11 Best Plants for Axolotl Tanks

The best plants for axolotl tanks may include java fern, anubias, java moss, and Elodea. If you choose inappropriate live plants for the axolotl tank, they may decompose and cause a spike in levels of chemicals such as ammonia. Exposing your amphibian pet to toxic elements may burn it and even cause death.

Can you put fake plants in axolotl tanks?

safe plants for axolotl tanks

You can put fake or artificial plants in axolotl tanks since they often appear real and are not costly to purchase and maintain. You put the fake plants into the tank and leave them there.

However, artificial plants will not blend into your aquarium’s biological filtering system and oxygenate the water for your pet. 

11 safe plants for axolotl tanks

The 11 plants for axolotls provided below can prosper in a cold, low-light watery environment. Also, the plants do not require dozed fertilizer or injection of carbon dioxide.

1.    Java Fern

Java Fern for axolotl tanks

The plant leaves, which are long, thin, soft, and green, provide a perfect spot for axolotl hiding without causing any injury. Aquariums or tanks having a rough surface like driftwood can benefit the leaves since attachment is possible. That helps discourage the digging out of the plant by your amphibian pet.

Although Java Fern prefers growing in the wild, it can also grow with the conditions of an axolotl tank. As a low-light and chilly water plant, Java Fern can be diminutive or reach a height of 16 inches.

Size and varietiesBenefits
1. Java Fern (12 to 14 inches)
2. Narrow-leaf plant (10 to 12 inches)
3. Java Fern Trident (8 to 10 inches)
4. Java Fern Petite ( 3 to 4 inches)
Easy to grow
Prospers in cold conditions
Requires low to moderate temperature and lighting
Have smooth leaves that do not pose any danger to axolotls

2.    Java Moss

Java Moss for axolotl tanks

As cold water plants for axolotls, the plants are extremely durable and perform well in different aquatic conditions. You can easily attach the plant to the aquarium, tank rocks, and driftwood to mature without axolotl interference via excavation.

Allowing the plant to float without any interference may cause chaotic entanglements. Use either glue or string or a combination of both to force an attachment with the surfaces provided, to form an elegant forest/swamp in your tank.

Java Moss is excellent for absorbing toxic ammonia, a by-product of the normal body processes of an axolotl.

BenefitsSize and varieties
Easy maintenance
Great for low-light and chilly water conditions
Promotes water oxygenation and walking surface formation for your axolotls
It has an average size of 3 to 10 inches

3.    Anubias

Anubias for axolotl tanks

Anubias are exceptionally dependable; they can perform in almost any substrate or tank condition. Providing the most appropriate environment will not hasten the often slow growth of the anubias.

Since the plants find low lights conducive to their growth, always fasten them with hard surfaces such as rocks in the tank. 

Anubias Nana is the most preferred species for axolotl tanks. The plants help with oxygenation and filtration of water and come with extensive, dark green, circular leaves to provide the best hiding spot for your aquatic pet. 

BenefitsSizes and Varieties
Easy to take care of the plants
Capable of growing on hardy surfaces
Requires low to moderate light
Assists in water oxygenation
Anubias afzelii and Anubias barteri (over 12 inches)
Anubias barteri var. Nana (under 5 inches)
Petite Anubias (under 2.5 inches)

4.    Water Lettuce

Water Lettuce for axolotl tanks

This floating plant tank flourishes in humidity. With the right environment, this axolotl plant can grow expeditiously.

Beginner aquarists may find it challenging to maintain the appropriate tank humidity. Water Lettuce also has draping roots that when maintained appropriately, can establish an entanglement of roots. As a result, your tank’s appearance can be distinctive and fascinating. 

Taking care of the plants is stress-free. However, limit the plant’s reproduction so that there is not plenty of it in an axolotl tank.

BenefitsSizes and Varieties
Moderate light requirement
An axolotl cannot uproot it as it floats
Consumes decomposition by-products such as nitrites
Maximum size of 10 inches

READ ALSO: Axolotl Salt Bath Guide – Benefits, Safety + Procedure

5.     Amazon Frogbit

Amazon Frogbit for axolotl tanks

The Amazon Frogbit is a floating tank plant that has earned the name “sponge plant” thanks to its numerous sponge-like leaves. The uprooting of the plant by your axolotl is nearly impossible.

The plant is not difficult to maintain, great for amateur axolotl keepers. Additionally, it can function quite well in cold temperatures and low light. Limnobium laevigatum limits the penetration of excess sunlight into the axolotl tank. That’s fantastic for your pet amphibians because they prefer dimly light aquatic environments and live on the bottom.

BenefitsSizes and Varieties
Unlike a Red Root Floater, it has a neat look
Prevents excess penetration of sunlight
Easy to maintain
4 to 6 inches long

6.     Elodea

Elodea for axolotl tanks

Also called waterweed, Elodea is an interesting axolotl tank plant option. It exists almost completely below the water surface, in low-light conditions, except for its flowers which flourish during warmer periods.

Elodea, also known as waterweed, is an interesting axolotl tank plant. It exists almost completely below the water surface, in low-light conditions, except for its flowers which flourish during warmer periods.

Although plants need plenty of nutrients for survival, their care and maintenance are not too taxing. Elodea plants are more likely to grow larger than other aquarium plants for axolotls; therefore, you will need to prune them frequently.

BenefitsSize and varieties
Beginner-friendly plant
Capable of growing in different environmental conditions, particularly low light and chilly waters.
Removes contaminants from the water faster due to rapid growth
It can reach 9 to 15 feet.

7.     Hornwort

Hornwort for axolotl tanks

The free-floating plant is highly resistant to cold and can grow up to a foot high. Nonetheless, the thickness of its stems prevents axolotls from climbing.

Hornwort can also grow as a rooted plant, creating a bushy aquatic environment with enough cover for your axolotls. You can use a tank substrate to hold the plant securely.

Expect your axolotl tank plant to experience rapid growth with the right conditions. Hornwort has a chaotic tank appearance and can shed for up to a month as it adapts to a new habitat.

BenefitsSize and varieties
Can grow as a rooted or floating aquatic plant
It provides a nice, bushy appearance
Grows faster
Can grow up to 6 feet

8.     Duckweed

Duckweed for axolotl tanks

The plant forms a layer of greenish, small plants on the surface of an axolotl tank. That discourages the growth of algae and excess exposure of your pet to sunlight by creating a cool temperature at the tank’s bottom. In addition, duckweed can also help to purify the aquatic environment by absorbing and utilizing carbon dioxide.

Duckweed accumulates faster, and its removal is impossible without damaging your tank. So, before choosing it as your axolotl’s tank plant, consider that.

Benefits Sizes and Varieties
Low to a high light requirement
Fast growth rate
It is a floating plant and does not require fastening with a substrate
Traps food for your pet
Every pod is about 0.8 inches long

READ ALSO: Why is My Axolotl Floating? Reasons + What to Do

9.     Pothos plant

Pothos Plants for axolotl tanks

It can survive in varying axolotl tank environments as a tough floating plant. It is stress-free to keep. To prevent its uprooting by your pet, put its roots inside the tank and keep out its leaves—no need to use a substrate to hold the plant.

The plant delivers quality water via a natural purification mechanism. Pothos can expel harmful toxins and chemicals, such as ammonia, from the axolotl tank. In high levels, ammonia and other chemicals may endanger your pet and erode the biofilter. A spike in ammonia level in the tank or aquarium will make axolotls suffer from ammonia burns, and it can be an invisible killer within only a few days.

BenefitsSizes and Varieties
Easy to care for
Low to a high light requirement
It relies on toxic ammonia for its growth
6-30 feet long

10.   Dracaena Variegatus

Dracaena Variegatus for axolotl tanks

This plant is unique since it is not purely an aquatic plant but more of a land plant. The plants’ natural habitats are areas that frequently floods, such as bogs and marshes.

What’s more, Dracaena Variegatus may be able to survive in environments other than water, such as in a tank. However, the plant may decompose and require replacement if kept underwater for an extended period.

Only use the plant in a tank with an open top to discourage full submersion and ensure proper growth. Alternatively, remove the plants from the tank regularly and leave them exposed to air before returning them


  • Can adapt and thrive in a tank

Size and varieties

  • 12-18 inches

11.   Marimo Moss Ball

Marimo Moss Ball for axolotl tanks

Your amphibian friend and Marimo Moss Ball prefer chilly conditions, particularly in the lakes found in the North of Europe. The sinking plant is not a moss but a rare round development of chilly water algae.

Marimo Moss Ball grows with no hurry, and thus when the environmental conditions allow, they may be attacked on the surface by nuisance bacteria.

BenefitsSize and varieties
Great for providing dense hiding spots for an axolotl
Requires less light
It has a unique, beautiful appearance
Can achieve a 2-6 inches diameter

In conclusion, remember that as long as your aquatic pet is in a perfect watery environment. Fake and live plants have plenty of benefits to your axolotls’ tank by resembling the natural habitat.

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