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Best plants for turtle tank
Advice,  Reptiles

Best plants for turtle tank

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There are a lot of plants that can be kept in turtle tanks. There is a lot of importance in keeping plants in the aquarium of turtles. These plants not only provide hiding spots but also make them feel safe. These plants can add aesthetics to the water of an aquarium. These plants also can filter nitrates and ammonia out of the water of the aquarium.

While obtaining aquatic plants for the turtles of fresh water, you can provide them with edible plants. If pet turtles decide to snack on the plant, this will not have any adverse effects.

Some simple plants for the turtles’ aquatic enclosure like Java Fern (Microsorum pteropus), Amazon Sword Plant (Echinodorus amazonicus & other variants), Hornwort (Ceratophyllum demersum),

We are sure that these plants aren’t the only turtle plants, but they are some of the best.

Reason for planting tank plants

There are a lot of reasons for planting trees in the turtle tank. Plants not only help to filter the water but also increase the oxygen levels of the tank. These also enhance the plants’ aesthetic appeal.

Despite having advantages, there are also some disadvantages of having plants in the turtle tanks. But the disadvantages are fewer than the advantages.


  • Plants can filter harmful compounds like ammonia, nitrates, and unwanted organic items out of the water. That means trees will improve the quality of water.
  • Water contains many algae. But plants help to reduce algae from the water.
  • The natural beauty of the tank is enhanced by plants.
  • As many turtles have the ability to absorb oxygen from the water, some turtles don’t have that ability. As plants add oxygen to the water, turtles will be able to get more oxygen from the plants. The amount of oxygen in the water will increase with the number of plants present.
  • Turtles require some hiding spots to feel safe. Plants can provide your turtles to feel secure, and safe. A terrified turtle may even refuse to eat which can be unhealthy for turtles.
  • Some plants are edible. Turtles can get nutrition from these foods.


  • Turtles may make a mess by tearing up the foliage. You must clean the tank.
  • Some turtles may dig out the plants. This will also not make a mess for you.

Best Plants for Turtle Tank

The aquatic plant is safe for pet turtles. At first, you must manage these. After that, you can consider the caretaking aspect.

There are some live plants for turtle tanks. These plants can be considered to make your turtles evergreen.

All the plants aren’t safe for your pet turtle. So, it is important to make sure that the plants aren’t toxic to your turtles. You should do it before planting plants in the turtle tank.

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Turtle-safe plants are best for turtle tanks. Some plants need substances. You must clean these substances regularly.

In this article you will get some recommendations for plants that are not only beneficial for your turtle but also easy to take care for you.

This article will help you to find out the Best plants for turtle tanks. So, let’s check it out.


The scientific name of Hornwort is Ceratophyllum demersum. This plant is commonly referred to coontail, hornwort, or coon’s tail. Hornwort is an aquatic plant that is one of the most popular plants in the world for the turtle tank.

These plants look elegant. They are not only inexpensive but also simple to maintain. They don’t need substrate. They only need proper plant lights. As they are easy to take care of, they are suitable for both experts and beginners.

You can use a suction cup at the bottom to anchor these plants. You also can let them float. If you provide them with enough light, this plant will be able to live with no help.

As they grow fast the turtle can’t snack on this plant.

Hornworts have excellent ability of filtration. They are able to rid water of nitrates.

Anubias barteri

Plants like Anubias barteri require little upkeep.


It requires 72 to 82 °F temperature. It is easy to acquire this temperature in a turtle tank.

They also can thrive at any pH level and not need much light for growing. There are about 5 types of Anubias barteri all over the world. These plants don’t require any kind of substrate and they are non-toxic.

Turtle not only dislikes eating this plant but also makes a mess.  This plant is anchor able. You can anchor these by tying them to any kind of weight like stone.

In spite of being slow-growing plants, these plants don’t need much care. These can also thrive in any conditions. These plants also can grow up to 12 inches.

Java Fern

Java Fern is a popular aquatic plant that can be found in most turtle tanks and other aquariums. This plant’s scientific name is Microsorum pteropus. Shops sell aquatic pets, java fern is available in those shops.

These types of plants don’t need any substrate. You can anchor them with a weight like driftwood or rock. As it doesn’t need substrate, it is easy to take care of. It can grow under dim lighting.

These plants don’t need any kind of substrate for this reason it is simple to take care of it.

This plant is a natural filter and will help to keep the tank free from nitrates and clean.

Turtles don’t like to eat this plant because they don’t find this plant tasty. It is one of the most recommended plants for turtle aquariums. This plant grows easily and needs minimal maintenance.

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Amazon Sword Plant

The Amazon sword plant is one of the most popular plants kept in aquariums. As they are common, you can easily be found. This plant is a member of Echinodorus amazonicus family. They are also being found in pet stores. As these plants require a lot of light, it is important to keep them in a lit spot. Amazon sword plants require a substrate for thriving. Rock and aquarium gravel can be used as substrates. If your turtle uproots this plant, you can replant it. This plant is so elegant that one can easily maintain it. Your turtle will get enough space for hiding because this plant has broad leaves.



Anacharis is another aquatic plant that is easy to care for. This plant is popular because it is known as waterweed. The main problem is that turtles love to eat it. Painted turtles and red-eared sliders love anacharis. They are also fast-growing. Mask and mud turtles don’t like to eat them. You can safely give your turtles this plant. Their fast growth rate makes them exceptionally rapid growers. Don’t plant them outside because they are invasive.

As you plant it, they will survive. These plants also provide excellent filtration. They can anchor naturally to the bottom of the tank itself.



Java Moss

Java moss is also another beautiful plant. This plant can grow beautifully and quickly in every condition. It can grow in murky water and lit areas of the tank. They also don’t require much light. This also can add a natural look and feeling to the tank. This plant can grow along driftwood, substrate, rocks, and any other items in the turtle tank. You can also find them in all aquatic pet stores.

Java moss can thrive in dim environments and is known for its fast-growing nature. This plant will give your tank natural feelings.



Moneywort is also one of the greatest plants for turtle tanks. You can adopt it and it has a nice green color. This plant grows well in every situation even in simple setups.

Although these plants require high lighting to grow quickly, they can thrive in low lighting. If you can’t manage high lighting, it will grow at a slower pace.

It can be a pleasant addition to the turtle’s tank. If your turtles eat the plant, don’t worry it grows very quickly.

This plant is not only versatile but also productive. You can prune it easily. It is easy to maintain and perfect for beginners.


Rosette Sword

Rosette sword is one of the good plants for the turtle aquarium. If your turtle eat this plant previously, it can be a great option for you. These plants can also help to increase the oxygen level in the water. These aid in maintaining the pureness and clarity of the water.

For better results, your tank should be big enough. These plants require little maintenance and are excellent for novices.

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Water Sprite

Water sprite is also a fast-growing and easy-to-maintain plant. This plant can add a lush green touch to the turtle aquarium. This plant can grow up to 24 inches easily and requires a moderate amount of light and CO2. In spite of its fast growing rate, it’s famous for being user-friendly nature. You can let it float on the surface of the tank or plant in the substrate. Its edible and your turtles may eat it easily.




Are Aquarium plants safe for Turtles?

Generally, Aquarium plants are safe for turtles. It generally depends on the type of turtles you have and the species of plants. Some turtles may damage or eat some plants. So, it’s your fast duty is to choose the non-toxic plants for your turtles. You also consider your turtle’s behavior and activities.

Some common aquarium plants are safe for turtle tanks like Java fern, Hornwort, Java Moss, and Anubuas. Before adding any plants in your turtle’s tank, you should research on the specific needs and potential dangers of any plants.


Do turtles eat plants?

Yes, many turtles like to eat plants as part of their diet. For example, herbivorous turtles eat plants. Omnivorous turtles may consume animals and plants.

What plants can’t go in a turtle tank?

There are some unsuitable plants for turtle tanks. Toxic plants aren’t suitable for turtle tanks. If any plant is fragile in nature, don’t add it to the tank, because some turtles may be rough on plants. If any plants have sharp leaves or thorns, don’t add them in the tank because this can make harm on them. There are some high-maintenance plants and they require specific care. Thus, do rather than put them in the aquarium.


What to consider before planting?

There are several factors to consider before planting in a turtle aquarium:

Turtle species

Tank size


Water quality




Temperature and Humidity

Growth Rate

By considering these factors, you can pick up the right and suitable plants for your turtle tank. These plants will help to improve the environment of the turtle tank. These plants will also improve the ecosystem of the tank.

Final thoughts

Before setting up a turtle tank, you should choose safe and non-toxic plants. Your plants should be hardy also. If you do this you wouldn’t have any problems.

If you plant live plants in the turtle tank, your turtle will get some benefits like extra filtration. This will give your tank a natural look. Sometimes, your turtle will take them as a snack.

Live plants are considered a great addition to the turtle aquarium. These can provide a place to explore, sleep, or hide.

However, it is important to research on what are the best plants for turtle tanks.

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2 thoughts on “Best plants for turtle tank

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