Monday, 10 December 2012

Choosing between Real Plants and Plastic Plants

When a person gets started in aquarium goldfish rearing hobby, the first question that often comes in question is on whether it should be better adding real plants or artificial plastic plants. When it comes to the discussion on this topic, there is no telling on which camp is right or which opinion is wrong because generally there are pros and cons to each option. Buying live plants and putting it into your goldfish tank produces a lot of positive effect over having artificial ones. The green leaves natural plants not only look beautiful but the underlying fact is that it helps in the biological process of providing precious nutrients and oxygen for the survival of your pet goldfish. Although some people will argue that plastic plants will look almost the same and helps to beautify the tank, but however, there is no natural benefit whatsoever from putting these artificial setup.

Java Fern makes great addition
Live aquarium plants not only provide important nutrition but it also acts as a natural filter just like the plants in an ecosystem to help clean and filter the water. Upon maintaining a healthy plant setup, you will notice that nitrate and nitrite level will start to drop and basically how low these numbers go will depend on how many bunch of live plants you have in the tank. Some things you will need to know though, gold are notorious plant eaters! Thus, if you want to see your plant propagate, grow and produce fresh leaves, make sure that your pets are well fed or else, they will make these soft leaves become their meal. Presence of these aquatic species also helps to provide security for your fish especially those smaller size goldfish. Plants other than generating useful oxygen can sometimes become a place for growth of small live worms which in turn providing a valuable food source for your pets. Plants that absorb the nutrient from the water also make it difficult for algae to grow and therefore, indirectly help to clean the tank.

The bad points however about natural live plants is that, they will need strong lighting in wide spectrum range to survive and if you have a tank located at dark areas/corners of your home or having fluorescent lamp which doesn’t offer benefit to the plants, they will start to whittle and disintegrate. The leaves will die off and instead of providing oxygen; they will consume oxygen during the degradation process. Dying plants will also make the tank look ugly and unattractive and the worst thing that could happen is detached leaves getting stuck in the filter inlet and then jammed the whole filtration system. Beware, they look nice with all the benefits but without the proper care given, things could turn disastrous. Some plants bought from fish stores also carry with them parasites and larvae of unwanted aquatic organisms so it will be your duty to ensure they are properly cleaned before added to the goldfish tank. The last thing that you want is some diseases infecting all your goldfish community and killing your precious loved ones.

Because of these, some people instead opt for artificial plant to avoid all these hassles. First, they do not need maintenance to add fertilizer or trim the leaves, second, it can be practically safe to add it to the tank because you can be sure it won’t carry with it parasites. If you are beginner who only wants to concentrate on giving the best to your pet fish, then I would suggest getting the artificial aquatic addition and then only go for the actual ones once you are ready. Always remember, planning and gaining valuable experience are the key to success.


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