If its not sold in your LFS I would not recommend it. You don't want to get a silk plant and the dyes pollute your tank water and harm your fish. Plus there is no way to telling if any chemicals were added to preserve the silk plants colors.
There are ways to clean craft silk plants, and I have been using them for years. If you want to go through the work, they are a lot cheaper and just as safe. Not everyone agrees with using craft plants, and there are always things you should look for when buying them, but I bred Angelfish for years and have had fish most of my life. I've never paid for a pet store aquarium silk plant.
Any silk plant you get needs to go through a screening process;
No scented plants and no metal stems. You want plastic and silk and that's it. If it has a stem with a metal shaft, you can slice down the length to pull it out, but this might make the plant float. Be ready to use live plant weights, suction cups or possibly silicon the plant to a rock. (aquarium safe silicon :) )
Each stem needs to be looked over carefully for sharp or rough edges. Get an exact-o knife or a fine pair of scissors (Like nail scissors) and remove anything that might poke your fish. The pantyhose test will work fine.
With vinegar water scrub each leaf of the plant and the stems.
Set a pot of water to heavy boil and let the plants boil in the water for at least an hour. If the colors are going to run, they will in this hour; the water will be tented. Any tented water is bad, but can be fixed. Boiling longer sometimes works, but the water needs to be changed every hour or so. If you just keep getting green water, it's not safe. This might boil away some of the glue, but this rarely happens to me. If it does, the silicon works fine to reattach the silk leaves to the stems.
Before you put them in the tank, make sure there are no loose threads on the plants. You should be good to go.
Or, of course, you could just put live plants in... those are great, too!
Thank you, this is very helpful. I have live plants, but for the filter baffle I need a silk one. I have plastic ones now but I am afraid they may be tearing my betta's tail. so I am switching to all silk.
I would gladly pay the higher price for the aquarium plant, however, they don't make them in vibrant blue colors. :(
I plan to take all stems off and stick them to the filter foam with rubber bands like the plastic ones are so floating is not an issue. I just want to to look nicer than the filter foam.
See the blue plants in the background, those are the ones I want to replace.
Well if you would rather have aquarium silk plants, there is a much larger selection online, so maybe you can find something. I'd be happy to poke around some. :) But the craft plants are safe and while it seems like a lot of work, it really isn't.
Your tank is just beautiful, and so healthy looking! I do love the contrasting colors, blue with a red fish! I LOVE decorating with colorful silk plants so I can accent my fish's colors better. This one is all craft plants, the white side has a black male halfmoon, Corrin, and the pink flowered side had an iridescence green female, Mary Jane. She's since been moved to a 30 gallon sorority and Corrin is happy in a live planted river bottom tank now, and those plants are in a little 3 gallon with an elderly female molly, Betty. About the only aquarium plant I use are the silicon anemone things.. with the tentacles? I love those and so do the fishies!
I got some large daisy flowers, they did not have cobalt blue but they had some nice sky blues and blue-greens. I bought a bunch of them, tore them apart and boiled the petals till the water was going clear. Surprisingly enough, they did not loose as much color as I thought they would in this process. I had to boil them 6 or seven times, each time fresh water going for over an hour.
I installed them today in the tank and guppy seems to enjoy swimming through them. He is building a bubble nest right next to the filter now.
I was able to use one part of the flower to tie around the output arm so it serves as an additional baffle in case the same malfunction that occur ed in the recent days happens again the current won't be so rough for him.
I will take some pictures and post them soon. Thank you again for all your help.