When it comes to unheated or coldwater aquariums, most aquarists only think of goldfish setups. However, there are actually many options for low-tech tanks that don’t even require a heater! Popular dwarf shrimp like cherry shrimp can actually be kept in unheated aquariums, and the same goes for most crayfish species and even some popular fish species like White Cloud Mountain Minnows. Plenty of choices when it comes to stocking these simple setups, but are there also plants that can withstand lower temperatures? Of course! Keep reading for a list of plants that are easy to grow and can be kept in unheated aquariums.
Marimo balls (Aegagropila linnaei)
The algae that form the popular Marimo ball naturally occur in cooler areas like Iceland, which means they are perfect for unheated and coldwater aquariums. They actually prefer colder water!
Marimo balls are very undemanding; they can be kept by themselves in a vase or bowl, but will also do well in regular aquariums. Just don’t house your Marimo balls with destructive ‘tankmates’ like goldfish or bigger crayfish species, as these will have no problem with destroying or eating them.
For more info on Marimo balls, check out the Marimo caresheet!
You can buy Marimo balls online!
Java moss (Taxiphyllum barbieri, sometimes Vescicularia dubyana)
Java moss is popular mostly because it’s so easy to grow in the aquarium, but what a lot of aquarists aren’t aware of is that it’s also a great choice for subtropical and coldwater setups! In fact, it can be kept in temperatures anywhere between 15-30 °C/59-86 °F. It’s especially appreciated by smaller fish and (dwarf) shrimp, which will use it for cover. Because food particles often get stuck in the moss, it also makes excellent foraging ground for shrimp.
Java moss is mentioned in the Aquariadise article on the 8 easiest aquarium plants, and with good reason! It doesn’t need extra Co2, fertilizer and special lighting and can be left free-floating or tied to driftwood, rock and shrimp caves. Just trim it once in a while to prevent the middle parts from turning brown and it will thrive.
You can buy Java moss online!
Water cabbage is a small foreground plant that naturally occurs in marshes but also Continue reading