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How to Put Betta Fish in Plant Roots

By Elizabeth Tumbarello ; Updated September 21, 2017

Betta fish vases are a popular contemporary decor item. They can brighten up a room and provide a sense of accomplishment by caring for not one, but two, living things. More than just the betta, these micro-aquariums contain colored gravel and a spathiphyllum plant. The most common spathiphyllum plant for this purpose is the peace lily. The popular "betta fish in plant roots" vase takes very little in the way of materials and initial investment, but requires a significant time commitment to keep both the fish and plant happy and healthy.

Choose a glass bowl with a capacity with a minimum of 1 quart. Rinse the bowl thoroughly before beginning.

Rinse the gravel under cool water until there is no runoff of color or dirt. Place a layer of approximately 1 inch of gravel in the bottom of the bowl.

Remove your spathiphyllum plant from its container or pot. Rinse the dirt off of the plant, paying careful attention to the roots.

Create a hole in the center of the plastic tray. You should be able to slide the spathiphyllum's roots through the tray without the lily falling through the hole. Use the scissors to create additional holes so that oxygen is easily accessible to the fish.

Cut the roots of the lily under running water if necessary. Place the spathiphyllum plant in the tray.

Fill the bowl 3/4 of the way with water. The water should cover the bottom portion of the lily roots, but allow enough room for air in the bowl to allow the betta access to fresh air.

Add a commercially available dechlorination solution. Follow the manufacturer's instructions on the length of time to wait before adding the fish.

Place the betta fish into the water. Be sure to allow the temperature in his temporary holding bag or container to acclimate to the temperature of the water in the bowl before submerging him in the water.

Position the spathiphyllum plant and tray over the mouth of the bowl.


Things You Will Need

  • Glass bowl
  • Gravel
  • Water
  • Betta fish
  • Dechlorination solution
  • Spathiphyllum plant
  • Plastic tray
  • Scissors


  • Change half or more of the water in the vase every other day to keep your betta's water clean.
  • Feed your betta an adequate amount. Six times a week to once a day is adequate. Use a high quality food formulated for betta fish.
  • While the peace lily is the most common spathiphyllum plant for this purpose, another common and suitable plant is the snowflower.


  • Two betta fish should never be placed in one bowl, particularly if they are male. Male betta fish are larger and have more colorful scales.
  • Avoid dumping any water from the betta's temporary container into the bowl. It is full of ammonia and fish waste byproducts, which can change the acidity of the water in the bowl.
  • Betta fish should not be left to survive on the roots of the plant alone, as common myths state. They need fish food.
  • Betta are tropical fish. spathiphyllum are tropical plants. Keep your bowl in a warm place, 74 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit, to keep both healthy.

About the Author


Elizabeth Tumbarello has been writing since 2006, with her work appearing on various websites. She is an animal lover who volunteers with her local Humane Society. Tumbarello attended Hocking College and is pursuing her Associate of Applied Science in veterinary technology from San Juan College.