24 Beautiful Planted Fish Tank Ideas For All Skill Levels!

Setting up a fish tank can be an exciting and rewarding project, but choosing the right plants is key to creating a healthy and beautiful aquarium.

In this article, we’ll explore a simple and effective fish tank setup perfect for beginners and experienced aquarists alike.

Whether you’re setting up a 5-gallon nano tank or a larger aquarium, these plant choices will ensure your aquatic environment thrives.

fish tank idea

Plant List

  • Hygrophila Polysperma
  • Cryptocoryne Walkeri Var. Legroi
  • Eleocharis Pusilla
  • Java Moss
  • Marimo Moss Balls

This is a simple fish tank idea that could work well in most 5-10 gallon (19-38 liter) aquariums.

You could also set up a Walstad betta tank with this idea, as all of these plants will thrive in a tank with a 1-inch layer of topsoil capped with a 1-inch layer of gravel.

Cheap bogwood can work well for the driftwood, and you can use inexpensive river pebbles for the detailing rocks in the tank.

Hygrophila Polysperma is perfect for the back left and right of the tank. It helps purify the water and provides hiding spots for your fish.

For the brown/gold plant on the left-hand side of the midground, you could use Cryptocoryne Walkeri Var. Legroi or a brown Cryptocoryne Wendtii.

Eleocharis Pusilla should work well as the hair grass along the left-hand side, but you can try other types of hair grass if you prefer.

Java Moss is a cheap, easy-to-find, and beginner-friendly moss for the driftwood, but other types of moss could also work well.

Instead of trying to grow moss or a carpeting plant for the balls in the foreground, I would recommend using Marimo Moss Balls.

fish tank idea

Plant List

  • Limnophila Sessiliflora
  • Echinodorus Aquartica
  • Hygrophila Polysperma
  • Staurogyne Repens
  • Anubias Nana Petite

This fish tank design is ideal for tanks in the 10-15 gallon (38-57 liter) range but can also work in larger tanks if needed.

Aquasoil is a great substrate choice for beginners building an aquarium like this, but topsoil capped with sand or gravel is a budget-friendly alternative.

You don’t need expensive driftwood for this setup; a cheap piece of bogwood will work just fine.

Limnophila Sessiliflora is perfect for the back right of the tank and resembles the plant in the photograph.

For the sword plant in the back left corner, Echinodorus Aquartica is suitable for a 10-gallon tank. For tanks 15 gallons and larger, consider using medium-sized sword plant variants.

Hygrophila Polysperma can be used as the stem plant in the midground on the right-hand side, but it will require weekly trimming to keep it short like in the photograph.

Staurogyne Repens is ideal for covering the length of the right tank glass pane, though other plants could work as well.

Anubias Nana Petite is the perfect epiphyte plant for the driftwood, but other small types of Anubias or most types of Bucephalandra will work well too.

fish tank idea

Plant List

  • Hygrophila Polysperma
  • Hygrophila Pinnatifida
  • Java Fern
  • Cryptocoryne Walkeri Var. Legroi

This is another beginner-friendly fish tank idea suitable for tanks that are 20 gallons (75 liters) and over.

Most substrates suitable for planted tanks will work well, but using a cap of yellow sand will match the look in the photograph.

You can use cheap rocks for this aquascape, but mangrove wood can offer a similar look to the driftwood in the photograph, though it can be expensive. For most people, finding some affordable bogwood that looks good will be the best option.

Hygrophila Polysperma will work well in this tank and can be used for the background stem plants in the left and right corners.

Hygrophila Pinnatifida can be used for the fern-like plant in the middle of the tank, popping up over the driftwood in the background. Bolbitis Heduelotii is another option that offers a slightly different look.

Java Fern or more Hygrophila Pinnatifida can be used for the ferns in the midground on the left and right of the driftwood, keeping things easy and inexpensive.

For the brown plant in the foreground on the right-hand side, Cryptocoryne Walkeri Var. Legroi or a brown Cryptocoryne Wendtii could work well to complete the look of this tank setup.

fish tank idea

Plant List

  • Hygrophila Pinnatifida
  • Cryptocoryne Wendtii
  • Staurogyne Repens
  • Eleocharis Pusilla
  • Monte Carlo
  • Java Moss

This next fish tank idea is surprisingly easy to build and works perfectly for cube tanks of 5 gallons (19 liters) and above.

Unlike most other tanks, this setup resembles a pseudo-Iwagumi aquascape where the rocks and plants are the main features.

A small number of nano fish, such as chili rasboras, would work well in this tank.

Most rocks will suit this aquarium, but Seriyu Stone is a safe, affordable, and easy-to-find option.

For the carpeting effect, use a combination of Java Moss and Monte Carlo. Place Java Moss on the rocks, trimming it regularly, and allow Monte Carlo to grow in the substrate. Adding aqua soil to the gaps between the rocks could enable you to use Monte Carlo for the full carpet.

Hygrophila Pinnatifida or a smaller Java Fern variant can be used for the fern at the peak of the tank.

Different color variants of Cryptocoryne Wendtii are excellent choices for the plants in the back left and front right, providing a cheap and accessible option.

Staurogyne Repens can be used along the left tank glass pane, and Eleocharis Pusilla as dwarf hair grass in the front right. However, the hair grass may try to carpet if not trimmed regularly.

Overall, this is a versatile and attractive fish tank idea that can be adapted in various ways.

fish tank idea

Plant List

  • Hygrophila Polysperma
  • Cryptocoryne Wendtii
  • Staurogyne Repens
  • Monte Carlo
  • Java Moss

This is another beginner-friendly idea for 5-10 gallon (19-38 liter) fish tanks, featuring easy-to-keep plants.

Use aquasoil or capped soil as your substrate for this tank, which should yield great results.

A piece of cheap bogwood, costing around $5-$10, will work perfectly for this aquascape, keeping your costs low.

Hygrophila Polysperma is an excellent choice for the background stem plant, and you can plant it from left to right.

For some variation in leaf texture and height in the back right corner, consider planting some Staurogyne Repens.

Monte Carlo can be used for the carpet plant, although it is the most challenging plant to maintain in this setup.

Java Moss is the easiest moss for most people to use on the driftwood, but Weeping Moss could be a great alternative for the hanging effect shown in the photograph.

fish tank idea

Plant List

  • Cryptocoryne Wendtii
  • Hygrophila Pinnatifida
  • Marimo Moss Balls

This beginner-friendly idea is perfect for 5-10 gallon (19-38 liter) fish tanks and features easy-to-care-for plants.

For the substrate, use aquasoil or capped soil to achieve excellent results.

A piece of inexpensive bogwood, around $5-$10, will work perfectly for this aquascape, helping you keep costs low.

Hygrophila Polysperma is an ideal choice for the background stem plant and can be planted across the back of the tank.

For some variation in leaf texture and height in the back right corner, consider planting Staurogyne Repens.

Monte Carlo can be used as the carpeting plant, though it is the most challenging plant to maintain in this setup.

Java Moss is the easiest moss to use on the driftwood, but Weeping Moss could be a great alternative for creating the hanging effect shown in the photograph.

fish tank idea

Plant List

  • Ludwigia Mini Super Red
  • Hygrophila Polysperma
  • Staurogyne Repens
  • Eleocharis Pusilla
  • Java Moss

The slightly taller design of this tank might present stocking challenges, but otherwise, it is an excellent source of inspiration for a fish tank.

A regular cube tank with relatively equal dimensions could be used to replicate this design with ease.

Finding driftwood as detailed as shown might be challenging, so opting for bogwood or mangrove wood could be the best option for most people.

Regular river pebbles or detailing rocks can be used for the rocks at the base of the driftwood.

Ludwigia Mini Super Red is a great choice for the red plant on the left side of the tank, but I would prefer to let it grow to the surface rather than trim it to keep it short.

Alternatively, Cryptocoryne Wendtii Flamingo can be used as it won’t grow as tall as Ludwigia Mini Super Red, reducing the maintenance required.

For the single green stem in the background, something like Hygrophila Polysperma would work well. However, I would recommend keeping 4-8 stems in this type of tank rather than a single stem.

Staurogyne Repens would be an excellent choice for the smaller plant running along the right-hand glass pane.

Depending on your preference, you might want to try Eleocharis Acicularis for the hair grass plant in the front right, but Eleocharis Pusilla could also work.

Java Moss would work well as the moss for the tank, but most common types of aquatic moss should also be suitable.

fish tank idea

Plant List

  • Cryptocoryne Wendtii Flamingo
  • Cryptocoryne Walkeri Var. Legroi
  • Java Moss

This setup could work well for a beginner’s fish tank in the 10-15 gallon (38-57 liter) range.

One of the best aspects of this aquarium idea is the flexibility in choosing the main piece of hardscape. You can use either driftwood or rocks, allowing you to go with whatever is cheapest in your area to keep costs low.

For hardscape options, bogwood, dragon wood, or mangrove wood could all work well as driftwood choices, while Seriyu stone, dragon stone, Millennium stone, or Frodo stone are great options for rocks.

Once you’re satisfied with the hardscape and substrate positioning, glue a generous amount of Java Moss onto the rock or driftwood.

Use Cryptocoryne Walkeri Var. Legroi for the two brown/gold plants in the foreground on the right. Darker Cryptocoryne Wendtii variants could also work well.

For a splash of red in the aquascape, use Cryptocoryne Wendtii Flamingo for the plant in the midground on the left.

Instead of trying to carpet this tank, find some small, flat rocks and glue Java Moss to them, then place them into the substrate in the foreground to complete the look.

fish tank idea

Plant List

  • Ludwigia Mini Super Red
  • Bacopa Caroliniana
  • Cryptocoryne Parva
  • Monte Carlo
  • Moss

This setup is more advanced as it requires significant time and effort to keep everything trimmed and looking perfect, but there are easier alternatives available.

Finding a single rock as detailed as the one in the photograph will be challenging, so using multiple pieces of rock is often the best option.

Simple river pebbles can be used as the detailing rocks at the bottom of the main centerpiece rock to keep costs low.

Once you have your rocks and substrate in place, glue some moss onto your hardscape—most types of rock will work well.

Depending on your preference, you might want to arrange your main centerpiece rocks outside of the tank, attach your Java moss, and then place them in the aquarium.

Ludwigia Mini Super Red would be a great option for the stem plant in the back right of the tank, but other Ludwigia variants could also work well.

For the green stem plant in the back left, Bacopa Caroliniana is a good choice. I would suggest using 3-6 stems and letting them grow out.

You could use Cryptocoryne Parva as the single, small plant on the small rock peak on the left side, but other small crypts like Cryptocoryne Lutea Hobbit could also work.

Monte Carlo could be used as the carpeting plant in this tank, though there are other carpeting options that may work as well.

fish tank idea

Plant List

  • Hygrophila Rosanervig
  • Moss

This is a relatively simple fish tank setup, but depending on your budget, you may need to opt for a cheaper hardscape option.

Try to find a highly detailed piece of Millenium Stone, Geo Stone, or Frodo Stone. However, less detailed stones from these groups can save money and still look good.

You can use river pebbles or medium-sized detailing stones for the foreground. Choose whatever is cheapest.

Most types of aquarium moss will work well on your rock, so just glue it on as you like and trim it as needed when the moss grows.

Hygrophila Rosanervig could be a great option for the stem plant in the background. It has a green look with a nice touch of pink once it starts to grow.

fish tank idea

Plant List

  • Hygrophila Polysperma
  • Ludwigia Mini Super Red
  • Anubias Coffeifolia
  • Bucephalandra
  • Monte Carlo
  • Moss

Although this fish tank setup may look advanced, with careful planning and patience, it can be surprisingly beginner-friendly.

This is due to most plants in the tank being easy to maintain and the hardscape being affordable.

As with many other fish tank ideas in this article, both aquasoil or topsoil capped with sand or gravel will work well for your substrate.

A couple of pieces of cheap driftwood will be perfect for your hardscape, but you can opt for other types of wood if your budget allows.

For planting, I recommend using Hygrophila Polysperma as the main green stem plant on the back left of the tank. I suggest using more than two stems.

Ludwigia Mini Super Red is a great choice for the red stem plant nearby, but again, use more than one stem for a fuller look.

Anubias Coffeifolia will be an excellent option for the round-leaf plant near the stem plants, just ensure the rhizome isn’t buried in your substrate.

Most types of Bucephalandra are perfect for the small red plant in the right-hand corner. Again, be careful not to bury the rhizome.

You could try Monte Carlo for the carpeting plant, but for this particular setup, I would lean towards not using a carpeting plant. Personal preference will play a role here.

A wide range of aquatic mosses would work in this type of fish tank, so choose whatever you can find at an affordable price.

fish tank idea

Plant List

  • Hygrophila Pinnatifida
  • Cryptocoryne Wendtii
  • Cryptocoryne Wendtii Flamingo
  • Staurogyne Repens
  • Moss

Here’s a great idea for your fish tank that works well in 5-10 gallon (19-38 liter) aquariums, though larger tanks may be more suitable.

This is because it can be challenging to find driftwood with enough detail that is also small enough to fit into nano tanks while still leaving plenty of swimming space for your fish.

While it won’t look exactly the same, a small piece of corbo catfish wood might be a better option for most people looking to recreate this setup.

Both aquasoil and topsoil capped with sand or gravel make great substrate options for this tank.

For the aquarium plants, you have two main options for the background plant directly behind the driftwood:

Hygrophila Pinnatifida or Java Fern anchored onto the driftwood will likely resemble the photograph more closely, but stem plants planted into your substrate could also work well.

Cryptocoryne Wendtii is ideal for the plant in the midground to the left of the main piece of driftwood, and there are plenty of color variants to get the perfect hue for that area.

Cryptocoryne Wendtii Flamingo is probably one of the better options for the red plant in front of the driftwood, but other plants may work, especially if you use high lighting and CO2 in your fish tank.

Staurogyne Repens could work well for the plants to the left of the driftwood, and I would stick to just Staurogyne Repens rather than multiple plant types as shown in the photograph.

Use a small section of Weeping Moss for the moss on the driftwood that is leaning over the edge, and Java Moss for most of the other moss.

fish tank idea

Plant List

  • Hygrophila Pinnatifida
  • Bucephalandra
  • Anubias Nana Petite
  • Cryptocoryne Petchii
  • Bacopa Compact
  • Java Moss

I would classify this next fish tank setup as more intermediate due to the time, effort, and skill required for trimming and maintenance, but it does look beautiful.

Most people will need a higher budget for this type of tank due to how heavily planted it is and the amount of hardscape used.

Using bogwood and Seriyu Stone can be an easy way to keep costs low for this type of aquascape, but most popular types of driftwood and stone will work.

Many of the plants in this tank are epiphytes, but you’ll still need a nutrient-rich substrate if you want to use all the suggested plants, so keep this in mind.

For plant suggestions:

  • Hygrophila Pinnatifida is a good option for the fern-like epiphyte on the driftwood, but Java Fern Windelov could also work well.
  • A mix of Bucephalandra and Anubias Nana Petite would work well for the smaller epiphyte plants on the driftwood, but other Anubias variants could also be tried.
  • Cryptocoryne Petchii is a good choice for the foreground plant on the right and one at the base of the driftwood on the left.
  • More Cryptocoryne Petchii could be used on the left, but Bacopa Compact might resemble the other plant on the left-hand side at the base of the driftwood more closely.
  • Java Moss is a great option for the moss on the driftwood, but Christmas Moss may also work well.
fish tank idea

Plant List

  • Anubias Nana Petite
  • Cryptocoryne Wendtii
  • Staurogyne Repens
  • Java Moss

This tall tank design can work well as a shrimp tank, but if built out in a regular cube tank, it could also be suitable for most types of nano fish.

Finding the perfect pieces of driftwood for this setup may take a long time, so it’s better to go with driftwood that looks good rather than waiting for the perfect pieces.

Anubias Nana Petite is an excellent choice for the epiphyte on the top left of the driftwood, but you could also use a Bucephalandra variant if you prefer.

One of the smaller Cryptocoryne Wendtii variants could work well for the plant in the back right of the tank next to the driftwood.

Staurogyne Repens is ideal for the plants around the base of the driftwood, but you can try other plants if you wish.

Java Moss would complete the look nicely. Just glue a few bits onto your driftwood and let it grow out.

fish tank idea

Plant List

  • Hygrophila Polysperma
  • Limnophila Sessiliflora
  • Bucephalandra
  • Ludwigia Mini Super Red
  • Cryptocoryne Wendtii Flamingo
  • Monte Carlo

This next fish tank idea may look advanced, but with a weekly trimming session, it’s quite beginner-friendly.

This design is ideal for a 5-10 gallon (19-38 liter) aquarium but can also work well in slightly larger tanks.

You can keep costs low by using cheap bogwood, which works perfectly in this setup. Both aquasoil and capped dirt are excellent options for the substrate, performing similarly over time.

For plants, use Hygrophila Polysperma as the stem plant in the back left behind the driftwood. Limnophila Sessiliflora should work well as the stem plant in the back right, though other stem plants could also be suitable.

Most types of Bucephalandra are great as epiphyte plants anchored to the driftwood for additional detailing, but small Anubias variants could work well too.

Ludwigia Mini Super Red is a good choice for the taller red plants on the left, while Cryptocoryne Wendtii Flamingo is a potential option for the two red plants on the right.

You could try Monte Carlo for the carpeted areas, but I would probably leave them out and keep the substrate open for a cleaner look.

fish tank idea

Plant List

  • Anubias Nana Petite
  • Bucephalandra
  • Java Moss

This is probably the easiest fish tank idea featured in this article and should work well for 5-10 gallon (19-38 liter) aquariums, but there’s a catch.

The lack of live plants in the tank will make a filter essential, with both sponge filters and hang-on-back filters being great options.

One of the main advantages of this type of fish tank is that there’s no real need for substrate, so some cheap pebbles will work well.

The specific look of your rock will be more important for this type of aquarium. Try to get some great-looking dragon stone if possible, but dragon wood may work if you are happy to use driftwood.

For plants, simply add Anubias Nana Petite or Bucephalandra to the hardscape as your epiphyte of choice, and then add some moss.

Let the plants grow out over the next month or two, and you’ll have one of the best-looking, easy fish tank setups.

fish tank idea

Plant List

  • Limnophila Sessiliflora
  • Anubias Nana Petite
  • Microsorum Pteropus Trident
  • Cryptocoryne Walkeri Var. Legroi
  • Monte Carlo

This is another surprisingly easy idea for your fish tank that looks great but requires time, patience, and plenty of trimming.

Just like most of the other tanks featured in this article, this setup is best suited for a 5-10 gallon (19-38 liter) aquarium.

This tank size range and the number of hiding spots make it perfect for a betta fish. My article on simple betta tank ideas offers similar setups you may like.

A nutrient-rich substrate is essential for this tank. Both aquasoil or topsoil capped with sand will work well.

Cheap bogwood should be fine for your driftwood; just get a couple of different pieces and arrange them as you like.

Limnophila Sessiliflora is an excellent option for the green stem plant at the back of the tank. It provides hiding spots to keep your fish relaxed and helps with natural water purification.

Anubias Nana Petite should work well for the epiphyte plant on the upper right of the driftwood, but Bucephalandra could also work well.

Microsorum Pteropus Trident should work for the two epiphyte plants lower on the driftwood. However, you might also want to try other types of Bucephalandra or small Anubias variants.

Cryptocoryne Walkeri Var. Legroi can give you the gold/brown plant at the bottom left of the driftwood, but this will need to be planted in your substrate rather than anchored to your driftwood.

Monte Carlo should provide the carpeted areas in the tank with relative ease, but Marimo Moss Balls could be a good alternative.

fish tank idea

Plant List

  • Hygrophila Polysperma
  • Cryptocoryne x Willisii
  • Bucephalandra
  • Eleocharis Acicularis

This is a great little fish tank concept that works well in 5-10 gallon (19-38 liter) tanks and larger. The idea is pretty simple.

Most nutrient-rich substrates should be fine for this tank. The main challenge will be finding a piece of driftwood detailed enough to serve as the centerpiece.

Once you find some driftwood you like, add your substrate of choice to the tank, place the driftwood, add some detailing pebbles to the front, and then add your aquarium plants.

For plants, Hygrophila Polysperma is a great option for the stem plant on the left-hand side of the tank, but I recommend using more than three stems.

Cryptocoryne x Willisii could work well for the plant in the back right of the tank, but Cryptocoryne Petchii would also make a great alternative.

As usual, Bucephalandra or Anubias Nana Petite would be great options for the epiphyte plants on the driftwood. A mixture of both is usually a good choice.

While it won’t look exactly like the photograph, Eleocharis Acicularis or Eleocharis Pusilla could work as the stringy plants in the front right and mid-left of the tank.

fish tank idea

Plant List

  • Limnophila Sessiliflora
  • Bacopa Caroliniana
  • Eleocharis Pusilla
  • Moss

This is another great-looking fish tank idea, but like many others featured in this article, the most challenging part will be finding driftwood in a similar shape.

I recommend working with what you can find rather than searching for the perfect piece of driftwood for your tank.

Most suitable substrates will work fine for this type of tank, so try to go with whatever is cheapest in your area.

For the plants, I would suggest using Limnophila Sessiliflora in the back right corner of the tank but consider adding more than what’s shown in the photograph. Limnophila Sessiliflora has a rapid growth rate and will help manage the water parameters of your tank, so planting it across the entire background is advisable.

You could use Bacopa Caroliniana or Bacopa Compact for the stem plant in front of the Limnophila Sessiliflora, as both are slow, low-maintenance growers.

Eleocharis Pusilla would work well in the bottom left of the tank at the base of the driftwood, but other types of aquatic hair grass would be fine too.

Most types of moss will work well in this tank, so choose what is inexpensive in your area, attach it to your driftwood, and let it grow naturally.

fish tank idea

Plant List

  • Weeping Moss
  • Java Moss
  • Christmas Moss

This is another lightly planted tank where the rock formation is the main focus, making finding the perfect rocks more important than in some other setups.

I recommend checking your local pet stores and aquascaping stores for quality rocks before starting this style of tank.

Regular sand can be used as the substrate since only moss will be used in this setup. Choose a sand color that either matches or contrasts with your rock of choice.

For the plants, simply attach some moss to the rock and trim it as needed.

You could also experiment with different types of moss to achieve various textures and colors, rather than having everything look the same.

Although not shown in the photograph, you could optionally add small types of Anubias or Bucephalandra to enhance the tank.

fish tank idea

Plant List

  • Limnophila Sessiliflora
  • Ludwigia Mini Super Red
  • Bacopa Compact
  • Cryptocoryne Wendtii
  • Monte Carlo
  • Java Moss

This type of aquarium setup is relatively easy to plant, but it will require frequent trimming and maintenance to keep it looking good.

Due to this, I usually recommend this type of setup for those who have some experience with planted tanks, even if they still consider themselves beginners, as their prior experience helps them understand the time and effort required for upkeep.

Cheap rocks and bogwood should work well for this setup, but if your budget allows, you can opt for more expensive options.

For planting, I would use Limnophila Sessiliflora for the green stem plant in the back right, as it offers many benefits for your fish.

Ludwigia Mini Super Red is an obvious choice for the red stem plant, placed in various locations around the tank. Other types of Ludwigia could also work, but I would probably let the Ludwigia grow to the surface rather than trim it short.

You could use Bacopa Compact for the shorter green stem plant in the midground on the left-hand side of the tank.

Cryptocoryne Wendtii can be used as the plant at the front left of the tank, but other types of Cryptocoryne could also work.

For carpeting, Monte Carlo would probably be a good option, though there are other alternatives available.

Java Moss would be a good option for the moss on the driftwood, but Christmas Moss could also work.

If you find driftwood with the right branch structure, you could try Weeping Moss, though Java Moss will usually be the easiest option for most people.

fish tank idea

Plant List

  • Hygrophila Polysperma
  • Rotala Rotundifolia var. Green
  • Rotala Orange Juice
  • Ludwigia Mini Super Red
  • Cryptocoryne Walkeri Var. Legroi
  • Anubias Snow White

This is one of the more advanced and expensive fish tank ideas on this list, and I really wouldn’t recommend it for people new to keeping planted tanks.

I would aim for a minimum tank size of 15 gallons (57 liters), but larger tanks would be a better option even though cube-shaped tanks can be challenging to find.

If you’re trying to keep costs down, consider a Walstad-style substrate with topsoil capped with fine gravel and use cheap rocks. Try to source as many plants as possible from your local fish-keeping society, as they tend to be inexpensive.

For plants, I would recommend Hygrophila Polysperma for the green stem plant in the back right of the tank.

Rotala Rotundifolia var. Green should be a great option for the green stem plant in the back left, but Limnophila Sessiliflora could work too.

For the off-green plant between the Hygrophila Polysperma and Rotala Rotundifolia var. Green, Rotala Orange Juice would be a good choice, though there are a few other options that may also work.

Ludwigia Mini Super Red should work well for the red stem plant on the left side of the tank, especially if you have medium-intensity lighting.

You could try Cryptocoryne Walkeri Var. Legroi for the brown/gold plant in front of the Ludwigia Mini Super Red, but a brown Cryptocoryne Wendtii variant might be better for some.

Although it can be difficult to find and expensive, Anubias Snow White would be a good option for the pale epiphyte plant on the hardscape. However, Anubias Nana Pinto will usually be easier to find, though it may not be as pale.

fish tank idea

Plant List

  • Java Fern
  • Echinodorus Aquartica
  • Limnophila Sessiliflora
  • Hygrophila Polysperma
  • Hygrophila Red
  • Cryptocoryne Walkeri Var. Legroi
  • Cryptocoryne Wendtii
  • Java Moss

Here’s another fish tank idea that’s simple to set up but will require a lot of maintenance to keep looking good.

You can use this setup in larger aquariums if you wish, but smaller versions can work well in nano tanks, making it a great project.

Using bogwood and cheap rocks will help keep costs low when replicating this idea in your aquarium.

A Java Fern could serve as the plant in the front right corner, with its large leaves offering plenty of hiding spots and cover for your fish.

An Echinodorus Aquartica or Java Fern Latifolia could work as the large leafy plant in the back right corner. Echinodorus Aquartica may be slightly better than another Java Fern, but personal preference and availability will play a role.

Something like Limnophila Sessiliflora will work well to the left of the Echinodorus Aquartica, but I would add far more stems than shown in the photograph.

Hygrophila Polysperma and Hygrophila Red are great options for the stem plants in the back left corner, but Hygrophila Red can be difficult to find and is often expensive.

Due to this, I would probably switch it out for Rotala Orange Juice, which tends to be cheaper and easier to find, though it will have a different color and leaf texture than the plant in the photograph.

Cryptocoryne Walkeri Var. Legroi could work well as the gold/brown plant in the front left, but other types of Cryptocoryne Walkeri with a brown or gold color may also work well.

Some of the smaller green Cryptocoryne Wendtii variants could work well for the green plants behind the gold/brown plant in the front left corner.

Finally, good old Java Moss can help complete the look and finalize your aquascape.

fish tank idea

Plant List

  • Hygrophila Polysperma
  • Rotala Rotundifolia var. Green
  • Hygrophila Rosanervig
  • Limnophila Sessiliflora
  • Anubias Coin Leaf
  • Echinodorus Aquartica
  • Cryptocoryne Wendtii
  • Cryptocoryne Petchii
  • Monte Carlo

I would classify this final fish tank design as an intermediate option due to the amount of maintenance required and the budget needed to set it up.

If you’re setting up your very first planted tank, one of the other ideas in this article would likely be a better option.

You can adapt this idea for very large fish tanks or scale it down for nano tanks, but it really shines in medium to large tanks.

For driftwood, Honshu Wood or Dark Moor Wood will likely be your best options. Keep in mind that these can be expensive, especially if you need a lot for a large tank.

A mixture of Hygrophila Polysperma, Rotala Rotundifolia var. Green, Hygrophila Rosanervig, and Limnophila Sessiliflora will work well as the stem plants in the background. Depending on your preference, you can drop one or two of these and still achieve great results.

Anubias Coin Leaf should work well as the epiphyte plant about halfway up the driftwood on the left-hand side, but there are plenty of different types of Anubias and Bucephalandra that could also work.

Echinodorus Aquartica may work well as the larger, leafy plant on the left-hand side of the driftwood, but you could use Java Fern if you prefer.

Cryptocoryne Wendtii, Petchii, and Willisii would work well for the plants around the base of the driftwood, with Monte Carlo being the carpeting plant.