Best Aquarium Plants to Grow Without CO2

When we have the hobby of fish-keeping or shrimp-keeping, we also build the interest of having ‘Live-Plants’ in our Aquariums as well. Live plants are an essential aspect of Aquascaping, Fish-Keeping, Shrimp-Keeping, Paludarium, etc. But as a beginner, we normally do not have CO2 in our tanks, so understanding the plants that are suitable for a non-CO2 tank is necessary. Some of the best aquarium plants to grow without CO2 are; Bacopa, Java Fern, Anubias, Wisteria, Vallisneria, Amazon Swords, and Duckweed.


It needs to be understood that aquarium plants need CO2 in order to grow and multiply, but however, this is received in small amounts within the tanks but some plants require a higher amount of CO2, thus, adding a CO2 diffuser in the tank becomes mandatory ‘Only for certain types of Aquarium Plants’ only, while there are some ‘Aquarium plants that can grow effectively without CO2’.


Bacopa is one of my personal favourite tanks that are able to bring about perfect growth and ammonia absorption in our tanks even without the presence of ‘CO2’ in our aquariums. These plants also multiply at a faster rate and their cuttings can be used to sell or replant in other tanks. 

In addition, they can be used in the background of the aquarium due to their tall size and upward growth. 


Java fern is one of the ‘Sturdiest’ plants that I have ever had in my aquarium. They can survive in almost any ‘Water Parameters and conditions’ and still grow well with ‘Low Light’ and ‘NO CO2’ in your Aquarium. 

You can grow a Java Fern by simply tying one of its leaves to ‘Driftwood’ and allowing it to grow roots into the driftwood. This is an amazing centerpiece plant and can be used by any beginner due to its ‘Adaptability to various conditions in the tank. 

aquarium plant – Microsorium pteropus


Anubias can be easily grown under various varieties of substrates that can include rocks, pebbles, gravels, or even natural aquarium soil. Anubias are used in most of the aquascape due to their sturdy nature and ability to grow without ‘CO2’. I plant my anubias to driftwood or tie them up to rocks and other hardscapes and still witness healthy growth on them. 

Anubias tend to absorb most of the nutrients from their leaves and help in maintaining the ammonia level of your tank.

Credits to Aquarium Nexus


These plants also absorb nutrients from their leaves and are able to grow under varieties of substrates like; ‘Pebbles, Soil, Gravel, or Sand’. They grow in the pattern of tall grass and show excellent growth rates even without any kind of ‘CO2’ in the tank. 

These are one of the easiest background plants that form a long vertical backdrop to the aquascape. In addition, their long grass likes structure and leaves create a perfect ‘Hideout’ for shrimps and Fry in your tank. 


These plants are well-known in the aquascaping community due to their ‘Sturdy and Hard to kill Nature’ that shows excellent growth even under substrates like pebbles, sand, soil or gravel. They do not require any kind of ‘CO2’ for their growth and are very easy to grow. 

They provide an excellent rate of ‘Ammonia Absorption’ in the tanks and create a Hideout for the newborn fry and Shrimps in your aquarium. I have witnessed a better yield of fry and baby shrimps once you have added these plants to your tank. 


We have all seen the ‘Feeding Portal’ videos on our ‘Foryou’ page or ‘TikTok’ videos in the last year. This portal is made with the help of the Duckweed floating plants. These plants are able to absorb a large amount of ‘Ammonia’ from your aquarium and maintain the ‘Water Cycle’ in the tank. These plants do not require any kind of ‘CO2’, but however, need a high amount of light for healthy growth.


These plants are very sturdy in nature and are able to grow under varieties of substrates like; sand, pebbles, gravel, and aquarium soil. They grow fine without ‘CO2’, but still require a high amount of light in the aquarium as a whole. 

Amazon swords are for any aquascape design and can be used in ponds, aquariums, Nano Tanks, and Aquariums as well.

Considering the plants above that can grow fast without the ‘CO2’ in the tanks, it needs to be understood that adding CO2 to the same tank will only increase the growth rate and healing features of the plants and bring about more vibrant colours to your plant easily. Adding Plant Supplements will also act as a suitable substitute for the CO2 diffusers for your aquarium.

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