Are Plastic Plants Bad for Fish? Everything You Should Know!

Although most aquarists are often live plants lovers, there are numerous reasons to go for plastic or silk plants in an aquarium.

Plastic plants can’t accidentally be killed, they can’t be consumed by hungry fish, and they usually look pretty and vibrant. Just make sure there are no wires exposed in the plants since it can rust your tank.

So, are plastic plants bad for fish, what are the pros and cons of plastic aquarium plants?

Are Plastic Plants Bad for Fish?

Are fake plants safe for fish?
Fish tank


  • Plastic plants don’t have any special requirements such as fertilizing, substrates, pH, or temperature, so you can place them anywhere in your aquarium.
  • Plastic plants always come ready to use and in clean packages, so they are unlikely to carry any parasites or diseases.
  • These plants cannot be eaten or damaged by fish and will not decay, so filters won’t clog, and the plants can maintain their shape for a longer time.
  • Though they appear almost the same, plastic plants are less expensive than live plants. They even come with unusual and glowing colors that can invigorate your aquarium.
  • Plastic plants require less maintenance and are less time-consuming as well as easier to clean.


  • Plastic plants don’t absorb nitrates or carbon dioxide in the water nor offer fish oxygen. As such, they have no biological value in your aquarium.
  • They don’t offer any alternative food source for the fish.
  • Plastic plants may harm sensitive fish. Silk plants are more delicate, but you still need to be careful with the fish in your aquarium.
  • Although plastic plants don’t inhibit algae growth, they don’t help with it either.

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Artificial Plastic Plants that are Safe for Fish

Artificial Plastic Plants that are Safe for Fish

Although most artificial aquarium plants are not safe for fish, there are some that are totally non-toxic. Here are some non-toxic plastic aquarium plants:

1. MyLifeUniteSeaweed Plastic Aquarium Plants

If you want to keep some artificial seaweed in your aquarium, this product can be for you. These plastic plants are made from a relatively soft plastic material, so they cannot scratch your fish. In addition, these plants are made from non-poisonous PVC plastic material, which is totally safe for your fish.

Each set comes with 10 plant’s pieces, and each piece has its own pottery base.

MyLifeUnite seaweed plastic plant has a bright green color which appears unusual and glows at night if you keep the night light on in your aquarium.

2. CousDUoBe Plastic Aquarium Plants

This product contains 11 pieces of artificial plastic aquarium plants.

Since these 11 plants have different sizes, you can place some of them in the background, some in the midground, and some in the foreground of your aquarium.

These plants have a beautiful and vibrant color, and their leaves are very attractive. Furthermore, these plants have a relatively broad base, so you can easily plant them on your substrate. Also, its solid pottery base doesn’t affect the chemistry of the water in your tank.

However, before placing these plants in your aquarium, you should soak them in clean water for at least one day. Then, allow it to dry, and you can now plant them in your tank.

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3. Otterly Plastic Aquarium Plants

If you are looking for vibrant aquarium plants for your large tank (20 gallons or more), then this plastic plant is the perfect package for you.

This plant comes with eight different types of plastic aquarium plants, and each plant varies from one another in terms of size, shape, and color.

Otterlyplastic plants are made from non-poisonous material, so they are totally safe for your fish. Furthermore, they don’t contain any metal, so they are free from rusting.

The solid ceramic base of this plant doesn’t affect the quality of water in your aquarium. The unique thing about the ceramic base of this plant is that you can actually remove the leafy part when you want to clean it.

However, this can sometimes cause issues since the green part of some plants may break easily in your tank.

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FAQs About Plastic Plants for Aquarium

Are Silk Aquarium Plants Better Than Plastic Plants?

Silk aquarium plants have several benefits over plastic aquarium plants.

– Silk aquarium plants appear more natural in a tank setting and have light materials that allow them to float in water, just like a live aquarium plant.
– Since plastic aquarium plants are more rigid than silk, they can scratch a fish when it rushes directly into the plant. On the other hand, silk aquarium plants are very soft, so a fish won’t get scratched even if it directly runs into them.
– Some fish like to nibble on the plants. So, if there are plastic aquarium plants in your tank, it may hurt your fish. Silk aquarium plants will not cause any harm even if your fish nibble at it.

Should I Use Plastic or Live Plants in My Aquarium?

Both plastic and live aquarium plants have their pros and cons.

There are many benefits of keeping live plants, but at the same time, you will need to give some time to take care of them in your aquarium.

Furthermore, you will need to spend some money providing lighting and supplements such as temperature, PH, or fertilizers.

On the other hand, plastic aquarium plants don’t offer the benefits that natural aquarium plants provide, but you don’t need to give them any time to maintain and take care of them.

If you are ready to give some time and spend money, you can go for live plants. But if you don’t want to give any time or spend money, then it is good to go for plastic plants.

Are Plastic Plants Safe for Betta Fish?

Plastic aquarium plants are made from delicate plastic materials, so they are usually safe for Betta fish.

A good way to check whether the plastic aquarium plants are safe for your Betta fish or not is to run pantyhose over the plastic plants.

If the pantyhose gets torn or snagged, then it is not safe for the delicate fins of Betta fish, and in this case, you should go for silk aquarium plants.

Generally, artificial plastic plants meant to keep in an aquarium are totally safe for fish.

When purchasing plastic plants for your aquarium, just be sure to inspect the packaging and check whether it’s mentioned that it is safe for the aquarium ecosystem or not. If it isn’t mentioned, you can contact the manufacturer to become certain about it.


PetHelpful: Live vs. Artificial Aquarium Plants: Which Are Better?

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