I usually do not have trouble making my mine up on things, but for some reason I cannot decide if live plants are the way to go for me. I know that all and all it is best for the fish if done right, but then again, fish do very well with fake plants too. There are pros and cons to both for me and I literally am waving back and forth. I just cannot make up my mind. I know that you all cannot make up my mind and in the end, I have to be the one to decide. I guess I am just thinking outloud. When I look at so many beautiful live planted tanks on here it really does inspire me and makes me want it, but I am still facing pros and cons for me. Here are the pros and cons that I am struggling with:
If done right, live plants are best for the fish (again, if done right)
Will give me another avenue/challenge in the fish world to master/learn about
If done well, can be most beautiful
More upkeep....afraid I will not have time to keep them trimmed and dead leaves removed which would not be good for the tank. I may be good at the beginning but as life's busy days continue, I am afraid I will slack on it. I can keep up with water changes, etc. but not sure about the plant trimming since I have never done live plants before.
Have to limit water movement on surface and/or bubbles. I am not a big bubble user as in bubble bars (even though I like the look), but I do like surface water aggitation and some tini bubbles coming out of the powerhead near the surface or if a sponge is used in a small tank where a pump needs to be used I like the bubbles there. For some reason I have this hangup on thinking the tank needs this movement and I personally like it myself. I know it needs this movement if there are not live plants and also know that it is not needed and should not have it if there are live plants
Have to deal with the lighting situation...more expense, etc.
Will take some time for the plants to grow to the right height in my tall 56 gallon...background plants....have some ideas on this.
I do know that fish and an aquarium can also be healthy without live plants. If I thought for sure that fish cannot do well without live plants, I would not even question it.
I guess that is pretty much it. Maybe, since I am just getting back, I should do the basics for now and if later down the road I either get bored or feel like I can make the change to live plants and keep up on it and deal with the lack of water movement, I can do it then. Or, maybe I can just do live plants in the small tank for now and if I do well with it, I can then do them in my 56 gallon. Although, what do I do with the current water movement. The back filter creates some surface movement and I have a sponge filter which I feel is needed and want in there that is run with a pump so the tank is not over done with big water current. I really do not want to have to change all this right now and really can't for the sake of the good bacteria. I feel good about amount of filtration that is on this tank right now and do not want to lessen it.
Half of me wants them and the other half of me does not. LOL
Thanks for hearing me talk outloud.