We all want a beautiful aquarium, and many different species of fish and invertebrates prefer a well-planted, protected environment. However, not all tanks are suitable for living plants. Plants, of course, require light, but many also require nutritional supplementation and, in certain cases, CO2 supplementation. Not to add that most plants grow best when they are not frequently uprooted or eaten by fish. Goldfish, we’re staring at you.
The good news for anyone who desires a planted tank but is unable to achieve it for one reason or another is that fake aquarium plants are available in a wide range of colors and sizes, from whimsical to realistic. Fake aquarium plants, with the exception of normal cleaning and the occasional reseating inside the tank, require none of the time and work that genuine plants do.
We’ve compiled reviews of the top 10 best fake aquarium plants to assist you in selecting the correct imitation plants for your tank. Whether you want to give refuge for your fry or brighten up your tank, there’s something for you here!
The 10 Best Fake Aquarium Plants Reviews in 2021
Otterly Pets Aquarium Plants – Best Overall
Otterly Pets Aquarium Plants are the greatest overall choice for artificial aquarium plants. These artificial plants are brilliant green, blue, and purple, and they add fun as well as realism to your tank. This bundle comprises eight plants ranging in height from 4 to 12 inches.
These imitation plants are composed of ecologically friendly plastic, which is harmless and non-metallic. This means they are unlikely to decompose over the life of your tank and will not change the pH of the water in your aquarium. These feature built-in ceramic pedestals with enough weight to hold them in place, but not heavy enough to discourage determined fish from moving them about.
The number and size of plants in this pack make it an excellent choice for tanks 20 gallons and more, but it will most likely be too huge for tanks less than 20 gallons. While they are ecologically safe, they are not eco-friendly, which means they will contribute to the overpopulation of plastic in landfills, especially if you do not intend to retain them for an extended period of time.
- Vibrant and colorful
- The pack contains eight plants ranging in height from 4 to 12 inches. The plants are made of environmentally friendly, non-toxic plastic.
- The pH of the aquarium will not be affected.
- They are held in place by built-in ceramic pedestals.
- Ideal for tanks of 20 gallons or greater.
- Environmentally safe but not environmentally friendly
GloFish Plastic Aquarium Plant – Best Value
GloFish Plastic Aquarium Plants are the greatest artificial aquarium plants for the money. These plants come in ten different hues and kinds, with the majority of them available in numerous sizes ranging from small to extra-large, ranging in height from 5 to 15 inches.
These plants are designed to glow beneath the GloFish tank lights, and while they are all colorful in their own right, the lights will bring forth a variety of intriguing hues. Some options include monochrome, while others are colorful. Each has a built-in, stone-look base that also serves as a weight to keep them in place. These artificial plants are designed to swing and move with the flow of water, giving them a natural, genuine movement. Every plant has wireframing embedded within the plastic, allowing it to be bent and sculpted to your specifications.
Because the GloFish plants can only be purchased separately, you will need to buy more than one item to populate a tank. Even with weighted bases, it’s best to bury them in the substrate of your tank to help hold them in place.
- There are ten different colors and variations to choose from, as well as four different sizes.
- Designed to glow when illuminated with GloFish lights
- Even without lights, it’s colorful.
- Bases that resemble stones
- Positioning and movement that is natural
- Only available for purchase individually.
- It is recommended that the bases be buried
Marineland Bamboo for Aquariums – Premium Choice
The Marineland Bamboo for Aquariums is the best choice for artificial aquarium plants. This set is simply one piece, yet it includes five artificial bamboo stems linked to the same base. The longest bamboo pieces in this set measure 36 inches, but each piece has several lengths linked to it to add to the realism of the design.
This artificial plant design features a weighted base that can be buried under the substrate or removed and let float in the tank. The long, flowing lengths of bamboo in the tank follow the natural water movement and provide a fantastic hiding area for hesitant fish and fry. The leaves and stems are composed of soft plastic with no sharp edges, making them suitable for long-finned fish such as fancy goldfish and bettas.
If you wish to use this fake plant with a base, you will most likely need to bury the base to hold it in place.
- Each pack contains five stems.
- The stems may be separated from the base and floated for 36 inches, providing cover for fish and insects.
- It is recommended that the base be buried.
- There is just one base per bundle.
biOrb Easy Plant Sets
The biOrb Easy Plant Sets are available in two varieties: dual sets and multi-part sets. The dual sets have two complementing plants, whereas the sets include plants as well as extra décors such as artificial rocks and shells. The dual sets are available in nine different variations, while the multi-part sets are available in three different variations. The multi-piece sets are the most expensive item on the list.
These fake plants range from hyper-realistic to brilliantly colorful and whimsical. The plants have circular bases that keep them from toppling over. The bases look to be planters, with little, intricate bits of imitation plant material sticking out from the base surrounding the plant’s bottom stem for a genuine effect. Depending on the sort of imitation plant pack, you can discover plastic or silk leaves to suit your tank’s demands. All of these plants provide good hiding spots for fish.
These phony plants cannot be separated from the foundation and cannot float. Because these are designed exclusively for the biOrb products, which have a contemporary appearance, the circular bottoms may appear weird or unnatural in a standard tank.
- There are two pack sizes available.
- There are several alternatives for both pack sizes.
- Non-tip foundations
- Realistic appearance shelters fish and invertebrates
- It is not possible to separate from the base.
- In non-biOrb tanks, this may appear strange.
- Large packs are the most expensive item assessed.
CNZ Aquarium Green Lifelike Underwater Plastic Plant
The CNZ Aquarium Green Lifelike Underwater Plastic Plant comes in two sizes: 10-inch and 13-inch. The various height options are also two separate plants, providing variation.
These artificial plants are placed on a ceramic base, which adds weight to them. The base is designed to be visible and contains connected plastic roots, making it an excellent choice for bare bottom tanks. The stems are wired with metal to allow for positioning, while the leaves are composed of soft plastic. These plants are mostly green in color and are designed to appear authentic.
These plants’ height and width make them a suitable choice for tanks 20 gallons and more, but they may be too huge for smaller tanks. These may arrive with metal wire ends protruding out, so they should be properly examined before usage. Otherwise, their ends may damage or rust fish.
- There are two size and variety possibilities.
- Ceramic foundation with plastic roots
- Metal wiring enables placement.
- Leaves are made of soft plastic.
- Designed to appear realistic
- Best for tanks 20 gallons and greater. Metal wires should be properly examined.
- Metal wires left exposed may rust or hurt fish.
COMSUN Artificial Aquarium Plants
The COMSUN Artificial Aquarium Plants come in a pack of ten plants that range in height from 4-4.5 inches. These plants are available in a variety of solid and multi-colored colors.
These fake plants are perched on rock-like ceramic bases, which help to weight them down. The stems cannot be removed from the base, but the leaves can, allowing for easy cleaning. The diversity of hues available for these plants provides variation as well as realistic and entertaining color and design possibilities. The leaves are composed of soft plastic that is safe for fish.
Because the color combinations in each pack are random, you may not receive the identical imitation plants displayed. These plants are a decent choice for small tanks because of their size, but they are likely too short and not full enough for tanks larger than 10 gallons.
- 10 plants per pack
- Ceramic bases with a rock-like appearance
- To facilitate cleaning, the leaves can be plucked off the stems.
- A wide range of colors and patterns are available.
- Fish should not be harmed by soft plastic leaves.
- It is possible that you will not obtain the color selections shown.
- Not suitable for tanks larger than 10 gallons.
- Bases cannot be removed.
MyLifeUNIT Artificial Aquariums Plants
The MyLifeUNIT Artificial Aquarium Plants range in height from 3.9 to 12.6 inches. Each bundle contains seven plants in a range of colors and styles.
These plants contain PVC plastic leaves that are soft and should not injure long-finned fish. To facilitate cleaning, the stems may be detached from the provided bases. These plants come in a variety of base colors and styles, giving them a more natural appearance. The low and full plants are ideal for invertebrates like dwarf shrimp, while the tall plants are ideal for fish like tetras which enjoy swimming cover.
These plants may be distorted after delivery, however, they may be soaked in hot water and reshaped. They may be easily pushed over, and some plants may be too tall or crowded for tanks less than 10 gallons.
- Each pack has a range of heights.
- Seven plants in various colors and styles are included in each set.
- Leaves that are soft
- Stems may be removed from bases for cleaning.
- During delivery, the item may get distorted.
- It is easily toppled over.
- Most tanks are too big for it. 10-20 gallons or less
Marina Betta Pink Orchid Aquarium Plastic Plant
The Marina Betta Pink Orchid Aquarium Plastic Plant is an affordable option for small tanks. It is only 3.6 inches tall and is only available in one color and size.
This plant has a rock-like, hollow base that conceals a suction cup linked to the plant’s bottom. This enables it to be affixed to almost any flat, clean surface. The delicate pink artificial blooms on this plant are designed to not fade and should persist for a long time. Because the petals on the blooms are rounded and lack sharp edges, this imitation plant is suitable for bettas and other long-finned fish.
This plant has only one choice and can only be purchased in a single bundle. When examined closely, this plant does contain some evident plastic connections and bits around the bottom of the stalks, and the phony roots on the base are clearly artificial. This plant is designed for nano tanks and is too tiny for most tanks.
- The suction cup is hidden by the hollow base.
- Colors are designed not to fade.
- There are no sharp edges.
- There is just one color and size choice available.
- There are several visible plastic bits.
- Most tanks would be too small for it.
SunGrow Plastic Leaf Plant
The SunGrow Plastic Leaf Plant stands 10 inches tall and comes in a single size and color. This plant is mostly green and has five plants linked to a single base.
This artificial plant’s leaves are silk, however, there are some pointy plastic portions of stems and veins that may injure fins. Although the stems have some evident plastic connections, the leaves of this plant are well-shaped and seem realistic. This plant’s base is flat and designed to support the plant even when it is not submerged in water.
The leaves are prone to algae growth, which can be difficult, if not impossible, to entirely remove. This plant is best suited for tanks under 20 gallons, however, it may be utilized in bigger tanks with the addition of additional plants.
- The plant is 10 inches tall and has five plants linked to a single base.
- Soft, realistic leaves
- The base is designed to keep the plant upright even when it is not submerged in water.
- There is just one color and size choice available.
- Angular plastic regions
- Some exposed plastic connector points
- Silk leaves are difficult to clean and prone to algae development.
Penn-Plax Betta Multi-Color Aquarium Plants
Penn-Plax Betta Multi-Color Aquarium Plants come in a set of six 4 inch tall plants. Despite the fact that each box contains six plants, there are only three plant kinds, with two of each variety in each pack.
These plants have brilliantly colored leaves and branches, as well as artificial rock bases. You may not receive the three depicted kinds, but your plants will be orange, pink, blue, or purple in color. These are composed of plastic, however, they are designed for betta fish, thus they should not harm long fins.
These are the items on this list that appear the least realistic. These are designed for nano and tiny tanks, and they will most likely be too short for bigger tanks.
- Each set contains six plants.
- To keep them in place, use faux rock bases.
- Long fins should not be harmed.
- Option with the least realistic appearance
- Designed for nano and tiny tanks.
- Only three types are included in each pack of six.
Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose Fake Aquarium Plants
What to Think About When Buying Fake Aquarium Plants for Your Aquarium
Size: How big is your tank, and how much area do you want to fill with artificial plants? The size of the artificial plants you pick for your aquarium will be entirely determined by your cosmetic and practical preferences for the tank. The more plants you have, the more you will have to clean, but your aquarium will seem fuller and lusher.
Fish: If you have fish or invertebrates that might be damaged by rough edges or try to tear up or eat the fake plants, you may need to pick your fake plants carefully. Long-finned and scaleless fish are especially vulnerable to harm by aquarium décor, including artificial plants.
Look: What type of appearance do you want for your aquarium? Fake aquarium plants are available in a wide range of colors, heights, and kinds. Some seem like real-world plants, while others appear more whimsical or childish. The plants you chose for your aquarium should match your aesthetic tastes.
When Choosing Fake Aquarium Plants, You Have Diverse Options
Realistic vs. Whimsical: Every aquarium has its own style, and you have options when it comes to establishing the aesthetic for your aquarium! There are a variety of imitation aquarium plants available, some of which are realistic or modeled by genuine plants, while others are more whimsical and unrealistic. Fake aquarium plants come in every hue of the rainbow, and some have a whimsical feel to them due to their color schemes or comical shapes.
Plastic vs. Silk: Silk leaves offer a more lifelike appearance than plastic leaves because they move more fluidly in the water. Silk leaves are also quickly stained and difficult to clean. Plastic leaves may appear less lifelike, but well-made plastic leaves may mislead you until you get up and personal with them. They are very simple to clean and will last a lifetime. Some plastic leaves may have rough edges that might harm fins, so keep this in mind when deciding whether to use plastic or silk leaves.
Tall vs. Short: The height of your tank, as well as the appearance you want to achieve, factor into the size of the plants you buy. Some bushier, grass-like artificial plants provide excellent hiding places for shrimplets and other tiny invertebrates, whilst tall plants can increase the thrill of your fish’s swimming area, decreasing boredom. Some taller plants can even boost reproduction by offering a safe spot for eggs to be laid or fry to be born.
Full versus Narrow: If your tank is tall and narrow, you may want to pick plants that are taller and narrower to assist fill the area. Many tanks are longer than they are tall, making them ideal for shorter but more dense plants. If your tank is 18 inches in height, a 36-inch-tall artificial plant is generally not a good fit for the available area.
Weighted vs. Floating: Most artificial plants have connected weighted bases that assist hold the plant in place within the tank, however, some people like the look of floating plants, and certain fish love spending time in floating plants. If you want floating fake plants, you’ll need to acquire plants that are designed to float or have detachable bases.
Visible Base vs. Buried Base: Not all artificial plant bases are designed to be visible! While some bases are designed to resemble rocks or roots, many are not aesthetically pleasing and are designed to be hidden beneath the substrate. Bases designed to be an appealing feature of the aquarium will draw more visual interest than bases designed to be buried in bare bottom aquariums.
The Final Thought
Did you find these reviews useful in locating artificial plants that are suitable for your aquarium? There are several alternatives available!
The Otterly Pets Aquarium Plants are the greatest overall choice due to their high quality and eye-catching design. Try the GloFish Plastic Aquarium Plant for the greatest value! It’s inexpensive and comes in a variety of sizes, so you could acquire more than one on a tight budget. The Marineland Bamboo for Aquariums is the ideal choice for a high-quality artificial plant. It has a realistic look, might be utilized floating or planted, and is a good source of shelter for fish and insects.
Fake plants make it simple to maintain an appealing aquarium without spending extra money or effort on acquiring and caring for actual plants. You, your fish, and everyone else will be pleased when they see your newly planted aquarium, and you don’t even need to tell your friends the plants are fake!
Visit our Aquatic plants section to read articles about taking care of freshwater and saltwater aquarium plants and selecting the best ones for your healthy tank and fish.