Do Betta fish need plants? 

In this article, we will answer the question “Do Betta fish need plants?”. We will also learn which plants are good matches to Betta fish and how to set a Betta fish planted tank properly. 

Do Betta fish need plants?

No, Betta fish do not need plants to survive, they are not essential for a Betta fish. However, it is important to keep a Betta fish in a well-planted tank. This is because the best environment for a Betta fish is the one that matches its natural environment.

Betta fish are originally native to calm shallow tropical well-vegetated waters from Southeast Asia. Thus, they appreciate plants in their surroundings. For this reason, we strongly recommend having plenty of plants in Betta fish tanks.

What do Betta fish use plants for?

Betta fish can use the plants to build their nests among the leaves. Male Betta fish may also use floating plants to build their bubble nests. They can also rest among the leaves. Betta fish can also use the plants to hide from other fish and also to establish their territory.

Although Betta fish may nibble on some plants, they require meaty food sources. They usually nibble when they have no other type of food available. Thus, it is important to keep an appropriate diet with flakes, pellets, and live food for the Betta fish. 

Are plants safe?

Having plants in a Betta fish tank may bring several benefits. Live and artificial plants are good additions to a Betta fish tank. In general, plants are safe, however, it is crucial to know about the plant species you are considering. Betta fish enjoy plants for exploring, hanging out and hiding in. It is important to choose a reputable shop where you will get the plants from as they can be contaminated with fungi, bacteria, or viruses.

Also, it is fundamental to know which plants you are getting. This is because some plants should be avoided. After all, they can be toxic to some fish species, mainly if they are consumed.

When adding artificial plants it is fundamental to rinse them before placing them in the tank to avoid dust and debris contaminating your tank. 

What plants are Betta fish safe?

Some floating plants that can be used in Betta fish tanks are duckweed, Salvinia, and frogbit. These can even be used by male Betta fish to build their bubble nests. Java moss, Vallisneria, and Sword plants are also very good for Betta fish tanks. Following are the best artificial and live choices for Betta fish tanks.

–       Batta Hammock: artificial plant usually attached to the side of the tank by a suction cup;

–       Anacharis: live soft compact plant usually anchored in the substrate;

–       Silk Betta safe plants: popular artificial plants that require some attention regarding pointy parts;

–       Camboba/ Caroline Fanwort: a live bushy plant with soft leaves, can be floating or attached to the substrate.

It is important to make sure the plants have no sharp edges as the Betta fish have delicate sensitive fins. Additionally, always remember to quarantine any live plants before placing them in your main tank to avoid any contaminants or harmful organisms.

What to consider when having a Betta fish planted tank?

Having live plants in a tank is not a demanding task. However, some conditions should be taken into account. It is crucial to choose the appropriate substrate to guarantee the plants get enough nutrients and grow healthily. Marbles are a good option as substrate, they are easy to clean and avoid leftovers from accumulating in them.

It is also important to keep free space on the surface. Avoid too many floating plants. This is because Betta fish breathe air directly from the atmosphere through the labyrinth organ. 

What to avoid when choosing a plant for a Betta fish tank?

Some plants could be harmful and even injure your Betta fish. Betta fish’s long fins can suffer from traumas by being rotten. Sometimes, while swimming around, Betta fish can become trapped within leaves or roots and thus, their fins can be hurt. This is more common in over-decorated tanks with both live and artificial plants.

Thus, to avoid this type of issue always consider soft plants without sharp edges and stems. You can use a nail clipper to cut the dangerous edges and pointy parts out of the plants.

Key habitat factors of the Betta fish

To keep your Betta fish healthy and happy, some conditions should be provided such as:

–       Regular tank cleaning and water changes;

–       A varied diet with flakes and pellets basis supplemented with live and freeze-dried foods;

–       Warm water temperatures above 75°F and up to 82°F.

You can determine if there is anything wrong with your conditions by observing your Betta’s appearance. A healthy and happy Betta will have bright vibrant colours, a good appetite and active and curious behaviours. Inactive and colourless betta fish, with a poor appetite, is a signal that something is going wrong with your tank.


In this article, we answered the question “Do Betta fish need plants?”. We also learnt which plants are good matches to Betta fish and how to set a Betta fish planted tank properly.

If you have any thoughts or doubts, feel free to drop us in a comment below!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Do Betta fish need plants?

What do Betta fish eat?

Betta fish are carnivores. Thus, they need to be fed an animal protein-rich diet. In the wild, they feed on insects and some larvae. However, in tanks, they are usually fed with a varied diet with pellets and flakes supplemented with freeze-dried food and some live shrimps and worms.

Can I keep a Betta fish in a vase?

No, it is recommended to have an appropriate tank for Betta fish, as they require good water conditions as well as stable warm water temperatures and parameters.

How often should I change the water from a Betta fish tank?

In filtered tanks, it is recommended to run weekly changes of around 25% of the tank volume. Also, it is important to remove any leftovers immediately after feeding time to avoid any toxic substance levels from growing.

Can I keep many Betta fish together?

If they are males, you should never place more than one Betta fish in the same tank. This is because they can become aggressive towards each other and fight to the death. Males can also attack females, however, in a less aggressive manner. Multiple females can be housed in the same tank without further issues if they have enough space to establish their territory. 

Do Betta fish like well-planted tanks?

Yes, Betta fish enjoy living in a well-planted tank. However, it is important to not overplant and leave no space for the Betta fish to swim around. Also, they do not require having plants to survive. Although, it is strongly recommended and encouraged.

Are Moss balls good for Betta fish?

Yes, they help in controlling the water quality and removing some toxic substances from the water, such as nitrites, nitrates, and ammonia. 


Sharpe, S. 2019. The Best Environment for a Betta Fish.

Sandres, J. 2022. What Plants are Safe for Betta Fish?

Should I Have Live Plants in My Aquarium?

Betta Fish Plants: Best Live and Fake Options.

What Are The Best Plants For Betta Fish?