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Best Plant For Turtle Tank

The Best Live Plants For Turtle Tanks 2020

Live plants for turtle tanks are hugely beneficial for a turtles health and well-being. Fake plants can make a turtles tank look aesthetically pleasing, although for the turtles sake they do not completely replicate their environment that they originate from.

Turtles greatly love live plants, as they love eating them. Moreover it makes their tank seem like their natural habitat. In this article we will discuss the various live plants that you can get for them.

What Are Good Plants For Turtle Tanks?

When it comes to setting up a turtle tank, there are multiple aspects you should consider. These aspects include if the turtle likes eating the plant that you’ve choose.

For instance, you want them to contain elements and compounds that’ll allow them to thrive and develop. But ultimately turtles love eating live plants, so any type will do wonders for their happiness.

Plants For Turtle Tanks Comparison

PlantGrowth RateMaintenance Level
Hornwort FastEasy
Java FernModerateEasy
Java MossFastEasy
MoneywortFastModerate
Dwarf HairgrassFastEasy
Water LettuceModerateEasy
Red LudwigiaFastEasy
Water HyacinthModerateModerate
Moss BallsModerateEasy
Amazon SwordFastEasy

In addition to that, the plants you add into tank should easily root into your turtle tanks substrate. By having good quality substrate and a firmly rooted plant, it’ll provide your turtle with a lot of similarities that’ll match their natural habitat.

Moreover, its important that your turtles tank does not get too much Oxygen in the water and light in order to replicate their natural environment. So this means that you’ll require an environment that matches these needs. A great alternative is floating plants as they’re edible, plus they provide great cover for shading.

The Advantages Of Keeping Live Plants In Your Turtle Tank

Having live plants for turtle tanks can make a huge difference to a turtles well-being and health. This can be due to many aspects, such as in a lot of situations, they are edible and turtles enjoy a variation in their diet.

Plants For Turtle Tanks

Although, there are many other benefits of keeping plants for turtle tanks, which we have listed below.

Visually Appealing

To be blunt, plants for turtle tanks can make the habitat so much better! This is because they would look unnatural if you did not feature any live plants within the environment.

This means that it will not be more aesthetically pleasing for yourself, but your turtle will feel more at home with them!

Extra Oxygen

Plants absorb Carbon Dioxide(CO2) and release Oxygen into the water. Turtles, need a lot of Oxygen similarly to other aquatic creatures. This means that the more plants for turtle tanks that you have, the better oxygenated the aquarium is, which is better for your turtles!

Natural Filtration

One huge benefit that plants for turtle tanks provide, is that they act as an additional, natural filtration system. This means that it can filter Nitrites, Ammonia and other organic waste that may float around your turtle tank.

This also means that the filtration system in your tank will face less waste to tackle, which means less maintenance.

Improved Well-Being For Your Turtles

By adding plants for turtle tanks into your habitat, as mentioned above it can clearly have many beneficial effects to your turtles. But another more important point, is that it boosts the turtles well-being, as its more like their natural habitat and they can even eat them. This means they have a variation in their diet.

The Best Live Plants For Turtle Tanks


1. Hornwort Live Aquarium Plant

A great choice to go through for a turtle plant is the Hornwort plant, which is an aquatic plant that has a green and yellowish color that does not reach to the surface of the aquarium.

It is a very resistant and resilient, as it can survive in many variable water conditions such as hot or cold water temperatures. Moreover they do prefer to be in better lighting conditions, although can survive with lesser amounts(such as with turtle lights).

Overall Hornwort plants are very durable and grow very rapidly, so make an ideal plant for turtle tanks. Additional points to add are that they create  a very natural habitat in your aquarium and they’re efficient at filtering out your tank water.

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2. Java Fern Live Plant

A great leafy option is the Java Fern. While this option does need to be anchored down with rocks or other objects, it enables a turtle tank to become colorful and lively.

The Java Fern has a tendency to be dragged around the tank, due to its leaves and the current in the tank from the filter. Although you can easily tie it down to the surface, through the use of a fishing line. An important aspect is that the Java Fern requires does require a small amount of  lighting in order for it grow.

Furthermore, the Java Fern are effective at taking waste from the water, so in this respect acts as a very effective natural filter for your turtle’s tank. One downside to the Java Fern is that they’re not too interesting for turtles to eat, so don’t expect turtles to feast on them. Overall they’re a resistant plant, as they do not require a high amount of lighting or CO2.

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3. Java Moss Plants For Turtle Tanks

The most durable plant that you can get for your turtle tank is the Java Moss. This is because it does no require any strict air or lighting requirements, plus it can develop well in murky and dim lighted aquariums.

Another great aspect of the Java Moss plant is that it’s probably the best plant you can purchase that acts as a natural filter for you aquarium.

In addition to that the Java Moss grows greatly along any substrate or aquatic items such as driftwood, as it grows so well and quickly. This also means that it being eaten by your turtles is no issue, as it can replenish so easily.

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4. Moneywort Plants

An interesting option to go with is the Moneywort plant, as it’s probably one of the most aesthetically please plants out there for your turtle tank. The plants appearance is a tall stem with little leaves stemming off them. Importantly you will need good-quality substrate as it will need a lot of nutrients to effectively grow.

Although, the Moneywort plant does not need a lot of space in your aquarium, due to its long stem make-up. Another benefit as well, is that turtle’s love to eat this plant and they grow relatively quickly.

A final point to make about the Moneywort plant, is that it does require a sufficient amount of CO2 and light in order to grow greatly. On top of that, they can easily grow fine in the depths of your turtle tank, without any issues

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5. Dwarf Hairgrass Plants For Turtle Tanks

A great grass based plant for your turtle tank is the Dwarf Hairgrass. The difference to Dwarf Hairgrass and grass that you’d find on your lawn, is that Dwarf Hairgrass can survive submerged in water.

Turtles absolutely love Dwarf Hairgrass as it can cover over substrate in their tank, which makes its extremely soft for them to lay or walk on in the bottom of the aquarium.

Overall Dwarf Hairgrass makes for an great underwater lawn, plus turtles thoroughly enjoy eating the plant. A final benefit to mention is that the Dwarf Hairgrass does not require huge amounts of CO2 or lighting to grow effectively.

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6. Water Lettuce Floating Plant For Turtle Tanks

The best floating plant for turtle tanks is the Water Lettuce plant. This is because it’s a really as aesthetically please option that rests on top of the water of your turtle tank.

The fact it rests on top of the water in the tank, means that it can fully embrace and soak up all of the UV rays from any sunlight or lighting appliance that you’ve fitted.

In addition to that, turtles go absolutely crazy for water lettuce, as they love to eat it and it provides great cover in the tank for you turtles. A final point to make is that the plant is durable and tough wearing, so they’ll have zero issues thriving in your tank, as well as making it look great!

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7. Red Ludwigia

If you’re searching for a fast growing plant, that creates bushy backgrounds in a turtle tank, then the Red Ludwigia is an exceptional choice for you! On the plus side as well, the Red Ludwigia is a very low maintenance plant.

The Red Ludwigia is great as you do not need to supply it with any special nutrients, aeration or lighting requirements. It’ll flourish exceptionally well with just the nutrients in the water of the turtle tank. This makes it a number choice among many turtle keepers.

The appearance of the Red Ludwigia is that of a taller plant and it fast growing. A great aspect of it, is that turtles love eating them and can replenish itself very quickly within short periods of time.

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8. Water Hyacinth

If you’re a fan of floating plants for your turtle tank, then another great option, similar to Water Lettuce is the Water Hyacinth. This is because its a versatile plant that sits on top on the water, which means it gets all the light and sun it requires.

The Water Hyacinth plant is very resilient and hardy plant, that turtles do find to be a very tasty treat. Plus due to their flowering, it makes for an aesthetically pleasing plant for your turtle tank.

Overall its a great prominent broad, thick and glossy plant that’s leaves measure at 4 – 8 inches across. The stalks are spongy and bulbous, with freely hanging roots, making them a choice for your turtle tank.

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9. Moss Balls

If you’re searching for a fairly unique choice for a plant for your turtle tank, then an awesome option is Moss Balls. This is because bluntly, they are aquatic moss balls that rest on the bottom of the tank.

Although turtles may nibble at them, they will not fully consume them as they’re not extremely tasty for them. One great benefit of them is that they do okay in low light turtle tanks, plus can a fun object/toy to have in the tank that turtles can play with and push around.

A final point about Moss Balls is that they also act as natural underwater filters, that will take unwanted waste and compounds from the water, keeping it crystal clear.

10. Amazon Sword

If you’re looking for the lowest maintenance plant, then an awesome choice for you is the Amazon Sword plant. This is because they only require a small bit of sunshine in the tank, although Amazon Swords are great as turtles love to consume them!

One aspect you have to consider is that Amazon Swords need to have their roots planted within the substrate of your tank. So maybe as a tip, you can attach them to a rock firstly, to give them a chance to grow stronger roots.

Once they’ve been successfully rooted, then they make for an excellent plant for your turtle tank, as it provides the perfect natural environment look for your turtle tank.

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Conclusion

Investing into plants for turtle tanks can have a profound effects on your habitat and turtles well-being. Whether you select a floating plant or a grass based one, it’ll make a huge difference in your turtles life’s and make the aquarium more like their natural habitat.

Just make sure that you properly manage and maintain your plants, so that they do not hinder your already blooming and flourishing habitat for your turtles.

About The Author

the aqua guru author

Jon is an aquarium keeper of over 15 years and the owner of Guppy's, Betta's and other marine life. He always likes to make changes to his aquarium for the benefit of his marine life's well-being and health using the best aquatic products on the market. You can read more about us here.