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Desktop Goldfish

Plants in a Goldfish Aquarium

While most readily available aquatic plants are for tropical tanks, there are several kinds of aquatic plants that can thrive in a goldfish tank. Aquatic plants in a goldfish tank will need conditions that are good for both the plant and the goldfish. A thriving plant in a goldfish tank brings more than just beauty, they help clean the water and they feed of the ammonia and nitrates produced by the goldfish waste. 

Aquatic plants that do not thrive pose a serious threat to the water quality inside the goldfish tank. Rotting leaves and roots can pollute a goldfish tank rather quickly. Goldfish will also typically nibble on plants as a natural inclination.

New Plants also run the risk of introducing new infections to the tank. It is important to disinfect new plants before introducing them to a goldfish tank. 

What plants are good in a goldfish tank?

The following list of plants all share the ability to resist goldfish nudges by having strong roots, or because they aer floating plants. Also, these plants all do well in cooler water. Under good conditions, aquatic plants can grow an inch, or a leaf, in under a week.

Rooted Plants

  • Anubias - often described as a 'living plastic plant', the anubias is extrememly hardy and grows slowly, unless given bright light.
  • Crinum - resembles a leek. 
  • Sword Plants or Echinodorus - best when planted in a shallow pot with a layer of soil covered by a think later of gravel.
  • Anacharis or Elodea - can be planted in gravel or as a flowing plant.
  • Giant Vallisneria
  • Water Wisteria or Hygrophila difformis - not to be confused with ceretopteris thalictroides
  • Mayaca fluviatilis
  • Java Fern or Microsoriumpteropus - This plants roots attach to gravel or rocks, do not bury the roots. Try tying them to a rock to get them started.
  • Banana Plant or Nymphoides aquatica - Push halfway into grave. Goldfish will nibble on the tender new shoots 

Floating Plants

  • Hornwort or Ceratophyllum submersum - a floating plant with no roots.
  • Water Sprite or Ceratopteris thalictroides - best grown floating
  • Frogbit or Limnobium laevigatum
  • Duck weed
  • Salvinia auriculata

How can I help plants grow in a goldfish tank?

Selecting plants that are suitable for a goldfish tank is the first rule. Plants that can hold there aown against the goldfish, including strong root systems and temperate water requirements, as opposed to tropical requirements.

Plants need light, and standard lighting that comes with most goldfish tank set-ups is not enough for aquatic plants. Typically one aditional lamp can give the plants the overall amount of light they need to thrive. 

Keep the lighs on for about 11 hours per day, making sure not to overdue the lighting. Too much light will promote algae growth and not stimulate vascular plant growth. 

Try to avoid direct sunlight on the tank. Sunlight rapidly stimulates algae growth, and can fluctuate the water temperature, causing stress to the goldfish. 

Fertilize lightly, while avoiding anything contain phosphates. Phosphates are an amazing algae booster. Goldfish will typically provide the macro-nutrients, all that needs to be added are the micro-nutrients.

How do I tame algae in a goldfish tank?

Algae is a good thing, and indicates a healthy condition inside the goldfish tank. Algae is considerd a bad thing when it runs wild.

Scraping off the algae before a water change is important. Use a siphon to get rid of the floating bits during the water change. Many goldfish tank owners will only keep the fron viewing area clean, and allow algae to grow on the other sides of the tank.

Some other algea taming techniques include: 

  • No more than 11 hours of light per day.
  • No direct sunlight
  • Regular water changes to keep phosphate and nitrates to a minimum.
  • Do not over feed the fish
  • Do not over fertilize plants