The joys of having fish in an aquarium are plentiful. You get to watch them swim around and enjoy their beauty. Owning an aquarium means taking care of the items inside, which includes the plants.
Many fish owners prefer to use silk aquarium plants because they look realistic. They are also easier to maintain.
It is important to understand the differences between plastic and silk plants. You can learn more about each option to make an informed decision. This way, your fish stay safe, and the aquarium looks decorated.
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Silk Aquarium Plants vs. Plastic: Which Is Better?
While it is personal preference, silk aquarium plants do have advantages over plastic. Plastic plants can damage the fish if the fish happen to swim right onto them. If the fish rubs against the plastic, it could get scratched or cut.
A good way to determine if the plant is dangerous is to run a pair of cheap pantyhose over it. Check the pantyhose to see if they have ripped or snagged. If they did, you should not put that plant into the aquarium.
Silk plants can also look prettier than plastic. The lightweight material allows the plant to shift in the water. This is like a live plant.
Plastic plants are hard and not bendable. They cannot move with the water, which makes them look out of place. Plus, they don’t look natural in the aquarium setting.
Silk plants do look more natural. They are still artificial, but they give the illusion of live plants.
Both plastic and silk plants cannot produce food for the fish. Fish might nibble at them, but they don’t get sustenance. Plastic plants can hurt the fish if they try to nip the plant.
Both plastic and silk plants do not produce debris and waste to pollute the water. They do not need tending or trimming because they do not grow. Thus, you do not have to do more work to the aquarium after setup.
The 11 Best Silk Plants For Aquarium Decorations
There isn’t a shortage of silk plants available to buy. From the large variety available, it can take time to find the right ones for your plants.
Depending on what you like and desire for your aquarium, here are a few of the best silk plants available.
1. Marina Ecoscaper Hydrocotyle Silk Plant
First up is the 8-inch Marina Ecoscaper Silk Plant. The translucent colors of the plant do not fade. It also provides secure and easy placement.
The plant has many stems at the base with leaves that protrude along it. It provides a fuller plant feature and does not take up a lot of room. The colors also shift from dark green to light green.
The silk plant undulates with the currents in the aquarium. It is realistic without being alive, so it is easy to maintain.
One issue with this plant is that it isn’t strong. There is no noted weight for the product, and it seems very lightweight. Many customers have complained that the base doesn’t have enough weight to keep it settled in the water.
- This silk plant is very lifelike and shifts according to the water currents.
- It is suitable for delicate fish, including Betta fish and goldfish.
- It is lightweight and might not stand up well in harsh currents.
- There could be sharp places. You should clip them with nail clippers before you put it in the water.
2. BEGONDIS Aquarium Decorations Fish Tank Artificial Green Water Plants
The BEGONDIS aquarium decoration is an artificial green water plant. It is safe for all water pets and fish and is also non-toxic. It stands 11.8 inches high.
The plant is very life-like and has a vibrantly green color. The color does not fade in the water.
The plant base includes three fern-style plants, which expand upward. Fish can swim through the leaves and hide behind them.
This plant is an excellent decoration for aquariums. It does not cause algae problems or change water quality.
- You get three different plants per package.
- The product adds a touch of whimsy to the tank without being overbearing.
- You cannot trim this aquarium plant. Make sure your tank is tall enough to accommodate the plants.
3. Marina Naturals Pennywort Silk Plant
The extra-large Marina Naturals Pennywort silk plant is suitable for larger tanks. It is up to 14 inches tall and has vibrant colors.
It is a plant decoration designed for aquariums. It has a natural-looking translucent color that does not fade in the water. It is easy to place in the tank, and it provides secure placement.
The silk material used allows it to undulate with the current and shift around freely.
The one issue with this product is that the base is quite small compared to the plant, which is large and wide. Thus, you should anchor it in the water by adding some pebbles over the base to keep it secure.
The product comforts aquatic pets, including fish. It is safe for any aquarium and any fish.
- You get a very large plant to add fun and whimsy to the tank.
- The colors are amazing and do not fade.
- The base is not large. You might have to place pebbles over it to keep it in place.
4. Marina Naturals Foreground Silk Plant
The Marina Naturals Foreground silk plant is bright red and has vibrant colors. You get a rugged base that looks like natural rocks. You get four stems with many red leaves, making it beautiful and full.
While this is a small plant, it is about six inches tall. You can also buy a two-pack version to get two different plants.
The plant moves with the currents, but it is also durable. The leaves shift as the fish move about and the water churns, making it look life-life. The colors will not fade, and the translucent colors look natural.
- The leaves of the plant are two-toned, making it look more realistic.
- The longer base makes it easy and secure to place.
- The leaves bunch together, so fish can knock it down if they try to swim through the leaves.
5. BiOrb Easy Plant Sets
The biOrb Easy Plant Sets are beautiful and add a touch of dimension to aquariums. They are ideal for delicate fish, such as Betta fish and goldfish. These fish have elongated or flowing fins that cannot get caught in the leaves.
You can use this plant set for saltwater, freshwater, and tropical aquariums.
You have three sizes available, including large, medium, and small. You can also buy a four-piece basket that includes four different plants. If you choose one set, you get a purple plant and a green one.
The design is exciting and unique. The plant sits in an orb-style base, which allows the plant to move about and come upright easily. The silk leaves move and shift with the currents, as well.
- You get two plants for the same price.
- The orb design is unique and makes placement easier.
- There is plenty of surfaces so that the fish can rest or nap.
- If you have a delicate fish, the spikes on the stems can be damaging. You can remove them with a sharp knife or nail clippers.
6. Rosewood Colourburst Floral African Sword Plant Ribbon
The Rosewood Colourburst Floral African Sword Plant is a beautiful plant. It has both leaves and flowers. The leaves range from dark purple to green, and the flowers are blue and yellow.
The silk leaves sway in the water’s current, giving you the appearance of a lifelike plant. The product does not contain metal, though the stems are plastic.
This product is safe for terrariums and aquariums. The resin base has some weight to it. Thus, it isn’t going to get knocked over by the current or the fish.
You have two sizes available: The large plant at 14 inches tall or the extra-large plant at 19 inches tall.
- The plant is very large, which helps to fill up the aquarium without having to buy many products.
- The colors are vibrant and do not fade with use or cleaning.
- Many consumers complain that the plant leans too much with the current.
- Many consumers claim that the product is too heavy. If you anchor it with pebbles from the bottom, there are no issues.
7. Blue Ribbon Vibran-Sea Flowering Cluster Assortment
The Blue Ribbon Vibran-Sea Flowering Cluster Assortment has three plants in each set. You can find five sets available:
- Amazon Broad Leaf
- So American
- Broad Leaf
The African version has variously shaped leaves and some flowers. It is all one color (light green).
The Amazon version includes green and blue leaves in various shapes. The Amazon Broad Leaf includes purple and light green leaves that are similar in shape.
The Broad Leaf variety includes various colors of green. It also has dark blue flowers and multi-shaped leaves.
The So American version has light and dark green/ blue leaves. It also has flowers and multi-shaped leaves.
Regardless of the cluster you choose, you get three different plants. The leaves are soft and silky, which is perfect for swaying in the current. The resin bases have weight to them and have no metal stems.
Some of the plant sets are smaller, and some include taller varieties. You can pick the ones that best fit your needs.
- You can choose from five different sets, which gives plenty of variety.
- Regardless of the set you choose, you get bushy and full floral clusters.
- Some customers claim that these plants are too rough for Betta fish and other delicate fish.
- Smaller fish (small platys and guppies) can get stuck between the branches.
8. Imagitarium Aqua Bloom Silk Aquarium Plant
The Imagitarium Aqua Bloom Silk Aquarium Plant is a beautiful plant. It includes two-tone leaves in blue and green. The leaves are thin and tall, making it ideal for your fish to hide and play.
This product adds natural beauty and interest to your aquarium. It also produces shelter for the fish. It is suitable for saltwater and freshwater environments. The weighted base is ideal for aquariums with a lot of water movement.
The plant is only six inches tall, which makes it suitable for smaller aquariums. The base has a variety of small pebbles and stones around it. This makes it look suitable in the aquatic environment.
The silkiness of the leaves is suitable for Bettas and other delicate fish.
- It is a smaller plant and is suitable for all aquarium sizes.
- The colors are amazing and look lifelike and natural. They go together with other plant colors, as well.
- Some consumers complain that the product they received was not the same as the picture. The center contains flowers with spiky, sharp points.
- Some consumers complain that the picture shows a fuller product.
9. Marina Ecoscaper Lobelia Silk Plant
The Marina Ecoscaper Lobelia Silk Plant is eight inches tall and has a solid base. The base resembles a rock, which provides a natural style for the aquarium.
On the base, you get three stems with a variety of green leaves of various heights. The product is lush and full around the middle. Fish can easily swim through the leaves, hide, or rest.
The silk plant decoration is natural-looking. The color does not fade with time or cleaning. The silk plants shift and undulate with the water currents, which makes it look natural.
The base, while wide, is not weighted. You may need to bury the base in the pebbles at the bottom of your tank for security. Many customers claim that it floats toward the bottom and doesn’t tip over.
- The plant looks good in your tank and is full and lush.
- The lifelike appearance makes it a fun favorite for fish.
- The nodes of leaves adjust; shift them up or down the stalk to your preferences.
- A few spots might be too sharp for Bettas; you may need to use scissors to remove them.
- Many consumers have complained of poor quality workmanship.
- The backside of the plant is not lifelike. This might not be a problem if the aquarium back faces a wall.
10. Red Anubias Leaf Betta Plant
The Red Anubias Leaf Betta Plant can help you create a beautiful aquarium. It is suitable for any tank or bowl, and it is safe for Betta fish and other delicate fish.
This plant includes a weighted resin-rock base, so it is going to stay in place regardless of how fast the fish swim. You can place it a variety of ways to create a hiding spot for your pet or allow it to explore.
Your Betta can explore the entirety of the plant to your enjoyment. This product works well with the Blue Spotted Amazon Sword plant and other Betta plants.
One slight downfall of the plant is that it is only two inches tall. Yet, it works well with other plants to create a habitat for your Betta.
- The colors are simple and contrast your Betta fish well.
- The product is safe for Betta fish fins and will not scratch or cut them.
- It is so attractive to Betta fish that they tend to flock to it and leave equipment alone.
- It is a small plant, but the product page describes it as such.
11. Amazon Sword Blue Spotted Betta Plant, Great for Betta Fish
The Blue Spotted Betta Plant, Amazon Sword is suitable for any sized bowl and tank. The resin weighted base looks like a rock and will stay firmly in place in your tank. It has wide stems from the base that come to large, wide green leaves.
Bettas can easily swim through the leaves, hide, or rest on the leaves. The silk leaves are suitable for Bettas because there are no sharp edges to scratch a delicate fish.
This product works well with the Blue Spotted Betta Log and many other Betta fish products.
While the product’s base is plastic, it does not include sharp pieces or metal. The leaves are silk fabric and will not injure the Betta. Because the leaves are fabric, they undulate in the water, making them appear lifelike.
- The wideness of the leaves allows the Betta fish to rest and play.
- The leaves do relax when in the water; they do not stand straight up as in the picture.
- The base is very heavy, so the fish don’t knock it over.
- Many consumers complain that the product is smaller than it appeared.
- Many consumers claim that the product isn’t high-quality and that workmanship isn’t up to par.
Why Are My Silk Aquarium Plants Turning Brown?
If you notice that your silk aquarium plants turn brown, it is from algae. The nitrates are too high within the water. Thus, you have organic matter somewhere in the tank that is decomposing.
The first step is to ensure that you filter your aquarium correctly. You should also make sure that you don’t have too many fish for the aquarium size.
If you are doing everything right, the nitrates could come from natural items in your tank. You may also have a beneficial bacteria colony that is inadequate for the amount of fish.
How to Clean Silk Aquarium Plants?
Once you have the silk aquarium plants you like, you need to know how to clean them. The first step is to remove them from the aquarium and rinse them in hot water to remove any algae.
Pour 1/2 cup of non-iodized salt into a small bowl. Create a paste by adding lemon juice. Use a toothbrush with some of the paste and scrub the plants to remove gunk and algae.
Rinse your silk plants under hot water once more. Remove the excess water and pat them dry if you prefer. You can also just put them back into the tank. If you have excessive algae build-up, consider adding a new Plecostomus at this stage.
Using silk aquarium plants is the best way to help your aquarium look lively and exciting. They can also protect your fish from cuts and scratches.
You can reduce the risk of killing live plants or having your fish eat them. You can also add color, depth, and excitement to the aquarium. The fish have something to play with, as well.
With the many varieties of faux plants out there, you have many choices. You can choose plastic plants, but these can be dangerous to some delicate fish. Silk plants work well because they look more natural.