Plants in a goldfish tank?
Hello there. A good friend of mine has a 30 gallon freshwater aquarium with three fantail goldfish in it and a green water problem. (And therefore a nitrate problem too.)
What plants would work in an unheated aquarium that would use up some of the nitrates, be relatively low maintenance, and would survive the goldfish?
Not having goldfish, I have never explored this area, so my comments will be very general but I'm sure other members with knowledge in this specific area will be commenting.
Quite a number of plants would survive cooler temperatures, but goldfish do like to munch on plants, so the plants chosen would have to be tough and unpalatable. Java Fern comes to mind, I have never heard of anything that would eat this thought something out there might; and I have had good JF underwater in amphibian vivariums with no heat (room temp). Some of the larger swords (Echinodorus) are fairly tough plants, but again without experience in goldfish I have no idea how persistent they may be especially as they get larger. When I had goldfish in my outdoor pond, floating water lettuce and hyacinth seemed to do fine--until the raccoon, who love the latter and the fish, found the pond; all gone now.
I can't help on the Goldfish neither but what does work well in unheated tanks and thrives well is the larger Hygrophila forms, even in unheated tanks that sit in cooler rooms these plants still thrive. So that's personally what I'd try adding.
I'm still on the quest to figure out plants and goldfish but here's what was recommended to me:
Anubias nana & barteri--older leaves do grow algae, but regular new leaves & occasional blooms
Crinum thaianum (water onion)
Cryptocornye Wendetti, bronze
Hygrophila corymbosa angustifolia (willow hygro)
Microsorium pteropus (java fern, narrow leaf, regular, and wendelov varieties)--older leaves do grow algae
I can vouch that my goldfish loved anacharis - so I crossed that off the list.
Right now I am having lots of luck with all the anubias species (don't limit yourself to nana and bartei)
Swords also seem to root quite well and resist uprooting. Vals are good as well... the name's escaping me but I got a val with long, spiky, thicker leaves and it's pretty goldie-proof.
Floating plants are also good for consuming nitrate... my goldfish devour duckweed but aren't bothering with the water lettuce and salvinia.
Also has she considered getting a heater? I am running one in my tank right now... setting a heater to about 70-74 will keep the temps more stable than in a room temperature tank and as an added bonus it increases the efficiency of the biofilter (bacteria go faster in warmer temp) while not compromising the DO (if the tank is properly stocked and filtered). Then her options for plants will be much broader as well.
OH and as an afterthought, add mosses to the list... your goldfish is as likely to snack on moss as it is a ball of yarn.
Thanks for all the help. We were up to a big non-chain petstore today to look at plants and she aked the guy what plants would work best and he said. "Well, you shouldn't have gotten goldfish, tough luck." JERK! So, she listened to him. Oh well. I've got a japanese moss ball that could be split pretty quick and I don't think a goldfish could eat it.
Anubias, echinodorus, cryptocoryne, Java ferns and vallisnerias are certainly your best bets. I would not add another goldfish if I were you. For a 29g, I'd stock only 2-3. 2 would be much better especially as fantails can reach 8" in length and over excluding the caudal fin.
Fancy goldfish do NOT necessarily require cooler waters. 72-78 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal for them.
Wow you sure got some friendly pet store people there....I can only recommend buying plants here www.sweetaquatics.com you'll be able to get all you want, fair prices and super quality; even if they're outta stock on a speficic plant you want for your set up you can just email Mary and ask her to hold your order till she's getting that plant in stock again.
I'd say try hornwort. It's tough and likes cooler water....
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