How to have goldfish and lush live plants (in same tank)

mrsP

I've been reading a of people thinking that goldfish and great live plants can't excist in same tank. That's a common mistake, and can be done quite easily. I've done it several times, and never even thought I couldn't have both. As we know, live plants help to keep water stable, as they use ammonia, nitrates and nitrites to grow. They also give fish places to hide and rest on, produce oxygen, reduce stress to fish and humans, and are esthetically pleasing. There are just 3 additional things to normal conciderations (lighting, temp, ferts etc).

1. Goldfish love to dig. You need plant them so they can handle it. You can plant them to separate pots if you want to, that way you can also easily change your setup without needing to dig anything out. Or you can arrange rocks around a plant, so it's roots are under, and they can't be dug out by fish.

2. Goldfish will eat plants. End of discussion. All you need is plants that grow quicker than fish eat them. All stem plants should do well (I'm sure there are exceptions, like to everything), my favorite is Pogostemon stellatus "octopus". It grows quickly, goldfish love to eat it (natural diet and behavior for them) and it just grows more. Most stem plants should do ok, just get what you like, and lots of them. That way your fish can nibble as much as they like (and they do) but still plants have enough time to recover since there's enough of them. Have several, different types of plants, that way you can see what works best for you.

3. Make sure your plants grow well. Meaning make sure you add fertilizers when needed. Since plants get eaten, they need to grow quickly, and they need lots of nutrition. That being said, they also use lot of ammonia, nitrites and nitrates from tank, helping you with water quality.

Enjoy your fishes and plants, that's the main idea.


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jtjgg

You have a great looking tank
 
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mrsP

Thank you.
 
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Frisbee

I know! People just assume goldfish and plants don’t work together, but I’ve done it successfully on multiple occasions. I love planted goldfish tanks. I think the biggest thing is just to get the plants first. Let them get established and well rooted and fertilize them a lot before you add your goldfish.

I had a beautiful 40 gallon with a bonsai moss tree and a stone pile covered in moss that my little Ranchu loved. There was so much moss he couldn’t do anything other then pull a strand or two out at a time of and entire mountain of moss.

My next goldfish tank was this one. This has a HUGE crypt (no way in a million years a goldfish is digging that up), moss balls and a wall of vals. The vals grow and multiply super fast and are well rooted, so if a goldfish digs up a little runner every once in a while it’s no big deal. I’ve never had issues with my goldfish shredding moss balls, but I have heard it’s a thing, so that would be something to watch out for. The other thing in the tank is rotala. Now the rotala does have portions of it dug up sometimes, but these are just clippings I added after I got my goldfish and they haven’t rooted yet. Really you can do most plants with goldfish, they just need to be securely rooted or attached to something.

anyway, here are some photos of my Goldie tank. I’ll see if I can dig up photos of my old 40 gallon as well.

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FancyPantsy

This looks great, I'm really keen to add more plants to mine. Did you set this up pre fish? If not, any tips on adding to an up and running tank?
 
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mrsP

I set it up few weeks before getting goldfish. I have to mention that I did have fully cycled tank earleir, and used same, cycled canister filter, substrate etc, so tank never needed to be cycled.

Get lots of different kind of plants and plant them deep enough. Bacopa caroliana was barely nibbled at all, but softer plants (Pogostemon stellatus Octopus mainly) was a salad bowl. Some plants will be more eaten than others, and that's normal. Fertilize them too, because they need to grow well. You can also plant (some of) them into pots, and put pots where you like them. That way goldfish won't dig them out, and they can be rearranged easily whenever you like.

In short, lots of different kind of (stem)plants, planted deep and fetrilized. Have fun, and please show what it looks like.
 
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