I have a 2.5 gallon tank that I am starting up soon. I am wondering if live plants or silk plants would be better. I would prefer live plants but which ones work best in a small tank with low lighting?
Is there anything specific that you need to do before putting them in the tank? Or just take them out of the container and stick them in the gravel?
What about floating plants for the betta to live on....
Small varieties of cryptocorynes and anubias would do fine in a low-light, low tech style tank. Bolbitis and java fern are also very easy care wise, but may or may not grow too big for your tank. There are mini versions of these plants available but not as readily.
If you found some nice rocks or small twiggy pieces of wood, you could also tie down some java, Taiwan or christmas moss onto these as they will do fine in a low light environment.
I personally hate silk and plastic plants. Plants such as anubias etc. are extremely easy to grow successfully so I don't see why you wouldn't want to use them instead.
As long as you don't bury the rhizome of the java fern, anubias and bolbitis (you generally tie these plants to something or bury only the roots into the substrate) they will grow. The crypts however, will need to be planted into the substrate.
I'm also going to say live plants. I've got 3 small, low-tech tanks, one of which being 2.5 gallons, and after trying both silk and live plants I definitely prefer live, and will only be using the silk ones as placeholders until I can get some more live ones! I've had reasonable success (i.e. nothing has died, haha) with anubias nana (though any variety of anubias is good) java fern, a potted crypt and some floating water sprite, so the above suggestions should work well for you.
Live plants also look worlds better than any kind of fake plant.
I'd go with stem plants or some dwarf potted something or other. with stems you can cut off the top and re-plant anytime it starts getting too big for the tank!
Anubias nana, or java fern would work too! and pygmy chain sword
Personally, I would find a good online supplier. 99% of stores rip you off something shocking for live plants. I can get them much cheaper online here and this is including delivery.
Just make sure if you do go the online route that you have thoroughly sussed out the business and read as many reviews as possible. Some stores can be rather dodgy even if they do have a flash looking site and seem legitimate.