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Should You Use Fake Plants in Your Fish Tank?

Using Artificial Plants in Fish Aquariums San Diego, CA

Whether you keep fish in freshwater (large or nano) tanks, one of the best things you can do for your aquatic species is to provide them with live plants purchased from a trusted aquarium supplier. Virtually all tropical fish and invertebrates that are part of the aquarist hobby come from natural habitats where plants thrive, and this is the main argument in favor of live plants versus their plastic counterparts. Live plants also help you establish a more balanced ecosystem because they promote biochemical oxygenation and compete with algae for nutrients. In other words, you’ll always be better off with live plants in the aquarium, but this doesn’t mean you need to completely write off their artificial counterparts.


There’s a considerable global market for plastic aquarium plants. In the mid-1990s, the annual revenue for exporters of these aquarium decorations was in excess of $9 million, and most of them were manufactured in Singapore and other Asian nations. The prices of these items are very reasonable when compared to exotic plants such as Dark Angel Anubias. Some tank setup kits allow beginner fish keepers to choose between live and fake plants without altering the price of the kit.

No Risk of Contamination

With live aquatic plants, you always need to put them through a process that involves soaking them in water that has been conditioned or taken out of the tank. Seasoned aquarists recommend putting plants in a quarantine bucket that has been dosed with a solution to kill parasites before they’re introduced in established tanks. With plastic plants, all you have to do is soak them in water before rinsing them in dechlorinated water.

Easy to Clean

Some live plants contribute to a lower bioload in the aquarium, which means you won’t have to perform water changes as often, but these happen to be rooting plants that require being careful when vacuuming the substrate or scraping the walls of the tank. Artificial plants don’t present such challenges because you can simply remove them, soak them, and rinse them before placing them back in the tank. You can also easily move plants around along with other decorations to come up with a new look for your aquarium.

Provide Shelter

Similar to other decorations such as caves made out of coconut shells, fake aquarium plants can serve as hiding, sleeping, and boundary spots for fish that exhibit certain behaviors. For example, male Betta fish can get along with other freshwater species as long as they’re able to claim territory, and fake plants can facilitate this. Nocturnal species such as Corydoras will need a place to rest in the daylight hours, and they won’t mind doing so behind artificial plants. Of course, live plants also offer these same benefits while improving the aquatic ecosystem.

Before you decide to buy fake plants for your aquarium, come to Aquatic Warehouse in Kearny Mesa to see the massive selection of beautiful live plants to choose from instead. We also carry all of the supplies you’ll need to properly maintain a healthy aquatic environment, whether you need an aquarium dosing pump, filtration, beneficial bacteria, or any other supply. You can get what you need right in our store or order online from our website. Have any questions? Give us a call today at 858-467-9297.


Contact Information

  • Address: 5466 Complex Street Suite 204
    San Diego, CA 92123
  • Phone: (858) 467-9297
  • Email: sales@aquaticwarehouse.com
  • Working Days/Hours: Mon - Fri / 10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
    Saturday / 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
    Sunday / 11:00 AM - 6:00 PM


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