Besides looking great, they have the added
benefit of helping to conserve our troubled
Brackish-water aquarium setups are
increasingly popular, but brackish water
can be an extremely harsh environment for
live plants, with really only a few being able
to do well in such conditions. With plastic
plants, you can really bring your brackish-water tank to life.
Another advantage is that there is no
danger of introducing dangerous pests,
parasites, or snails, which can quickly
overrun your tank. That is a real concern
for live planted tanks.
Another big advantage of artificial plants
is the ability to keep them with big or
aggressive fish, including herbivores. I have
always maintained larger tanks with a
mixed community of large fish. I currently
have a 150-gallon tank that includes such
big fish as severums, tinfoil barbs, and
silver dollars. Now, if I were to attempt
putting live plants in that tank, some of
those fish would uproot them, and the
other ones would eat them. In fact, I often
throw cuttings from my planted tanks
into this tank, and within minutes they
are gone. One caution with plastic plants
and large fish, however, is that they may
eventually pick them apart. So if you notice
leaves floating around or your plants being
torn up, it is best to discard them and
replace the plant. I have personally found
that plastic plants with larger leaves, such
as plastic Amazon swords, tend to fare
better with really big fish.
Courtesy of Penn Plax, Inc.
Some interesting—though admittedly surreal—aquascapes are possible with artificial plants.
won’t need to spend any time pruning or so they won’t affect your water conditions.
removing dead leaves that would otherwise Do you have a saltwater tank? Well, many
pollute your water. And since they will saltwater macroalgae are also available. As
not die, they will last almost indefinitely, a matter of fact, if you want to place a
looking good in your tank, year after year, saltwater plant in a freshwater tank, or
without any fertilizers or special substrate. vice versa, go right ahead; they won’t die
You will never be limited byyour water onyou. Inaddition, lifelikeartificialcorals
a big part in your selection of live now available.
plants. Plastic plants
Courtesy of Penn Plax, Inc.
Aquarists who prefer less-natural
aquascapes can use the variety of
available colors to create whimsical
One last advantage I’d like to mention is
that you can even have more fish in your
tank. Go ahead and read that line again.
Yes, you read correctly: more fish. What do
I mean by that? Have I lost my fish-loving
mind? No, plastic plants do not have some
kind of magical power that allows the
hobbyist to keep more fish than is usually
recommended, but in heavily planted tanks,
especially those which make use of CO , it
is necessary to stock your tank lightly with
fish in order for your tank to flourish. With
plastic plants, you can create almost the
same effect as a heavily planted tank, but
without any such concerns. Therefore you
can stock your aquarium as an unplanted
tank. You can’t keep more than the usual
amount of fish, just more than you would
be able to in a high-tech planted tank. And,
without CO supplementation, youdonot