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

Our favorite Easy and 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. 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. Maintaining and trimming lights is an important consideration, along with costs, appearance, and substrate requirements.

Most new aquarium keepers will want to find plants that are affordable and easy to maintain. There are many great options for plants, but Aquarium Co-op has two that are easy and require minimal maintenance.

Our Favorites

Two staples in the freshwater aquarium hobby are cryptocoryne-lutea and vallisneria. 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 does not require a lot of attention. Compared to other plants, this one retails for fairly cheap, with one or two plants coming in a bunch/bundle. To begin growing this crypt, one can simply take the plants out of the pots they are sold in and plant them so that the crown is above the substrate. To avoid spreading diseases to the tank, you will need to wash the plants.

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. It is best to wait until a plant thaws before you do anything. While the leaves may melt, the roots will remain intact and new shoots will usually emerge.


Vallisneria, also known as “Val”, is very similar to Cryptocoryne. It is easy to plant and grow. It can reproduce every five to six days, sending runners out that turn 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.

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 is usually available for under five dollars as well. 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 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. We recommend them to anyone who wants a plant tank but doesn’t want to spend a lot.