Real Plants vs Artificial Plants

Many aquarists are having disagreement whether to use artificial plants or real plants.  Some say that artificial plants are better than real plants while others raise their brows and say real plants are better.  In this case, let’s start comparing each.

Real Plants


1.       Real plants gives off oxygen during daylight

2.       While releasing oxygen, it also absorbs CO2 during day time

3.       It slows down algae growth

4.       Beneficial algae and other beneficial micro-organism grow in plants which can be a food source for fish.

5.       Nothing beats the beauty of the real thing!

6.       Unequal self satisfaction guaranteed when success is achieved

7.       Absorbs extra nutrients


1.       Harder to maintain because you have to watch for plant health as well.

2.       Can cost a bit more because of higher lighting requirement, CO2 and nutritious substrate.

3.       Absorbs oxygen at night (though this is not really critical and no significant effect, I will include it anyway)

4.       If bought from unknown source, it might contain bad hitch hikers such as snails and other parasites

5.       Not easy to clean when covered with algae

6.       Can cause of pollution when decayed.

Artificial Plants


1.       Really easy to maintain.

2.       Does not absorb oxygen during night time

3.       Can be a host to a beneficial bacteria

4.       Very easy to clean even when infested with the most notorious algae

5.       Does require intense lighting and CO2

6.       Cannot be destroyed by humongous fish


1.       Though it can contain beneficial bacteria in due time, it can never be a food source

2.       It can never inhibit algae growth

3.       It does not absorb CO2 during day time

4.       It does not produce oxygen

5.       It does not absorb extra nutrients in the water

There you go folks!  Both contain a number of pros and cons. I really think this depends on the hobbyist which one he will choose.  As for me, I still prefer the live plants because of the satisfaction it gives me.  For those who are starting in the hobby of fish keeping, the artificial plant is your best choice.

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