7 Best Floating Plants For Shrimp Tank & Their Benefits

As a shrimp tank owner, you might have been wondering whether or not to get plants for your tanks. Or maybe you are overwhelmed by all the choices available in the market and cannot decide which plants to choose. Let me guide you through these decisions.

In this article, I will discuss about some of the best floating plants available in the market for your shrimp tank. And in case, you are having doubts about having them, I will also run you through the benefits of having floating plants for your shrimp tank.

7 Best Floating Plants For Shrimp Tank

Choices are abundant when it comes to aquatic plants. But not all plants are good for your shrimp tank. So, it is very important to know which plants to choose.

Now I may not be an expert. But I did extensive research. There are 7 floating plants, which I believe, would be best for your shrimp tank. They are:

  • Frogbit
  • Dwarf Water Lettuce
  • Red Root Floaters
  • Salvinia Auriculata
  • Duckweed
  • Azolla
  • Brazilian Pennywort

Allow me to discuss them in detail.

Frogbit

Common nameFrogbit/Amazon Frogbit
Scientific nameLimnobium laevigatum
Max height20 inches
Growth rateFast
Water HardnessSoft to moderately hard water
Lighting needsModerate to high lighting
Temperature64-80 °F (18 – 26° C)
Water pH6.0 – 7.5
Care complexityEasy
AvailabilityFind it on Amazon

Frogbit is a beautiful floating plant with a vibrant green colour. It looks like a cluster of small lily pads. Frogbits have the longest roots out of all the other floating plants. They are a great source of oxygen for your shrimp tank.

They are very easy to take care of and grow very fast. Normally it does not take them very long to grow and cover the space of the tank. With Frogbits, you don’t have to worry about maintaining the water condition. They can easily adapt themselves to the pre-set water condition of your shrimp tank.

There is one thing you need to remember while getting Frogbit as a floating plant for your shrimp aquarium. The top surface of Frogbit plants should not come in contact with water or moisture. Otherwise, they might rot.

So, to avoid this, always remember to keep the top of your Frogbit plant dry and free from water.

Dwarf Water Lettuce

Common nameDwarf Water Lettuce
Scientific namePistia stratiotes
Max height4-10 inches
Growth rateModerate to fast
Water HardnessSoft to moderately hard water
Lighting needsModerate lighting
Temperature71-82 °F (22 – 28°C)
Water pH6.0-7.5
Care complexityModerate
AvailabilityFind it on Amazon

Don’t get fooled by its name. When fully grown Dwarf Water Lettuce is one of the largest floating plants available out there. So, it might not surprise you to know that they are often called Water Cabbage.

While their large structure does make them unsuitable for small or nano shrimp tanks, however, if you have a larger tank, then I would definitely recommend you get Dwarf Water Lettuce.

Dwarf Water Lettuce have green round leaves. The leaves are covered in short, fine hairs. This gives them a velvet-like texture. These plants add a great deal to the aesthetics of the plant.

Though fair warning, as their leaves are quite big, they often need regular care and maintenance.

Red Root Floater

Common nameRed Root Floater
Scientific namePhyllanthus fluitans
Max height1 inch
Growth rateFast (under favourable living conditions)
Water HardnessSoft to moderately hard water
Lighting needsModerate to high lighting
Temperature72-80 °F (22-26°C)
Water pH6.5-7.5
Care complexityModerate
AvailabilityFind it on Amazon

Given how beautiful this plant is, it is no wonder, Red Root Floater is a highly desired plant. Just as the name suggests, it is a floating plant with red roots. The leaves are mostly green. But under a strong source of light, the leaves will appear in the autumnal shades of yellow, orange and red.

If you provide suitable living conditions for it, Red Foot Floater will grow very fast. Red Root Floaters tend to prefer nutrient-rich water. So, provide them with iron supplements and intense light and watch them thrive in your shrimp tank.

But remember that fast-growing means you would have to trim them more regularly.

There is another thing you need to remember. If there are a lot of movements and water surface agitation, your red root floaters will not do well. A slow water flow is perfect for their better growth.

Salvinia Auriculata

Common nameEared Watermoss
Scientific nameSalvinia auriculata
Max height1-3 cm
Growth rateExtremely fast
Water HardnessSoft to moderately hard water
Lighting needsModerate to high lighting
Temperature65 – 80°F (18 – 26°C)
Water pH6.0-8.0
Care complexityEasy
AvailabilityFind it on Amazon

Salvinia Auriculata is a part of the Salvinia family of plants. They are also known as Water Spangles. If you are looking for a floating plant for your shrimp tank that grows very fast, this is the plant for you.

Salvinia Auriculata is a rapidly growing free-floating plant. It has a colour range of bright green to olive green. Depending on the environmental conditions, Salvinia Auriculata can present various growth forms. It can have small flat leaves or mat forms with large crowded leaves.

Just like Red Root Floater, Salvinia Auriculata also needs to be trimmed regularly. A preference for slow water flow is another similarity between these two.

Duckweed

Common nameDuckweed
Scientific nameLemnoideae
Max height1 – 5.55 inches
Growth ratevery fast
Water HardnessSoft to moderately hard water
Lighting needsModerate lighting
Temperature60-85 °F (15 – 30°C)
Water pH6.5 – 7.5
Care complexityEasy
AvailabilityFind it on Amazon

One of the most interesting things about Duckweed is how small they are. It is easily one of the smallest flowering plants in existence. This tiny plant is made up of two leaves. The leaves are connected together in an almost V-shape.

Duckweed is excellent for providing cover for your tank and shelter for your shrimps. It is also great for removing nitrates from your shrimp tank and improving water quality.

If you are new to the tank hobby, Duckweed would be the best plant for you to get. It is the easiest plant to grow in your shrimp tank. There is no condition where Duckweed can’t grow.

In fact, growing Duckweed is so easy that you might face more difficulty if you try to make it stop growing!

Azolla

Common nameFairy moss / Mosquito fern
Scientific nameAzolla spp
Max height10 to 30mm
Growth rateExtremely fast
Water Hardnesssoft to fairly hard water
Lighting needsMedium lightning
Temperature68 – 77°F (20 – 25°C)
Water pH6.0 – 7.5
Care complexityEasy to Medium
AvailabilityFind it on Amazon

If you are looking for a plant that will add depth and texture to your shrimp tank, this is the one for you. Azolla is a floating plant often chosen by hobbyists for its stunning and prolific appearance.

Azolla is a small, almost miniature, short-stemmed aquatic fern. It has reddish-green scale-like fonds that overlap each other. These overlapping fonds contain tiny gas bubbles. They remain floating on the water surface, through the help of these gas bubbles.

However, they are not just pretty plants for your shrimp tank. Under laboratory conditions, Azolla can substitute up to 100% of the protein in soybean meal in a realistic diet for young black tiger shrimp (Penaeus monodon).

One interesting fact about Azolla is that it is one of the fastest-growing nitrogen-fixing plants on Earth. And thus, it is often considered to be a potential source of biomass for bioenergy production.

Brazilian Pennywort 

Common nameBrazilian Pennywort
Scientific nameHydrocotyle leucocephala
Max height1–1.5 inches / 2.5–3 cm
Growth rateModerate to fast
Water HardnessSoft to hard water
Lighting needsModerate to high
Temperature22 – 28 °C (72 – 82 °F)
Water pH6.0 – 8.0
Care complexityEasy
AvailabilityFind it on Amazon

Brazilian Pennywort is a beautiful plant. It has half-dollar-sized bright green leaves. Its delicate stems spread out horizontally in the tank water. This can be a very suitable hiding place for your shrimps. They also have the ability to remove the excess nitrates from the tank water. Thus, improving the water quality.

Brazilian Pennywort is one of the easiest and best plants you can get for your shrimp tank. They don’t need much care and grow in any conditions. In fact, one of the major tasks you would be doing in the name of caring for this plant is trimming.

As it is a fast-growing plant, you would need to trim and prune it pretty regularly. Moreover, to avoid the rotting and yellowing of leaves, you should apply fertilizers full of micronutrients and iron.  

Now, let’s talk about the benefits of having floating plants for your shrimp tank, shall we?

Benefits Of Floating Plants For Shrimp Tank

People do not always get floating plants for their shrimp tanks just because of their beauty and aesthetic value. Floating plants can be useful for your shrimp tank in various ways, such as:

Providing Hiding Places

Shrimps are shy creatures. They are often prone to hiding. This is much more common with baby shrimps. For the first few weeks of their lives, baby shrimps naturally try to stay hidden among the leaves and rocks of the tank. Hiding is quite common among female shrimps as well, especially if they have been molted recently. 

Having floating plants for your shrimp tank will provide a safe place for your shrimps to hide and be comfortable.

Providing Food

Often times biofilm grows around the roots and leaves of the floating plants. Biofilms are a great source of food for your shrimps.

By hiding among floating plants and their roots, shrimps can get enough biofilm. This will cause your shrimps to grow strong and healthy.

Oxygenation

One of the major reasons behind getting floating plants for shrimp tanks is their ability to general oxygen. This will help a great deal in maintaining high levels of oxygen in the tank water.

Floating plants for a shrimp tank can also help by reducing the harmful toxins in your shrimp water.

Filtration

Believe it or not, floating plants are great filters for your shrimp tank water. Their roots provide biological and chemical filtration of tank water.

Floating plants take away the carbon dioxide from the tank water. They can also soak up excess nitrates from the tank water and slow down algae growth. This will come in handy, in case, you cannot do a regular water change for the shrimp tank.

Aesthetic Value

As I mentioned earlier, floating plants are often beautiful to look at. The floating plants create a calm, natural look in your shrimp tank, which, I bet, will be appreciated by all.

Final Words

I hope this article helped you in understanding why it is good, or even necessary to have floating plants for your shrimp tank. I did my best to introduce you to some of the best floating plants for your shrimp tank. So, choose the one (or several) that suits you the best. Take care of them and they will take care of your shrimp.

Muntaseer Rahman

I have been keeping shrimps as a pet for many years now. I’ve fallen in love with these cute pets from the moment I saw them. That’s why I am writing articles to share my shrimp keeping knowledge with you.

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