Image of live plants in aquarium pros and cons

9 Benefits Of Live Plants In Aquariums

In this article, we are going to discuss all the live plants in aquarium pros and cons. Unless you want to use artificial plants, you need to read this to the end.

When you have bought your acrylic or glass aquarium and installed it right where you want it, the next thing that you will have to think about is whether to use natural or artificial plants in the aquarium.

If you decide that natural is the real deal for you, you need to know all the live plants in aquarium pros and cons.

Of course, you could go with a bare minimum aquarium that has no live of artificial fish tank plants. But where is the fun in that? Besides, you do want your fish to feel right at home and plants can help them.

Keep reading to see the pros of live plants in aquariums.

The benefits of live plants in aquariums

Before you buy artificial or live fish tank plants, it is best to know the pros and cons of each. Here, we shall see the main benefits of using live plants in your aquarium. Does it help with anything but looks?

1. They increase oxygen in the water

Fish breathe through their gills. As water passes over the gills, they get their oxygen from the water.

Thus, any way that you can increase the oxygen levels in the water is very good. In this case, using live plants in an aquarium can help to increase oxygen levels in your water.

Even though these plants are submerged in the water, they have light. Thus, they still make their nutrients from synthesis.

As a result, they release oxygen into the water. Thus, your lovely fish can have an abundance of oxygen to enjoy.

You could also be wondering about the carbon dioxide that plants release. But in this case, the amount of carbon dioxide that the plants produce is so minimal. The fish will hardly feel it.

2. Fish can eat the plants

Of course, you do not want your fish to eat the live plants in the aquarium. In any case, most fish eat small insects and other marine life.

But there are many species of omnivorous fish that will eat everything. If you have such fish in your tank and you let them go hungry, they will eat the plants.

Other fish will also eat the plants if they are hungry. However, they are not omnivores or herbivores, they just eat anything available if they feel hungry.

Thus, on the long shot that you can one day be delayed somewhere and not be back in time to feed your fish, they will survive.

3. Makes your fish tank look awesome

Actually, this is one of the main benefits of aquarium plants. You can transform the space where you place your aquarium, but adding plants into the aquarium will make the transformation even better.

Today, you can get all types of plants for your aquarium. Therefore, you can turn the fish tank into an explosion of colors, from different shades of green, to purple and others.

When you add plants into the aquarium, it also looks more natural. And not only does it look natural, but it also feels more real to the fish.

If only they could speak, they could tell you!

4. Aquarium plants help when the fish are laying eggs

Fish further their species by laying eggs. However, no fish lays eggs in moving water. This applies even to the pet fish.

When breeding time comes, your fish will lay their eggs on the plants. If you do not have plants in the tank, your fish might not be able to breed.

5. Live plants in aquarium help to increase good bacteria

The worst enemy in a fish tank is ammonia. But there is good news. If you can enhance the presence of good bacteria in the tank, it will neutralize the ammonia.

This will make the tank a healthy environment for your fish.

Just remember that ammonia in the tank can kill your fish. Therefore, adding live plants helps to neutralize that threat.

6. Plants help to regulate the temperature of the tank

In another article, we found out what is the right temperature for a fish tank. But, so many things can happen that can affect the temperature of the water. One of them is changes in the surrounding air.

Adding plants to the aquarium can help in keeping the temperature down. Remember, if the water gets too warm, the fish can become sluggish and even die. Warm water does not retain enough oxygen for the fish.

As you add plants in the aquarium, make sure you position the tank in a nice place, away from direct heat.

7. Enhances the health and state of your substrate

Substrate is soil or whatever material that you are using in the tank to hold your plants. Once the roots of the plants establish themselves well, they will hold the substrate firm and in place.

Image of live plant aquarium for beginners

But that is not the only reason that plants are good for the aquarium. You see, sometimes, oxygen will not get to the entire depth of the substrate.

In that case, anaerobic pockets form in the substrate and they release a poisonous gas that can kill your fish. But when you add plants, their roots will help to break these pockets.

Can you see why or how plants make the substrate in your tank healthy?

8. Good hiding place for small fish

If you want to make your aquarium as colorful as possible, you need to include a few species of fish. But remember that if some fish are hungry, they will eat anything, including the small fish. Some big fish will devour the small fish just for kicks.

If you have plants in the tank, they will provide safe hiding places for the small fish.

9. Aquarium plants help in enhancing filtration

You already have a filtration pump for your fish tank. It filters many things out of the water, including ammonia, heavy metals, fish waste, nitrates and many more.

Plants can help make things easier for your filtration system by neutralizing some of these things. Therefore, your filtration system is going to have it easy.

10. You can make money off some of the plants

You have given your fish a nice place to lay their eggs and breed. But it is not only the fish that will multiply. The plants will multiply too.

You can sell the excess plants and make money. You can even sell the extra fish that you do not need.

Live plants in aquarium cons

Live plants in aquarium are not all glory. There are some downsides too, but they are far fewer than the pros. Keep reading.

Live plants for aquariums cost more money

One of the disadvantages of live plants in aquarium is that they cost more than their artificial counterparts.

Also, since these plants are living things, they will require more care than the artificial ones.

They can introduce strange bacteria into the tank

You could buy plants that are already host to some nasty bacteria that could harm your fish.

The worst thing is that before you know there is a strange parasite in your tank, your fish could be affected already.


There… as I promised you, the live plants in aquarium pros and cons are really something. But I also promised you that the pros are more than the cons.

Besides, even if you go for artificial plants, deep down, you will always know that they are not the real deal.

It is better to go for the live plants if you can afford them. They make a far better impression and you can sell the excess when they start increasing. They also enhance the health of the aquarium.

We might also mention that there are live plants for saltwater aquariums as well as for freshwater fish tanks.

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