Best Live Plants for a Betta Fish Tank

Forming an aquarium is not only about fish you want to keep. If you want to make perfect and complete enjoyment for your eyes you need also to pay attention to all the detail that you visualize. There are many decorations that go inside the aquarium and that can be both useful and nice to look at. One of the top things on our list are live plants. They are used for oxygenating the water and providing shelter. Apart from having a role in your small ecosystem, they make your aquarium look more realistic.

Do bettas need live plants?

In order to look more like their natural habitat, you need to provide plants for your betta. Bettas also like to hide so having plants inside a tank will help them hide. And last, plants are used as a base for making a bubble nest. So, yes, bettas need plants.

Do betta fish like plants in their tank?

Bettas just love live plants. For many reasons such as hiding, resting and breeding. So your betta will most likely be very happy if you fill your aquarium with live plants.

Top 10 live plants for betta fish tank

There is a variety of plants that you can choose from when forming an aquarium but we will present the top ten of our choice.


Anacharis plant is on the top of our list and is very available, adaptable and popular. It can go under other names for this plant – Brazilian Water Weed, Elodea or Waterweed. If you go for this specimen, you pay attention to the next. Choose one with intensive green leaves, fine short roots. Avoid leaves that are dark green or black, with limp stems or look like they are dying.

This is most surely the best plant for beginners because it is so adaptable and suitable for any tank size.  Anacharis can survive in tropical water but also in much cooler water. The pH should be 6.5-7.5 and with a lot of light. Plant the Anacharis simply by separating the stems. If you plant it too shallow it will result in floating so it should be two inches deep and each stem separated at about an inch to have room for growth. You don’t have to plant it but can also leave it to float to grow faster because it is closer to the light. Anacharis grow fast and provide a great hiding place.

Java Fern

Microsorum Pteropus more commonly called Java Fern is a very popular aquarium plant. It looks beautiful in any aquarium with its delicate look and unique shape. It grows slowly and is very easy to reproduce. It is highly recommendable for those who have just started forming an aquarium.

Java Fern is the most popular among the Microsorum genus species. It originates from South East Asia. It is a jungle plant which also grows in rainforests. It is relatively cheap to buy, around $5.

Java Fern consists of rhizome and leaves. Rhizome works as an anchor attaching to any surface. The shape of the leaves goes from spiky to bushy from light to dark green. This plant can grow up to 13,5 inches and its width can be up to 8 inches. Java fern leaves come with many variants of leaves such as narrow, needle, windelov and trident.

Many plants require certain conditions but if you keep your tank in the order it will do for Java Fern. In general, it doesn`t require special conditions to grow. It is recommended though that the pH of the water should be between six and seven and the temperature of the water between 68-82 degrees. It grows in all lighting conditions and a tank should not be less than ten gallons.

Since it comes with a rhizome it needs to be attached to rocks or driftwood before planting. A rough surface will do a better job but it is advisable to attach her to an object with fishing wire to secure it. After some time with its roots attached you can remove the wire.

The best place to plant it is in the middle of the tank because it grows quite large. If you put it in the corner it won’t have enough space to grow and if you put it in the front it will cover the whole view of the aquarium.

Once it sets its rhizomes it starts growing. Depending on what you want from your plant you can let it grow and become bushy like or perhaps you can remove small new plantlets.

Amazon Sword Plant

Echinodorus Amazonicus or more popularly called the Amazon Sword plant is a kind of aquarium plant which under right water conditions can reach up to 20 inches. It has small rhizomes, lance- leaves with pointed ends and short stems going from pale to dark green. This plant requires a lot of light, temperature between 72-82 degrees and between 6,5 to 7.,5Ph of the water.  It grows better in larger tanks creating a great background nice to look at.


Ceratophyllum or more often called Hornwort is a very easy plant to grow. It is ideal for beginners because it is highly tolerant to various water conditions. It can be both rooted in a substrate or used as a floating plant. It mostly comes in dark green colour and is a flowering plant. Flowers which are usually brown are important for reproduction, they produce fruit like a nut which is 1,5 inches with three spines.

This plant requires bigger tanks, 15 gallons is a bare minimum. The temperature range is quite large from 59 to 86 degrees of Fahrenheit with a pH of the water 6 to 7,5 and hardness between 5 and 15 dGH. Nitrogen compounds should be low so filtration is needed.

When it comes to the length it grows fast, with good conditions it can grow up to 5 inches per week. If you do not want it to overgrow it takes maintenance – cutting the stems.

Hornwort makes perfect shelter, whether planted or floating, it is a matter of aesthetics.

Marimo Moss Balls

Marimo moss balls

Marimo Moss ball is a rare form of spherical algae that was discovered in the past few years. It is said they live forever and are very easy to handle.  Keep them exposed at low to medium light, far from direct sun rays because they will turn brown. Use regular tap water every two weeks to change, more often in summer. Clean them with a brush.

If it happens to turn brown move it to a cooler place without direct light and when it recovers bring it into your tank again with more attention to conditions. You can also use some salt to add.

In the beginning, they float because they have an air bubble inside but if you gently squeeze it you pop the bubble. In most cases, it takes a day or two to sink to the bottom of your aquarium.

It can survive outside the tank without water for a few days keeping it in sealed plastic bags. To keep them round provide waves for them to turn to the other side once in a while. They are more than welcome in any aquarium, especially for they absorb toxic nitrates and clean the water.


Anubias Barteri is also a popular live aquarium plan for beginners. It has green durable leaves, strong roots and a thick rhizome. It is a great plant wherever you put it, back, front or middle it enriches the aquarium with green.

Anubis can be bought as bare-root, potted to a container or attached to something like lava rock or driftwood. There are varieties of Anubis plants that you can choose from on the market and barteri types are more common, especially barteri round leaf, glabra, caladiifolia and many others.

Care is easy if you just provide several parameters. Water in the aquarium needs to be between 6,5 to 7,8 pH and temperature between 72 and 78 degrees Fahrenheit.

 Anubis can be plated in both small and big tanks. It grows faster and better if you plant it in a nutrient-rich substrate without burying the rhizome completely but let it be at the top of the substrate easily seen. After reaching the desired size you can cut it in two and plant the new pieces back. 

Water Sprite

This is one of the most available freshwater plants. It goes under other names too so you can hear Water Fern, Indian Fern and Indian Water Fern. It can be planted or let float in your tank to make shady areas.

If you decide to buy it, pay attention to these things. Look for fern-like leaves, light-green colour and no holes and rips on the leaves, root should be longer. Don`t buy plants with brownish leaves and short roots.

If you use it as a floating plant, it will enrich the top of your aquarium. If you decide to plant it the best is to use substrate 2-3 inches for the roots. If you put it in the background of your aquarium, be careful not to put it too close to the filter because it can damage its delicate leaves. Wherever you put it provide enough space for growth. In general, Sprite plants are easy to grow because they’re very adaptable.

Your aquarium should be between 7 and 7,5 pH, the temperature should be between 68 – 80 degrees, more light is preferable and the bigger the aquarium is the better. They reproduce quickly, plantlets just break off the mother plant when they are ready.


This plant also goes by other names: Lemnoideae, water lentils or water lenses. It floats on the water surface or just under it. From time to time it produces the smallest flower ever- 0.3mm long. Duckweeds grow quickly when conditions are good. It requires medium light and it can live on a temperature range from 41 to 95 degrees.  You can use some other kinds of floating plants like dwarf babies or lettuce to produce a balanced look of your tank.

Dwarf Water Lily

Nymphaea stellata or Dwarf Lily is perfect for a smaller water surface.

It needs a temperature between 72-82 degrees, low to high lighting.

Certain attention is needed when planting. Before planting, wash it in tap water, on top of the substrate you place the bulb without burying it. At first, they might float but soon they will sink. When it starts sprouting leaves you bury it up to one third in the nitrate, in time the roots will anchor the plant. Eventually, your plant will have long stems of lily pads floating at the water surface.


More often just crypts have been popular for decades.  They go from deep to light green but can be olive, pink and even mahogany with the size range from 2-20 inches. They are slow-growing plants that require neutral pH and softer water. Low light is preferable. Adding this plant to your tank will provide you with some shade. Smaller species can be placed in the foreground while bigger ones should go to the background.

Final Thoughts on Best Live Plants for a Betta Fish Tank

If you want your bettas to be happy, consider adding a water plant or plants.  Aquatic plants help your aquarium and your fish a lot. Not only do they purify the water in your tank but they also enrich the space. We have decided to help you out by making the right choice picking from a list of the ten most common. See which one suits your needs and have a go.

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