Choosing The Right Silk Aquarium Plants

When choosing the best silk plants for your aquarium, considers where your fish originated and their natural environment.

Choose Plants That Are Appropriate

Before you choose what type of silk plants you want to put into your aquarium, it is important you consider where your fish originated and what their needs are. Plants should be natural looking, easy to swim through and provide protection or shade. Choose plants that reflect the natural environment of your fish and they will be healthier, happier and more likely to spawn.

When choosing floating plants be careful they are not so small they could clog the filter or be eaten by your fish. Small plants may look nice, but they can also be a danger to your fish and aquarium. Freestanding stem plants should be weighted sufficiently (I prefer a resin base) to ensure drift-free positioning.

As with every living creature, fish thrive best in a stress free secure environment and most need a place to get away or hide. Shy fish such as the Apistogramma for example, like to feel safely surrounded by plants. Spawning fish that need a fry shelter would appreciate floating or tall cluster plants. A floating fern like the Giant Salvinia (salvinia molesta) is great for breeding, hiding and blocking light. If the fry are known to stay near the bottom you may want to consider a plant like a java moss. The bottom line is, familiarize yourself with the needs of your fish "before" you introduce decorative silk plants into their home.

There are a few simple things you can do to make your aquarium look as close to nature as possible. One is to choose plants that could actually grow in your aquarium if they were living plants. Use salt-water plants in a salt-water aquarium and fresh water plants in a fresh water aquarium.

Examples of salt-water plants:

Acetabularia calyculus

Udotea flabellum

Dictyota Rossa

Examples of fresh water plants:

Parrot's Feather


Green Tiger Lotus

Another thing to consider is the brightness or intensity of the lighting are you using. In nature some plants do well in low light and others need very bright. If your aquarium uses less than 2 watts per gallon it would be considered low lighting, and more than 3 watts per gallon would be considered high lighting. Once you have determined what type of lighting your aquarium has, do your homework and find out what plants prefer this lighting in nature.

Last But Not Least

It is always best to purchase your silk plants at the aquatic shop or pet store. These plants are made especially for aquarium use and will be safe. If you do decide to purchase plants at a florist, craft or department store, try to find plants that are labeled "for aquarium use". If the plants do not have this label check all tags to be sure they have not been treated with chemicals that could contaminate your aquarium. Choose soft silk plants to prevent your fish from snagging or tearing their fins. Plants should have no sharp edges and be free of metal that can rust.

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