Is Spiky Moss Good for Betta Fish?

Do you own a Betta fish aquarium? Are you looking for a type of moss to decorate your tank with?

Spiky moss, also known as Taxiphyllum Spiky, one of the easiest moss varieties to grow and nurture will be ideal for you!

Is Spiky Moss Good for Betta Fish?
Is Spiky Moss Good for Betta Fish?

It is an ideal and scenic moss for your tank with a bright green spiky leaf structure and a layered upward growth pattern. Its hardy nature and ability to grow in limited conditions make it perfect for any aquarium.

Table of Contents

Is Spiky Moss good for a Betta fish tank?

When maintaining Betta tanks, it’s more suitable to have tall background plants or plants with bigger leaves that allow Betta’s to rest on. However, flowy simple plants such as Spiky moss are also great tank mates for Betta fish.

For this, growing Spiky moss in a vertical substrate, like a tall wooden structure would be ideal! This will allow the layers of the moss plant to be seen clearly.

The gentle flowy nature of the Spiky moss will also be highlighted, with the bright green background being a wonderful contrast to your Betta fish!

Another advantage of growing Spiky moss on a tall substrate rather than the aquarium bed is that it makes trimming the growth much easier.

Spiky moss’s upward layered growth structure can make the lower layers rot in the water after dying. This can be prevented with the vertical growth of the moss because the lower layers are separately visible and accessible to be pruned!

Do Betta fish eat Spiky Moss?

No, Betta fish don’t eat Spiky moss. However, they could taste it sometimes if not fed timely.

Will my Betta fish get sick or die eating Spiky Moss?

No, they won’t be sick. Spiky moss is a harmless plant and is eaten by much other fish as well. So an occasional bite on it by your Betta is nothing to worry about

Advantages of using Spiky Moss for a Betta fish tank

  • Provides a natural environment – The more natural your aquarium background the happier your Betta fish will be. Including simple aquatic plants with a flowy structure stimulates and encourages Betta fish to function optimally!
  • Gives shelter for Betta fish fry – The layered upward growth of Spiky moss creates many hiding places which are useful for Betta fish fry. It gives the young fry many hiding places and safe shelter, away from the mouths of the much larger fish.
  • Promotes creating bubble nests – As Betta fish get ready to breed, they create bubble nests on the surface of the water. This action is encouraged when there are more plants closer to the surface of the aquarium. Growing Spiky moss closer to the surface on tall substrates will then not only promote Betta’s to create bubble nests, but it will also keep the bubble nests safe from other fish.

Disadvantages of using Spiky Moss for a Betta fish tank

  • Plant rotting – Rotting of plants in the aquarium makes many changes in the balance of your aquarium. Especially fully submerged plants like Spiky moss, have a higher chance of rotting after dying as they’re fully submerged in the tank. The lower dead layers can rot and decay while the top layers over it may look green and thriving. If not constantly monitored, this can create unhealthy conditions for your Betta fish, making them fall sick.
  • Limiting of space – With conditions of medium levels of lighting and CO2 (carbon dioxide), Spiky moss grows at an approximate rate of nearly 1 – 1 ½ inches monthly. This means that within a few months, if not maintained properly, it can overgrow and cover a significant area of your aquarium. It may not take up much space as the other plants, but given the space needed by the Betta fish to swim, it can be significant.

To prevent such issues, all you need to do is to maintain a constant pruning routine. With careful trimming of the lower layers as you feel them growing older or see them browning, you can reduce these risks to a great level.

Once again, if grown on a vertical substrate, this process will be much easier, as you can separately identify and trim the lower layers off.

Is Spiky Moss good for all types of Betta fish?

Spiky moss is not a harmful plant for any fish type. Therefore, it is safe for all types of Betta fish.

Although, it may not be useful for all types of Betta fish in the same way. For example, the larger varieties of fish may not use it as a hideout while the smaller varieties of Betta fish can use it as a hideout.

How does Spiky Moss help with the breeding of Betta fish?

At the start of their mating process, male Betta fish create a cluster of bubbles at the surface of the aquarium. This is called a bubble nest. These nests are used to care for the eggs laid by the female Betta.

When forming these bubble nests, male Betta’s feel encouraged to do so in areas where there are aquatic plants or floating plants closer to the surface of the tank. Such an environment will be secure for the eggs, away from other prying fish.

Because of this, it will be best for both you and your Betta fish, to grow Spiky moss on a tall vertical substrate. This will encourage the male Bettas to create bubble nests at the surface while giving plenty of hiding spots for your Betta fry once they have hatched.

Is Spiky Moss safe for baby Betta fish?

Yes, Spiky moss is safe for your baby Betta fish. As the moss doesn’t contain any toxins, it is safe for Betta fry. It will not bring any harm but only acts as a provider of a good hideout.

How to grow Spiky Moss fast in my Betta fish tank?

If you want to grow Spiky moss fast in your tank, the best way to do this is by optimizing the elements it needs to grow!

Bettas survive well in low pH levels of about 2 – 5. This is good for Spiky moss as well, as it reduces the chances of algal blooms in the moss. Algae growths can slow down root development, which can slow down moss growth.

Increasing the pH slightly can help faster growth of Spiky moss, but when doing so, it’s best to maintain a suitable level that won’t affect your Betta fish.

When homing Betta’s, maintaining the tank temperature between 76 – 80 Fahrenheit helps for optimal functioning. This temperature is ideal to improve the rate of growth of Spiky moss.

Adding liquid CO2 to the aquarium is another method to increase the growth rate. This combined with liquid fertilizer (which you can get easily from your nearest aquarium store), will enrich the aquarium water, helping your Spiky moss grow faster.

Are plastic Spiky Moss plants harmful to Betta Fish?

Fake (plastic) Spiky moss plants are not entirely harmful to Betta fish. However, it will not provide the same effect as having natural moss in your aquarium to your fish.

With limited flexibility and no recycling effect of minerals in your aquarium, it will not give the same effect to your Betta fish as the natural moss plants. Although it will be suitable for a tank in which you temporarily keep your fish, like a quarantine tank.


Spiky moss is a great addition to your tank, especially when grown vertically, helping create a contrast of colours between your aquarium background and your Betta fish.

Promoting breeding through the encouragement of bubble nest creation and creating hideouts for young Betta fry, it is an ideal tank mate for your Betta, irrespective of if you’re still a beginner.

By Uswatta Liyanage

Hello. I'm Uswatta Liyanage from Galle, Sri Lanka. I am the founder of this website. Since my childhood I'm an aqua plant lover and I have professionally learned more about aqua plants. So I created this site for share my knowledge and experience with all of you. Now you can refer my site and feel free to contact me if any inquiry.