15 Best Plants for Betta Fish: Live, Fake and Toxic Plants

Selecting a suitable plant for your fish tank can be a struggle as you can easily get caught up between buying live plants or fake ones. It’s also challenging to decide the suitable color, shape, size, and how many plants to get for your type of tank. 

The best plants for betta fish include java moss, anacharis, Amazon sword, hornwort, water wisteria, Amazon frogbit, java fern, Vallisneria, cryptocoryne wendtii, marimo moss ball, water sprite, Anubias nana, hygrophila, and duckweed. You can also opt for fake plants like the CNZ aquarium plant.

While you can easily get confused about what to pick out of the various choices, the best plants for your betta fish should be simple, appealing, complementary to your betta’s colors, and beneficial for the tank’s ecosystem. You should also consider the aquarium space and the plant’s compatibility with your betta’s existence.

15 Best Plants for Betta Fish

15 Best Plants for Betta Fish

There are many options in the market for live plants but you can always consult with an aquarist, aquarium vets, or fellow betta owners to understand what works well for fish tanks similar to yours. This list consists of 15 live aquarium plants for bettas that you should consider when shopping for your fish tank’s flora accessories:

1. Anacharis

Best Plants for Betta Fish - Anacharis

This live plant is highly recommended and it’s friendly for beginner aquarists due to its easy maintenance. You will enjoy the convenience of offering quick care as well as the plant’s versatility making it one of the best plants for a betta fish tank.

Anacharis is green thus creating the illusion of natural aquatic habitat for your betta. When setting it up, you can either float it or root it in a strategic position within your fish tank. This plant requires little light, and its fast growth will provide your betta with a suitable hiding spot. Due to its density, you may only need one plant for your aquarium depending on the number of fish and size of the aquarium.

2. Amazon Sword

Best Plants for Betta Fish - Amazon Sword

Many betta fish owners like the Amazon Sword in their aquariums due to their green beauty and splendid visual effects. This plant has a glowing appearance that manifests when exposed to sunlight. Its large leaves spread outward, increasing the plant’s splendor. It’s a good way to entertain yoir bettas especially when combined with music since betta fish like music too.

As a result of its beautiful visual appearance, the Amazon Sword provides a catchy backdrop against which your fish swims or rests. It also promotes privacy in the tank as the large leaves divide the space into different sections. 

When selecting this plant, you must consider your tank size and the amount of light reaching it. Amazon Sword grows into a large plant and a small aquarium may be inadequate to accommodate it. Additionally, it also needs a substantial amount of light to unleash its full splendor, and low light intensity can inhibit this display.

3. Hornwort

Best Plants for Betta Fish - Hornwort

Hornwort is an aquatic plant identified using its unique thin leaves and rich green color. It has a flowy and whispy effect in your tank, matching the long and colorful fins of your betta fish. Another unique factor of Hornwort is its ability to thrive in different water conditions given its high tolerance.

The plant is hardy and killing or eliminating it is a challenging task, meaning it has a long lifespan. Besides its complementary beauty, it creates a comfortable hiding zone for your betta as well as minimizes their stress levels. Its versatility enables you to float or root it, displaying it in a position that blends with your style.

Continuous trimming of the plant keeps its rapid growth in check, preventing it from taking all the tank space.

4. Java Moss

Best Plants for Betta Fish - Java moss

Java moss is a highly recommended midground aquatic plant for your betta fish. It gives your tank a classic appearance as you can trim it to match your preferred structure. The plant is easy to float or root, depending on how you want to display it. 

Another reason to have java moss as your live plant of choice is its ability to thrive in a habitat that has minimal lighting. It’s also easy to maintain and similar to betta fish, java moss is flexible and approachable. To enhance its steadiness, you can attach the plant to a rock, driftwood or leave it carpeted on the substrate.

5. Water Wisteria

Best Plants for Betta Fish - Water Wisteria

This is one of the most underrated aquatic plants for betta fish aquarium, yet it comes with as many benefits as the other popular live plants. If you’re interested in having a unique display in your aquarium, water wisteria has a strong underwater effect that gets more intense when exposed to suitable lighting. 

Adding a few of these plants into your aquarium enhances the comfort of your betta fish and reduces their stress levels because they can sneak around or hide in private spots.

Water wisteria is a low-maintenance, fast-growing, and durable aquatic vegetation that enhances your betta’s exploratory nature. You must trim it often to prevent its full invasion of your tank space.

6. Amazon Frogbit

Best Plants for Betta Fish - Amazon Frogbit

This live plant is built uniquely, with many special features compared to the other plants. It has to be floated within the tank as its roots dangle on the bottommost surface. This provides a hiding space for your betta fish and the comfort that comes with swimming beneath the roots.

Amazon frogbit creates a neat view of your tank as its large leaves remain in contact with the substrate. It also gives you an easy time caring for it due to its hardiness and the minimal pruning requirements. When setting it up, leave gaps between the plant and the surface as its large leaves create a cover over the water and prevent your bettas from accessing the right amount of light.

7. Java Fern

Best Plants for Betta Fish - Java Fern

Java fern has a good texture and beautiful pattern that enhances the comfort of your betta fish in the tank. It offers a unique display that blends well with the colorful appearance of the fish. The plant does not grow as fast as most other aquatic vegetation, making it easy to maintain. It also thrives in different water conditions, as it is a handy plant.

8. Pennywort

Best Plants for Betta Fish - Pennywort

Aquascaping is an interesting activity when you add pennywort to the list of your preferred live aquatic plants. It grows on lower surfaces and the best display method is floating it. This provides enough space for your betta fish to swim to the surface where they can hide or play without any obstruction. Pruning is the only way to maintain pennywort’s appearance and you can do this occasionally as it is low-maintenance.

9. Vallisneria

Best Plants for Betta Fish - Vallisneria

This is the best live plant to put in any type of tank, due to its solid nature and all-roundedness. Caring for this plant is easy as it only needs occasional trimming and good lighting. However, its leaves are long and thin, causing it to occupy a large space in the tank that can interfere with your fish’s navigation. 

You’re advised to put one Vallisneria in your small fish tank, but a bigger aquarium can accommodate two of these plants at most.

10. Cryptocoryne wendtii

Best Plants for Betta Fish - Cryptocoryne wendtii

Despite its appealing features, the Cryptocoryne wendtii live plant does not receive as much popularity as other plants. Its easy maintenance and handy nature make it a favorite among aquascapers who know about it. This plant does well in areas with minimal lighting and its widespread leaves give your bettas a great space for playing or hiding. The thin stems leave enough space for your fish to penetrate from one side to another as it navigates through the tank.

11. Water Sprite

Best Plants for Betta Fish - Water Sprite

Your betta fish need enough space to explore and interact with their environment, making Water Sprite a suitable plant for your aquarium. It has thin stems and leaves that are spread out with natural crannies and nooks that enrich the environment for your fish’s comfort. 

The plant also gives a beautiful view of the aquarium, with few maintenance requirements. Despite the choice to root or float it, Water Sprite is best rooted, enhancing its engagement with your fish.

12. Marimo Moss Balls

Best Plants for Betta Fish - Marimo Moss Balls

This plant creates a great illusion in your tank’s scenery and is highly recommended to boost your betta fish interaction. Some fishkeepers regard it as a predatory ball of green algae, without considering the stress-relieving benefits it offers betta fish when they play with or around it. These moss balls are effective in enhancing your betta fish playfulness.

13. Anubias Nana

Best Plants for Betta Fish - Anubias Nana

The Anubias Nana is a good plant for beginners due to its vibrant and bold green appearance. Your betta fish are guaranteed to blend well in this plant’s backdrop, presenting a uniquely eye-catching display. 

Another reason to consider Anubias Nana in your fish tank is its minimal requirements for survival and easy maintenance.

14. Hygrophila

Best Plants for Betta Fish - Hygrophila

Hygrophilla often appears like a boring or plain plant due as it doesn’t exhibit any unique or fancy traits like other aquatic plants. However, it has a tall structure that adds to its worth, making it stand out within the tank. To unlock its full potential, you should place it in a relatively big tank and expose it to moderate lighting for full-color enrichment and growth. Your betta fish will enjoy swimming along or around Hygrophilla’s trail during their playtime.

15. Duckweed

Best Plants for Betta Fish - Duckweed

Duckweed creates a natural vegetation cover on the bottom of your aquarium due to its fast growth. They are suitable for large fish tanks with a space to spare without limiting your betta’s comfort. They are easy to care for but you have to constantly trim them and keep up with the aggressive reproduction.

These are betta safe plants that can be added to the tank of any type of betta fish. Most aquatic plants for betta fish help purify the water (only real plants for betta fish) besides adding beauty to the tank.

Advantages of Live Plants in a Betta Fish Tank

Some of the advantages of having live plants in a betta fish tank include the following:

1. Balance the Ecosystem

Adding live plants to your betta fish tank helps balance the ecosystem as most of them consume the waste while improving the oxygen concentration. They maintain a healthy cycle that keeps all the species inside the tank happy. The quality of water also improves as the plants recycle some of the unwanted materials and gases.

2. Enhance Your Betta’s Playfulness

Betta fish are playful and aggressive. Plant cover within the tank enhances their nature, giving them something to play with. Marimo moss ball is the best plant to enhance your betta’s playfulness.

3. You Can Sell Surplus Plants

You can use your fish tank as a breeding spot for commercial aquatic plants, selling the surplus to new fish keepers. Some plants like duckweed grow rapidly and instead of throwing away the extra parts, you can invite interested buyers and make money while at it.

4. Promote Spawning

Betta fish are more likely to spawn among plants as opposed to gravel or bare substrate. If you intend to breed them, you should consider adding live plants in the tank for safety and comfort.

These benefits of water plants for betta fish make it compelling to add them to the fish tank. In most cases, live plants for betta fish reduce the overall maintenance required for your tank. 

Advantages of live plants in an aquariumDisadvantages of live plants in an aquarium
Balance the ecosystemCompetition for space
Enhance the betta’s playfulnessWaste from dead plants
Can be sold for cash 
Promote spawning

Disadvantages of Live Plants in a Betta Fish Tank

Among the disadvantages of having live plants in a betta fish tank are the following:

1. Competition for Space

Some plants grow aggressively and rapidly, taking up the space meant for your fish. This limits their movements and can easily lead to distress that’s not good for the health of your bettas.

2. Dead Plants Increase Waste

Plants shed their leaves, wither or die inside the aquarium, increasing the waste levels. This calls for continuous cleaning and water change to avoid the accumulation of toxic materials harmful to your fish. 

5 Best Fake Plants for Betta Fish Aquarium

If you can’t manage or access live plants for your betta fish tank, consider the following fake plants:

1. CNZ Aquarium Plant

This fake plant has large life-like leaves and plastic roots that enhance its aesthetics in your fish tank. Your betta fish get enough hiding and playing space, while the tank scenery is enhanced.

2. Blue Spotted Red Anubia Leaf Plant

This plant has a beautiful and realistic design and a rock base to maintain its stability in your aquarium. Your betta fish gets to explore, hide and play around it.

3. MaxFox Fish Tank Plants

This plant is designed as a single leaf that’s sturdy and broad enough for your betta fish to play and rest on. It is budget-friendly and complementary to the rest of the tank’s decorations.

4. QUMY Plants

The QUMY artificial aquarium plant has thin stems and colorful red leaves to add an aesthetic touch to your fish tank. It is safe and non-toxic, enabling your betta fish to swim, play and hide within the tank’s landscape.

5. ZAZALUM plants

ZAZALUM artificial aquarium plants are made of silk. They have broad leaves to facilitate your betta’s privacy and cover as it swims around. Its strong base makes it sturdy and resilient against strong waves in the tank.

Having fake plants made from safe materials helps a lot in keeping the bettas healthy. Floating plants for bettas can offer a dynamic look since they change positions giving the bettas an exciting time in the tank. You can couple them with soothing music since betta fish like music too.

Toxic Plants for Betta Fish

When adding plants to your betta fish tank, avoid the following plants for their toxicity since they’ll likely kill your precious betta:

1. Peace Lily

Toxic Plants for Betta Fish - Peace Lily

Peace Lilies have calcium oxalate crystals in high levels. When your betta fish is exposed to this plant for a long period, they may accidentally consume the toxic chemicals and develop intestinal problems or other medical complications.

2. Water Lettuce

Toxic Plants for Betta Fish - Water Lettuce

Similar to peace lily, water lettuce is poisonous to your betta fish when consumed. The plant has calcium oxalate crystals that are likely to inflame your betta’s throat and mouth due to its toxic burning sensation. Your fish also develop erratic behavior after ingesting the plant.

3. Pothos

Toxic Plants for Betta Fish - Pothos

The calcium oxalate crystals in the pothos aquatic plant are a risk to your betta’s health regardless of the ingested amount. It can also result in distress, discomfort, and intestinal problems. Otherwise, Pothos is a great aquarium plant that’s easy to take care of.

4. Hygrophila balsamic

Toxic Plants for Betta Fish - Hygrophila balsamic

The stems, leaves, and leaves give out noxious chemicals that are harmful to the health of your fish when ingested. You should avoid this plant in your aquarium due to its toxicity.

5. Water Hemlock

Toxic Plants for Betta Fish - Water Hemlock

The roots of this plant contain high levels of cicutoxin that have lethal effects on your fish when used as an aquatic plant. Damaged stems are also toxic to the water and can kill betta fish that get into contact with them.


Aquatic plants create a natural habitation that helps your fish live like they would if they were still in the wild. Before selecting a live or plastic plant, you should understand whether or not they are toxic to your fish to avoid accidents in the tank. You should also consider their growth rate, ease of maintenance, and their benefits within the aquarium. The plant size should be sensibly proportional to the tank size to avoid taking up all the space and leaving your betta fish distressed.


University of Illinois Urbana-Campaign. Bettas Need More Than Bowls.

Colorado Aquaponics. Growing Fish and Plants Together.

Maryville College. The Effects of Aquarium Size and Temperature on Color Vibrancy, Size, and Physical Activity in Betta Splendens.

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