Also known as Siamese Fighting Fish, betta fish (Betta splendens) are some of the most brightly colored freshwater fish in the aquarium industry. These lovely fish are only a few inches long in body but their gorgeous, flowing fins often make them appear much larger. As tempting as it might be to keep a tank full of these fish, bettas are best kept by themselves because males of the species tend to be pretty aggressive and they will fight if kept in a tank with another betta.
Just because you can only keep one betta fish per tank doesn’t mean you can’t make that tank something to be proud of. Choose a tank large enough that your betta can swim freely and be sure to include room for decorations. In addition to novelty decorations and natural décor items, you should think about adding a plant or two to your betta tank. Which plants should you choose? Keep reading to learn about our top 5 picks!
Why Do Betta Fish Need Aquarium Plants?
When it comes to betta fish care, the same basic rules apply as for most freshwater fish. These fish require a tank large enough that they have room to swim which usually means a minimum of two gallons, though bigger is better. In addition to the tank itself, you’ll need to equip your betta tank with a heater to keep the water within the proper range (about 72°F to 78°F) as well as an aquarium filter to keep the water clean. You might also want to outfit your tank with an LED light to show your betta fish’s bright colors off.
Once you have met your betta’s minimum requirements for tank size and tank equipment, you should think about adding a plant or two. Aquarium plants don’t just add to the aesthetics of a betta tank, they also help to keep the tank water clean and oxygenated so your betta remains healthy. You shouldn’t have to worry about buying a special lighting system for just one or two small plants, especially if your tank is exposed to ambient light. You should, however, take care to choose the right kind of plant for your betta tank – keep reading to learn more.
The 5 Best Plants For Betta Fish
When choosing an aquarium plant for your betta tank, there are a few requirements to keep in mind. First and foremost, choose a plant that doesn’t grow too large – you don’t want it to fill your entire tank and crowd your betta. Next, think about how much lighting you have for your tank – aquarium plants are photosynthetic organisms so they need light to grow. Finally, choose a hardy plant that is easy to maintain so you don’t have to worry about fertilization or other maintenance tasks. To help you decide which plant to choose for your betta tank, here are our five favorite options:
One of the easiest aquarium plants to grow, anubias is a great option for your betta tank. Anubias comes in a variety of different species and it doesn’t have high requirements for light. If you choose anubias for your betta tank, select a species that remains fairly short and keep it trimmed back if it starts to grow too large. You can tether this plant to one of your décor items but it shouldn’t be rooted.
If you want a low-maintenance plant for your betta fish tank, java moss is an excellent option. This plant has a lovely flowing appearance and a bright green color that will look quite striking against the bright color of your betta fish. One thing to keep in mind with this species is that java moss tends to prefer cooler temperatures but they usually do okay in betta tanks anyway.
If you’re looking for a hardy plant that grows quickly, anacharis is a great option. This is a stem plant that can be rooted or left as a floating plant, depending on your preference. If you choose to plant this species, you might want to tie it down because it takes some time for the roots to develop. If your anacharis starts to grow too quickly, just pinch off the upper growth and allow it to fill out instead.
Another aquarium plant that is very easy to grow is java fern. This plant produces long, narrow leaves that grow to a point. These plants do not require a lot of bright lighting or attention and they can be propagated simply by plucking one of the leaves and letting it grow into an entirely new plant. You can bury the roots of this plant in your gravel or substrate but be careful not to bury the rhizome – the green stem that the leaves grow from – because it could kill the plant.
Have you ever seen an outdoor pond covered in a layer of green? That layer of green consists of myriad tiny leaves called duckweed. Duckweed is a floating plant so you don’t need to worry about lining your tank with plant substrate – all you need to do is give the duckweed a little bit of light and it will be fine.
One thing to be aware of with duckweed is that it tends to grow very quickly – this can be a good thing and a bad thing. The good part is that your betta fish might enjoy eating the duckweed as a snack. The bad thing is that it could filter out too much light. If you choose to use duckweed in your betta tank, remove some of it once in a while to keep it from growing too thick on the surface of your tank. Read our guide to grow duckweed here.
These are just five of the top choices in aquarium plants for betta fish, though there are many more out there. If you don’t like any of the choices above, simply look for a hardy plant that has low light requirements and that doesn’t grow too quickly.
Did you enjoy this tutorial for choosing aquarium plants for betta fish? It is my hope that after reading this guide will be eager to give your betta tank a facelift by adding a fresh green plant. Like and share this article with your friends and leave us some comments about your experience with betta fish as well as your favorite aquarium plants. Thanks for reading!