Are Live Plants Good for Betta Fish?

Last Updated on April 15, 2022

We usually see fish tanks with several essentials including plants (either live or fake plants) that your pet may enjoy. But the question is: are live aquarium plants good for betta fish?

Choosing the right live plants for your betta fish tank is not a walk in the park. You will be greeted with lots of maintenance tasks and a plethora of considerations to keep in mind. 

Just when you thought that choosing the right food for your betta fish isn’t frustrating enough, then wait until you feel the same for choosing aquatic plants.

But today, you are about to get that peace of mind you’re yearning for as we’re going to tackle the pros and cons of live plants, some aquarium plant suggestions, and other things that relate to aquatic plant and betta fishes. 

Do bettas need live plants?

Are Live Plants Good for Betta Fish?

Live plants do not only make your betta fish tank attractive, but they also work as a natural water purifier. But aside from the advantages, live plants also have their disadvantages.

Let’s take a look at its pros and cons.

The Good

It’s natural

Live plants are what you need if you want to provide the best for your betta fish. Betta fishes love to play, sleep, and nibble around aquatic, thick vegetation. And as betta fish owners, there’s no better option for that than to buy only live plants.

Take note that they make plastic fake plants from chemicals that can harm your betta fish.

They keep the water oxygenated

Live plants promote a healthy environment for your betta tank. They act as a natural oxygenator, especially during the daytime. Live aquatic plants also get rid of harmful toxins, making the water safe and clean for your betta fish.

Provides a suitable hiding spot for your betta fish

Betta fish love to chill and hide around plants such as in betta bulbs. Live plants grow over time, making them denser and thicker, which is the perfect hiding spot for your betta fish. Compared to plastic plants, which don’t grow for obvious reasons.

The Bad

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The question: “Are live plants good for betta fish?” will arise especially among the new fishkeepers. Here are some reasons why you might reconsider having them.

Maintenance can be a chore

Live plants grow from time to time, depending on the plant species. This means you have to maintain them which can be a chore to do so.

Depending on the live plant you choose, your betta fish tank will turn into an aquatic forest in just a matter of days or weeks with no proper maintenance.

The requirements are insane!

Just like your betta fish, live plants also need some special requirements for them to grow and thrive. This includes proper lighting, optimal temperatures, and ideal water conditions to ensure lush growth in your betta fish’s tank.

They can rot and decay

Live plants can rot and decay if not maintained properly. You need to trim them regularly or adjust temperature levels for them to survive and avoid algae growth.

If you think maintaining your betta fish is already too much work, then you haven’t got the best of it yet until you experience maintaining live plants.

Best plants for betta fish

Are Live Plants Good for Betta Fish?

There are many different plant species out there but here are some of the best betta fish plants that will make your aquarium hobby a joyful one!


Hornworts are floating plants that can make your betta aquarium lush and attractive. However, they can grow up to 10 feet in length so regular trimming is necessary.

Hornwort looks best on large fish tanks because of its length. Aside from planting Hornwort on your aquarium substrate, you can also let them float freely and they will grow just fine.

Amazon Frogbit

Amazon frogbit has a striking resemblance with lily pads because of its shape.

This live plant floats on the surface providing shade for your betta fish. But you need to keep them in moderation so your betta fish still has plenty of space to breathe on the water surface.


Wisteria is an easy-to-grow plant that is best for new betta owners. Its shape and form will also depend on the water conditions of the fish tank that you plant it in. This live plant can grow large so it’s best to put it on the back or sides.


Anubias has darker green broad leaves that make the perfect spot for your betta fish to chill. Though keep in mind that this plant grows and thrives well in low light conditions.

If you have other live plants that require higher lighting conditions, you can place Anubias underneath these other plants to shade it from the light.

Java Ferns

They call Java fern as the “beginner plant” because of its low-maintenance and easy-to-grow factors. As simple as plucking a single leaf from this plant and letting it float on the water can grow into a plant of its own. 

Aside from Java Fern, another option that is equally simple to grow and which your betta fish would surely love is the Java Moss.

Amazon Sword Plant

Although challenging to maintain, the Amazon Sword live plant is the perfect addition to your betta fish tank. They can grow healthily as long as you keep it fertilized and by having low-to-moderate lighting.

What does your pet like in their betta fish tanks? 

Are Live Plants Good for Betta Fish?

There are plenty of other things that your pet likes for their betta tanks aside from plants, such as the foods you feed them. Betta fishes are carnivores and they love to munch on foods rich in protein and other essential vitamins and minerals.

Related: Do Betta Fish Like Live Plants

Although they love to nibble on live plants, their nutrition still relies on frozen or live foods such as bloodworm, brine shrimp, and daphnia. They also love to swim around a clean and well-maintained environment.

Betta fishes are less likely to catch diseases such as fin rot, popeye, and hemorrhagic if you keep your fish tank clean. This is why you need to do proper maintenance to keep your betta fish alive and well.

Keep in mind that maintenance does not only comprises trimming live plants or replacing the water. It also includes adjusting certain parameters or water temperatures, fertilizing live plants, and adjusting lighting conditions.

Regular maintenance may be tiresome to do so, but you have to make these sacrifices so your betta fish will thrive healthily. You can always set a reminder on your phone on which day of the week you have to do those fish tank chores.

So, are betta fish plants good for your fish?

Are Live Plants Good for Betta Fish?

Yes. Adding live plants not only adds an extra layer of aesthetics to your betta fish tank, but it also keeps the water clean. If you have plastic plants on your betta fish tank, it’s time to replace them with live plants today.

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