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What Plants Do You Need for Fish Breeding?


 Plants are not ABSOLUTELY required for fish breeding, as they are not directly involved in the reproductive process.

However, plants can play a role in creating a suitable environment for breeding fish. Here's three reasons why:

  • Plants can provide hiding places for the eggs and fry, which can help to protect them from predators and other dangers.
  • They can also provide oxygen and help to maintain a stable and healthy water quality, which can be beneficial for the fish.
  • Additionally, plants can create a natural and attractive setting for the breeding fish, which can help to reduce stress and encourage the fish to reproduce.

Here are 5 suggestions for plants that can help with breeding and sheltering fry:

#1 Java moss 

One of the best plants to have for shrimp and fish breeding is moss.

It is a plant that is broadly available, cheap, and has can be purchased in many forms. It's #1 on this list for a reason!

Some other well-known species utilized in breeding tanks are Java Moss, Christmas moss, Riccia, and Susswassertang.

Java Moss, like other aquarium plants, will help convert an aquarium into an ecosystem.

Java moss will help reduce ammonia, nitrates and nitrites, but its main benefit is in baby shrimp survival rates.

Java moss provides great refuge for young shrimp and also increases the surface area in which shrimp can graze.

For fish that scatter their eggs, java moss have little tendrils that the eggs can easily stick to, and their branching stems help hide them from predation.

Java moss is a must-try for beginners because it's so easy to grow, has low light demands, and does not require substrate.


#2 Water Sprite

Water Sprite is fast-growing plant and one of those I instinctively reach for when I set up a fry tank.

It's a larger plant that grows a great root system, but grows better floating in the water column.

When grown as a floating plant, the leaves above the water change shape, and it grows long, thick roots for fish to lay their eggs and babies to graze on. 

With access to unlimited co2 in air, Water sprite goes BANANAS!


#3 Anubias

Anubias comes in many shapes, colors, and sizes. Some of the more common species of Anubias are Anubias Nana Petite, Anubias Nana and Anubias Barteri.

It’s one of the hardiest plants in the hobby, making it ideal for new aquarists who might otherwise be intimidated by choice.

Anubias benefits fish by giving them places to hide out safely, but its slow development might not contribute much to nitrate reduction.

However, the smooth and large leaves of this plant can provide the ideal environment for certain fish to lay their eggs.


#4 Hydrocotyle Tripartita 'Japan'

This fascinating plant is one of our favorites since it spreads its stringy stems like creeping ivy along the substrate and hardscape and has tiny, clover-shaped leaves.

It can be used as ground cover in the front or draped over driftwood due to its adaptability.

It does best in situations with medium to high light levels and would strongly benefit from CO2 injection, unlike many of the other species on this list.

Hydrocotyle tripartita 'Japan' has a more compact, bushier growth pattern in a high-tech planted aquarium that is most ideal for hiding dwarf shrimp and baby fish.

Like most creepers and stems, any sections that become too long and stringy should be cut back and replanted in the ground for further growth.


#5 Hornwort

This super popular aquatic plant is a favorite due to its hardiness.

It can tolerate many different water parameters, even a little brackish water. It is a fast growing plant that is easy to care for and can be used as a free-floating plant or anchored into substrate.

It is easy to propagate (just snap off sections) and its many bunches of thin bristles provide safe places for young fry to hang out until they grow big enough to venture out into other parts of the tank.

 One thing to note, however, Hornwort isn't the best for nano tanks under ten gallons. This is because of how big it can get Seriously, it can take over.


These plants are all pretty easy to care for and can tolerate a nice range of water conditions.

They are all great options to provide hiding places and refuge for the eggs and fry, which can help to protect them from predators and other dangers.

Additionally, these plants can help to maintain a stable and healthy water quality, which can be beneficial for the breeding fish and shrimp.

Keep in mind that all plants require sufficient lighting and nutrients to grow, so be sure to provide them with the care they need to thrive!

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