If you have an aquarium, you would know how adding a few plants can change the whole aesthetic of your tank for the better. So, we’ve put together a list of the Best Artificial Aquarium Plants here for those not interested in the maintenance that real plants usually require, but still wanting that greenery effect.
|Top||CNZ- 13" plastic||4.5/5||Prime||View on AMAZON|
|TopTop||Tacobear- 20"||4.6/5||Prime||View on AMAZON|
|Top||Marina- silk||4.4/5||Prime||View on AMAZON|
|Top||MyLifeUNIT- 10 piece plastic||4.5/5||Prime||View on AMAZON|
|Top||MyLifeUNIT- Pack of 7 plastic||4.5/5||Prime||View on AMAZON|
|Top||Fluval Anubias- 12"||4.4/5||Prime||View on AMAZON|
|Top||SunGrow- silk||4.4/5||Prime||View on AMAZON|
Planted tanks are beautiful, but the time and effort it takes to maintain them is not always enjoyable or possible. Luckily, there are some great alternatives to decorate your tank, without the stress or fuss of keeping everything running smoothly.
Keep reading for our Best Recommendations of Artificial Plants for your Aquarium.
(We have provided a recommended list of plants specific for long finned betta fish. Learn more HERE)
Best Artificial Aquarium Plants for Your Aquarium Reviews
The Smarlin Aquarium Plants Decoration is the perfect non-toxic and ‘fish-safe’ plant for your tank. It’s a gentle option that is guaranteed to not be harmful to your fish.
The blades give that realistic look as they are easy to move. They offer a lovely green color to be added to the tank too, creating a more natural look.
The presence of a heavy base helps keep the plant in place. Even if the water moves a little, the base will prevent the plant from moving through the aquarium.
- Value for money
- Lots of green
- Large 10″
- Not suitable for large finned betta fish
Coming from a leading brand, the CNZ Aquarium Fish Tank Green Lifelike Plant is expected to be good quality and beautiful. And this model does not disappoint as it offers good looks and overall durability.
Most artificial underwater plants will need a clean from time to time, and most find this plant easy to clean thanks to the materials used to make it. Creating a fast and simple process.
Having the ceramic base also gives it great stability to stay strong in your tank.
Some find it an excellent hiding place for fish along with making a nice decoration for the aquarium.
- Large 13″
- Good stability
- Aesthetic look
- Easy to clean
- Leaf color fades over time
The CNZ Aquarium Decor Fish Tank Decoration has been designed with vibrant green colors to add life to your tank. It has a well thought-out natural look, being hard to distinguish from the real thing once placed in the aquarium.
This plant model requires very minimal maintenance, only cleaning irregularly to keep it looking good for a longer period of time.
The base is made of ceramic material. It is heavy enough to keep the plant from moving in the aquarium. Along with being a safe, non-toxic option for your fish.
- Wide variety to select from
- Minimal maintenance
- Ceramic base
- None that we can see
The Jardin Plastic Aquarium Tank Plants Grass Decoration is an excellent addition to give your tank a bit more character. Plus, the vibrant green color doesn’t fade easily in its underwater environment.
Size-wise, these plants are ideal for most aquariums. Setting up is easy as they also come with a heavy duty base, preventing the plants from swinging around the aquarium.
You can get a lot of plants for the price, enough to decorate an entire aquarium of a medium size. These plants can also provide a resting place for the fish in your tanks or ponds.
- 10 piece set (fill tank)
- 6.5″ tall
- Color lighter than advertized
- Quality not the best
- Not suitable for large finned betta fish
The Tacobear Artificial Aquatic Plastic Plant is another popular option due to their resemblance to real plants. It’s soft and a friendly choice for your fish, and won’t add any toxins to the tank environment.
The manufacturer uses high-quality materials in combination with a ceramic base. The material is good for flexibility, which gives the plant a realistic influence in the water.
The deep green color is fade resistant, making it good for your aquarium for years to come.
- Tall 20″
- Ceramic base
- Flexible and realistic
- Gradient color
- Soft plastics
- Recommended to leach new plants before placing in aquarium
Are you looking for a set with more variety, we recommend Pietypet Artificial Aquatic Plants. The set comes with 7 pieces, each offering different heights, colors and shapes.
All of the plants in the set are bright, vibrant colors, including purple, pink and green. This provides a dramatic and eye-catching aesthetic to your aquarium.
By using plastic material you don’t have to worry about maintenance, all they need is a little regular cleaning. In addition, the plants are rust and rot free compared to other alternatives.
The plants are also supplied with a pedestal. It is placed on the bottom of the aquarium to hold them tightly.
- Soft leaves
- 10 piece set
- Heavy pedestal (stay in substrate)
- Vibrant colors
- Rust and rot free
- Plastic leaves harder than advertized
The Marina Naturals Foreground Silk Plant is a brightly colored, high quality choice to assist in an aquarium makeover.
The colors on this product don’t fade so you don’t have to worry about buying a new plant every few months. Cleaning is also an easy process and is the only maintenance they should need.
Setup is quick and easy, with a weighted base will always prevent it from swinging around, giving the aquarium a natural, secure look.
Due to its size, many consider it good for tanks of many sizes.
- 6″ tall
- Vibrant color
- None that we could see
The biOrb Easy Plant Set is a 12 piece of aquarium set decoration. It is enough to decorate the entire aquarium and make it look great. This model also contains sculptures to give the aquarium a unique look.
This model is full of vivid colors, great for eye-catching and aesthetic purposes.
Because the decoration is made of high-quality materials, durability is always guaranteed. The materials are still safe for the fish to play with.
This model is safe for saltwater, freshwater or tropical aquariums.
- 12 piece set
- Sculptures included
- High grade material
- Decorate an entire aquarium
- Not suitable for long finned betta fish
- Not as soft as advertized
- Some reviews say green dye leaches
This Ecoscaper Lobelia Silk Plant is relatively inexpensive, has a good foundation and we find has a touch more color compared to other realistic fakes.
In aquatic landscapes it can be used as an alternative to plants such as Cryptocroyne sp. to create relatively dense foliage. The stems tend to be a bit drooping, but the use of hot water seems to reset the thermoplastic material used in their construction to counteract this. Just heat, dip and straighten.
There are some complaints about quality control on all Marina artificial plants. However, the vast majority of the plants seem to look great in the tank.
This Lobelia art is an excellent example of a realistic silk plant.
- Undulates with current
- Translucent color
- Won’t fade
- 8″ tall
- Not best quality
- Some reviews say not realistic
Realistic plants are not limited to silk versions. The MyLifeUNIT Artificial Seaweed Water Plants soft PVC material are a great addition to most tanks. You can use the entire set to dense part of your tank, with the same uses as plants of the genus Vallisneria.
The most popular color to get is green for its bright, cheerful look, but there are a few other color variations too if you want to get psychedelic. The fish can move between the leaves, so it does not deny them the use of any part of the tank.
As with all plastic plants, the shipping climate is important. A quick dip in hot water will help resolve any warping that occurs during hot weather shipping.
Other than that, these are a great way to get a tall, grassy look in the tank.
- Sways in water
- Soft leaves
- Grassy effect
- 10 piece set
- Color washes out over time
The MyLifeUNIT Artificial Aquariums Plants are made of cheap plastic, but are relatively soft. We would recommend skipping them for a Betta tank, but they are an excellent candidate for a peaceful community tank.
This is a cheaper option for tank decorations and you receive a lot of plants for the price. Considering, they are worth the price for creating an attractive busy water landscape with a variety of colors.
Unfortunately, they don’t look realistic. I would also take a look at the edges where they broke from the mold.
But they are the cheapest way to populate the water landscape from a large tank, and some of the “ground covers” are elegant.
- Set of 7
- Ceramic bases
- Not best quality
- Unrealistic look
The Fluval Anubias Plant comes from a brand that create some of the most realistic artificial plants we can find.
The Anubias variation is a great one, closely resembling an undefined Anubias species. Which is a smart move as even a real Anubias plant can look like plastic when it’s completely clean.
This plant is a longer lasting option with colors that won’t fade, and soft leaves for your fish to play in.
- Won’t fade
- Long lasting
- 12″ tall
- Tends to pull out of substrate
- Quality issues
This SunGrow Plastic Leaf Plant for Freshwater is over 10″ tall, making it too big for small aquariums, but perfect for those with a larger tank.
It doesn’t look much like a plant. Instead, it looks more like a composite of many of the plants available for use in aquariums. It also stands out on its own, making it a good choice for nurseries.
So whilst it’s big and doesn’t resemble specific individual plants, it can be a great centrepiece in your aquarium.
- Silk leaves
- Fin safe
- Heavy ceramic base (holds down)
- Leaves are darker than advertized
Aquarium Plants Artificial vs. Real: Which Is Better?
It is common to find aquarium owners who have some difficulty in choosing between artificial and real plants.
Many people who have real plants tend to be proud of how they took care of them. Real plants can grow easily, filling up aquarium space with ease, and creating that natural tank look.
Real plants can also function by absorbing CO2 and greatly helping to purify the water. They have a symbiotic relationship with the fish by releasing oxygen, and some can reduce algae growth, providing services artificial plants can’t.
However, artificial plants might be beneficial due to the fact that they need next to no maintenance, apart from a bit of cleaning. You don’t need to worry about keeping a balanced nutrient environment for the plants, and you can always switch out plants for ones that suit your desired aesthetic more.
So which one is the best? It all comes down to personal preference. For those people who may not have enough time to care for the tank, it is better to use artificial plants. Make sure to get one that is made of safe materials to keep your fish safe.
How Do You Decorate the Aquarium with Artificial Plants?
First, you need to get the best artificial plants for your specific aquarium. This means that you choose the right plant shape, size, color and type. You can get several if you want to give your aquarium a dynamic look.
Once you have the plants, you have the creative control over where and how you want to decorate your tank.
Now is the time to place the plant in the bottom of the aquarium. Most would come on a weighted base. Check if they need to be buried or are able to just sit on top of your tank substrate.
Some add pebbles around the plants as a way to keep it low. Now let your fish enjoy the new environment.
How Do You Clean Artificial Aquarium Plants?
It is common for algae to accumulate around artificial plants, but the process of cleaning is simple.
First, you should rinse the artificial plant under running hot water. The hot water quickly removes algae and other dirt.
Next, you can whiten the plant to further remove any debris from the plants. Don’t worry about bleach as the plants should have a protective coating to prevent discoloration.
Always wear gloves and eye protection when using bleach. Rinse the plants in hot water again before placing them back in the aquarium.
Frequently Asked Questions About Artificial and Silk Aquarium Plants
Are silk plants different from artificial plants?
- Silk plants are considered a type of artificial plant. Silk plants move with the flow of a tank, unlike standard artificial plants that tend to get stuck in water. They are usually made of plastic or silicone cloth.
Are silk aquarium plants made from silk?
- In most cases no. Artificial plants of all kinds were originally made from silk. In the modern world it is much cheaper and easier to use plastic. As long as the plastic is correctly woven, there is no difference in the properties of the plant.
Can I combine artificial and real plants?
- Absolutely. It is usually done by those who want an aquarium to look “finished” when they first put their flora in the aquarium. Combining them can also be done long term, allowing the hobbyist to focus on easy plants such as Echinodorous sp. while still creating a lush water landscape.
Can I place silk plants with aggressive fish?
- This is one of the most common uses for them. Cichlids, for example, are smart, get bored quickly and powerfully, making them plant killers. Well-made plants can withstand punishment, giving you the illusion of an aquarium planted with very aggressive fish.
What can I do with the spikes on an artificial aquarium plant?
- I don’t recommend buying hard plastic plants, especially for fish that like to rub. If you do and you can’t get rid of it, you can often file the problem area with a steel needle file.
What if my fish keep moving my artificial plants?
- It happens from time to time. You may want to stick with tough landscaping items for these fish. Those like African cichlids don’t really need plants. On the other hand, you can use solid wood elements to secure the base. Make sure to use stone instead of driftwood, most fish are surprisingly strong.
What is the best material for artificial aquarium plants?
- Silicone is the high-quality material used today. It creates a safe and rubbery texture on plants and lasts a long time, although more difficult to clean if algae gets into pores. Plastic “cloth” is also a good idea because it flows naturally in water and looks great.
Best Artificial Aquarium Plants- Final Comments
The Best Artificial Aquarium Plants are often preferred over real plants for the many low-maintenance benefits they offer. It is easy for you to transform your aquarium with good quality aquarium plants in an instant without having to wait for them to grow. There is no limit to the vibrant colors, shapes and sizes when choosing artificial plants from our list above.
You may be interested in reading our reviews and guide on Best Live and Artificial Plants for Betta Fish HERE.