If you have a shoal of bettas in your aquarium, you must be wondering what plants to grow that compliment them the best.
Look no further than Betta Bulbs (Aponogeton Bulbs). These not only fill up the extra space in your aquarium but are also very good from an aesthetic point of view.
Bettas are also called Siamese fighting fish. Aquarists love to have them around because they thrive well in smaller tanks with less oxygen content. The fish are also low on maintenance.
We discuss Betta bulbs in detail and share information on how long it takes to grow them.
What Are Betta Bulbs?
A Betta bulb is no different than its terrestrial counterparts. It stores specialized food reserves for a new plant to grow and thrive.
When Betta bulbs grow, they typically produce long leaves. Most species flower rarely, and even if they do, the flowers produced are too few in numbers.
The plants inhabit slow-moving waters and are native to Asia, Africa, and Australia.
Growing Betta Bulbs
You can easily grow betta bulbs in your aquarium with these easy-to-follow steps. You could either grow Aponogeton ulvaceus or Aponogeton madagascariensis (Madagascar Lace) which has lace-like leaves.
1. Identify A Suitable Spot
You could grow them at the back of your tank or in a fish bowl, as some aquarists prefer.
- If using a fish bowl, rinse it with hot tap water without using soap.
- Also, rinse the gravel to remove any particles or potential pollutants.
- Fill the bowl with a gravel-based substrate to about two inches deep.
- Fill the bowl with water up to the halfway mark.
- If your budget allows, invest in a tap water conditioner to eliminate chlorine and other heavy metals in the water.
2. Space The Bulbs Appropriately
Determine the spacing depending on the tank size. The average spacing is 2-3 inches between the bulbs.
3. Plant The Bulbs
Cover the bulbs with enough substrate so that they stay in place. Ensure to bury the roots of bulbs that have already sprouted.
If the roots haven’t sprouted yet, you want to leave the thinner end of the bulb out of the substrate to allow sprouting.
How Long Do Betta Bulbs Take To Grow?
Betta bulbs grow pretty fast and you should expect visible growth within 1-2 weeks. Luck has been cited as a factor in getting your bulbs to grow with some aquarists seeing no growth even after a few weeks.
Should this be the case, remove the bulb from the tank to avoid rotting, which affects the water quality.
Do Betta Bulbs Bloom?
Betta bulbs rarely bloom. However, they grow into gorgeous green plants that give your aquarium an incredible look.
Ideal Growing Conditions
You want to keep the bulbs in ideal growing conditions to ensure they grow fast.
- High-intensity light (makes them proliferate)
- pH levels of 6.5-7.5
- Temperatures of around 22-27 °C
- A gravel-based substrate is the most preferred. However, gravel carries fewer nutrients, so you should consider adding a suitable fertilizer. The tablet or the capsule types work best.
Why Are Betta Bulbs Ideal For Your Fish And Aquarium?
Betta bulbs benefit your fish and the overall tank ecosystem in multiple ways. This is in addition to the aesthetic value that they provide.
Ideal Resting And Hiding Spots
Betta Bulbs usually grow into a thick and dense cluster of leaves. They provide perfect resting and hiding spots for your fish. Some species, such as the bettas, are accustomed to having lush plants in their natural environment.
Inhabit Algae Growth
Introducing betta bulbs creates stiff competition for algae. Without excess nutrients to feast upon, algae find it difficult to survive or proliferate.
Keep Your Fish Happy
Some fish species do get bored or depressed, if we may say. However, if you provide them with a mini jungle, it will surely keep them hooked.
Building an aquarium garden for your Bettas is an excellent way to augment their habitat. Betta bulbs offer you a quick head start.
The plants are easy to grow and maintain. Their growth factors include tank conditions, water quality, and what aquarists call luck.
In most cases, growth should be visible within the first 1-2 weeks if all goes well.
Job Kiniale is a certified crop scientist and gardening enthusiast with a passion to help beginning gardeners navigate their newfound hobby. Let’s talk about plants, backyard ideas, and general gardening advice. Outside work, Job loves spending time with family.