Can you prevent omnivourous fish from eating live plants?

Chiasmodon

Is there any way to stop them from eating live plants?
 

MacZ

Only by removing the fish or the plant.
 
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carsonsgjs

Depends a lot on the species in my experience, and the plants available. Plants with softer leaves are more likely to be eaten, with java fern and anubias etc less likely because they are tougher and dont taste as nice. Although i have seen one of mine eat java fern in the past.

adding vegetable matter into their diet may stop them (or make them eat plants less) or it may not.

as macz says, the only guaranteed way is to avoid plants or avoid fish that are known to eat plants.
 
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pagoda

If the fish wish to nibble, they will do so...some fish even try to nibble silk or plastic plants...plant nibbling is second nature and part of a normal diet to fish in the wild, no reason to expect any different with domesticated fish unfortunately
 
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Chiasmodon

Depends a lot on the species in my experience, and the plants available. Plants with softer leaves are more likely to be eaten, with java fern and anubias etc less likely because they are tougher and dont taste as nice. Although i have seen one of mine eat java fern in the past.

adding vegetable matter into their diet may stop them (or make them eat plants less) or it may not.

as macz says, the only guaranteed way is to avoid plants or avoid fish that are known to eat plants.
Unfortunately, I dont know any fish that are not pure carnivores and most fish in the petstore are all omnivores. What about spirulina pellets? Would these help?
If the fish wish to nibble, they will do so...some fish even try to nibble silk or plastic plants...plant nibbling is second nature and part of a normal diet to fish in the wild, no reason to expect any different with domesticated fish unfortunately

Yes.. I agree with this. Almost fish that I have kept are expected to eat plants.. Its nearly impossible to find a species that do not eat plants.. Specially community fish.
Depends a lot on the species in my experience, and the plants available. Plants with softer leaves are more likely to be eaten, with java fern and anubias etc less likely because they are tougher and dont taste as nice. Although i have seen one of mine eat java fern in the past.

adding vegetable matter into their diet may stop them (or make them eat plants less) or it may not.

as macz says, the only guaranteed way is to avoid plants or avoid fish that are known to eat plants.
Only by removing the fish or the plant.
I already removed my mollies thats eating my java moss now I found that all my fish in the tank eat plants if they want too but not that much. I also removed my frogbits thats being eaten by my gouramis and whiteskirt and replace the plant with water lotus.
 
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barbiespoodle

I can only speak from my experience of trying to keep a trio of silver dollars, aka, the plant assassins, with live plants. I found it to be about as easy as herding cats or nailing jello to the wall.

But I fell in love with live plants when I set up my first planted shrimp tank and decided to try it in the 55 gallon community. And it has been a battle of wills between me and the silver dollars from square one to present day. The only thing in my favor is that I'm bull headed.

I did lose a lot of plants before I happened on a combination that is mostly working. My first success was a amazon sword that got too big for one of the shrimp tanks. I don't know if they didn't like the taste or if, being shy fish, they liked the hiding place. Another large amazon and a smaller species has since joined the tank.

Then I discovered anubia's. Those the silver dollars just plain do not like the taste or feel of. And since you can get ones that range from tall to tiny, it opens up a lot of options.

I gave up on carpeting plants, if the silver dollars didn't eat them, the large cory herd in the tank up rooted them. But I kind of have a sudo carpet with marimo balls. They get moved about but so far no one has snacked on them. I'm slowly adding more as I can afford them so more stay up front instead of all them being moved to the back of the tank.

And for some reason, subwassertang. I throw in a piece here and there when I need to thin it out in the other tanks and it's actually growing, I'm starting to see a mat of them here or there.

and there is some sort of stem plant, maybe hygrophila angustifolia?, that I've thrown in when I trim it in one of the shrimp tanks. That is a hit and miss, some they leave be, some they eat, but I have so much of it, it is rapid grower, I don't worry since I'm to the point of throwing it away because I have so much so why not put it in with the plant assassins.

Still, it's an on going battle. I had a crypt in the tank for almost a year and one day they decided it was a midnight snack.

What ticks me off the most is that I actually give the so and so's veggies, I even grow plants in my gardens for them, they don't need to eat the decor, lol.

In short, it kind of depends on the fish you plan to keep, some are worse than others, silver dollars being on the high end of worse, my molly's being on the low end. Other fish are problems in that they uproot plants. I have 12, soon to be 19 when the fry get big enough, corys in the tank and they don't mean to, but they did uproot carpeting plants.

This is a crappy picture since the tank is in an area that catches every reflection from window/tv/computer, you name it, it shows up in pics.
 

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Chiasmodon

I can only speak from my experience of trying to keep a trio of silver dollars, aka, the plant assassins, with live plants. I found it to be about as easy as herding cats or nailing jello to the wall.

But I fell in love with live plants when I set up my first planted shrimp tank and decided to try it in the 55 gallon community. And it has been a battle of wills between me and the silver dollars from square one to present day. The only thing in my favor is that I'm bull headed.

I did lose a lot of plants before I happened on a combination that is mostly working. My first success was a amazon sword that got too big for one of the shrimp tanks. I don't know if they didn't like the taste or if, being shy fish, they liked the hiding place. Another large amazon and a smaller species has since joined the tank.

Then I discovered anubia's. Those the silver dollars just plain do not like the taste or feel of. And since you can get ones that range from tall to tiny, it opens up a lot of options.

I gave up on carpeting plants, if the silver dollars didn't eat them, the large cory herd in the tank up rooted them. But I kind of have a sudo carpet with marimo balls. They get moved about but so far no one has snacked on them. I'm slowly adding more as I can afford them so more stay up front instead of all them being moved to the back of the tank.

And for some reason, subwassertang. I throw in a piece here and there when I need to thin it out in the other tanks and it's actually growing, I'm starting to see a mat of them here or there.

and there is some sort of stem plant, maybe hygrophila angustifolia?, that I've thrown in when I trim it in one of the shrimp tanks. That is a hit and miss, some they leave be, some they eat, but I have so much of it, it is rapid grower, I don't worry since I'm to the point of throwing it away because I have so much so why not put it in with the plant assassins.

Still, it's an on going battle. I had a crypt in the tank for almost a year and one day they decided it was a midnight snack.

What ticks me off the most is that I actually give the so and so's veggies, I even grow plants in my gardens for them, they don't need to eat the decor, lol.

In short, it kind of depends on the fish you plan to keep, some are worse than others, silver dollars being on the high end of worse, my molly's being on the low end. Other fish are problems in that they uproot plants. I have 12, soon to be 19 when the fry get big enough, corys in the tank and they don't mean to, but they did uproot carpeting plants.

This is a crappy picture since the tank is in an area that catches every reflection from window/tv/computer, you name it, it shows up in pics.
Hahahah.. I almost bought silver dollars..they could have destroyed all my plants in my tank and regret it so bad. I mostly keep aquatic weeds and carpets which are really soft.. I only have few hard plants.. Anubias, crypts, and java ferns.

My experience in keeping smaller tanks back when I just a kid.. I was really a reckless buyer back then.. And regret everything that I have done such as buying random plants and buying random fish.

Now.. Well, I still make a lot of mistakes because I stopped keeping fish and plants for 7 years because of what happened.. And I start keeping again with proper preparation.
 
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veggieshark

Are the fish in question mollies, gouramis and white skirt tetras? None of these are particular plant destroyers. Mollies are grazers and nibble on plants but they should not be able to destroy a healthy plant population. Much less likely for gouramis and that kind of tetras to destroy plants. Maybe your plants are decaying for some reason. In that case fish can eat them more easily.
 
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Chiasmodon

Are the fish in question mollies, gouramis and white skirt tetras? None of these are particular plant destroyers. Mollies are grazers and nibble on plants but they should not be able to destroy a healthy plant population. Much less likely for gouramis and that kind of tetras to destroy plants. Maybe your plants are decaying for some reason. In that case fish can eat them more easily.
Well, I found that my white skirts going back and forth nibbling the healthy roots of frogbit. My gouramies are doing something to my plants but I don't really know what they are doing.. maybe they are eating algae? or some small food debris? . and lastly my mollies enjoy eating my java moss.

I monitored each of the fish every day to find the culprit and my conclusion is that my three spot gouramies are less likely to be the culprit.
 
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MacZ

The tetras are likely picking food particles from the roots. Many fish do that. The gourami dwell between them and are not eating algae. Mollies eat beard algae, so them nibbling away on moss is normal.

I actually have the suspicion that you have some nutrient deficiency that makes the plants get holey.
 
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Chiasmodon

The tetras are likely picking food particles from the roots. Many fish do that. The gourami dwell between them and are not eating algae. Mollies eat beard algae, so them nibbling away on moss is normal.

I actually have the suspicion that you have some nutrient deficiency that makes the plants get holey.
Well there are some of my plants are turning yellowish and I think this is due to the hot temperature. my tank temperature was 34-35 Celcius before and thankfully summer is over now and the temperature decreases.

My frogbit on the other hand is newly introduced to my tank and the tetra starts to break the roots with their mouths. but probably not really eating them or it's just that they are really fast and very active from approaching and hitting the plant with their heads, creating enough force to break the fragile roots.
 
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TClare

I am not an expert on plant nutrients but I believe that nitrogen deficiency can cause yellowing leaves and potassium deficiency causes holes in leaves. I have a large thickly planted tank with angelfish and tetras, both of which I have seen picking at the plants, but like MacZ said, I think they are getting food particles stuck there as the plants do not appear to be damaged. But some fish will definitely eat plants so its best to research this first and choose the type of plants that are suitable. I recently set up a tank for festivum cichlids who have a plant-eating reputation, so its mainly set up with driftwood, some Vallisneria that was already there, a couple of java ferns and an Anubias. The tank is also practically covered with water lettuce. So far I have seen the festivums pecking at the roots of the floating plants, but I think they are getting algae that is growing in the roots, rather than damaing the root. They haven’t touched the other plants yet, but they are still very small so we will see. As Carsonsgjs said, feeding some vegetable food may help to save the plants somewhat. I did read a post once where someone trained a severum not to eat plants using a stick as a deterrent, but I think that would be very difficult!
 
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Frank the Fish guy

I have hit on the plants that Silver Dollars don't eat. Actually it was the experienced fish keeper at Tropical Lagoon aquarium in Silver Spring MD that showed me.

I now keep

Anubias (Barteri)
Hornwart
Java Fern

with my silver dollars and they do not get eaten. I am now injecting C02 and the plants are thriving and growing and Silver Dollars leave them alone.

Every other plant I have tried gets eaten by Silver Dollars.
 
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Chiasmodon

I have hit on the plants that Silver Dollars don't eat. Actually it was the experienced fish keeper at Tropical Lagoon aquarium in Silver Spring MD that showed me.

I now keep

Anubias (Barteri)
Hornwart
Java Fern

with my silver dollars and they do not get eaten. I am now injecting C02 and the plants are thriving and growing and Silver Dollars leave them alone.

Every other plant I have tried gets eaten by Silver Dollars.

Silver dollars are trully very interesting fish, . For an update, i found the culprit, It was my adult female 3 spot gourami whos destroying the roots.. For no apparent reason.. She just tears them off and leave them floating. Just few days ago, I build my own Co2 system and buy fertilizers.. To help my plants grow faster than my gourami destroying the plant roots
 
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PetsWants

Yes
Is there any way to stop them from eating live plants?
You can keep plants and omnivorous fish!
You can get plants that: 1.Have tough leaves
2.Are fast growing
And if your fish are uprooting your plants think about getting more epiphyte plants.
 
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Chiasmodon

Yes

You can keep plants and omnivorous fish!
You can get plants that: 1.Have tough leaves
2.Are fast growing
And if your fish are uprooting your plants think about getting more epiphyte plants.
It was too late, I was very bad at this at first, because I just started, but now I'm aware of this. I still have my plants with very fragile leaves (but these plants are fast-growing) with my gouramies, but I found out that these plants have deficiencies and ofc, their growth is altered. now as I mentioned, I bought fertilizers and even build my own CO2 system to promote growth for my fragile fast-growing plants. I have many epiphyte plants,.. well they are all anubias and I have 6 varieties of anubias in my tank.
 
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