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How To Make Aquarium Plants Grow Faster: 7 Useful Tips

Lindsey Stanton Profile Picture

By Lindsey Stanton

corporate aquarium with live plants

Aquariums are just not complete without plant life. Sure, you can have just fish in your aquarium, but that does not look so nice, plus your fish would probably appreciate some plant life too. On the other hand, purely plant based aquariums can actually look pretty nice too, much like an aquascape.

That being said, getting aquariums plants to grow can be difficult sometimes. There are quite a few factors that you need to take into account. When it comes to how to make aquarium plants grow faster, let’s go over some tips and tricks that you can follow to make them grow as fast as possible.

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The 7 Tips on How to Make Aquarium Plants Grow Faster

Here are what we feel are seven essentials needed so your plants will grow fast

1. A Good Substrate

One thing to look out for is your substrate (we have reviewed our top 6 here). Your plants, if you have substrate based plants, are going to need a firm medium to grow in. Something like fine aquarium gravel or some kind of soil-like substrate is a good idea here. This will let your aquariums plants develop a large and healthy root system.

The bigger and healthier the root system of your aquariums plants is, the more nutrients they can absorb from the substrate, thus allowing them to grow bigger and faster than you thought possible. A good substrate is not only important for the growth of a healthy root system, but for nutrients as well. If you want your plants to have a lot of nutrients, good substrate is definitely a bonus.

2. Fertilizers

Another thing that you need to look out for is fertilizer. Now, this can go in one of two directions. If you have a substrate based plant, as in one that creates a large root system. Having a fertilizer and nutrient rich substrate will make your aquarium plants grow faster. Even when the substrate gets a little old, you can always add some fertilizer and nutrients into the water to help speed up healthy growth.

Now, if you have plants that do not really develop a large root system, especially if you have floating plants that don’t even touch the substrate, you will want to add some liquid fertilizer and nutrients into the water. Remember though, make sure to add the appropriate amounts because too much of this stuff may harm the health of your fish.

Plants need things like potassium, carbon, and nitrogen to survive, so adding these things to the water will definitely help.

Aquarium set up
Image Credit: zoosnow, Pixabay

3. Water Flow

Yet another thing that can help your aquarium plants grow faster is to ensure that there is a decent amount of water flow in the aquarium. Now, it does not have to be a river, but the water should not be totally stagnant and still either.

Plants tend to absorb a lot of nutrients from the water via their stems and leaves. In order to help them absorbs as many nutrients as possible, some good water flow will help because it will constantly bring new water and new nutrients to your plants.

4. Algae Control

Algae is an enemy to the other plants in your aquarium. Algae will eat up valuable nutrients, space, and light which your plants need to grow. Getting a UV sterilizer to kill off algae growth definitely helps with this.

On a side note, plants need UV rays to grow anyway, so getting a UV sterilizer will not only kill algae, but also provide your plants with much needed UV light. Another thing you can do is to get yourself some algae eating fish and snails, as they will get rid of algae as it grows.

pleco algae eater
Image credit: Marcelo Saavedra, Shutterstock

5. Temperature

Something that you might want to invest in if you want your aquarium plants to grow faster is a good water heater. Now, not all plants need really warm water, but most certainly do. Of course, you need to look up what temperature is best for the plant in question, but generally speaking they like to be warm.

Warmer water will speed up the growth process of your plants, almost like how warmer water speeds up the metabolism of fish. Anyway, the best way to go is to try and have the water temperature at the recommended level for the plants you are looking to grow.

6. Lighting

Most—if not all—plants need light to grow, which means that you need to make sure that your plants are getting enough light. Now, we would say that a stronger light that incorporates all spectrums of light and gives off some UV rays is the best way to go, which is usually the case, but not for all plants.

Some plants like less light, darker conditions, and will do fine with less UV rays. It really depends on the specific plants you have. However, generally speaking, a good full spectrum LED light with some UV ray emission is going to help your aquarium plants grow a lot faster.

aquarium lid made by acrylic plate
Image Credit: saiglobalnt, Shutterstock

7. Filtration

The last thing that needs mentioning is that your plants require a good filtration unit to grow fast and healthy. Simply put, filters help remove toxins and impurities from the water, which are not only bad for fish, but for plants too. A good 3-stage aquarium filtration unit will definitely help your plants grow much faster than they otherwise would without a filter.

aquarium plant divider


The bottom line is that growing aquarium plants is not all that hard, but sometimes they might not grow fast enough. If you follow the tips and tricks we have outlined above, your aquarium plants will definitely grow faster than ever before.

Featured Image Credit: dushkovladimir, Shutterstock

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