Betta fish appreciate plants they can nibble on, rest on and hide behind in their habitats. Plenty of aquatic plants are suitable, but a few can be unsafe for your fish. With betta-safe plants, you and your pet can enjoy the aquascape worry-free.
A Few Plants Are Suitable
For the betta hobbyist, a few plants are both easy to maintain and safe for bettas. Java moss is a hardy plant that attaches to rocks and driftwood underwater. It also helps to detoxify aquarium water. Eelgrass is a beautiful low-maintenance choice that lets bettas swim through its long strands of grass. Water sprite will also provide shelter and decoration for a captive betta's environment.
Take Good Care of Them
Live plants require some monitoring and care. Many thrive at normal household temperatures between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit and do not require much lighting, but other aquatic plants sold in pet supply stores may need more heat and additional lighting. If your plants grow large and begin to overwhelm the aquarium, simply trim them back so your fish have room to freely swim.
Things to Keep in Mind
Betta fish are known to be jumpers, and experts recommend they be housed in lidded aquariums. As such, avoid plants that will grow above the water's surface and push up the tank's lid. Meanwhile, any plant, even a plant safe for bettas, become unsafe for fish when they die. Dead plants rot in the water -- leading to spikes in ammonia -- and become deadly. To avoid any imbalance in pH levels, clean out dead leaves regularly and remove plants that are no longer thriving in the aquarium.
Research Is Your Fish's Friend
Many plants sold with or for betta fish should be left out of an aquarium. Bettas are commonly sold in glass vases with peace lilies or bamboo, neither of which is aquatic. These plants will start to slowly die and decompose in the water, and the betta's environment will become poisoned by the spike in pH levels. Do your research to ensure that your fish are not underwater with an unsafe plant.
Olivia Kight is an experienced online and print writer and editor. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in 2012, and has worked on education, family life and counseling publications. She also gained valuable knowledge shadowing a zoo veterinarian and grooming and socialize show dogs, and now spends her time writing and training her spunky young labradoodle, Booker.