If you’re looking to add a very dynamic and realistic look to your aquarium, floating plants are the way to go. Indeed, floating plants can give your fish tank that natural and jungle-like feel that nothing else can. Moreover, your bettas will appreciate them too. However, there are numerous floating plants out there, making deciding which to use slightly overwhelming.
Thankfully, we have done our homework and have come with a list of some of the best floating plants specifically for bettas. Therefore, you can take advantage of our wealth of knowledge and let us guide you to picking the right floating plants.
Like every fish, your bettas will be happier and content in an aquarium that closely resembles their natural habitat. While using the substrate and props can help create this illusion, they can only do so much. You’re probably wondering what else you can add. The answer is floating plants. Floating plants are absolutely game changer and can add a whole new perspective to your fish tank.
However, aesthetics is not the only reason you should consider floating plants for your precious bettas. These plants are beneficial to both the physical and mental health of your fish! For one, floating plants can help to provide oxygen for your fish. We’ll explore some more benefits later on in this article.
Do you have questions about the advantages of floating plants for your betta? Are you wondering which floating plant to add to your fish tank? You’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll share insight into everything you need to know about floating plants in your aquarium. More importantly, we will give you a detailed review of the best floating plants to use for Bettas
Floating Plants for Bettas: The Best Options for You
Finally, the icing on this article’s cake — our list of the best floating plants for bettas. Now that you now know what floating plants are and their benefits, you undoubtedly want to know the plants we recommend. Well, the wait is over. Here are our top six options of floating plants for bettas.
Duckweed is a particularly controversial floating plant, and we’ll tell you why. But, notwithstanding, it deserves a spot on our list.
Duckweed is a unique floating plant that can thrive in almost any environment. Its small leaves can quickly grow to cover any water surface in a pretty green pattern. Indeed, it is a wonder to behold from the top, but the bottom view is even more breathtaking.
However, its rapid growth rate is something you must consider carefully before choosing duckweed. Even more, it is almost impossible to get rid of the plant after it has established itself in a water body.
On the bright side, it is an excellent source of food for fish and is quite effective at keeping the light out. Also, duckweed can help to absorb excess nutrients and toxins in the water.
If you choose to use duckweed in your aquarium, you’ll need to trim its leaves regularly. Otherwise, you may use a floating ring to control its growth and keep it from overrunning your water surface.
2) Amazon Frogbit
This is another popular floating plant that we can recommend for betta enthusiasts. It looks like a small lily pad and has very wide, sturdy, and flat leaves. Furthermore, the plant has long roots that hang down into the water to give a wild, appealing natural look. Interestingly, many beginner fish keepers mistake this plant for water hyacinth.
The Amazon Frogbit can withstand an impressive range of temperature and does not require frequent maintenance. More importantly, this plant will not take over your water surface. However, its long roots are a danger to your aquarium filters. An effective solution is to confine your Amazon Frogbit to the opposite side of the aquarium with an angling wire.
Also, this plant’s leaves make it very effective at keeping the light out of the fish tank. Since most bettas prefer a slightly dim tank, it is a perfect fit for betta enthusiasts.
3) Salvinia Minima (Water Spangles)
Another floating plant that has secured itself a spot on this list is the water spangles. The Salvinia Minima or Water Spangles is a fern that contains at least five leaves per cluster. Furthermore, it grows in 12 spangles, which makes it ideal for light-sensitive bettas.
If you need to rid your aquarium of excess nutrients, the water spangles are your go-to plant. Besides, it can also help to control the growth of algae in your water. In addition, water spangles can survive in a wide range of water conditions. Omnivorous and herbivorous fish also consider the Salvinia minima a delicacy.
However, there are a few downsides. The plant may require special aquarium lights to reach its optimal growth. Also, water spangles are nutrient-dependent and may need fertilizers to survive.
4) Java Moss
This floating plant is undoubtedly one of the more common choices amongst aquarium enthusiasts, and with good reason. The java moss is tough, requires little maintenance, and is aesthetically pleasing.
Furthermore, the plant is very versatile, which means you can use it in various ways. Some people choose to simply float it and let it be. However, if you’re adventuristic, the java moss will oblige you. You can use it to create appealing aquascapes, including carpets, moss balls, walls, and even trees.
Many fish breeds favor the java moss as a spawning plant due to its floating nature. It also provides shelter and protection for newly-hatched fry.
The java moss has no roots and only consists of oval leaves and stems. This makes it easy to trim and adapt to whatever part of your aquarium you want.
5) Water Sprite
The water sprite is another floating aquatic fern that fish tank enthusiasts will enjoy. More importantly, bettas absolutely love them. Indeed, many call the water sprites the ‘Betta Fish Playground’ because of the way bettas hide and play in its leaves.
This plant develops thin fern-like light green leaves but usually has a darker stem color. Also, it is a rapid-growth plant and can quickly overrun your aquarium if you let it. However, as long as you commit to consistent periodic trimming, you should be fine. As for the trimming, all you have to do is cut at the stem base and get rid of the leaves.
The water sprite is ideal in a betta tank as it provides ample cover from excess light. Even more, the leaves of the plant can encourage your bettas to construct bubble nests. This can help you know when your male bettas are ready to mate.
All-in-all water sprites make a beautiful and useful addition to your aquarium.
Finally, the last but in no way the least — Hornwort. This plant is one of the easiest floating plants to grow, and its extensive growth in the wild is proof.
One of the advantages of a hornwort is that it can absorb excess toxins and nitrates from your fish tank. Also, it provides a good cover for your bettas. Besides, the hornwort is an excellent biological filter and is adept at getting rid of fish waste and organic debris. It also limits the growth of algae.
Furthermore, the plant is very tolerant of extreme water conditions, which makes it ideal for beginners. It also has a deep green color, which adds a unique mood to your fish tank. Its thin leaves and wispy stems also contribute to the amazing ambiance the hornwort lends.
However, there are some downsides. The hornwort may drop some of its leaves into the water, which you will need to remove. The plant does not fare well in bright light, so you need to consider putting your tank in the shade. Aside from those, you’re good to go!
Buyer’s Guide: What are Floating Plants?
If you’ve been on the fish tank scene for a while, there is no doubt that you’d have heard of floating plants. But, just in case you’re new, here is a quick definition.
Floating plants are plants that grow freely on the surface of the water. In other words, the whole plant remains suspended on the top of the water. Floating plants don’t anchor their roots in the water bed, substrate, or anything. Instead, their roots may hang below their leaves, which means water currents can move these plants around.
There are many species of floating plants out there. While some have small leaves, others are broad-leaved, and each species has its unique shape.
But, not every one of them is suitable for an aquarium or even betta fish. This is why it is necessary to carry out adequate research before populating your fish tank with floating plants. If you’re reading this article, you’ve taken the right step in ensuring the best floating plants for your bettas.
Before we reveal our list of the best floating plants for bettas, let us make a quick detour. In the next few paragraphs, we’ll help you understand the advantages of including floating plants in your aquarium.
Benefits of Floating Plants in Your Aquarium
Now that you know what floating plants are, you must know why you fish need them. Here are some of the popular benefits of having floating plants in your betta tank.
1) They Provide Shade From Excess Light
Floating plants are an excellent way to cover light for fish and even some of the underwater plants. During the day, when the sun is at its brightest, you bettas may look for a way to avoid the rays. Floating plants will ensure that they get that escape.
Furthermore, experts have discovered that bettas prefer darker water with a dense plant population. They also favor plants that have roots that extend into the water. However, it may be impossible to keep your fish tank completely dark. But, introducing floating plants will ensure your bettas get that cover when they need it. Moreover, periodic shade can help to highlight the color of your fish.
However, moderation is key. You don’t want to overdo it and cover the entire surface of the water with floating plants. This may affect the growth of the substrate plants.
2) They Help With Oxygenation
Live plants play a critical role in regulating the oxygen content in any water body. Fun fact — plants take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen, which is the opposite for humans and animals. The same respiratory activity applies to your aquarium.
The floating plants can help release continuous oxygen into the water. This ensures that your precious bettas never run out of air to breathe. Moreover, good aeration and high oxygen content help counteract the action of toxins in the water. So, you see, floating plants indeed have a host of positive impacts for your fish.
3) It Helps With Tank Filtration
Another benefit of floating plants is that they can help with filtering fish waste from the aquarium. You may be wondering how. Some useful bacteria reside on the floating plants, and they can be incredibly effective with biological filtration. These bacteria may even act on harmful chemicals in the water. They will help to filter harmful nitrates from aquariums and turn it in the tank as nutrients thereby reducing the contaminations found in water.
However, this is not to say you should neglect your filtration duties as a fish tank owner. Your floating plants’ bacteria may not be able to keep up with all the toxins. Therefore, you may need to engage the aquarium with a filtration system ever so often. But, for the most part, your floating plants will ensure that you bettas stay healthy and disease-free.
4) They Help With Tank Aesthetics
Floating plants can go a long way in boosting the aesthetic value of your aquarium. They often grow and transform your fish tank into a beautiful underwater ‘jungle.’ This is especially true for floating plants that have roots hanging into the water.
So, if it’s only for the natural wilderness look, floating plants are a worthwhile investment. However, if you consider that they can help your bettas feel more at home, these plants are a must-have.
5) They Are An Alternative Source of Food
While you don’t intend to starve your bettas, sometimes they may get hungry before feeding time. In this scenario, floating plants can come in handy. Your fish can nibble on these plants to keep themselves going before mealtime.
Moreover, since your bettas’ only food will be what you provide them, they may seek a diet change. Floating plants can be a welcome change for them, a very nutritious change at that. Besides, if you forget to feed your fish, they have an alternative feeding source that can last a while.
6) They Are Low Maintenance
Most floating plants are incredibly low maintenance, which is a plus. As such, you don’t need professional knowledge to make them thrive in your aquarium. Indeed, most of them are so tough, you couldn’t kill them if you tried.
This particular benefit is so convenient as it allows you to focus on your priority — your bettas. Therefore, instead of worrying about maintaining floating plants, all your attention can go to your precious fish.
Hopefully, our article on the best floating plants for bettas has given you insight into the plants you should choose for you fish. Remember, bettas are happiest when their environment is an accurate reflection of their natural vegetation-covered habitat. So, if you want your precious fish to be content, you may need to consider floating plants. Moreover, these plants also have some other vital advantages for your fish, as you now know.