Aquarium plants are an essential addition to a betta fish aquarium. They give the betta fish a place to hide and explore, which makes the fish feel safe and happy.
Living plants are a part of the aquarium ecosystem, filtering and oxygenating water, though the filter does most of this. Fake or real plants make the aquarium look attractive to you and your curious fish.
With this guide, you will learn which plants fit you and your fish. You will decide between live or fake plants, plastic or silk, and smooth and stiff or pliable and soft.
For betta fish, you will want soft and pliable materials to keep from injuring fins. You will also want a dense area of plant life for them to hide in.
Plants For Betta Fish Reviews
Live Java Moss
Java moss is well known as a good companion to bettas. It is great for young bettas to hide in in breeding tanks, and grows along many surfaces for a natural look.
This moss grows along surfaces like driftwood and rocks. It can be grown along the back of a tank for a natural green backdrop to your tank display.
As a live plant, this makes oxygen and filters air. It is also soft enough not to damage fins, and makes a good hiding place for young betta fish.
The moss is grown underwater and thrives in that environment. This is good, because that is where it will spend its days in your tank.
- The company will replace it if it is dead when it arrives.
- It helps filter and add oxygen to the water.
- It is alive, so grows quickly to fill in spaces in the aquarium.
- The plant does not come attached to anything, and needs to be tied or glued to a surface.
- This moss grows quickly and can get caught around filters if it gets out of control.
Anubias nana, also known as anubias barteri, is a good plant for betta fish aquariums. It is a live plant, with sword-like leaves that can be reproduced easily.
As a live plant, this cleans the aquarium water. It survives at similar temperatures and lighting to a betta fish, making it great for that fish type.
The leaves of this plant give fish a place to rest. Betta fish like to rest on and under plants near the surface of the water, so the height and leap shape are perfect.
It is easy to produce more of these plants by taking cuttings. That means you can buy a plant and use it to fill in the dense areas betta fish like to hide in.
- It is easy to make more plants for other tanks.
- The leaves are the right shape to rest on.
- The leaves are tall, letting betta fish rest near the surface.
- This needs a nutrient-rich substrate, which takes more effort that gravel or floating plants.
- Algae may grow on the leaves if it is in a heavily lit area.
Marimo Moss Balls
These marimo moss balls are contaminant-free and require no maintenance. They ship safely, without damage, and have few of the drawbacks of other live plants.
These marimo moss balls are low-maintenance. They do not need to be cleaned like a plastic plant, and can be placed anywhere in the tank without the need to bury the roots.
They are less likely to be damage or spread diseases. They are quarantined before shipping, so they do not spread fish diseases. Then, they are submerged until shipped so they do not dry out.
Marimo moss balls are ling-lived. They can live longer than humans, so you will never need to replace one. This also means they do not grow fast enough to spread throughout your tank.
- They require little maintenance, but still filter and oxygenate water.
- They help keep algae from growing in the aquarium.
- They do not need to be planted when installed.
- They are compact balls and do not create hiding places.
- These do not provide shade or places to explore.
- They grow slowly and will not spread out into your tank.
Amazon swords are popular in betta fish aquariums because they are tall and broad leaves. They offer benefits of live plants, and make great background plants.
These plants have broad leaves that are perfect for egg laying. They are also great spots for betta fish to rest. Betta fish love hiding, and wide leaves give them a good place for that.
The height of amazon swords makes them perfect for betta fish to rest also. Betta fish prefer to be near the surface when resting, which the plant height allows.
As an ornament, these plants are a perfect backdrop. The tall, wide leaves can cover the back of the tank. It is bright green, and attractive to look at.
- It is tall and lets betta fish rest near the surface, which they enjoy.
- The broad leaves are perfect for betta fish to hide under.
- Betta fish love resting on the broad leaves.
- It grows tall and should not be put in a very small tank.
- They need to be rooted deeply in the substrate at the bottom of the aquarium to stand up.
Java ferns are slow-growing plants with broad leaves. They make great hiding, exploring, and resting places for betta fish. They also add a natural look to an aquarium.
These plants grow slowly. This means they will not take over an aquarium, but they will not spread out of you want them to. It also means they do not need much light.
These broad leaves and make great places for hiding and resting. Betta fish love to hide and explore. The natural movement of the leaves in water will fascinate them.
These plants have rhizomes that should not be buried. Instead, they can be attached to driftwood or other thing at the bottom of the tank. This makes them easy to install.
- They grow slowly and will not take over your aquarium quickly.
- Java ferns have broad leaves that are good for hiding.
- The live plant will move with currents and feel natural.
- They could die if you plant them, so you have to tie them off or plant them carefully.
- They do not grow quickly, so you can not rely on them spreading throughout your aquarium.
Amazon frogbit is a surface-floating plant that needs only the water it sits in. It is great shade. Like other live plants, it keeps water clean and aerated.
This plant floats on the water’s surface. This means it will provide shade if needed. It also means that too much of it can block shade from other plants.
Amazon frogbit grows fast. This means that you can move the extra pieces to other tanks to get more from one plant. It also means that it can spread out and block light.
This plant has a complex set of roots that are like a small forest for the betta underneath them. This gives the betta interesting places to explore and hide.
- It grows fast, so you can spread it out to other tanks.
- It provides great hiding places under the wide leaves and in the roots.
- It is low maintenance, needing only the water.
- It needs to be weeded, or it can block light.
- If it isn’t weeded, it can take up space that the fish need to swim freely.
Hornwort is a versatile plant that can be put anywhere in a tank. It filters and aerates the aquarium while giving fish a nice habitat.
It grows quickly, even in low light setups. This is good for getting it to spread, but you will need to trim it. This could cause bits to flake off and get the water dirty.
This plant grows in the bottom of the tank, but can also float at the top. This gives both shade from the top and a place for betta fish to hide and explore at the bottom.
The unique bristled appearance of this plant makes it a good aquarium addition. It is pretty and natural, to make your tank look attractive to the human eye.
- It can be planted in substrate or float at the top of a tank.
- If it arrives dead or dies within 3 days, they will send a new one.
- It is attractive.
- It can be hard to find them.
- You have to be careful when trimming this plant, since bristles can come off and pollute the water.
This fast-growing, leafy plant is ideal for betta fish. It lets them do their favorite things; explore and hide. They won’t feel safe if they can’t hide, and will get bored with nothing to do.
This plant quickly forms thick forests that are perfect places for betta fish to hide. This quick growth can also overwhelm other plants if not watched.
The leaves block light. This makes them good hiding places for betta fish to feel safe in. The shade also stops algae from growing where it should not.
This plant loves light. If it does not get enough light, it will start to drop leaves. This will quickly get your tank dirty, so make sure to have enough light.
- This stops algae from growing by blocking light.
- It grows thickly, making a perfect hiding spot.
- It has wide leaves to give hiding spots and places to lay eggs.
- It grows quickly and could overwhelm the fish and other plants.
- The plant will drop leaves in low light and make the tank look dirty.
This fish hammock is a great place for fish to rest. It is easily cleaned and can be placed anywhere you want it. The silk keeps it from damaging fish fins.
These plants are fake. They do not filter the water, but they also cannot die and do not shed leaves. This means you do not need to work as hard to maintain them.
This plant has silk leaves. Betta fish have delicate fins, and the softness of the silk keeps the leaves from damaging them like hard plastic might.
The suction cup on this plant lets you put it anywhere the side of the aquarium. The stiff plastic stem supports the silk leaf and gives fish a cozy place to rest.
- This gives a nice place for betta fish to rest.
- The silk will not damage fins like hard plastic might.
- The fake plant cannot be killed.
- It takes little maintenance.
- Since it is fake, the plant does not filter the water or oxygenate it.
- This plant is not as attractive or natural-looking as a real plant.
Marina Naturals Silk Plant
This artificial plant is pretty and easy to maintain. It does not need light, and has a stand that can be placed at the bottom of an aquarium with little fuss.
The pretty red leaves of this plant are not common in live plants, but they give a nice appearance for human eyes. They can also be cleaned easily to keep disease from spreading across tanks.
Since this plant is fake, it does not need light. This means it can adapt perfectly to the needs of your fish. They can have as much or as little light as they need.
The stand makes it easy to install this plant, as it does not need to be put in substrate, tied to driftwood, or otherwise installed. It simply sits at the bottom of the tank.
- It does not require any maintenance besides rinsing when you clean the tank.
- It cannot die.
- There are no leaves that can fall and get the water dirty.
- It is attractive.
- It cannot filter and aerate the aquarium like live plants can.
- This silk does not look as natural as a green plant or a live one.
Advantages of Having Aquarium Plants for Betta Fish
- Betta fish love having places to explore. Plants in their tank are like a forest or jungle gym for them to play in and investigate the nooks and crannies of. The gentle swaying of a real or silk plant with the current fascinates them and imitate the shallow ponds and streams they are native to.
- Hiding is natural for betta fish. They do not feel safe unless they have a place to hide. This can be a fake rock, but dense plant life is the most comfortable and natural to them.
- All aquariums have filters to oxygenate and clean the water. That said, live plants add to the filtration of the water. This creates a better and healthier environment for the betta fish.
- Some fish naturally like rocks, but betta fish come from areas like rice paddies and slow-moving streams. These areas have plant life, which betta fish are naturally attracted to.
- Plants are pretty. The aquarium is not just for the fish. You have fish in your home because they are nice to look at, and plants are part of what looks good. Fake plants can be bought in many colors to create unique effect, and real plants add a touch of nature to your home or office.
Types of Aquarium Plants
- Live plants filter toxic substances like ammonia and nitrates from the water. These substances result from fish waste, and can kill your fish fairly quickly if not removed. They also add oxygen to the water for your fish to breathe. Your filter does most of this, but live plants help.
- Fake plants simulate a natural environment for the fish. They create an environment for your fish to hide and play in. This reduces stress and gives bored fish something to do. These plants to not help with filtering. Fake plants do not get sick or carry diseases from one tank to another. They can be plastic or silk.
- Plastic plants are fake plants made with soft plastic. They can have metal wires in them for stiffness if needed. Plastic does not bend and sway with water movement, leading to a less natural look. It is more durable than thinner materials like silk.
- Silk plants are a softer artificial plant than plastic. This is important for betta fish in particular, because betta fish’s delicate fins can be damages by plastic or metal. They sway with water currents and look more like real plants. Fish love an environment that feels natural. They can be damaged more easily by some fish, but are less likely to harm fragile fish like bettas.
- Fake Glowing plants are pretty to look at. They also add light at nighttime so you can view your fish any time you would like.
How to Pick Aquarium Plants for Betta Fish
- What will your fish like? Your fish will like having places to hide and explore. Live plants that are constantly changing will create this environment for them. Silk or live plants are gentler, and react naturally to their environment.
- What do you like the look of? This tank is for both you and your fish. If you want a colorful tank, fake plants are a good idea. For a natural-looking tank, use silk plants or live plants. They will move with the currents naturally, and create a realistic look. Glow-in-the-dark plants will let you add lighting effects to your decoration for a cool look at night.
- What is healthiest for the fish? Silk and live plants are less likely to damage fins, but soft plastic works also. Live plants put oxygen into the water, but are more likely to overgrow and clog up swimming space.
- What is easiest to install? If you don’t have a lot if experience, you want to find something easy to install. Some live plants have to be attached to driftwood or rocks. Others must be embedded in gravel or float on the tank surface. Fake plants should have a base to easily install them. Live plants that come with driftwood already attached can be places in the tank easily.
- What is easiest to care for? Some live plants need almost no care, and others need to be looked after. You will need to watch for signs of unhealthy plants, and make sure live plants do not grow out of control. With fake plants, you can rinse them off each time you clean the tank, with no extra maintenance needed.
Frequently Asked Questions About Aquarium Plants
Should I use real plants? Real plants help clean and aerate water, but they require maintenance. If you do not have time to devote, fake plants are best. If you want a realistic and natural look, real plants will make the aquarium feel like a pond.
Should I use plastic or silk? Plastic is more durable. For betta fish, you will want soft plastic or silk. This keeps their delicate fins from being damages. Silke may be best, but soft plastic works also.
Do I need to care for my fake plants? You will not need to care for the fake plants themselves, but they will get dirty. You will need to rinse it every time your clean the tank to keep the fish healthy. Silk plants are less durable than plastic, so you may need to replace them after a while.
Will plastic hurt my fish? Hard plastic can damage the fragile fins of betta fish, Soft plastic, on the other hand, works well for many types of fish. Check to see if the plastic plant uses any metal pieces. You may want to remove any metal pieces, as they can hurt your betta fish.
What is the healthiest option for a betta fish? Live plants are the healthiest choice for plants. They do not damage fins, and filter the water. It also adds oxygen to the water. While filters keep water clean, you will need to buy a separate device to aerate water if you do not want live plants.
Are there plants that are bad for betta fish? Some plants are not good for betta fish. For example, bamboo is often sold with betta fish. Since it is not an aquatic plant, it can decompose in the water. This dirty water is bad for your fish.
How to Attach Plants to Driftwood
Now you know how to get started stocking your aquarium! To keep your betta fish happy, buy them plants to hide in, sit on, and explore.
Betta fish are fragile, and their fins can be damaged. Make sure to buy soft plastic or silk if you want a fake plant. Real plants are always a great choice for a betta fish.
Click any of the links provided to get started building your betta fish’s aquarium! Use the variety of plants suggested here to make it a realistic habitat you and your fish will love!