Can You Keep A Betta In A Vase? How To Make It Work?

Our little betta fish friends are some of the most extraordinary little pets that can be kept in your flower vase. Perfect to be kept in a fish bowl, if the water conditions can be maintained. If you aren’t sure which live plants will fit in best with your betta fish and will be the most suitable, well then keep on reading.

We will tell you all you need to know about keeping your little betta fish friends in live plant vases, the best plants to plant, and all the little details to give your plants and your betta fish the perfect homes.

Remember, only keep your betta fish in a plant vase, if you can provide them with sufficient food, high-quality water conditions, and adequate space (at least 2 gallons). To enhance the beauty of your homes and add the love of your pet friends this is a great combination.

Betta Fish Surface Oxygen Breathers

Since betta fish are surface breathers it is important that your plants do not cover the top of your vase or tank. Betta fish have a labyrinth organ using which they can absorb oxygen directly from the water surface. In addition to this betta fish are jumper fish. They jump out of the tank they are in and back in again. So it is important that they have sufficient space to do so and do not feel trapped. Make sure that your live plants do not cover the entire water surface. You do not want your betta fish to suffocate.

Betta Fish Surface Oxygen Breathers

Keep a tray over your vase so that your betta fish are safe while jumping.

Symbiosis and Mutualism

In addition to being a beauty enhancer to your vase or the other way around, betta fish and plants also provide benefits to each other in a lot of other ways too.

Betta fish get additional oxygen from the live plants present in the vase. They also form a natural plant cover that resembles what the betta fish are used to in the wild. This plant cover gives them hiding places. The betta fish may also nibble on an occasional plant if they want to, so it’s important the plants are not toxic. But plants are not their diet of choice, since they eat a protein-based meat diet. Betta fish do sometimes eat algae that grow along plants.

On the other hand, the plants get an on-hand nitrogen source. The nitrogenous waste produced by the betta fish can be taken up by the plants.

Safe Live Plants to be kept with Betta Fish

Since your betta fish are to be kept with and coexist with the live plants, it is important that your plants be safe. The plants should be nontoxic and not cause any sort of skin, gut, or any other kind of disease to the betta fish. We have compiled a list of plants that are safe for betta fish. They are mentioned below with a detailed description.

Horn wort

In addition to being a friendly aquatic plant that can be kept with your betta fish in a vase, horn worts also take up contaminants. When kept in a water tank they will take up the contaminants present in the system and utilize them to carry on their body processes. So in addition to an oxygen boost to your tank, they also clean the environment.

Amazon Sword

This is a plant with broad leaves which provides shady areas for your betta fish. The increased surface area due to the leaves also leads to the growth of beneficial bacteria. But the amazon sword plant is big in size and is, therefore, more suitable for larger aquarium sizes.

 Amazon Sword

Java Fern

These plants do not grow in the gravel of your tank so you do not need to add gravel to your vase. They can grow to be a foot long (12 inches) but requires that you do not interfere with them much.

Water Sprite

The water sprite plant can be grown both, to float at the very top of your vase or to be attached to the bottom. It is a favorite as a beginner’s setup to raise betta fish. If grown to be free floating on the water surface, it can protect your betta fish from the effects of harsh lighting.

Water Sprite

Zostera Shrub

Seaweeds, sea grasses, and eel grasses are all long grasses that are friendly to betta fish.

Java Moss

Java Moss is one of the most widely used aquarium plants. It is easy to grow and requires minimal tending to. The Java Moss grows along the stones or the walls and provides hiding places and shelters for the betta fish. It can also be grown as a floating aquatic plant on the surface of the water of your betta fish tank or vase.

Dwarf Hairgrass

Given its name, this plant grows to be very short and covers the floor of your aquarium. This live plant will be more suitable for your tank or bowl. It requires minimal care.

Banana Plant

The banana plant is easy to grow and resembles lilies in the way it floats over your water surface. It is important to make sure that your banana plant does not block the surface completely and that no light reaches your betta fish.


Duck weeds are easy-to-grow plants for your vases, but they do grow extremely fast so you cannot leave them unattended without tending to them for long. They absorb any excess nutrients that are present in the water tank, thereby maintaining optimal water conditions for your betta fish to grow and thrive. They also provide shelter and aid to the formation of bubble nests during the reproduction phase of the betta fish life cycle.


Other plants that are non-toxic in nature and are safe to be added to your betta fish tank or vase include the following:

  1. Christmas Moss
  2. Pygmy Chain Sword Plant (Echinodorus tenellus)
  3. Chinese Evergreen
  4. Marimo Moss Balls
  5. Anacharis
  6. Wisteria
  7. Hygro phila
  8. Glosso stigma
  9. Pennywort
  10. Vallisneria
  11. Anubias Nana
  12. Amazon Frogbit

These are all plants that can survive in the same pH levels, temperature ranges, water conditions, and lighting as your betta fish. You will not have to worry about making sure that one’s optimal conditions affect the others. Although it is important to note that you do give your betta fish their optimum pH range which is between 6.5 to 8 and their desired temperature level which is 75 degrees Fahrenheit to 80 degrees Fahrenheit ( or 24 ° Celsius to 27 degrees Celsius ). The lighting should also be in accordance with both your betta fish and the live plants kept in your vase.

Plants Never to Be Put in a Betta Fish Vase/Tank/Bowl

Decay and Rot

Some people might be tempted to add their house plants to their betta fish vase or tank. Remember this is dangerous and might prove toxic to your betta fish. Also, these houseplants are not truly aquatic species and do not thrive in water. They will eventually decay and rot resulting in unsuitable water conditions for the betta fish. This will ruin both your live plant and your betta fish and not look appealing to the eye. The Bamboo plant also generally should be avoided, even though it is sold in aquariums.

Toxins and Toxic Compounds

Peace Lily also known as Spathiphyllum is a popular choice for aquariums but is generally not suitable to be kept with your betta fish. The peace lily secretes out calcium oxalate into the water of your vase which can cause serious stomach disease in your betta fish. Similarly, Water Lettuce should be avoided due to the release of calcium oxalates as well.

Water hemlock is a plant generally found growing around water bodies but it is extremely poisonous and toxic. It contains cicutoxin, a toxin that attacks the central nervous system. It can kill your betta fish very quickly and cause severe disease in them.

Betta Fish Vase

If you wish to keep your betta fish in a vase topped with live plants, some things are to be under consideration at all times.

Vase Size

While picking the vase you need to make sure it is a big one. The dissolved oxygen levels will not be optimal in a small vase. A small vase will be cramped and more prone to unclean water conditions due to the rotting of plants, unconsumed betta fish feed, etc. A large vase will give more room to the betta fish and for your live plants to coexist.

Regular Water Change

Although a large vase leads to better water conditions than a small one. You still need to monitor your water conditions. You will need to change the water in your vase more regularly than you would otherwise. This is to ensure that optimal water conditions are maintained in your vase and that both your little betta fish and your live plants flourish.

Regular Water Change

Number of Betta Fish in the Vase

Do not overcrowd your betta fish tank, vase, or bowl. Betta fish like some alone time. So it is important that they have space to be alone in your plant vase. Their solitary natures make them agitated in crowded regions. So it is important to ensure that your vase is bigger than 3 gallons if you are going to put one betta fish in it. And increasing the size, as the number of betta fish increases.

The Bottom Line On Can You Keep A Betta In A Vase?

Here we compiled the dos and don’ts of how to keep your betta fish with live plants in a vase. It is important to avoid toxic plants at all costs and stick to friendly ones. Some plants might prove to be easier than others for beginners. But once you get the hang of it, this live plant vase and your colorful betta fish friends combination are bound to add to the beauty of your home.

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