Planted Tank Temperature: A Complete Guide

Most planted-tank enthusiasts understand the fundamentals of caring for and handling aquatic vegetation in their tanks.

However, water temperature factors for any tank are always determined by the creatures you keep in your aquarium.

All plants can’t survive at the same temperatures, whether it’s a planted or aquascape tank with invertebrates or fish.

So, what is the best planted tank temperature? It’s best to look through this article to get more detail!

The Ideal Planted Tank Temperature

According to research, aquatic plants reach an ideal degree of photosynthesis from around 71 to 95℉.

It means that when the temperature rises, most planted tanks will flourish. However, it would be best if you didn’t increase the temperature of your tank.

This fact depends on what type of tank you own. If you keep fish in your planted tank, you should adjust the temperature of the water to their requirements.

This species needs constant temperatures, so it’s best to modify the water temperature between 75-80°F.

If you only own plants in this aquarium, the ideal temperature for them is from 72 – 79°F.

Most importantly, it would help if you didn’t arbitrarily optimize the water temperature in your tank.

As the temperature rises over the ideal level, most aquatic plants gradually lose their capacity to photosynthesize.

Once the temperature climbs above this threshold, some plant species begin to perish swiftly.

Keeping a planted tank at reasonable temperatures is preferable, but not excessively hot as you may risk dying off a few types of plants.

If you have fish in your plant aquarium, you must keep the heat below the maximum for plants.

planted tank

The ideal temperature

The Effect Of Cold And Warm Water On Aquarium Plants

Why does temperature matter to aquarium plants? Here are some main reasons you should know.

The effect of cold water

Cold water reduces the plants’ metabolic rate. As a result, they might not utilize all light, CO2, and some additional nutrients in your aquarium.

It will not necessarily entail a detrimental impact on plant development, but it will most certainly encourage the growth of opportunistic algae.

The effect of warm water

Heat accelerates the metabolic rate of plants. It means that they will develop a greater need for nutrients and lighting.

Raising the fertilizer dosage and light intensity in these tanks is simple. However, CO2 is frequently the limiting element.

CO2 exists in water naturally and may sustain good aquatic plant development at temperatures ranging from 74 to 80°F.

However, if the temperature rises beyond 80°F, the water might not hold sufficient CO2 to support plant development.

Therefore, high temperatures aren’t optimal for aquariums that don’t inject CO2 or are limited to the natural CO2 levels in the water supply.

Effect of cold and hot water

Effect of cold and hot water

Planted Tank Care Guides

Planted tanks require unique criteria, some of which might be challenging to meet.

That’s why it’s best to get a complete guide on care and maintenance for this type of aquarium.

Keep the following elements in mind if you want your plants to grow happy and healthy!


You can consider active and inert substrates for your plants.

Active Substrates:

These substrates are rich in plant nutrients and perfect for plant-filled aquarium use. You can’t go wrong with this option if you want vigorous plant development.

On the other hand, they are more challenging to handle since they often stir up readily and are more costly.

Inert Substrates:

Inert substrates such as basic gravel and sand do not hold specific nutrients for aquarium plants.

For this reason, if you choose this substrate type, you must add fertilizer to your tank to feed your vegetation.

The benefits of these substrates are they last forever without breaking down. Also, they don’t stir like active substrates, so they don’t stimulate algae growth.




While most entire aquarium hoods feature fluorescent fittings, the simple fluorescent lights that come with them aren’t up to the task since the spectrum is inappropriate.

Plants require precise wavelengths for maximum development, and even when there is enough light, it isn’t necessarily the proper sort.

The most popular lighting options for a planted tank setup are fluorescent strips, LEDs, or compact fluorescent bulbs.


Hang-on back (HOB) filtering systems are perfect for smaller planted tanks below 50 gallons.

Plant Care

Here are the most critical elements to remember when caring for a planted tank:

  • Water changes every two weeks are necessary.
  • Keep water temperatures stable.
  • Occasionally trim the plants.
  • Maintain a consistent fertilizer cycle.


Whether it’s a planted tank, introducing any new species is a significant turning point. So, you must think carefully.

It’s best to wait until the cycling process of plant species completes before adding fish. It may take 2 or 3 weeks.

Here are the most suitable fish to keep in this type of aquarium:

  • Tetras
  • Corydoras
  • Gouramis
  • Swordtails
  • Angelfish
  • Dwarf Algae Eaters


It would be best if you did substrate turnover. If you use diverse grain sizes in your substrate, it will mix.

Substrate turnover is the best practice to maintain a healthy, appealing mix and prevent anoxic regions from developing.

Moreover, pay attention to the appearance of algae in your tank. These organisms can grab the nutrients that your plants need.

You need to control algae growth in your aquarium. Also, remember to supplement CO2 for your planted tank.


Does Temperature Matter For Aquarium Plants?

The short answer is yes! The water temperature affects plant metabolism, so it matters to the growth of these species.

Are 80 Degrees Too Hot For Aquarium Plants?

While some species can tolerate this temperature range, some can’t. The heat of 80 degrees may kill species in cold water like bucephalandra or lotuses.

How Cold Is Too Cold For Aquarium Plants?

The ideal temperature for aquarium plants is 72 – 79°F. Although some species can perform well in colder water, others may die.

Can Aquarium Plants Grow In Cold Water?

Yes! Some species may prefer cold water, such as:

  • Java Fern
  • Anacharis
  • Java moss
  • Anubias
  • Hornwort
  • Marimo moss
  • Christmas Moss
  • Salvinia Natan

How Long Do Aquarium Plants Take To Grow?

Plants in any aquarium will sprout within two weeks after planting and begin to flourish within two months.

Final Thoughts

In short, the ideal planted tank temperature should be 72 – 79°F to ensure these species grow happily and healthily.

If it’s your first time having these aquariums, you should pay more attention to their care guides and maintenance.

It’s always best to consider the substrate, lighting, filtration, fish species, and water changes. Thanks for reading!