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What Is The Best Temperature For Aquarium Plants to Grow?

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Adding aquarium plants to your fish tank offers several benefits to the environmental balance of the tank.

However, each plant has its own water parameters needed to thrive and provide these benefits to the aquarium. 

78℉ is the most common temperature to keep aquariums at, and most plants thrive in this temperature. However, each plant does have its own specific needs to thrive. If the water is too cold, the plant will not grow rapidly, and if it is too warm, the plant can overrun the tank. 

Keep reading to learn more about which plants grow in certain temperatures and more! 

Most Popular Aquarium Plants and Their Needs 

  • Java Moss: Java moss does best in a tank with more lighting and in breeding tanks. It does best in temperatures ranging from 58-86°F.
Tall Planted aquarium
  • Guppy Grass: This plant is very adaptive and does well in preserving water parameters and chemical levels. While combating heavy metals, nitrates, and ammonia levels.  Guppy grass does best in temperature ranges of  50°F to 86°F.
  • Hornwort: Hornwort is a simple plant that is greatly recommended for beginners as it is easy to care for. This stem plant can grow up to 10 feet and is great for consuming excess nutrients in the water. Hornwort does best in temperature ranges of 59°F to 86°F.
  • Water Wisteria: This is a very popular floating plant as they are great for beginners. They are very easy to keep, although they require regular trimming to prevent overcrowding as well as cutting and blocking the light for the rest of the tank. Water wisteria thrives in a temperature range of 60°F to 82°F.
  • Brazilian Micro Sword: Brazillian micro sword is a popular carpet plant. With short stems and bright leaves, this plant is able to create a beautiful substrate that has a more natural look. This plant does best in a temperature range between 59°F and 83°F.
  • Amazon Sword: With long sharp leaves amazon sword is one of the most recognizable plants. This is a root plant that creates a more natural look inside a tank. This plant is also great for creating space for fish to rest or hide in the tank environment. Amazon sword does best in temperature ranges of 59°F to 82 °F.
  • Floating Crystalwort: An easy-to-care-for floating plant such as floating crystalwort is popular as they thrive in most tank conditions. This plant does best in temperature ranges of 56°F to 86°F.
  • Water Butterfly Moss: Water butterfly moss is a floating plant that is very hardy. It will adapt to different environments growing quite rapidly with adequate nutrients or fertilization. This plant will do best in temperature ranges of 54°F to 86°F.
  • African Water Fern: African water fern can be more demanding when first introduced to a new tank, after this, the plant is considered fairly easy to maintain in the tank environment. Although with this plant, you will have to be patient as it can grow rather slowly. This plant does best in temperature ranges of 58°F to 84°F.
  • Dwarf Baby Tears: This carpet plant is another popular choice for breeding tanks. At first, this plant can be difficult to care for, but they become very manageable after it has settled into its new environment in the tank. This carpet plant does best in water temperatures of 55°F to 82°F

Can aquarium plants freeze? 

Under certain circumstances, yes, the plants can freeze.

However, it is very unlikely to happen.

This is because it is highly unlikely that your aquarium water temperature would drop low enough for the plants or water to freeze. 

Because of this, the possibility of plants freezing in an aquarium should not be a cause of concern. 

What is likely is the risk and effect of prolonged low temperature. 

This is a concern only if the water inside the aquarium were to drop to a much lower degree for a lengthy period of time. 

This prolonged exposure to cold temperatures will hurt the plants in the aquarium.

As different plants do need different temperature ranges, plants can still grow in colder water as long as it is within their range. 

For some plants, the minimum temperature is above 50°F, when the water falls below that number for an extended period of time is when the plant is in danger.

Does warm water affect plant growth? 

As previously mentioned, plants can grow within a specific range of water temperatures. 

It is also known that they can still grow in “cold” water as long as it is within their range. 

However, aquarium plants overall grow better and faster in warmer waters.

Although plants grow better in warmer waters, there is a limit on how much heat each plant can take. 

This is because the excess heat will do more harm than good for the plants as the excess heat works against the plants. This excess heat will cause the plants to die.

Also, the warmer the water in the tank, the more nutrients the plant will require to grow.

This is because in higher temperatures, the plants’ metabolic rate will increase. 

This means that the plant will consume much more nutrients in warmer waters. 

As the plant consumes more nutrients, there is less and less in the tank. 

This is when additional nutrients will be needed for the plant to thrive, or it will eventually die off from a lack of nutrients. 

Such nutrients would need to be replaced in the tank through additional fertilizers or root tabs and additional CO2 for the plants.

However, even though warm waters can cause plants to grow faster as opposed to cooler temperatures, it has other disadvantages, as previously mentioned. 

Cooler temperatures may be better for certain plants.

This is because the slightly cooler temperatures can create an ideal environment for the plants to thrive.

As the cooler water will create a balance in the aquarium pertaining to plant growth and nutrient consumption. 

It is imperative for the temperatures to stay within the range that the plants can live in. However, being on this range’s cooler or warmer side has multiple factors. 

Finding a decent medium range may be best for ease of care in the long run. 

Although warmer temperatures do create a faster growth rate, those higher temperatures may not be the best for the plant and create a more difficult care.

Based on everything discussed, it is always best to do proper research. Each plant has its own needs in the tank environment. 

Selecting your aquarium plants based on the tank conditions and water parameters that you have is ideal.