Anonymous asked in PetsFish · 9 years ago

can plastic plants harm fish?

i was just wondering because well i just was... so can plastic plants harm them or should i go with live plants. and if i go with live do i need to do anything special?

P.S. i have a 20gal tank currently 10 adult guppies and 11 babies. but they are sick well some and i was wondering if it could be from plants because its fin rot but i do a 25%water change weekly and 50% monthly so it couldn't be from my water quality... could it. And i currently have a 5gal set up with gravel heater and filter but no fish i was thinking beta??? live plants or plastic for it???


thanks. have any ideas about my other questions???

Update 2:

guppies do have a heater. both tanks have a hood with lights, a bubbler air stone thing, a filter, gravel and plants. well 5g doesn't have plants....

7 Answers

  • 9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Plastic plants are safe and don't harm water quality or the fish. Particularly long-finned fishes such as Bettas can harm their fins on any harsher edges, but this shouldn't be a problem with your guppies, as their fins aren't too long (even though they are in relation to their body). Get a testing kit and make sure your water quality is fine. If not, treat it. Are you sure it's fin rot? Fish only get fin rot if there's poor water quality. Sure it isn't any other diseases, or simply their natural fins?

    If you don't want the hassle of keeping live plants trimmed and healthy, silk plants could be a great compromise. They're easy to maintain (no maintainance required) and look really realistic. There are also no sharp edges (hence the silk), though they do usually cost a little more than plastic plants - but then again, you know you're paying for quality.

    If you want a betta in the 5 gallon (a great idea), go for silk plants (or live plants if you want to give them a go. Go for some hardy java fern, java moss or anubias for a start off - you can always add more). Make sure to add a heater to the tank as bettas are tropical fish (have your guppies got one? They need one too).

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  • 9 years ago

    Plants help recycle fish wastes. Some platic plants may be okay, others not so. I agree about washing them with the gal there in the other answer.

    Fish wastes may not become toxic in your aquarium, BUT they will contribute to growth of harmful bacteria and thus consequent infections....

    I am offering only my science opinion, not an expert aquarium person's opinion.

    So, I am CONVINCED you have some bacterial aquarium infection which is affecting your fish.

    If I were a fish, I would much prefer living plants.

    Since wastes may accumulate in the aquarium base too, sand? it might be that needs to be taken out and washed monthly as well.

    Not an expert here, but giving a somewhat informed opinion.

    I believe snails eat plant and animal waste (this includes shed fish cells) as well as excess food that falls to the bottom. These items are otherwise a Culture Medium for harmful bacteria. The bacteria which grow from decomposing fish cells are even more likely to be harmful, but many types of bacteria might be pathogenic or release toxins.

    Do you have snails? If not they may help, provided you get the proper ones (another subject in which I have no expertise). I would think plants are necessary for snails.

    Here is an article, says snails help keep the glass clean too:


    If you dig in there, you will likely find useful tips

    I am not so sure about those plastics being harmless. I doubt seriously there is strong, effective quality monitoring -- evens humans have had harmful plastics about OFTEN.

    The toxic additions to plastic might depress fish immune systems making them more vulnerable to infections from all the bacteria you are growing there in your aquarium.

    Finally, DO your fish need some plant material live which is not in their food?

    You need to ask the Beta and Guppy experts.

    I think I would wash the substrate sand in baking soda very well too before rinsing, and check out what is proper aquarium pH for the given fish, then check it once in a while to see if it is right.

    But snails and plants should help to maintain the proper pH too, making your fish aquarium less acid.

    Your aquarium likely smells very bad to your fish, whatever their olfactory sense is....

    Kind of like you living where toilet collects waste but does not flush. Pumping clean air in will only help so much, and compares to your water changing, which is NOT complete. Your are in fact MAINTAINING the bacteria, some are left to continue growing.

    Source(s): I have zero fish experience, these are mostly medical insights, but the urls should help.
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  • 9 years ago

    If they are approved for use in aquariums they should be ok. But don't just use any old fake plant as the dyes etc might leach into the water.

    I have never had success with live plants and end up removing rotting vegetation from the tank. This can't be good for the fish.

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  • ?
    Lv 7
    9 years ago

    Some plastic plants have been known to injure and kill fish .

    Take a betta fish they like silk plants if you put some plastic plants in the tank it can damage there tails .

    I say live plants all the way .

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  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    No, they cannot. But remember that fish waste can stick up on the plant so when are cleaning the tank remember to clean the plants

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  • 9 years ago

    No, they're fine. Live plants are a pain in the butt. Those plastic aquarium plants are made for putting them in with the fish - it's safe.

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  • 9 years ago

    plastice one are cool. my family had plastic plants and it didnt harm the fish.

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