Live Betta Fish Plants: The Ultimate Guide

live betta fish plants

Betta fish are beautiful with their vibrant colors and flowing tail fins. But if you just have the fish in your tank, it’ll probably look a bit bleak and your fish won’t have anything to do other than just float around in an empty pool.

Adding some live betta fish plants in your tank will not only make it look livelier, but it’ll also give your fish a habitat resembling the ocean and make them happier.  

Apart from being aesthetically pleasing for you and your fish, if you choose natural plants, they’ll be a source of fresh oxygen for your betta fish. You can even opt for plastic plants. But, it’s important to choose the right kind.

Which Plants Are Better for Betta Fish?

Whether you go for real or fake plants, make sure they’re not toxic and don’t harm your fish. Live plants have a brighter color and release gases and nutrients, which help betta fish flourish. Fake plants add some life to the aquarium and can still be used by your bettas to swim around through. They’re ideal if live plants are too expensive or too difficult for you to maintain.

You can even keep a combination of real and fake plants so that it fits your budget and your fish can benefit from the natural plants. Having a variety of plants will also emulate the betta’s natural habitat and potentially increase their lifespan.

Betta-Safe Plants

The majority of common aquatic plants used in a planted betta tank are betta-safe. Most plants marketed with a betta bowl, on the other hand, should never be placed in an aquarium. Bamboo and peace lilies are two examples of these plants. Although your betta buddy won’t eat away plants, their toxins can be lethal for the plants. The same is true for the betta fish terrarium, which frequently holds houseplants rather than actual aquatic creatures.

Mistaken Identity

Large producers supply aquatic plants to the multi-trading markets in Europe and the Far East. These businesses grow a broad variety of aquarium plants and houseplants. Large bunches of mixed plants usually include non-aquatic species also. So, how can you identify a houseplant which suits you best?

  • You should reject multi-color plants such as plants filled with mixed red and green or green and white colors.
  • A houseplant will stand upright in a container on its own, but most aquatic plants would droop when withdrawn from the water.
  • The leaves of houseplants are bright and soft in touch.
  • All non-aquatic plants decay and die in the tank, damaging the ecosystem by raising pH levels and increasing nitrate levels as they decompose. In addition, non-aquatic plant leaves are frequently pointed at the tips to let rainfall runoff.

You need to identify whether the plant is a houseplant or an aquatic plant and reject the houseplant.

Best Live Betta Fish Plants

Choose plants that not only look good but also act as a source of nutrients for your betta fish. Here are some options for live betta fish plants:

Java Fern

java fern with fish

Java ferns are perfect for beginners and are easy to grow. It doesn’t have any special temperature and light requirements to grow properly. They grow so easily, you can even just pluck some leaves, pop in the water and there is a very high chance the plant will start growing.

Just make sure not to bury the rhizome (the plant stem) when you’re burying the roots. They don’t grow very fast so you don’t have to trim them too frequently. They do have a tendency to float on the water surface so it’s a good idea to tie them down on a small rock.

Not only will your betta fish have fun playing hide and seek in the ferns, but they’ll also keep the water fresh by releasing oxygen.

Check out our complete guide on java fern here.

Java Moss

java moss with shrimp

This is another plant that is suitable for everyone, including those completely new to the concept of putting plants in betta fish tanks. Bettas can nibble the plant, sleep in between its stalks, and just swim through it.

Java moss thrives in pretty much any condition, but they prefer cool water. Even so, they’ll still do fine in water temperatures for betta fish (74-80 degrees Fahrenheit). Similar to the Java Fern, you’ll need to tie the plant to the rock or something to prevent it from floating around. It also grows very fast and needs frequent trimming.

Check out our complete guide on java moss here.

Betta Balls (Marimo Moss Balls)

marimo moss ball

If they’re called betta balls, they’re likely to be the perfect plant for a betta fish tank. No products found. are little moss balls of algae, which can last forever and don’t have any special maintenance requirements. When you change the water in the tanks, just squeeze the marimo balls to get rid of dirt or other buildups.

The round, fluffy balls are adorable, and bettas love resting on top of or even just rubbing against them. They also absorb chemicals and excess nutrients, keeping the environment safe and healthy for bettas.

If you have more than one betta tank, you can even break up the moss balls and divide them in the tanks. They’ll still keep growing so you don’t need to get new plants for your new tank.

Check out our complete guide on betta balls here.

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hornwort aquarium plant

Hornworts are a little more high-maintenance than other plants, but they look great and your bettas will love them. They grow pretty fast and will be flowing around your aquarium in no time.

Make sure you trim them regularly. They also shed nettles, which if left in the water will rot and pollute the water. You’ll have to clean your tank more regularly if you put in Hornworts.

Your bettas, especially the baby ones will love hiding among the leaves and stalks. The plant also provides shade from the sun and will add a touch of flair to any fish tank or aquarium.

Check out our complete guide on hornwort here.



Anacharis flush toxins out of the water and slow down the growth of algae. You can be as creative as you like when decorating your tank with Anarachis because you can plant them or leave them to float around.

They form a mini forest in your tank, giving your bettas a great place to hide or take a nap. As they grow, the wispy strands can create a makeshift curtain against the tank/ aquarium wall. They do grow very fast so you’ll need to trim them frequently.

Apart from these, there are plenty of other live plants for betta fish, such as Wisterias (ideal for larger tanks and aquariums) and so on.

Check out our complete guide on anacharis here.


The Anubias genus is another rhizome plant genus that comes in various forms, sizes, and textures. Anubias plants do not require substrate and are usually affixed to driftwood. Alternatively, you can just place the anubias with a plastic pot into an easy planter decoration. 


With its superb shade tolerance and ease of maintenance, Cryptocoryne is an excellent choice for the midground. You may combine it with other plants, stones, and driftwood. In Cryptocoryne, there is a vast variety of further species, and almost all the species have their unique looks.

Water Sprite

This simple-to-grow stem plant is excellent only because it can be planted in the substrate or used as a floating plant. In addition, its delicate, lacy leaves provide a thick jungle for your betta fish to explore and create bubble nests.

Betta Bulb

Betta bulbs are often a combination of apologetic bulb plants. The majority of apologetic bulbs in the market are hybrids that are easy to grow. They have long, light green leaves with a rippling or wavy structure.

Sword Plant

Consider filling a big aquarium with a giant sword plant, such as an Amazon or red flame sword. This traditional aquarium is popular because of its low maintenance requirements and large, wide leaves that provide resting and hiding areas for aquatic critters.


If you want to grow a dense underwater forest but only have enough money for one plant, Vallisneria (or Val) is your ticket. This tall, grass-like water plant is extremely durable and thrives in various conditions.

Pogostemon Stellatus ‘Octopus’

This unusual stem plant is another excellent background plant that covers the entire space of the betta fish aquarium with greenery within no time. The name “octopus” derives from the fact that each node produces multiple long and wispy leaves resembling octopus legs swaying in the water stream.

Floating Plants

Because betta fish prefer to assemble on the water’s top, floating plants are an excellent approach to enrich the upper layers of their habitat. In addition, floating plants, such as Amazon frogbit, are excellent anchor points for your betta fish to construct bubble nests.

Amazon Sword

The Amazon Sword Plant is emerging as a popular aquatic plant among fish breeders worldwide. Its size is high in natural habitats but varies in tanks. Therefore, if you want to grow it, you must have at least a 10-gallon tank.


Pennywort is a creeping plant that grows in swamps, ponds, and lakes. This herbaceous and cool perennial plant belongs to the APAC family and is known locally as Peruk in Manipuri. In the aquarium, it can grow up to 8 inches high.


Duckweed is a low-maintenance aquatic plant ideal for creating a realistic, marshy atmosphere in your betta’s aquarium. The plant is also great at collecting extra nutrients from the water and creating an ideal environment for bubble nesting.


Another type of broad-leafed plant that betta fish and their owners enjoy is Hygrophila. The plant leaves are liked by most of the betta for relaxation or resting. Hygrophila can grow up 25-30 inches which is sufficient for covering your shy items in the tank.


Hornwort’s attractive, fluffy bristle-like leaves and fast growth rate are favorites among gardeners. You can find this plant on almost every continent, and you may find 300+ species in this category. 


The plant is brilliant green, with broad, spreading leaves that form stunning patterns and odd forms. Water Wisteria’s form fluctuates depending on how and where it’s placed. It can be grown in a 10-gallon tank.

Amazon Frogbit

Frogbit is an excellent plant for Betta fish aquariums since it grows considerably larger than other plants, making it easy to weed and manage. Unfortunately, the hanging roots are also considerably bigger, creating a more complicated habitat for the Betta and its tankmates to explore and create nests in it.

Banana Plant

The plant gets its name from its bloated, banana-shaped roots, which serve as nutrition storage. This plant grows there, where it finds most of the light and has wider leaves that cover your aquarium very nicely. The color of your Banana Plant will vary according to the quantity and intensity of light it receives.

Aponogeton Ulvaceus

Aponogeton Ulvaceus is native to Madagascar. The plant has light green translucent leaves that grow in delicate circles about a foot or more in length, giving it a stunning show in a large tank.

Christmas Moss

Christmas mousse is frequently used to wrap aquascaping rocks or aquarium driftwood. The addition of mousse to the hardscape creates an aged appearance that all art fans like.

Marsilea Minuta

Because of its resilience and ease of maintenance might make a unique plant for a betta setup. Marsilea Minuta can tolerate a wide variety of water temperatures and grows slowly.

Pygmy Chain Sword Plant

Pygmy Chain Sword is a very tiny aquarium plant that will add much-needed interest to your fish tank’s foreground. Even a Pygmy Chain Sword does not require a high light system and nutrients; that way, it can grow in a low-budget tank.

Cryptocoryne Wendtii

This plant requires extremely little light to live, making it an excellent alternative for any owner who does not want to add lights to their tank arrangement.

Lighting Requirement for Live Plants

If you opt to maintain your tank with actual plants, you’ll need a light source to keep them alive. If you still haven’t set up your Betta tank (or if you want to improve), we recommend investing in a high-quality all-in-one light system. All-in-one systems provide all of the necessary lighting and filtration.

Fake Plants for Your Bettas

If you can’t afford to buy and maintain live plants, you don’t have to leave your tank empty. Artificial plants like the Betta Amazon Sword and Marina Pink Orchid can spruce up your tank and still give your bettas something to look at, sniff, and swim around in.

Zoo Med Betta Hammock

Zoo Med betta hammocks are natural-looking non-living plants that provide your betta with a safe and natural touch. It is sure your betta will enjoy a lot with this Zoo Med betta hammock.

Marina Natural Silk Red Plant

Marina natural silk red plants are the most popular silky plant, which gives a realistic look in your tank. The plant stands around six inches tall, is a fantastic foreground item, and is designed to float softly with the stream.

Imagitarium Inline Betta Plant

This lovely, lifelike silk plant is suitable for a foreground decoration as well as a betta resting spot. The material is long-lasting, will not fade, and is completely safe to use.

Marina Ecoscaper Silk Plant

The hues appear natural and transparent, and the tones will not fade. The plant is only eight inches tall, ideal for midground decor. This hydrocotyle silk plant looks and behaves exactly like a genuine thing but requires no maintenance and cleaning.

So, Live Or Fake Plants?

It is entirely up to you to use live or synthetic plants in your Betta aquariums. Here are some of the benefits and drawbacks of keeping live plants:

Advantages Of Keeping Live Plants

Better Filtration

Many fish owners obsess about their filtration systems while entirely ignoring live plants. Aquatic plants are one of the best filtrations available, used in aquariums.

Algae Growth is Reduced

Algae and plants sometimes fight for the same nutrients. Including plants in your Betta aquarium significantly reduces the number of nutrients accessible to harmful algae.

Disadvantages Of Keeping Live Plants


Fake plants are designed to be “set and forget.” Live plants, on the other hand, need more effort. You must ensure that the plants receive adequate sunlight and nutrients, trim them every few weeks, and pay close attention to water conditions.

Lighting Requirements

To thrive, live plants require light. Large tanks with more demanding plants may necessitate the purchase of costly lighting and CO2 equipment.

Aquatic Plants Vs. Semi-Submersible Plants

You’ve probably seen aquarium setups where plants grow out of the aquarium. Water garden specialists often construct an aquarium maintained in this manner. For example, growing semi-submerged bamboo in an aquarium is popular among certain betta owners.

Setting Up A Betta Fish Tank

1. Setting Up and Placing the Aquarium

2. Insert in Your Filter

3. Place Your Gravel

4. Assemble your plants and decorations.

5. Load it up!

6. Install your heater and turn on your filter.

7. Apply Neutralizer and run a Fishless Cycle.

Maintenance is Key

If you choose to keep live plants in your betta fish tank, make sure you properly take care of them. While most plants for bettas are low maintenance, some require regular trimming or regular skimming of the water for debris. With the right care, your plants will last you a lifetime, make your tank look great, and provide an almost natural habitat for your betta fish.


Are There Any Problems With Keeping Plants?

Yes, there are some common problems. You don’t have to worry if you’re properly taking care of your tank. However, we recommend you go for regular checkups of your plants weekly or biweekly.

Are Live Plants Better?

Of Course, they are better. Numerous studies have shown that indoor plants keep you healthier and happier, providing psychological and physical health advantages that fake plants cannot—That’s why it’s the best choice for your betta fishes.

Do Betta Fish Eat Plants? 

No, they do not eat plants. Betta fish is a predatory fish that feeds on zooplankton, tiny crustaceans, and the larvae of aquatic insects like mosquitoes.


Armed with all the essentials, you can confidently select the best aquarium plants for your betta fishes. Living plants contribute oxygen to the water, boosting the growth of beneficial microorganisms and eliminating harmful pollutants. 

Fake plants can be a good replacement for genuine ones. Silk plants do not require any upkeep or specific lighting. And you can remove them for cleaning purposes but won’t be as fresh as original plants. 

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