5 Best Live Plants for Betta Fish Tanks (All Good Picks)

live plants for betta fish tank
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Last Updated: September 1, 2023 by Flora Gibbins

There are many reasons why you should have live plants in your fish tank. They look great, your betta fish will love them and they help keep water conditions optimal.

We will go through what live plants you should put in your betta fish tank. Five examples all chosen as they are pretty easy and will grow and flourish in the optimal betta fish tank conditions. 76-80 degrees Fahrenheit.

Top 5 Live Plants for your Betta Fish Aquarium - JapaneseFightingFish.org

What are the best live plants to put in a Betta tank?


Anacharis – More info

The perfect live plant for a beginner, the Anacharis is easy to care for, removes harmful ammonia from the water and is a good oxygenator. You may recognise it from the plant you had with your goldfish when you were a kid as it is probably the most common aquarium plant. It looks like a long green stem with many small, flat, tiny sword-shaped leaves up the whole stem.

This plant can be left to float or can be buried/tied to a certain spot of the tank. It won’t root, no fertilizer is needed and it propagates easily.

Java Fern

Java Fern
Java Fern – More Info

Java fern is a green, lush plant that is best anchored to a piece of driftwood in your betta fish’s tank. This live plant survives well in water that does not circulate and does best in medium to low amounts of lighting. This type of plant features parts considered “arms” that are long and flow with the water. You should not bury/plant the roots as they can rot, just attach this plant with some fine fishing string to wherever you would like the plant to grow.

Tip: There is a difference between Java fern and Java moss. Be careful with Java moss because this type will grow wildly until it begins taking swimming area from your fish.

Amazon Sword
Amazon Sword – More Info

Amazon Sword Plant

Amazon Sword is a plant that is super adaptable because it is native to the Amazon River basin. This plant has leaves protruding from the root cluster that are flat, long, and very sword-like. There are different types of Amazon Sword plants but many are large making this type of plant a poor choice for smaller tanks.

The Amazon Sword plant needs to be rooted into substrate. 3 or 4 inches of the best substrate is recommended as this plant has large and numerous roots – fertiliser is also recommended.

Hygro – Hygrophila

This plant will thrive in optimal betta fish tank conditions. The more light that is provided the more dense the foliage.

It is a great looking plant with oval, pointed, sword-like leaves growing from a central stem.
You should bury the bottom of this plant into fine gravel or sand substrate to keep it rooted. No fertilization is needed for this plant – but it would help it grow fuller.

Hornwort Live Plant
Hornwort – More Info


Much like Java Fern, this live aquatic plant is flowing and long. A Hornwort does not have to be anchored to the bottom and it will still provide ample coverage for females and fry. One idea is to place the vertical, long hornwort toward the back of the tank and put plants that are smaller in the front to help create an aquascape that’s more aesthetically appealing.

Beware – this plant can easily take over a tank! It also sheds its nettles, these will need to be cleaned up or they will end up rotting at the bottom of the tank which is not good for water conditions.

Marimo Moss Balls

Marimo Moss Ball

This is a bonus option (a bonus ball if you will). Marimo moss balls are great for betta fish and are certainly the easiest live plant you could have in the tank. Although these are not strictly a plant and are in fact a type of algae.

There is no reason not to have a Marimo moss ball in your tank and so many positive reasons to have them! They require no special care, simply add them to your tank and they can last years.

Marimo moss balls look great and provide the same benefits as other live plants for aquariums.

In the end, there are many other live plants that work well in betta fish tanks. I hope you have an idea of what live plants work well in a betta fish tank.

The named plants above are some of the best, but you will notice that each type has both benefits and drawbacks – regardless of what kind you choose. The most important thing is that your betta fish isn’t picky! So long as you put something in there your betta fish will love you back! 🙂

Next you may want to know how to add live plants to your betta fish tank and we have an easy step by step guide to just that. Also, read up on the reasons why aquarium plants die and avoid those scenarios.

What did you think? Add your top live plants for a betta fish tank in the comments! Along with a brief description – help out the betta owners around the world! Thanks for your support! 🙂

34 thoughts on “5 Best Live Plants for Betta Fish Tanks (All Good Picks)”

  1. How about duckweed? It is at the surface and betta fish love the surface plants because they can lay in them and do all sorts of things in them. This really was a great share though on live plants.

    1. Thanks Chris for the comments! 🙂

      Yeah, great suggestion, this is what you can also use the Anacharis for. It doesn’t need to be rooted so can be used on the surface.

  2. I recently bought a Tropica Fern for my beta’s tank, will this harm him or are the above plants just the BEST suggestions, and not the only things that can be put with the betta?

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    1. Tina, betta love live insects, but you want to avoid any you catch around your home as they may have been exposed to pesticides that can be harmful to your fish.

  5. Hello! 🙂 i would suggest not using an Amazon Sword plant, because they grow to be HUGE!!! I’ve read that they can outgrow a 50 gallon aquarium. Therefore…probably not the best option for a beta bowl…

  6. I have a 1.5 gal tank and am dying for a betta and real plants othe fish might be nice to what do you think about this

    1. Your betta needs a larger tank than that, so dont even think about putting other critters with it. Get a larger tank (specifically at least 5 gallons) before you consider doing anything else.

    2. 1. that tank is far too small, I’d suggest getting a 5 gallon at least.
      2. Don’t buy fish from Petco, every single one I’ve got has been sick, A reputable breeder would be better.
      3. At most you can keep a snail (Nerite work well and don’t breed in fresh water) with your betta. it will kill other fish or the other fish will nip the betta’s fins.

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