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5 Best Plants for African Cichlids Tank

Herbivorous African cichlids basically see aquatic plants as food. They are going to eat most plants and nip on them every time they get hungry, which happens often. This article is written for those who want to decorate their aquarium with plants at home.

So, how to achieve this goal with such African cichlids? Fortunately, there are a few plants that can survive in your tank or even remain untouched altogether.

We are going to talk about each of them in great detail. Get ready to set up a wonderful aquarium that you will be proud to show to your friends!

1. Anubias

The most commonly recommended plant for African cichlids is probably the Anubias.

It is not just a single kind of plant, as there are plenty of species to choose from. The great thing about them is that they are all ideal for these fish species.

The Anubias typically survives in an African cichlid aquarium without any issues. For them, this plant is among the least tasty things they can it.

Even if they try it, they are quickly going to get disgusted by it for sure. They also can’t uproot it because this plant anchors itself down in a way that makes it hard to move.

What is really cool about them is that they grow in exactly the same water conditions that African cichlids thrive in.

2. Java Fern

The decorative leaves and bright green color of the Java Fern makes it a great choice for African cichlid owners.

It is the ultimate decoration for any home aquarium, which is why it became so popular.

It has strong roots too, which is one of the main characteristics of plants that can survive with these fish species.

Java Fern is certainly not their favorite dish, so they are going to avoid it even if they are hungry.

If you are looking for a plant that is easy to maintain, then you are going to be satisfied with this one. There is literally nothing else to do than to plant it and leave it as is.

This plant has the same needs when it comes to water conditions. If you set the ideal parameters for African cichlids, then your Java Fern is going to look amazing in your fish tank.

3. Vallisneria

This plant typically goes by the name Jungle Vallisneria Spiralis and there is a very high chance that your African cichlids are not going to destroy it.

This plant is going to feel great in the water conditions that fish owners usually keep these species in.

We don’t know exactly why African cichlids don’t take a bite out of Vallisneria.

It might be just that they don’t like the taste. Thanks to its strong roots, you can put it on top of driftwood and rocks as well. These fish especially enjoy uprooting plants, but they are not going to be able to uproot this one.

The only thing that Vallisneria requires you to do is to cut it down from time to time. Besides that, there is no need to do anything fancy to keep this plant alive.

4. Pothos Plant

Now the Pothos Plant certainly can’t be categorized as an aquatic plant but its roots are ideal for an African cichlid aquarium.

Leaving its leafy parts outside is a great way to decorate your home aquarium. It will be green on the inside and on the outside as well.

The leaves of the Pothos Plant can be positioned in a way so that they don’t block out any light from the tank.

It really depends on your preference how you want this plant to grow. People either leave it as is or let the leaves climb the wall behind their aquarium.

What makes the root of this plant a great addition to the aquarium is its ability to remove nitrates from the water.

5. Water Hyacinth

Very robust, fast growing floating plant with thick roots)

The Water Hyacinth is a rather robust plant with big green leaves and a beautiful flower.

Just like the Pothos plant, it has fully submerged roots while its decorative part is outside the water. Keeping Water Hyacinth in your tank comes with many advantages.

It is especially great for breeders because African cichlid fry will find security in its roots.

It also provides biological filtration that will guarantee low amounts of toxins and high amounts of oxygen.

This plan requires sunlight in order to grow so you are going to need to place the aquarium near a window.

For most home aquariums, a single Water Hyacinth is more than enough. It is known to grow rapidly and occupy a large space.

Will African Cichlids Eat Duckweed?

They are definitely going to eat it and it is not something you should worry about either.

Duckweed is an outstanding resource of vitamin B12 for African cichlids. If you feel like providing them with necessary vitamins that way, then feel free to plant one in the aquarium.

They are going to be more than happy to nip on it. Duckweed is one of those plants that float on the surface and spread quickly. It certainly can block out the light that comes from above but it is not going to be an issue.

Your African cichlids are going to eat it in a pace that won’t leave Duckweed a chance. Its quick reproduction will make sure that your fishes always have something to eat.

Wrapping Up

Although African cichlids are more than willing to uproot and destroy plants, they are not going to touch the abovementioned ones. By buying a bigger tank and combining the plants from our list, you are going to be able to set up a decorative home aquarium.

A well-planted aquarium comes with a wide range of benefits when it comes to filtration as well. The water in the tank is going to be oxygenated at all times and easier to keep clean of contaminants. The Pothos plant and the Water Hyacinth also gives you the option to make the outside of your aquarium beautiful.

You are going to be amazed how attractive your fish tank is going to be with colorful fish in it and some flowers and greenery on top.

avatar I’m Julia, and I used to work in a fish store for over 5 years. On this blog I help beginners care for their cichlids and share my experience and research on various fishkeeping related topics.

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