Top 10 Betta Fish Plants for Your Aquarium

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. Aquatic plants not only purify water from fish waste but also create a natural habitat 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. Rest assured, most of the plants in our top 10 list are beginner-friendly species that only need low lighting and a comprehensive liquid fertilizer like 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 are special because they don’t need any substrate or gravel to grow; simply attach them to a rock or driftwood using super glue gel and place it wherever you like in the aquarium.

The reproduction process for Java ferns is also interesting. You can either cut the rhizome in half to split the plant into two, or your java fern may start popping out little plantlets directly from their leaves. You should wait until a plantt grows larger and has enough roots to be able to remove it from the tank and replant it elsewhere. For more information about java fern care, read our full article here.

Java fern (Microsorum pteropus)

2. Anubias

The Anubias genus is another group of rhizome plants that comes in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and textures. Anubias nana petit, Anubias barberi, and Anubias coffeefolia are just a few of the many varieties. As with java fern, they can be attached to various hardscape and aquarium ornaments. You can also plant rhizome plants in the substrate, but it is important to not bury them. Otherwise the plant could 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. Fake rock looks natural and can be moved around to alter the appearance of your betta fish tanks.

Place anubias and java ferns in an Easy Planter to create an attractive “pot” that you can move around your aquarium as often as you wish.

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. Their unusual round shape comes from being constantly rolled around the bottom of lakes. Drop them wherever you see low light to “plant them”. These balls are very affordable and have a unique look. Many people love to purchase an army of marimo moss balls to supplement their betta fish tanks. For more information, please visit our marimo-moss ball care guide.

Marimo moss balls (Aegagropila linnaei)


4. Cryptocoryne

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. Many betta fish are found resting on or beneath their large, wavy edged leaves. Cryptocoryne parva, on the other hand, is one of the smallest crypts with deep green, slender leaves and is often used as a slow-growing, foreground plant.

Unlike most of the other plants on this list, cryptocorynes prefer to consume their nutrients from the ground rather than the water column, so they like to be planted in substrate that contains nutrients like root tab fertilizers. If your cryptocoryne plant starts to wilt soon after you purchase it, do not throw it out. It will likely be experiencing “crypt melt” and will start to grow new leaves.

Cryptocoryne wendtii

5. Water Sprite

This stem plant is very versatile. You can either plant it in the substrate, or you can use it as floating plants. Its fine, lacy foliage creates a dense forest for your betta fish. This jungle can be used to make bubble nests. Water sprite, a fast-growing organism, does an excellent job in absorbing toxic nitrogen compounds made from fish waste. Use Easy Green fertilizer to ensure your water sprite does not consume all of the nutrients.

Water (Ceratopteris.thalictroides).

6. Betta Bulb

You may see “betta bulbs” sold at big chain pet stores and wonder what exactly they are. 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. Both of these plants will send out lily pads that reach the surface, forming a network of stems for your betta to swim in 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. The classic aquarium favourite is beloved for its simple care requirements and large, broad leaves that provide hiding and resting spots 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. Once the sword plant grows large enough, it can start to grow long spikes which you can use to make baby sword plants that you can propagate in other fish tank.

Amazon blade (Echinodorus. bleheri).

8. Vallisneria

If you wanted to create a thick underwater forest but only had money for one plant, vallisneria (or val) is your winning ticket. The tall, grass-like aquatic plant can survive in many environments and is extremely hardy. Once established in an aquarium, this aquatic plant spreads quickly by sending out baby plants every few days to make it more popular. This plant is a great way to add color and texture to your aquarium. Read more in our vallisneria care guide.

Vallisneria spiralis

9. Pogostemon stellatus ‘Octopus’

This stem plant can be used as a background to quickly cover your betta fish tank. Each node of the stem produces several long, wispy and wavy leaves that resemble octopus legs waving in water current. This is why the name “Octopus” was given. As with most stem plants, it can grow quite tall in a short amount of time. To propagate, you can simply cut off the top of the plant and place it back in the substrate. In no time the plant cutting will grow new roots and leaves, creating a jungle gym for your betta.

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. Keep about half of the water surface free of leaves. This will allow for more oxygen to be introduced to the water and allows your betta fish to take a breather if necessary.

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