Real or fake plants

Discussion in 'Aquarium Plants' started by RKennedy923, Jul 23, 2015.

  1. RKennedy923

    RKennedy923New MemberMember

    Is it better to have real or fake plants in a 20 gallon aquarium with LED lights. If it is better to have real plants, what all do I have to do to take care of them. Thanks in advance.
  2. TexasDomer

    TexasDomerFishlore LegendMember

    If you're looking for simple and inexpensive, fake are the way to go! Nothing wrong with fake plants :)

    If you want real plants though, you'll need to make sure you get a proper light (not all lights will grow plants; look for one in the 5000 K - 10000 K range, with 6500 K being ideal), root tabs, and a liquid fertilizer.
  3. OP

    RKennedy923New MemberMember

  4. Matt68046

    Matt68046Valued MemberMember

    Of course not! I like to use fake plants because you cant kill them, they can be cleaned, and they don't look half bad.
  5. kidster9700

    kidster9700Well Known MemberMember

    What kind of LED lights? It depends on if they are good for plants or not. I'm actually setting up a tank with no light as a planted. It'll just be mosses and some Java ferns but that's how I want my tank to look.
    You can always set up low light plants, which are the ones most commonly sold at pet stores. It's a matter of personal preference. One I started doing planted I find that I can't switch back to fake. I also noticed I have less of an algae problem.
    But if you want to have colorful plants (purples and reds) fake might be the way to go. Real plants are going to be mostly just green. A couple reds, but not much else. You can also do a mixture of both, but again, it's all about what you want to look at.
    If you do go with fake, I highly suggest getting silk instead of plastic. They will be less likely to hurt your fish and look more realistic.

    Sent from my iPhone using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum
  6. TexasDomer

    TexasDomerFishlore LegendMember

    Nope! Rinse them before you put them in the tank, and you're good to go!
  7. OP

    RKennedy923New MemberMember

    I think I'm going to go with the fake ones (I'll try and find silk ones) thanks for all of the replies.
  8. kidster9700

    kidster9700Well Known MemberMember

    Good luck! And the fake plants will look nice I'm sure :) post pictures once you have it all set up!

    Sent from my iPhone using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum
  9. OP

    RKennedy923New MemberMember

    I'm going on vacation and then stocking it when I get back, so I'll post pics in about a week or two. I don't really know how to post pics cause I'm new to fishlore, but I'll figure it out
  10. tyguy7760

    tyguy7760Fishlore VIPMember

    Fake plants are no maintenance and safe. The only benefit of real plants is they will absorb ammonia and nitrates which in abundance are toxic to your fish. They will also compete for nutrients with algae and help you keep that under control.

    If you decided you want to try live plants there are some that are very low maintenance. Marimo moss balls are almost no maintenance. You just need to roll it around and give it an occasional squeeze. Plants like anacharis and amazon swords really just need an occasional trim.
  11. Dom90

    Dom90Fishlore VIPMember

    Plants also give the added benefit of providing more oxygen and absorb in the co2 in the water column.

    Sent from my iPhone using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum
  12. AndyVE

    AndyVEValued MemberMember

    In my main tank I have 2x 24W T5HO lamps.
    But in my 5.5 gallon Betta tank I have a cheap Beamworks led lamp (aka Hi-lumen, 30 led 12W).
    (See my signature for the details)

    The plants in that 5.5 grow much slower (some i also have in my main tank), but still grow.
    Aslo made sure not to add light demanding plants in that 5.5:
    java fern, java moss, also added floating plants that i have or tried in my main tank,...

    This is the result:

    Personally I prefer the looks of real plants.
    Most fake I see in the stores here are never that realistic looking.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 23, 2018
  13. DeniseMichele

    DeniseMicheleValued MemberMember

    I went back and forth on this too, since I am not planning on having a co2 system or high lights. However, I decided I would use real plants for two main reasons. The first is that the realistic silk plants (because I definitely didn't want to use plastic) were really not that much cheaper than real ones, coupled with the fact that they don't grow so what you get is what you get, it won't fill in on its own. The other reason is that the plants benefit the fish, so why not get the real ones? I also realized that there are many plants that will grow without co2 and in low light conditions, so that was no longer a concern.
  14. Jswin

    JswinWell Known MemberMember

    Fake plants wouldn't require any maintenance which is nice but I love the look of an all natural planted tank. But I'm biased because 3 of my tanks have lots of plants
  15. Coradee

    CoradeeModeratorModerator Member

  16. Sarcasm Included

    Sarcasm IncludedWell Known MemberMember

    There is ni reason you can't do both. With real plants you want to plant them sparce so that the can fill out as the grow. I use fake plants when I start tanks to make it look better till the plants get established. You can also put in fake plants and try 1 or 2 low light plants to start. This will allow you to get comfortable with them and decide if you want to eventually replace your silk or not. Have fun designing your tank.
  17. Geoff

    GeoffWell Known MemberMember

    I love the look of real plants. When I set up my tank again, I didn't want to do a planted tank again, but I wanted it to be as natural and realistic looking as I could get it. A lot of fake plants look so obviously fake but I was able to find some at PetSmart that were impressively realistic looking. They were National Geographic brand. Here is my fake planted tank.

    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 23, 2018
  18. FishtailBraid

    FishtailBraidValued MemberMember

    You can definitely find real-looking fake plants out there, especially silk. It can depend on the brand, or just the individual plant. Also, my silk plants look more realistic after several months in the tank; slight algae outbreaks have their advantages. :D
  19. aliray

    alirayFishlore VIPMember

    I have some of each in 2 of my 10 gal tanks , a couple of silks and then all three tanks have lots of 3 or 4 marimo moss balls, driftwood with annubias planted on it, some floating annubias, and some water sprite. I have the led light that came in the start up tank kits. Alison