What are the essentials of any betta fish aquarium? Obviously, you need food, the proper amount of treated water, and of course, beautiful bettas. There are also a wide range of betta fish plants you should consider. For a variety of reasons, the right kinds of plants can be invaluable for your betta.
You may not even know if betta fish like plants. They do! There are tons of different options for live plants that your bettas can enjoy and use in several different ways. We’re going to cover the best plants for betta fish. We can even touch on the possibility of fake plants your bettas may enjoy.
First, let’s break down exactly why bettas love plants in the aquarium. This is not merely a matter of putting some appealing décor in the tank. Atmosphere in the aquarium is nice, to be sure, but there are in fact several reasons why plants are good for betta fish.
Do Betta Fish Really Like Plants?
In a word, yes!
Betta fish love plants for a range of reasons. While you want to be careful to choose the right plants for your betta tank, there are several universal benefits to doing so that are well worth keeping in mind:
They offer hiding places
Betta fish are notorious for not being the most social fish in the aquarium. Even among their own species, they prefer to be left alone for the most part. They are significantly territorial and tend to prefer as much territory as possible to that end. Dense plant life, and perhaps even a cave, can offer your bettas a wonderful way to keep to themselves as they see fit.
They give your tank a more natural atmosphere:
Let’s consider the natural habitat of the betta fish. One key component to that habitat is the presence of plants along not only the surface of the water, but in the water itself. Such plants provide shade, as well as relief from the sun. You also get the personal benefit of an aesthetic that matches where you would actually find bettas in nature.
They provide your betta with hours of entertainment
You may not have known this until now, but bettas can actually get bored in the tank. This can cause them to act out, become stressed, and more. Plant life can offset this boredom to a meaningful degree. Bettas by and large love the ability to explore. Giving them a rich plethora of plant life in the aquarium will allow them to do exactly that.
Remember: Bettas like to hide, and they love to be able to explore. Look for plant life that will give them both of those perks in no uncertain terms. There are thankfully quite a few different examples of plants for betta fish that you can explore.
Before we get to our list of the 10 best betta fish plants, let’s consider the subject of live plants vs plastic plants. Some would argue that there is no difference between the two. We don’t want to go quite that far. Plastic has potential, but there are several things you will want to take to heart first.
Plastic Plants vs Live Plants: Which Is Better For Bettas?
Some betta experts swear by live plants for their tanks. Others argue that plastic will accomplish the same thing, but without the annoyances of dealing with live plants. Others still will claim there really isn’t much of a difference, as far as your betta is concerned.
The truth of the matter is that both types can be suitable for a betta fish tank. Your betta will ultimately enjoy either option.
Live plants can cut down on tank maintenance, but they themselves are going to need more maintenance than plastic plants. Which one should you choose?
They bring much-needed oxygen, beneficial bacteria, and can even kill harmful things like algae. They also have the built-in benefit of looking natural. To a lot of people, plastic plants still don’t bring that element. On the other hand, they require a lot more maintenance and attention. They also contribute problematic decaying matter to the tank. Finally, too many live plants can actually reduce the oxygen available to your betta.
While perhaps not as organic in appearance as live plants, plastic/fake plants nonetheless look quite nice. Plastic plants require virtually no maintenance, are easy to clean, and do not come with their own unique demands for lighting and water. On the other hand, plastic naturally poses a minor potential danger to the fish. They also do not absorb c02, part of their process of putting oxygen in the betta fish tanks.
So, at the end of the day, it’s up to you to weigh the pros and cons of each choice.
Best Betta Fish Plants: Our Top Picks
At this point, you have all the background you need to start looking at specific plants. While you can obviously use this article as a guide, we would still suggest doing more research on any specific plant you are going to consider. What matters is finding something that meets not only your needs, but the needs of your bettas, as well.
Before we get stared on our list with the ever-popular Java Fern, keep in mind that plants for bettas can be broken down into two categories. There are submerged plants, such as the Java Fern and Java Moss. There also floating plants. Hornwort would be one such example, although it can also be planted.
Native to Southeast Asia, the Java Fern can be found on rocks, and elsewhere throughout a range of freshwater areas. One of the biggest benefits to having this plant in your betta fish tanks is the fact that it is remarkably easy to care for. In fact, it is perhaps the easiest. At the same time, it gives you all of those benefits that we discussed with live plants for bettas.
We also like the fact that they can be grown easily in or out of water. Want more? Simply split and plant a rhizome.
Keep in mind these plants are big growers. They can reach thirteen inches in height and eight inches in width. The pH should be between six and seven. The temperature should be sixty-eight to eighty-two degrees Fahrenheit.
A valuable member of the Hypnaceae family, Java Moss is noted for its beauty and toughness. You don’t have to particularly worry about lighting or temperature with this popular example. Attaching itself to a given surface, people love the many beautiful leaves it can produce over time. It can even grow on the walls of your tank, which is a particularly popular effect for many betta fish owners.
Trimming Java Moss with ease is another benefit. This is a great plant for anyone who wants to be in complete control of creating the proper water conditions inside the tank. Combine this with the fact that they endure temperatures up to eighty-six degrees, and you have a plant that looks beautiful under virtually any circumstances. Like the Java Fern, it may need an anchor when added to the tank.
- Real Solid Java Moss: Bright green authentic Java moss that will give life to your aquarium.You may also do it yourself to create different shapes of Java moss that will change and enhance aquatic...
Despite the funky-sounding name, Hornwort is in fact a pretty straightforward plant. This is an example of a plant that is known as an invasive species. In other words, it can quickly overwhelm the space, if you don’t pay attention. It is because of this aspect that Hornwort can be found all over the world.
In other words, Hornwort is going to need a little more attention than the other entries we’ve covered thus far. It’s going to require a large tank, given the fact that it can grow to heights of ten full feet! The temperature falls between 59F and 86F. The ideal pH level is around seven.
Originating in South America, bettas love nothing more than to hide among its leaves. Just keep an eye on its growth!
- This natural pond plant improves water quality by oxygenating and removing excess nutrients from pond water. Helps neutralize algae. Please be mindful that aquatic plants will always carry a risk of...
Another interesting name for a very interesting plant, Anacharis is also known as Elodea densa. That name can also give you a clue as to the type of plant we’re talking about. Anacharis is a plant that grows very quickly, while also providing tons of density that your bettas are going to absolutely adore. This means you will want to make sure you are trimming the plant on a regular basis. It does require a meaningful amount of attention.
This is also another plant that comes with the options to either float it along the top of the tank, or plant it closer to the bottom. Your betta will be pleased either way. The pH should be as neutral as possible, with temperatures between seventy and eighty degrees Fahrenheit.
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With long, gorgeous, blade-like leaves, the Amazon Sword has an appearance as dynamic as its name. This is a wonderful plant to add for the simple sake of variety. It is one of the most unique-looking plants we’re going to cover in this article.
The blades themselves can reach heights of up to fourteen inches. They give an appealing bushy appearance inside the tank, and the dark green can offer a vibrant touch to the lighter greens of some of the other plants covered. They provide a very nice hiding space for bettas. The ideal temperature is somewhere between seventy-two and eighty-two Fahrenheit, and the pH level can be anywhere from 6 to 7.5.
One nice thing about these plants is that they don’t require a ton of maintenance. Unlike some of our other options, they do not need trimming.
One thing to keep in mind with our sixth entry is its size. Given that this plant is relatively smaller than many of the options we’ve covered here, the Anubias Nana is a great live plant choice for those with smaller tanks.
Originating in various locations throughout the African continent, the plant is noted for its hardiness, and for the fact that it only grows to about 7.5 inches in height. As long as it can maintain access to a minimum of light, you shouldn’t have to really worry about it. The pH levels should stay around six to 7.5., and the temperature needs to be between seventy-two and eighty-two Fahrenheit.
This is a perfect live plant choice for those who consider themselves to be beginners.
- PLEASE READ BEFORE ORDERING: Please note that during times of extreme weather conditions, live plants will suffer due to extreme temperatures. During winter, do not order live plants when temperatures...
The Water Wisteria plant is another stellar choice for those who aspire to something more unique for their betta and for the aquarium. The pH level can be between 6.5 and 7.5, while the ideal temperature can be anywhere from seventy-five to eighty-two degrees Fahrenheit. It can be found throughout India, including in various spots throughout Nepal.
Bettas love the lush hiding places this plant will provide for them. You’re going to love the absolutely stunning greens that this plant can emit. It doesn’t require too much care, particularly when compared to other plants on the list. However, it will need a certain amount of trimming. You also want to make sure it is getting a good amount of light from one day to the next. The trimmings can be used to make more, as well.
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Another decidedly hardy entry for the list, Duckweed has a mossy-look to it that can really add a visual flair to your freshwater betta tank. This is a flower plant that grows along the surface of the water. It doesn’t have the same benefits as some of the other plants we’ve covered, but there is still a lot to like about it. For example, the ideal temperature is on par with everything else we’ve discussed. The same can be said for the pH levels, which can be anywhere between 6.5 and 7.
Your betta will use them to hide when they are stressing out. The range of nutrients taken in by the plant also makes it a very good choice indeed for those who want the healthiest possible tanks.
Named after their biggest fan, Betta Bulbs also go by the name of the Aponogeton Ulvaceus Bulb. Whatever you choose to call them, understand that we are talking about one of the most visually dazzling live plants for betta. Betta Bulbs are particularly popular with bettas. They love using them for a hiding space. They are also a good plant for helping the betta to define its crucial territory.
The pH level ideally suited to these bulbs is between 6.5 and 7.5. The ideal temperature will be somewhere in the vicinity of seventy-two to eighty-two Fahrenheit. The bulbs themselves can come from such locations as Africa, Australia, and Asia.
Low lighting is considered to be the best choice for these bulbs. It allows them to thrive, while also limiting their growth. That means cutting down on the amount of maintenance they often require.
- You will get 1 Aponogeton Ulvaceus Bulb ready to place in your aquarium. Grows when water temperatures are between 65-72F. PLEASE NOTE THAT THEY WILL NOT GROW IF WATER TEMPERATURE IS OVER 72F.
While it may not seem fair to lump all fake plants under a single entry, we are essentially talking about the same thing, no matter which specific example one might cite. Remember that when it comes to plastic plants, you don’t have to worry about trimming, or any of the other forms of maintenance that are associated with live plants. Cleaning plastic plants is a breeze, and they can be added to or removed from the tank in a matter of moments.
Really, if you do opt for plastic plants, your choices will really just come down to meeting your needs, as well as the needs of the betta. They like plants that give them plenty of space to hide and explore. You also want to be sure you’re buying plastic plants that are proven to be safe to add to the tank. This means carefully reviewing any specific examples you come across.
If you’re in need of some fake plant inspiration, check out below list of the top 3 fake plants for betta fish. Just remember that fake plants can potentially hurt bettas, as they like to sometimes move against the plant. You’re also not adding anything in the way of oxygen or natural beauty to the tank. On the other hand, they are considerably easier to shop for.
Still, you should be able to find all of these plants in a variety of online and physical store locations.
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With everything above, you’re in a great position to explore the benefits of plants in betta fish tanks. Live plants keep the tank looking natural, provide oxygen under the right circumstances, and can keep your betta consistently entertained. There is also the ever-necessary advantage of also giving your betta safe places to hide. Without such spots, their stress levels can rise dramatically. This can lead to a variety of health problems.
Again, make sure to fully research any specific plants you are choosing. While they share many benefits, they also share differences you need to observe. For example, the Hornwort plant we covered above requires larger-than-normal tanks. You do not want to put this plant in a tank that is any smaller than fifteen gallons.