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Home > Fish > 9 Best Artificial, Plastic & Silk Plants for Aquariums in 2024: Review & Top Picks

9 Best Artificial, Plastic & Silk Plants for Aquariums in 2024: Review & Top Picks

Plastic Aquarium Plants_HuyPhan_Unsplash

Looking to add a little greenery to your fish tank? Check out our top picks for artificial plants that are safe for aquariums in 2024. These plants come in a variety of materials, including plastic, silk, and artificial turf.  Artificial plants can be a fun and easy way to add a little life to your aquarium, but they come with a few important considerations.

In this article, we will give you our top picks for the best plastic, silk, and artificial plants for aquariums in 2023. Whether you’re looking for a low-maintenance option or something flashy and exciting, we’ve got you covered!

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A Quick Comparison of Our Winners (2024)

Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Marineland Bamboo for Aquariums & Terrariums Marineland Bamboo for Aquariums & Terrariums
  • Looks and feels like natural bamboo
  • Great for fish to hide in
  • Durable
  • Best Value
    Second place
    Otterly Pets Aquarium Plants Otterly Pets Aquarium Plants
  • Features blue, green, and purple faux plants
  • Plastic is non-toxic, so it won't negatively affect water chemistry
  • Their size is 4-12 inches, so they will fit in tanks of up to 20 gallons
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    Marina Mangrove Root Aquarium Décor Marina Mangrove Root Aquarium Décor
  • The design mimics the twists and bends of mangrove roots
  • Works well with aquarium backgrounds and aquascapes
  • Made of non-toxic polyurethane
  • Penn-Plax Betta Multi-Color Aquarium Plants Penn-Plax Betta Multi-Color Aquarium Plants
  • Six plants to decorate your aquarium
  • Plants come in vivid colors
  • They look like real aquatic plants
  • Current Weighted Base Manzanita Branches Current Weighted Base Manzanita Branches
  • Brightens up the bottom of your aquarium
  • Realistic texture mimics real live plants and won't fade
  • Pre-mounted on a weighted base of natural stone
  • The 9 Best Artificial, Plastic & Silk Plants for Aquariums

    1. Marineland Bamboo for Aquariums – Best Overall

    Marineland Bamboo

     

    Dimensions: 13.5 x 8.75 x 2 inches
    Type of aquarium: Freshwater or saltwater
    Material: Bamboo
    Species: Fish, frogs, turtles, snakes, lizards, newts, lizards

    The Marineland Bamboo for Aquariums & Terrariums is the best artificial aquarium plant because it is made of a complex material that makes it look and feel like natural bamboo. This plant is great for both aquariums and terrariums, and it is 3-feet tall, making it one of the tallest artificial plants available. It is also very easy to care for, requiring no maintenance besides occasional cleaning. This plant has a realistic appearance, and it is also very durable. In addition, it allows fish a place to hide, which reduces stress.

    By burying the bamboo in the gravel, you can anchor it to the bottom, or you can remove the base if you want the bamboo to float freely on top. Your aquarium will appear more natural when you use realistic fake plants like this one. One drawback with this product is that fancy fish with soft fins may cut themselves on it.

    Pros
    • Looks and feels like natural bamboo
    • Great for fish to hide in
    • Durable
    • Can be attached to the aquarium base or left free-floating
    Cons
    • Some fish may cut their fins on the fronds

    2. Otterly Pets Aquarium Plants – Best Value

    Otterly Pets Aquarium Plants

    Dimensions: 13 x 8.5 x 2 inches
    Type of aquarium: Freshwater or saltwater
    Material: Plastic and ceramic
    Species: Fish and reptiles

    The Otterly Pets Aquarium Plants are designed to provide an attractive addition to any aquarium while also helping to provide a natural habitat for fish. The plants are made of durable, non-toxic plastic that will not fade or rot, and they are easy to install in any tank. These plants are great value and the best artificial aquarium plants for the money — eight plants for the price of one!.

    The plants are made of a complex blend of materials that make them look and feel like real plants. They do not require any maintenance and will last for years. The plants measure between 4–-12 inches tall, making them suitable for tanks up to 20 gallons.

    Pros
    • Features blue, green, and purple faux plants
    • Plastic is non-toxic, so it won’t negatively affect water chemistry
    • Will fit in tanks of up to 20 gallons
    • Ceramic pedestals keep plants from floating and help weigh them down
    • The realism of plants without the maintenance
    Cons
    • The brighter colors may not appeal to everyone
    • You will need to wash them thoroughly before putting them in your tank

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    3. Marina Mangrove Root Aquarium Décor – Premium Choice

    Marina Mangrove Root Aquarium Décor, Large

    Dimensions: ​​14 x 12.5 x 10.5 inches
    Type of aquarium: Freshwater or saltwater
    Material: Polyurethane
    Species: Fish

    This artificial aquarium plant is designed to look like a mangrove root. It is made of a durable plastic that will not fade or rot, and it is easy to clean. The plant is large and realistic, making it a great choice for adding interest to your tank. It can be used to create a natural-looking environment for your fish or to conceal unsightly equipment. The Marina Mangrove Root Aquarium Decor is a premium choice product, and it’s sure to add a touch of realism to any aquarium setup. It can look a little stark on its own, though, so you will need to add other plants around it to create hiding areas and visual interest.

    Pros
    • Mimics the twists and bends of mangrove roots
    • Works well with aquarium backgrounds and aquascapes
    • Made of non-toxic polyurethane
    Cons
    • Some owners report flaking and algae build-up
    • Many fishkeepers recommend sealant before submerging this product

    4. Penn-Plax Betta Multi-Color Aquarium Plants

    Penn-Plax Betta Multi-Color Aquarium Plants

    Dimensions: ​​7.5 x 5.85 x 1.5 inches
    Type of aquarium: Freshwater
    Material: Plastic
    Species: Betta

    The Penn-Plax Betta Multi-Color Aquarium Plants are a great option for those who are looking for a plastic plant to add to their aquarium. Although these plants are plastic, they look and feel like real plants. They also come in a variety of vibrant colors, which can add some life to an aquarium. This product is perfect for people who want to add plants to their aquarium without having to worry about taking care of live plants.

    The plants are designed to be suitable for betta fish, but there are mixed reports on their suitability for bettas, though, with some fishkeepers reporting cut fins.

    Pros
    • Six plants to decorate your aquarium
    • Plants come in vivid colors
    • They look like real aquatic plants
    Cons
    • Maybe a bit sharp for betta

    5. Current Weighted Base Manzanita Branches

    Current USA Weighted Base Black Manzanita Branches Aquarium Plant

    Dimensions: ​​2 x 1.5 x 1.5 inches
    Type of aquarium: Freshwater
    Material: Plastic, stone
    Species: Fish

    The Current USA Weighted Base Manzanita Branches Aquarium Plant is a great American-made plastic aquarium plant that is perfect for adding decoration and life to your tank. These plants provide excellent ground cover, while the leaves add a beautiful green touch. This product contains six plastic aquarium plants. They are weighted base plants, which means they stay in place better in the tank than other types of plants.

    These plants are great for adding decoration and hiding spots to your tank, and they are very easy to care for. These are great for balancing larger elements, but as they are tiny, they are not useful for larger fish.

    Pros
    • Brightens up the bottom of your aquarium
    • Realistic texture mimics real live plants and won’t fade
    • Pre-mounted on a weighted base of natural stone
    • Safe for aquariums, completely non-toxic, and won’t change water chemistry
    Cons
    • More aesthetic than functional if you have larger fish

    6. Aquatop Weighted Base Aquarium Plant

    Aquatop Weighted Base Aquarium Plant

    Dimensions: ​​12 x 10 x 2 inches
    Type of aquarium: Freshwater or saltwater
    Material: Plastic
    Species: Fish

    The Aquatop Weighted Base Aquarium Plant is a great plastic aquarium plant. It is weighted at the base, which keeps it in place in the aquarium and prevents it from floating to the top. The plant is 12 inches tall and green in color, making it an attractive addition to any aquarium. It is made of durable plastic and can be easily cleaned with a brush or cloth.

    Aquatop’s Weighted Base Aquarium Plant is a great way to add some life to your aquarium and the plant is safe and non-toxic for fish and other aquatic animals.

    Pros
    • Covers and secures your fish while blending into the habitat
    • Blending into the habitat
    • Features intricate details and color variations
    • Combines well with other plants
    • A maintenance-free alternative to real plants
    Cons
    • Must be buried in gravel

    7. GloFish Aquarium Plant

    GloFish Aquarium Plant

    Dimensions: ​​1.14 x 3.58 x 6.69 inches
    Type of aquarium: Freshwater or saltwater
    Material: Plastic
    Species: Fish

    The GloFish Aquarium Plant is a unique plastic aquarium plant that glows neon under UV lights. This plant is made from durable materials that will last in your aquarium for a long time. The GloFish Aquarium Plant also makes a beautiful addition to your tank and will help to create an underwater environment that is both beautiful and striking. GloFish aquarium plants are great for adding color and life to your tank.

    They come in a variety of colors, including pink, blue, and green, and they all get extra special with UV lights in play. These plants are made of plastic and are very easy to care for. Simply place them in your tank and bury the base under gravel.

    Pros
    • A glowing “luminescence” effect comes to life under a blue LED light
    • Includes a buried “rock substrate” that can be easily buried under aquarium gravel
    • Choose from a variety of colors and styles
    Cons
    • A little more expensive than similar products on this list

    8. Tetra Pond Floating Water Lily Aquarium Decor

    Tetra Pond Floating Water Lily Aquarium Decor

    Dimensions: 2 x 6 x 7 inches
    Type of aquarium: Freshwater
    Material: Plastic
    Species: Koi and goldfish, frogs

    This is a great plastic aquarium plant that can be used to decorate tanks with koi and goldfish. It is realistically detailed and very lifelike, making it a great addition to any aquarium. The Tetra Pond Floating Water Lily Aquarium Decor is a great plastic aquarium plant that is especially appropriate for decorating koi and goldfish tanks.

    Water lilies and goldfish are a perfect match, and this version gives you a beautiful look without any maintenance. They also provide a shady spot for your finned and amphibious friends to rest from the heat.

    Pros
    • The look of a water lily without any hassle
    • A shady place for fish to hide
    • A great floating faux plant option
    • Works well with koi and goldfish
    Cons
    • When you order you can’t choose between colors

    9. SunGrow Tall Plastic Leaf Plants for Fish Aquarium

    SunGrow Tall & Large Artificial Plastic Leaf Plants for Fish Aquarium Decoration & Reptile Hideout

    Dimensions: 3.4 x 1.3 x 1 inches
    Type of aquarium: Freshwater or saltwater
    Material: Plastic, silk, and ceramic
    Species: Fish and reptiles

    This is a beautiful plastic aquarium plant. It is made to look like real plants, and it is a wonderful addition to any fish tank. Made of high-quality plastic, it is durable and will make your fish tank look more natural. The SunGrow Tall & Large Artificial Plastic Leaf Plants for Fish Aquarium are great for adding some life to your tank made from strong plastic and soft silk, so they can stand up to the rigors of being in an aquarium.

    Pros
    • Made from high-quality plastic
    • Suitable for fish, lizards, and amphibians
    • Silk leaves are pet-safe
    Cons
    • Quite small for the price

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    Buyer’s Guide: Buying the Best Plastic, Silk, and Artificial Plants for Aquariums

    There are several factors to consider when choosing the right artificial plant. You should carefully consider these factors before making your purchase since they will affect the appearance and feel of your fish tank.

    Fish Compatibility

    Compatibility should be the first consideration. Make sure the plant you choose does not pose any danger to your tank‘s inhabitants.

    Delicate Fish

    Consider silk leaves or soft plastic with a blunt edge if you have delicate fish or long-finned fish, as they are pliable and flexible for easier navigation. You can prevent cuts and injuries to your fish by doing this.

    Aggressive Fish

    Those with aggressive fish should also look for a plant that has denser and more rigid leaves. A particularly determined fish can cut silk and plastic, so it’s best to choose a plant that can withstand these attacks. If your tank is home to herbivorous fish species, the same principle applies. Choose something that will remain intact, as you don’t want the leaves to detach too easily.

    Shy Fish

    Last but not least, your artificial plant should provide cover for fish that require it. Because dwarf shrimp are timid and intimidated by humans, they would need more plants that double as shelters for fish and invertebrates. Giving them the privacy they deserve is a great way to make them feel at home.

    Shy Fish in aquarium_DanielCorneshi_Unsplash
    Image Credit: Daniel Corneschi, Unsplash

    Aquarium Size

    Your tank’s dimensions and size are another crucial factor to consider. In order to create a striking visual impact, taller plants are needed for larger tanks. If you want to be inspired, think of how aquatic plants thrive in the wild. Smaller tanks, however, require shorter artificial plants, but this doesn’t mean that they can’t look impressive. It also doesn’t make sense to buy a plant that is too tall for your aquarium.

    Be sure to keep the fake plant’s height and width equal, so you don’t end up with a lopsided aquascape. An elegant, balanced aquarium will look amazing from every angle.

    Faux Plant Material Quality

    Over time, fake plants—, especially those made of silk and plastic—, will wear down. It is possible for something that was originally green to turn white or yellowish after 2–3 years. Whenever possible, choose artificial plants of high quality. Low-quality plants will degrade sooner rather than later. If you can afford it, buy quality artificial plants that can last for years even if they are exposed to water daily.

    Plant Base Stability

    Plastic Plant quality_JerryWang_Unsplash
    Image Credit: Jerry Wang, Unsplash

    Stability is an important aspect of an artificial plant, regardless of its appearance. Plastic plants with weak bases are the last thing you want in your tank. Both the weight of the water and your fish could cause the plants to topple over, and it would be a real shame if that happened. You can choose a weighted faux plant that stands upright on its own even if the tank has a powerful filter inside.

    When you place the fake plant inside the water-filled tank, you can test its stability by seeing whether it wobbles under pressure. Check the product description of the item you are thinking of buying—most manufacturers will provide information on base stability on their websites. In the event that a particular faux plant isn’t stable enough, its base may be too lightweight to counterbalance the plant’s weight and design.

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    Conclusion

    In conclusion, artificial aquarium plants are a great way to decorate your tank while also providing some added benefits. They can help to maintain the water quality because they don’t change the chemistry of the tank and they provide fish with lots of places to hide.

    We love the Marineland Bamboo for Aquariums & Terrariums for its ultra-natural wispy good looks. We also rate the durable and sturdy Otterly Pets Aquarium Plants highly. Though more expensive, the Marina Mangrove Root Aquarium Décor adds a dramatic element to your tank. If you’re looking for a way to dress up your aquarium or want to add some extra features, artificial plants are a great option!

    See also: 7 Best Plants That Flourish in Hard-Water Aquariums — Review & Buyer’s Guide


    Featured Image Credit: Huy Phan, Unsplash

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