Choosing Plants that Thrive in non- CO2 Planted Tank

Choosing Plants that Thrive in non- CO2 Planted Tank

Setting up a planted fish tank requires untiring efforts and dedication. Along with some relevant research over the internet, we advise also looking to visit the nearest LFS and sort out plant species which will be suitable for this endeavor. It is typical for plants to have their own survival and growth requirements. By following proper maintenance and care guidelines a beautiful planted tank can be achieved that require minimal attention once established.

Freshwater plants recommended for home fish tanks do not require supplements or routine medications to grow properly. However, there are some species that do find the aquatic life harsh and benefit from a little CO2 injection. If you are questioning if your CO2 supply is good enough for plants to grow and thrive or if implementing CO2 is an issue for some fish tank owners, we advise them to find which plants will work and the ones that can sustain and grow without any artificial supplies, ferts, or extra maintenance. So, if you are determined to learn about plants that can stay alive without a direct CO2 supply, we hope you will find some shimmering beam of hope here.

Initial steps when deciding

Plants that grow without a regular CO2 supply can adapt to sudden environmental changes, and when not regularly infused with CO2, there is no additional equipment needed, however the results and types of plants available not always the same. Low tech planted tanks are the best solution for people who are looking to get into aquatic gardening, but want to ease themselves in and find plant species that do not require regular CO2 injections or routine care.

Using low light levels along with several other factors with water chemistry playing a big role in ensuring the resources are properly utilized to give your planted tank optimal conditions for your fish and plants. Non-CO2 planted tanks are easier to maintain in most cases than high-tech CO2 planted tanks, as water changes are required less frequent. Non-CO2 planted tanks are tested for optimal maintenance results, allowing you to leave your tank alone for up to 2 weeks without doing any damage to plants.

Here are some plant types which are adaptive to Non- CO2 environments:

Dwarf Hairgrass

As the name suggests, Dwarf Hairgrass is a beautiful green plant which can grow without any special care. It is relatively simple to grow and trim; there is surely no need for any type of professional support or guidance. Moreover, they possess a natural ability to carpet your planted tank effectively and are available in a range of sizes. Drawf Hairgrass is mainly added for decoration purposes to provide more depth to an aquascape. Natural lighting and minimum CO2 is sufficient for Dwarf Hairgrass to grow.

Java Moss

Moving on to another amazing non-CO2 plant that is also considered a carpeting plant, Java Moss is surely the most recommended species to be chosen. Just place it properly in your fish tank and notice proper growth within days as it has abilities to crawl over fish tank rocks and wood. Furthermore, it has also been noticed to float for which you must attach the roots with great attention. As it can sustain in water temperatures around 73 degrees, there is surely no need for extra lighting or a separate CO2 supply. Along with its decorative benefits, Java Moss features a carpet like growth pattern giving your fish tank extended beauty and significance.


For people in search of a low-tech plant, that is cheap and can survive for a long period of time with little input; Bacopa is definitely a solid option to be considered. Needing no shade or special lighting supplies, the plant can slowly grow without needing additional CO2 injections. Just cut off the stem into smaller portions and start to propagate the plant on your own. Unlike other plants, Bacopa when kept under limited lighting, strongly repels algae infections or water contamination as it is perfect for small aquariums. So, if you are about to purchase a new plant for your non-CO2 planted tank, checking into Bacopa may prove to be just the plant you were looking for.

Negative aspects of selecting non-CO2 plants

Non-CO2 plants feature a slow growth rate and people who want a rapid growing plant in their aquarium will surely be disappointed and should look into setting up a CO2 planted tank if they already haven't. For fish tank owners who regularly replace their aquatic plants, they might not find this approach useful. Also, a lot of research and findings are required in order to select the best suitable plants for your planted tank, whether it be CO2 or non-CO2. Each of them features their own physical characteristics so make sure you know your tank specifics when planning to ensure proper growth. If you have enough patience to wait until the aquatic plants grow fully without injections, then selecting non-CO2 plants will surely be right up your alley. While the growth rate may be slow, the maintenance and visual appearance are still major positives. The question is do you have time to care for a planted tank.

Things to notice

In order to ensure the complete growth of new plants in your non-CO2 planted tank, there are some major points which must be acknowledged in order to avoid any future loss. You will need to check lighting and water requirements of the selected plant species you are looking to add. Some algae and bacterial infections are known to grow in low light areas, and your plants and fish might become affected in this scenario. Just lower the light intensity and increase water flow to these areas. The last thing we want is dark, stagnant water as it will become algae ridden area.

Furthermore, experts advise not to make water changes with just tap water as it might contain surplus amounts of chlorine and other heavy metals which can prove detrimental to your planted tank. This can damage your fish and plants making it difficult to grow and thrive for a long period of time. In case you find contamination in your aquarium water, large 80% water changes are recommended every couple of days. Just be sure that you do not remove the filter media during this time as it is very important to keep beneficial bacteria alive with this amount of water removal.

Summary of Decision

Plants which have the ability to survive and grow in non-CO2 environments require some extra care and maintenance in certain species. For people who prefer this type of aquatic tank, it is recommended special attention and care be taken to make sure you have established a safe starting environment for them to grow, prosper, and do more than just survive. Besides, we want to ensure that we can give them a healthy living environment in a happy community where all of their needs are met. We have discussed a few factors to consider when selecting non-CO2 plants; you can also take advice from fish tank experts online and at your LFS before you make your final decision.

Each aquatic plant features its own characteristics and growth requirements for which other factors such as lighting, CO2 and supplement additions may be needed. If you are excited to purchase new non-CO2 aquatic plants, we hope this article will help guide you in your selection.