or pet shop; simply ask the employee what kind of plants they carry and they should be able to point you in the right direction.
Eleocharis acicularis (Dwarf hair grass)
Eleocharis acicularis, also known as dwarf hair grass, is an attractive carpeting plant that has a thin, flattened stem. When planting it in your aquarium, you’ll need to make sure the substrate is compact so that the roots can form properly and not be exposed to too much light.
The plant will grow slowly and does not require much light or maintenance. It also makes for a great background plant because of its light coloration. If your tank has brighter lighting, this plant might die back and turn brown if it receives too much light. Otherwise, this carpeting plant looks great and requires very little care.
Hemianthus micranthemoides (Pearlweed Carpet Plant)
Hemianthus micranthemoides is a beautiful, easy-to-grow carpet plant. This plant is sometimes called Pearlweed Carpet Plant because the leaves are arranged in rows like pearls on a string. It has reddish-brown stems and green leaves that grow to about one foot in height.
The flowers are attractive, but not showy. The plant does not need much light or fertilizer, and it can tolerate cooler water temperatures. Some hobbyists claim this plant will even survive being rooted underwater! Because of its shade tolerance and lack of demanding needs, it’s perfect for beginners looking for an introduction to carpeting plants.
Fissidens fontanus (Phoenix Moss)
Fissidens fontanus is an extremely easy carpeting aquarium plant that can be grown on most surfaces including driftwood and porous rocks.
Fissidens fontanus is a very low light, low CO2 tolerant plant that will do best in the shade and should never be placed directly under a bright light fixture.
Fissidens fontanus can also tolerate lower water quality and is not picky when it comes to fertilizers or substrates. It’s important to note that this species of moss can take up to three weeks to show signs of growth as it establishes itself in your tank!