Can I Put Pothos in My Betta Tank? A Quick Guide for Aquariums

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Introducing plants to a betta fish tank is a great way to enhance its aesthetic appeal and provide a more natural environment for your aquatic pet. Pothos, a popular houseplant, is often used in betta tanks due to its hardiness and ability to thrive in a variety of conditions. However, before adding any plant to your betta tank, it’s important to ensure it’s safe for your fish.

Pothos Plant Overview

The Pothos plant, also known as Epipremnum aureum, is a popular and easy-to-grow houseplant that many people enjoy having in their homes due to its low maintenance and attractive appearance. With its striking heart-shaped leaves and trailing vine-like stems, pothos is a great addition to any indoor space.

One of the key features of the pothos plant is its adaptability to various conditions, making it suitable for beginners and experienced gardeners alike. It can grow in environments with low light, although it thrives in areas with strong sunlight, which can result in rapid growth source.

Pothos is an excellent choice for those looking to improve the aesthetics of their home, office, or even their Betta fish tank. It’s not only visually appealing but also has benefits for the aquatic environment. By adding pothos to a Betta tank, it can improve water quality, provide a more natural environment, and offer hiding spaces for the fish source.

In Betta tanks, pothos plants require minimal maintenance as they can absorb nutrients from the water, thanks to the fish’s waste. Their versatile growth patterns allow the plant to be added to the tank either fully submerged, partially submerged with floating leaves, or entirely outside the tank with roots submerged source.

In summary, pothos plants are not only an attractive addition to your Betta fish tank but are also easy to grow and offer several benefits to both the fish and their aquatic environment.

Betta Fish Tank Requirements

Water Parameters

Betta fish require specific water parameters to thrive. The ideal water temperature range is between 76-82°F (24-28°C). The pH level should be within 6.5 and 7.5, while the water hardness level should be between 2 and 5 dKH (degrees of carbonate hardness). Moreover, it is crucial to maintain low levels of ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates to ensure the health of your betta fish.

Tank Size

A suitable tank size should be at least 2.5-5 gallons or larger, allowing for ample swimming space for your betta fish. Smaller tanks can lead to increased stress, reduced activity levels, and decreased life spans.

Heating and Filtration

Betta fish are tropical fish, so a stable, warm water temperature is essential for their survival. An adjustable heater with a thermostat can maintain the optimal temperature within the tank. Furthermore, a filter system is necessary to keep the water clean and free of harmful toxins.

Heating and filtration equipment for betta fish tanks must balance fish safety with efficiency:

  • Heater wattage should not exceed 3-5 watts per gallon to avoid overheating.
  • Opt for a slow-flow or sponge filter to reduce water currents and minimize stress on betta fish.

Incorporating pothos plants in the betta tank can add an aesthetic touch while providing benefits for both fish and plants. Pothos can adapt to a wide range of water conditions, and their roots help maintain water quality by absorbing nutrients from the water. It is also essential to ensure proper lighting conditions, with moderate indoor lighting being preferable and avoiding direct sunlight exposure.

Adding Pothos to Betta Tank


Pothos is a wonderful addition to a betta tank due to its low maintenance and ability to withstand various water conditions. As a floating plant, its roots and stems continue to grow in the top layers of the aquarium, providing shelter and improving water quality by absorbing waste products and harmful substances (SmartAquariumGuide). Moreover, the presence of pothos helps enhance the visual appeal of the tank.

Potential Drawbacks

While pothos has many benefits, there are a few drawbacks to consider. Some betta fish may occasionally nibble on the plant, damaging its leaves. However, this damage is usually minimal and does not affect the overall health of the plant. It’s also important to monitor the growth of the pothos, as its rapid growth could cause it to block light from reaching other aquatic plants in the tank.

Proper Placement

To add pothos to your betta tank, follow these simple steps:

  1. Take cuttings of the pothos plant and place them in a container with de-chlorinated water that receives indirect sunlight (BettaWise).
  2. Wait until the roots reach a length of around 5 inches before moving the plant to the aquarium.
  3. Remove the pothos from its container, and rinse its roots under running water to remove any potential contaminants (NECPS).
  4. Place the rinsed pothos in the betta tank with the roots submerged and the leaves floating above the water.

Ensure the pothos is positioned in a location where its growth won’t interfere with other aquatic plants or obstruct the movement of your betta fish. Regularly trim the plant to maintain a healthy balance within the tank.

Plant Care and Maintenance


Pothos, when grown in betta tanks, tend to thrive under a wide range of lighting conditions. They can grow in both low light and brightly lit environments, though indirect sunlight or moderate artificial light is generally preferred. Keep in mind that the more light the pothos receives, the faster it’s likely to grow. However, be cautious not to expose the plant to direct sunlight for extended periods, as this may cause the leaves to burn or turn yellow.


In order to maintain a healthy appearance and prevent overgrowth, regular pruning of pothos is essential. Trim the vines whenever they become too long or start to block the light from reaching other aquatic plants or the betta fish. Pruning also encourages branching, which helps the plant become bushier and more aesthetically pleasing in the aquarium. To prune, simply use a pair of scissors or plant shears to cut the vine just above a leaf node.

Nutrient Requirements

Pothos plants have the ability to absorb nutrients directly from the water in a betta tank. This not only allows the plant to grow, but also helps maintain water quality by reducing nitrate levels. In most cases, the nutrients present in the aquarium water will be sufficient for the pothos to grow. However, in some instances where growth seems stunted or leaves show signs of yellowing, you may need to add a liquid aquatic plant fertilizer at the recommended dosage.

In summary, providing proper lighting, regular pruning, and ensuring sufficient nutrients are key factors in maintaining healthy pothos plants within your betta tank. By following these simple steps, you can enjoy the benefits of a thriving aquatic pothos for both you and your betta fish.

Alternatives to Pothos

While Pothos can be a great addition to a Betta tank, there are also other aquatic plants suitable for these environments that can provide similar benefits. Here are a few options to consider as alternatives to Pothos:

  1. Anubias: Anubias is a popular choice due to its hardiness and slow growth. Its large leaves provide an excellent resting area for Bettas, and it does not require much maintenance. Anubias can also thrive in low to moderate light conditions, much like Pothos.
  2. Java Fern: Another low-maintenance plant, Java Fern is known for its ability to grow in various conditions. It offers an appealing appearance with its long and narrow leaves, creating a beautiful and natural environment for Bettas.
  3. Java Moss: Providing shelter and breeding grounds for both Bettas and their fry, Java Moss is a versatile plant choice. It can easily attach to rocks, driftwood, or other surfaces in the tank and grows relatively quickly.
  4. Amazon Sword: The Amazon Sword is recognizable by its tall and wide leaves that can grow up to 20 inches in length. Bettas enjoy swimming through and resting among its foliage. However, this plant does require a nutrient-rich substrate to truly thrive.
  5. Hygrophila: Known for its broad leaves, Hygrophila is a popular choice among Betta fish owners. The plant’s leaves create ideal resting spots for Bettas and can reach up to 28 inches in height, providing ample cover for more introverted fish.

These aquatic plant alternatives to Pothos all have their unique requirements and benefits, but they share the characteristic of being suitable choices for a healthy and attractive Betta tank. Consider the specific needs of your aquarium when selecting the best plant option.

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