The most important thing in fishkeeping is the fish. And while live plants ARE a great asset to fish when procured correctly and cared for, they are not necessary in the first aquarium – fake plants will do. Certainly for 6 months or a year.
Use the right algae-reducing techniques
I have live plants in my aquarium. They don’t all need strong light. I’ve had Java Fern, lucky bamboo, Anacharis, Hornwort, Frogbit, and some Pothos that all grew wonderfully under a simple 9 dollar led light bar. Plants never really decayed at all that great a rate and I’ve both some snails and shrimp to handle such. They don’t require much, i don’t worry about CO2 or anything, just plant them into the gravel and away they go cept the Pothos that is planted around the top rim of the tank.
Recently built my own light stand and got two hanging light fixtures with a 40 watt daylight bulb in each and the plants have taken off in another growth spurt to fill in void areas and the fish use it all to hide and avoid aggression.
While I agree real plants are harder than fake to care for (of course using fake just to avoid touching the tank for long periods of time is a no no since water changes are a must), some of your reasons against them seem a bit one sided or completely wrong.
Practice the right “aquascaping” skills
My aquarium is a live 95% live plant resort for my fish, but I agree with the author about the novice fish owner. Learning how to take care of fish and be a gardener at the same time would probably be a lot for most people. (Probably not the ones that read fish blogs!!)
How to Grow Freshwater Aquarium Plants: 11 Steps (with Pictures)
Oh, plants. Next to cycling and diseases, live plants are a large anxiety and mystery to new aquarists. Sometimes, aquarium plants can be very tough to take care of and very expensive. Alas, never fear! There are plants out there that are easy to care for. Yes, I said it. Easy!If planting Water Sprite be sure to have at least 2 – 3 inches of gravel or substrate for the roots. Dig a small indentation in the substrate. Gently grab the Water Sprite plant at the crown (where the roots meet the stems). Place the plant in the indentation, being careful not to damage the roots and stems. Once the Water Sprite roots are secure, move the substrate back into the indentation to keep the plant in place. Make sure the plant crown is visible to the eye and even with the surface of the substrate. Avoid planting Water Sprite with the crown too high, with its roots exposed. Also avoid planting the crown too low so the crown is buried. Finally, while Water Sprite can survive planted in either substrate or gravel, its better to keep live aquarium plants in nutrient rich plant substrate as opposed to aquarium gravel.