Best Live Plants for Betta Fishes Review and Buying Guide

Not only do best live plants for betta add color to the tank, but they play essential roles in the aquarium’s ecosystem. Live plants act as shade and shelter for betta fishes, as well as suppress algae growth. They also serve as an efficient natural filtration system by removing harmful chemicals, elements, and excess nutrients in the water.

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Java Fern Bare Root | Microsorum Pteropus - Low Light...
1,004 Reviews
Java Fern Bare Root | Microsorum Pteropus - Low Light...
  • You get 1 young Java Fern bare root of approximately 4-6" in...
  • This Java Fern s a great and easy way to attaching Java fern...
  • Provide natural resting and hiding places for your smaller...

Among the standard and best live plants for betta includes the Java Fern, and the Black Forest variety from Greenpro is high quality. The plant ships potted, which helps preserve is freshness and quality during transportation. It’s a 100% live aquarium plant that can provide ample shade and shelter for betta fishes.

The Greenpro Java Fern also features a 100% guarantee for plants free of pests, snails, and diseases, which is safer for the betta. This variety grows up to 14 inches, which would make a beautiful background for large betta tanks. The plant is also a hardy specie and needs little to no maintenance.

Buying Guide

Planted aquariums are becoming popular, but there are far more vital features to consider when choosing the best live plants for betta than its appearance. Before adding a new live plant inside the betta tank, few basics should get taken into account.

Best Live Plants for Betta Fishes Review and Buying Guide

Types of Live Plants for Betta Fishes

All aquatic plants are suitable for use in fish tanks, and there are 3 main types of aquarium plants available.

Stem Plants

Stem plants are highly popular for decorating aquariums, especially as a background or the centerpiece. It’s one of the best live plants for fishes with its long stems and acts as a green backdrop when planted in groups. Stem plants are also easy to propagate by cuttings and grows well.

Aside from providing shade for betta fishes, stem plants are more popular for creating a focal point in the tank. Favorite stem plants for aquariums include Fountain Plant, Anacharis, Hornwort, Water Wisteria, Japanese Rush, Dwarf Rotala, Water Milfoil, Creeping Jenny, Cabomba, and Brazilian Pennywort.

Rosette Plants

This type of live plants for betta aquariums is known for its spectacular ornamental and flowering nature. There is a wide variety of rosette aquarium plants. Some thrive well with standard plant care, while others are difficult to grow.

Rosette plants tend to require cooler temperatures, abundant fertilization, ample lighting, and soft and slightly acidic water to thrive and produce flowers. Some of this type of aquarium plant is background types, while others are floating plants, which are great as a surface cover for fishes. Common rosette plants for betta tanks include Orchid Lily, Onion Bulb, Duckweed, Amazon Sword Plant, Water Lettuce, Melon Sword, Ruffle Sword, Water Lily, and Watermea.

Best Live Plants for Betta Fishes Review and Buying Guide

Ferns and Mosses

Ferns and mosses are exciting and fun to decorate aquariums for betta fishes, although they are non-flowering aquatic plants. This type of aquarium plants doesn’t have seeds but propagates through its spores. They make excellent hiding places for baby betta fishes, which makes it an excellent temporary plant for aquariums.

Common variants of ferns and mosses in aquariums for betta include Java Fern, Floating Fern, Water Sprite, Java Moss, Floating Fern, and African Water Fern.

Foreground vs. Background vs. Floating Plants

Live plants for betta tanks can also either be foreground or carpet, background or middle ground, and floating plants.

Foreground plants are either ground cover types or individual types. Carpet plants need to be low growing. Otherwise, they will block the view of the tank.

The middle ground or background aquarium plants have moderate heights and bushy appearance. Like foreground plants, this type can latch into rock or driftwood.

Floating or surface aquarium plants don’t need to get planted or attached to driftwood or rocks. They only need to be placed on the surface of the water without root trimming necessary. They are excellent in providing enough shade for the betta, but too much can obscure the fishes’ required light.

Best Live Plants for Betta Fishes Review and Buying Guide

Compatibility with Betta Fishes

One of the vital features to consider when choosing live plants for betta fishes is its compatibility with the fishes. Plants that are toxic to aquatic life shouldn’t get placed inside the aquarium.

Plant Characteristics

Characteristics of the ideal live plants for betta fishes that should get considered include water requirements like water lightness and hardness, pH level, and temperature. Having plants that have similar water requirements to betta fishes will make it easier to meet the needs of all organisms inside the tank.

The size of the aquarium plant will matter. Large live plants wouldn’t be ideal for small betta tanks. In the same way, combining slow-growing with fast-growing plants in one aquarium wouldn’t be compatible either. The latter could suck up all nutrients in the water, leaving inadequate nutrients for other plants.

Lighting Requirement

The lighting requirement is different for every aquarium plant. Most of them need 8 hours of light every day. Ensure that the existing lighting system in the water tank is compatible with their requirement when choosing the best live plants for betta fishes. If there is an aquarium lighting system with an adjustable setting, it will be better.

LED or fluorescent lighting will work best for planted aquariums with betta fishes. Steer clear of incandescent lights as they heat the water, which wouldn’t be suitable for both the bettas and plants.

Type of Aquarium Setup

Whether or not the aquarium comes with a heating system will play a vital role in choosing the live plants for betta fishes. Other aquarium plant varieties will thrive and grow better in unheated water while others in a heated environment.

Maintenance

Like the betta fishes, plants inside the aquarium also need some looking after. Maintenance will depend on the kind of aquarium plant, with some are easier to take care of than others. That includes trimming once it gets too bushy and getting rid of wilting and decaying leaves.

Other aquarium plants will also require fertilizer, how often, and how much will depend on the kind and variety of plants used.

Visual Effects

Lastly, live plants for betta can add an attractive point in the aquarium design. They can either be a centerpiece or a background of the tank. There are different structures, features, and colors available, and choosing will primarily depend on personal preference.

Also, using one of each foreground, background, and floating plants can level up the tank’s visual attractiveness. However, make sure not to overdo it, or there won’t be enough space or nutrients for the betta fishes.

Best Live Plants for Betta

AquaLeaf Aquatics Java Fern Bare Root

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Java Fern Bare Root | Microsorum Pteropus - Low Light...
1,004 Reviews
Java Fern Bare Root | Microsorum Pteropus - Low Light...
  • You get 1 young Java Fern bare root of approximately 4-6" in...
  • This Java Fern s a great and easy way to attaching Java fern...
  • Provide natural resting and hiding places for your smaller...

Features:

  • Java Fern bare-root with four to six inches in height
  • 100% live aquarium plant
  • Hassle-free to grow with little to no maintenance needed
  • Ideal for attaching to rocks, driftwood, and other aquarium decorations
  • Perfect as decoration and protection for betta fishes on any tank size
  • Hardy and slow-growing aquarium plant

What We Like

The AquaLeaf Aquatics Java Fern is a slow-growing aquarium plant that is excellent to add on any betta tank. Whether it’s a small or massive aquarium, this plant will make a great background with its bright green color. Aside from a beautiful tank decoration, this Java Fern variety will also protect and offer shade for the betta fishes.

This aquarium plant variety from AquaLeaf Aquatics comes shipped in good condition, and the plant is hassle-free to maintain, even for beginners. It’s a robust plant that comes packaged inside a special kind of box with heat protection and moisture retention. This feature is a bonus, especially in keeping the plant fresh and healthy during transportation.

This Java Fern variety will thrive in most aquarium settings, regardless of the water quality and temperature and the amount of lighting. Fertilizers will help with the plant’s faster growth, but it can thrive without it as well, but when using one, any type will do. It’s great combined with other aquarium plants as well as this Java Fern variety thrives on the shade.

What Can Be Improved?

The AquaLeaf Aquatics Java Fern comes shipped bare-rooted, which is a disadvantage. It has a higher risk of getting squashed during transport, and while the special packaging helps, it can only do so much in preserving the plant.

It’s not ready for planting out of the box as well as the plant needs to attach on a root rock or driftwood, which needs to be purchased separately.

Greenpro Java Fern Black Forest

Greenpro Microsorum Pteropus Hardy Leaf Black Forest Asian...
180 Reviews
Greenpro Microsorum Pteropus Hardy Leaf Black Forest Asian...
  • JAVA FERN BLACK FOREST | Microsorum pteropus, live aquarium...
  • EASY TO MAINTAIN | It can be grown up to 14 inches which...
  • PROVIDES AMAZING ENVIRONMENT | Aquatic plants will produce...

Features:

  • Live aquarium plant for all types of tanks
  • Easy to maintain
  • Grows up to 14 inches, which is ideal as a background plant for tanks
  • Absorbs carbon dioxide and produce oxygen to the water for better quality
  • Excellent shelter and hiding place for betta fishes
  • 100% free of pests, snails, algae, and diseases
  • Potted for safe and convenient transport to preserve the plant quality

What We Like

Java Fern is one of the best live plants for betta fishes, and this variety from Greenpro has excellent quality and is safe for the fishes. The brand uses a digitally controlled nursery with the latest technology to ensure that all java ferns are free from algae, snails, pests, and diseases.

It has a secure box as well, and the plant is stable for safe transport and preserve its excellent condition under all-weather situations.

The little pot also does a long way to protect the plant from any damage and maintain an ideal vapor level during transport. It keeps the roots fresh and ready for planting in the aquarium as well.

The Greenpro Java Fern Black Forest variety features big leaves with vivid green coloring, which would look great in any aquarium environment. The best part about this variety is it comes as a healthy plant and will grow as such without maintenance once inside the tank. This Greenpro Java Fern is one of the hassle-free aquarium plants to grow, no need for fertilizer, and isn’t fussy with water temperature and condition.

This Java Fern variety doesn’t need much lighting as well. It thrives even better in low-light tanks and under the shade, which helps preserve its vivid green hue.

What Can Be Improved?

The only care that the Greenpro Java Fern Black Forest needs is when planting it in the aquarium. It may not need a substrate, but the roots need something to latch on without getting suffocated. Otherwise, it may begin to rot.

The best option to use would be rocks, driftwood, or other ideal aquarium decorations.

Mainam Rosette Amazon Sword

Mainam Echinodorus Parviflorus Rosette Amazon Sword Live...
181 Reviews
Mainam Echinodorus Parviflorus Rosette Amazon Sword Live...
  • Live Aquarium Plants : Rosette Amazon Sword 1 bundle. (3"-7"...
  • Difficulty - Medium | Light - Medium | Growth - Medium.
  • 3 DAYS LIVE GUARANTEED: In a very rare case our live plant...

Features:

  • Live aquarium plant
  • 3-7 inches and grows up to 20 inches
  • Grows in the substrate
  • Requires steady light source most of the day
  • Hardy type of aquarium live plant

What We Like

Amazon Swords are great options for large tanks with over 59-gallons water capacity and works well with betta fishes. This type of aquatic plant is large in stature, which can grow up to 20 inches. It’s a rosette type of aquatic plant that will make an incredible background plant.

This Mainam Rosette Amazon Sword is a 100% live plant, which is safe for betta fishes. They can provide perfect shade and place to hide for them. This type of plant for betta tanks is pretty hardy in terms of water requirements. It can grow on most water conditions, with 6.5 to 7.5 pH levels.

Water temperature is also not an issue for the Rosette Amazon Sword and will grow without complications after burying the roots in the substrate. It will cultivate large without intensive maintenance requirements. Although it will be healthier with regular fertilizer, this Amazon Sword plant will be excellent for a while without extra nourishment.

Another favorite thing about the Amazon Sword is its vivid green coloring, which creates a beautiful view for the betta fishes to enjoy.

What Can Be Improved?

This variety of the Amazon Sword isn’t too wide and bushy, so it will not overshadow the rest of the aquarium. However, although it’s a hardy plant, burying the roots need a little bit of care so the crown won’t get submerged in the substrate. Otherwise, the plant will start to die.

In terms of water requirement, this Amazon Sword doesn’t require a lot. However, it does need good lighting for 8 to 12 hours each day.

Greenpro Java Fern on Driftwood

Greenpro Java Fern on Driftwood Live Aquarium Plants for...
99 Reviews
Greenpro Java Fern on Driftwood Live Aquarium Plants for...
  • FERN ON DRIFTWOOD : Have a hard time anchoring plants? NO...
  • SOURCE OF FOOD : Natural driftwood can provides nutrients...
  • CREATE NATURAL LOOKING : Adding driftwood can enhance...

Features:

  • Ready to put in an aquarium with driftwood base
  • Driftwood improves digestion of fish by adding tannins, cellulose, and other nutrients
  • Driftwood adds a natural look to enhance the environment of the aquarium
  • Grown in a digital controlled nursery to ensure plants are free from algae, pests, snails, and diseases
  • Impressively hardy plant specie
  • Lush green plant replicates the natural habitat that makes fishes feel safe quicker

What We Like

Anchoring the plants is a time-consuming process and needs to be done carefully. Otherwise, the roots of the plant can get suffocated, which will stunt its growth and cause it to rot eventually. However, that is not an issue with the Greenpro Java Fern on Driftwood.

The Java Ferm plant is ready to put inside the aquarium upon opening the packaging. It eliminates the arduous process of needing to tie the plant on a rock decoration or driftwood. It ships in good quality condition as well, with the bright and lustrous green leaves with preserved freshness.

This Java Fern variety has a shipping height of 6 to 8 inches, and it can grow up to 12 inches on the tank. It grows fine in most aquarium settings, even without adding fertilizer.

The plant is betta-friendly and can provide the fishes ample shade and shelter. The driftwood component is beneficial as well, providing tannins and cellulose to boost the betta’s digestive system.

What Can Be Improved?

The Greenpro Java Fern with Driftwood can grow a bit bushy, which is ideal for large betta tanks like one with a 20-gallon capacity. Although the plant can grow large, it’s a slow-growing variety.

Some batches of the plant could also have snails or pests that would need quarantining before it’s safe to be inside the aquarium. The driftwood in the product doesn’t have rhizomes, which means it won’t grow new leaves, which would have been a bonus.

G’z 24 Water Spangles

24 Water Spangles (Salvinia Minima), Live...
232 Reviews
24 Water Spangles (Salvinia Minima), Live...
  • PLEASE DO NOT BUY IF THE DAY TIME TEMPERATRUE IN YOUR AREA...
  • Each order contains 24 water spangles, each plant should...
  • A special light for aquatic plants is required for indoor...

Features:

  • 100% live floating aquatic
  • 24 spangles with four to 6 leaves each
  • Excellent for providing shade for betta fishes
  • Ideal for small to lathe betta tanks
  • Prevents growth of algae
  • Ready to plant and doesn’t need an attachment to driftwood or substrate

What We Like

Water spangles look similar to clovers with its round petals with vivid green hues, which are beautiful above the water surface. This pack from G’z comes with 24 water spangles with 4 to 6 leaves each. They thrive well on still or slow-moving water environments, which makes them ideal for betta tanks.

The broad leaves of this floating aquarium plant are a bonus for betta fishes. It provides sufficient shade from sunlight that bettas like. Water spangles are excellent for preventing unwanted growth of algae in the aquarium as well.

Planting and caring for water spangles are easy and hassle-free. This aquatic plant variety doesn’t need anchoring on driftwood or other stone decorations. It doesn’t need planting on the substrate as well.

Another best quality of the Water Spangle is its incredibly hardy nature, which makes it thrive in most water settings.

What Can Be Improved?

Water spangles are an excellent addition for betta tanks. However, it is a fast-growing aquatic plant variety and will multiply extremely fast, which can overrun the tub after a while.

This type of aquarium plant is also delicate. It’s sensitive to cold and warm weather and gets easily damaged when shipped in lousy weather. Water spangles require an ideal temperature between 35-85 Fahrenheit to survive.

The plant needs a specialized lighting system for faster growth in the aquarium as well.

Conclusion

Java Fern is a well-known live plant for betta fishes. The best pick for this variety is the Greenpro Java Fern Black Forest, with its preserved quality and hassle-free maintenance.

Adding live plants in tanks are excellent decoration and benefits the entire aquarium environment as well. However, the best live plants for betta fishes shouldn’t only be a sight to behold but also safe and compatible with the fishes.

Last update on 2020-10-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Jill Sandy

Jill Sandy

Jill is a sustainable focus gardener. She loves decorating her home backyard with beautiful landscape design and creative garden care techniques she develops herself. You can reach her at jill@constantdelights.org

Chanh Ho (MD, MPH)

Chanh Ho (MD, MPH)

Chanh is our Head of Medical Review. He is a research physician at Oxford University Clinical Research Unit. After accomplishing the program of level 1 sub-specialty in Pediatrics, he was awarded the Chevening Scholarship for his Master’s degree of Public Health in the University of Edinburgh in 2019

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