Real or artificial plants

Danyboi18

Member
What's better to use is a fish tank real or artificial. I feel like artificial would bug the fish
 

Adam55

Member
Plants? Both have pros and cons. What sort of a tank and stock do you have right now?
 

Mamajin

Member
I can't put real plants in my main display tank. My fish eat them. All of the fake plants I have in there look real though, and the fish are not bothered at all by them.
 

brookekesler

Member
Well, it depends on how much money you're willing to spend upfront and in the long run.

Both have some costs up front but a real planted tank will cost substantially more, in my opinion. You have to have the right lights which can cost around 150 up front, you have to buy the ferts, the right substrate, etc.

The real plants are more work, whereas you buy some fake ones and your basically done with the exception of cleaning them every now and again. But there are very few fake planted tanks that will ever be able to compare to the beauty of a real planted tank!!!
 

Adam55

Member
Oh, and artificial plants do not bother the fish. Artificial plants can be cleaned, offer zero risk of introducing a parasite or snails to your tank, create no waste, and do not use any oxygen. They have benefits.
 

garikapc

Member
Also good to think whether you want this to be an aquascaped tank or a tank with plants. It seems like splitting hairs but I have had good luck dropping all kinds of plants in and growing them with minimal investment. Of course it looked a bit wild in there at time and now they are so well established that it would mean a lot to work around them.

A good planted take is an investment but worth the cost in my opinion. You can experiment with some hardy/easy/low light plants like the swords and anubias to see how you take to them.
 

Viriam Karo

Member
Real plants can actually be quite cheap as well. If you don't want a high-tech setup, there are plenty of plants that will grow happily under low light, no ferts, no CO2, no special substrate. Java moss, Java fern, water wisteria, crypts (might need some root ferts, but very little), anacharis, and guppy grass all will do fine. I have a huge mass of guppy grass growing in a Fluval Spec V and I am doing very little to sustain it--it just gets the LED lighting that comes with the tank. Plants do have the added benefit of taking up some nitrates, especially the ones that feed from the water column (which all of the aforementioned plants do).

But, if you don't want to mess around with plants at all, or have fish that eat or constantly kill plants, artificial is the way to go.

ETA that ANYTHING can introduce snails into your tank if it has been in a tank (with snails) previously. It isn't for lack of being a real plant that artificial plants don't introduce snails; it is because they (typically) are not being taken out of a tank and sold to you.
 
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Danyboi18

Member

Mamajin

Member
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Danyboi18

Member
Thanks everyone it's helped alot
 
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Danyboi18

Member
Rubber lip
 

Mamajin

Member
That should probably be in, at minimum, 20 gallon tank. 30 gallon would be more appropriate for that pleco.
 
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Danyboi18

Member
Yea guy at the pet store told me it only grew 4 inches.
 
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Danyboi18

Member
He's still tiny about an inch. I'll be sure to make the changes as soon as I get the money
 

AbsolutTalent

Member
I started out with artificial items in my tanks. Figured it was cheap and easy to maintain, and its true. The occasional scrub to clean it. Easy to move around and relandscape your tank. Lots of plants are soft silk material, so minimal worry about injuries to inhabitants. No worries about introducing hitchhikers. Doesnt matter what light you have.

But then my artificial turned into a nightmare. I had a constant diatom/brown algae problem that persisted for almost indefinitely. Nothing could get rid of those buggers. And I removed all artificial items and replaced them with live plants. And wouldnt you know? Once I had live plants, never saw any more diatoms.

It does come at a cost. Fertilizers, co2, lighting, upkeeping, combating lots more algae, researching more than you wanted, watching for hitchhikers, rescaping every so often cause you want a slightly different look, etc....

To me, the benefits outweigh the cons for real flora in my tanks. It is more work, but I think it makes the tanks look far better than artificial ever would. Plants help soak up extra nasties in the water. Something about the natural look of driftwood or rocks makes things "pop" more than they would if you had something like a "pineapple house" in there.





My Opinion

Artificial Pros
-Cheap
-Less to worry about (ie. no hitchhikers, no trimming required)
-Easy to move and replace
-Many different styles and looks and colors

Artificial Cons
-Can be a pain to thoroughly clean
-Can stick out like a sore thumb
-Can fall apart over time
-Could be sharp and injure inhabitants
-Can introduce excess silicates into aquarium

Real Pros
-More natural look to aquarium
-Helps with water quality
-Can be food for certain inhabitants
-Can open the possibilities for being creative (moss wall/carpets, etc...)
-Literally hundreds of different types of plants in varying colors
-Trimmings can be given away, sold, traded

Real Cons
-Can get expensive (different equipment, fertilizers, co2/refils)
-Much more research needed (will ____ fish eat _____ plant? Do I need to fertilize? Do I need Co2)
-Some inhabitants will wreck the landscape (uprooting plants, tipping over stones, etc...)
-More maintenance is needed (trimming, replanting)
-Striking a balance between light and nutrients can sometimes be a pain
-Overwhelming at first




TL: DR Artificial to set it and forget it, real if you want to learn more about the hobby
 

Jomolager

Member
Real plants lower nitrates, ( in my case, my tap water has high nitrates) Seachem says there is no chemical that can do that. Plants are easier and cheaper than RO/DI system.

Fully planted dirt tanks require no water vacs, and a lot less WC.

Please correct me if I am wrong, but I am seriously leaning towards dirtied tanks.
 

endlercollector

Member
Plastic plants are good when you have to pull things out a lot. For instance, if it's a QT, I want to be able to do teardowns easily and not have to toss live plants out every time. Plastic plants also are just easier in fry and sexing tanks, so I can remove them whenever I need to net someone
 

ricmcc

Member
Danyboi18 said:
Yea guy at the pet store told me it only grew 4 inches.
Must be the same store were my wife buys my trousers-----rick

I use very easy plants where I can, but most of my tanks have fish that would destroy them
 

renthus

Member
I exclusively use live plants, because I'm just a snob like that, but if you do take the artificial route, make sure you use silk decorations. That way, it's too soft to scratch the fish. That's especially an issue with a betta, where its long fins could get caught on prickly plastic (I'm thinking of the weird plastic stem plants -- anacharis wannabes)
 
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Danyboi18

Member
Ok thanks for all the info guys
 

tunafish89

Member
I once use the artificial bamboo in my tank and the sharp edge of the bamboo leafs tend to hurt the tail and fins of my betta. I removed all my artificial plants since then.
Not all of the artificial plants will hurt the fish but they don't provide any benefits at the same time besides decoration.
Any hardy plants that can survive in low light non CO2 tank will save you the cost of building a "fully dedicated" planted tank and can still provide the benefits of plants. They can be very cheap in price too, so why go with the artificial plants if you have better choice.
 

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