Siamese Fighting Fish have a lung-like labyrinth internal organ allowing a Betta to breathe in air above the surface and not just through the water alone.
Because of this amazing ability to breath in air above the water surface, Bettas can be often found thriving and living happily in natural habitats. You may even spot them swimming in the shallow waters usually between water a variety of natural plants, coming every now and then to the surface to breat-in air, feed on larvae, and swallow plankton.
When you introduce a Betta into a new environment like a fish bowl, it's a good idea to recreate a natural environment similar to its original habitat. Besides the fact that a recreated natural looking habitat is beautiful to view, more importantly, it'll help to keep your Betta pet happy and healthy. It just requires a little planning and including the right type of plants (and bowl ornaments) to give it the look and feel of a natural habitat.
As soon as you recreat your Bettas new habitat you have a choice of using plastic ornamental type plants or real plants.
The beauty of real plants is they assist in generating extra oxygen in the body of water. This is a plus for the Bettas usage. Here's some tips on what type of plants you can safely use in your aquarium for both you and your Bettas enjoyment.
Plastic Plants: Plastic plants may offer some benefits. Whilst they can't produce extra oxygen for the water (e.g. like natural plants) they don't produce dirt or sediment. However, if you decide to use plastic plants you should always clean them when you change the water. Also, there's much variety in plastic plants and they're easy to come by.
Natural Plants: One of the most frequently used ornamental objects found in Betta tanks is natural water plants. There's so many different types of natural water plants to choose from.
Many of which are more suitable for Siamese Fighting Fish than say others. If you go the natural plant route, you should ensure that they are really aquatic type plants and that theyt are not poisonous in any way which could have a detrimental effect on your Bettas.
With natural aquatic plants the roots usually grow downward towards the bottom of the water. It always pays to keep an eye on what is happening with the roots.
If they thrive too much they may cramp the Bettas natural movement because of their growth and size. These roots take on a brown soggy appearance, and if you notice it you should immediately cut them back. If the plant appears to dying, it's probably best to remove from the tank or bowl as soon as possible.
A great choice for your Bettas environment is a plant named: "Chinese evergreen." Other types of plants are "philodendrons" and the very popular peace water lilies.
Philodendrons are mainly used as ornamental plants and can oftentimes be found in swamps andr river banks. There's a number of varieties of philodendron you can select from. Also, another safe plant to use is the "photos" plant. The photos plant can usually be found in terrariums and local fish aquariums.
It's ideal for home or office setups because it doesn't need a lot of natural light. The "water sprites" and "java fern plants" are also other good plants that you can use in your Betta pets new environment.
Do not use any type of plant except for a quot;natural water plantquot; that's not going to be toxic to your Bettas. These natural plants' roots tend to grow downwards and absorb tiny amounts of waste products that's eliminated by the betta fish.
Natural plants produce high levels of oxygen for your Bettas. However, if the plants' root grows too big and/or becomes brown looking and soggy, you may want to cut them back a bit. If the plant leaves become too massive at the very top you may want to cut back the plant. The Chinese Evergreen is probably the best water plant to use because it tolerates low lighting plus it's a natural hydroponic plant.