Last Updated on April 24, 2023 by Coral Realm

The main aim of many aquarium owners is to create an amazing display which makes a positive contribution to home décor. Other fish tank owners strive to recreate an environment for their fish that’s very close to the natural world. Either way, the inclusion of live aquatic plants when designing the perfect aquarium offers many benefits.

For your aquarium plants to establish themselves quickly after planting, and to thrive and grow successfully, plant fertilizers are vital for the plants in your aquarium.

Purchasing the best plant fertilizer will ensure your planted aquarium looks healthy and natural.

With the best fertilizer for your tank, your aquarium plants will be healthy and abundant, creating a stunning display.  

The type of fertilizer you use will affect how quickly your plants establish themselves, how vigorously they grow and, ultimately, how incredible your aquarium looks. 

Buying a cheap fertilizer can prove to be a false economy. If it does not provide the plants with the correct balance of nutrients, you will effectively be wasting your money. Sometimes, when carefully selected, the more expensive fertilizers can prove cheaper in the long run. Less is needed at each feed to nurture your plants, and  you’ll keep your plants healthier for longer.

It’s worth the investment to see the health of your plants improve and to see your finish enjoying the benefits of a more natural environment.

There are so many aquarium plant fertilizers available, both in liquid and solid form – try not to feel overwhelmed as we aim to give you as much information as possible in our review.

Numerous fertilizer options are available when it comes to picking the best aquarium plant fertilizer.

Naturally, all manufacturers will promote their brand as being the best aquarium plant fertilizer possible, and it can make the choice of aquarium fertilizer confusing, especially for someone who does not have a lot of past experience with using aquarium plant fertilizers.


Top 10 Best Aquarium Plant Fertilizer Options 

10 Best Aquarium Plant Fertilizer Options

So to help you through the aquarium fertilizer maze, we have put our Top 10 Best Aquarium Fertilizer options into an easy to read table, giving a brief description of each to facilitate you learning more about the best fertilizers available today and which one is most suited to your aquarium plant needs.

Origin:South-East Asia
Water Conditions:Tropical
Scientific NameBetta Splendens
Species family:Osphronemidae
Color Form:Red, Blue, Green & Black
Lifespan:2 to 5 years
Size:3 inches
Caudal Fin Size:Up to 6 inches
Population Classification:Endangered

Best Aquarium Plant Fertilizer Reviews 

Read the following for our in depth reviews of each of the top 10 best aquarium plant fertilizers on the market right now in 2020.

Solid Tablet or Capsule Best Aquarium Plant Fertilizer Reviews

Solid Aquarium Plant Fertilizer

1) API Root Tabs

API 3 Pack Root Tabs Freshwater Aquarium Plant Fertilizer, 10 Tablets Per Box
  • Contains Three API root tabs freshwater aquarium Plant fertilizer 0.4-Ounce 10-Count box
  • Promotes strong root development for lush plants in freshwater aquariums
  • Contains essential nutrients including iron, Potassium and carbon
  • Helps new aquatic plants get off to a vigorous start and to keep established plants flourishing
  • Pack of 3

The main mineral ingredients of API Root tablets are iron, carbon and potassium. These elements promote the development of a healthy root structure and encourage lush and impressive growth.

By providing these key nutrients to your aquarium plants, newly introduced plants will establish well in your aquarium and existing and already established plants will flourish and maintain health.

The great benefit of this solid tablet fertilizer is that it can be used in conjunction with liquid fertilizers to further enhance the longevity and growth of your aquatic plants.

2) ThriveCaps Aquarium Root Tabs

ThriveCaps | Aquarium Root Fertilizer Tabs Caps 60 Count
  • ThriveCaps are nutrient rich tablets which are intended to be placed in the substrate of a planted freshwater aquarium. They will provide a long lasting nutrient source essential for healthy plant growth.
  • ThriveCaps are the only commercially available aquarium specific root tabs that contain all the necessary micro and macro nutrients so your plants can THRIVE
  • Other competitor tabs claim the fact that they lack certain nutrients(Flourish tabs dont contain nitrogen or phosphate) is a good thing. This just isnt true. They are necessary for the survival of the plants.
  • 60 Count Caps | 1 grams Per cap
  • ThriveCaps are a blend of dry Thrive mix, iron rich clay and mineralized top soil.

These capsules contain essential nutrients for aquarium plant health and include iron rich clay and top soil with minerals. The capsules are placed directly in the substrate of any freshwater aquarium, so are very easy to use.

These root tabs by ThriveCaps are an upgraded form of a previous line of root caps, so have many improvements. They don’t contain any additives which help other tabs stick together. This means that they are smaller and more concentrated, while still delivering the same nutrient levels. This product has also removed the clouding issues which sometimes plagued the previous line.

The tabs should be pushed as far into the substrate as you can, either at the base of each plant or in a regular grid pattern every 6 inches. This will ensure that each plant gets the benefit of these amazing fertilizing tabs. These should be replaced only every 3 or 4 months, or just when they are needed.

You should make sure you push the tabs down as far as they can go and cover them again with the substrate, or they may start to push out of the substrate and be less effective.

3) Seachem Flourish Tabs Growth Supplement

Seachem Flourish Tabs Growth Supplement - Aquatic Plant Stimulant 10 ct
  • GROWTH TREATMENT: Seachem Flourish Tabs are growth stimulating tablets for plant roots which contain essential trace elements, amino acids, and...
  • VITAMINS: Seachem Flourish Tabs are rich in iron, manganese, magnesium, calcium, potassium, inositol, choline B12, biotin, and other factors that have...
  • NUTRIENTS: When inserted into the gravel, Seachem Flourish Tabs provide direct, time-released fertilization to the plants’ root zone. Nutrients are...
  • TANK USE: Insert one Flourish Tab in the gravel for every 10–15 cm (4–6 in.) radius. A standard 10 gallon aquarium requires 6 tabs. Distribute the...
  • COMPLETE MAINTENANCE: For optimal plant growth, add new Flourish Tabs to the aquarium once every three to four. Seachem Flourish Tabs will not alter...

Seachem Flourish Tabs are perfect for beginner aquarists. You simply need to bury the tabs in the substrate and the roots of your plants will draw in the nutrients.

The tablets are formulated with your plant roots in mind. They contain essential trace elements such as iron, manganese, calcium, and potassium, and they also contain amino acids and vitamins such as B12, and other nutrients inositol.

These nutrients are made slowly available through enzymatic action to the plant roots, so they act as a constant source of nutrients for a long time, and don’t overwhelm the roots by releasing the nutrients all at once.

The tabs should be placed in the substrate every 6 inches. This works out that a normal 10 gallon tank will require 6 tabs. The tabs should be ideally about halfway in the substrate bed. You should replace the tabs every 3 to 4 months.

These aquarium plant fertilizer tabs won’t affect pH but they may have slightly acidic properties if you have very soft water or if the aquarium is unbuffered.

Liquid Aquarium Plant Fertilizer Reviews

Liquid Aquarium Plant Fertilizer

4) Seachem Flourish Comprehensive Supplement

Seachem Flourish Freshwater Plant Supplement
  • SUPPLEMENT: Seachem Flourish is a comprehensive plant supplement for the natural freshwater aquarium, containing a rich assortment of important micro...
  • ELEMENTS: In order to benefit your aquatic plants and help your freshwater environment thrive, Seachem Flourish contains potassium, calcium,...
  • WATER TREATMENT: For best results, use 1 capful (5 mL) of Flourish for each 250 L (60 US gallons) once or twice a week. For smaller doses, please note...
  • SOLUTION COLOR: It is normal for the color of Seachem’s Flourish to vary by batch as the solution color is dependent on the temperature at which the...
  • SAFETY: Seachem Flourish is safe to use for invertebrates such as shrimp, but is designed to be used in conjunction with other macro and...

Seachem is a reputable brand with which many aquatic enthusiasts will be familiar, and this gives people confidence that they are buying a known brand with a solid performance track record. 

The Seachem Flourish is a comprehensive supplement which provides trace elements, micro elements and other nutrients suitable for your planted aquarium. 

This product contains only small amounts of nitrogen or phosphorous which some aquarium owners prefer. This means that you are less likely to see algal blooms occur if you overdose the aquarium, as these compounds are in small enough amounts that the plants should be able to use them.

This is a very popular product with high numbers of positive on-line reviews, which enables you to buy with confidence.

Seachem Flourish represents good value for money. The dosing table reveals that one capful is sufficient for a 250 litre (or 60 gallon) aquarium tank when used regularly.

5) Seachem Flourish Advance Growth Supplement 

Seachem Flourish Advance Growth Supplement - Aquatic Plant Aid 2 L
  • ENHANCER: Seachem Flourish Advance is an advanced formula contains phytohormones, minerals, and nutrients that dramatically stimulate the growth of...
  • GROWTH: The phytohormones play crucial roles in regulating plant growth in a wide range of developmental processes, including cell division, formation...
  • ADVANCED FORMULA: With regular use, Seachem Flourish Advance enhances mineral absorption and improves disease resistance. During the first ten to...
  • USE: Shake well before using Seachem Flourish Advance. Use 1 capful (10 mL) for every 160 L (40 US gallons) and be sure to dose daily or as required...
  • SAFETY: Seachem Flourish Advance is non-toxic and completely safe for all plant varieties as well as for fish and aquatic organisms.

This Advanced Formula fertilizer contains phytohormones, minerals and nutrients that aim to stimulate the growth of both the leaves and the roots of your aquatic plants. 

The phytohormones are the key ingredient in the Seachem Flourish Advance.  They are signal molecules that play crucial roles in regulating and advancing plant growth in every stage of their developmental process right from embryogenesis, to pathogen defense, stress tolerance, root growth, to reproductive development.

Flourish Advance improves disease resistance and enhances mineral absorption. This product is designed to be used regularly. Initially, during the first ten to fourteen days of use, Flourish Advance attempts to stimulate root growth and promote root health. 

Subsequently, enhanced growth should be observed in the stems and leaves of your aquarium plants. This is due to the plant having healthier roots, as the plant can then absorb more nutrients more efficiently, and this is then reflected in the outward growth you see in the leaves and stems.

This aquarium liquid fertilizer is available in sizes from 50ml to 4L. We recommend the 2L as this larger size will ensure that you don’t have to be constantly reordering your aquatic plant fertilizer.

6) API Leaf Zone Freshwater Aquarium Plant Fertilizer 473 ml bottle 

API LEAF ZONE Freshwater Aquarium Plant Fertilizer 18-Ounce Bottle White
  • Aquarium plant food
  • Promotes healthy aquarium plants
  • For freshwater tanks
  • Item Package weight : 1.25 pounds

Aquarium plants can easily become tired and lose their lush color if a good all- round fertilizer is not used regularly.

This product from API will enhance the appearance of your fish tank plants quite quickly, as it will provide your plants with all the nutrients required for healthy growth and longevity. Specially formulated for rapid absorption within the aquarium environment, you will see early results and positive changes within your fish tank.

API Leaf Zone promotes strong and colorful leaves and prevents yellowing and decaying leaves. 

Containing chelated iron and potassium and other essential nutrients, this product will rapidly enhance your freshwater aquarium plant display, but stimulating new leaf growth and enhancing the health and vibrancy of existing leaves.

As this product focuses more on the leaves, you will see speedy results in the plant display of your aquarium. 

The leaves will be healthier and more vibrant giving a natural and lush appearance of the plants in your fish tank. Your aquarium plants will also be stimulated to produce new leaf shoots, adding to the healthy appearance of your plants and giving you a varied and interesting fish tank.

In only a couple of weeks you should see positive and encouraging changes taking place in the overall health and appearance of your aquatic plants.

7) API CO2 Booster Freshwater Aquarium Plant Treatment 473 mls

API Co2 Booster Freshwater Aquarium Plant Treatment 8 Fl oz Bottle
  • Contains one (1) API CO2 BOOSTER Freshwater Aquarium Plant Treatment 8 fl Ounce Bottle
  • Promotes plant growth in freshwater aquariums
  • Adds essential carbon in a form plants can absorb from the water
  • Can be used alone or with a CO2 system without altering aquarium pH levels
  • Use daily in order to ensure lush, vibrant aquarium plants

We have selected this Carbon Dioxide Booster from the API brand range of aquarium products. 

The product promotes plant growth in freshwater aquariums by adding essential carbon in a form that your aquarium plants can readily absorb from the water.

This easy-to-use liquid provides carbon which is a necessary element used by aquarium plants for photosynthesis. The API CO2 Booster Freshwater Aquarium Plant Treatment supplies a concentrated source of carbon in two forms. Firstly as CO2 and secondly as simple, organic carbon compounds. This product supplies simple carbon compounds and slowly releases CO2 that plants can absorb through the water. 

The API CO2 booster liquid can be used on its own or with a CO2 system without altering your aquarium’s pH levels.

This product is intended for daily use, which will ensure that your fish tank will have a display of lush aquarium plants.

You can use this CO2 booster in conjunction with the API Leaf Zone to offer additional care for the health of your plants.

With a handy dosing cap on the bottle, use this product daily, adding 1 ml per 38 litres of aquarium water. The instructions are clear and easy to follow, so now’s the time to start improving the health of your plants, and the overall appearance of your fish aquarium.

8) Thrive All-in-One Liquid Aquarium Plant Fertilizer

Thrive All-in-One Liquid Aquarium Plant Fertilizer
  • Healthy Plants: Keep your live aquarium plants happy and healthy with our aquarium fertilizer and watch them thrive. This fish tank fertilizer is...
  • Essential Nutrients: You don't need to calculate the right amount of nutrients for your plants anymore. The aquarium plant fertilizer provides your...
  • Adequate Size: The 500ml pump bottle is just the right amount - concentrated enough to dose 2500 gallons of water. The highly concentrated liquid for...
  • Easy To Use: The all in one aquarium plant food comes with comprehensive and easy-to-follow instructions about the usage and procedure. The convenient...
  • Quality Guaranteed: The high-quality plant food is safe to be used by all aquatic plants. If you are not satisfied with the quality of the product or...

This is an effective, easy to use aquarium plant fertilizer formula that will provide you with swift results. The pump action bottle makes for easy measurement, and is a no mess, no fuss option.

Containing the main elements and nutrients required for healthy aquarium plant growth, you should be pleased with the results. The combination of micro- and macronutrients are perfect for high tech aquariums with a pH under 7.

No mixing of ingredients required, just measure and use. You simply have to pump the required amount straight into the tank, so there is no fuss and no mess made.

This product is a good, all-rounder and represents excellent value for money, with the 500 ml bottle being sufficient to treat up to 2500 gallons of aquarium water! So no constant re-ordering necessary – this large bottle will last you some significant time period.

The only downside to this product is that as it is very concentrated, it might not be the best to use with a substrate that is already laced with nutrients, such as ADA soil. You should also be careful with overdosing the aquarium, as putting too many nutrients into the system can generate negative impacts such as algal growth.

9) NilocG Aquatics Liquid NPK+M Aquarium Liquid Fertilizer

NilocG Aquatics | Liquid NPK+M | 500ml Bottles | Highly Concentrated Aquarium Plant Fertilizer for Demanding Planted Tanks
  • 2x 500ml Pump Bottles(One micro and one macro bottle)
  • Very Concentrated
  • This product is tailored to the EI dosing method but can be adapted to other dosing techniques
  • Treats 2500 Gallons

Nilcog has introduced one of the best aquarium plant fertilizers that you can buy on the market right now. The aim was to provide the planted tank hobbyists with a way of making their aquariums look even better. You can be sure that this liquid fertilizer will get your plants looking better in no time.

The manufacturer had a different approach to the liquid fertilizer. This is because you will get two bottles for the package. One bottle has micronutrients while the other comes with the macronutrients. You can see that it is possible to have the best of both worlds with the fertilizer.

The manufacturer gives you clear instructions on how to use the two when it comes to the application process. Make sure to use just as instructed by the manufacturer so that you have the nutrients delivered in the right proportions. With the nutrients in place, you should start to see some changes within weeks of application.

Sometimes the dry fertilizers make it hard for people to mix them up. Well, there is a chance to do away with them once you get the liquid fertilizers. You never have to deal with dry ingredients that sometimes make the aquarium water dirty.

The best part about getting this fertilizer is that it is going to be cheap. You will not have to spend a lot of money on fertilizers anymore when this type is available. If you decide to use it on a 20-gallon tank, you can find it lasting you for a couple of years. You can imagine having years of a green aquarium.

10) Luffy Marimo Ball Aquarium Fertilizer

This aquarium plant fertilizer is here to change how your planted tank looks. This is possible as the fertilizer will offer your aquarium the liquid plant food that it needs to look great. The fertilizer comes with some of the important ingredients needed for the growth of the plants. Such include the phosphates, calcium, and nitrates.

The work of the calcium is to help with imparting the colors. It will make your plants look greener and better. There is no doubt that the plants will look healthier when they are green. The phosphate and nitrates on the other hand help the marimo grow faster.

If you have marimo moss balls in the aquarium, you can be sure they will grow fluffier whenever you have this fertilizer. The best part is that the marimo plant is a good kind of algae. Since the other types of fertilizers will be looking to kill the algae, they might not help much with the marimo plants. You can consider using this one if you want your plant to start looking great.

Even when you look at the packaging of the fertilizer, you will note that it delivers on having a fluffy plant.

The marimo plants will now have the best nutrients from the moment you start using the fertilizers. These plants are known to have an appetite for the nitrates and phosphates. It is now time for you to pick this fertilizer to provide it with the best nutrients that it needs to grow.

Well, it is not just for the marimo plant, but also for the other types of aquarium plants. You will end up having a greener aquarium from the moment you start using this type of fertilizer.

You will not even have to use a lot. You simply have to follow the instructions as given by the manufacturer to get things rolling.

Is Aquarium Plant Fertilizer Safe for Fish?

Suppliers of aquarium plant fertilizer, whether in liquid form or as capsules or tablets to be added to the substrate of your aquarium, are aware of the fact that aquarium plants cohabit with aquarium fish, so compatibility with the live fish within the tank is of paramount importance.

Always ensure that there are no contra indications with the products you’re purchasing. All those listed in this review have good reviews from customers who have used the products within their own aquaria.

How to Use Your Best Aquarium Plant Fertilizer

Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully, both in terms of quantity of fertilizer required and the frequency of application. 

Always measure the quantities carefully using the cap or measuring cup supplied by the manufacturer. 

Follow frequency guidelines too – do not be tempted to apply the fertilizer more often than stated, as it could be detrimental to the health of both your plants and the fish tank environment generally.

Follow the guidelines carefully, and you should see positive results in a relatively short space of time.

Best Aquarium Plant Fertilizers

Why Do You Need The Best Aquarium Plant Fertilizer?

Planted tanks won’t always need tablets or liquid fertilizer, but it is highly recommended. Plants need a few vital things to thrive in your aquarium; light, carbon dioxide, and food. While your tank will definitely have some form of lighting, LED lights can give better wavelengths to help promote growth. Similarly you can purchase aquarium CO2 regulators to increase carbon dioxide levels and also promote growth.

But normally the simplest solution is the best way to tackle a problem. So if your plants aren’t looking too healthy they most likely aren’t getting the required nutrients. If you have nutrient lacking substrate such as gravel or coarse sand it is even more likely.

The only way the plants will be getting the food they need is from falling food debris and detritus from your fish. This often isn’t enough, especially if you have lots of plants and you are cleaning regularly with an aquarium vacuum cleaner. So this is where the best aquarium plant fertilizers come in.

Liquid fertilizers are put into the water, where your plants will then draw in the nutrients. This is completely natural and harmless to your fish. Tablet fertilizers are put into the substrate itself where they release nutrients to be absorbed by the roots.

Is Liquid Or Tablet Aquarium Plant Fertilizer Better?

The answer to this question varies depending on what aquarium plants you have in your tank. Some plants are rooted and draw the majority of their nutrients through the root system in the substrate. Some use rhizomes which can draw from both the substrate and the water column, but are often found attached to rocks and ornaments, so feed from the water column, while floating plants draw the nutrients only from the water column.

So if you have a tank which is heavily planted with rooted plants like Amazon Swords and Cryptocorynes, then you should look at tablet fertilizers, as they will release nutrients into the substrate which your plants will then draw in through their roots.

If you have a tank heavy with plants that draw their nutrients from the water column such as Anubias, Java Fern, Java Moss, Hornwort, Marimo Moss, and Bladderwort, then a liquid plant fertilizer is definitely the way to go.

But you also shouldn’t knock the idea of using both. Having both types of aquarium plant fertilizers working in tandem can have big benefits for your tank, especially if you have a nice mix of plants which draw from both the substrate and water column.

What is the Best Aquarium Plant Fertilizer?

This is a difficult question to answer simply. It will depend upon the types of plants you have in your fish tank, the amount of time you can devote to their care and your personal opinions regarding the respective merits of liquid fertilizer versus solid tablets or capsules which are incorporated within the substrate of your aquarium.

With so much choice currently available in the field of aquarium plant fertilizers, it can be difficult to decide on the most appropriate. 

We have found that Seachem Flourish Advance Growth Supplement 2 Litre provides a good all-round treatment for fish tank plants, enhancing their appearance, preventing yellowing and premature dying of the leaves, and promoting the growth of vibrant new leaves.

Seachem Flourish Advance Growth Supplement 2 Litre

It is relatively inexpensive and easy to use, so may prevent your decision-making dilemma! You can use in combination with perhaps one of the solid forms of fertilizer too, which can be added to the substrate of your fish tank, if you prefer to take a two-pronged approach to the care of your aquatic plants.

You’ll soon be on your way to a healthy and vibrant plant environment within your aquarium.


A carefully selected aquarium plant fertilizer from our recommended list should provide you with significant benefits in terms of the appearance of your fish tank.

Plants are such an important addition to the aquarium environment. They offer refuge to fish that enjoy a more private existence and provide a more natural environment for all the fish within the tank.

The variety of colors and leaf forms available in aquatic plants, gives the opportunity to create an atmospheric and stunning aquarium.

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  • Best HOB Filters
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About the author

Coral Realm


  • I am using Thrive All-in-One Liquid Aquarium Plant Fertilizer. My plants are growing so fast, I may have a jungle take over my living room and then the fish may grow legs and take over the world.

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