What Plants Do Betta Fish Eat?

Betta fish are the most sought-after aquarium fish, mainly due to their vibrant colors and quirky behavior.

They are beautiful and intelligent fish species, making them a great addition to any fish tank.

But do they feed on plants?

Not exactly. There are myths about Betta fish feeding on plants. However, in reality, your betta fish can not survive on a plant diet only.

Betta fish are carnivorous and love to eat, and sometimes even over-eat.

Although some plants can help Betta fish stay alive (if nothing else is available), they can’t be considered a nutritious diet to keep Betta fish healthy.

Best Food for Betta Fish

Betta fish enjoy a variety of live foods such as fish fry, blood worms, tubifex worms, and so much more.

You can also opt for freeze-dried mosquito larvae and worms if live food is difficult to source.

Betta fish also feed on dry pellets, or a combination of all three types of fish food to keep them happy and healthy.

So, where do the plants come in?

Well, Betta fish may not eat live plants, but they surely enjoy them in their surroundings. Adding plants in your Betta fish tank will help them feel at home because it will mimic their natural habitat.

Betta fishes are the happiest when they are living in a large space with thick plants to play and hide in. This is exactly why a small bowl or a tiny fish tank is not enough to keep a Betta fish healthy.

As a Betta fish owner, you have to ensure that you’re providing your Betta fish with at least a minimum of four-five gallons of water so that it has ample space to move around and be active.

Plants Betta Fish Can Eat

Now, let’s discuss the different types of plants that you can add to your Betta fish aquarium to create a natural representation of their wild habitat.

Again, your Betta fish may nibble on these plants from time to time, but they are not a form of fish feed under any circumstances.

Let’s dive in and explore the best plants that your Betta is bound to love:

Anubius Nana

Anubius Nana is one of the best plants that Betta fish enjoy in their living space.

Anubius Nana

The flat, broad leaves give Betta fish a great resting place so that can nap and refuel on energy.

The plant is super small and not hard to take care of. You can easily fit an AnubiusnNana in your Betta fish tank, given that it is larger than a minimum of three gallons of water.

Other than space, this particular plant doesn’t require a lot of light either, so it is a great choice for fish tanks that are not placed under direct lighting.

Another great thing about the Anubius Nana plant is that it grows very slowly. The slow growth helps you by not needing much maintenance as other faster-growing plants.

Java Fern

Java Ferns are another type of live plant that has slow growth.

They do great in dim lighting situations which makes this plant a great option for low-light aquariums.

Java Ferns

However, you have to be careful while planting a Java Fern in your Betta fish tank because it can die if you bury it under the substrate level.

Attaching a Java Fern to a rock or driftwood with some string is the best way to go.

Since they are slow-growing plants, you won’t need to maintain them as much while they are in your Betta fish tank.

One thing to consider with Java Ferns is that they can reproduce tiny ferns along with their older, more mature plants.

You can easily use these tiny baby Java Ferns to plant more in your Betta fish tank!

Also read: How To Anchor Aquarium Plants?

Marimo Moss Balls

If you want to add a fun little plant to your Betta fish tank, then Marimo Moss Balls are a great choice!

Marimo Moss Ball

These are small sphere-shaped balls that can add a nice flair to your fish tank.

However, it is important to note that Marimo Moss Balls are a better fit for fish tanks with a cooler temperature, generally below 75 degrees.

Additionally, Marimo Moss Balls do not require a lot of care in terms of lighting. They are low-light plants but do need high-quality water to survive.

These particular plants are a Betta fish favorite mainly because they are comfortable resting spots for them.

In some instances, you may find your Betta fish rolling these moss balls around like toys.

An important thing to keep in mind about Marimo Moss Balls is that they may not always maintain their spherical shape.

Their rolled shape comes from the currents of the oceans in which these plants are found. Since these currents are missing in a Betta fish tank, they may flatten out over time.

Amazon Sword

The Amazon Sword Plant is a classic favorite for Betta fish because it has broad leaves.

They can help Betta fish rest their find when they are tired or even take a little power nap.

Amazon Sword Plant

However, this particular plant has a few caring requirements that you should be aware of if you are planning to add this to your Betta fish tank.

Firstly, the Amazon Sword can be a literal sword. This means that it can grow up to three feet.

This isn’t a great choice if you have a five-gallon or smaller fish tank at home.

Consider buying Amazon Sword for your fish tank only if it has at least 10-gallon of water capacity.

Second, the Amazon Sword plants need a deep substrate to stand up straight.

Make sure that it has enough space to root itself at the bottom of the tank. If not, then it may not be very stable and can be damaging for your Betta fish if it falls.

Lastly, Amazon Sword plants need a sizeable amount of nourishment to survive. This means that you need to have a high-quality substrate in your Betta fish tank if you want to add this particular plant to the mix.

Water Sprite

Water Sprite ferns are a great choice for Betta fish tanks because they love to play among them.

Water Sprite

Several Betta fish owners like to plant Water Sprite for this exact reason.

This particular plant can flourish in both low and high light areas making it ideal for any kind of living situation.

However, they can grow exponentially in a short time duration which makes them a bit of a hassle to maintain.

A great thing about Water Sprite is that you can choose to plant them in a corner of a tank, or you can choose to let it float on the top. It does not need a particular place to root, which makes it easy to use.

Moreover, since the Water Sprite can float on the surface of the tank, it can also play an integral role by providing Betta fish a safe place to create their bubble nests.

Java Moss

If you are creating a Betta fish tank for the first time, then Java Moss is a good beginner’s choice.

Java Moss

This plant is pretty easy to look after and looks great inside an aquarium.

Java Moss does not need a lot of light to grow, neither does it need a think substrate to root itself. Hence, it is very easy to handle, especially when you’re just starting.

You can choose to string it to some driftwood or let it floor the bottom of your Betta fish tank, either way, they look great and add a natural dimension to any fish tank.

What Betta fish enjoy the most about Java Moss is the tangles it has, which makes it fun and exciting for them to explore. But as a fish owner, it means more maintenance for you!


Out of all the plants highlighted above, Pennywort is the most versatile. You can plant it on the substrate level or let it float on the surface of the tank.

This plant is pretty easy to take care of and can effortlessly thrive in dim lighting.

Since you don’t need to place Betta fish tanks in extremely bright lighting anyway, Pennywort is a great choice.

You may notice your Betta fish nibbling on the stalk of the plant. Pennywort is edible for humans as well, as it gives off a peppery taste.

One thing you should keep in mind with Pennywort is that it can slowly cover the top of the tank, blocking out sunlight for the rest of the plants in the tank.

So it’s important that you keep pruning the plant as and when needed.

Hence, be careful in maintaining this fast-growing plant to keep everyone in the tank satisfied.

Also read: 7 Best Plants for Betta Fish Tank 

The Bottom Line

As you can see, there are several live plants that you can add to your Betta fish tank.

However, you cannot use them as a food substitute for your pet fish because it isn’t enough to keep them healthy.

Plants are great for Betta fish in the form of entertainment and hiding places, but their nutrition should come from proper fish feed to keep them happy and healthy.

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