Do Betta Fish Eat Aquatic Plants?

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Using aquatic plants in your betta fish tank is beneficial because live plants help with keeping the water clean. But are aquatic plants safe in a betta fish tank? Do betta fish eat aquatic plants at all?

Betta fish are carnivores, so they will not eat plants or any plant-based food. Nevertheless, they adore having aquatic plants in their habitat, both in captivity and in the wild.

So, adding lots of live aquarium plants in your betta fish tank is always a good idea. I’ve compiled a list of the best aquarium plants you can use in a betta fish tank, do check out in the linked article.

What do Betta Fish Eat?

Being greedy little carnivores, Betta fish feed primarily on meat meals rich in protein. In the wild, such meals usually include worms, tiny shrimps, mosquito larvae, and even other small fish.

When held as pets, Bettas can feed on commercial food such as fish pellets or flakes, as well as occasional frozen or live worms and little shrimps.

Not all commercial fish food is suitable for Bettas, so please always make sure that the meals you offer to your pet have a high percentage of protein.

Also, it is recommendable to feed them with smaller amounts of food, so they can eat all at once without leaving food leftovers which can later sink to the bottom of the tank and cause water toxicity.

Why are My Plants Melting?

Some owners can become very confused when seeing their aquatic plants are melting and can sometimes ask themselves if that is happening because of their fish. The answer here is so simple: Bettas do not cause plants to lose leaves or any other parts. They are actually completely safe for any aquatic plant.

Plants can often melt when placed into a new tank, and the reason behind that is that they are adapting to their new environments.

When there are not enough oxygen and carbon dioxide in the new aquarium, or when there is too much ammonia in the substrate, or even when there is not enough light, aquatic plants will sacrifice their older leaves to try to survive. This is not something that can be considered to be normal, but it does happen very often.

To avoid such situations, always make sure that your new tank has all the necessary conditional requirements for a specific plant before placing it inside.

Will a Hungry Betta Fish Nibble on Plants?

You may be absolutely certain about one thing: your Betta fish will only start eating aquarium plants once it has not been fed for several days and is starving. However, some owners sometimes notice their pets nibbling on plants even if they are feeding them properly.

The reason for such activity stands in Bettas actually collecting tiny living creatures or insects from the surface of the plants. Ultimately, they can rarely nibble on plants when they become extremely bored.

Do Betta Fish Like Plants?

Betta fish absolutely adore having live plants around them. Not for feeding, obviously, but rather for hiding and playing all over. An aquarium filled with plants is what reminds them best of their natural home environment.

On top of that, living greenery can improve the overall water quality by a lot, by removing waste particles from it and increasing oxygen levels.

In the wild, Bettas live in tropical areas of the world, around shallow and low-stream water. Such ponds and rivers are usually filled with various types of vegetation, offering so many hiding and refuge places to fish. Sometimes, Bettas may even create bubble nests among plants.

Moreover, plants are super useful for aquarium ecosystems. Not only do they add oxygen to water, but they will also act as a kind of natural filter, removing the particles of waste. This can eventually help owners in reducing their tank cleaning activities and having more time to observe their Bettas while having fun.

That said, if you are still wondering whether to plant some greenery into your aquarium, please think no more- your Betta pets will be amazingly thankful after you finish decorating their tanks. And you will probably be happy, too, as your aquarium will simply look awesome when filled with plants.

Some great types which are highly recommended for Betta fish are classic Anubias, guppy grass, and hornwort, but also marimo moss ball and amazon frogbits.

All of these make great aquatic plants, even for beginners. They are quite easy to maintain, inexpensive and, more importantly, your Bettas will love them.


Betta fish do not feed on plants, as they are little, colorful carnivores. However, planting some greenery inside their tanks is a wonderful idea, as they simply love having plants around them.

Greens will make a great hiding spot for them, but also an amazing playground. And, on top of that, owners will have a nicer home environment with some greenery around, as well as cleaner and healthier tank water.

Author Image Fabian
I’m Fabian, aquarium fish breeder and founder of this website. I’ve been keeping fish, since I was a kid. On this blog, I share a lot of information about the aquarium hobby and various fish species that I like. Please leave a comment if you have any question.
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