Top 5 Floating Plants To Get Rid Of Algae In Your Fish Tank Aquarium.Do They Work?

4 min read

Hello, fellow aquarium lovers!

You might be considering adding floating plants to your aquarium to get rid of algae but do they really work?

Yes, floating plants work! Floating plants help get rid of algae in your fish tank by spreading across the surface to block sunlight from algae and floating plants also eat up nitrite and phosphate in effect starving any algae in your tank.

We wanted to share with you today why we love floating plants so much and which floating plants are the top 5 that get rid of algae in your fish tank.

Top 5 Floating Plants

1. Floating Water Sprite

This isn’t our favorite floating plant based on appearance but you can’t beat this plant for ease of care and maintenance.

Water sprite is easy to find because while most floating plants are more scarce, water sprite is sold as a potted plant, which you can remove from the pot and let float.

Water Sprite grows quickly and has good-sized leaves for shade. Because of this though you need to make sure you keep up with the maintenance so you don’t have too much shade in your tank.

2. Red Root Floaters

We love these plants because of their appearance. They have short roots and grow together in clumps so they are easy to work with.

We like to use the ring with these plants as well to keep them grouped together under the aquarium light so they get more of a pinkish color.

They need plenty of light and a weaker water flow current.

3. Amazon Frogbit

We love it because it looks like little lily pads, which is the perfect look for an aquarium!

They have long tail-like runners that intertwine so it is easy to lift some of them out to reveal more of the surface.

They are hardy plants and fish like to hide in their long roots.

You just have to be careful with the long roots during tank maintenance. You can use a ring to group the plants together and move them around during maintenance without bending or twisting the roots.

4. Dwarf Water Lettuce

We first saw dwarf lettuce at an aquarium store when we were on vacation, it looked like a green flower to us so we fell in love with its appearance.

Dwarf Water Lettuce needs lots of nutrients to grow into a flower shape so you will probably have to add a fertilizer like Seachem Flourish.

5. Salvinia

Salvinia Minima is liked by many people but we don’t like how small the leaves are. It can be very hard to remove some of it because of the small leaves which you will eventually have to do so the entire surface of the water isn’t covered.

Salvinia Cucullata is our favorite Salvinia plant because it grows together in bunches rather than the Minima which are loose. This makes it easier to remove some of it.

Do Floating Plants Clean Water?

Floating plants help clean water because they consume the bad stuff in water like ammonia from fish poop or uneaten food which are the main things that dirty your water.

They can also help clean your water by starving algae which can completely destroy an aquarium.

Cons Of Floating Plants For Algae

The main con of floating plants is also one of their main strengths.

When floating plants block sunlight from algae, they also block sunlight from any plants below them.

So, you will have to be careful which plants you select to put below your floating plants. If you do put live plants below, make sure they don’t require much sunlight if any.

You could also go with fake plants but be careful depending on which type of fish you have in your tank. Some fish will eat the fake plants and could harm them. Other fish that are too active could cut themselves on plastic plants with sharp edges.

Floating plants are on the surface also where surface agitation provides oxygen for your fish so floating plants can interfere with this also.

Floating Plant Maintenance

Floating plants are great! Just a quick word of caution.

Make sure you keep your plants maintained!

  • Remove some of the floating plants regularly to maintain some surface area for oxygen and light to get through for your fish and lower-level plants.
  • Make sure your floating plants have the proper light according to their species.
  • Make sure your plants have enough nutrients even if you have to add an over-the-counter fertilizer that is specifically for aquarium plants.


Now that you know which top 5 floating plants are the best to get rid of algae and that “Yes” they do work I encourage you to explore which of these plants would work best for your aquarium. It might take some time to figure this out and it might be beneficial to try one type of plant at a time. The main thing is to make sure it benefits your aquarium and doesn’t harm your fish.

As always have fun enhancing the look of your aquarium.


Written by:

Pet Aquariums

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