Realistic Looking Plants?

dartzy

Member
Not sure if this is the right area to post this but I'm struggling with a decision and that's whether to go with real plants vs plastic for my 20h tank. Since, I'm a newbie to the hobby and no very little about live plants in a tank...

My question is, if I go fake, what brands LOOK the most real?? Wanna try for a more realistic looking tank. Looking for reviews here...
 

Katie13

Member
The type of fish you have/want makes a difference in the best type(s) of plants as well as numerous other factors. For example, I love my planted tanks, but with my betta tanks recieving little light other than LEDs, real plants aren't really an option. Another example would be my Melanochromis Auratus tank. My Auratus would dig up any live plants seeing as they are generally herbivores. They're tank is just a gravel base with natural slate. What fish are you wanting?
 

GlamCrab

Member
You can't go more realistic then real plants.
I personally like how my real plants look.. and I'm also a newbie to plants.

For awhile I had a mix of real and fake plants but now its all real plants.. some of the fake plants were magnets for poop and other garbage. The other got suspicious marks that looked like rust.
So I removed them.
 

ashenwelt

Member
So, real plants are way less work. You don't clean them. You pay less for them. And they clean the water. And you can chose those you need based on your light level. Heck low light is the norm here.

I won't have a pointless tank. Also some plants simply float.
 

Katie13

Member
I figured I'd add that in the beginning, live plants cost more than most fake plants, but live plants multiply causing them to end up costing less.
 

ashenwelt

Member
Katie13 said:
I figured I'd add that in the beginning, live plants cost more than most fake plants, but live plants multiply causing them to end up costing less.
Here I actually disagree (though not on the growing and expanding part). You can easily plant a tank with plants that run only a few dollars each. Good quality plastic plants tend to run in the 10-20 each range. Heck for the price of a quality plastic plant and can buy 2-4 buces.

It could be where I shop... but for some reason plastic plants went from cheap to expensive.
 

Nanologist

Member
If you go with fake plants I think Marineland, Azoo, and Marina make some of the most realistic plants I've seen. Just want to make sure you get ones that are modeled after real aquarium plants.
 
  • Thread Starter

dartzy

Member
Since I was asked, I made the newbie mistake and bought a Tetra Glowfish 5 gallon kit and stocked it with 5 glow tetras. I have since learned they need a bigger tank and bought the 20g. The 20 gallon is now cycling (only two days in) but my plan overall is to get the five moved in where they will be happier and then get 6 glow danios and some sorta bottom cleaner. So a total of 12 stock. The 20 gallon has very poor LED lights so not sure about real plants. Again I know very little about live plants. Tank temp is about 76*. I've had the tetras for 3 weeks now.
 

Katie13

Member
It's likely location. I can get a bunch of 2-3 live plants that are about 3-4 inches tall for $8.99 USD or a pack of 3 fake plants that are about 4 inches tall for $3.97 USD.

You could move the tetras into the 20 gallon and run the 5 gallon filter alongside the 20 gallon filter. I would increase the school size of the tetras to six. You could also add in 6 Glolight Danios as well as 4 Corydoras catfish. You could also do 5 Glowlight Tetras, 5 Glowlight Danios, and 5 Corydoras Catfish. With these types of fish, I don't exactly think plant type is that big of a deal. Corydoras do betta with a sand or substrate tank base, but I've kept them fine with a gravel base. How much light does the tank receive? Is the light natural (sunlight), LED, or Flourescent?
 

Nanologist

Member
dartzy said:
Since I was asked, I made the newbie mistake and bought a Tetra Glowfish 5 gallon kit and stocked it with 5 glow tetras. I have since learned they need a bigger tank and bought the 20g. The 20 gallon is now cycling (only two days in) but my plan overall is to get the five moved in where they will be happier and then get 6 glow danios and some sorta bottom cleaner. So a total of 12 stock. The 20 gallon has very poor LED lights so not sure about real plants. Again I know very little about live plants. Tank temp is about 76*. I've had the tetras for 3 weeks now.
Personally, if I had Glofish, I'd go with the fake glow-in-the-dark, neon colored plants and rocks. Add a bright, little black light and turn that tank into a fishy night club!
Don't forget the disco ball and techno music!
 

Books&Fish

Member
I started with fake plants because I was new to fishkeeping and wanted to tackle one aspect at a time. As I understood fishkeeping and had a stable tank, I slowly removed my fake ones and switched to live. There is a lot of research involved: level of light you want, CO2 injection or not, which plants will accept it, what lights to buy vs. price, liquid vs. dry fertilizers, etc. It was overwhelming at first. I killed 2 plants before learning that the LEDs that come with tank hoods won't grow plants. Now I have 4 planted tanks. The cheap eBay lights (Aquaneat) will grow low light plants. I have a liquid fert from Seachem, but I bought a set from Green Leaf Aquariums and I measure out with tiny teaspoons how much I need to dose. I test my water regularly to see if I need to dose and monitor my plants for signs they need other ferts dosed. I don't understand how people can just buy live plants and toss them in and they do great. That was not the case for me/my water.

However, if I were to do it all over again, I would do it the same way: fake to real. It's just too overwhelming to tackle both at once. And live plants in the end are prettier and less work. Now that I feel like I know what I'm doing, I dose my tanks once or twice a week with dry powers or an oral syringe of liquid and trI'm or remove old plant debris (what the snails and rosy barbs haven't eaten anyway). Cleaning fake plants with a toothbrush for hours a month (not exaggerating) is so disappointing and frustrating. And I'm still dealing with diatoms in all 4 tanks, the oldest being almost a year old. Diatoms on fake plants = ugly and no fun to clean.
 
  • Thread Starter

dartzy

Member
greenbonsai said:
Personally, if I had Glofish, I'd go with the fake glow-in-the-dark, neon colored plants and rocks. Add a bright, little black light and turn that tank into a fishy night club!
Don't forget the disco ball and techno music!
That's how I was going originally but after seeing so many beautiful tanks with live plants, I kinda changed my mind....so confused! Lol

KeepSwimming said:
I started with fake plants because I was new to fishkeeping and wanted to tackle one aspect at a time. As I understood fishkeeping and had a stable tank, I slowly removed my fake ones and switched to live. There is a lot of research involved: level of light you want, CO2 injection or not, which plants will accept it, what lights to buy vs. price, liquid vs. dry fertilizers, etc. It was overwhelming at first. I killed 2 plants before learning that the LEDs that come with tank hoods won't grow plants. Now I have 4 planted tanks. The cheap eBay lights (Aquaneat) will grow low light plants. I have a liquid fert from Seachem, but I bought a set from Green Leaf Aquariums and I measure out with tiny teaspoons how much I need to dose. I test my water regularly to see if I need to dose and monitor my plants for signs they need other ferts dosed. I don't understand how people can just buy live plants and toss them in and they do great. That was not the case for me/my water.

However, if I were to do it all over again, I would do it the same way: fake to real. It's just too overwhelming to tackle both at once. And live plants in the end are prettier and less work. Now that I feel like I know what I'm doing, I dose my tanks once or twice a week with dry powers or an oral syringe of liquid and trI'm or remove old plant debris (what the snails and rosy barbs haven't eaten anyway). Cleaning fake plants with a toothbrush for hours a month (not exaggerating) is so disappointing and frustrating. And I'm still dealing with diatoms in all 4 tanks, the oldest being almost a year old. Diatoms on fake plants = ugly and no fun to clean.
You kinda hit the nail on the head. I'm still learning about the fish and keeping them alive. Not sure I can handle learning the plant side yet. Hence the question of what realistic looking plants were out there. I've heard that some are bad and leak chemicals, etc....
 

Katie13

Member
A lot of plants are simple to keep. Anubias are my favorite as they require minimal effort and grow fine under the LED lights that come with aquarium kits. Anubias were my first live plants and I've had them a few years. They grow well in my aquariums. I don't use substrate, just straight up aquarium gravel. I don't use any plant food either. I just trI'm off dead leaves every so often and split the plants up when roots spout out from a new section.
 
  • Thread Starter

dartzy

Member
Katie13 said:
You could move the tetras into the 20 gallon and run the 5 gallon filter alongside the 20 gallon filter. I would increase the school size of the tetras to six. You could also add in 6 Glolight Danios as well as 4 Corydoras catfish. You could also do 5 Glowlight Tetras, 5 Glowlight Danios, and 5 Corydoras Catfish. With these types of fish, I don't exactly think plant type is that big of a deal. Corydoras do betta with a sand or substrate tank base, but I've kept them fine with a gravel base. How much light does the tank receive? Is the light natural (sunlight), LED, or Flourescent?
5 cories would be ok? I know they like to be in groups..
 

Katie13

Member

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Five Corydoras would be great. They are flawless community fish that do well in twenty gallon aquariums. I figured I'd also add some photos of some of my Anubias in one of my aquariums. These are in one of my aquariums that recently had all the fish wiped out by disease. I designed this specific tank to create a mirror .
 
  • Thread Starter

dartzy

Member
Katie13 said:
A lot of plants are simple to keep. Anubias are my favorite as they require minimal effort and grow fine under the LED lights that come with aquarium kits. Anubias were my first live plants and I've had them a few years. They grow well in my aquariums. I don't use substrate, just straight up aquarium gravel. I don't use any plant food either. I just trI'm off dead leaves every so often and split the plants up when roots spout out from a new section.
Was thinking Anubias...but my LPS has a bad selection of live plants..don't have many choices were I am. Have to drive an hour just to get decent supplies from Big named stores.
 

Katie13

Member
My LFS isn't the best either. I get a lot of my live plants and fish from stores over 45 minutes away, but this specific bunch of Anubias came from my LFS. I'd just recommend looking to see if they have any that aren't too bad. TrI'm off any dead leaves then put them in the tank. Some of the Anubias in the pictures have a slight algae problem, but that will be fixed soon. I got loaches to try and fix the issue, but those are the fish I quarantined that managed to wipe out my entire tank. I would recommend trying to find the medication that you basically put new fish in for so long that prevents any disease they may have from spreading to new fish. I'm about to purchase some for when I restock this tank over the weekend. It's been completely cleaned and the parameters are remaining good. I'll likely end up returning with more Anubias.
 

Geoff

Member
Here's my tank with National Geographic brand fake plants from PetSmart. I think they're the most realistic fakes I've come across.
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