(Fwd) Are plants making fish happy???

Keith C. Cheng kcheng at psu.edu
Wed Mar 25 17:09:37 EST 1998

Dear Eva and Thomas,

We use no real plants, and only use bits of net or artifical plants for

It is clear from experience in many laboratories that real plants from
stores or the wild bring undesirable organisms that can either make the
fish sick and die, or begin to fill the pipes and other tanks with
insects that rapidly spread from tank to tank.  It is also impractical
to properly clean tanks that have plants in them, which also contributes
to illness and death. Therefore, real plants are absolutely forbidden in
my and many laboratories, and should not be considered.  It is also
clear that fish can be very "happy" without real or artificial plants
(i.e. bright color, intact fins, active swimming, and no "huddling" in
the bottoms of tanks, which as you know they do under stress).  Since
our laboratory fish never had the plants, this is "natural" for them.
On the other hand, for spawning, we have found (by impression, not
controlled experiment) that bits of net or artificial plants seem to
allow greater survival and less damage to spawning fish in mouse cages.

Good luck.

Keith Cheng

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