Aquarium Plants for Cardinal Tetras: Keep Them Happy

Even though Cardinal tetras are easy to care for, keeping this fish needs a little bit of effort. Among the various things, you must consider a few aquarium plants that you need to keep in the Cardinal tetras tank is the most important one. They provide your fish shelter to hide and also serve as food in times of need.

Some of the aquarium plants for Cardinal tetras are Christmas moss, Luwidiga Repens, Anubias, and java fern. They are some of the best options you can go with while selecting aquarium plants for your fish. These all four types of aquatic plants grow slowly and need low maintenance after establishment.

Other aquarium plants are Water wisteria and Brazillian pennywort. In addition to these, you can also go with Cryptocorynes or Echinodorus genus plant species, but make sure that your Cardinal tetra can swim through them easily.

Read further to know about them in detail.

Do Cardinal Tetras Need Plants In Their Aquarium?

Cardinal tetras are primarily fish that needs plants in their aquarium. Aquarium plants for cardinal tetras will help them stay healthy, happy, and feel more at home while they live there.

Cardinal tetras are small and active fish that needs to swim around a lot. Aquarium plants for cardinal tetras will keep them from feeling bored and stressed out in their tank by giving them a safe place to swim, hide, play, eat off of, and relax.

Cardinal tetras are primarily omnivores that feed mainly on algae or plant matter, so aquarium plants provide them with natural food. In addition, aquarium plants for cardinal tetras are easy to grow and will help keep your aquarium clean and lively.

What Are The Importance Of Plants In Cardinal Tetras Aquarium?

Plants for Cardinal tetras can serve many purposes in the aquarium. They add beauty, help with water quality and provide hiding places for smaller fish to avoid prey to larger ones.

Some will even feed off of nutrients from waste materials such as ammonia and nitrates that could harm other inhabitants if you allow them to build up.

Furthermore, some plants also help in oxygen circulation, which is important for the health of all fish.

However, you should carefully choose aquarium plants for Cardinal tetras as some are toxic to other fish that lives in the aquarium.

What Are The Best Aquatic Plant Types?

There are many types of aquatic plant options available today, but the plants best for Cardinal tetras are the ones that are heavy feeders. Aquatic plants that are heavy feeders will absorb the nutrients in your tank and use them for their growth. Thus, the more heavy feeders you have, the less work you need to do on your tank’s filtration system.

The best aquatic plants for your cardinal tetra are ones that will overgrow and help keep their environment clean. Such as:

Luwidiga Repens:

This plant is a ubiquitous aquatic plant that works well with many types of aquarium fish. It grows fast and can handle coarser substrate as well, making it an ideal choice for your Cardinal tetras’ tank.

Anubias Nana:

One of the best aquarium plants you can use in general terms is very hardy and overgrow. They’re also great for many different types of Aquariums. However, when you have Cardinal tetras in your tank, they can be somewhat challenging to grow because the cardinal tetra is a timid species and will not show themselves off if plants are blocking their way.

Christmas Moss:

Christmas moss is a very thick Aquatic plant that can handle coarser substrate. It absorbs nutrients from the water and works well in tanks with Cardinal tetras because they have a hard time hiding among this Aquatic Plant type, making them feel safe to show themselves off more often.

Java Fern:

This aquatic plant is excellent for the Cardinal tetra because it’s a very hardy Aquarium Plant type that can thrive in lower lighting. It will also grow pretty quickly to help keep your tank clean and provide hiding spots for your fish.

Brazilian Pennywort:

This aquatic plant type is very hardy and will grow pretty quickly, so it’s great for keeping your tank clean. It can also handle coarser substrate, making it ideal for Cardinal tetras’ tanks because they love to dig in the substrate when looking for food or hiding places.


Cryptocoryne is an excellent aquatic plant type to use when you’re looking for one that’s easy to grow. It’s also very hardy and will handle lower lighting in your aquarium, making it ideal for Cardinal tetras’ tanks.

Water Wisteria:

This aquarium plant type has broad leaves, making it a tremendous Aquatic plant to use as a hiding place for your Cardinal tetras. In addition, it does well in lower lighting and can handle coarser substrate, so it’s another good choice for keeping your aquarium clean with this type of aquarium plant.

How To Make Your Aquarium Plants For Cardinal Tetras Last Longer?

You want your aquatic plants to last as long as possible when it comes to aquarium plants for cardinal tetras. However, there are a few things you can do to make sure that they stay healthy and strong:

Make Sure They Are Getting Enough Lighting:

Cardinal tetras need a lot of light to survive, so make sure they get enough of it. Aquarium plants for Cardinal tetras need lightning at least six hours per day. You can use either a fluorescent or incandescent bulb depending on the color temperature that you want your aquarium water to be.

Make Sure They Are Getting Enough Fertilizing:

To help aquarium plants for cardinal tetras survive, you need to make sure they are getting enough fertilizing. You can use a liquid plant fertilizer once every couple of weeks or so, and if your plants have been thriving, you might even be able to cut back on the amount you use.

Make Sure They Are Getting the Right Aquatic Plant Food:

When it comes to Aquarium plants for cardinal tetras, you want them to thrive. Therefore, they need a balanced diet of both plant matter and protein to ensure enough food. You can use aquarium plant food every few days, and you want to make sure it has a good amount of both types.

What Are The Plants To Avoid?

Cardinal tetra fish will eat aquarium plants. So, you must be very careful that the plants are not toxic to your fish before you keep them in your aquarium. Some of the plants that you must avoid in Cardinal tetras aquarium at all costs are:

  • Water Hyacinth
  • Parrotfeather (one of the worst plants for any fish)
  • Azolla Pinnata (the smallest Aquarium Plant ever!)
  • Duckweed (it can propagate and kill your fish)

Things To Consider While You Choose Aquarium Plants For Cardinal Tetras:

Providing a happy and healthier aquarium for Cardinal tetras is not as easy as it seems. However, some of the things you can consider while you choose plants for Cardinal tetras are:

Aquarium Plant Size:

You should know that the size of aquarium plants for Cardinal tetras is also essential. You will find different types of aquarium plant sizes in the market, available at different rates.

Small fish like cardinal tetra usually prefer smaller-sized aquatic plants. It might be because these fish can hide easily in them. However, aquarium plant size is also important as the larger plants can block some of your cardinal tetra’s favorite places, such as hiding spaces.

Aquatic Plant Maintenance:

Aquatic plants need proper care and maintenance to grow well in aquariums provided to Cardinal tetras. Here, you should know that the hardy aquarium plant For Cardinal tetras is easy to maintain and overgrow. However, some plants need more care and attention as compared to the hardy aquatic plant.

Aquatic Plant Growth:

It is also crucial for you to consider the growth rate of your chosen aquarium plants For Cardinal tetras while purchasing them because if they grow too fast, then they will make a mess in your fish tank or aquarium. Thus, if you buy plants that grow slowly and remain small in size, it will be better for your aquarium.

Aquatic Planted Tank Setting:

Keeping the natural habitat of cardinal tetra in mind, you should pick aquarium plants for them which are suitable for their natural habitats. Cardinals live in freshwater areas with a rich supply of nutrients so that aquarium plants can provide nutrients to your aquatic life.

In turn, you should choose plants for Cardinal tetras accordingly. Aquarium plants for Cardinal tetras should also be able to withstand changing water conditions and temperate changes.

Aquatic Plant Lighting:

Another important aspect of aquarium plants for cardinal tetra is the plant lighting you will provide them with. Aquariums provide various types of lights such as fluorescent, LED, etc. Aquatic plants should be able to thrive in the light provided for the aquarium.


Summing up, it is crucial to ensure that your aquarium plants will look good and be able to provide food and shelter for the fish. There are many different types of aquatic plants available from pet shops today. However, you should choose easy-to-grow ones who don’t need too much special care.

Hopefully, this post gave you enough information on how to start with your first aquarium.

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