Artificial Plants or Real Plants for an Aquarium: The Pros and the Cons of Each
You should have plants in an aquarium. There’s no doubt about that. Plants provide many important benefits in a fish tank, and a prettier appearance to you and entertainment for the fish are just the bonuses. While selecting artificial plants or real plants for an aquarium will require knowing the pros and cons of both, the decision isn’t all that tough.
With so many beautiful options, shopping for the right plants for your fish tank should be pretty fun!
Real Plants in an Aquarium
The Good: The most important job of plants in an aquarium is to produce oxygen and reduce carbon dioxide and ammonia. Basically, real plants serve as nature’s filter – although you will need a manmade filtration system as well. Real plants create more of a natural environment for the fish, and they can improve water quality by reducing algae growth. Because they are real, they will give the tank a natural appearance, and seeing the live plants and watching their growth is one of the best parts of having an aquarium.
The Bad: Live plants decay, so they create waste of their own. They also can be difficult to clean, and they may carry diseases and unwanted parasites. Most importantly, if they’re overgrown, they can suck up some of the oxygen in the tank, which can distress the other inhabitants. Another negative of live plants is that the fish are more likely to nibble on them; whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing is debatable, but it can leave your plants looking frayed.
Artificial Plants in an Aquarium
The Good: Artificial plants are easier to place into and remove out of the tank, and they are easier to clean. Because they are manmade, you will have a wider range of beautiful selections, which can really give your tank an outstanding appearance. You can also select the type of plant you want in the shape that you want, and you won’t have to worry about them stifling the fish or growing out of control like you would with live plants.
The Bad: Artificial plants won’t provide your tank with the natural benefits of filtration, air circulation, and a reduction of algae growth.
Furthermore, if you have a saltwater tank, those artificial plants will become covered in algae, creating a dirtier environment in the tank. It’s OK to use artificial plants in a saltwater tank, but if you do, you should have a second set of plants that can be placed in the tank as alternates while you clean the dirty plants. You can clean them by removing the plants from the tank and placing them outside for a few days. The sun will clean that algae right off, and the rotation process will mean a new look for your tank for a few days.
Artificial Plants or Real Plants for an Aquarium: What They Both Do
As you’re trying to decide between artificial plants or real plants for an aquarium, remember that both have a few benefits in common:
- They both serve as entertainment for the fish.
- The both provide the fish with hiding places for safety and security.
- They both beautify an aquarium.
- They’re both relatively inexpensive.
- They’re both easy to get.
And there’s one final thing to remember: whether you have a saltwater aquarium or a freshwater aquarium, there’s no big reason why you can’t have both!
To learn what the best type of plants are for your aquarium and how best to care for them, contact us at Seatech Aquariums online or by phone at (602) 628-7270.