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Aquatic plants are used to give the freshwater aquarium a natural appearance, oxygenate the water, and provide habitat for fish, especially fry (babies) and for invertebrates. Some aquarium fish and invertebrates also eat live plants. Hobbyists use aquatic plants for aquascaping, of several aesthetic styles.

Most of these plant species are found either partially or fully submersed in their natural habitat. Although there are a handful of obligate aquatic plants that must be grown entirely under water, most can grow fully immersed if the soil is moist.

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