Our Favorite Easy-to-Low Light Plants: Cryptocoryne Lutea, Vallisneria

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Our Favorite Easy & Low Light Plants: Cryptocoryne Lutea and Vallisneria

Lots of aquarists are drawn to planted aquariums. Planted aquariums are beautiful and natural. They also provide a healthy and rich environment for fish and other aquatic animals. A lot of times, however, newer aquarists especially, struggle with choosing the right plants for their planted aquarium. You need to take into account many factors when selecting plants that will produce the best results.

Consider these things when choosing plants. Well, light requirements are always something to think about, whether the standard tank kit lights will do the trick or if more advanced lights will be necessary. The need for maintenance and trimming is also a factor, as well as cost, appearance, health, and substrate requirements, among other things.

The majority of new aquarium keepers will be looking for plants that are low-maintenance and cost-effective. There are many options available for plants that you can start with. Aquarium Co-op offers two that are simple and low-maintenance.

Our Favorites

Vallisneria and cryptocoryne, lutea are two of the most popular freshwater aquarium plants. They are low-light plants that can grow in almost any light and are easy to keep. Let’s examine some similarities and differences.

Cryptocoryne lutea

Cryptocoryne Luta is often used in nano-aquariums as a background or midground plant. It is slow growing and provides texture without requiring a lot of care. This one is relatively inexpensive compared to other plants. It comes in one or two plants per bundle. The easiest way to start growing this crypt is to simply remove the pots from which they were packaged and place them on top of the substrate. To prevent spreading diseases to your tank, wash the plants after you add them to the tank.

A common issue, that you might have heard of, with incorporating crypts to a new tank is the “crypt melt,” which is when a crypt plant is grown out of the water and then melts when put underwater. Wholesale plants are usually grown out of water because they grow faster and are easier for you to raise. The best thing to do if a plant is prone to melting is to just wait. Although the leaves might be melted, the roots are still intact and will often produce new shoots.


Vallisneria, also known as “Val”, is very similar to Cryptocoryne. It is easy to plant and grow. It can propagate every five or six days, sending out runners that grow into new plants. Its appearance can be a plus as it will grow to the top aquarium. It works particularly well for schools of fish and for breeding fish. The dense carpet of plants allows baby fish to survive. Fish like an Angelfish might use the leaves to stick their eggs onto.

It is easy to maintain. One can just go in and trim the old Val when it reaches the point where it blocks out the newer plants. It can be purchased for as low as five dollars. There are many varieties of Val. However, it is best to start with the standard Val. It is easy to grow and can be branched out later.

Give Them A Try

Val is definitely one of the plants freshwater plant enthusiasts will want to keep in their arsenal. It’s best to keep your Val in one aquarium at all times. This will allow you to easily switch between aquariums. Aquarists, whether new or experienced, can’t go wrong either with Cryptocoryne, or Vallisneria. They are truly some easy, rewarding and versatile plants to grow. They are a great choice for anyone looking to create a tank with plants without spending too much.