Best Plants for a Betta Fish Tank
Bettas (Siamese fighting fish) are among the most strikingly beautiful fish you can host in your aquarium. They are extremely beautiful to look at and their captivating behaviour will keep you amused round the clock. To replicate their natural habitat in your tank, you not only need to ensure that you provide them with appropriate tank requirements and maintain the required water conditions, but you also need to keep aquatic plants in their tank.
This is what our article is about today. We are going to let you know which aquatic plants are compatible with your Bettas to make them feel comfortable. But before we do so, let us tell you why you need to keep plants with these magnificent creatures. So, follow through.
Why is it Important to keep Plants with Bettas?
To start with, you should know that in the wild, Bettas live in an environment that is surrounded by thick vegetation. So, to make them feel at home, including aquatic plants in your tank is an absolute necessity. In addition, if you are keeping more than one Betta in your tank or are keeping them with other species, they would need some hiding spots. Plants serve has excellent hiding spots for them.
Aquatic plants also play a vital role in their breeding process since Bettas build their bubble nest around these plants.
Now, you may be wondering whether you can keep artificial plants with your Bettas or not. Well, the answer is yes. Both natural as well as artificial plants are suitable for Bettas and we are going to include both in our list today.
While live plants help in creating a natural ecosystem in your tank and nourish and nurture your Betta, they are a bit difficult to maintain as they need constant trimming. Plastic plants, on the other hand, are extremely easy to maintain since you need to clean them once a month. However, they don’t provide any benefits to your fish. Also, you need to make sure that the artificial plant that you are buying doesn’t contain any toxic element in it.
Ideally, it would be great if you can have a combination of both natural and artificial plants in your tank so that you have a rich ecosystem in your tank without having the tall task of maintaining it too much.
Alright, now that you are aware of why you need to keep aquatic plants in a Betta fish tank, it is time for us to list down the most suitable ones among them.
Best Aquatic Plants Suitable for a Betta Fish Tank
We have tried to make our list a diverse as possible by including both natural and artificial plants. Moreover, for aesthetic purposes, we have ensured that we include distinct looking aquatic plants so that your aquarium doesn’t look mundane and reflect the natural habitat as closely as possible.
A member of the Hypnaceae family, Java Moss is extremely hardy and non-demanding about their water conditions. In the wild, you will find Java Moss growing on tree trunks and rocks along riverbanks.
Using its rhizoids, a Java Moss attaches itself to the surface. Having tiny leaves that measure up to 2 mm, aquarists use Java Moss extensively in the tank to form beautiful carpets. You can even attach these plants to driftwood or can make them grow on the walls of your tank.
Initially, you might have to tie your Java Moss with a thread so that it stays in place. However, within a month or so, it will automatically attach itself to the surface. Be sure to trim it so that you are able to keep it in shape and prevent it from going wild.
It acts as a groundcover and can help in creating a layered look in your tank. Leftover food and fish wastes are sufficient for its nutrient supply. It prefers lots of nitrates and steady water since it has a delicate structure.
Native to Southeast Asia, Java Fern is widely popular among aquarists since it is extremely easy to maintain. It is highly tolerant of various water conditions which add to its hardy nature. Moreover, it can also adjust itself perfectly to sudden water changes in the environment. Besides, you don’t have to trim it as often as other natural aquatic plants. This is because of its slow growth rate.
Java Ferns produce bright green leaves. However, if you use bright lights in your tank, then the chances of the leaves turning dark are very high. Although most leaves are spiky, the overall appearance of this plant is bushy. These plants are anchored to the surface by rhizomes. You can cut a rhizome in half and plant it separately in order to propagate it.
These plants act as excellent shelter for Bettas and can help them provide much relief from other boisterous plants. In addition, they provide them with the much-needed shade from the aquarium lights. Another important thing that we must mention about this plant is that its leaves are extremely thick and robust. As such, they are pretty tolerant from getting nipped by Bettas.
Seen mostly in Bhutan and Nepal, Water Wisteria has its origin in the Indian subcontinent. It is known for its bright green leaves that can take various forms and brighten up any dull tank.
These plants can be extremely long and a single stem can measure up to 20” (50 cm). As such, it will most likely reach the water surface. This is why you should be careful since if you don’t keep much space between them, then they will block lights from reaching the bottom of the tank.
Water Wisteria is a hardy plant. Therefore, we recommend it for beginners who are prone to making mistakes pretty often. Please remember that you need to trim it regularly as it grows pretty fast.
You can use its trimmings in order to propagate it. All you need to do is to take the trimmings and plant in somewhere else in your tank. Be sure that each cutting includes leaves since that would be necessary for photosynthesis.
You can either let it grow upright by planting in in the substrate or can let it grow like a carpet at the bottom of your tank. We advise you to not plant it too densely so that your fish have some swimming space and not feel claustrophobic.
Originally from South America, Hornwort is another excellent option that you should keep in mind while looking for an aquatic plant for your Betta. Since it is easy to propagate and has a high tolerance to changing water conditions, it is very popular with aquarists.
At times, Bettas can nibble on the leaves of the plants of their surroundings. Therefore, keeping a plant like Hornwort with them is suggested as its leaves are hardy by nature.
Structurally, it stretches from the bottom of your tank up to the water column. As such, it can serve as great hiding spots for your Betta. You can even use it in ponds since its stem can grow up to 10 feet.
Its fast growth, however, means that you need to regularly trim it. Also, it should be noted that the stems of this plant sometimes shed debris that you may have to remove from your tank.
Amazon Sword Plants
Mostly seen in the Amazon River basin, Amazon Sword plants are native to South America. They have long blade-like leaves that can measure up to 14” (35 cm). The leaves sprout from short stems, thereby creating a bushy appearance. Usually, they produce slightly dark green leaves. If they are producing leaves of any other colour, you need to deduce that there might be something wrong with their health.
These plants are known for tolerating a wide range of temperature 68-75° F (20-23° C). They are not highly-demanding and you don’t have regularly trim them.
As far as their propagation is concerned, the entire process is very easy. The plantlets can grow from a long maternal stem. You can cut off the plantlets once they grow their own roots and leaves and can plant them somewhere else in the tank in order to grow a new plant.
Having its root in North and South America, Anacharis is one of the favourites of aquarists since it help consume the nutrients that algae depend on. As such, it restricts algae bloom. In addition, it also removes toxin from the water, thereby keeping it clean and safe for your Bettas.
They usually grow towards the direction of lights and then subsequently spread across the surface. If you don’t want it to go rogue, you would have to trim it regularly.
As you can understand, its dense appearance can act as excellent hiding spots. You can either let it float in the water surface or have it planted in the substrate. They are marked by their short leaves and long stem. Their soft leaves are excellent food choices for many species as well; and you don’t have to worry about it since it has a fast growth rate and produces leaves quickly to make up for the loss of other leaves eaten by your aquatic pets.
One of the most popular freshwater plants from the African riverbanks, Anubias Nana are excellent additions for paludarium and are compatible with Bettas
You can find them either fully or partially submerged in water. It falls in the short aquatic plant category, growing to a length of 7.5” (19 cm). However you don’t need to worry as that is sufficient for your Bettas to hide. In fact, if you have one of those small Betta tanks (10 gallons), then Anubias Nana is the perfect aquatic plant for you.
It is also extremely hardy and doesn’t require much of your attention. As long as you provide it with adequate light, it will take care of itself.
The thick stems of Anubias Nana help it to stay together and its teardrop-shaped leaves are an excellent aesthetic addition to your tank. The leaves are strengthened by waxy cuticles. You can propagate them through rhizome division. To put it simply, you need to take a cutting that has leaves attached to it and plant it separately in a different place in your tank. The only concern with this plant is that your aquatic pet may nibble its leaves. If you see the leaves getting nibbled on frequently, then you may to think of a different plant option for your tank.
Marina Betta Pink Orchid Aquarium Plastic Plant
Last but not least, we want to finish up with an artificial plant that not only would act as a hiding spot for your Bettas, but would also add a dash of colour to your tank. The Marina Betta Pink Orchid Aquarium Plastic Plant resembles rare pink orchids. It also comes with a root-like structure that helps it in securing itself to the bottom of the tank, thereby making its appearance more authentic.
The combination of pink and green adds to the interest of your Betta and they love spending their time around it. It is extremely easy to clean and is safe for your aquatic pets. Moreover, it is built to last long and its colour does not fade with time.
As much as you would like to watch your Betta 24×7, you also need to give them respite and privacy by providing them with adequate hiding spots not only in the form of caves and castles, but also by adding aquatic plants to your tank. Whether it is natural light or artificial ones, make sure to include them in your tank. After all, reflecting the natural habitat of your Betta in your tank is extremely important for their well-being.
Similar Aquatic Plants Related Articles
If this article has interested you, we believe you would enjoy reading the following articles as well:
- Water Wisteria Care Guide – Appropriate for small tanks, Water Wisteria help in adding to aesthetics of your tank. Take a look at its comprehensive care guide from here.
- Java Moss Care Guide – Extremely popular with aquarists across the globe, Java Moss are extremely easy to maintain and can survive in low-light atmosphere. Learn how to plant them in your tank from this space.
- Dwarf Hairgrass Care Guide – If you want to grow this magnificent grass-like aquatic plant in our tank, then take a quick look at its comprehensive care guide.