Do Betta Fish Like Live Plants

Last Updated on October 6, 2020

If you’re eyeing for a pet fish to take care of, then look no further with betta fishes. This vibrant-looking fish is fun to have and can ward off stress thanks to their colorful appearance.

But, you cannot just put a betta fish inside a tank without some extra bells and whistles. You need to decorate the tank so it mimics their natural habitat, making your betta fish thrive and develop healthily.

Aside from putting in a substrate and a plethora of decorative ornaments, live plants are also a must-have for every betta fish owner.

So what’s the deal with live plants, anyway? And does betta fish love them? Let’s find out! 

Why are live plants good for betta fish?

Live plants are vital for betta fish because of the following reasons:

Do Betta Fish Like Live Plants

Gives them the perfect hiding spot

Betta fishes usually thrive in heavily vegetated marshes and rice paddies. They love to live in areas filled with plants and any kind of vegetation because it gives them the perfect place to hide and relax.

They have something natural to nibble on

Betta fishes are active creatures that love to play around and nibble with live plants. They can’t nibble on plastic plants for obvious reasons as this will just damage their health. 

It keeps their environment clean

Live plants help ward off toxins and any kinds of harmful chemicals to keep the water clean. Having clean water helps your betta fish to grow and develop without catching diseases.

Related: Are Live Plants Good for Betta Fish?

What kind of plants do bettas like?

With myriads of live plants available in the market, here are some plants that betta fishes love that you should consider buying:

Java Fern

This easy-to-grow plant is perfect for beginners who are just starting their pet fish journey. What’s best about a java fern is that a simple leaf plucked out of the plant can grow into a full-blown plant on its own.

Betta fishes love to play around java ferns because of their thickness. They also act as a natural oxygenator to keep the water clean and oxygenated.

Java Moss

Just live java fern, the java moss live plant is also easy to grow and suitable for beginners. Java moss floats easily underwater and grows fast, so you better get those scissors ready.

Java moss has softer leaves compared to java fern. Betta fishes also love to swim, play, and nibble with java moss as much as they do on java fern.


Although they are high-maintenance, a hornwort can make your betta fish tank more attractive. Though keep in mind that they can shed needles that can pollute the water if not removed early on.

Baby betta fishes love to hide under its leaves and stalks. Maintain it by regularly trimming to prevent it from shedding more needles.


Want to prevent algae growth? Then look no further with anacharis. The versatility of this live plant makes it a favorite among fish owners. This is because you can either let them float in the water or plant in the substrate and still look beautiful.

The anacharis live plant grows quickly and can turn into a mini forest, which is the perfect spot for betta fishes to have their much-needed siesta time.

Marimo Moss Balls

Marimo moss balls are composed of good algae, not the bad ones that can contaminate your fish tank. These moss balls are low-maintenance and can last for years even if you don’t tend them.

Betta fishes love marimo moss balls because they are fluffy and lightweight. You can see them rubbing their bodies around this live plant and even play with it like a basketball. 

Amazon Sword Plant

You can spark your creativity with the help of an amazon sword plant. This live plant comes in different shapes and sizes and you can opt for one that suits your liking. From the name itself, this plant is usually around the Amazon river basin.

Because of its sword-like shape, betta fishes love to use this plant as cover under the heat of the sun. Though keep in mind that the Amazon sword plant may not be not suitable for smaller fish tanks because of its big size.

What do live plants need to thrive in a betta fish tank?

Several factors come into play to make live plants thrive in your betta fish tank.

The first one is temperature because different live plants also have different temperature requirements. Some survive on regular temperatures, and there are also others that only thrive in cooler or higher temps.

The second consideration is the fertilizer. Just like plants on land, the live plants that we put underwater also need fertilizer. There are different types of fertilizers that you can use for underwater live plants such as tablets, liquids, or plugs.

Last is the lighting. With proper lighting, underwater live plants can grow and thrive healthily without rotting. Choose a fluorescent bulb if you want to light your betta fish tank because it produces less heat compared to incandescents.

Live plants or synthetic plants? Which is better?

Do Betta Fish Like Live Plants

Live or synthetic (plastic) plants? This debate has been going on for years, making aquarium owners have difficulty choosing which one is better. For pricing, synthetic plants are much cheaper compared to live plants.

Although both are winners in the aesthetic department, live plants are still the viable choice because it is the “natural” one. Live plants can make your betta fish tank feel more alive. They also act as a natural purifier to keep the water clean and free from harmful toxins. 

So, do betta fish like live plants?

Do Betta Fish Like Live Plants

No matter the argument, betta fishes still love live plants compared to plastic ones. Betta fishes can’t nibble on plastic plants, and they can’t even oxygenate the water.

With the help of live plants, it makes their second habitat not only closer to their natural environment but also cleaner, dense, and beautiful.