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. Betta splendens, a species of Betta, are often found in densely vegetated tropical marshes. Your betta will find aquarium plants an excellent way to enrich his life. They can also serve as obstacles and places to rest, as well a place for him to go to sleep at night. Our top 10 list includes many beginner-friendly plants that require little lighting and a liquid fertilizer such as Easy Green.
1. Java Fern
Because of its thick, long-lasting leaves and low maintenance requirements, Java fern is a popular choice in aquarium hobby. You can find this slow-growing plant in many forms, such as needle leaf, tridentine, and Windelov (or laces) Java fern. The rhizome is a horizontal, thick “stem” that produces roots at the bottom and leaves on 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.
Java ferns also have an interesting way of reproducing. To split the plant in two, you can cut the rhizome in half. Or your javafern might start to produce little plantlets from its 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)
The Anubias genus is another group of rhizome plants that comes in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and textures. Some of the most popular variants include Anubias barteri, anubias nana petite, and anubias coffeefolia. 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.
The anubias can also be placed in an Easy Planter decoration. If you wish to modify the appearance of your betta tank, the fake rock will look natural.
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. Their unusual round shape comes from being constantly rolled around the bottom of lakes. You can simply drop them in any aquarium with low light levels 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. To learn more, see our marimo moss ball care guide.
Marimo moss balls (Aegagropila linnaei)
Cryptocoryne plants, or “crypts” for short, are known for their undemanding care and ability to live in low to high light conditions. Cryptocoryne wendtii is one of the most popular types. It comes in many colors, including green, bronze and tropica. Betta fish can often be found resting on top or below their broad, 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.
Cryptocorynes are different from other plants. They prefer to get their nutrients from ground and not the water column. This is why they love being planted in substrate that has nutrients like 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
This easy-to-grow stem plant is fairly versatile because you can plant it in the substrate or use it as a floating plant. Its fine, lacy foliage creates a dense forest for your betta fish. This jungle can be used to make bubble nests. Water sprite is a fast-growing species that absorbs toxic nitrogen compounds from fish waste. Use Easy Green fertilizer to ensure your water sprite does not consume all of the nutrients.
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. The banana plant, with its banana-shaped tubers at the base, and the dwarf aquarium lily, which produces reddish-bronze triangular leaves are two other easy bulb plants. 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 Plant (Nymphoides Aquatia)
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. Similar to crypts, this plant also needs a high-nutrient substrate or frequent intake of root tabs to keep it 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. Plus, once it gets well-established in your aquarium, it spreads like wildfire by sending out new runners with baby plants every few days. 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 unique stem plant is another great option for background plants that will quickly cover your betta tank with lots of greenery. 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. It can grow very tall, as with many stem plants, in a short time. For propagation, simply trim off the top half of the plant and replant it 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
The floating plants are great for enhancing the home’s upper layers, as betta fish love to be near the water surface. There are many types of floating plants, including red root floaters and Amazon frogbit. Because of the fluffy roots and dense foliage, your betta feels safe enough to build his bubble nest or take a little nap surrounded by plant life. 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.