Best Floating Plants For Turtle Tank

by Carl Crane | Last Updated: July 9, 2020

Floating plants are plants that sit at the top of the water surface and has roots that run down into the water.

So why would you want floating plants in your turtle tank?

They can absorb all the nitrates that your turtle tank will produce through the nitrogen cycle.

On top of absorbing all that waste from the tank, they also help to cut down on unwanted algae.

The reason being is they help to restrict the amount of light coming into the tank.

Now, this is a double-bladed sword because, because you may want a lot of light coming down into your turtle tank, but because you will have so many floating plants, you won’t have that much light into your tank.

In our article, we’re going to be taking a look at the top five floating plants for your turtle aquarium, so stay tuned to check them out.

Many people are asking, what are good floating aquarium plants?

This article is based on plants that grow on the surface of the water, not plants that grow in the water but can float in the aquarium.

So these are primarily plants that are, have roots that go into the water but also flow just on the surface of the water.

We’re going to get into that right now.

Floating Plants For Turtle Tank

1. Frogbit

First, we have a crowd favorite which is called a frogbit.

Frogbit is a really nice plant because it has nice broad leaves, it looks beautiful, it has a smooth texture to it and it’s just a durable plant.

It can withstand a lot and it multiplies like crazy.

This plant will produce runners out from the base and it doesn’t grow super fast where it becomes impossible to control like some other plants that may be on this list.

But overall it’s just a really nice plan to have in your turtle tank and it makes it the perfect beginner floating plant.

Oftentimes we’ll see betas from people on Instagram which will be up on the leaves, just kinda resting there which is actually kind of funny to watch.

2. Dwarf Water Lettuce

So now with the frogbit out of the way we’re going to touch on the dwarf water lettuce, which is a very similar plant to frogbit, but in the sense that it will produce runners out the sides of it and create new little plants.

Now keep in mind though with the floating plants, the less flow you have, the bigger these guys will get.

So even though they will be tiny at first, they can become the size of your palm just by being in a aquarium that doesn’t have a lot of flow.

So if you have a lot of flow they’re going to stay small.

But if you have pretty much stagnant water or something that’s not moving around a lot, it will grow much, much larger.

And the dwarf water lettuce is a bit more difficult to keep in control like the other than the frogbit because it grows very quickly compared to it.

But this does require medium light and now it can grow in relatively low light.

Keep in mind that this plant, sometimes it’s a little finicky compared to like frogbit, which is much easier in our opinion.

But if this thing does grow in your requirement is going to grow like crazy, its roots will become very long and it can reach almost the bottom of a 55 gallon tank, which is 24 inches.

3. Red Root Floater

The number three on our list is a plant that’s not usually available in most stores, but it is truly a beautiful plant.

This is called a red root floater and it is it’s kind of like the other two plants.

However, this one is more of just like a creeping plant instead of like one single plant that’ll produce a lot of leaves in a circle and then the leaves come out from there.

This is more of like a blind type plant, so it’ll just kind of creep along and keep like growing lengthwise and then shooting up leaves from there.

But the thing with this plant is this will actually get red under really good light and naturally it has red roots hence the name red root floater.

These also do put off these beautiful tiny little yellow flowers that are just truly amazing to look at in the aquarium.

And they’re so tiny, like probably the tip of a tiny pencil and it’s just cool to look at.

It can take over on aquarium rather quickly once it gets going.

So you will have to clean these out every once in a while.

4. Salvinia Auriculata

Alright, next up on our list is salvinia auriculata.

Now salvinia in general has several different species, but this is our favorite type.

The reason being is it’s not as invasive as say, salvinia minima is, which has destroyed several waterways that, you know, once you release a plant in the wild, sometimes it could take over if it’s an invasive plant.

And the reason why we like this one more than say salvinia minima is because salvinia minima can take over your aquarium just like it takes over waterways in the wild.

This however it does not, the salvinia auriculata actually grows kind of like one kind of plant and it actually just sticks together.

And this also has these weird leaf shapes which kind of look like little teacups I would say which is really cool and unique.

5. Duckweed

Now, the first four plants that we presented on our list are plants that both serve a purpose and look nice, right? They’re ornamental floating plants and they absorb nutrients.

But the last plant on our list is maybe less desirable, but it shouldn’t be.

It does serve its purpose and it has multiple benefits.

So our number five floating plant is duckweed. Everybody’s favorite and we know what most of the people are saying.

“How could you choose duckweed? It’s a nuisance.”

It is a nuisance. It’s absolutely one of the worst and best floating plants for a couple of different reasons.

One, if you ever have a nutrient problem or say your tank is overstocked and you don’t have fish that’ll eat this like goldfish, this will absolutely destroy any nitrates that you have in your tank making your water cleaner.

I know a lot of people have issues with their tap water, having night nitrates in their water and floating plants are a great way to take care of that, but particularly duckweed because it grows so fast.

It produces babies I think of multiplies once every 24 hours or something like that because it grows absolutely insane.

It’s impossible to get rid of it usually once it’s in a tank but overall this plant has a truly invasive plant, but why? Why would this make the list?

Well, one, like I said, it absorb nutrients like crazy. It will clean your water too.

It’s actually a super food.

Now you could take this right and you could dry it out or you can blend it up and make like a slurry and then you could dry that slurry out or you could bake it and make it into a flake food and this is so nutritious for turtles and fish alike.

They’ll eat it, they’ll gobble it up and it also makes a good snack for turtles, so that’s why it makes the list because it is a functional plant.

It has multiple uses and overall it’s readily available in most stores.