Best Plants for Betta Fish: Creating a Thriving Aquatic Habitat

Betta fish, also known as Siamese fighting fish, are beautiful and popular pets known for their vibrant colors and flowing fins. Providing a suitable environment for betta fish is crucial for their well-being and happiness. One essential aspect of their habitat is live plants.

Live plants not only enhance the aesthetic appeal of the aquarium but also serve as beneficial additions that contribute to the overall health of betta fish. In this article, we will explore the best plants for betta fish, highlighting their benefits and how they can create a thriving aquatic environment for these stunning creatures.

The Best Plants for Betta Fish

When choosing plants for your betta fish aquarium, it’s important to consider their compatibility with the fish’s needs. Some of the best plants for betta fish include Java Fern, Anubias, Amazon Sword, Marimo Moss Ball, and Hornwort. These plants are not only easy to care for but also offer various advantages, such as providing hiding spots, reducing stress, promoting water quality, and contributing to the overall well-being of bettas.

1. Java Fern: A Beautiful and Hardy Addition

Java Fern (Microsorum pteropus) is a popular choice among betta fish enthusiasts due to its hardy nature and unique appearance. This plant features lush green leaves with a distinctive ruffled appearance. Its rhizome should not be buried in the substrate, as this can lead to rot. Instead, attach the Java Fern to driftwood or rocks using fishing line or thread. This plant is an excellent choice for betta fish tanks as it offers ample resting spots for the fish to rest on its leaves near the water surface.

2. Anubias: Low Maintenance and Appealing

Anubias (Anubias spp.) is another fantastic option for betta fish tanks. Like Java Fern, Anubias should not be buried in the substrate. Instead, tie it to rocks or driftwood to allow its rhizome to remain exposed. This plant is known for its resilience and ability to tolerate a wide range of water conditions. The broad and sturdy leaves of Anubias provide excellent shelter for betta fish, making them feel safe and secure.

3. Amazon Sword: Creating a Natural Habitat

The Amazon Sword (Echinodorus amazonicus) is a larger plant that can serve as a focal point in your betta fish aquarium. With its long, flowing leaves, the Amazon Sword mimics the natural environment of betta fish. This plant is rooted in the substrate and requires nutrient-rich soil to thrive. It provides bettas with ample hiding spots and encourages exploration, making their habitat feel more natural and engaging.

4. Marimo Moss Ball: A Fun and Beneficial Plant

Marimo Moss Balls (Aegagropila linnaei) are not only visually appealing but also offer numerous benefits to betta fish tanks. These cute, green, and velvety balls of algae are incredibly low maintenance and can simply be placed in the aquarium without any additional effort. Marimo Moss Balls help in absorbing excess nutrients and pollutants, contributing to improved water quality. Betta fish might enjoy swimming around or resting on these gentle, buoyant balls.

5. Hornwort: Excellent Oxygenator

Hornwort (Ceratophyllum demersum) is a fast-growing plant that serves as an excellent oxygenator for your betta fish tank. Its fine, feather-like leaves provide cover for the fish, making them feel secure. Hornwort can be either floated or anchored in the substrate, and it has the added benefit of consuming harmful nitrogen compounds, aiding in maintaining water quality. However, it’s essential to trim Hornwort regularly to prevent it from overshadowing other plants.

6. Cryptocoryne: Adding Color and Variety

Cryptocoryne species are highly valued for their different leaf shapes, sizes, and colors. These plants are well-suited for betta fish tanks because they are easy to care for and can thrive in low light conditions. Cryptocoryne provides bettas with additional hiding spots and enriches the visual appeal of the aquarium. It’s best to plant them directly into the substrate and avoid frequent relocations as they might take some time to adapt.

7. Water Wisteria: A Lush Background Plant

Water Wisteria (Hygrophila difformis) is an attractive background plant that can reach impressive heights. Its delicate, fern-like leaves create a lush green backdrop for your betta fish tank. Water Wisteria grows quickly and is known for its ability to absorb excess nutrients, helping to prevent algae blooms. This plant can be anchored in the substrate or allowed to float, and it provides a sense of security for bettas with its dense foliage.

8. Java Moss: Ideal for Breeding Tanks

Java Moss (Taxiphyllum barbieri) is a versatile and undemanding plant that is often used in betta fish breeding tanks. Its dense growth provides excellent cover for betta fry, offering protection and a source of microorganisms for them to feed on. Java Moss can be attached to decorations, rocks, or driftwood, making it a visually appealing addition to the aquarium.

9. Water Sprite: Floating Beauty

Water Sprite (Ceratopteris thalictroides) is a floating plant that betta fish adore. Its delicate, lacy leaves provide shade and shelter for the fish while creating a natural and aesthetically pleasing appearance. Water Sprite is a prolific grower and can quickly propagate to cover the water surface. It’s an ideal plant for betta tanks with low to moderate lighting.

10. Vallisneria: Long and Graceful

Vallisneria, commonly known as Vallis, comes in various species, each with long, ribbon-like leaves that sway gracefully in the water. This plant is a great addition to betta fish tanks as it provides hiding spots, encourages exploration, and helps maintain water quality. Vallisneria prefers to be planted in the substrate, and its long leaves add vertical interest to the aquarium’s overall design.

Best Plants for Betta Fish Vase

  1. Lucky Bamboo (Dracaena sanderiana): Lucky Bamboo is a popular choice for betta fish vases due to its elegant appearance and easy maintenance. It can thrive in water without needing any substrate or soil. The tall, slender stalks provide bettas with ample hiding spots and add a touch of greenery to the vase.
  2. Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum): Peace Lily is a beautiful flowering plant that can grow well in water-filled vases. Its broad, dark green leaves and white flowers create a visually appealing contrast. While the peace lily can tolerate being submerged, it’s essential to ensure that the leaves stay dry to prevent rot.
  3. Pothos (Epipremnum aureum): Pothos is a hardy and versatile vine that can grow both in water and soil. In betta fish vases, it serves as a natural filter, helping to purify the water by absorbing excess nutrients. Pothos leaves trailing over the edges of the vase can provide bettas with some shade and shelter.
  4. Anubias Nana: Anubias Nana is a small and attractive aquatic plant that can thrive in vase setups. Its compact size makes it suitable for smaller vases, and it can be attached to decorations or driftwood. Anubias Nana’s broad leaves offer bettas a place to rest near the water surface.
  5. Java Moss (Taxiphyllum barbieri): Java Moss is a versatile and undemanding moss that can be grown in betta fish vases. It creates a lush green carpet at the bottom, giving the vase a natural appearance. The fine texture of Java Moss provides hiding spots for bettas and serves as a breeding ground for beneficial microorganisms.

Best Plants for Betta Fish Tank

  1. Java Fern (Microsorum pteropus): Java Fern is a top choice for betta fish tanks due to its compatibility with various water conditions and its ability to thrive in low light. Its ruffled leaves offer bettas places to rest near the water surface, and it can be tied to driftwood or rocks for a visually appealing setup.
  2. Amazon Sword (Echinodorus amazonicus): Amazon Sword is a larger plant suitable for betta fish tanks with ample space. Its long, flowing leaves mimic the natural environment of betta fish, providing them with hiding spots and encouraging exploration. It’s best planted in nutrient-rich substrate.
  3. Anubias (Anubias spp.): Anubias is an excellent choice for betta fish tanks, as it can tolerate a wide range of water conditions and lighting levels. Its broad, sturdy leaves serve as ideal resting spots for bettas, and it can be attached to decorations or driftwood for a captivating aquascape.
  4. Water Wisteria (Hygrophila difformis): Water Wisteria is a versatile and fast-growing plant that can add a lush green background to betta fish tanks. Its fern-like leaves provide cover for bettas, and it absorbs excess nutrients, helping to prevent algae overgrowth.
  5. Cryptocoryne: Cryptocoryne species come in various colors and leaf shapes, adding diversity to betta fish tanks. They are low-maintenance plants that can thrive in low light conditions. Cryptocoryne plants provide hiding spots for bettas and enhance the overall aesthetics of the aquarium.

Best Plants for Betta Fish Aquaponics

  1. Watercress (Nasturtium officinale): Watercress is a popular choice for betta fish aquaponics systems. It’s a fast-growing, edible plant that can thrive in the nutrient-rich water supplied by the fish waste. Additionally, watercress helps to filter the water, keeping it clean for the bettas.
  2. Lettuce (Lactuca sativa): Certain lettuce varieties, such as Romaine lettuce, can be grown in betta fish aquaponics setups. Lettuce plants are efficient at absorbing nutrients from the water, and their large leaves provide some shade and resting spots for bettas.
  3. Basil (Ocimum basilicum): Basil is a popular herb that can be cultivated in aquaponics systems. It thrives in nutrient-rich water and adds a pleasant aroma to the environment. The basil plants’ dense foliage can create a cozy space for bettas.
  4. Mint (Mentha spp.): Mint is another herb that can flourish in aquaponics setups. Its fast growth rate and aromatic leaves make it a delightful addition to the system. Mint’s branching stems offer bettas a stimulating and enriching habitat.
  5. Water Spinach (Ipomoea aquatica): Water Spinach, also known as Kangkong, is a leafy vegetable that thrives in aquaponics environments. Its robust growth helps in maintaining water quality by absorbing excess nutrients. The long, trailing stems of water spinach can be an interesting feature for betta fish to explore.

Best Plants for Betta Fish in a One Gallon Tank

  1. Java Fern Micro (Microsorum pteropus): The compact size of Java Fern Micro makes it suitable for smaller one-gallon tanks. It requires minimal care and can be tied to decorations or driftwood to create a visually appealing setup.
  2. Marimo Moss Ball (Aegagropila linnaei): Marimo Moss Balls are ideal for small tanks due to their small size and easy maintenance. They help maintain water quality by absorbing pollutants, and bettas might enjoy interacting with these soft, buoyant balls.
  3. Anubias Nana Petite: Anubias Nana Petite is a tiny version of Anubias, perfect for one-gallon tanks. It can be attached to small decorations or driftwood, providing bettas with hiding spots and adding a touch of greenery to the tank.
  4. Hornwort (Ceratophyllum demersum): Hornwort is a fast-growing plant that can thrive in smaller tanks. Its fine, feather-like leaves provide cover for bettas and serve as a natural water purifier.
  5. Dwarf Water Lettuce (Pistia stratiotes): Dwarf Water Lettuce is a floating plant suitable for one-gallon tanks. It helps to reduce algae growth by shading the water surface, and its small rosettes create an interesting visual element in the tank.


Choosing the right plants for your betta fish tank is crucial for creating a thriving and aesthetically pleasing environment. The best plants for betta fish, such as Java Fern, Anubias, Amazon Sword, Marimo Moss Ball, and Hornwort, offer numerous benefits, including water purification, stress reduction, and providing hiding spots for bettas. By incorporating these plants into your aquarium, you can provide your betta fish with a healthy and stimulating habitat, promoting their well-being and enhancing your enjoyment as an aquarium enthusiast.