Aquarium Plants to Reduce Ammonia

Plants improve the look of your aquarium and help maintain a natural ecosystem for your underwater world. They help to improve the oxygen level of our fish tank, at the same time, clean the ammonia that your fish produce. 

The biggest benefits that live plants provide for your aquarium are that they produce oxygen and absorb the carbon dioxide and ammonia that your fish generate.

List of plants that can reduce Ammonia:-


  • It is one of the best plants you can keep in your aquarium to lower ammonia levels in your tank.
  • It is a houseplant but you can grow it in the water that's why you can easily keep it in your aquarium.
  • This plant is very hardy and easy to care for. It can survive in almost any environment.
  • You should only put its roots into the aquarium and keep it hanging outside of your aquarium.

Amazon sword

It is one of the most popular plants in the aquarium hobby. This is a pretty fast growing aquarium plant. It is also very easy to care for which makes it an ideal choice for beginners. It absorbs carbon dioxide in the aquarium water and produces oxygen for your fish.


One of the best oxygenating plants. Hornwort is known for its rapid growth in aquariums. Keep it in the background of your tank. It's great at sucking up ammonia, nitrates, and nitrites, but also provides a ton of oxygen in the process. Hornwort doesn't need light to grow, so it even grows well in a dark backwater setup.

Java moss

Java moss plants grow fast which is good for filtering out ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates from the tank. It absorbs ammonia. Java fern can also absorb nitrates, nitrites, and carbon dioxide, making it one of the best aquatic plants for maintaining the water quality in your tank.

What is Ammonia?

A typical waste material found in water is ammonia (NH3). It might come from fish-releasing wastes, dead plants that decompose and form ammonia, fish food that goes bad, and so on. 

Ammonia provides nitrogen to plants which is important for plant growth. 

Plants prefer ammonia over nitrate and nitrites. This is because when plants consume these nitrogen compounds, first of all, they've to convert them into ammonium which is easier to do with ammonia than with nitrate and nitrite. 

Ammonia is very harmful to your fish. It is the most common cause of death of a fish in an aquarium.

How to check ammonia levels in fish tanks?

Use an ammonia test strip kit for quick results. Dip the test strip into the water for about 10 seconds. Remove the test strip and compare it to the color chart on the bottle. By closely matching the color on the strip to the color chart, you will have an estimate of ammonia levels in the fish tank. 

Ammonia is more toxic at higher temperatures and pH levels above 7.0, and less harmful at lower temperatures and pH levels below 7.0. The only safe ammonia level is zero.

Signs of high ammonia levels in water

  • An unpleasant taste and odor along with particles in the water can signify the presence of ammonia.
  • A low chlorine level in water can indicate a High level of ammonia.

 We can easily buy an Ammonia test kit on Amazon.

Ammonia Test ppm Table

pH LevelAlertAlarmToxic
6.6pH 16 64 160
6.8pH 11 44 110
7.0pH 8 32 80
7.2pH 5 20 50
7.4pH 3 12 30
7.6pH 2 8 20
7.8pH 1 4 10
8.0pH 0.8 3 8
8.2pH 0.6 2 6
8.4pH 0.4 2 4
8.6pH 0.25 1 1

Most aquarium tropical fish do best at a pH of 6.8 to 7.8, although certain fish may require higher or lower levels. The pH of an aquarium tends to drop over time due to the breakdown of organic material, and the best way to prevent this is through regular partial water changes.

When the pH level increases above 8, most of the ammonia in the water is converted into toxic ammonia (NH3), which can kill fish.