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Pros and cons of plastic and live plants

Discussion in 'Tropical Aquarium Advice' started by Fish novice, Sep 4, 2013.


  1. Fish novice

    Fish novice PetForums Junior

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    I would be most grateful if you experienced fish keepers can let me know the pros and cons of plastic and live plants. Do you only have one or the other in your tanks or some of each ?

    Geoff.
     
  2. magpie

    magpie PetForums VIP

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    Personally, I only have live plants in all of my tanks (with varying degrees of success!) :p

    The pros of live plants for me are that they look natural, use up some nitrates, and some are oxygenating. I also think they look loads better than fake plants :)

    The difficult part is stopping them from dying and getting them to grow! I've recently started Ei dosing, which is already starting to help with my plants growth - Ei Starter Kit - Starter Kits - Dry Chemicals - Fertilisers
    And some fish eat them too (looks sternly at goldfish tank!!) :rolleyes:

    The pros of fake plants I suppose, would be that they are low maintenance and that they look 'green' all the time.

    Cons would be that (in my opinion) they still look fake, they often accumulate algae, so you have to clean them, and with plastic plants particularly, they can tear the fins of some fish. You can also get silk plants though, which would avoid that last problem.

    It's all down to personal preference really, and whether you want to put in the effort to grow live plants, as they can be hard work sometimes :)
     
  3. ameliajane

    ameliajane PetForums VIP

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    I find plastic and silk plants very high maintainence as they quickly become covered in algae. This can be very difficult to remove and makes the plants look unsightly. Good quality/realistic looking plastic or silk plants are also surprisingly expensive.

    I would always opt for real plants. The type of plants and the amount of maintainence required will depend on the type of tank you have, the effect you wish to achieve and the amount of money and effort you're prepared to put in.

    The simplest option is to fill the tank with different types of Java ferns. These are tough, wont be eaten by the fish and don't need any special treatment.

    A very cheap option is to use Peace lilies. These are commonly sold as house plants and are not aquatic plants but will survive submersion very well for many months and often even flower under water. One medium sized plant can be split into several sections. Just ensure all the soil is washed off the roots and the plant is rinsed thoroughly to remove any fertiliser and pesticides.

    Plants have the added bonus of using up excess nutrients that would otherwise go to feed algae and so will generally keep your tank relatively algae free. You do need quite a few biggish, healthy plants for this to be effective. :)
     
  4. Fish novice

    Fish novice PetForums Junior

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    Thank you for the replies.

    Geoff. :thumbsup:
     
  5. Fish novice

    Fish novice PetForums Junior

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    I've made a decision on an aquarium to buy for myself. Due to lack of space I've ordered a Fluval Roma 125 tank and cabinet rather than a Roma 200. :)
     
  6. magpie

    magpie PetForums VIP

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    I have this tank, it's lovely. Looking forward to some pics once you get it all set up :)
     
  7. Fish novice

    Fish novice PetForums Junior

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    I looked on ebay for Java ferns and more than one advert showed the following statement.

    (PLEASE NOTE IF YOU HAVE SHRIMPS SNAILS OR ANY OTHER CRUSTACEANS IN YOUR FISH TANK YOU WILL NEED TO RINSE THE PLANTS THOUGHLY AND BE VERY CAREFULL WHEN ADDING TO YOUR FISH TANK)

    Does anyone know the reason for this please ?
     
  8. ameliajane

    ameliajane PetForums VIP

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    They are probably using chemicals in their plant growing tanks to control pests such as snails.
     
  9. Fish novice

    Fish novice PetForums Junior

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    ^^
    Thank you ameliajane.
     
  10. NaomiM

    NaomiM Love my furry, feathered and finned family

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  11. Fish novice

    Fish novice PetForums Junior

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    ^^
    Thank you Naomi.
     
  12. Fish novice

    Fish novice PetForums Junior

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    My daughters Fluval Roma 200 currently has two filter systems, a Fluval U4 and an Interpet PF 2. When i get my own tank will I be able to speed up the cycling process if I borrow the PF 2 for a while ? if yes, how long should I leave it in my tank ?
     
  13. NaomiM

    NaomiM Love my furry, feathered and finned family

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    No need to borrow the whole filter. Just ask her if you can have a little bit of the media from inside it. Put it in your own filter on top of the new media, making sure it's out of the water for as short a time as possible. It will greatly speed up your cycling process.

    Have you read up on fishless cycling?
     
  14. Fish novice

    Fish novice PetForums Junior

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    Thanks again Naomi, I haven't read up on the fishless cycle but I will.
     
  15. NaomiM

    NaomiM Love my furry, feathered and finned family

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  16. Dan1234

    Dan1234 PetForums Member

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    Just to drop in on the advice you have already been given, I would add something else as well as Java fern as although it is a easy plant it is also a very slow grower, and chances are will become covered in algae and put you off live plants.
    I would suggest very fast growing easy plants like Cabomba/Elodea and Wisteria.
    The best thing to do would be to have a look on Tropica's website Tropica Aquarium Plants - Home they have some extremely good information and pictures on different plants and also rank them easy/medium etc. See what you like then go to ebay or wherever and find them.
    Hope that helps.
    Dan
     
  17. Fish novice

    Fish novice PetForums Junior

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    ^^
    Thank you Dan :thumbsup:
     
  18. magicmike

    magicmike PetForums Junior

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    From my experience plastic plants can quickly be covered in algae as mentioned in the earlier post and you would need to clean them individually. This site has good advice on choosing a plant for beginners. You can have the entire tank fill with only one or two types of plants to start with. Aquatics: Low Light, Beginner Aquarium Plants
     
  19. Fish novice

    Fish novice PetForums Junior

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    ^^
    Thank you Mike. :thumbup1:
     
  20. Fish novice

    Fish novice PetForums Junior

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    Would a UV steriliser keep algae at bay ?
     
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