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Fake Plastic / Silk Aquatic Plants | Fish Tank Decorations

Updated on September 1, 2009
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Decorating your fish tank is one of the fun things about owning fish. Creating an appealing and healthy aquascape is not only for your benefit, but it is also of great benefit to your fish, who will enjoy a planted tank.

Of course, planting a tank is no small task, and beginners especially may prefer to start with fake plants, either silk or plastic. Here are few reasons why fake plants may work better for you than real ones.

  • Real plants require lighting and a carbon dioxide source in order to be healthy and to grow. Fake plants need neither of these things.
  • Real plants produce oxygen during the day, which can help oxygenate your water, but at night they start to produce CO2 and consume oxygen, which can occasionally deplete the oxygenation of the tank over night, especially if you don't have a great deal of surface area in your tank or if you have no other oxygen supply.

Now, if you want to invest the time and money necessary to successfully grow aquarium plants, then I think that is a good idea and encourage you to do so. If you simply want your tank to look good and your fish to feel happy in the tank, then fake plants are an excellent alternative.

Why Any Plants At All?

Well, if you have fish like angelfish, for instance, they come from an environment where they would hide among tall reeds to escape predators. Having tall plants in a tank therefore makes them feel a great deal more comfortable and reduces stress which can lead to illness.

Most fish will appreciate some kind of plant cover in their tank, whether it be provided by natural plants or fake ones. Depending on the type of fish, some kind of rock cover may also be appreciated. Some fish, such as loaches, like to lurk around rocks, and others hide in caves to raise their young or hunt their prey. Do some research on the preferred habitat of the type of fish you want to keep before decorating their tank.

Silk or Plastic?

Silk plants are considered to look much more 'real' than plastic plants, but they also command a much higher price, and fish may shred them quicker than you think, leaving trails of silk fibers running through your tank and clogging up the filter. Plastic plants are a great deal more hardy.

The choice is up to you and it really is one of personal preference at the end of the day. There's also no reason why you can't use a mix of silk and plastic plants.

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