We all know the importance of planting trees.
They keep our environment clean and healthier for humans to thrive.
Similarly, plants play a major role in maintaining the balance of aquatic life.
They bring up oxygen levels of the water and take up carbon dioxide and ammonia fish produce.
Plants utilize nutrients in the water, making them less available to grow harmful plants like algae.
Plants also provide shelter to aquatic life.
Is It Necessary for a Betta Fish Tank to have Plants?
Now, this comes as no surprise that fish tanks require plants to create a milieu for them similar to their natural habitat.
It allows a fish to acclimate faster.
This is, however, very contrary to a popular marketing scheme, that a Betta fish can survive in small, empty fish tanks.
A betta fish is less likely to survive in such an environment.
This will eventually drain the energy out of your betta and make it succumb to depression.
Best Plants to get for a Betta Fish Tank
Now that we know how getting plants will make the life of your Betta fish umpteen times better, let’s take a look at some of the best plants you can get for your Betta fish tank
The scientific name is Echinodorus grisebachii.
Amazon Sword requires a high level of light and falls under the easy-to-moderate category of plants when it comes to measuring difficulty-of-care.
Amazon Sword Plant is easily the most likable plant by betta fish.
It has nice big lustrous leaves that serve as perfect platforms for bettas to make a display of their gorgeous colorful fins.
However, their big leaves require a big tank as well.
Amazon Sword Plant can grow up to a height of 3 feet, hence not exactly favorable for smaller tanks.
A tank with a capacity of at least 10 gallons of water is more suitable for this plant.
This plant also takes up a lot of nutrients which necessitates a substrate of the highest quality.
The weight of the plant’s leaves also requires it to be anchored strongly and fairly well inside the substrate.
Hence, it is a considerably expensive plant to install and maintain in a small to medium-sized fish tank.
The scientific name is Microsorum pteropus.
Java Fern requires a low to moderate light level and falls under the easy category of plant’s difficulty-of-care parameter.
Java Fern is a quite delicate-looking plant.
They can add a unique look to your aquarium and are perfect for keeping with a betta fish.
They are very popular because they require very little effort and are super easy to maintain.
You do not need to worry about keeping strict water parameters. They can easily be grown in small jars even and can thrive under minimum natural sunlight as well.
They do not grow aggressively, which limits the frequency of trimming required by a plant.
These slow growers are perfect for beginners to keep in their betta fish tank.
Also read: How To Plant Java Fern In An Aquarium
Java Moss is known for being the best plant for beta fish. Much like the Java Fern, it has adapted to survive all kinds of conditions.
You don’t need to root java moss into your substrate. Instead, it can latch onto driftwood, rocks, and decorations in the tank.
For this reason, java moss is best suited for carpeting your aquarium. It has the ability to latch onto anything.
Java moss thrives in temperature ranges between 70-86°F. The pH range is 5 to 8. They can survive in both low light and high light conditions.
The scientific name is Anubias barteri var. Nana.
Any level of light works well for them, and they fall under a very easy category of plant’s difficulty-of-care.
This is another contender in the list of favorites of a betta fish. It is a short plant with broad leaves.
It adds a very beautiful contrasting dark green color to your betta fish tank.
Arubias Nana is another slow-growing plant that requires minimum effort and needs less frequent trimming.
Beginners can start slow and grow it in just a small corner of your tank and then easily propagate it throughout.
We know how much a betta fish loves broad leaves for display, but they also serve another purpose.
A betta fish can also use it to rest on and replenish their energy.
Unlike the Amazon sword plant, this broad-leaf plant can easily be cared for and maintained in small tanks.
You can either keep it fully or partially submerged.
The fact that it does not discriminate against light intensity makes it a good fit for fish tanks with low light sources.
Also read: How to Plant Anubias in Aquarium?
The scientific name is Ceratopteris thalictroides.
The Water Sprite plant requires a moderate level of light and falls under the easy category of plant’s difficulty-of-care.
Water sprite has very intricately shaped light green leaves and contrasting dark green stems, making it very appealing to the eyes.
This plant can either be anchored in the substrate or can be used as a floating plant.
A floating plant highly encourages a betta fish to make bubble nests.
Hence, these plants are a wonderful source of joy and keep your betta fish extremely entertained.
Water sprites best live in temperatures between 68 – 82 degrees Fahrenheit.
The pH range for these plants is between 6.0 to 7.5.
Water sprite does best under medium to high light. It can also grow in low-light conditions but at a slower pace.
Being an aggressive grower, Water Sprite raises concerns about difficulty in trimming, but it is undoubtedly one of the easiest plants to trim.
All you have to do is make a tiny cut at the stem base and remove these damaged leaves from the tank.
So, Water Sprite is still a popular choice amongst beginners.
Hornwort looks stellar in any tank, but they can be a stubborn species. These plants are aggressive growers.
If allowed to grow, they can reach a height of 10 feet. That is just massive – and also threatening.
The best thing is to keep these plants in a large tank, ideally, 15 gallons.
Hornwort plants have adapted to survive a variety of temperature conditions between 69-85°F. In terms of pH, 7 is good. This plant species is well suited to high-light tanks.
Betta bulbs originate from Asia, Australasia, and Africa.
They are named after bettas due to their fondness for the plant. Betta bulbs will also make your plant look great.
Betta bulbs grow thick leaves that provide perfect coverage to betta fish. Bettas also rest over the leaves, as a type of makeshift bed.
Betta bulbs don’t need much care. Just make sure that the pH is between 6.5 to 7.6. The temperature range should be between 73-83°F.
Under these conditions, your betta and betta bulbs will live happily together!
You can use low light to curb the growth of betta bulbs.
Marimo Moss Balls
Marimo Moss Balls are special spherical balls that are a type of algae. They’re not harmful to your betta fish and tank.
These plants live on lake beds in Northern Europe and Japan. Their unique shape comes from the ocean current.
These plants require special care and attention. They also need high-quality water with a low pollution load.
Make sure to install an efficient filter to keep them healthy.
Betta fish prefer Marimo balls. In fact, you’ll see them rolling them like toys or even resting on them.
It’s worth noting that due to the lack of ocean currents, Marimo balls will become flattened.
Keep the temperature at around 75 degrees (which shouldn’t be hard to do). The pH condition for these plants is around 6 to 8.
Marimo Moss Balls appreciate low to medium light, so install a small bulb.
The scientific name is Hydrocotyle leucocephala.
It requires a moderate to a high level of light and falls under an easy category of plant’s difficulty of care.
Another plant on our list can float on water, but it can also be grown fully or partially submerged in water.
As discussed earlier, floating plants can act as a ‘playground’ for betta fish.
Brazilian Pennywort is a plant that can adapt to a wide range of environments. It takes up roots fairly quickly in the substrate.
It can grow in low levels of light as well, but that will just make the plant shoot up higher in search of light.
This will create a shadow underneath and completely block the leaves at lower stems from getting any light.
So it is advised to keep it under an adequate amount of light.
The scientific name is Elodea densa.
Anacharis requires a moderate to a high level of light and falls under a very easy category of the level of difficulty-of-care.
Anacharis is also known as Brazilian Elodea or Brazilian Waterweed.
Another very easy to maintain is the fast-growing plant.
This plant has long dark green stems with small leaves of the same color throughout the stem.
The stems can grow very tall and provide a good shade for our shy Betta fish.
This plant is very famous for its ability to filter your tank water naturally.
It removes toxins and nutrients; hence, it plays a part in keeping the tank free of algae.
Anacharis is also known to be a food source for certain fish and a plant-eating snail.
The scientific name is Nymphoides aquatica.
The banana plant requires a low to a high level of light and falls under an easy category of plant’s difficulty-of-care.
For its unique experience, Banana Plant is an absolute eye-pleaser to have in your Betta fish tank.
This plant’s tubers look like a bunch of bananas. There’s no reason why you should hide them. It is important to keep the tubers on top of the substrate and not completely submerge it.
Besides having such uniquely shaped roots, this plant has very broad leaves like those of lilies, making them even more interesting.
By now, we are all sure of how much a Betta fish loves plants with broad leaves. Betta fish love to play around broad leaves as much as it loves to sleep on them.
Depending on the light intensity and water conditions, the color of the leaves can range from violet to lime green.
This adds an interesting character to your betta fish tank.
Also, let’s not forget that this beautiful looking unique plant is very easy to look after and another very popular option for beginners.
Benefits of Keeping Plants in Betta Fishtank
Here are just 5 benefits of plants for betta fish along with the best options.
Plants Fight Off Algae
The widespread growth of algal matter in tanks is annoying to fish. Plants can compete with algae for nutrients. These nutrients are iron, potassium, and nitrates.
Plants consume these nutrients, thereby starving algae and staving off their growth.
In more ways than one, this is the most effective way of slowing down algae. If this is your reason for buying aquatic plants, don’t go for slow varieties. For example, the slow-growing Anubias struggles to keep up with algae.
Either way, the most important step in fighting algae is to look for clumps. Always scrape algae from the glass regularly.
Oxygenation of the Water in the Tank
Plants in tanks also provide oxygenation to the water. They do this with the help of photosynthesis, releasing oxygen into the tank. In exchange, they consume the carbon dioxide from the betta fish. Oxygenation of your tank is vital to the survivability of your bettas.
You could just as easily use pumps and air stones. However, these devices only increase the surface area of the plants. Aquatic plants can provide the aquarium with oxygen, which is essential to life.
There is a myth that the carbon dioxide released by plants is hazardous to fish. This is false because carbon dioxide isn’t dangerous to your fish. In reality, plants don’t release lethal amounts of CO2.
Plants Mimics Bettas Natural Environment
Despite being bred in farms, betta fish do prefer to live in their natural habitat. You can do this by introducing more plants into the aquarium to mimic their environment. This will improve the aquarium’s beauty.
If you think about it carefully, isn’t that the purpose of your aquarium? To mimic the same habitat as your fish so they feel at home?
You don’t want to lock them up in a glasshouse filled with water. Look up more about the wild habitat of bettas and find suitable plants for them.
Don’t know where to look? Try your local fish store and they’ll tell you more about compatible plants.
Plants Provide a Comfortable Place for Betta to Hide
Betta fish can be very aggressive to their tank mates. At times, they may feel threatened and feel the need to hide. For this reason, you may want to provide them with plants as a safe refuge.
Without plants, your betta may become stressed out to the point of exhaustion. In addition to promoting a more peaceful environment for bettas, plants also encourage breeding.
In fact, if you want to create a mating pair, plants are a must. Live plants such as java fern and java moss are perfect for this purpose.
Pro tip: If you want to breed bettas, make sure your tank is fully cycled.
In the wild, most fish seek the protection of plants. They lay their eggs in plants, knowing that their young will be protected.
Plants Stabilize Substrate
This is particularly important if your betta has multiple tank mates.
Plants have powerful root systems that can hold the substrate in a single place. This ensures that the substrate is more stable against aggressive fish.
Substrate stability is important for aesthetics as well as anaerobic processes in the tank.
If this is something you’re after, avoid plants that attach to rocks. Instead, look toward plants such as java ferns and Anubias.
More importantly, these plants are also good at cleaning liquid excrements and nitrates.
Now you know of a bunch of options of plants to turn your betta fish tank into a perfect home for your betta fish.
You will most likely not think about putting a betta fish in a sad, empty fishbowl again as most of these plants are very low maintenance but can cheer up a betta fish like nothing else.
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