Lucky Bamboo is an iconic plant that, due to its adaptive nature, can live in your Betta tank and help support your tank’s natural ecosystem.
In this article, we will talk about how to put Lucky Bamboo in a Betta tank, whether Lucky Bamboo is good for a Betta tank or not, and how to care for your Betta tank with Lucky Bamboo in it.
What Is Lucky Bamboo?
Lucky Bamboo’s true name is Dracaena sanderiana, and according to Kew, it originated in Central Africa; It is a hardy plant designed to withstand floods.
The Lucky Bamboo was adopted into Asian and Chinese culture several thousand years ago and has since become a dominant icon of culture and tradition.
The Lucky Bamboo in Chinese culture goes by many names, such as Dragon Tree, Ribbon Plant, or Money Tree. NationsOnline goes into further detail on the practices, customs, and significance of the Lucky Bamboo here.
Because it can thrive in soil or when submerged, it is common to see the Lucky Bamboo incorporated into fish tanks and waterscapes.
Is It Safe To Put Lucky Bamboo In A Fish Tank?
Dracaena Sanderiana (or Lucky Bamboo), just like all plants adapted for living underwater, are safe for your Betta fish tank.
Lucky Bamboo can thrive as a part of your tank’s ecosystem when partially or fully submerged under the water. It is adapted to survive floods, and with the proper introduction to the tank, care, and nutrients, Lucky Bamboo can safely become a part of your tank’s family.
However, it should be noted that although Lucky Bamboo can survive for years at a time underwater, it is not an aquatic plant.
Can Lucky Bamboo Grow Underwater?
Lucky Bamboo can grow and thrive underwater, whether partially or fully submerged (including the leaves), as long as it is freshwater (without salt), and it is planted well and well cared for.
Being fully submerged underwater does not cause the plant any harm. The leaves, despite being underwater, will keep growing.
What are the Benefits of a Lucky Bamboo Betta Tank?
There are many benefits of a Lucky Bamboo in your Betta Tank:
- Lucky Bamboo, like all aquarium plants (according to Aqueon), boosts the water quality and helps to prevent algae by processing the nutrients that fish expel in their waste, and uneaten food and other debris.
- If a large tank is filled with many Lucky Bamboo and other plants, an adequate ecosystem will be created where the plants will produce enough oxygen for the Betta, and the Betta will create CO2 and other byproducts, which is a food source for the plants. The number of plants also helps to stabilize the pH levels.
- Lucky Bamboo and other aquatic plants help to mimic a natural habitat for your tank and create places to hide. This type of environment is relaxing for a Betta and will make them happier, stay out in the open more, and have more brilliant colors.
- For properly cycled Betta tanks, Lucky Bamboo will keep your nitrate levels in check. When the ammonia waste is processed by the beneficial bacteria into nitrates, Lucky Bamboo will absorb it; Nitrates are a staple nutrient for Lucky Bamboo.
What are some Common Truths & Myths About Lucky Bamboo In a Betta Aquarium?
Common truths and myths about Lucky Bamboo in a Betta Aquarium:
- Lucky Bamboo is toxic or secretes toxic chemicals in the water that’s harmful to your Betta fish – This is a misconception brought on by Lucky Bamboo’s twin – real bamboo, which is not in the same genus and will rot if it’s placed in water. Ensure you are purchasing Dracaena Sanderiana and not real bamboo for your tank.
- Real Bamboo is dangerous for your tank – There is one version of real bamboo that is safe – dried real bamboo. First boil it for 30 minutes in water to ensure any bacteria is finished, then encase it in acrylic resin. Do a water test with the bamboo for 24 hours to ensure it will not contaminate the water.
How to Place Lucky Bamboo in Fish Tank?
Here are some steps for placing Lucky Bamboo in your Betta Aquarium:
- Find a good brand of soil and strain it to remove any wood, stones, and debris. Avoid large substrates such as chunky gravel as the Lucky Bamboo will have difficulty being properly rooted among such large objects. Coral should be avoided as, when it dissolves over time, it will raise the pH.
- Fill a layer of soil in your tank so it’s one or two inches deep, and then cover it with at least two to three inches of sand. The sand will act as a cap so the soil doesn’t shift up into the water.
- Cut your Lucky Bamboo to the desired height and place the stalks in a small amount of water to encourage new root growth.
- When your Lucky Bamboo has some root growth and is ready to be planted in your tank, plant it deeply so it’s at least three to four inches deep in the substrate. This will give your plant stability and keep the roots underneath the soil. Betta tankmates may eat them if they see them.
- Add dechlorinated water and other plants, plus all other tank accessories such as a heater and thermometer.
To see a thorough, step-by-step tutorial on how to build a Lucky Bamboo Betta Aquarium by Regis Aquatics, you can check out the link here.
If you want to master the tricks of Betta fish care, you need a complete guide. Click here to read one!
Can I Put Lucky Bamboo in the Aquarium Filter?
You can put Lucky Bamboo in the aquarium filter; however, it may outgrow the filter’s space.
Lucky Bamboo is equally effective when placed in the filter as it is placed in the substrate, so it is up to the tank’s owner to decide where the best aesthetic appeal is. The only drawback to placing Lucky Bamboo in the filter is that the root system may eventually outgrow the filter.
The ideal place for Lucky Bamboo is inside the tank with the root system in the substrate, as the decor is eye-level with your Betta and is more natural for the Lucky Bamboo.
How Do You Grow Lucky Bamboo In Your Betta Tank?
Are CO2 Injections Necessary for a Healthy Lucky Bamboo in Your Tank?
For a fast-growing and healthy Lucky Bamboo, CO2 injections or supplements are worth considering. Your plant will grow fine without them; however, it will be at a slower pace.
Lucky Bamboo, like all plants, responds positively to carbon dioxide supplements. According to Aqueon, “[carbon dioxide’s] effect on plant growth and color is dramatic and well worth the effort.”
Is Extra Oxygen in the Water Necessary for a Healthy Lucky Bamboo in Your Tank?
Lucky Bamboo, like all plants, uses aerobic respiration where oxygen is necessary for them to thrive. Extra oxygen can be added by using air stones, filters, or doing water changes.
Be careful when aerating your tank so that your Betta isn’t disturbed by the water changes or currently created by the filter or airstone.
What Type of Lighting Does Lucky Bamboo Need to Thrive in Your Tank?
Lucky Bamboo needs low to medium lighting. Direct or too harsh light will turn the leaves yellow, a key indicator that the lights need to be reduced.
Aquanswers goes into greater detail on the truths and myths for taking care of Lucky Bamboo in a fish tank if you want to know more.
What are the Toxicity Warnings of Lucky Bamboo in Your Home?
As written by ProFlowers, Lucky Bamboo is toxic to cats and dogs, causing weakness, vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea if too much is consumed.
When planning where to place your tank, be sure to keep in mind that if you have dogs or cats in the home, the tank is either out of reach or has a lid so your pets are unable to reach the Lucky Bamboo.
Lucky Bamboo, of course, is safe for humans and Bettas.
What About Lucky Bamboo Pests?
There are a few pests to look out for when growing your Lucky Bamboo, such as mealybugs, mites, and fungal infections. If you notice any grey fuzz, white spots, or white webbing, remove the Lucky Bamboo from your tank right away and begin treatment.
Grey fuzz, or fungal infection, can be treated with increased air current. Remove it from water and keep the stalks and leaves dry, and set a fan or open a window in the room to increase airflow.
The small white spots (mealybugs, or tiny insects) can be removed manually with rubbing alcohol. First, take the Lucky Bamboo out of the tank, apply rubbing alcohol, and let it dry for at least 24 hours before returning it to the tank. You don’t want any residual rubbing alcohol to come into the tank.
White webbing, or mites, although not detrimental to Lucky Bamboo, can affect other plants, and the Lucky Bamboo should be removed from the tank. An application of rubbing alcohol can be used, but refrain from using dish soap as this is deadly to fish.
How Do You Trim Your Lucky Bamboo in Your Betta Tank?
Using gardening shears, you can cut back any shoots (the stems that have leaves on them) whenever they become too long, crooked, or unmanageable. Don’t cut them flush, but instead, leave one or two inches of stem to encourage the regrowth to be denser.
How Do You Propagate Your Lucky Bamboo in Your Betta Tank?
Using your gardening shears again, trim a healthy shoot flush from its stalk and carefully remove the bottom section of leaves. Place the shoot in a separate, small container of water and care for it. The shoot will grow into an independent stalk.
How to Troubleshoot Yellow Leaves or an Unhealthy Lucky Bamboo in Your Betta Tank?
If a Lucky Bamboo is turning yellow, it is likely because of too much light. Adjust the light levels, so they are at a more optimum level for your Lucky Bamboo. Trim off the yellow parts.
Other reasons a Lucky Bamboo may turn yellow are overfertilization and chlorine in the water, but since your Lucky Bamboo is in a Betta tank, these other common reasons are ruled out as fertilization is not needed (your Betta already provides lots of it), and tank water is always dechlorinated.
How Do You Clean Your Tank with Lucky Bamboo in it?
Here are some steps to clean your tank with Lucky Bamboo:
- Turn off the filter and heater.
- Take a razor, scraper, or non-chemical sponge with a scrub backing, and gently remove any algae that have grown on the walls of your tank. Take care to go slowly to not disturb the bamboo or Betta.
- Use a siphon and, depending on the size of your tank, do a 50%-75% water change.
- While siphoning up water, ‘vacuum’ the Lucky Bamboo and any other plants by gently siphoning over the leaves and substrate. This will remove any dead plant matter and fish waste, and give a deep clean to the substrate. Be careful not to vacuum too much or you will disturb the topsoil.
- Slowly introduce fresh, dechlorinated water, turning back on the heater to reduce any temperature change.
- Wipe down the front of your tank with a cloth, and turn on the filters. It may take a few hours for the tank to settle, but you and your Betta will notice a cleaner, healthier difference.
To learn more about how to clean a tank with plants in it, this video by Aquapros gives a step-by-step tutorial on the process of cleaning.
Lucky Bamboo is a beautiful addition to any Betta tank and can live for a long time if given the right setup and treatment. We’ve looked at the truth and myths of Lucky Bamboo, how to put Lucky Bamboo in your tank, and the basic care for Lucky Bamboo.
Lucky Bamboo, like many other tank plants, enriches the atmosphere of your tank and provides natural hiding spots for your Betta fish. Properly cared for, you and your Betta will enjoy the natural accent of Lucky Bamboo for years to come.