Live plants should be thought of as a necessity when viewing an aquarium as a harmonious ecosystem, but sometimes that’s easier said than done. Fish keepers seem to get frustrated when they fill their tanks with live plants, padding lush green stems and leaves into empty corners, only to have tank inhabitants snack on it for dinner. There are many types of fish who need plants as a staple within their diets, while carnivores will simply leave them be without a second glance. This is where knowing the ins and outs of the species you have chosen come into play, so you may further understand their plant compatibility.
Goldfish often bring new aquarists a bit of grief when they finally bring themselves to try live plants. This new project usually comes after they’ve been met with frustration from decorating with silk plants. Considering how accident prone a goldfish can be, simply by swimming in their tank, silk plants are never a good idea (some products even utilize metal wires which can rust and leech into your tank). Hobbyists carefully plant their rooted greenery, add floating rosettes or some interesting moss, only to wake up to everything being uprooted, chewed or eaten completely by the next morning. If this sounds like something you’ve experienced, and you are still keeping goldfish, we have a few solutions and ideas to ease you into keeping goldfish in a planted tank.
- You want to pick a variety of plants that fancies and single tails are less likely to eat. This would consist of selections such as Jungle Val, Creeping Jenny, Java Fern, and different types of Anubias, to mention a few. They will pick the algae off of the leaves and, in the process, they may uproot as they sift (remember, sifting is a natural instinct), but they usually won’t devour them.
- Find some flat wide rocks. These are readily found online, at local pet stores and even in creek beds (for free). Simply set them on top of your substrate and tuck your plant roots underneath for a more secure hold. Goldfish will be less likely to pull a live plant out from a rock completely, but it may still occur less often. In this case, you can simply secure the roots back under your rock and go on with your day.
- Be sure to include some favored plants for your goldies to snack on throughout the day as part of their diet. Goldfish don’t have stomachs and food goes straight through them. This is why you may see them eating their own waste solids, enabling them to absorb vital nutrients that may have gone through their system the first time. Provide them with live plants such as water wisteria, or duckweed and water lettuce (unless they’re prone to swim bladder issues), and you will begin to see happier fish (who will still beg for pellets).
- If you are still unhappy with or unable to keep plants within your aquarium, consider investing in an affordable food clip. It will enable you to offer fresh and blanched veggies, such as broccoli, lettuce, oranges and more. Your goldfish will enjoy receiving these foods as treats, and you can choose the timing and place for when they receive them. Just ensure you’re willing to clean up the leftovers to prevent fouling up your water.
Hopefully our guide as provided you with useful information in regards to the importance of live plants and goldfish. Be sure to check back for new posts and subscribe to our newsletter. You may also enjoy our latest YouTube videos, released every Tuesday.