Las 10 mejores plantas de acuario que pueden crecer sin sustrato [Reseñas de 2022]

10/06/2022 - Actualizado: 01/09/2022

Una de las partes más divertidas de construir un acuario es llenarlo con plantas vivas. Desafortunadamente, puede ser difícil elegir plantas, y no todas las plantas para tanques son iguales en términos de cuidado. Además, algunas plantas necesitan plantarse en el sustrato de tu acuario para crecer, lo que aumenta sus necesidades de cuidado.

Sin embargo, muchas plantas de acuario se pueden agregar a los acuarios sin necesidad de plantarlas en el sustrato. Esto hace que sea más fácil agregarlos a su acuario y los hace compatibles con acuarios que no tienen un sustrato que sea amigable para las plantas. Aquí hay diez plantas que puede agregar a su acuario que no requieren sustrato.

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Una comparación rápida de nuestros favoritos

Las 30 mejores plantas de acuario que pueden crecer sin sustrato

1. Planta de acuario Hornwort: la mejor en general

Acuáticos o Anfibios:: Anfibio
Nivel de atención: Fácil

Hornwort is an excellent plant for beginners that doesn’t have too many care needs. That’s why we chose it as our best overall aquarium plant that doesn’t need substrate. Hornwort is usually found floating on top of the water in the wild, and you can do the same in your home tank.

However, hornwort can be planted in the substrate and grown as a submerged plant in aquariums; if you ever decide to build a tank that does use a plant-friendly substrate, you can take some of your hornwort plants and plant them in your new tank as well.

Hornwort grows pretty fast, a feature usually seen as a downside in the wild. But in the aquarium world, this lovely plant will quickly beautify the tank with its presence. Hornwort will also provide a little bit of shade to your tank since it floats on top of the water!

  • Can be planted or floating
  • Easy to care for
  • May overgrow because of the fast growth rate

2. Java Moss — Best Value

Musgo de Java
Aquatic or Amphibious:: Aquatic
Care Level: Moderate

Java moss is an excellent option for pet parents looking for a submerged plant that doesn’t require substrate. Java moss will attach itself to rocks and driftwood in your tank rather than needing to be planted in the substrate. You can also buy it in bulk, so we chose it as the best aquarium plant that doesn’t need substrate for the money.

Java moss doesn’t just look lovely in your tank; it’s also beneficial to your fish. For example, Java moss makes a fantastic meal for newly formed fry (very young fish.) Fry are often hard for owners to feed because they aren’t as powerful as the other fish and can get bullied away from food.

Luckily, Java moss can be an excellent food source for them. Java moss will also provide much-needed shelter from the sun since moss that doesn’t attach to rocks or driftwood will float on top of the water.

  • Never needs to be planted in the substrate
  • Provides good food for fry
  • Not suitable for cold-water tanks

3. Anubias Nana Aquarium Plant — Best Premium

anubias nana
Aquatic or Amphibious:: Aquatic
Care Level: Easy

Anubias Nana is the “Nana” variation of the Anubias barteri plant. It attaches itself to driftwood and grows gorgeous, thick, green leaves. Once connected to a piece of driftwood, it grows on its own with very little intervention from humans, making it a great addition to a beginner or experienced aquarium.

It’s a tough plant that can withstand many conditions and algae-eating fish that may attach themselves to its leaves. It can even handle a lot of plant-eating fish that might look at it as a tasty snack.

Anubias nana can be a little pricey. So, don’t start grabbing these until you’re sure that fish-keeping is for you.

  • Beautiful
  • Thick leaves are resistant to being eaten

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4. Java Fern

Helecho de Java
Aquatic or Amphibious:: Amphibious
Care Level: Easy

Java ferns are named for the Indonesian island of Java, where they come from. Like Anubias Nana, Java ferns like to attach to rocks and driftwood to grow. It generally grows in and around freshwater streams or ponds in the wild.

The base of the Java fern resembles a stick and must be planted above the substrate. Ideally, this base will attach itself to a rock or a piece of driftwood. Placing the plant near a stone or piece of driftwood will help it find its forever home in your tank.

  • Can attach to rocks or be planted in the substrate
  • It can be grown as a potted plant

5. Water Lettuce Aquarium Plant

lechuga de agua
Aquatic or Amphibious:: Aquatic
Care Level: Easy

Water lettuce is another popular beginner plant because it’s easy to grow. So easy that it has become an invasive species in Florida and has been banned. It’s a floating plant, so it will grow on top of your aquarium and resembles a head of gray-ish green lettuce.

It’s a surface plant that is good for providing shade and protection from the light in your aquarium since it will grow at the water’s surface. It’s best suited to cold water fish tanks but can be successfully introduced to tropical tanks.

  • Provides shade for your tank
  • Good for cold-water tanks

6. Green Cabomba Aquarium Plant

Cabomba Verde
Aquatic or Amphibious:: Amphibious
Care Level: Moderate

Green cabomba is another excellent floating plant for aquariums. Like hornwort, green cabomba can be planted in a plant-friendly substrate and grown as a submerged plant. However, you can also grow green cabomba as a floating plant using liquid fertilizer to stimulate its rapid growth rate.

Green cabomba is a little more intensive of a plant than some others on the list. To grow properly, it requires warm water—ideally between 72° and 82° Fahrenheit. You can also have a green cabomba float on top of your aquarium and grow!

  • Can be planted as a background plant or left to float
  • Responds well to liquid fertilizer
  • May overgrow because of the fast growth rate

7. Duckweed

Lenteja de agua
Aquatic or Amphibious:: Aquatic
Care Level: Easy

Duckweed is a low-maintenance plant perfect for beginner fishkeepers or lazy fishkeepers. There are no secrets to growing duckweed, you just sort of put it in the tank and let it float there, and it will grow.

Duckweed grows extremely fast, so some aquarists dislike it and view it as a virulent pest plant. But those who love duckweed cannot be swayed away from this easy-to-care-for surface plant.

Aside from being easy to grow, duckweed can also provide the necessary shade to your tank. Just be sure it doesn’t overgrow and prevent your other plants from getting their essential sunlight.

  • Low-maintenance
  • Surface plants provide shade
  • Some consider it to be a pest plant

8. Floating Crystalwort Aquarium Plant

Crystalwort flotante
Aquatic or Amphibious:: Aquatic
Care Level: Easy

Floating crystalwort, or Riccia fluitans, rose to popularity when the famous aquarist Takashi Amano began tying the plants to his driftwood and rocks. Like Java moss, floating crystalwort is a moss plant that will attach itself to solid structures to grow.

Floating crystalwort does need a fair bit of light to grow properly. So, shady tanks are not the place to put this plant. However, it’s a straightforward plant to care for as it can withstand a wide variety of water conditions, making it excellent for beginners and experienced aquarists.

Its ideal tank temperature is between 56° and 86° Fahrenheit, a wide range that encompasses both cold and warm-water tanks. Liquid fertilizers are recommended to encourage healthy growth for this plant.

  • Can be left to float, tied to rocks, or planted as a foreground carpet
  • Withstands a wide range of tank conditions
  • Requires proper lighting if kept as a submerged plant

9. Ludwigia Repens

ludwigia gateando
Aquatic or Amphibious:: Aquatic
Care Level: Easy

Ludwigia repens is an excellent plant to add a little color to any aquarium since it comes in many colors. In addition, Ludwiga repens will grow whether you plant it on a substrate or allow it to float freely in your aquarium. So, this is great for any aquariums that don’t have a plant-friendly substrate.

Ludwiga repens doesn’t have any special care needs, making it great for beginners. However, experienced fishkeepers can supplement the plant’s CO2 to get the leaves to turn a gorgeous red color that will add a splash of color to your aquascape.

  • Multiple color options
  • Can be planted or float freely
  • Maintaining a red plant requires supplemental CO2

10. Rotala Indica

Rotala indica
Aquatic or Amphibious:: Aquatic
Care Level: Moderate

Rotala Indica is a fragile but gorgeous plant that can be planted in a plant-friendly substrate or allowed to float freely. Unfortunately, because it’s a delicate plant, it won’t be suitable for tanks with aggressive fish that may damage or kill the plant. Instead, this is best for tanks with fish that will be gentle and respect the plant.

Additionally, Rotala indica does require strong lighting. Indoor tanks will need a light that provides at least 3–5 watts of power to their plant. It’s also a tropical plant. Your tank will need a heater that keeps the water at a temperature of at least 72° Fahrenheit for the plant to thrive.

  • Beautiful plant
  • Can be planted in a plant-friendly -substrate if needed
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Buyer’s Guide: Choosing the Best Aquarium Plants that Can Grow Without Substrate

When buying aquarium plants, you want to ensure that your fish and plants will be compatible. Both fish and plants are alive and have care needs that must be considered when housing them together. Research the plants and fish you intend to keep thoroughly to ensure compatibility.

When building an aquarium, you create a closed ecosystem filled with plants and animals. This means that all the ecosystem members must function within the ecosystem to provide for themselves and each other.

In a water ecosystem, plants provide oxygen to the water, and fish provide carbon dioxide. The fish and plants have unique needs but provide for each other. So, it’s essential to ensure that the members of your ecosystem can thrive together and won’t hurt each other.

planta de anubias variegada en acuario
Image Credit: Pavaphon Supanantananont, Shutterstock


Plants grow at different temperatures, and each plant has different temperature needs. Keeping plants at the wrong temperatures will stunt their growth or even kill them. This is true of fish as well. So, you must know what temperature your ecosystem will be kept at.

For instance, Clown Killifish can be kept in a cold-water tank without a heater, but Rotala indica requires a warm-water tank that stays at a temperature of at least 72°F. So if you have a cold-water tank with no heater, you can’t keep Rotala indica in it.

Water Hardness

“Water hardness” refers to the mineral content dissolved in water. Some plants can tolerate hard water, while others will wilt. This is true of fish as well. You can’t keep plants and fish that require soft water in hard water and vice versa. Ensure that your water is appropriately hard or soft for your ecosystem to thrive.

pH Balance

Different plants and fish also have different acidity needs for their environments. Some plants need to be kept in an acidic environment, while others thrive in an alkaline environment. Ensure that your plants have compatible pH needs.

Light Requirements

You also want to make sure that you buy plants with compatible light requirements. While all plants need light, they need different amounts. In addition, some plants can be damaged by receiving too much light. So, you’ll want to make sure that you can provide the correct amount of light without providing too much.

Minimum Tank Size

Plants also have minimum space requirements to grow and thrive. They are living creatures that require space to live. Therefore, you want to ensure that your plants are in a big enough tank for themselves and in conjunction with the other plants you have in your tank.

anubias enanas en el acuario
Image Credit: Amazon

Fish Compatibility

It’s also essential for your fish to be compatible with your plants. While most fish owners will feed their fish daily, some fish will eat the plants in the tank. Many plants will be able to thrive even if there are aggressive fish, plant-eaters, or algae-eating fish that may attach to them. However, some plants are more delicate and will wilt. Ensure that your tank has a thriving ecosystem by choosing compatible fish and plants.

Substrate Needs

While this list focuses on plants that don’t require a substrate to be planted in, buying plants means ensuring that they will be able to thrive in your tank. While you may leave plants floating in your tank, some of those floating plants could later be planted in your tank’s substrate. Therefore, ensure that your substrate is suitable for the plants you want to buy before you buy them.


Final Thoughts

Escoger plantas es una parte divertida y emocionante del mantenimiento del acuario. Intente comprar algunas plantas de Hornwort para obtener la mejor planta en general que se pueda plantar sin sustrato. Si desea obtener mucho valor por su dinero, el musgo de Java es una excelente opción que puede comprar al por mayor. Por último, pero no menos importante, Anubias nana es una excelente opción premium.

Crédito de la imagen destacada: Musca Cristian, Unsplash

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