Betta Fish Plants: 15 Safe Options They Will Love

Published December 29, 2020
Home aquarium with lush plants

Your bettas need a pleasant environment, and there are many types of betta fish plants for a freshwater aquarium. Most hobbyists want to make their fish feel at home. With that in mind, the plants you add need to be native to the fish's original habitat.

Betta Fish Plants

There usually is lots of vegetation in a betta's natural habitat. Most betta fish live in river basins and rice paddies. Bettas head to the surface to breathe and feed, so it is important not to let the plants block large surface areas. For example, floating plants drift around the aquarium, so start slowly, and you can add more plants as you gain experience.

Freshwater Plants for Beginners

Betta fish plants range from cuttings, rooted plants, and floating plants. These plant types are common in most freshwater home aquariums and a little easier to grow and keep than others.


Hornwort plants are known for stiff leaves. It is a submerged, free-floating aquatic plant.

Hornwort aquarium plant

Amazon Sword

This live plant is tolerant of beginner mistakes and enjoys soft water. The Amazon sword's leaves are heart-shaped.

Amazon sword plant for aquariums

Java Fern

This plant's large leaves form a point at the top and only require moderate lighting conditions.

Java fern aquarium plant

Dwarf Swordplant

Fish keepers need to use the Dwarf sword plant in the tank's front area to create a carpet effect.

Dwarf sword plant for aquariums


This plant is excellent for beginners as it grows quickly. The Elodea can float and flowers under good conditions.

Elodea aquarium plant

Freshwater Plants for Savvy Fish Keepers

If you are a fish keeper with years of experience, there are live plants you may want to add to your aquarium. Some may consider these plants high-maintenance.

Fairy Moss

Use fairy moss in small amounts as this is a floating plant, and you don't want to block all of the tank's surface.

Fairy moss known as Azolla Caroliniana


This plant grows up to 15 inches tall and is best known as a background plant. A Giant anubia is an excellent plant species because it shoots down roots to grab nutrients from the substrate.

Anubias aquarium plant

Corkscrew Val

The Corkscrew val plant looks like a corkscrew. This plant is difficult to keep alive when it is small, so buy larger plants with established roots.

Corkscrew vallisneria aquarium plant

Carolina Fanwort

The Carolina fanwort plant species is a beautiful light green plant with a wispy appearance. It needs a lot of gravel to keep it down, so watch to ensure it doesn't float to the top.

Carolina fanwort

Water Lettuce

Water lettuce is a pond plant. The ribbed leaves form a rosette, and the long roots provide an excellent place for bettas to hide.

Water lettuce for home aquarium

Red Ludwigia

This beautiful plant's green leaves proliferate. The Ludwigia grows tiny flowers and red stems.

Red ludwigia

Cryptocoryne Wendtii

This plant species resembles a garden trowel. It has long green leaves with red-tinted areas.

Cryptocoryne Wendtii

Oriental Sword

The Oriental sword is an excellent plant species for bettas. The green and red leaves resemble a sword's blade, and it does best with a rich substrate.

Oriental sword plant


This plant species grows quickly with bright mint-green leaves. The entire plant resembles an aquatic pine tree.

Stargrass in mid-ground

Amazon Frogbit

The frogbit plant grows into the shape of a rosette. The leaves are waxy green and resemble a pond lily.

Amazon frogbit plant

Vital Nutrients Needed for Plant Growth

Tablets and liquid feeders are available at local pet stores. These provide nutrients near the plant's roots for fertilization. There are a handful of nutrients fish keepers need in the tank to keep live plants healthy. Hobbyists need to research the species and follow general guidelines.

  • The water must remain clean, so regular water changes are essential.
  • Plant leaves need to be free of debris, which clogs the plant's pores.
  • Live plants prefer a deep substrate of gravel or coarse sand.
  • Plants require different light sources, so add plants that need similar conditions.

Safe Plants for Betta Fish

The betta fish has a special organ to breathe oxygen from the air at the water's surface. This beautiful fish needs an aquarium with safe plant species. The floating plants may take up too much of the tank's surface, so fish keepers need to be careful with certain types of plants. As a beginner, it is better to add plants that are a little easier to grow but purchase the plants you like the best.

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Betta Fish Plants: 15 Safe Options They Will Love