10 Best Artificial, Plastic & Silk Plants for Aquariums – 2023 Reviews & Top Picks
When you have an aquarium, your fish and other tank mates aren’t the only aspects that create beauty. Aesthetics are a big part of it, too. Plus, plants give your critters somewhere to hide or swim through. If you don’t want to have the hassle of growing real plants, there are artificial options you can choose from. But which options on the market are the best?
We’ve compiled reviews of 10 artificial, plastic, and silk plants that make any water setting look lovely. So, which of these 10 picks will catch your attention and spruce up your tank?
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites of 2023
|Best Overall||HITOP Pets Plastic Plants Artificial||
|Best Value||CousDUoBe Aquarium Plants Artificial Aquatic Plant||
|Premium Choice||BEGONDIS Artificial Aquarium Green Water Plants||
|Marina Naturals, Dracena Silk Plant||
|CNZ Aquarium 10" Green Lifelike Underwater Plastic Plant||
The 10 Best Artificial, Plastic & Silk Plants for Aquariums
1. HITOP Pets Plastic Plants for Fish Tank Unique Artificial Aquarium Décor — Overall Favorite
Our overall favorite is the HITOP Pets Plastic Plants for Fish Tank Decorations Unique Artificial Aquarium Décor. This bushy little fern-style artificial plant gives a terrific feel to virtually any aquarium. It is completely full, sprawling out in all different directions. That creates lots of cubbies for sneaky fish to play.
This plant is perfect for small to medium-sized fish tanks, providing a natural feel closely mimicking a real fern by color and style. It goes extremely well with other artificial or live plants in the tank. Your little swimmers will have a ball pinging through the multitudes of leaves.
As with any pointed plastic stems, there is always the risk of sharp edges. Feel the plant for pokey parts before anchoring it down.
- Lots of coverage
- Bushy and thick
- Close to real plant in color and look
- Harmless, with no dyes
- Some plastic pieces may be pokey
2. CousDUoBe 9 Pack Large Aquarium Plants Artificial Aquatic Plant — Best Value
CousDUoBe 9 Pack Large Aquarium Plants Artificial Aquatic Plants are another terrific choice if you’re looking to add pops of color to your underwater world. Each of these nine plants varies in height, texture, and color, so you can really create a visually appealing set-up.
At a minimum, you need a 20-gallon tank to use these pieces. The plant parts are made from durable plastic with ceramic bottoms. There are no harsh additives that will harm your fish. The heavy base prevents the plants from floating on top of the water.
Each piece is multicolored and different from the next. It truly creates a burst of neon color, accentuating colored gravel, and your fish’s natural tones.
There’s a bit of confusion about the material of the base. It reads both ceramic and plastic, so it’s mildly unclear in the description and upon inspection.
- Brightly colored
- Aesthetically pleasing
- Unclear material description
3. BEGONDIS Artificial Aquarium Green Water Plants — Premium Choice
What’s really unique about the BEGONDIS Artificial Aquarium Green Water Plants is that it’s a 25-piece set of truly cool looking, spiky pieces of varying size. Whether you’re planning to use the pack solely, or you’re adding it to other existing plant life, it will definitely change the aesthetic of your tank.
The leafy spikes are naturally colored and fast-resistant. And don’t be afraid of the pokey look—these plants are actually soft to the touch. Each piece is made of a durable, safe resin material that works for both fresh and saltwater tanks.
This pack comes with a larger Bonsai-style tree, small bushes, and tiny plants. The Bonsai tree stands 10.2 inches—and the rest are under 5 inches. You can create pops of green or an entire foresty-feel on one side of the tank. It might be too many pieces for a tank that’s already decorated.
- Woodsy aesthetic
- Soft parts
- Fresh and saltwater-safe
- 25 pieces
- Might be too many pieces for some tanks
4. Marina Naturals, Dracena Silk Plant
If you want to add a plant piece that looks extremely natural, try this one out in your aquarium. It offers large leaves that you fish can hide and play between. They aren’t too stiff or sharp around the edges, giving a loose feel to nicely ebb in the water.
The realistic-looking silk plant is designed after a green Dracena. There are different tones of green to mimic the real thing, creating a natural-looking, low maintenance landscape. The silk material is fade-free so you won’t have to worry about it losing its verve.
These plants work best in a large aquarium, as the plant stands 13–14 inches tall. Some hard stem-like parts may need a trim. They can be pokey, which can possibly damage your fish’s fins.
- Very natural aesthetic
- Low maintenance
- Won’t work for small aquariums
- Possible sharp edges
5. CNZ Aquarium Fish Tank 10″ Green Lifelike Underwater Plastic Plant Aquatic Water Grass Decor
If you have fish in your tank who love to hide among the plants, this is a terrific choice. There are different leaf sizes and structures that give your little swimmer lots of nooks and crannies to choose from.
Visually, it works extremely well with a natural aesthetic. It can work well in a small or large aquarium since it’s roughly 10 inches high. You have a lot of creative freedom here, and this plant blends well with many seascape ideas.
There is a ceramic anchor that you can secure to the bottom of the tank. It works well with sand or gravel, although the base might not stay as secured in the sand.
- Very life-like
- Works with many décor styles
- Lots of hiding spots
- Base may be flimsy in sand
6. CNZ Aquarium Decor Fish Tank Decoration Ornament Artificial Plastic Plant
If you want plush plants that look hyper-realistic, check out the CNZ Aquarium Decor Fish Tank Decoration Ornament Artificial Plastic Plant. These long, spiny plants can be used in a bundle or spread out in the aquarium for different visuals.
Each of the plants is 12 inches tall, making these plants compatible with most sized aquariums. The plant portion is made of plastic while the base is non-toxic ceramic. The product as a whole is 100% safe for your fish.
Pieces of the plant can be a little harsh, so you might have to boil the parts to soften them up a bit. It could tear or injure your fish’s fins.
- Great value
- Full, lush plants
- Creative possibilities
- Could hurt fins
7. CousDUoBe Artificial Aquatic Plants Small Aquarium Plants Artificial Fish Tank Decorations
If you are aiming to create a colorful, eye-catching aquarium, consider these CousDUoBe Artificial Aquatic Plants Small Aquarium Plants. This 11-pack works well for tiny to large tanks, standing out with bold, neon tones.
Each little plant piece is roughly 5 inches tall, creating a widespread, low-lying series of plant life on the bottom of the tank. You can use these ones in combination with live or other artificial plants to really mix things up.
Don’t let the brilliant colors fool you, they don’t illuminate under blacklight. So, if you’re looking for glowing colors, this isn’t for you. On the upside, there is a 100% money-back guarantee—so if you experience any issues, you’ll have a risk-free purchase.
- 11-piece set
- Brilliant colors
- For all tank sizes
- Very small
- Do not illuminate under black light
8. MyLifeUNIT Artificial Seaweed Water Plants for Aquarium
This 10-piece MyLifeUNIT Artificial Seaweed Water Plant set gives character to any aquarium. Each piece has a soft, twisted design that looks excellent naturally waving around in the tank.
Because of their size and shape, your fish will have lots of fun taking cover in this artificial seaweed. The material is thick plastic, with a nice bend and give. They create a pleasing aesthetic with other greenery or colorful choices.
You can choose from natural green, blue, and red. These seaweed pieces don’t bleed into the tank and the material is non-toxic. There are ceramic anchors on each bottom to secure the plants into the gravel or substrate.
- Color variety
- 10-piece set
- Won’t work for every aquarium
9. MyLifeUNIT Plastic Fish Tank Plants, Artificial Tall Aquarium Plants for Fish Tank Decor
This interesting MyLifeUNIT Plastic Fish Tank Plants two-pack will bring a visual appeal to your aquarium. These plants are totally safe, with no harmful dyes or chemicals—nor will the colors run into your tank. The stalks and stems are made from safe PVC material and the ceramic base is made up of natural clay.
The height of each of these plants is 15.75 inches, so they would work best in an aquarium that is medium to large. The leaves are supposed to mimic natural seaweed without the worry of rotting or upkeep. They are also fade-resistant, so you can keep them in the tank for years unscathed.
The leaves and stems are incredibly soft and bendy, so you shouldn’t run into any harsh plastic edges. They are terrific for helping your fish stay toward the top of the tank but don’t provide lots of hiding spots for them.
- No maintenance necessary
- Soft texture
- Only for medium to large aquariums
- Not ideal for hiding
10. Saim 24″ Green Leaves Emulational Aquatic Plastic Plant for Fish Tank Aquarium
The long, loose flow of the Saim Green Leaves Emulational Aquatic Plastic Plant is sure to add some character to your aquarium. These extra-long portions wiggle in the water, creating a whimsical, attractive look.
The way the plants move in the tank provides a very natural feel, so they could be mistaken for the real thing. The stems are made of non-toxic plastic while the base is ceramic and sturdy. The plastic pieces are soft and pliable, so you won’t have to worry about ripping fins or injuring fish.
They can act as a really wonderful accent for fish houses or driftwood pieces. They work well alongside other real or fake plants, too. Initially, the color is incredibly bright fluorescent green, but you can dull down the color before adding the pieces to your tank if the shade bothers you.
- Natural movement
- Awesome accent
- Very bright green
- Too tall for some tanks
Aquariums and ponds are extremely eye-catching. You spend a lot of time maintaining yours and you want it to be as clean, crisp, and colorful as possible. You might like the natural look, or the neon colors may strike your fancy. In any sense, you may have considered adding some artificial plants to your tank.
Artificial plants are usually made from plastic or silk. They are both durable materials that hold up nicely for extended periods underwater. Many love the convenience and hands-off approach to these selections. So, let’s look at every aspect to get a good grasp of what to expect when you’re shopping.
Visuals are important. You have a gorgeous full aquarium in your home and it’s going to be one of the first things your company notices. If your tank is dirty, overgrown, or otherwise unhealthy looking, an awesome aquarium can quickly turn from awe-inspiring to an eyesore really fast.
With artificial plants, you have so much control over exactly where each piece goes, how far it’s spaced, and how each component blends—without having to worry about things like restricting growth or keeping the plant alive.
So, you definitely have some creative freedom to make your tank match in tones and hues, symmetry, and overall mood.
When you have substrate on the bottom of the tank, whether it’s sand or gravel, you can anchor down your individual pieces. Each faux plant should come with a heavy bottom that keeps it in place. You won’t have to worry about uprooting or damage to the plant. You simply put it where you want and move on.
There are tons of insanely cool plants to put in your aquarium. Some reflect black light, turning neon colors that dazzle spectators. Many saltwater tanks can use artificial plants that mimic coral and other plants you’d find in the ocean.
You can pick anything from bright and vibrant to deep and natural. It’s all based on the mood you’d like your tank to have. Artificial plants give you full control over these aspects.
Real Aquatic Plants vs Artificial Plants
There are a ton of reasons to love both aquatic and artificial aquarium plants. You can even have a combination of both if you want to give your aquarium some real pizazz.
But when it comes to having artificial versus natural plants, what is the difference? Is one better than the other? Let’s explore.
Natural Aquatic Plants
There’s no denying the organic beauty of natural plants in aquariums. They look charming, they add to the ecosystem, and they provide lots of positive benefits to aquarium life.
You have to research carefully before picking the type of plants. You’ll want to know what types of plants are compatible with your fish, the type of water, and the filtration in the tank.
- Gives a huge oxygen boost to the water
- Acts as a food source for fish and crustaceans
- Gives a more natural habitat for fish
- Promotes healthy bacteria growth
- Generates a flowing ecosystem
- Roots create security for substrate
- Reduces algae growth
- Harder to maintain
- Worry about growth are lack thereof
- Might rot or decay
- Can be expensive
Artificial plants offer a hassle-free approach to the real thing—no upkeep or care necessary. Most artificial choices are a lot less expensive than live plants, which can work better if you’re on a budget.
Also, it’s quite a task just to keep up with the needs of your fish sometimes—having to deal with real plants can just tack on more responsibility.
But can artificial plants beat the real thing?
- No maintenance or upkeep is necessary
- You can get precisely the look you want
- You can add unrealistic colors to brighten your tank
- They do not grow too large for the tank
- They don’t become disheveled or unattractive
- Great for beginners
- Tank dwellers my try to eat the plastic parts
- They provide no health benefit to your fish
- Artificial plants could contain dyes that discolor water or pose danger to your fish
- They might have sharp edges or points that can injure fish
Why Not Both?
You could always have the best of both worlds and have both live and artificial plants in your tank. The combination can make the appearance of your tank lush, rich, and aesthetically attractive. You can reap the benefits of genuine plants while having control over the seascape design.
Ultimately, it will be up to you. If you want to go through the process of keeping both fish and plants alive, the environment can be very natural and rewarding for your fish. If you want the headache-free feeling and visual control of having artificial plants—go for it.
There is no right or wrong answer here. It’s all about the ultimate goal of how you want your aquarium to be.
We stand by our favorite—HITOP Pets Plastic Plants for Fish Tank Decorations Unique Artificial Aquarium Décor. The piece is full, sprawling outward to take up a decent chunk of the tank. You can use it alongside other natural life, or spruce it up with some color.
If you’re looking for a steal, take another peek at CousDUoBe 9 Pack Large Aquarium Plants Artificial Aquatic Plants. They are all unique, vivid, and fascinating to look at. Plus, you get 9 total pieces to create quite the display.
No matter which you choose, hopefully, our reviews helped you pick out the next awesome-looking addition to your already stellar aquarium.
Featured Image Credit: RKPhoto, Pixabay