How to Start a Betta Fish in a Water Lily Environment

A water lily adds color and oxygen to your betta tank.

A water lily adds color and oxygen to your betta tank.

Bettas are frequently marketed as bowl fish who require little to no care, but bettas require ample space and plenty of oxygen in their water. A water lily helps oxygenate a betta enclosure and makes for an attractive and colorful fish tank.

Select a sufficiently large tank. At minimum, bettas require one to two gallons of water per fish. Larger aquariums require less frequent water changes and will get dirty less quickly.

Dechlorinate tap water using a dechlorinator. Alternatively, you can leave water out for 24 to 48 hours and the chlorine will dissipate. However, a dechlorinator will allow you to set up your tank more quickly and guarantee that no chlorine remains. Follow the package instructions.

Add gravel to your aquarium. Choose store-bought aquarium gravel rather than rocks you found or rocks from a craft store, as these may harbor disease and unhealthy chemicals. Wash the gravel with hot water before adding it to your aquarium.

Put the lily in the aquarium. Water lilies float at the surface of the water, and bettas like to build air bubble nests at the water's surface. Consequently, the lily should not cover the entire surface of the water. Add a lid to the top of the aquarium, as bettas are proficient jumpers and can escape from their tanks if they are left uncovered.

Items you will need

  • Aquarium
  • Dechlorinator
  • Gravel
  • Aquarium plants
  • Lid


  • Other plants you can place in your betta's tank include eel grass, Java fern and peace lilies.

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About the Author

Brenna Davis is a professional writer who covers parenting, pets, health and legal topics. Her articles have appeared in a variety of newspapers and magazines as well as on websites. She is a court-appointed special advocate and is certified in crisis counseling and child and infant nutrition. She holds degrees in developmental psychology and philosophy from Georgia State University.

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