Top 5 Fish for a Planted Tank from Fluval

Fluval Aquatics goes over their top 5 fish for a planted aquarium. The list was made with the following considerations:

  • The fish must be 100% plant friendly

  • They are good community fish

  • Attractive fish with exciting color patterns, pleasing shapes, and characteristics.

  • Species details such as the size of the fish, required tank size, compatibility with other species, water conditions.

These are the factors that we will use to determine the #1 planted tank fish. All of the fish listed are not listed in any order, but in the end, we will let you know our top pick for a planted tank.


Freshwater Angelfish - Pterophyllum Scalare

They grow up to 6" in height and length and is an excellent choice for a planted tank the will not mess with the plant's sub straight. Requires other tank mates to be at least two inches in length.

Wild Angelfish like alkaline water to be in the 6 to 6.5 range with a dKh of 2 to 5. Tank bread Angelfish can easily do well in slightly alkaline water to moderately hard water. They do well in low light and heavily aquascaped tanks. They do best in tank sizes of 40-50 gallons or more significant. They tend to pair up and could become territorial in smaller tanks, so it's wise to give them a bit of room. Their thin flat body shape allows them to glide in and out of plants in the tank without disrupting the plant in any way. Overall, with the right tank mates and a large enough tank, they are an excellent planted tank fish.


Espes Rasbora - Trigonostigma espei

This is a classic fish for a planted tank. It grows to about 1.25" in length and is a good community fish as long as it is kept with other small and peaceful species. Should be kept in a group of at least 6 to 10 minimum for it to comfortable in a tank and show all the potential color of the Espei Rasbora.

The Espei Rasbora tends to look better in a lower light environment then it brighter lights and does well in a planted tank environment. Their shape is a classic shape with a lovely fin proportion. The center of the body has a deep copper color that looks great and pops out in a planted tank. The coloration, shape, peaceful nature, and ability to school in a tank make it an excellent choice for a planted tank.


Cardinal Tetra - Paracheirodon axelrodi

This is another small species that are plant safe and only gets to 3/4" in length. It's a good community fish that should also be kept with other small friendly fish. Schools of at least 6-10 are recommended for them to feel comfortable and not shy. The colors of the Cardinal Tetra are amazing enough to make some people think it is a marine fish. Their neon blue and deep red of the Cardinal Tetra bode looks excellent with the contrast of a planted tank. This is a stunning little Tetra to look at in a dim or well light aquascaped tank. This tropical fish enjoys warmer waters of 80-84 degrees and should be kept in softer acidic waters around 6.2 to 6.5 and a dKh in the range of 3 to 5.


Pearl Gourami - Trichogaster leeri

The Pearl Gourami does best in a planted aquarium. Their size range is between 3.5" and 4.5" this is considered a chunky Gourami and should be kept in a tank no smaller than 30 gallons. This is an excellent community fish but should not be kept with fast-moving aggressive fish how it has trailing fins, especially the males. Aggressive or fast-moving fish may be tempted to pick on its long fins. The colors of the Pearl Gourami is beautiful, especially on the adult males with a deep orange chest that bleeds into its anal fin with trailing fins making it an excellent show fish. A great show fish that also enjoys warmer water of about 80 - 84 degrees with softer acidic water is preferred. Classic anabantoid fish shape on a larger fish and amazing colors make it a great planted tank fish.


Endler's Livebearer Guppy - Poecilia wingei

This is a very interesting small livebearer that only grows to 1 - 1.5" in length. The males are usually 1" or smaller while the females are larger. This is an excellent choice for a planted tank as most livebearers are. The Endler's Guppy coloration is so amazing that we choose it over all other varieties of livebearers out there. They will pick on plant leaves, removing debris or algae built ups on the plants. This is an excellent addition to a planted tank, but it needs to be kept with other small peaceful fish, not fast-moving. They are a very small fish, but the males have a very crisp delineation of different colors on the Endlers Guppy. The colors pop out around planted tanks, plus they are a unique fish that stands out well. The water chemistry for these guys is more on the alkaline side moderately hard, and it's fine for planted aquariums. Temperature between 78 - 82 degrees


So now based off of everything we know and if we had to choose one fish to be the #1 species for a planted tank, we would choose. The Cardinal Tetra their colors are stunning and contrast well with the green of a planted tank. They are peaceful, schools beautifully and looks great under any lighting. 30-40 Cardinal Tetras in a lush planted aquarium is impossible to beat.

About author

The content found on this page was found and added by Tank Facts to make it easier to learn about new species and keeping all of the found content in one place. The brand and content is owned by the respected individuals and in no way considered Tank Fact


Tagged Articles