Useful Fish Waste

Fish and aquariums have been a hobby of mine ever since the day my Dad bought me my first aquarium when I was 12. Little did my father know that the little Betta fish he bought for me for a few bucks at the pet store for my brand new aquarium would spark a life long interest in fish keeping. My interest in fish has jumped from a small Betta fish tank to a 30-gallon saltwater reef tank, however I still love having a Betta fish tank in my house. After having a Betta for awhile someone suggested that I keep my Betta in a tank with my bamboo plants. It was an interesting idea so I decided to give it a try and it turns out that it is one of the best ideas anyone has suggested to me for a multitude of different reasons.

It turns out that keeping a Betta fish in a tank with some bamboo is really beneficial to both the Betta and the plant. As the Betta fish is fed and creates waste, the waste provides nutrients for the bamboo plant sort of as a natural fertilizer for the plant. The bamboo plant soaks up all of the nutrients such as nitrogen created from the Betta fish waste and in turn becomes extremely healthy. As the bamboo grows and photosynthesizes, it oxygenates the water making it easier for the Betta to get oxygen. Bamboo plants are very self-sufficient little plants. All you really need to do is provide them with plenty of clean water and they will grow. Keeping a Betta fish in with mine drastically made a difference in how healthy they look and fast they grow.


This is a picture of both of our bamboo/Betta tanks. The one to the right has had a Betta fish in it for quite some time and you can tell by darker green color in the bamboo that it’s definitely helping the plant. The ones to the right had much more leaves before our cats decided they liked the taste of bamboo. We recently bought the bamboo on the left from a store after seeing how massive they were and just got another Betta fish for it and we’re hoping that it gets as green as the one to the right. The Betta’s love their homes and you can sort of tell with the plants to the right how much our cats have loved the plants and eaten some of the leaves.

After seeing how well the Betta fish did with the bamboo plants I came across the thought of using some of the Betta fish water in some of our other house plants that were looking somewhat unhealthy or like they could use a pick me up. Turns out this was a great idea as well. The nitrogen in the Betta fish water really works as a natural fertilizer for the plants and perks them up. It has saved us money on having to buy fertilizer for some of our plants. It has also saved us from having to go out to the store and buy chemical fertilizers for our plants. We get a lot of compliments from friends on how healthy the plants look and how great the tanks look in the house are always nice to hear as well. The whole idea has been great for everyone involved, including our cats that have since decided that they love the taste of the bamboo since it’s gotten so big and healthy.

This simple idea of using the fish waste as a fertilizer for the bamboo plants can be taken much further. There are some farmers now that use the idea on a larger scale in order to grow produce. One farmer uses tilapia waste to fertilize his crops. He not only grows various crops to sell produce but the tilapia fish that he has fertilizing his plants are also sold. One of the great things he explains in the video is how by using this method, his crops and fish are completely free of some of the harsh chemicals that pollute farms. The video explains how he has used the simple method of using fish to fertilize plants to create organic produce as well as tilapia that are free of genetic modification.

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