Live Plants Vs Artificial Plants: Which one to pick?

Who doesn’t love a vibrant aquarium with lively plants in it? Obviously nobody! Along with fish, plants also enhance the beauty and quality of your aquarium by ensuring the comfort of your fish. 

But what if you are given a choice between live plants and artificial plants? Which one will your aquarium showcase? Well, when it comes to choosing one, the task becomes difficult to accomplish. And the problem is even more complex when you do not know the differences, pros, and cons of both. So, the predominant question here is 

How and which to choose in between the two?

Well, to get an answer to this question, the first approach should be knowing a bit of the two. After that, you yourself will be able to decide which one to choose. And in case you are looking forward to knowing more about the plants, congratulations. You have found your lighthouse. This article is intended to let you know all the ins and outs of live plants and artificial plants.

Live and Artificial Plant: starting from the scratch

The first and foremost thing here to know is that you need plants for the aquarium, period! No matter what you choose between living plants and artificial ones, inclusion is necessary. I hope you know what living plants are and how they are used in an aquarium. Now, not every plant on the face of the earth is going to be inside your aquarium. There are some specific pants according to the tank’s requirements.

Betta Fish

Nowadays, people are also looking forward to artificial plants. These are made of plastic, velvet, and various other materials. To be honest, these artificial plants are so real-looking that one might not find much difference with the live plants from a visual perspective. 

Only touching them will probably indicate the comparison. These fake plants do not need any care or cutting and trimming and can go anywhere. 

Then the question here might be, why choose or talk about live plants then? Generally, the inclusion of living plants is not merely from the visual beauty or caretaking only. They have much more to offer to your aquarium and your dearest pets. 

Was that surprising? Oh, you shouldn’t be so.

Hold tight; your doubts will be clarified soon.

Artificial Plant: a piece of cake

We presume you have already understood what the fundamental function of artificial plants is. Yes, they serve as an alternative for live plants. These plants are used to decorate your aqua space as well as the interior looks of your office or home.

One of the most quintessential features of artificial plants that gained popularity is that they do not rely on you to take care of them. Since these are non-living things, you can get rid of the daunting task of trimming and cutting. 

Well, that does not mean you are not putting your hands in the aquarium for eternity! Occasional cleaning of the plants is necessary for a healthy-looking fish tank.

Artificial Plant

Wait, the list is not over yet. These plants have much more to offer. Since they are non-living things, you do not need to worry about soil, repotting, or watering to thrive. In fact, the lighting does not matter for these plants. You can comfortably set them up both in bright and dark lights. 

Suppose you are not able to include a living plant in your fish tank just because of the temperature or internal setting of the tank. In that case, you can comfortably choose an artificial replica of the same plant to achieve the desired look.

Besides providing you with their magnificent, then artificial plants are the ideal ones for offices or places where different people come and go on a daily basis. People with pollen allergies will not face any issues with these plants. 

These save your bill too. Since no biological maintenance is needed, you can get rid of fertilizer, pruning, repotting, and other stuff. Even there is no need for cleaning dead parts of plants. Hence, no trouble related to pests is there.

You can even combine different types of artificial plants with beautiful fiberglass planters such as Britz Tall Square Fiberglass Planter,  the Alzira Round Planter, or Globe Modern Fiberglass Planter and maintain them with minimal effort.

Pros and cons of Artificial plants:

Like every other thing in this world, artificial plants also have their pros and cons. Let’s know more about them.



Artificial plants are easy to find and are not rare. So the cost is much cheaper. This can seem affordable to many people.

No maintenance:

Since these plants are just fake replicas of the original live plants, they do not give you hard times for maintenance. So, you can be related when it comes to trimming and cleaning.

Does not invite parasite:

Since artificial plants are not living things, they do not attract parasites like living plants.

Fish can’t eat them:

Since artificial plants are made of non-edible things, the fish can not snack on them.


Fin tearing:

This is not an uncommon case in tanks with non-living plants. They are made of plastic and other hard material. So the fish, while swimming, might tear their fins if it is paced. The problem is harder when you have long-tailed fish like betta or fancy goldfish. 

If you have a goldfish that swims sideways, you might be in great trouble. Read our article on why do goldfish swim sideways to know more.

Live Plant: The glamour booster

Now comes our traditional live plants. But the question here is if the replica plants do not require much care and look after, then why on earth would somebody choose live plants instead of easily kept artificial plants? 

As I have stated earlier, the live plants have much more to offer; we will be focusing on their beneficial factors. In recent days there has been a recognition of the health benefits of using living plants inside of an office or your own home. 

Since the live indoor plants have always purified the air, it can be helpful for your office or home space. Medical research shows that the sickness rate can fall to 20% if live aquarium plants are given space.

Live Plant

One more feature of the live plants is that they can provide you with a filtration process. Additionally, these plants can help ensure the humidity level inside an office using HVAC systems that control the temperature and sometimes dry out the air too much, injuring health. 

The live plants, by increasing the humidity, also work for the people’s general well-being. Moreover, it has been proven that green plants of any kind of livestock can increase the productivity of human beings. So, you can expect the workers to be even more productive while using live plants in a fish tank in the office.

But since these plants are living things, you need to be extra careful about them. Besides trimming, cutting, cleaning, and filtration, you also need to pay attention to their requirements related to the environment. 

You should take a note of the water pH level, lighting, and temperature of the water while choosing live indoor plants for your aquarium. Dedicate some of your time to take care of them. Otherwise, you will be losing them sooner or later.

You Might Need:- Best Floating Plants for Aquarium

Pros and cons Of Live Plants:

Now let us move forward for a better understanding of the live plants with pros and cons.


provides Oxygen and soaks up waste:

This advantage is obviously on the top of the list. The live plants provide Oxygen in the tank water. In simple words, it oxygenates the tank’s water. So that it is easier for your pets to breathe. Some plants do have filtration capacity in them. So they soak up some of the fish waste and keep the tank water in a pristine condition. This should not be the reason fot]r you not to change the water, though!

They are beautiful:

If kept properly, the live plants can enhance the glamour of your fish tank with their vibrant color and gorgeous looks. 

Compete With Algae For Resources And Nutrients:

Some plants work as live food stock for the fish in your tank. They can be a solution to the nutrition factor as well. Besides, some plants will limit the algae accumulation in your fish tank. However, that should not be relied on if the water conditions in the tank are severely imbalanced.

House of microfauna:

Microfauna are microscopic organisms that float in fresh and saltwater tanks. The baby fish and fish fry can eat these types of phytoplankton. 

Live Plants Can Grow And Reproduce:

With good care and proper condition, your aquarium plants will start to grow more and reproduce. So you can use some of it for another tank or even sell it to a fish keep as well. 


Usually expensive:

Live plants are usually pretty expensive than artificial plants. Well, if you can take care of the live plants properly, you might compensate for the cost later by selling the newly grown plants.

Carries unwanted parasites:

Since these are living things, fermentation is very common. The live plants tend to invite leeches, insects, and all other kinds of pests that will harm the plants and get a hand in the health of the fish. So, regular filtration and timely water change are needed. Lab cultivated plants can also be taken here because they generally do not come with parasites.

Needs maintenance:

The living plants will need much more attention when it comes to looking after them. Cutting, trimming, fertilizing, and cleaning should be part of your to-do list.

Fish might snack on them:

This problem is predominant when you have bigger breeds. They just eat up all your expensive plants. Try putting plants that will not be delicious for the fish.

Final words:

We presume you have already chosen your winner for the race. But we promised we would give you a complete insight into the two types along with our choice. So the prime time has come. And it is time to declare the winner. Considering all the pros and cons, our vote goes for the live plants. And in case you have also chosen them, check out our articles on live plants. Click here. 

 To be honest, choosing plants is ultimately the aqua enthusiast’s decision. Both of them are excellent in their own unique ways. You can choose either of them according to your taste and choice. Make sure you maintain cleanliness. And that sums it up. Watch your dearest aquarium thriving. 

Good luck!

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