10 Best Fertilizer for Aquarium Plants (2021 Reviews & Guide)

Do you want to set up a planted aquarium? What do you need to set up the planted aquarium? These are the questions that come up when it is the first time you want to start an aquarium. There is also the aspect of placing fertilizer to your aquarium. Many people are not aware that plants inside an aquarium need fertilizers. There is various type of aquarium some are high tech while others are low tech. The best aquarium plant fertilizers brings out the aesthetic beauty of the plants in the aquarium. In this guide, you will understand why you need a plant fertilizer and which the best plant fertilizer is.

The following are quality aquarium plant fertilizers that are top in our list. Go through their detailed reviews and guide to help you get the right one.

Planted tank liquid Fertilizer which has macro and macronutrients enriched food for the aquatic plants in your aquarium. Manufactured in a very high concentration and requires 2500 gallons of water to dilute the fertilizer. The fertilizer bottle has a pump to aid in the removal of the fertilizer from the packed bottle. It is manufactured in 500 ml packed bottles. Your aquarium plants will look great and healthy.

What I like

The Thrive planted Aquarium fertilizer, (one of the best aquarium fertilizers), unlike the freshwater fertilizers which last for a short while, this Fertilizer lasts longer and can be used with 2500 gallons of freshwater. This makes it easy and budget-friendly.

I also like the convenient pump bottle which is highly concentrated to be used with large amounts of water. It is suitable for both high and low technological setups of the aquariums. The fertilizer gives the best results on your aqua plants.

What I don’t like

For a person who loves to do the mathematical calculations to know the exact amount of nutrients fit for your aqua plants won’t have the joy of doing so for it comes calculated for you.

All the essential nutrients needed by the plants both macro and micro are found in thrive planted aquarium fertilizer. Your botanist task of calculating the right concentration for your aquatic plants has been considered and all you have to do is press the tip of the bottle and whoa your plants look greener, healthier and stronger.

  • Enriched with macro and micronutrients to keep your aqua plants healthy and strong
  • Lasts longer in freshwater aquariums compared to the fresh water-based fertilizers
  • You don't have the privilege to calculate the concentration of the fertilizer

Suits all your planted aqua plants with a high concentration of nutrients. Suitable for all demanding aquarium plants. Thrive + is manufactured following a formula of the Thrive planted aquarium fertilizer but comes with a different form of nitrogen plus a higher increment of iron. It is highly concentrated to give your aquatic plants a better life of health and strength.

What I like

An increased concentration of iron a great mineral for ensuring your aqua plants has a healthy life. Unlike the freshwater aquarium fertilizers which don’t last long, this one has the capability of lasting long and serving 2500 gallons of freshwater and giving your aqua plants a healthy life. It is convenient for use as all you have to do is press the tip of the pump bottle to feed your plants. Gives your plant’s nutrients they require for even the very demanding aqua plants.

What I don’t like

Similarly to the Thrive planted aqua fertilizer, one of the best aquarium fertilizers, it does not give you that task of calculating the concentration fit for your aquatic plants.

  • The higher level of concentration which gives your plants a healthy look, and treats 2500 gallons of freshwater
  • Has a convenient pump made bottle which makes it possible to spray easily
  • For the botany mathematics lover, for this type of fertilizer, the privilege to calculate the concentration of nutrients is not there

This amazing, one of the best aquarium plant fertilizers has a balanced concentration of macro and micronutrients. It is very easy to use it coz all you require is pressing the lid. It has the capability of treating up to 4730 gallons of freshwater. 

For the mature aqua plants, they require the dose 5-7 times in a week while for the new plants they require 3-5 times a week. Change the water in your aquarium frequently.

What I like

The fertilizer is highly concentrated and has a nutrients balance of the macro and micro fertilizers. It is easy to use the fertilizer by pressing the top lid. It has clear instructions on how to use it where one dose of one pump is recommended for 10 gallons. It has a higher range of the amount of freshwater it can treat up to 4730 gallons of fresh water. It has a nutrient concentration for any type of aqua plant you plant.

What I don’t like

It is pumped many times for the matured plants in the aquarium.

  • Treats a lot of water, 47300 gallons of water
  • A high concentration of nutrients which are well balanced to suit your different types of aquarium plants
  • Easy to use and comes with instructions on how to use it
  • It requires frequent changing of the water while dosing the aquatic plants in the aquarium

It is designed to promote healthy, strong and helps maintain the color of leaves and prevent yellow rotting of the leaves. API has been in the industry for long and is committed to manufacturing reliable products to give you an easy time as you maintain your aquariums and fish ponds.

What I like

The APILEAF ZONE plant treatment aquarium fertilizer promotes the healthy growth of aquatic plants and provides potassium nutrients which aid in active photosynthesis. It improves the coloration of the leaves and prevents the yellow decaying of the leaves of the aquatic plants. The fertilizer is ready for use and is absorbed by the leaves easily.  

Forms an essential source of very important plant nutrients that help in the growth and thriving of the beautiful looking aquatic plants. Suitable for use in freshwater planted aquarium plants. It comes with instructions for use. It is best incorporated with root tabs tablet fertilizer to nourish the stems and roots and make them stronger and the leaves more colorful. This combination helps maintain the growth of algae and promotes the growth of bacteria.

What I don’t like

It has to be used weekly which makes one consume a lot of time taking care of the aquarium plants as it has to be sprayed weekly.

  • Promotes growth of strong, healthy and well-colored plants
  • It is made in a way that it is easily absorbed by the leaves
  • It provides essential nutrients for the plants in the aquarium
  • Increase in the amount of care needed to be accorded to the aquatic plants

Aqueon Aquarium Plant Food is one of the best aqua fertilizers. Manufactured with essential macro and micronutrients required by the aquatic plants. It aids in lush plant growth in freshwater aquariums. It contains kelp extract which provides cytokinin for strong and healthy root growth and development.  The dosage given to the aquarium plants can be adjusted depending on the population of plants in the aquarium.

What I like

The Aqueon Aquarium Plant food best aquarium fertilizers have kelp extract which is a source of enzymes Cytokinin which helps in the growth and development of strong and healthy roots. It has essential macro and micronutrients that enables the lush growth of water plants.  Easy to use it. The dosage will vary according to the population and the stages of growth of the aquarium plants. It is suitable for use during all the stages of the development life cycle of the aquarium plants. When incorporated together with Seachem Flourish Advance Growth Supplement- Aquatic Plant aid which gives you the best results on the growth of the plants.

What I don’t like

When you pour it in the aquarium it gets on your skin as it leaks around the cap and has no pumping mechanism like previous fertilizers.

  • Has Kelp extract which improves root growth
  • Suitable for use at any stage of life of the aquatic plants
  • The dosage given to the aquarium plants is adjustable depending on the population of the plants
  • The cap leaks when the fertilizer is poured out unlike the others which are pumped out

12 tablets to suit your aquarium plants. This aquarium fertilizer is an effective and essential source of food nutrients for your aquatic plants. It can be used in both indoor and outdoor aquariums. It is ideal for stimulating growth and intensifying the color of the leaves, and also for strong healthy roots.

What I like

Active nutrients that are readily consumed by the aqua plants. It is a rich source of macronutrients to ensure the proper growth of plants. These tablets are made in a way such that it continuously releases food to ensure blooming of flowering plants and the healthy growth of aquatic plants. It is designed in a way that all the aquatic plants in the aquarium plants get the nutrients effectively. The fertilizer is made with toxic fewer ingredients that ensure a nice safe living for aquatic animals like pets and fish.

What I don’t like

The concentration of the tablet might not suit your aqua life and might lead even to the death of the animals. This will require marine botanist for effective results.

  • Provides active nutrients that are readily available for the aqua plants
  • The tablets release nutrients continuously and regularly to ensure your aqua plants blossom and are strong and healthy
  • The tablets are suitable for all aquatic plants
  • Easy to use, you just push a tablet inside the soil
  • The concentration fit for your aquarium might require botanists to help you

Aquarium plant root fertilizers have 40 tablets in a package. The tablets are manufactured with a balanced level of nutrients to give your aquatic plants giving them the right amounts of nutrients when needed. It has easy to use instructions. The tabs are kept beneath the soil with a distance of 3-6 inches apart. 

The fertilizer requires to be stored in a sealed bag and at room temperature. They release the nutrients slowly and when needed to ensure they last long and serve your plants effectively. It is used in gravel-based aquarium beds or aquatic substrates to supply nutrients to the aquatic plants.

What I like

The tablets last for three months and during this period it actively produces nutrients that keep the plants strong and healthy. The nutrient concentration is balanced to ensure your aqua plants gets the essential nutrients whenever needed. It contains several nutrients for enhancing the growth of aquatic plants in your aquarium. A large number of tablets will serve you a long time before they need to buy the fertilizer arises again. The number of tablets used depends on the density and population of the aquatic plants in the aquarium.

What I don’t like

While using the tablets you have to be cautious to ensure a good spacing of the tablets as instructed by the guide.

  • The many tablets that come in one package will serve you for a long time
  • The tablets last for a longer period
  • The mineral concentration is balanced to ensure it’s not too high nor too low for your plants but rather fit enough
  • Can be used in gravel beds and also other types of substrates
  • Has to be stored in a cool place while sealed

Carib Sea Company is on the leading edge of companies manufacturing the leading aquatic products. This Fertilizer enhances root development. The Carib Sea Eco-Complete Planted Black Aquarium Substrate outshines other products because it gives the best lush and strong plant growth. The fertilizer has over 25 nutrients to nourish your aquatic plants and give them a healthy look and well-colored leaves. 

The Eco-complete planted black aquarium substrate is mineral wise and biologically complete to ensure your aquatic plants have an exuberant growth without the nuisance algae. It excludes the need to use laterite and artificial dyes, paints, and coatings. It has high porous spherical grains that ensure optimum diffusion.

What I like

It forms a complete substrate for the freshwater aquarium. It contains major nutrients required by the aquatic plants to have healthy growth. It forms a complete eco-balance where there if fast and convenient recycling of nutrients for healthy plant and roots growth. The fertilizer has over 25 nutrients that favor the nourishment of the aquatic plants. It is one of the very best quality products for the aqua plants

What I don’t like

Lack of artificial chemical coatings which give the extra color to the aquatic plants.

  • It forms an eco-sensitive environment which ensures recycling of nutrients
  • One of the best aqua products in the market
  • High porous grains for easy diffusion of
  • No artificial chemicals and dyes which add the colors of the aquatic plants

Marimo food for aqua plants boosts the growth. It enhances the color of the plants. Marimo moss ball is the best additions to any aquarium.  They are the easiest to maintain. They do not need any anchorage and they add the beauty of the aquarium. Aquatic animals such as fish and snails play with the Marimo balls like toys. 

They absorb nitrates and produce oxygen gas. Luffy Ball Food is a liquid plant food created for the Marimos. Unlike the waste products which take long to disintegrate and become usable nutrients, the Luffy Ball Food is readily usable by the Marimos. It is liquid hence easier to absorb. It comes with instructions for usage whereby you apply a few drops to the Marimo balls once a week.

What I like

It is a fertilizer that boosts the growth of the Marimo balls and also the health of the balls. It contains the right amount of nutrients to ensure that your Marimo balls flourish and have the exceptional health you want for them. The Luffy Marimo fertilizer also makes the Marimo balls large and fluffy. The Luffy Marimo fertilizer apart from the Marimos it has a positive impact on the other aquatic plants in your aquarium.

What I don’t like

It is made to help the growth of Marimo plants mainly

  • Has the right concentration of nutrients for the Marimos
  • Easily and readily usable by the aquatic plants
  • Flourishes the Marimos and makes them larger and greener
  • They are the easiest to maintain aqua fertilizers
  • It is specifically made for the Marimos but has some impact on other aquatic plants

Seachem Flourish Freshwater Plant supplement is one of the best aquarium fertilizers you should consider purchasing. Suitable for the natural freshwater aquarium which contains plenty of micronutrients and other nutrients. Seachem products are widely known and world-class products from a world-class company. The enhanced formula contains many nutrients and minerals which aid the growth of both roots and shoots in aquatic plants.

What I like

On the first 2 weeks after application, the fertilizer works on growing the roots and later works on the stem and leaves. It has plenty of micronutrients and other essential nutrients needed to ensure the growth and flourishment of aqua plants. Phytohormones play a crucial role in regulating plant growth. Enables cell division and the formation of the shoot meristems and also the roots. It helps in seed germination and gives the aqua plants response to plant stress.

What I don’t like

It is risky to have shrimps and snails if you are to use it continuously.

  • It aids in root growth
  • It enables for seed germination and enables response to stress
  • Phytohormones which regulate plant growth
  • It greatly helps in photosynthesis, cell division and the growth of shoot meristems
  • Suitable for freshwater aquariums with plenty of micronutrients.
  • It is very risky to have shrimps and snails in your aquarium while using it continuously

How to Choose the Best Aquarium Plant Fertilizer

When you want to buy plant fertilizer for your aquarium, you need to know a few things regarding the best plant fertilizer. There are various plant fertilizers available in the market. Knowing the right plant fertilizer to choose for your tank is not easy. You need to know what to look for when selecting any plant fertilizer. The first thing to look out for is the type of nutrients that are available in the plant fertilizer. The basic nutrients are macronutrients and micronutrients.

Types of Nutrients Contained in the Fertilizer

Macronutrients are the nutrients that are needed by the plants in large quantities while micronutrients are the supplements that help the plant to flourish. The two nutrients are needed by the plants that are in the tank or aquarium. The elements that are available in the macronutrients are nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Nitrogen is in the form of nitrate and ammonium. The plants require nitrogen for the growth of the stem and leaf and it is part of the chlorophyll needed by these aquarium plants.

Phosphorous entails the mix of potash and phosphorous pentoxide which forms the monopotassium phosphate. Phosphorous is essential for the flowering and fruiting of the plants in the tank. Potassium is responsible for strengthening the leaves, growing points, and roots. The other macronutrients like sulfur, calcium, and magnesium are not needed as much since they are found in tap water.

Micronutrients, on the other hand, entail a variety of elements which include copper, cobalt, manganese, iron, chlorine, molybdenum and boron. These elements are needed in smaller amounts but very crucial for the growth and flourishing of plants in the aquarium. In terms of the quantity, the amount may differ depending on the lighting, number of fish and the number of plants in the aquarium. There are three types of aquarium fertilizers that are available in the market.

Types of Aquarium Fertilizer

The first type is the liquid aquarium fertilizers. As the name suggests these fertilizers easily dissolve in water when poured in the aquarium tank. This particular fertilizer is good for plants that will directly feed on the water. Some of these plants may include Anubis, pennywort, mosses and java fern. Some of the liquid aquarium fertilizers available in the market are the Seachem flourish series, Glosso factory all in one planted aquarium fertilizer and the API leaf zone.

The second type of aquarium fertilizer is the aquarium fertilizer root tabs. The fertilizer appears as small pieces of compressed fertilizer. It is used to supplement the substrate in the tank. When you have plants that are heavy root feeders you can use them instead of the pre-packed substrates fertilizer. The Seachem flourish tabs and API root tab are some of the types of aquarium fertilizer roo tabs available in the market.

The third type is the pre-packed substrates which are special soils designed for aquarium use. Most root feeding plants need this type of fertilizer. The various fertilizers in this category include ADA Aqua Soil Amazonia and UP Aqua sand.

How do you Fertilize Aquarium Plants?

The fertilization of the planted plants in the aquarium depends on the method of application and type of fertilizer being used. Those who opt to fertilize the plants using natural methods will apply a different method application from those who purchase the commercial fertilizers. Depending on the type of fertilizer you want to use and the plants in the aquarium various application are done. For liquid fertilizers the application involving pouring the liquid fertilizer in the water. The fertilizer will dissolve in water and become absorbed by the plants in the tank.

For the natural way of fertilizing the plants. You need to know the type of soils being used. Regular potting soils that have high quantities of macronutrients is the best or the plant compost from the ponds. The dirt from these two sources contains the nutrients that are needed by the aquarium plants. You need to place varying amounts of soil in the pond using your hand or a tool that places soil at the bottom of the tank.

You can also use the ecology available in the aquarium. When you have a biological filter in the aquarium. It should have activated charcoal and colonies of bacteria needed by the plants. The fish and plants will create natural fertilizer through their waste and respiration. This alleviates the need for commercial fertilizers. The other types of fertilizers like the pre-packed substrates and aquarium fertilizer tabs are simply sprinkled in the water. These special soils will go at the bottom and start helping the plants that are heavy root feeders. They will not break instantly when placed in the tank.

This means you don’t get muddy water on its application. They will break over a period of one year once the nutrients are exhausted. You will have to dig out the muddy soils before applying another. Ensure that when applying both the substrates and aquarium fertilizer tabs. The fish is kept in a separate if it the second time you are applying. This is because they add ammonium in water which may be dangerous to the fish. If it is a new tank you don’t need to worry because the ammonia will help in ensuring the continuous cycle of nitrogen goes on in the tank.

Will Plant Fertilizer Kill Fish?

People worry about plant fertilizer killing the fish in the aquarium. In most aquariums, there are different types of fish. The fish depend on the plants that are in the aquarium. When the plants are unhealthy the fish also end up suffering. That is why it is important that you input fertilizer to help nourish the plants. Most of these fertilizers are designed to be safe for the fish in the aquarium. It is not only fish but other invertebrates placed in the aquarium.

However, you need to read the package level of each fertilizer. By reading the labels and the instructions you will get fertilizers that are safe for the fish in the aquarium. The fertilizer plays a key role in preventing any algae in the tanks from accumulating. It is rare to find fertilizers that are not safe for the fish in your tank. The manufacturers of these fertilizers keep in mind that almost every aquarium has specific species of fish. That is why they go ahead and design fertilizers that are both safe for the plants and fish in the aquarium.

The fertilizer can be purchased from commercial providers of such fertilizer or using natural methods. It is important that you heed to the instructions provided by the manufacturer. By adding large amounts of fertilizer containing phosphorus and nitrogen you may end up killing the fish. Such a situation may lead to the killing of fish which was not intended. Place the right amounts and check the labels of the fertilizer to ensure you purchase the one labeled as aquarium safe. You don’t have to worry about any fertilizer killing fish when you heed to the instructions and read the labels.

How often Should You Fertilize Aquarium Plants?

Plant fertilizer is essential for the growth of plants inside the aquarium. The lighting and CO2 also assist the plants to flourish. The three elements work together to ensure both plants and fish can survive in the aquarium. For these plants to continue growing the application of fertilizers has to be there. Most people don’t know the frequency of the application of these fertilizers. The basis of whether the application should be done on a daily basis, after a few days or on a weekly basis is determined by the manufacturer.

You have to adhere to the manufacturer’s instruction in the application of plant fertilizer in your aquarium. The dosage and amounts are indicated in the manual that comes with the fertilizer. When the right amounts and dosage are applied the results are noticeable in a spun of two weeks. It is advisable that you apply the fertilizer on a weekly basis. The amounts applied weekly will ensure that your plants remain healthy and good-looking. The all in one planted fertilizers, when applied on a weekly basis, are adequate in nourishing the plants since they contain the basic macronutrients and some micronutrients. 

When you use natural methods of applying fertilizer. You should ensure that the biological filter works efficiently to eliminate algae. The aeration should also be working properly to ensure that carbon dioxide promotes the growth of plants in the aquarium. The natural fertilizer produced is dependent on the filtration process working properly and the fish and invertebrates respiration and waste naturally replenish the nutrients needed by plants in the tank.


Q: How do Aquarium Plants Feed?

A: There are various plants that are available in the aquarium. Each plant grows differently and feeds differently. There are plants that mostly feed through their roots. Such plants absorb nutrients from the fertilizer and water through the roots. Some are heavy root feeders while others are not. When applying any fertilizer, you need to know how the plants will take in the nutrients. Such fertilizers are specifically designed for such plants.  

Other species of plants feed through the stems and leaves. They absorb nutrients from the fertilizer through the leaves and stems. Such plants are suitable for liquid fertilizers which dissolve in water so that the plants can absorb the nutrients they need. There are also plants that feed through a mix of both means.

Q: Do Aquatic Plants Need Fertilizers?

A: Human being requires certain nutrients in order to grow and become healthy. The Aquatic are also not left behind. For them to become good looking and grow they need to be fertilized. The nutrients that plants need can only be found in the fertilizers. Such nutrients are grouped into macronutrients and micronutrients. The macronutrients are needed in large quantities while micronutrients are needed in small amounts. Without these nutrients, plants will grow differently through a lack of specific minerals and some may not grow at all.

Q: Should You use CO2 Booster with Aquarium Plant Fertilizers?

A: CO2 booster enables your plants to make enough food for your plants to grow. Your tank needs a good amount of CO2 for the plants to flourish and look greener. The stems will become stronger and the plant will become taller when carbon is present. When the two items are used together the growth span is improved. Plants are able to thrive better and bloom to be stunningly beautiful. That is why you should combine the application of the aquatic plant fertilizer and CO2 booster.

Final Words

When all the things are put into consideration. You now realize the importance of aquatic plant fertilizer. When the right conditions are accorded to the fish and plants in your aquarium. You will be happy with the results. Plant fertilizers provide the necessary nutrients needed by the plants. You need to purchase the right type of aquatic fertilizer based on the needs of the plant. The fertilizer also plays a key role in improving the growth of these plants.

Ensure that you follow the instructions from the manufacturer and purchase aquatic safe fertilizer. The right type of fertilizer depends on the type of plants, fish species and conditions in the fish tank. You should ensure you put into account these considerations when purchasing any commercial aquatic plant fertilizers.

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