30+ Best Aquarium Plants That Don’t Need CO2 (Carbon)

Aquarium plants are a great way to create a natural aquarium environment. You can use aquarium plants to help you achieve the look and feel of your aquarium that you want, but not all aquarium plants thrive without added carbon dioxide (CO2).

This article explores 30+ best aquarium plants that don’t need CO2, including red, green, and not so colorful varieties!

Aquarium Plants That Don’t Need CO2 (Carbon Dioxide)

Java Fern

Java ferns can survive without CO. They are floating aquarium plants that grow well in low-light aquarium tanks and require minimal maintenance. 

These aquarium plants will thrive with bright, indirect lighting from a window or aquarium fixture because they need their leaves to stay moist. 

Java Fern is an easy plant for beginners to start out with since it doesn’t need CO, can grow in aquariums with low light and will survive without much maintenance.

Java Fern does not need to be planted into the substrate of aquarium-like other aquarium plants would. 

Also read: 16 Best aquarium plants that don’t need substate

Amazon Sword

Amazon sword is another aquarium plant that can survive without CO2. It is not very demanding and it can work out in aquariums with little light, but the color of its leaves will fade over time.

-It’s a slow-growing aquarium plant so you need to buy multiple plants at once if you want them to grow together in your aquarium tank. 

-Amazon swords can grow up to three feet tall and, therefore, it’s best used in aquariums that are at least four feet deep.

-You need to provide them with a lot of light for the leaves on top do not get burned or turn brown. 

-Amazon sword is one of the aquarium plants that don’t need CO² because it can get its carbon dioxide from the aquarium water itself.

-Amazon swords are hearty and they don’t need much to survive, but it does best in aquariums with a good amount of light. 

-The leaves on top will turn brown if there’s not enough CO² so make sure you have an air stone that pumps up bubbles to the aquarium surface.

Anubias Plant

The anubias is a hardy aquarium plant that can be grown on rocks or driftwood. It produces green leaves with long, narrow dark green stripes and will grow to about two feet in height so should be kept away from the surface of the water.

The roots are quite delicate and can be easily damaged so it is best to buy a plant that has been well-established.

An aquarium without plants can quickly become boring and stagnant, but there are many types of aquarium plants that don’t need CO₂ in order to thrive. 

One popular type of aquarium plant for people who want something easy to care about with minimal maintenance is the anubias plant.

Water Wisteria

Another best thriving aquarium plant that doesn’t need Co(CO) is aquarium water wisteria. 

This aquarium plant doesn’t require CO and can grow in high-light to low light aquariums

This aquarium plant needs more nutrients than other freshwater aquarium plants that don’t need co (co) such as java fern, moss balls, or anubias barteri. 

Brazilian Pennywort

Brazilian Pennywort is another aquarium plant that does not require CO. 

It grows moderately fast and can be planted in the substrate or attached to rocks, driftwood, bogwood, etc., for more stability. 

This aquarium plant prefers a lot of light so either place it close to the aquarium’s waterline or use high-powered lights for best results.

Hygrophila Plant

– Hygrophila is an aquarium plant that doesn’t need CO²

– These aquarium plants can be used in aquariums without any additional carbon dioxide.

Hygrophila Plant can grow well under low light conditions and even if it’s not submerged underwater. It has long, narrow leaves which are quite unique for aquarium plant species.

 Hygrophila can grow really well in aquariums with low dissolved oxygen levels.

Hygrophila plants do not need CO², but they can be fertilized with water rich in nutrients (e.g., algae) or liquid fertilizer to promote growth and coloration.

– Hygrophilia is a popular aquarium plant species because they don’t need CO² and can still grow well.

– Hygrophilia aquarium plants are great for aquariums that have low dissolved oxygen levels because they can thrive in those conditions too.


The aquarium plant called Vallisneria is one of the most widespread aquarium plants that do not need CO₂ to grow. 

It can live on a low level of light and tolerates water hardness levels from hard to soft well, but it will still prefer living in aquariums with moderate lighting. 

The leaves are very long and can reach up to 30 cm in height, and they grow on the surface of aquariums with a wide variety of light intensities. 

This aquarium plant is another popular aquarium plant because it can be planted individually or as part of an aquarium landscape design that contains different types of plants with varying heights.


-The Cryptocoryne is one of the most common aquarium plants and can grow with or without CO₂ in the aquarium environment. 

-There is a long leaf variety that will not spread out too much if it does need CO₂ supplementation which makes it a good aquarium plant for beginners. 

-It will grow to about 18 inches and can take CO₂ supplementation if needed or without in the aquarium environment as well with proper lighting levels.

Cryptocoryne Red

Cryptocoryne Red This is another aquarium plant that doesn’t need CO² 

This aquarium plant is a slow-growing aquarium plant that will thrive in low light and prefers to be moist. 

The leaves are green with red stripes on the edges of the leaf blade, which give it its name. It has been noted that if this aquarium plant does not get enough light or is in too much light, the leaves will turn brown.

This aquarium plant is an evergreen aquarium plant which means it can survive through the winter and doesn’t require to be replanted each spring. It thrives when submerged up to its roots but does not do well with being left out of water for long periods of time.

Cryptocoryne Wendtii

Cryptocoryne wendtii is a popular aquarium plant known for its vibrant red color. 

It can be propagated by dividing the rhizome into smaller pieces, or using rooted cuttings from healthy plants as suggested on the aquariumplantsdirect website. 

This aquarium plant does not need CO² to grow and thrive in an aquarium.

Cryptocoryne Crinkles

– Cryptocoryne crinkles is a bright green aquarium plant that has a medium growth rate.

– These aquarium plants can be grown in aquariums with low to high light intensity, and in both acidic as well as alkali water conditions. 

This aquarium plant does not require CO² for its survival unlike the majority of other aquarium plants. 

– It can grow to be a foot tall in aquariums with bright lighting and that have been planted densely, or up to 20 inches when grown sparsely.

Anacharis Plant

– Anacharis aquarium plant is a beautiful green flowering aquarium plant that can grow up to six feet tall.

– This aquarium plant does not need CO² because it absorbs some of the dissolved carbonates from your tank water and converts them into oxygen during photosynthesis, letting off CO² as part of this process. 

– It’s not recommended to add aquarium plants such as Anacharis if you have an aquarium without CO².

– This aquarium plant can grow with or without CO² and make your aquarium look beautiful!

Fontinalis Moss

– Fontinalis moss is a pretty aquarium plant with bright green leaves and red stems. It has the ability to grow in both freshwater aquariums or saltwater aquariums, but it needs CO² (carbon dioxide) supplementation for optimal growth.

– To provide the carbon dioxide that this type of aquarium plant requires, add an air stone at the aquarium’s surface.

– If you are growing this type of aquarium plant, be sure to turn it around every other day so that the CO² can evenly penetrate the leaves and roots on all sides.

– The growth rate for Fontinalis is moderate, but it will die if not kept in a high light environment or with sufficient CO².

Christmas Moss 

Christmas Moss is a beautiful aquarium plant that can be used as the centerpiece of your aquarium or planted in the substrate. 

It produces tiny “flowers” and usually grows to about 12-15 cm tall, making it perfect for aquariums with limited vertical space. 

Christmas moss doesn’t need CO₂ fertilization but will grow significantly faster with it.

Flame Moss

The Flame Moss is an aquarium plant that can grow in a CO-free aquarium. 

It lives on the surface of rocks or wood and doesn’t need any soil to survive. This moss has beautiful bright red leaves with yellow edges, which make it perfect for your aquarium! 

You can add this lovely plant to your aquarium without worrying about harmful chemicals.

Marimo Moss Balls

Marimo moss balls are a type of algae that grow in aquariums. 

They have been around for decades and can be found all over the world, but they especially thrive in Japan where it is considered good luck to display them at home or in businesses. 

These little plants need only one thing: you! Marimo moss ball care doesn’t require any extra aquarium equipment or CO2.

Marsilea Hirsuta

Marsilea Hirsuta is the most popular aquarium plant that doesn’t need CO₂. 

Marsilea Hirsuta aquarium plants can grow without CO₂ making it a good choice if you’re looking for Aquarium Plants Without Co₂. 

It’s also easy to maintain and grows quickly in water so they work great for aquariums that don’t have CO₂.


 Duckweed aquarium plants are low-maintenance aquarium plants, and they can also be used as an effective aquarium filter.

– Duckweed aquarium plants don’t need CO(C02) to grow or thrive 

– They can work well as a natural aquarium filter that won’t require any extra effort from the aquarist

You may want to consider aquarium plants that don’t need CO(C02) for your aquarium if you’re looking to save a little money and time. Then, duckweed is for you!

Java Moss

Java moss is a type of aquarium plant that does not need carbon dioxide. This aquarium plant can be found in most pet stores and is very hardy, making it an ideal choice for new aquarium owners who are just getting started with live plants.

– Java moss doesn’t need CO² but they can survive without it if the lighting isn’t too strong.

– They are also hardy and can survive in aquariums with poorer water quality, as they’re able to tolerate less than ideal conditions.

– Java Moss is an excellent aquarium plant for beginners because it’s so easy to grow and maintain.

Java moss grows easily without CO² but does not need the gas either.

Bolbitis Plants

Bolbitis is a genus of aquarium plants that don’t need CO. They are also called raft or air-plant because they grow freely in the water and can be attached to rocks, driftwood, aquarium walls/sides without any attachment to the substrate. Bolbitis has long slender stems with pointed leaves which look very similar to other aquarium plants, but one can easily identify them because they have no roots.

Bolbitis will grow well without CO and the aquarium hobbyists are often said to be constantly looking for good Bolbitis specimens to add into their aquariums. They also don’t need additional light which makes them a great candidate for any type of aquarium.


Hornwort aquarium plant is one of the aquarium plants that don’t need CO². Hornwort has been around for more than 200 years and can be found in freshwater aquariums, marshes, or streams.

-Hornwort aquarium plants do not like a high light setting which means they should be placed in low to medium lighting areas so they can maintain their green coloration. The aquarium plant will grow at a moderate rate if it is transferred to the right environment, so make sure you don’t over-water or under-watered it

  -Hornwort aquarium plants do not need CO² and they also produce oxygen during daylight hours

– The Hornwort aquarium plant is a popular aquarium plant that does not need CO² addition to thrive. The hornwort aquarium plants also produce oxygen during the day, so it’s an excellent aquarium plant choice for people with low light levels.

-The Hornwort aquarium plant can be found in freshwater aquariums, marshes, or streams and works well as a foreground aquarium plant.

Water Spangles

Water Spangles is a unique aquarium plant that doesn’t need CO₂. 

The aquarium plants are readily available in the aquarium trade and can be used as an alternative to other low-light aquarium plants. 

There are many variations of this aquarium plant which include light green, light blue, dark green, purple, or red coloration with white and yellow stripes.

Green Cabomba

 Green Cabomba aquarium plants are great aquarium plants for beginners because these aquarium plants can grow without CO2. They will thrive with just fish waste and the occasional misting.

– These aquarium plants don’t need carbon dioxide to survive, but they do have specific lighting requirements that you should keep in mind before adding them to your aquarium.

– If green Cabomba aquarium plants have too much light, they will grow tall and thin. They’ll need less light if you want to keep them bushy.

– If green Cabomba aquarium plants don’t get enough light, the leaves and stems will turn brown or yellowish in coloration and begin to die off gradually until it’s all gone.


Moneywort is a great aquarium plant for beginners. It’s named after the appearance of its leaves, which resemble small coins. This aquarium plant requires no CO₂ and can thrive in low-light conditions or with very bright light exposure at midday. Moneywort will grow up to 12 inches long and about an inch wide when planted.

– Plant aquarium plants in the substrate that has high sand to gravel ratio, such as aquarium plant soil, for best results.

– Moneywort can be planted near the surface of the aquarium and grow submerged or just above water level with its roots occasionally touching the water.

– Place moneywort at least 12 inches away from other aquarium plants to avoid crowding.

– Ensure aquarium plants have enough water circulation and strong lighting to thrive.

– Plant on the side of the aquarium that receives the most light during midday hours for best results.

Dwarf Sagittaria

– Dwarf Sagittaria is a popular aquarium plant and can be found in many aquarium stores.

– They are able to grow without CO, but they may benefit from some supplementation of CO if the water has high levels of carbonates.

 As with all aquarium plants that don’t need co+, this plant should not be placed directly under aquarium lights, or else it will burn.

Dwarf Sagittaria is able to grow in water that has low CO levels and can be grown outside of a fish aquarium without the need for an air pump system. They are also relatively inexpensive and are available at many local stores.

If you’re looking to add some aquarium plants that don’t need CO+, Dwarf Sagittaria is a good choice.

Staurogyne Repens

Staurogyne repens is one of the aquarium plants that don’t need CO². It’s a plant native to South America and grows in aquariums just fine without any extra help from aquarium testers or other gardeners. This aquatic plant can be purchased for less than $15 dollars, so it won’t break the bank!

It’s recommended to buy aquarium plants for aquariums without CO² from a reputable aquarium store. This prevents the risk of taking home aquarium plants that can’t grow in your water parameters or are covered with pests, like insects and snails!

Micro Sword

Micro sword aquarium plant is one of the best aquarium plants that don’t need CO².

It has a yellow-green color and can grow to be up to 20 cm high. 

They are low maintenance, easy to care for aquarium plants, and have a lot of benefits which include no risk from pests or diseases. 

These aquarium plants also provide shelter for aquarium inhabitants and can be used to cover the aquarium floor. 

Micro sword aquarium plant requires only moderate light, so it is a good choice if you have low-light conditions in your home.

The aquarium plant grows from rhizomes that are flexible and will grow horizontally along with any substrate surface they fall on.

They can also be planted in aquarium substrates and require a large aquarium pot for maximum potential.

Giant Hygrophytum

– Giant Hygrophytum aquarium plants are one of the best aquarium plants that don’t need CO. These aquarium plant species can grow up to 11 feet tall! 

– If you live in a tropical environment, these aquarium plants will do well without any additional carbon dioxide because they’re used to humid climates with moist air. 

– They can also grow in aquariums that do not have a lot of light because they are used to growing under the dense forest canopy or where it’s shady and moist all year round.

– Giant Hygrophytum aquarium plants can be grown with no CO by putting them near the surface level, so their roots don’t get shaded by aquarium rocks.

Aponogeton Crispus

Aponogeton Crispus is a popular aquarium plant that does not require CO₂ for growth. It can grow in both freshwater and saltwater aquariums, but it needs to be planted near the bottom of the aquarium without any other plants blocking its light source.

– Aponogeton Crispus prefers water with a pH level of around neutral to slightly acidic

– Aponogeton Crispus can grow in aquariums with high lighting or low lighting

– It can be used as border plants, background plants, foreground plants, and midground aquarium plants.

Green Foxtail

Green Foxtail aquarium plants are one of the aquarium plant varieties that can grow without CO². 

Green Foxtail aquarium plants are a fast-growing aquarium plant variety and can grow up to two feet long with large leaves that resemble blades of grass, as well as long stems which makes them an ideal aquarium decoration for creating a natural look in the aquarium.

Green Foxtail aquarium plants are often used in aquariums that have a tropical or freshwater focus.

The leaves of the Green Foxtail aquarium plant variety can grow up to an inch long and emit a silvery-green color on their stems, with some variants emitting silver tips as well. 

In addition to being able to grow without CO², Green Foxtail aquarium plants can also grow in aquariums with low light and moderate water flow.

Green Foxtails are an excellent choice for aquarium owners that want to create a natural look without spending time on plant care or adding CO² to their aquariums.

Rotala Rotundifolia

– Rotala Rotundifolia is a species of flowering plant in the family Lythraceae, native to India and Sri Lanka. The leaves are slender with round leaf blade margins which can be up to 18 inches long sometimes even more

– It has one running root on the lower stem just underground level then bifurcates into two equal roots that continue to the bottom in a V shape

– They can grow well without CO² and are suitable for aquariums. 

– Rotala Rotundifolia is good at removing nitrates from aquarium water, so it’s often used as an aquarium plant that doesn’t need CO².

– It can grow in aquariums with a pH range of about five to nine.

– It provides shade for lower aquarium plants, and its roots help keep the substrate moist.

How To Maintain Aquarium Plants Health Without CO2?

An aquarium with live plants can help clear up nitrates and ammonia, maintain a more stable pH balance, produce oxygen during the day to keep fish healthy, and provide hiding places for shy or easily frightened aquarium inhabitants too!  The problem is that aquariums without CO₂ will soon find themselves devoid of aquarium plants.

However, with a few simple steps, you can maintain the live aquarium plant’s health without CO₂!  Start by investing in some aquarium substrate and an egg crate. The aquarium should be filled with water at room temperature which is best around 20 degrees Celsius or 68 degrees Fahrenheit (you will need to adjust this if you live in a cooler climate).

Then, get aquarium plants that don’t need CO₂!  Keep them happy by spraying with tepid water every few days and make sure they’re not sitting on the gravel. Some aquarium store employees will even recommend using aquarium moss instead of planting an aquarium plant to help keep it moist.

The aquarium should also be well lit. Fluorescent lighting or a daylight lamp can work, but natural sunlight is best!

Finally, make sure that the aquarium plants are not sitting indirect light during the day and they’re completely out of any UV rays from your aquarium lights at night to keep them healthy and happy without CO₂.

CO2 Plants VS No CO2 Plants In Aquarium

Differences between CO2 plants and Non-CO2 plants are:

– CO2 plants need aquarium water to be around 25 degrees celsius all the time. This is not possible in most aquariums without an additional aquarium heater

– CO2 plants have narrower lighting requirements. A 20W aquarium CFL will be sufficient for a non-co2 aquarium but a 15W CFL will not grow several co2 requiring aquarium plants.

– Photosynthesis is the process by which aquarium plants utilize energy from aquarium lights to make food for themselves. Photosynthesis can be performed with or without aquarium CO2 injection. 

– Without aquarium CO2 injection, the aquarium plant will utilize all of the aquarium light it receives and no excess will go to waste. With co2 injection, you will need heavier lighting to compensate for aquarium lights not being fully utilized.

– Most aquarium plants are considered easy to grow, but CO2 requiring aquarium plants have much higher requirements for aquarium substrate fertilization. This means that aquarium plant substrate will need to be frequently replaced before it becomes depleted in nutrients

– Non-co2 aquarium plants can use aquarium nutrients present in aquarium water columns only to grow. CO2 aquarium plants will use aquarium substrate to supplement aquarium nutrients when water column nutrients become depleted

– CO2 aquarium plants are able to survive much better in the aquarium without co2 injection than non-co2 aquarium plants, but this advantage is only useful in aquariums with very high light and no substrate fertilization performed

Benefits Of Having Aquarium CO2 Injection

– Aquarium plants grow faster. aquarium plants with aquarium co2 injection can grow as much as 2 times faster than aquarium plants without aquarium co2 injection.

– Aquarium plants will have thicker leaves and a healthier appearance.

– Aquarium substrate fertilization can be reduced from weekly to monthly. aquarium need for regular substrate replacement will also reduce significantly because aquarium substrate will be able to retain nutrients for a much longer duration

– Aquarium plants can survive in aquariums with low light and no aquarium substrate fertilization is done because aquarium co2 injection makes up for the nutrient deficiency. this means you can go on vacations without worrying about your aquarium plants

Disadvantages Of Having Aquarium CO2 Injection

– Aquarium co2 injection equipment is relatively expensive. aquarium compressor alone can cost US$200+.

– Aquarium co2 injection equipment needs regular maintenance and aquarium co2 refill.

– Aquarium co2 injection equipment may fail when you are on vacation if there is no one available to perform aquarium CO2 refills for you.


So, there are aquarium plants that don’t need CO2. They can be easily planted in an aquarium. They only grow to a certain extent and aquarium plant aquarium lights need to be increased. The aquarium plants are not very hard to take care of. They can also survive without CO2 to a certain degree.

So, these are aquarium plants that don’t need co2, but aquarium plant aquarium lights need to be increased in order for them to grow well. Also, an aquarium heater will help these aquarium plants live to their fullest if they are aquarium plants that don’t need co2.

I hope this article helped you know aquarium plants that don’t need CO2 and/or aquarium plant aquarium lights. If you have anything to ask or add, please comment below!

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