Switching My Artificial Plants For Real Ones

R2D2Fish

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Hello fish folks, I’m looking for suggestions or advice regarding possibly switching out my artificial aquarium plants.
I wouldn’t do it right away because my nitrogen cycle is still working its way in to my tank but eventually I would like my tank to be more natural.
So what I’m wondering is...

Is it safe to switch all of the artificial for real at once? Or will that be stressful to the fish?
Should I just do one at a time?
Any suggestions for the best plants?

I’m also curious as to whether or not artificial plants are considered... tacky lol I mean in the fish keeping world, are planted tanks law? Just wondering if I’m the clueless newbie
 

mattgirl

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There are some very nice natural looking artificial plants. I still have silk and plastic plants in my 55 gallon tank. I am testing out several real plants in smaller tanks trying to get a feel as to which ones will do well in my big tank but until I get good at caring for them I will stick to artificial in the big tank.
 
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R2D2Fish

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There are some very nice natural looking artificial plants. I still have silk and plastic plants in my 55 gallon tank. I am testing out several real plants in smaller tanks trying to get a feel as to which ones will do well in my big tank but until I get good at caring for them I will stick to artificial in the big tank.
That’s why I decided to go with artificial.. I’m not very good with house plants so I was afraid I would not be too good with aquarium plants lol
 

Crispii

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That’s why I decided to go with artificial.. I’m not very good with house plants so I was afraid I would not be too good with aquarium plants lol
You should start out with Anubias (any species/variety) if I were you. Here are reasons why Anubias are a great beginner plant.

-Easy to grow.

-Lighting does not matter with this plant. Can grow in low, medium, and high lighting. Though if you were to use this plant in high lighting, there's a good chance that it's going to get algae.

-You don't have to plant it. You can attach this plant to driftwood, rocks, or other decorations.

-You can get away without fertilizer.
 

mattgirl

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That’s why I decided to go with artificial.. I’m not very good with house plants so I was afraid I would not be too good with aquarium plants lol
I have to admit that I am pretty good with house plants but plants grown in water is a whole new experience for me. I am having a little bit of success now. It has been a lot of trial and error though.
 

Tol

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That’s why I decided to go with artificial.. I’m not very good with house plants so I was afraid I would not be too good with aquarium plants lol
Best thing about aquarium plants is you can't forget to water them
I started with Amazon swords and found them fairly simple. They really just need lights and root tabs to do well. Hygrophila Angustifolia has been a very easy one for me as well and grows like a bush, very easy to propagate. I have zero skill in growing/keeping plants but have had some success with aquarium ones. I don't have any special substrate (using Black Diamond Blasting Sand) and no CO2. I use Seachem root tabs and started using Flourish as well lately. I do 50% water changes weekly which in my opinion has helped a lot, not only for my fish but also the plants. I'll see if I can find my list somewhere of the species I have, but it is all really undemanding stuff.
 

ystrout

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You're making the right call using real plants. What kind of substrate do you have? Substrate made for planted tanks (aquarium soil, SeaChem Flourite, etc) works best, gravel also works for a lot of plants, but barely any plants do well in sand.

My advice is:
*switching fake plants for real ones won't affect the cycle. I'd say 95% of the beneficial bacteria lives in the filter media, so removing some fake plants won't do anything.
*Stick with green plants when you're new to it. Red and purple plants are difficult without CO2 and aquarium soil. They also do a lot better with fertilizers and iron.
*Search the internet for beginner plants. Some plants are not easy...

As for whether it looks tacky? It depends on the person looking at the tank. I personally don't like fake plants or plastic decorations. I like a natural look. So all my tanks are only scaped with rocks, wood, and plants. But that's my personal preference. If you like pink gravel and SpongeBob decorations and that makes you happy, that's fine!

Some fish do prefer plants than fake decorations. Gouramis jump to mind. They love plants. But they'd be fine with silk plants too.
 
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