Is Lucky bamboo safe for betta fish tanks?

In this post, we will answer the question “Can I have Lucky bamboo in betta fish tanks?”. We will also discuss the difference between Real bamboo and Lucky bamboo, and how to grow Lucky bamboo in betta fish tanks.

Is Lucky bamboo safe for betta fish tanks?

Yes, it is safe to keep Lucky bamboo (Dracaena sanderiana) plants in a fish tank with no danger of their dying. These ornamental plants will not harm your fish or invertebrates, and in fact, they may be beneficial to your setup because the plant mimics the natural habitat in which your fish live. 

Are Lucky bamboo and True bamboo the same plant, or are they different? 

Lucky bamboo is a typical houseplant that may be seen in a variety of settings. The plant is really easy to take care of, and you don’t even need to place it in compost or soil for it to grow successfully. Fortunate bamboo may thrive in as little as a few inches of water, which is rather common. Strangely enough, Lucky bamboo is not a species of bamboo at all, nor is it an aquatic plant like most other bamboos. 

Because lucky bamboo and bamboo are not related, there are some notable distinctions between the two species of bamboo. Take a look at the following four distinctions between lucky bamboo and actual bamboo in terms of growth: 

• When compared to actual bamboo, the stem of fortunate bamboo seems to be meatier.

• Real bamboo is one of the world’s fastest-growing plants, with the ability to grow as much as four feet in a single day in certain cases. Lucky bamboo develops in the same way as a typical houseplant does. 

• Lucky bamboo may reach a height of two to three feet in height. Larger bamboos may reach heights of up to 70 feet. 

• All bamboo species require soil to thrive. This is a significant distinction. Only water is required for the growth of Lucky bamboo.

What is Lucky bamboo?

Lucky bamboo is a kind of blooming lily that is endemic to Cameroon, in Central Africa, and is sometimes referred to as “lucky bamboo.” Nature’s Lucky bamboo may be found in tropical woods, where it can withstand the effects of seasonal droughts and flooding. As a result, the plant is extremely resilient and practically impossible to destroy, even if you forget to provide proper care for it.

Using a betta fish aquarium, how can you cultivate Lucky bamboo? 

Lucky bamboo is content whether it is submerged or has leaves that are visible above the water’s surface. As a result, this plant is a fantastic choice for aquascaping in tanks of all shapes and sizes. 

Simply make sure that the bamboo stalk is completely buried in up to 2 to 3 inches of substrate material so that the bamboo may absorb the nutrients it requires from the substrate and remain firmly fixed in place after being planted. It is not tolerant of dried-out roots. 

The use of gravel as the optimal substrate for growing Lucky bamboo is recommended instead of utilising sand or aquatic soil, according to our research. The crevices between the gravel particles provide for ample water circulation and a consistent supply of nutrients for the plants in the garden bed. Plants’ roots can become crushed when sand and dirt are compacted around them. This allows hypoxic dead zones to form, where hazardous bacteria can flourish and pollute your water supply.

Water parameters

Only freshwater tanks can support the growth of Lucky bamboo since it will not thrive in brackish or marine tanks where the water is salty. 

As a very adaptable plant species, it can thrive in water temperatures ranging from 65 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit, making it an excellent choice for tropical betta tanks. The optimal pH range for Lucky bamboo is 6.0 to 6.5, however, the plant will thrive in the pH ranges of 6.8 and 7.5 in your betta’s aquarium as long as the water is clean. 

Plant roots get stressed as a result of exposure to chlorine and chloramine, resulting in yellow leaves or a slow pace of development. Given that fluoride is similarly poisonous to Lucky bamboo, it is likely that the plant will thrive in the dechlorinated water of your aquarium.


Because bamboo grows best in moderate light levels, it may be successfully grown in most aquariums with standard lighting systems. However, if you wish to grow your Lucky Bamboo partially above water, you will not be able to use LEDs since the powerful light they emit would burn the leaves and cause the plant to die.

Does Lucky bamboo need fertilizer or CO2?

Even if your Lucky bamboo is growing in a communal tank where the fish create a lot of waste, it doesn’t require much fertiliser to keep it healthy and flourishing. The plants will use the water column to extract the nutrients they require to survive and grow. 

Lucky bamboo, like your other water plants, makes use of CO2 during the photosynthetic process. However, because the plant does not develop at a rapid rate, extra CO2 supplementation is not required. The bamboo will receive all of the nutrients it requires from the water column as long as you have a high-quality filtering system in place, in general.

Why plant Lucky bamboo in your betta tank?

Even though lucky bamboo is a striking and uncommon addition to your betta tank’s aquascape, there are several advantages to incorporating this plant in your setup. 

The plants oxygenate the water, absorb CO2, and utilise nitrates as fertiliser, all of which contribute to the preservation of safe and healthy habitat for your fish. The root tips of the bamboo that sprout from the stalks are very popular with many fish, which makes Lucky bamboo a wonderful supplemental food source for these species as well.

How long do Lucky bamboo plants live?

In general, a Lucky bamboo plant may live and thrive in water for up to three years, and it can even thrive in saltwater. After that, you’ll need to transplant the bamboo into soil or compost to continue growing it. It is possible to keep Lucky bamboo plants alive in betta aquariums for more than five years, and some have done so.

Does Lucky bamboo grow quickly?

Lucky bamboo, in contrast to real bamboo, is a somewhat slow-growing plant. As is true of other plant species, the slower development rate of Lucky bamboo is greatly impacted by the amount of light the plant receives daily.

If you have moderate, indirect light, Lucky bamboo will grow at the same rate as the majority of other houseplants in your environment. The plant, on the other hand, develops more slowly in your betta tank because of the low lighting circumstances.

Will Lucky bamboo oxygenate my betta tank?

Yes, it is correct. Lucky bamboo photosynthesizes in the same way that all other plant species do, and as a result, it releases oxygen into the atmosphere. 

The leaves of the plant are responsible for the majority of the plant’s oxygen production. Accordingly, planting your Lucky Bamboo beneath the waterline will result in the production of oxygen that your fish and invertebrates will benefit from.

Urban myths surrounding Lucky bamboo in betta tanks

Because of this, there is a lot of erroneous information regarding utilising Lucky bamboo around fish that is spreading on the internet nowadays. In this portion of our guide, we’ll set the record straight on everything.

Lucky bamboo poisons the water

No, Lucky bamboo does not contaminate the water in your fish tank. The origin of this myth is the belief that using traditional bamboo in aquariums will result in issues. False bamboo sends toxins into the water, raising the ammonia levels and fast degrading the ecosystem, making it unsuitable for keeping fish. 

If the roots of true bamboo are immersed, the plant will not grow. Instead, the roots will choke and die underwater, releasing ammonia into the water that can kill your fish and other aquatic life. Lucky bamboo, on the other hand, is completely safe to grow in betta aquariums.

Fertiliser is bad for Lucky bamboo

This is a completely false assumption. If you want to feed your Lucky bamboo, you may use a specific aquarium-safe liquid fertiliser or plant tabs. 

However, as previously said, this is typically not essential because Lucky bamboo plants do not require a lot of nutrition. And, of course, if you want to put fertilisers on your other plants, that’s also OK.

Lucky bamboo leaves must grow above the water surface

That is unquestionably a myth. You may grow lucky bamboo plants with their leaves completely immersed, for example, in a picture tank or bowl, or you can grow the plant completely submerged in a water container.

Lucky bamboo will grow in your aquarium filter

Yes, it is possible to grow Lucky bamboo in a HOB filter; this is true. Some enthusiasts replace their changeable filter media with gravel or bio-balls and plant the Lucky Bamboo roots in the filter compartment, while others leave the filter compartment alone. If you leave the filter box lid off, the bamboo plant will grow out of the top of the HOB and into the room. This may give your tank a completely different appearance by adding a whole new depth. 

However, the fundamental disadvantage of this technique is that the plant’s roots are not as effective at removing pollutants from the water as traditional filter media. In addition, keeping the filter box open causes dust and debris to enter the water supply and pollute it. 

The myth, on the other hand, is correct. Some betta tank enthusiasts like growing Lucky bamboo plants in their tank’s filter system.


In this post, we answered the question “Can I have Lucky bamboo in betta fish tanks?”. We also discussed the difference between Real bamboo and Lucky bamboo, and how to grow Lucky bamboo in betta fish tanks.

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

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Can I have Lucky bamboo in betta fish tanks?

Is Lucky bamboo good for betta fish?

Dracaena sanderiana (also known as Lucky bamboo) is completely safe for your betta fish tank, as are all plants that have evolved to live underwater. When lucky bamboo is half or completely immersed beneath the water, it can grow as part of the ecology of your aquarium. 

Is bamboo OK for use in fish tanks? 

On a more practical level, lucky bamboo can help to enhance the general conditions of an aquarium. The truth is that this plant does not decay or poison the tank, as is often believed by the public. It has the exact opposite effect! It is fortunate bamboo that draws nitrates from the water and utilises them as fuel to continue growing! 

Is it possible for fish to coexist with real bamboo plants? 

If the roots of true bamboo are immersed, the plant will not grow. Instead, the roots will choke and die underwater, releasing ammonia into the water that can kill your fish and other aquatic life. Lucky bamboo, on the other hand, is completely safe to grow in betta aquariums. 

Is it possible to completely immerse bamboo? 

No, if you wish, you may grow Lucky Bamboo fully underwater if that is your preference. While these plants are often marketed with only the root end submerged in water, if you submerge them in water in your aquarium, the leaves will continue to develop. 

Is bamboo hazardous to fish in any way? 

Some plants are poisonous to fish and would be harmful to them if they were consumed. The genuine bamboo plant is an example of a hazardous bamboo plant (which is a non-aquatic plant). However, if you are contemplating using the Lucky bamboo (Dracaena sanderiana) in a fish tank, you should know that these beautiful plants will not hurt your fish or invertebrates and may even be beneficial to your setup because the plant resembles the natural environment of your fish. 

Is it true that Lucky bamboo rots when exposed to water? 

Bacteria and fungi are frequently responsible for plant rot. Lucky bamboo is usually planted inside in water-filled pots, although it may also be grown outdoors. These plants are susceptible to rot as a result of their continual exposure to dampness. When bacteria develop in the water because of a lack of frequent water changes, this is particularly problematic. 

Is it preferable for Lucky bamboo to grow in water or soil? 

Different from Real bamboo, Lucky bamboo grows better in water. This is in contrast to Real bamboo.


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