5 Easy Plants for Goldfish Aquariums
Goldfish are notorious for munching on or digging up aquatic plants, which is a shame because live plants are both beautiful and beneficial, capable of consuming the toxic chemicals produced by fish waste. We have found many plant species that are both easy to maintain and tough enough to resist the curious nibblings of goldfish.
1. Crinum calamistratum
This slow-growing bulb plant is known for its long, crinkly leaves that can grow up to 4 feet (1.2 m) long. It is similar to goldfish in that it can tolerate water with a higher pH than hard water. Because the plant is so tough and thick, it does not get damaged when goldfish bump or chomp into the leaves. Crinums, unlike other plants on this list, are planted directly into the substrate. This means that they can be easily ripped out by fish. Therefore, considering protecting the newly planted bulb by surrounding it with a ring of rocks or putting it in the middle of a large stone with a hole in the center.
It may appear a bit sad when you first get your Crinum. This is because it hasn’t been exposed to the water conditions. However, if you give it low to medium light and keep it from being moved, it will become well-established and produce ruffled, flowy tendrils that reach the surface of your aquarium.
Anubias plants are a very popular beginner plant because of their ease of care, low light requirements, and wide assortment of shapes and colors. Anubias congensis and Anubias caféfolia are larger varieties. Their thicker leaves and thicker roots can withstand heavy use. Anubias don’t need substrate. To plant them in your goldfish tank, you can simply place them between rocks or attach them with super glue gel. You can also simply drop the anubias with its plastic pot inside an Easy Planter decoration to prevent it from being knocked over.
Keep fish away from your plants by placing your anubias in an Easy Planter decoration
3. Marimo Moss Ball
This greenish-colored orb is actually made from algae. It bounces around at the bottoms of lakes to keep its shape. Just place it in your aquarium and let your goldfish kick them around for fun. They grow extremely slowly, enjoy cooler waters, and prefer low amounts of light. If their fuzzy surface starts collecting bits of detritus, just swish it around in a bucket of aquarium water to clean it off. You can find more information about their care requirements here.
4. Java Fern
Java ferns are very similar to anubias in that they are a great beginner plant that don’t require high light or substrate to grow in. There are a few varieties of Java ferns available, but they are not as popular as others. The most popular include the regular java, Windelov (or laces) java, and the narrow leaf java. You can attach them to rocks or driftwood, or place the plastic pot in an Easy Planter decoration. They can be easily propagated by either cutting the rhizome in two pieces, or trimming a leaf and floating it in an aquarium. Then watch little plants grow from the black dots.
5. Bolbitis Fern
This gorgeous species is also known by the African water fern. Its textured leaves are emerald and green, something that is not common in aquatic plants. It comes from Africa, like the Crinum Calamistratum. Therefore, it can thrive in water with higher pH or hardness. Much like anubias and java fern, the bolbitis fern likes to be attached to hardscape or aquarium decorations so that its rhizome is not buried or covered. The bolbitis fern will eventually grow into a large bush if it is given low-to-medium lighting and some liquid fertiliser. It can even live with monster fish.
Give these plants a try, and eventually your goldfish will realize that they can’t or don’t want to eat their leaves. To keep them away from temptation, offer them plenty of plant matter and algae foods. Have fun planting your goldfish aquarium, and enjoy nature daily.
You can find out more about caring for your goldfish by reading this care guide.