Top 10 Betta Fish Plants for Your Aquarium
Looking for a way to take your betta fish tank to the next level? Give live aquarium plants a try. Not only do aquatic plants help purify the water from your fish’s waste, but they also provide a beautiful, natural environment for your betta. In the wild, Betta splendens are commonly found in tropical marshes and rice paddy fields chock-full of thick vegetation. Aquarium plants provide a great environment for your betta, providing him with a variety of things to do, such as a place to rest at night, as well as obstacles that can be used to keep him from getting territorial. Our top 10 list includes many beginner-friendly plants that require little lighting and a liquid fertilizer such as Easy Green.
1. Java Fern
Java fern is one of the most well-liked plants in the aquarium hobby because of its long, thick leaves and low maintenance care. This slow-growing plant comes in several variations, like needle leaf, trident, and Windelov (or lace) java fern. It is distinguished by a thick horizontal “stem”, called a Rhizome, which produces both roots and leaves at the top. Rhizome plants don’t need any substrate to grow. They can be attached to rocks and driftwood with super glue gel and placed wherever you wish in the aquarium.
Java ferns also have an interesting way of reproducing. The rhizome can be cut in half to divide the plant, or the java fern could start releasing tiny plantlets directly from the leaves. Wait until the plantt has grown to a sizeable size and has established roots before you can remove it from your tank and replant it. You can read the full article about Java Fern Care here.
Java fern (Microsorum pteropus)
Another group of rhizome plant genus Anubias is available in a variety of sizes and textures. Anubias barteri and Anubias Nana Petite are some of the most common varieties. As with java fern, they can be attached to various hardscape and aquarium ornaments. Rhizome plants can be planted into the substrate as well, but be careful not to bury the rhizome or else the plant may die.
Anubias plants don’t require substrate. Instead, they are often attached to driftwood or rocks.
Anubias can be dropped in an Easy Planter decoration. The fake rock has a very natural appearance and is easy to move around if you want to change the look of your betta fish tank.
Place your anubias or java fern inside an Easy Planter as an attractive “pot” that can be moved around the aquarium whenever you like.
3. Marimo Moss Ball
If java fern and anubias sound intimidating, then you can’t go wrong with marimo moss balls, the world’s easiest aquarium “plant.” Despite the name, these fuzzy green orbs of velvet are neither a moss nor plant, but rather a type of algae. The unusual shape of their marimo moss balls is due to the fact that they are constantly rolled around lakes’ bottoms. Drop them wherever you see low light to “plant them”. Because they are inexpensive and very unique, many people buy a large number of marimo moss balls to help fill their betta fish tank. To learn more, see our marimo moss ball care guide.
Marimo moss balls (Aegagropila linnaei)
Cryptocoryne plants or “crypts”, are well-known for their low maintenance and ability to survive in low to high levels of light. One of the most common types, Cryptocoryne wendtii, comes in many varieties, such as green, bronze, tropica, and red. You will often find betta fish resting on their wide, wavy-edged leaves. Cryptocoryne parava, however, is one small crypt with long, narrow, deep green leaves. This plant is often used for a slow-growing background plant.
Cryptocorynes, unlike most other plants, prefer to eat their nutrients from the ground, not the water column. Therefore, they love to be planted in substrate with nutrients such as root tab fertilizers. Also, if you see your new cryptocoryne plant wilting soon after purchase, don’t throw it away because it is likely experiencing “crypt melt.” Just leave it in the aquarium, and it will soon recover and start growing new leaves that are used to living in your water conditions.
5. Water Sprite
The stem plant is easy to grow and can be planted in the substrate or used as a floating plant. Its fine, lacy leaves provide a dense jungle for your betta fish to investigate and use for building bubble nests. As a fast-growing species, water sprite does a great job of absorbing toxic nitrogen compounds produced by fish waste. If it ends up consuming all the nutrients from the water, use some Easy Green fertilizer to keep it well-fed.
Water Sprite (Ceratopteris Thalictroides).
6. Betta Bulb
Some people may be confused by the name “betta bulbs” that are sold in big chain pet shops. Most of the time, you’re getting some kind of Aponogeton plant, which usually grows long, light green leaves with a rippled or wavy texture. You can also get the banana plant with its banana-shaped tubers and the dwarf aquarium Lily, which has reddish-bronze triangular-shaped leaves. These plants both send out lily pads to the surface and form a network of stems that your betta can swim between.
Banana (Nymphoides aquata)
7. Sword Plant
If you have large aquariums, you might consider adding a huge sword plant such as an Amazon sword or red flame blade to your tank. This aquarium staple is loved for its ease of care and large, wide leaves that offer hiding places and resting areas for aquatic animals. As with crypts, this is another group of plants that feeds heavily from its roots and requires either nutrient-rich substrate or a frequent diet of root tabs to stay healthy. The sword plant may grow long spikes when it reaches a certain size. These spikes can be used to create baby sword plants which can then be propagated in other fish tanks.
Amazon sword Echinodorus Bleheri
If you wanted to create a thick underwater forest but only had money for one plant, vallisneria (or val) is your winning ticket. This aquatic grass-like plant can grow tall and thrives in all kinds of environments. It spreads quickly once established in your aquarium by sending out new runners every few days with baby plants. This plant is a great way to add color and texture to your aquarium. Read more in our vallisneria care guide.
9. Pogostemon stellatus ‘Octopus’
This stem plant can be used as a background to quickly cover your betta fish tank. The ‘octopus’ nickname comes from the fact that each node on the stem produces several long and wispy leaves that look like octopus legs waving in the water current. It can grow very tall, as with many stem plants, in a short time. Simply trim the top portion of the plant to make it propagable and then replant it in its substrate. Your betta will love the jungle gym created by the plant cutting.
Pogostemon stellatus ‘octopus’
10. Floating plants
Because betta fish like to hang out near the water surface, floating plants are a wonderful way to enhance the upper layers of their home. You can choose from red root floaters, Amazon frogbits, or floating stem plants like the water sprite. The dense foliage and fluffy roots make it easy for your betta to create a bubble nest or just relax in the company of other plants. You should leave at least 50% of the water surface uncut. This allows for gas exchange and allows for your betta fish the opportunity to breathe.
Categories Aquatics Blog