Live Plants vs Fake Plants in Freshwater Aquariums Video
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Video:Live Plants vs Fake Plants in Freshwater Aquariums

with Dan Thornton

Plants look great in freshwater aquariums, but using live plants is much different than fake plants. Watch this video from to learn more about live vs. fake plants in freshwater aquariums.See Transcript

Transcript:Live Plants vs Fake Plants in Freshwater Aquariums

Hi, I am Dan Thornton from Reef Encounters in Erie, Colorado and I am here today for to discuss live plants verses fake plants in fresh water aquariums.

Pros and Cons for Fake and Live Aquarium Plants

When you go to set up you first fresh water aquarium, one of the questions you may have is whether or not to put in live plants, or just stick to artificial plants. There are many pros and cons to each.

Artificial Plants are Easier to Handle in Aquariums

Artificial plants are easy, you don't have to keep them alive. If they grow algae on them, you can take them out and buy new ones, you can take them out and clean them. if you want to redecorate your aquarium, you can move them around. You can get some artificial plants that are very realistic and look like plants that you would have a very hard time keeping alive.

Artificial plants are good with fish, like a Silver Dollar, that will eat your plants, so you have less limitations on the fish that you can put in your tank when you are using only artificial plants.

Live Plants Affect Freshwater Chemistry

It's a little bit of an art keeping live plants in an aquarium. Live plants will help to filter the water, which is a good thing; they will compete with algae. Sometimes people will set up tanks where the live plants are the main filter.

When you have live plants in your aquarium, you have to use the amount of light to support live plants. Sometimes when you increase the light for the plants, you also increase the algae. It can definitely make things more complicated. It is more maintenance to keep plants that are alive, then it is to keep plants that are artificial.

If you plan on using salt in your aquarium, you have to stick with artificial plants. Some people put salt in their aquarium because it helps osmotically with the fish. If you want to tackle the challenge of having a live plant tank, you need to decide which plants are going to go with each other.

Arranging Live Plants in Aquariums

In general, put the shorter plants closer to the front of the aquarium, and the taller plants, more in the back, otherwise you will never see your shorter plants when your taller plants grow.

Live plants are really for more advanced aquarium hobbyists, artificial plants leave the novice aquarist to just paying attention to their fish, and not have to worry about the plants. You can make an aquarium just as pretty with artificial plants as you can with live plants. 

Thanks so much for watching. For more information on fish, pleases visit us on the web at


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