Q: TF wrote,

Christie, I can’t afford live plants for my betta tank. Can I use plastic plants instead?

A: As long as the plants you choose don’t have sharp pieces that will tear fragile betta fins it doesn’t matter if they are real or fake. A helpful way to determine if your plants are safe is to run a pair of pantyhose over it. If the hose don’t snag they will be safe for your betta. [Husbands, be sure to ask your wife’s permission first ;-) ] In place of plastic, consider silk aquarium plants as an alternative.

There are also several commonly found live plants that are very inexpensive and quite resilient. Try java ferns, java lace, java moss or anubias for a tough plant that does well in low light conditions. You can also visit your local aquarium club where plants are frequently traded or sold for practically pennies a piece.

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