So it's been a good few months now and all my goldfish are doing fine, but my plants unfortunately are not. The fish haven't bothered them too much as far as uprooting or eating goes, but they're yellowing/browning, not growing and mostly just growing algae. It's sad and ugly. I think I might give up on a planted goldfish tank for the most part. I'm assuming my biggest problem is temperature since the plants were all doing pretty well until winter hit. We keep the house pretty cold (and for a while the tank was in a basement) and I don't want to mess with a heater so I think the water temp is just not enough for the plants (I mostly have some kind of swords. Amazing swords?)
Anyway, as I think I mentioned, the tank is hideous. I hate it. Does anybody have any ideas for a beautiful goldfish tank with no plants? I really do NOT have enough money to get more equiptment to try to get some plants to actually thrive (let along money enough for the actual plants) and I'm pretty sure there is nothing that would both survive the goldfish and the low temps, anyway.
I have sand substrate (btw, i just read this can hurt their gills over time. Can anybody verify this?) and I've just started letting the algae grow on the back wall... which is not nearly as nice looking as I imagined it might be. :(
It's a 55 gallon tank.
Oh. And I think fake plants are kind of tacky. :s
Anybody have any suggestions or inspiration? I'm thinking some kind of rockcaping (partially because that is all I can afford.) It does sound kind of boring, but I suppose I could pull off the 'zen' look if I do it right.
Also, anybody else let algae grow on the back wall? I figured it could contribute to tank health and it has definitely made my little MTS super happy (they leave cute little trails through the algae for me to see in the morning. :) ) however, so far it's not super awesome looking. It's kind of brownish and patchy and somewhat thin. Think it will layer up and look a little better? *shrug*
Also, I don't suppose there is some magical ultra-low maintenance plant that surives the cold, huh? If I ever get a ton of money, I might give a planted tank another shot. So beautiful.