9 Steps to Grow Betta Bulbs (Aponogeton) and Caring Tips

Rate this post

Are you thinking about adding aquatic plants to your betta fish tank? Then you can start with betta bulbs. If you ask me, I’d say there’s probably no plant that’s easier to grow than betta bulbs. Betta bulbs are an aquatic plant that is very beneficial for your aquarium water ecosystem. They are also very easy to maintain.

Betta bulbs add beauty to any aquarium. Which brings vibrancy and fascination to the underwater world. In this article, we will guide you through the process of planting beta bulbs so that your fish can have a beautiful and natural environment to grow in.

What are Betta Bulbs?

Betta bulbs are a type of aquatic plant called Aponogeton. They are plants from temperate and tropical regions. This species of plant is often found in Asia, Africa, and Australia. By looking at how it grows, you can tell which region it is from.

A blossoming stem can be observed in Asian trees. On the other hand, if you notice that one stem is producing multiple stems, then it is probably from Africa.

These plants grow from large bulbs or tubers with narrow and long leaves. They grow rapidly. Live betta bulbs are not usually available for purchase in pet stores. Instead, they are more likely to be found in dry bulb form.

Betta bulbs usually produce long leaves as they grow, but most varieties rarely bloom, and even if they do, the number of flowers is very few.

6 Advantages of Aquarium Baffle Filter: and How to baffle a fish tank filter.

20 Best Betta Fish Toys to Keep Your Bettas Happy & Healthy (2023)

Do Betta Fish Need a Bubbler? Detailed answers and FAQs(2023)

Spices of Betta Balb

There are many species of Aponogeton beta bulbs. They are Aponogeton ulvaceus, Aponogeton madagascariensis, Madagascar Lace, etc. Beta bulbs are hybrids of Aponogenton bulbs. There are about 60 different species of Aponogeton.

It is difficult to identify which species Aponogeton betta bulbs belong to. Because they are usually available to buy in mixed batches. After all, when they are not in a mixed batch, they are usually a hybrid of different aponogeton. So it’s hard to tell exactly which species you’re getting!

Water parameters for betta bulbs

An interesting fact is that the water conditions in which the Betta fish grow are almost the same as the water conditions of the Betta bulbs. The ideal growing temperature for this plant is 72 to 82°F (22.2-27.8° C). The pH of the water should be 6.5 to 7.5. It needs light to grow. The more light you have in your tank, the faster it will grow.

Care should be taken to ensure that the water current in the tank is not too high. They also do not need excess CO2 for growth. Betta bulbs require a nutrient-rich substrate, or fertilizer tablets should be used.

pH of Water6.5 to 7.5
LightingBright light is required for germination.
Once the plant gets a little bigger, it will continue with moderate light.
In low light, this plant will either grow very slowly
Additional FertilizerA nutrient-rich substrate is needed, or fertilizer tablets should be used.
CO2 SupplementationNot needed
Tank SizeAt least a 5-gallon tank is best
Substrate Required A 2-3 inch-thick, compost-rich substrate is needed
Growth rateQuite fast

How to Grow Betta Bulbs

You already know about the parameters needed for betta bulb growth. Now we will discuss how to grow betta bulbs. Growing beta bulbs is incredibly easy and requires very little maintenance. How to grow betta bulbs properly when planted, now we will discuss that step by step.

  1. Where to plant betta bulbs: First, you need to decide where you will plant the beta bulbs in your betta tank. Betta bulbs are generally background plants, meaning these plants are best planted at the back of the tank. So try planting these plants at the back of the tank.
  2. Keep a nutrient-rich substrate: Betta bulbs need some nutrients to grow. So make sure your fish tank substrate has a good balance of nutrients. If not, add some fertilizer to the tank before planting the bulbs. You can also use nutritional tablets.
  3. How many betta bulbs can be planted in a tank? How many betta bulbs you can plant in your fish tank depends on the size of your tank. Generally, bulbs should be planted 2-3 inches apart. Remember, they grow very quickly. So if you have a 5-gallon tank, planting 2 plants is enough.
  4. Plant either side of the betta bulb. Betta bulbs will have two distinct ends: one is the root end, and the other is the growth end. The thick end is the root end of the bulb. This root end should be buried in the substrate of the tank.
  5. How to Plant Betta Bulbs: Plant the bulb deep enough to hold it in place. Bulbs will float if not planted deep enough. Remember to never bury your bulb completely. Doing so will kill your tree.
  6. Bury the germinating roots of betta bulbs in the substrate. If you find a bulb that has already started to sprout, bury these sprouting roots well into the substrate, and your plant will be refreshed within a short time.
  7. Provide lighting in the tank: Betta bulbs can survive in both low-intensity and high-intensity light. If you want to grow your betta bulbs very quickly, use a high-intensity light. And if you use low-intensity light, they will take longer to grow. Use the light according to your needs.
  8. Trim regularly: Betta balls can grow up to about a meter in length. So trim them regularly.
  9. Remove rot bulbs: If there is no growth within a week of transplanting the betta bulbs, check them for rot, and if so, remove them immediately.

What are some good substrates for growing betta bulbs in a fish tank?

When it comes to growing betta bulbs in a fish tank, it is important to choose the right substrate that will provide the necessary nutrients for the plants to thrive. Some of the best substrates for growing betta bulbs in a fish tank are:

  • Seachem Flourite Black Clay Gravel: This gravel is porous and allows air to come into the gravel, which is essential for the plants to grow and live. It is perfect for planted freshwater tanks and comes in black.
  • Fluval Plant and Shrimp Stratum: This substrate is a mixture of volcanic and mineral ingredients that provide the perfect substrate for growing plants. It is ideal for shrimp tanks and planted aquariums.
  • Carib Sea Super Naturals Aquarium Sand: This sand is pH-neutral and safe for all aquariums. It is great for belly fish and turtles and comes in a sunset gold color
  • Spectrastone Premium Gravel: This gravel has a natural look and is perfect for planted aquariums. It is available in various colors, including natural pebble, white, and blue.
  • Seachem Flourite: This substrate is made from porous clay gravel that provides a stable foundation for aquatic plants. It comes in various colors, including black, red, and brown.

How long do betta blubs take to grow?

Aquarium bulbs will start to grow within 2 weeks of planting, and they will continue to grow for 2 months. However, the growth rate of the plant will depend on various factors, such as the species of the plant, the amount of light it receives, and the quality of the substrate.

What are some benefits of growing betta bulbs in a fish tank?

Betta bulbs are a great addition to a fish tank for several reasons. Here are some benefits of growing betta bulbs in a fish tank:

1. Natural look: Betta bulbs, such as the Aponogeton and Nymphaea species, produce attractive aquatic plants that add natural beauty to your aquarium. They come in various shapes and sizes, featuring lush green leaves and delicate flowers, which can enhance the overall aesthetics of your tank.

2. Oxygen Production: Betta bulbs photosynthesize, releasing oxygen into the water as a byproduct. This can improve the oxygen levels in your aquarium, benefiting your betta fish and other aquatic inhabitants.

3. Natural Habitat Simulation: Betta fish are often found in densely vegetated areas in the wild. Growing betta bulbs can mimic their natural habitat, providing them with hiding spots, resting places, and a sense of security.

4. Water Filtration: The root systems of betta bulb plants help to filter the water by absorbing excess nutrients like nitrates and ammonia, thereby improving water quality. This can contribute to a healthier and more stable aquatic environment.

5. Algae Control: Betta bulb plants can compete with algae for nutrients, helping to reduce the growth of unwanted algae in the aquarium. This can result in a cleaner and clearer tank.

6. Low Maintenance: Many betta bulb plants are relatively low-maintenance and don’t require intense care or specialized equipment. They typically grow slowly, which means less trimming and maintenance compared to faster-growing aquarium plants.

7. Natural Behavioral Enrichment: The presence of live plants can stimulate your betta fish’s natural behaviors. They may interact with the plants by swimming through or resting on their leaves, providing mental and physical stimulation for your fish.

8. Environmental Enrichment: Growing betta bulbs can create a more dynamic and visually stimulating environment in your aquarium, which is not only enjoyable for you as an observer but also promotes a more active and engaged betta fish.

9. Educational Experience: For hobbyists, growing betta bulbs can be a rewarding and educational experience. Watching the bulbs sprout, grow, and bloom can be a fascinating journey, offering insights into the life cycle of aquatic plants.

10. Compatibility with Betta Fish: Betta bulbs are generally compatible with betta fish, as they provide places for bettas to explore, rest, and exhibit their natural behaviors. However, it’s essential to monitor the plant’s growth to ensure that it doesn’t overcrowd the tank and limit swimming space.

11. Maintains healthy bacteria and nitrate balance: Betta bulbs help maintain the tank’s natural healthy bacteria and nitrate balance, keeping it clean

While there are many benefits to growing betta bulbs in a fish tank, it’s crucial to research the specific requirements of the bulb species you choose and provide appropriate care, including lighting, water quality, and maintenance, to ensure their success in your aquarium

What are the downsides of betta bulbs?

Betta bulbs are generally easy to care for and grow quickly. However, there are a few downsides to consider:

  • Risk of Overcrowding: In smaller tanks, betta bulbs can lead to overcrowding as they grow and take up space. Overcrowding can lead to water quality issues as well as potential stress for the betta fish.
  • Semi-aquatic plants: Sometimes, a betta bulb can sprout a semi-aquatic plant that needs to grow outside of the water level to survive. This can leave the top of the tank open and create an opportunity for the betta to jump out of the tank, get injured, or die.
  • Limited variety: Betta bulbs are limited in variety compared to other aquatic plants. This means that you may not be able to find the exact type of plant you want for your aquarium.
  • Nutrient requirements: Betta bulbs require nutrients to grow properly. If you don’t provide enough nutrients, the plants may not grow as well as they should.
  • Lighting requirements: Betta bulbs require moderate to high lighting to grow properly. If you don’t provide enough light, the plants may not grow as well as they should.

What other plants can I grow in a fish tank?

You can grow a variety of aquatic plants in a fish tank, also known as a planted aquarium. These plants not only enhance the aesthetics of your tank but also provide oxygen and help maintain water quality. Here are some popular options:

  1. Java Moss (Taxiphyllum barbieri): Java moss is a hardy and low-maintenance plant that can be attached to rocks, driftwood, or decorations in your tank. It provides hiding spots for small fish and shrimp.
  2. Anubias (Anubias spp.): Anubias plants are known for their thick, dark green leaves. They are easy to care for and can be attached to driftwood or rocks.
  3. Java Fern (Microsorum pteropus): Java fern is another low-maintenance option. It should not be planted in the substrate but can be tied to driftwood or rocks.
  4. Cryptocoryne (Cryptocoryne spp.): Crypts come in various species and add a pop of green to your tank’s substrate. They are root-feeders, so you must plant them in the substrate.
  5. Dwarf Sagittaria (Sagittaria subulata): This plant is suitable for the foreground of your tank and will form a lush carpet if provided with proper lighting and nutrients.
  6. Amazon Sword (Echinodorus spp.): Amazon swords are larger plants that can be used as focal points in your tank. They require a nutrient-rich substrate and good lighting.
  7. Hornwort (Ceratophyllum demersum): Hornwort is a fast-growing, floating plant that helps to oxygenate the water and provide shelter for fry (baby fish).
  8. Duckweed (Lemna minor): Duckweed is a floating plant that helps control excess nutrients in the water and provides shade for your aquarium inhabitants.
  9. Water Wisteria (Hygrophila difformis): This plant is easy to grow and can be used as a background plant, or it can be trimmed to fit your desired tank layout.
  10. Water Sprite (Ceratopteris thalictroides): Water Sprite is a versatile plant that can be planted or left floating. It’s known for its fine, delicate leaves.

When cultivating aquatic plants in a fish tank, consider factors like lighting, water parameters (temperature, pH, hardness), and substrate to ensure they thrive. Some plants may require additional care and CO2 supplementation for optimal growth. Research the specific needs of the plants you choose to create a healthy and vibrant underwater garden.

Q: How long do betta bulbs take to grow?

Ans: They usually take 1-2 weeks to show visible growth, but some may take longer or not grow at all. To plant and care for betta bulbs, you need to plant them 3/4 of the way into the substrate, water and fertilize them regularly, and provide them with low light. Betta bulbs can reach maturity in 4-6 weeks.

Q: What can I do if the betta bulb does not grow?

Ans: If your betta bulb is not growing, there could be several reasons for it. Here are some common issues and their solutions:

Yellowing Leaves: If you see the leaves turning yellow, it indicates that they are not getting enough nutrients

Slow Growth or No Growth: If your betta bulbs show slow or no growth, inadequate lighting may be the culprit. Betta bulbs require low light to grow, so ensure that they are not exposed to direct sunlight or high-intensity light.

Algae Overgrowth: Algae can compete with betta bulbs for nutrients and light. To prevent this, consider reducing the amount of light your tank receives and cleaning the tank regularly

Q: How do I prevent root rot in my betta bulbs?

Ans: To prevent root rot in your betta bulbs, here are some tips:
Provide Adequate Light: Betta bulbs require low light to grow, but inadequate lighting can lead to slow growth or no growth at all. Ensure that your betta bulbs are not exposed to direct sunlight or high-intensity light.
Maintain Cleanliness: Algae and other microorganisms can compete with betta bulbs for nutrients and light, leading to root rot. To prevent this, clean your tank regularly and reduce the amount of light it receives.
Use Root Tabs: Root tabs are nutrient-rich tablets that can be added to the substrate to provide essential nutrients to the roots of betta bulbs. Consider using root tabs if you notice slow growth or yellowing leaves.

Q: What happens when a bulb doesn’t produce leaves?

Ans: Most bulbs produce leaves immediately, but there are always some that do nothing.

For this reason, when answering the question “How long does it take to grow a beta bulb”, you should always consider a time period of 1-2 weeks.

It is important to monitor your bulbs and follow the beta bulb instructions that come with the package. If they don’t sprout, they rot quickly in the water.

This can create a risk of ammonia buildup in small tanks. As the bulbs rot, they create a bad smell that spreads in the air around the tank.

The only time a beta bulb will not produce leaves is if there are fish in the tank that will eat the new shoots as they emerge.

Q: How to propagate Aponogeton

Ans: To propagate Aponogeton in an aquarium, you can follow these steps:

Prepare the bulbs: Place the aponogeton bulbs in a paper towel that is moist, and keep this bag on something warm. In just a couple of days, you will find the sprouts coming out of the bulb, and the roots will follow later.

Prepare the substrate: Prepare the substrate to 2-3 inches deep. Bury half of the sprouted bulb in the substrate, which is 2-3 inches deep. Within 5-6 days, leaves will start appearing.

Provide Adequate Care: To ensure that your aponogeton plants grow well, provide them with adequate care. Water them regularly, fertilize them with root tabs or liquid fertilizer, and ensure that they receive low to moderate light.

Q: How often should I trim my Betta bulbs?

Ans: Trim your Betta bulbs when you notice excessive growth or decaying leaves, typically every few weeks.


I hope you already understand what a betta bulb is. Well, beta bulbs are definitely a fun experiment to do in your aquarium tank, and don’t ask for much maintenance.

However, if you purchase beta bulbs, we strongly recommend that you breed them in a separate container or aquarium. Then add the betta fish to the tank.

Needless to say, most beta bulbs do not find the right environment to grow. Therefore, it is best not to take risks in situations involving Betta fish.

After adding the betta bulb to the aquarium, if it shows signs of decay, rot, or stunted growth, remove it.

Leave a Comment

Sharing Is Caring: