Our Favorite Easy And Low-Light Plants: Cryptocoryne Lutea & Vallisneria


Our Favorite Easy-to-Low Light Plants: Cryptocoryne Lutea, 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. There are many things to consider when choosing plants that will yield the most successful results.

Consider these things when choosing plants. It is important to consider light requirements when choosing plants. You need to know if standard tank lights are sufficient or if you will require more advanced lighting. Maintenance and trimming are also important factors, along with cost, appearance and substrate requirements.

Most new aquarium keepers will want to find plants that are affordable and easy to maintain. 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. This is because they are both low light plants that will grow under almost any light, and that are easy and rewarding to keep. Let’s examine some similarities and differences.

Cryptocoryne lutea

Cryptocoryne-lutea is used as a background or middleground plant in nano aquariums. It is slow-growing and does not require a lot of attention. This one is relatively inexpensive compared to other plants. It comes in one or two plants per bundle. You can start growing this crypt by simply taking the plants out of their pots and placing them in a position where the crown is higher than 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. Typically, plants from wholesalers have been grown up out of water since they grow faster and are easier to raise. If a plant melts the best thing to do is just wait. While the leaves may melt, the roots will remain intact and new shoots will usually emerge.



Vallisneria or “Val” is a form of Cryptocoryne, which is similar in that it’s easy to grow and plant. It can be propagated every five to six day, sending out runners which grow into new plants. Its appearance is great as it can grow up to the top of your 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.

The maintenance is very low, one can simply go in and trim it when the older Val grows to the point that it shades out newer plants. You can usually find it for less than five dollars. There are lots of varieties of Val, but it is recommended to start with the normal Val, because it is so easy to grow, and then to branch out.

Give them a try

Val is one of the most sought-after freshwater plants that any enthusiast will want to have. If you have multiple aquariums it is a good idea keep the Val in one tank so it is always available for any changes. New, or established, aquarists can’t go wrong with either Cryptocoryne or vallisneria. They are truly some easy, rewarding and versatile plants to grow. For anyone wanting to have a planted tank without spending a lot, they are what we recommend.