7 Plants for a Brackish Water Aquarium That Make It Look Great

You have decided to make the switch from freshwater to brackish water but are having a hard time deciding which plants will work in your new brackish aquarium. To help you out we have compiled a list some of the best plants for a brackish water Aquarium.  Make sure to research the plants you choose to ensure that they is a good match for your location and salinity!

Plants for a Brackish Water Aquarium are a relatively new trend in the world of fishkeeping. They offer many benefits, including being able to keep any fish you want, as long as they can survive in slightly brackish water. If you have a brackish tank and don’t know what plants with thrive with your setup, then this article is for you!

Java fern (Microsorum)

The Java fern lives in flooded forests, along the banks of rivers, streams, and forest edges. Its hardness gives it many successful uses in a brackish water aquarium or tank. This primitive fern naturally grows fixed and attaches on a hard surface like rock or wood where it receives nutrients directly from the water column.Plants for a Brackish Water Aquarium

This plant is able to survive rough handling, such as being split, joined to logs, or stuck to the edges of shadowy edges. It prefers temperate (55-65° F) or tropical (75-82° F) temperatures; however, it does not do well in temperatures above 82° F. It can cope without very low light conditions and tolerates high light conditions. It is a good selection for aquarists who would like to grow plants but not take up great amounts of time doing so.

This plant needs minimal care and will grow vigorously in soft to hard water with a slightly acidic or alkaline pH (5.5-8).

Lighting does not need to be intense, but some direct sunlight may help your Java Fern grow strong and healthy, depending on the species. Some varieties and species do not respond well to direct sunlight and are burned (for example, narrow leaf). Others, like window, tolerate many hours of direct sunlight, and this does them a lot of good.

If you are looking for an easy hardy plant, the Java fern should be on your short list.  It will grow in either brackish water or freshwater, so it is a great choice if you want to keep your tank and these plants going for several years.

Java ferns come in dozens of available varieties, from very affordable to quite expensive and rare.

Marimo ball (Aegagropila linna)

Plants for a Brackish Water Aquarium

Marimo moss balls are actually a type of algae species (Cladophora) that grow in a natural round shape. They should be perfectly fine up to mid-grade brackish water, making them a very useful decorative option for a setup that has a little too much salt other for species on this list. In terms of salinity, they can withstand up to 1.015, after which they start to wither. Marimos occur naturally in cool waters and do well up to about 77° F, but they fare poorly in warmer water. Marimo ball maintenance is not difficult: these algae balls easily adapt to changes in depth, as long as the transitions are gradual. It is a great plant for a brackish aquarium.

Marimos like indirect light, but not strong lights or direct sunlight.

If you are looking for dramatic brackish plants to add to your tank and provide some very interesting scenery, the Marimo ball should be on your short list.  This is a great option if you want plants that will be very easy for you to maintain in the future without too much lighting.

Anubias barteri


Plants for a Brackish Water Aquarium

Like Java fern, this plant tends to be discovered flooded forests, along the banks of rivers, streams, and forests edges. This is a tall, slow-growing plant which attaches to hard surfaces easily. Although firm and sturdy, the vegetable is generally safe to consumption of fish species, though fish don’t usually like to eat its leaves. The amphibious A. barteri is prone to grow out of water and is an especially wonderful choice for brackish tanks with mudskipper. The broad leaves add to the shadow cast by the logs and thick branches they may live on. This species can accommodate different light conditions, tolerates slight cool conditions, and can grow in a tropical environment. The species can grow in a tropical environment.

If you are looking for a beautiful centerpiece plant, you should definitely consider the Anubias barteri. It is a great option if you have not had much luck with hardy plants in the past.


Plants for a Brackish Water Aquarium

Anubias is a highly hardy aquarium plant that thrives in a wide range of water values and light conditions. A little salt shouldn’t be a problem for highly adaptive plants – even if you take very slow steps to acclimatize the plants. There are many different types of Anubias available which should be able to tolerate salt to some degrees. the Java fern Anubias, a slow-growing plant, should be attached to the rock or the driftwood instead of being planted in the substrate.

Anubias grows very slowly, but it is very resilient and is suitable for beginners. Anubias is a good plant for the aquarium with brackish water, especially for beginner aquarists. It comes in many varieties, from very cheap to very expensive and rare.

Java moss (Taxiphyllum barbieri)


Plants for a Brackish Water Aquarium

This plant is one of the most famous plants in a brackish aquarium. It can be used for decorative cover or to be made to be completely free-flowing to protect fry and other species in aquariums. Since it is able to create a microsystem within itself when properly grown, this plant generates a lot of food for fish larvae.

Specific water values or plenty of light are not required for this moss. Temperature wise, around 77° F is appropriate. Java moss does not tolerate very high temperatures. Acclimatize this plant to brackish water very slowly, gradually increasing the salinity. After the plant’s adaptation and production start, be sure to trim regularly to prevent the middle part of leaf becoming depleted of oxygen and going brown.

This moss is a good choice for new users as it grows very slowly and doesn’t require large living space. You won’t be overwhelmed by too much work taking care of this plant. It’s a great one for a brackish aquarium.

Moneywort (Bacopa monnieri)

Plants for a Brackish Water Aquarium

Moneywort works very well in brackish tanks or brackish aquariums with very low salinity. This plant, like many stem plants, requires light for survival & appreciates extra nutrients.

Healthy moneywort is a very good accent species for the middle part of a brackish aquarium. A mature moneywort plant gives off a pleasing appearance in an aquarium by framing rocks or decor. It is certainly a good plant for a brackish aquarium.

Seaside brookweed (Samolus valerandi)

Plants for a Brackish Water Aquarium

Samolus valerandi is known in many different habitats as it grows along the seashore. This makes it tolerant to more salty grades up to the highest quality brackish; it is exceptionally tolerant of salinity. When suited to achieving the right conditions this compact growth gives a decorative foreground choice. To keep your brookweed alive longer, give it lots of light and do not introduce it in high temperature tanks (nothing above 77° F). Keep in mind that this species is usually grown immersed and can take years to adapt as an aquarium plant.

Its plant color is bright, and its leaves are green, which contrasts nicely with stone or driftwood. It has an exciting appearance, especially with rocks underneath it.

It grows slowly but surely. The growth of this species can be stipulated by trimming, but be careful — pruning very regularly will negatively affect the plant’s growth.

This is a very nice plant to have in a brackish aquarium.

Anacharis (Egeria densa)

Plants for a Brackish Water Aquarium

Anacharis is a good option for shallow brackish aquariums. In the right situations this plant grows very rapidly making it a very good nitrate buster for your tank.

Some notes to keep in mind: Anacharis is often sold with rubber bands or a sponge that holds the stems together. Always remove the stem and plant separately. The seedling may be free-floating, depending on what substrate you are using. Anacharis needs good lighting for it to flourish.

It is a fast-growing plant and grows very well if you prune it. It has an interesting appearance contrasted with the rocks underneath it.

Anacharis can only tolerate very low salinities and often suffer even around 2%. It is a great plant to have in a brackish aquarium with very low salinity.

Cryptocoryne Wendtii

Plants for a Brackish Water Aquarium

wendtii can thrive in brackish swimming waters. It tolerates a wide set of light conditions. Cryptos will respond to luminosity with changes in leaf shape and colo. They do well in tropical or subtropical temperatures but struggle in temperatures above 80° F. Left alone, these fat tubers eventually shoot out new growths. Though it might not look like much at first, this plant can eventually grow to form a nice underbrush over the tank bottom where eels or dragon gobies enjoy the cover.

The leaves of some Cryptocoryne plants fall off while trying to grow in a new environment and may take some time to grow back. It is important to give this plant plenty of light to keep it healthy.

This is a great plant for brackish tanks and brackish aquariums, regardless of the substrate.

Some of the Best Plants for a Brackish Aquarium

Now you know what types of aquatic plants work best, so you can decorate your tank with plants while highlighting the substrate, maintaining a good setup, and keeping your fish healthy. If you have a brackish water tank or aquarium, be sure to consider using these plants!

Marcelo Pedraz
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