The bottom of every good aquarium should be filled with substrate. The kind of substrate you choose will impact not only the look of your tank but also its health. This list of the best substrate for freshwater aquariums should help beginners figure out what type suits their aquarium. The choice you will make will depend on the size of your tank, what type of look you are going for, the plants you will include, and, most importantly, the kinds of fish you will place in your freshwater aquarium. Do not overlook the importance of choosing the best substrate because you do not want to end up with a poor tank in terms of cleanliness and health.
|25+ Stems / 6 Species Live Aquarium Plants Package||A good aquarium substrate should include living organisms, such as the kinds you get in the 25+ Stems / 6 Species Live Aquarium Plants Package. This substrate is ideal for tanks 10 gallons or larger.|
|Potted Tall Hairgrass by AquaLeaf Aquatics||Potted Tall Hairgrass by AquaLeaf Aquatics is one of the best substrates for freshwater aquarium you could choose. This type of grass creates a fun and healthy environment for fish of any size.|
|Freshwater Live Aquarium Plants on Driftwood||The best aquarium substrate should provide nutrients to your tank, such as the Freshwater Live Aquarium Plants on Driftwood. This live plant is conveniently attached to a small piece of driftwood for less preparation on your part.|
|California Bundle – 25+ Stems / 6 Species Live Aquarium Plants Package||Some parts of the United States have strict rules about shipping plants, so if you live in the state of California, the California Bundle – 25+ Stems / 6 Species Live Aquarium Plants Package is one of the best substrates for freshwater aquarium. It has a variety of plants to keep your aquarium a healthy and interesting environment.|
|Mainam Anubias Barteri Coin Leaves||Mainam Anubias Barteri Coin Leaves are a great addition to any freshwater tank to ensure health. The look of this plant also adds appeal to your aquarium and provides great hiding spots for small fish.|
|Aquarium Plants Discounts 30+ Stems – 8 Species||A variety of organisms in your tank ensures a happy and healthy environment. This is why the Aquarium Plants Discounts 30+ Stems – 8 Species is one of the best substrates for freshwater aquarium.|
|AquLife Freshwater Aquarium Dwarf Hairgrass Seeds||Would you like a small field of hairgrass as your substrate? The AquLife Freshwater Aquarium Dwarf Hairgrass Seeds will make the floor of any aquarium pop and keep the ecosystem healthy and thriving.|
A Detailed Review on the 7 Best Substrates For Freshwater Aquariums
25+ Stems / 6 Species Live Aquarium Plants Package
A good aquarium substrate should include living organisms, such as the kinds you get in the 25+ Stems / 6 Species Live Aquarium Plants Package. This substrate is ideal for tanks 10 gallons or larger.
The six grown plant bunches of different species have several stems. These plants will serve as a natural resting and hiding place for smaller fishes and invertebrates. The plants in this package are all aquatic plants that will enhance the biological ecosystem in your aquarium and make your fish happy. All you need is gravel and light for the plants to thrive.
Since these are live plants, shipping time is crucial. Plenty of customer reviews are happy to report their packages arrived with the substrate still in good condition. Snails may suddenly grow from this type of substrate, but plenty has said they found no signs of a snail outbreak. The plants can quickly grow and thrive well with low maintenance.
The plants arrive looking small. One reviewer said there was a bit of melting on the clippings where the metal clasp was, but it was easily cut off with no issues.
- Variety of plants
- Plenty of stems
- The substrate arrives in good condition
- No signs of a snail outbreak and low maintenance
- There is some slight melting or wilting
- The plants are small
Potted Tall Hairgrass by AquaLeaf Aquatics
Potted Tall Hairgrass by AquaLeaf Aquatics is one of the best substrates for freshwater aquarium you could choose. This type of grass creates a fun and healthy environment for fish of any size.
You get one potted tall hairgrass with leaves that are 15 to 18 inches tall. They’re ideal for hiding filters and air pumps. The leaves are easy to cut and do not affect the health of the plant. They grow fast as well and thrive in medium to high light exposure.
One customer review said the plants are great and can easily be pulled apart to spread throughout your tank. The tall grass is very pleasing to look at when swaying in your aquarium filter’s current.
This plant is very tall and grows quickly, which means it’s not suited for smaller tanks. They are also hard to maintain since they grow fast even after being trimmed. They are also difficult to uproot and transfer to your tank.
- Tall and aesthetically pleasing
- Grows fast and easy
- High maintenance
- Not ideal for small tanks
Freshwater Live Aquarium Plants on Driftwood
The best aquarium substrate should provide nutrients to your tank, such as the Freshwater Live Aquarium Plants on Driftwood. This live plant is conveniently attached to a small piece of driftwood for less preparation on your part.
This plant is a rare and exotic anubias tied to a small piece of driftwood, so you can easily drop it into your tank and not have to think about where to attach it to it. The plant is a good and natural hiding place for your aquarium pets. This plant is grown in a digitally controlled nursery to ensure that plants are free of diseases, pests, snails, and algae.
This plant arrives fast, which is important in making sure it arrives beautiful and healthy. It is the right size for a 15-gallon tank. The plant’s roots take well to the driftwood it is attached to. The plant arrives in secure packaging.
In real life, the plant is much smaller compared to how it looks in the picture. One customer review pointed out that while washing their plant before putting it in their tank, they noticed a snail egg had grown on one of the leaves.
- Packaged well
- Ships fast
- Driftwood included
- The plant is smaller compared to the picture
- The plant may arrive with a snail egg attached
California Bundle – 25+ Stems / 6 Species Live Aquarium Plants Package
Some parts of the United States have strict rules about shipping plants, so if you live in the state of California, the California Bundle – 25+ Stems / 6 Species Live Aquarium Plants Package is one of the best substrates for freshwater aquarium. It has a variety of plants to keep your aquarium a healthy and interesting environment.
In this set, you get one bunch each for six different types of plants: Red Flame Sword, Golden Nesaea, Cryptocoryne Wendtii Bronze, Red Ludwigia, Moneywort, and Hornwort. You get a total of 25 stems, which is ideal for variety and growth. These aquatic plants will make your pet fish feel at home and be less prone to stress and illness.
The live plants arrive okay after shipping. The plants are packaged well. There is a set of instructions that come along with the plants, which is valuable for beginners.
Some customer reviews have said they notice snail growth on their plants and recommend you treat the plants before adding them to your tank. Some parts of the plant arrive brown and mushy, which will be needed to cut off before installation.
- Variety of plants
- Good packaging and quick shipping
- Safe to ship to people in California
- The plants will need to be treated if there is snail growth
- Some parts of the plants may arrive wilted
Mainam Anubias Barteri Coin Leaves
Mainam Anubias Barteri Coin Leaves are a great addition to any freshwater tank to ensure health. The look of this plant also adds appeal to your aquarium and provides great hiding spots for small fish.
This type of plant is very easy to grow and only needs low to moderate exposure to light. This is a natural aquatic plant, which means your fish and other tank occupants will feel right at home. The plant gets its name from the fact the leaves look like coins. You get three plants when your order this substrate.
The plants arrive in good condition and are packaged well. They also arrive fast and still look healthy. Many customer reviews highlighted that there were no pests to be found on their plants. They are easy to keep in place and look great even in small tanks.
Several customer reviews said that the plant is difficult to maintain and can quickly melt away in the tank. You have to make sure to root it in the right type of substance. This plant does not do well in gravel.
- Ideal for small to large tanks
- Packaged well and ships fast
- Appealing design
- Difficult to maintain
- This plant does not take well to gravel
Aquarium Plants Discounts 30+ Stems – 8 Species
A variety of organisms in your tank ensures a happy and healthy environment. This is why the Aquarium Plants Discounts 30+ Stems – 8 Species is one of the best substrates for freshwater aquariums.
In this package, you get a variety of plant species: Amazon Sword (Echinodorus bleheri), Anacharis Bunch, Hornwort Bunch, Cryptocoryne Wendtii Green, and Rotala Indica. These live aquarium plants help maintain higher water quality by binding organic waste and converting carbon dioxide into oxygen. All you need is gravel and light for the plants to thrive.
The plants arrive in great condition and are packaged well, according to many customer reviews. Shipping is quick as well to ensure your plants don’t stay out of water for too long. These plants make good starters for a freshwater aquarium of 15 gallons or larger.
These plants ship with no roots, so you have to anchor them or float up to the surface. The stems of the Amazon Sword are quite stiff but eventually soften and flatten.
- Variety of plants
- Packaged well and ships fast
- Ideal for larger tanks
- The plants will need to be anchored
- One of the plants, the Amazon Sword, has stiff stems
AquLife Freshwater Aquarium Dwarf Hairgrass Seeds
Would you like a small field of hair grass as your substrate? The AquLife Freshwater Aquarium Dwarf Hairgrass Seeds will make the floor of any aquarium pop and keep the ecosystem healthy and thriving.
This packet of seeds will grow into a vibrant, dwarf hair grass plant. In just 7 to 15 days, you will have a beautiful landscape. It is very easy to maintain and will help balance your aquarium’s ecosystem. To grow the seeds, simply spread the seeds into the moist soil along the bottom of your aquarium. The ideal temperature is between 68 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit.
Live hair grass will help your aquarium absorb carbon dioxide and the ammonia that the fish generate. In just 7 days, you will start to see them sprout, and after 15 days, the landscaping is finished. The hair grass is also ideal as a substrate and is usually used as a carpeting plant.
The seeds may be hard to grow under the wrong conditions. Some users reported that it takes longer than 15 days to grow the seeds.
- Easy to maintain once sprouted
- Easy to grow with the proper maintenance
- Live plants can help in the balance of your aquarium
- Need special care during the first two weeks
- May take longer than 15 days to grow
- Not all seeds may sprout
Every aspect of an aquarium is important because the tiniest change in nutrients can impact the water, fish, and other living organisms. This is why it’s important to choose the best substrate for freshwater aquariums. These plants will make your tank look beautiful, and keep your fish happy and healthy as well. It’s important that every aspect of your tank is not just appealing but also functional. Find out more about aquarium care.