A Guide To Buying The Best Plants For Your Betta Fish

If you own a Betta fish, You might’ve thought about livening up their home with some nice plants that regulate the oxygen levels and allow the fish to snuggle among the leaves. In addition to that, Betta fish remain healthier and live longer when their tank resembles a natural underwater ecosystem, so adding some plants like Java Ferns to their aquarium can really boost their mood and help them live longer.

Betta fish are a popular breed of fish kept by many in their aquariums. Their flashy fins and exotic tropical colors, coupled with their intelligence and exciting personalities, making them a favorite of many aquarium enthusiasts. Betta Fish love soft spots to rest on, as well as swimming through long leaves, so plants for your Betta fish would be a good decision regarding your fish’s happiness and health. There are a different number of aquarium plants out there, each with their advantages. If you’re looking for the best ones available, and what their specific pros and cons might be, read on.



Best For



Anubias Barteri

​Balance b/w Looks and DifficultyLive Plant

​Java Moss

​EaseLive Plant

​Dwarf Hairgrass

​BeautyLive Plant


​Exotic LookLive Plant

Java Fern

​Environment for FishLive Plant

​SunGrow Java Fern

​Long-Leaves LookFake Plant

Blue Spotted Amazon Sword

​Leaves Betta Can Hide UnderFake Plant

Marina Naturals Red Plant

​Contrasting ColorFake Plant

CNZ Green Plastic Plant

​Large SizeFake Plant

Marina Betta Pink Plant

​Prettifying the AquariumFake Plant

Product Overview For Live Plants

1. Greenpro Live Aquarium Plants in Tissue Culture Cup (Anubias Barteri)

The Anubias Barteri is a very popular choice for beginner level aquarium plants. It requires relatively low maintenance, grows even in low light aquariums, and is adept at surviving against all the odds. That does not mean that it is also not pretty. Anubias plants are also popular for their soothing green hues and large leaves that fill up a corner of the aquarium and become a favorite spot for your Betta fish to hang out in.


  • ​It can last a week before being planted
  • ​Planted at the bottom of the tank
  • ​High photosynthesis, thanks to an abundance of leaves


  • ​Hardy plant, so you must keep its growth in check if you don’t want it getting too big

2. Greenpro Java Moss Live Freshwater Aquarium Plants (Java Moss)

Java Moss is another very popular choice of live aquarium plants. Java Moss, instead of standing straight like Anubias Barteri or Java Fern, spreads around and grows over submerged surfaces in the aquarium. Java Moss is extremely easy to look after, requiring little light and growing by itself and is also an attractive spot for Betta Fish to rest on owing to its softness and mushy texture.


  • ​Easy to maintain
  • ​Grows quickly and spreads around
  • ​Resistant and does not die quickly
  • ​Betta Fish loves to rest on them


  • ​This plant grows extremely quick, and you will need to control its growth if you don’t want it covering every available surface in your aquarium

3. Greenpro Dwarf Hairgrass Live Aquarium Plants (Dwarf Hairgrass)

Dwarf Hairgrass is one of the most popular aquarium plants out there. This plant completely transforms the look of the inside of your fish tank, making it resemble a lush mountain range or a plain green field. The thin strands and bright green color of this plant gives an almost unreal beauty to your aquarium, and we recommended it if you want to totally change how your aquarium looks.


  • ​Aesthetically pleasing and completely transforms your aquarium
  • ​Easy to maintain as it’s a hardy plant
  • ​Oxygenates the tank and keeps pollutants in check


  • ​The grass-like blades of this plant grow exceptionally fast, so if you want to keep the desired length you would need to trim it often

4. Aquatic Arts 3 Betta Fish Balls – Live Marimo Aquarium Plants (Marimo)

Interestingly enough, Marimo moss balls are not actually moss. They are, in fact, a rare form of spherical algae, and are popular amongst aquarium enthusiasts for multiple reasons. Not only are they extremely easy to look after, but they’re also beneficial to the aquarium’s cleanliness. Furthermore, Betta Fish loves to play with them.


  • ​Unique, exotic, and slightly surreal-looking, but in a good way
  • ​Betta Fish love to play with them, roll them around, or rest on them
  • ​Extremely low maintenance and hardy
  • ​Reduces algae in the tank


  • ​Moss balls can get dirty and need to be cleaned. Furthermore, they grow exceptionally slow, so they’re not for you if you want plants that grow quickly

5. Greenpro Java Fern – Live Aquarium Plants (Java Fern)

Arguably one of the most popular aquarium plants, right up there with the Amazon Sword. Java Fern not only looks nice, but they also provide a serene and calming environment for Betta Fish and are just as resilient as easy to care for as the Anubias Barteri. Their long leaves provide a calming look as they slowly sway in the water and make your aquarium exceptionally pleasing to look at.


  • ​Give a beautiful and slightly wavy look when they are correctly planted
  • ​Betta Fish love to swim through their long leaves
  • ​Easy to look after for a beginner


  • ​Like Anubias Barteri, Java Fern is resilient little plants and can be hard to remove entirely from your aquarium should you wish to

Product Overview For Fake Plants

​1. SunGrow Long Leaf Java Fern – Plastic Artificial Plant

If you can’t afford to care for real plants but still want the look that the beautiful Java Fern provides, this product can be a nice addition to your aquarium. This plastic Java Fern will give your aquarium the pleasing green look, and your Betta fish will still enjoy swimming through its long leaves.


  • ​Beautiful long leaves for Betta Fish to swim through
  • ​It helps create a nice-looking environment within the tank
  • ​Not toxic for the fish


  • ​This particular product is brittle and needs to be handled carefully so that it doesn’t break

​2. Blue Spotted Betta P​​​​lant – Amazon Sword

If you want a slightly darker green in your aquarium and leaves with more width, this fake plant has got you covered. With this, your aquarium can achieve a denser, more forest-like look and still provide your Betta fish ample hiding spots for it lay low in.


  • ​Easily fits in aquariums of all sizes
  • ​Betta Fish enjoy hiding under the leaves
  • ​Leaves do not stand up and give a flatter and more widespread look


  • ​No particular disadvantes

​3. Marina Naturals Foreground Silk Plant Small Red

This soft silk plant is not only safe for your fish compared to plastic plants, but also looks beautiful and adds a touch of vibrant color to your aquarium. The leaves have a beautiful shapetheand if placed in the right corner; this plant greatly enhances your aquarium’s look and feel.


  • ​Looks pretty in the aquarium
  • ​Gives more color to the aqua-space you have created
  • ​Made of soft silk and thus safe for the fish’s fins
  • ​It lasts a long time without getting stained


  • ​Might be smaller than anticipated. Make sure to understand its size before placing an order

​4. CNZ Aquarium Fish Tank Green Lifelike Underwater Plastic Plant

This fake plant looks like a real plant underwater. Not only that, but it’s also one of the biggest offerings here and fits in nicely in larger aquariums. Betta Fish would enjoy swimming through it because of its size, and it will give your aquarium a much more pleasant look.

​Pros :

  • ​Looks gorgeous in the aquarium
  • ​Betta Fish like swimming through leaves like this
  • ​Realistic look and lifelike size

​Cons :

  • ​Some plastic edges might be harmful to your Betta fish’s delicate fins and tail

​​5. Marina Betta Pink Orchid Aquarium Plastic Plant 2.75 Inch

An exotic shape with cute leaves and an attractive pink color, this plant looks beautiful and exotic in an aquarium. Though small, if it’s placed correctly, it can give your aquarium a soothing and almost surreal look like that of a coral reef.

Pros :

  • ​Lasts a long time without having its colors fade
  • ​Safe for fish and their fins
  • ​Small size and fits in any aquarium
  • ​Adds a little more color to your aquarium and make it more attractive

​Cons :

  • ​Might be smaller than anticipated. Make sure to understand its size before placing an order


Do Betta Fish Need Plants?

Strictly speaking, no. Betta Fish do not actually require plants to survive. The surface area on the top of the aquarium is enough to keep the tank oxygenated enough for survival. Then why should you buy plants for your tank? Simple, it helps keep the Betta fish happy.

Similar to how you like to live close to a park and enjoy the colors and smells the season of Spring brings with it, Betta fishes would not appreciate swimming around a barren wasteland of an aquarium.

Different type of Betta fish love to glide through leaves and push around the Marimo moss balls mentioned above. They also love to be able to rest atop Java Moss (also mentioned above) and hide under the splayed leaves of a plant like the plastic Amazon Sword we listed above.

The fact that these plants (the real ones mind you), also oxygenate the tank a bit more and keep the pollutants in the aquarium at bay is just a bonus advantage. Furthermore, plants in your fish tank (both real and fake) enhance the look of your aquarium and make it much prettier and more attractive than it could’ve ever looked without anything in it.

Should You Get Real Plants Or Fake Ones?

An obvious question on your mind, and a relatively simple one to answer at that. Put, it depends on what you desire and how much you can do. Before making this decision, carefully evaluate just how much time you think you could spare for your aquarium each day.

If you think you are going to remain occupied with other things like work or school, and will unlikely be able to give much time to your aquarium, mostly just feeding the fish before dashing off to somewhere, then you should probably go for a plastic plant. This way, there would be no care or maintenance required from you apart from the usual wash every now and then, and your fish’s home would look prettier.

If instead, you do think you can spare some time for your aquarium and want to fill it with as much natural life and oxygenation as possible, you can go for a real plant. Though if you are a beginner, you probably want to get the much hardier plants, like the Dwarf Hairgrass, so you don’t have a hard time planting and taking care of them.

Just be assured that you can’t go wrong with any of the products we listed above, and whichever you end up choosing, your fish will love it, and it will breathe new life into your aquarium.

Which Type Of Plant Will My Betta Fish Like?

Any of the plants we listed above, be they real ones or fake, will be sure to satisfy your Betta fish. But if you are wondering just which one you should get, our advice would be to pick a combination that allows your Betta fish to exercise a variety of playful activities.

Betta Fish like to slither through leaves like snakes, but they also like to rest atop soft surfaces. They also want to play with objects, such as the Marimo moss balls, and even love going inside caves if you have them in your aquarium. Betta Fish like and enjoy doing various stuff, and all the plants we listed above help them do just that.

If you are deciding to give your Betta fish a little bit of everything, choose something with long leaves and some moss balls. If you want to beautify the inside of the fish tank and make it pleasing for your Betta fish, you can’t go wrong with Dwarf Hairgrass and some Java Fern.

Be Careful Ordering Live Plants

Great! You have decided you can indeed look after real plants and are ready to order one. That is great news, and we wish you the best of luck, especially if you are a beginner. But before you get too far ahead of yourself and doom your fish, a word of warning.

Ordering live plants can be a risky business. Remember, these are fragile organisms that have to survive shipping to your house. In the best case, and normally expected scenario, you will get your plants well and alive. But sometimes live plants can arrive with browning. This isn’t usually a big problem; just plant them, and the new growth will be healthy.

But sometimes, live plants can arrive carrying something much worse. Pest eggs. These can be pond snail eggs, dragonfly nymph eggs, midge larvae, or more. Some of these, like dragonfly nymphs, can be dangerous to your fish. Dragonfly nymphs can eat Betta Fish, and you do not want that happening.

That’s why, if you do order a real plant, make sure to quarantine it. Try leaving it in a 20:1 water to bleach solution and then soak it for a few hours before planting it in your aquarium.

Be Careful With Fake Plants

Almost all fake plants out there have one significant disadvantage that needs to be taken care of by fish owners. Most fake plants use plastic in their construction, and sometimes this plastic can be shaped in such a way that it can snag the fins and tails of unsuspecting fish that wander into it.

You obviously do not want your precious Betta fish hurt, so if you do order a plastic aquarium plant, make sure to check it for any sharp edges. If you find any sharp edge, you can chisel them into a smooth shape that won’t catch the passing fins and tail of your Betta fish.

Alternatively, you could place the fake plant inside your aquarium in such a way that its sharp edges face the glass, and the fish can’t get in there. If you still don’t feel like taking a chance and risking your Betta fish’s fins or tail, you could go for a fake silk plant that has its plastic embedded inside the soft fabric. This way, your fish can snuggle anywhere it wants and not tear its fins and tail.

Combine Live Plants With Compatible Requirements

Each real plant has its own properties and its own set of requirements. If you are planning to buy a combination of different live plants to give your aquarium a rich and diverse look, make sure the ones you are ordering are compatible together.

Some plants, like Java Fern and Anubias Barteri, can thrive in low light, whereas others, like Dwarf Hairgrass, require a bit of a higher light level. Granted, these restrictions are not that strict; most plants merely exhibit a change in the rate of their growth under different light levels. All the live plants we listed above are more or less compatible with each other.

But there are some combinations where the light level or the CO2 requirements will not match, and both the plants and the fish will be affected.

Plants Need Cleaning

Over time, you will notice that your plants in the aquarium are getting filthier. Ironically, the thing that cleans the tank got filthy. Yes, plants require regular cleaning, whether fake or real. Residue clings to the leaves, and even algae grow on them. But, as expected, there is a difference in the cleaning methods for real plants and fake ones. Here we will discuss both.

For fake plants, cleaning is generally much easier compared to real ones. You can reach into the tank and wipe off the gunk stuck to the plant. In case it is a bit more stubborn than first thought, or if some algae on it refuse to come off, you can take it out and soak it in a ten percent bleach solution.

Be careful not to soak it in the bleach for too long, or it will discolor and lose its pretty shade. Also, remember to use algae pads to wipe it clean, not soap or something similar. Even a tiny amount of soap left behind will be extremely harmful and maybe even fatal to your fish.

Live plants are much more fragile. They, too, can simply have their debris brushed off inside the tank, and the algae scraped off. If, however, the algae persist, you can try bleaching the plant too, though this is the last resort, and most plants will not survive. For live plants, no more than five minutes of bleaching is recommended. Bleaching live plants are extreme, but if they had accumulated that much algae, they were probably about to die anyway.

The best way to deal with this is to periodically (weekly is good) clean your plants before so much damage can take place.

Get The Plant Whose Growth Rate Suits You

Different plants, in addition to having different properties and requirements, have varying rates of growth. Generally though, you can control a plant’s growth rate by altering the level of light it’s receiving. What kind of plant you get should also be decided on what type of growth rate you can handle.

If you are happy with a slow-growing plant that you wouldn’t have to keep an eye on continuously, you will be satisfied with some Anubias or Java Fern and some low light. If instead you are looking for faster-growing plants, some Java Moss and Hornwort (not listed above) might be what you’re after. Just be sure to thoroughly research the plant you choose before buying it to make sure its exactly what you need.

Column Feeders and Root Feeders

When you have decided on a live plant to get, find out what type of feeder plant it is. Root feeders are those plants that absorb nutrients through their roots, whereas column feeders are those plants that take in nutrients through their leaves and do not need to be planted in soil.

If your selected plant is a root feeder, like some Amazon Sword or Anubias Barteri, you will also need to buy the right substrate for it and plant it in that. If, however, your plant is a column feeder, like Duckweed or Water Lettuce, it can be placed in the aquarium, and it will absorb nutrients from the light and fish waste itself.


And that concludes our discussion for the best plants you can get for Betta Fish. Java Fern is probably the best one out there; it’s easy to maintain, hard to kill, looks good in the water, Betta Fish love their waving leaves. Though, Dwarf Hairgrass with its beautifully mesmerizing look and the Marimo moss balls with their unique addition to your aqua-scape are not far behind. If you think you’re ready to get a plant for your Betta fish now, remember to check out the links we have listed above.


  • William Rieder

    Hi, my name is William Rieder and I'm a pet and animal blogger. I love reviewing all things pet related, from dogs to cats to horses! I also write about other topics such as personal finance and relationships. I enjoy helping people find the perfect pet for their lifestyle and am always interested in hearing what they have to say about their pets.

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