Planted Goldfish Tanks - Sep. 2010 Update

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yukoandk

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Hello! I would like to share some updates and pics of my goldfish tanks. Some members here may remember me, but I've been working on planted tanks for my goldfish with all the help from this forum. I was away for 3+ weeks and recently came back home, and I'm happy to report my fish and tanks are doing great.

This is a 55 gal at home. The tank's been running for a little over a year, and there are 3 fancy goldfish, an otto, and a few dozen nerite snails. Since the last update back in January, I've lost my beloved Jilly the red cap oranda and Madara the calico ryukin to dropsy and swim bladder disease. I started adding plants aggressively in spring--I was dosing with Excel and Flourish for a while to help them get established, then they had no special treatment while I was away. I was having a lot of algae, so I added the otto and nerite snails, and they do an amazing job! I'm also using PhosGuard after finding out my tap water had high levels of silica, and I think it's helping with diatoms a lot. So, plants are doing well, the water sprite grows furiously in here, some are slower going, and a few did not survive. I *may* attempt to take out the canister filters in a near future and just use a pump or two for circulation. Nitrate builds up fast in this tank, I suspect the canisters are turning into nitrate factories. I do a weekly 50% water change to keep the nitrate below 20, but would like to be able to cut this amount to 30% max.
 

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yukoandk

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This tank resides at a Chinese restaurant around the corner from my home. It's a 55 gal with 25 gal sump underneath. Currently there are 6 fancy goldfish in here, and one of them is my grand kid! The little orange fantail came from the spawning that happened at home last year. I think he looks just like his dad, Kinsuke the orange fantail, but his mom is Deme the black moor. (There are only three that actually changed color out of the fry. Some of my fry got adopted by friends and the rest live in a container pond in the back yard.) There was a handsome black bubble eye, but sadly he died due to an injury. He was by far the most popular of the bunch, and I felt badly trying to explain the fact to the people who'd come to enjoy the tank. The plants in here don't get any special treatments since I'm not there all the time to tinker around, and they do seem rather sluggish compare to the ones at home. In the sump underneath, I'm growing some hornworts, and my 2 pea puffers live there feasting on snails. This tank so far has been very stable overall--I only have to top off the water weekly and do a 10% change every 3-4 weeks.

Thanks for reading and checking out my planted goldfish tanks--comments/suggestions are always appreciated! I do need to learn how to use my camera better.
 

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iloveengl

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Absolutely beautiful. You've done a wonderful job. Both plants and goldies are lovely and look very healthy.
 

ataylo43

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Hi Yukoandk! I am really inspired by your tank! I have a 40 gallon w/ 3 fancy goldfish (currently being treated for a severe Ich outbreak) and am not having luck with my plants. There is soooo much information on the web about what types of plants and how to grow them that I would love your advise to get mine going!

I have a medium piece of driftwood with some attached java fern that is not doing well at all. I purchased it from the store with some bites on the leaves but they told me that in my tank this wouldn't be a problem - is seems as if the plant is getting worse, although I've never caught my fish nibbling. I have a silver leaf plant that I bought to replace a horn-wort disaster (bad advise from the kid at the pet store) and a small Anubis. On my API LeafZone bottle it says to only dose once a week, but I would like my plants to flourish - and that is definitely not happening. Any thoughts or suggestions on what to add, how to add it and how to get my existing plants more healthy would be greatly appreciated!

Also - I am wondering how everyone feels about ordering plants online virus getting them in the store. I've been having such a hard time with my store bought ones, I thought I would try online, is there a particular dealer that is recommended?

Thanks!
 

Aquarist

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Good morning,

This thread is a bit old. Please check the dates of the original post before responding.

Thanks!

Ken
 

yukoandk

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Thank you for your comments! This thread is kinda old, but I'll add a few quick thoughts on goldfish and plants, and also slap a slightly newer (Nov. 2010) pic here until I'm ready to make another update.

I'm a huge believer in benefits of plants in aquariums. With goldfish, it's not going to be as easy or perfect and pristine looking as some planted tank photos you see around. Goldfish are dirty! They need lots of large water changes, so the water chemistry fluctuates all the time which is not too good for the plants. Goldfish dig around and kick up dirt and poop all day, but that's a sure sign of healthy goldfish.

There are experts on plants here who helped me on the subject before--do check out the Aquarium Plants section to get some basic info. I will say that when you add plants to your goldfish tank, add a lot of them. It can be a bit of an investment, but you will basically have to find out which plants survive your water, setup and fish. After a month or two, add another bunch of plants--kinds that are agreeing with your tank and/or some new kinds to try. When I did this last spring, I actually divided my 55gal into 2 sections with a divider--added plants into one half and kept my goldfish in another in hopes of letting the plants establish themselves for a few weeks before getting picked by the fish. It seemed to work. But in the retrospect, I think if you add a lot of plants at once, it kind of disperse the fish's curiosity and urge to attack them. I've got plants from aquariumplants.com and azgardens.com in the past, but I can't say if one is better than the other. The shipping is expensive with mail order plants, but you get the variety and quantity you want. Feeding your fish pretty well will help, too.

Anubias are a sure winner especially with goldfish. They tolerate wide range of environment, they have thicker leaves and are generally very tough plants. I once saw a photo of a goldfish tank with just anubias and a few sags--a few mounds of mid-height anubias surround by short anubias carpeting the ground, and tall strips of sags in one corner like a curtain--gorgeous. My tanks are still much scattered than neatly aquascaped, but some of other plants that are doing well in my tanks are: water sprite, Ludwigia repens, compact sword, ruffle sword, compact Hygro, and Lotus. My lighting can be roughly categorized into mid to mid-high level. I have about 3" of substrate, and it's a mix of plant substrates and pea sized gravel. I used Flourish Excel regularly for the first few months, and nowadays I use just a little bit of Excel and Comprehensive a few times a week. I have different algae as well, but I've learned not to freak, keep up with my maintenance schedule, and let things be. For now.

Hope this helps a little for those who are interested in keeping plants and goldfish. It's challenging but also fun as long as you don't stress over making it perfect. Don't hesitate to post questions--there are lots of members here who are happy to help and share ideas including myself. Thanks again!
 

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yukoandk

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He's a copper pompom. He's he has the color of milk chocolate with an under tone of metalic orange.
 

ataylo43

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Thanks for the update - very informative! I cant wait to get my tank looking like yours! (although I've got a long way to go! )
 
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