live betta fish plants

Live Betta Fish Plants: The Ultimate Guide

Betta fish are beautiful with their vibrant colors and flowing tail fins. But if you just have the fish in your tank, it’ll probably look a bit bleak and your fish won’t have anything to do other than just float around in an empty pool.

Adding some live betta fish plants in your tank will not only make it look livelier, but it’ll also give your fish a habitat resembling the ocean and make them happier.  

Apart from being aesthetically pleasing for you and your fish, if you choose natural plants, they’ll be a source of fresh oxygen for your betta fish. You can even opt for plastic plants. But, it’s important to choose the right kind.

Which Plants Are Better for Betta Fish?

Whether you go for real or fake plants, make sure they’re not toxic and don’t harm your fish. Live plants have a brighter color and release gases and nutrients, which help betta fish flourish. Fake plants add some life to the aquarium and can still be used by your bettas to swim around through. They’re ideal if live plants are too expensive or too difficult for you to maintain.

You can even keep a combination of real and fake plants so that it fits your budget and your fish can benefit from the natural plants. Having a variety of plants will also emulate the betta’s natural habitat and potentially increase their lifespan.

Best Live Betta Fish Plants

Choose plants that not only look good, but also act as a source of nutrients for your betta fish. Here are some options for live betta fish plants:

Java Fern

java fern with fish

Java ferns are perfect for beginners and are easy to grow. It doesn’t have any special temperature and light requirements to grow properly. They grow so easily, you can even just pluck some leaves, pop in the water and there is a very high chance the plant will start growing.

Just make sure not to bury the rhizome (the plant stem) when you’re burying the roots. They don’t grow very fast so you don’t have to trim them too frequently. They do have a tendency to float on the water surface so it’s a good idea to tie them down on a small rock.

Not only will your betta fish have fun playing hide and seek in the ferns, but they’ll also keep the water fresh by releasing oxygen.

Check out our complete guide on java fern here.

Java Moss

java moss with shrimp

This is another plant that is suitable for everyone, including those completely new to the concept of putting plants in betta fish tanks. Bettas can nibble the plant, sleep in between its stalks and just swim through it.

Java moss thrives in pretty much any conditions, but they prefer cool water. Even so, they’ll still do fine in water temperatures for betta fish (74-80 degrees Fahrenheit). Similar to the Java Fern, you’ll need to tie the plant to the rock or something to prevent it from floating around. It also grows very fast and needs frequent trimming.

Check out our complete guide on java moss here.

Betta Balls (Marimo Moss Balls)

marimo moss ball

If they’re called betta balls, they’re likely to be the perfect plant for a betta fish tank. Marimo moss balls are little moss balls of algae, which can last forever and don’t have any special maintenance requirements. When you change the water in the tanks, just squeeze the marimo balls to get rid of dirt or other buildup.

The round, fluffy balls adorable and bettas love resting on top of or even just rubbing against them. They also absorb chemicals and excess nutrients, keeping the environment safe and healthy for bettas.

If you have more than one betta tank, you can even break up the moss balls and divide them in the tanks. They’ll still keep growing so you don’t need to get new plants for your new tank.

Check out our complete guide on betta balls here.


hornwort aquarium plant

Hornworts are a little more high-maintenance than other plants, but they look great and your bettas will love them. They grow pretty fast and will be flowing around your aquarium in no time.

Make sure you trim them regularly. They also shed nettles, which if left in the water will rot and pollute the water. You’ll have to clean your tank more regularly if you put in Hornworts.

Your bettas, especially the baby ones will love hiding among the leaves and stalks. The plant also provides shade from the sun and will add a touch of flair to any fish tank or aquarium.

Check out our complete guide on hornwort here.



Anacharis flush toxins out of the water and slow down the growth of algae. You can be as creative as you like when decorating your tank with Anarachis because you can plant them or leave them to float around.

They form a mini forest in your tank, giving your bettas a great place to hide or take a nap. As they grow, the wispy strands can create a makeshift curtain against the tank/ aquarium wall. They do grow very fast so you’ll need to trim them frequently.

Apart from these, there are plenty of other live plants for betta fish, such as Wisterias (ideal for larger tanks and aquariums) and so on.

Check out our complete guide on anacharis here.

Fake Plants for Your Bettas

If you can’t afford to buy and maintain live plants, you don’t have to leave your tank empty. Artificial plants like the Betta Amazon Sword and Marina Pink Orchid can spruce up your tank and still give your bettas something to look at, sniff and swim around in.

Maintenance is Key

If you choose to keep live plants in your betta fish tank, make sure you properly take care of them. While most plants for bettas are low maintenance, some require regular trimming or regular skimming of the water for debris. With the right care, your plants will last you a lifetime, make your tank look great and provide an almost natural habitat for your betta fish.

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