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10 Reasons to Aquascape with Artificial Plants

Drs. Foster & Smith Educational Staff
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Aquascape with Artificial Plants

In years past, adding artificial plants to your aquarium meant adding bulky plastic plants that were very obviously not real. Thankfully, those days are long gone.

Aquarium with discus & artificial plants

Attention to detail and realism make it increasingly difficult to distinguish between live and artificial plants. For example, flexible silky plants gently sway with the water and display a beautiful organic feel. And over time, they attain a natural patina of algae – further blurring the distinction between live and artificial plants.

Artificial plants are now available in fresh and saltwater species, plastic or "silk-like" construction, and a range of colors and sizes for foreground, mid-ground, and background planting. The use of artificial plants is now limited only by your preferences and your imagination.

1. Immediate Enhancement
Artificial plants arrive essentially ready to use. You need only place them in your desired location. Simply rinse them prior to installing them in your aquarium. If you wish, you can also soak plants in warm water (to relax the fabric and give them an even more realistic look) for 15-30 minutes prior to placement.

2. Low Maintenance
Artificial plants are the ultimate in easy-care aquarium inhabitants. They require no special lighting, no special substrate, and no supplements.

3. Flexibility
With artificial plants, your aquascaping options are endless. You can place any type or size of plant anywhere you desire in your aquarium. Artificial plants are also easy to rearrange at any time. Plus, you're not limited by water type; if you want to place an artificial saltwater plant in a freshwater aquarium, you can safely do so. Your selection is limited only by your preference.

4. Simple Cleaning
Just remove and rinse artificial plants whenever you need to.

5. Durability
Artificial plants are ideal if you don’t exactly have a green thumb. They won’t die, they require no pruning, and they stay beautiful season after season.

6. Resistance to Destructive Fish
If your fish of choice are herbivorous, aggressive, or diggers (like Cichlids), artificial plants are a perfect option – they can't be eaten or damaged, and they are easy to put back if fish uproot them. Artificial plants also provide fish with comforting shelter.

7. Safety for Other Aquarium Inhabitants
Because artificial plants aren't harvested from other bodies of water, they won't introduce foreign, harmful pests or parasites into your aquarium.

8. More Consistent Water Chemistry
Since artificial plants do not release oxygen or carbon dioxide into your aquarium water, they do not affect water chemistry (and related aquarium conditions). They will not promote algae growth, or take oxygen from other aquarium inhabitants when aquarium lights are off, causing pH swings during dark periods.

9. Clear Aquarium Water
Artificial plants will never rot or undergo natural biological changes, so they won’t foul your aquarium water.

Examples of Artificial Plants 10. Convenience for Hobbyists of All Ages
Thanks to their easy installation and maintenance, artificial plants are suitable to all aquarists, whether novice or veteran.

Attractive Alternative to Live Plants
Artificial plants are perfect for beginners or even seasoned hobbyists who keep large active fish, like cichlids, that dig or destroy live plants. Also, artificial plants are ideal for breeding or quarantine tanks, providing much needed shelter in a simple and attractive manner. They are an excellent low-maintenance alternative, offering many benefits when live plants are not a practical option.


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