Betta Fish

Are Live Plants Good For Betta Fish?

5 min read

Betta fish are very territorial creatures. Whether you have a male betta all by themselves or a five-female betta sorority, they will all want their own space.

Live plants are good for betta fish because they provide hiding places or territory boundaries, help clean and oxygenate the water and provide male betta fish somewhere to build a bubble nest for mating. Live plants also take all of the nutrients that algae feed on, thus reducing algae growth in your betta tank!

So what are you waiting for? Not so easily convinced? Let’s see if we can show you how good live plants are for your betta fish.

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Advantages Of Live Plants In A Betta Fish Tank

Add Oxygen To Your Water

Plants remove carbon dioxide and add oxygen to your water. Live plants need to do this to grow. With more oxygen in your water, your betta fish will be healthier.

Inhibit Algae From Growing

Live plants and algae feed off the same nutrients, so when you have live plants in your betta tank, the live plants will consume all of the nutrients that algae feed off, thus keeping algae from growing in your tank.

Better Filter System

With live plants in your tank, you won’t have to stress as much about your filtration system. Live plants help remove toxins and nitrate from your water because they use it to grow just like in their natural wild habitat.

Natural Appearance

Live plants help make your aquarium look like a natural habitat in the wild that your betta would live in. You can make your aquarium look like a miniature underwater jungle.

Hiding Places

Betta fish like to have their own territory and places to hide if they feel threatened. Having a lot of live plants will give the additional benefit of these hiding places. You could just use decorations or fake plants but then you wouldn’t get the other added benefits described above.

Resting Places

Betta fish like to rest on something solid like a plant near the water’s surface. So if you have some tall plants or even floating plants, you might find your betta sometimes lying on the leaves of their plants.

Place For A Bubble Nest

If you have a lot of live plants in your betta tank, the male betta will build a bubble nest that attaches to one of the live plants. Male betta fish build a bubble nest when they are ready to mate. The bubble nest is where the eggs are stored until they hatch.

Are There Any Disadvantages To Keeping Live Plants In A Betta Tank?

The disadvantages would be the expense of purchasing an aquarium light and caring for the plants.

Caring For The Plants

Live plants are going to need to be trimmed, sometimes cleaned, special lighting and some plants will need extra vitamin supplements. Also, like fish, plants will need the right water parameters to survive.

Plants Need Extra Light

Plants need proper lighting to perform photosynthesis, which is the process of converting all of the yucky stuff and algae-compatible nutrients into fuel for the plants to grow. Without the proper lighting, plants will not survive.

What Type Of Light Do Live Plants Need?

There are many different live plants you can grow in your betta tank. Some require higher lighting like fluorescent, while some require lower LED lighting.

The higher lighting the plant needs, the harder it will be to take care of and the greater chance for algae to grow. It is better to start with lower-level lighting plants because they are much easier to take care of.

What Live Plants Are Safe For Betta Fish?

Amazon Sword

Amazon Plants
Scientific NameEchinodorous
SynonymE. Paniculatus, E. Rengeri
Common NameBroadleaved Amazon Swordplant
OriginSouth America
Maximum Height20 Inches
Growth RateModerate
AreaBackground or Main
LightBright
Temperature75-82°F
PropagationPlantlets
DifficultyEasy – Beginner

Anubias Nana

Anubias Nana
Scientific NameAnubias Barteri Nana
SynonymAnubias Nana
Common NameDwarf Anubias
OriginWest Africa
Maximum Height4.7 Inches
Growth RateSlow
AreaForeground or Main
LightNon Essential
Temperature72-82°F
PropagationSide Shoots
DifficultyEasy

Marimo Moss Balls

Marimo Moss Balls
Scientific NameAegagropila linnaei”
Common NameMoss Balls
OriginJapan and Northern Europe
Maximum Height8-12 inches
Growth RateSlow
Area5 inches in diameter – ball shape
LightLow
Temperature72-78°F
PropagationBudding
DifficultyEasy

Java Fern

Java Fern
Scientific NameMicrosorium Pteropus
Common NameJava Fern
OriginSoutheast Asia
Maximum Height10 inches
Growth RateSlow-Medium
AreaAnywhere
LightNone
Temperature64-82°F
PropagationPlantlets
DifficultyEasy

Water Sprite

Water Sprite
Scientific NameCeratopteris thalictroides
Common NameWater Sprite, Water Fern, Indian Fern and Indian Water Fern
OriginTropical Asia
Maximum Height13.5 inches
Growth RateLow – Moderate
LightModerate-High
Temperature68-80°F
PropagationSpreads
DifficultyEasy-Moderate

Java Moss

Java Moss
Scientific NameVesicularia dubyana
Common NameJava Moss
OriginAsia, India
Growth RateMedium-Fast
AreaForeground-Main
LightNon-Essential
Temperature64-86°F
PropagationShoots
DifficultyEasy

Anacharis

Anacharis
Scientific NameEgeria densa
SynonymElodea Densa
Common NameElodea, Pondweed
OriginUSA
Maximum Height20 inches
Growth RateFast
AreaBackground, Midground
LightModerate
Temperature64-79°F
PropagationCuttings
DifficultyEasy

Pennywort

Pennywort
Scientific NameHydrocotyle Leucocephala
Common NameBrazilian Pennywort
OriginBrazil
Maximum Height20-24 inches
Growth RateFast
AreaAny
LightBright
Temperature68-82°F
PropagationCuttings
DifficultyEasy

Duckweed

Duckweed
Scientific NameLemna minor
Common NameDuckweed
OriginWorldwide
Growth RateFast
AreaFloating
LightNon-Essential
Temperature50-86°F
PropagationSide Shoots
DifficultyHardy – More Light for Some Species

Hygrophila

Hygrophila PetAquariums Are Live Plants Good For Betta Fish?
Scientific NameHygrophila Corymbosa
SynonymNomaphila stricta
Common NameGiant Hygrophila
OriginIndia, Indonesia
Maximum Height20 inches
Growth RateMedium – Fast
AreaBackground – Midground
LightModerate – Bright
Temperature68-82°F
PropagationCuttings – Side Shoots
DifficultyEasy

Hornwort

Hornwort PetAquariums Are Live Plants Good For Betta Fish?
Scientific NameCeratophyllum Demersum
Common NameHornwort
OriginWorldwide
Maximum Height20 inches
Growth RateFast
AreaAny
LightModerate
Temperature64-82°F
PropagationCuttings – Side Shoots
DifficultyEasy

Wisteria

Wisteria PetAquariums Are Live Plants Good For Betta Fish?
Scientific NameHygrophila difformis
SynonymSynnema triflorum
Common NameWater Wisteria
OriginIndia, Thailand, Malaya
Maximum Height20 inches
Growth RateMedium
AreaBackground
LightBright – Strong
Temperature75-82°F
PropagationCuttings Side Shoots
DifficultyNeeds more light

Amazon Frogbit

Amazon Frogbit PetAquariums Are Live Plants Good For Betta Fish?
Scientific NameLimnobium laevigatum
SynonymL. stoloniferum, Hyntria stolonifera
Common NameAmazon Frogbit
OriginSouth America
Growth RateMedium – Fast
AreaFloating
LightBright
Temperature72-75°F
PropagationRunners
DifficultyEasy – Careful with light

Anubias Barteri

Anubias Barteri
Scientific Name Anubias barteri var. barteri
Common NameBroadleaved Anibias
OriginWest Africa
Maximum Height12 inches
Growth RateSlow
AreaAny
LightAny
Temperature72-82°F
PropagationSide Shoots
DifficultyEasy

Banana Plant

Banana Plant PetAquariums Are Live Plants Good For Betta Fish?
Scientific NameNymphoides aquatica
Common NameBanana Plant
OriginSouthern United States
Maximum Height6-8 inches
Growth RateSlow – Medium
AreaAny
LightBright – Strong
Temperature68-86°F
PropagationPlantlets
DifficultyModerate – Lighting

Cryptocoryne Parva

Cryptocoryne parva PetAquariums Are Live Plants Good For Betta Fish?
Scientific Name Cryptocoryne parva
Common Name Tiny Cryptocoryne
OriginSri Lanka
Maximum Height2 inches
Growth RateSlow – Medium
AreaForeground
LightVery Bright
Temperature77-82°F
PropagationRunners
DifficultyChallenging

Christmas Moss

Christmas Moss PetAquariums Are Live Plants Good For Betta Fish?
Scientific NameVesicularia montagnei
Common NameChristmas Moss
OriginBrazil
Maximum Height3cm
Growth Ratemedium
AreaAccent Plant
LightMedium
Temperature68-82°F
PropagationSpreads along flat surface
DifficultyEasy

Pygmy Chain Sword Plant

Pygmy Chain Sword Plant PetAquariums Are Live Plants Good For Betta Fish?
Scientific NameEchinodorus tenellus
Common NamePygmy Chain Sword
OriginNorth, Central, and South America
Maximum Height4 inches
Growth RateModerate – High
LightModerate – High
Temperature72 to 80°F
PropagationRunners
DifficultyEasy

Cryptocoryne Wendtii

Cryptocoryne Wendtii PetAquariums Are Live Plants Good For Betta Fish?
Scientific Name Cryptocoryne wendtii
Common Name Cryptocoryne wendtii
OriginSri Lanka
Maximum Height14 inches
Growth RateMedium – Fast
AreaBackground – Midground
LightModerate – Bright
Temperature75-82°F
PropagationShoots – Runners
DifficultyModerate because of lighting

Vallisneria

Vallisneria02 PetAquariums Are Live Plants Good For Betta Fish?
Scientific NameVallisneria spiralis
Common Name Straight Vallisneria
OriginNew Guinea
Maximum Height39 inches
Growth RateMedium
AreaBackground
LightBright
Temperature64-82°F
PropagationRunners
DifficultyModerate

Are Live Plants Bad For Betta Fish?

The only way live plants are bad for betta fish is if you choose the wrong kind.

Betta fish are known to jump out of their aquarium so you want to keep a lid on your aquarium. This also means that you want to monitor any plants that you put in your tank and make sure they aren’t going to grow so tall that they push the lid of your aquarium open.

Other than that you just want to put plants that will survive with the same temperature and light levels as your betta fish.

Betta fish need their water to be between 75-80″°F so choose plants in that same temperature range.

Betta fish live in light during the day so you can choose plants that are fine in any light, moderate, or bright.

You should have one watt of light per gallon of water for your betta tank, a little less for LED lights, and a little more for fluorescent lights.

Conclusion

I hope we showed that live plants are good for betta fish as long as you do it right.

Just be honest with yourself. Are you going to take care of your live plants or are you going to be too busy during the week?

If you are going to be too busy then just get fake plants or decorations, as long as your betta has somewhere to hide. If you get fake plants make sure they are silk or don’t have sharp edges as this will hurt your betta fish’s fins.

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Pet Aquariums

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