The plants in the aquarium not only represents decoration, but closes the natural cycle of matter circulation, in other words, it removes waste material from water, thus helping to maintain water quality and a higher percentage of free oxygen.
With goldfish, unfortunately there are not many options. Due to their specific nature, plant aquariums are difficult to maintain because goldfish are prone to “digging”; their natural eating habits are largely based on plant foods, so much of the tropical plants can hardly survive with them.
However, there are a few species of plants that are compatible with goldfish, e.g. Anubias sp., Microsorum sp., Justicia sp., Ceratophyllum demersum, Cryptocoryna.. Keep in mind that before buying any plant, you must first study the plant’s requirements for light and CO2. Choose larger, harder plants, try a few, and monitor the condition.
Fast-growing plants with a lot of adventitious roots are the best consumers of nitrates and phosphates and this is exactly what you need for the aquarium to function and create a healthy environment for your fish. Some species from the Hygrophylla family are also worth trying, for example Nomaphylla stricta.
Not bad choice is Vesicularia dubyana (Javan moss), it has no root and no upper or lower part of the plant. You can put it on some stone, wood and it starts to spread very quickly. It is a great consumer of ammonia and can withstand a wide range of pH, water hardness and temperature.
It is recommended to plant the plants in pots so that digging does not damage their roots.
When it comes to artificial aquatic plants, it is common to choose e.g. Tetra Plantastics. However, aquarists must be careful, especially those who are “new” to the fact that, if they have opted solely for artificial aquatic plants, they will need to pay close attention to water quality and provide additional ventilation. Namely, the usual biological functions of aquatic plants will be absent in this case.
The green balls, which are actually freshwater macroalgae (Cladophora aegagrophyla), are more of an ornament than a plant of practical value.
In the end, we have to mention that goldfish and everything in the Cyprinus family is actually looking for a much larger space than what hobbyists usually buy. Ideal conditions for 4 goldfish would be a 160-liter aquarium, an external filter, and a temperature of around 20 ° C.
Plants that can be used in a goldfish aquarium
Here we have what we consider to be the top 8 safe plants for goldfish.
1. Java Fern
Water Purifying Score: 35%
The main reason why the java fern makes for an ideal plant for a goldfish tank is because the leaves of it are quite tough, fibrous, and goldfish really do not like to eat them.
Water Purifying Score: 30%
Anubias is hands-down the best plant to keep with goldfish. With thick, rubbery leaves that can resist even the most voracious of goldfish, it comes in many varieties and requires very little special attention
Water Purifying Score: 100%
This is a very flexible plant with low demands. It does not need a fancy substrate, fertilizers, CO2, or high light. In fact it can grow in just about any condition. With more light it looks bushier and grows faster – up to several inches a week! Goldfish bypass this plant due to the tough needles instead of tender leaves.
4. Brazilian Pennywort
Water Purifying Score: 90%
Pennywort is an excellent choice for goldfish tanks. The leaves are a bit rubbery, making it unappealing to them. It will grow underwater and, if allowed to, will grow over the surface of the water. This allows it to help shade other plants and prevent algae.
Water Purifying Score: 100%
Cabomba also known as Fanwort, it is a phenomenal water purifier. It is a stem plant that likes to grow roots. A soft plant with a lush look, it makes a stunning background planted in rows or used as a filler in the aquascape.
Water Purifying Score: 70%
Also known as Bacopa Monnieri, Moneywort is a stem plant with small round leaves. Most goldfish will bypass this plant, though the leaves may be nibbled on by larger slim-bodied fish.
It is not demanding in light, and it is not even good to plant it under bright light, because then algae begin to accumulate on it, much like the Anubias. Another similarity to the Anubias is that it grows rather slowly, so it is necessary to have a lot of patience when growing this species. Duplication is very simple; the parent plant is cut in half and planted in the rootstock.
Water Purifying Score: 70%
A relatively fast-growing plant will improve the ecosystem of your aquarium through its strong oxygen production. It’s leaves are durable enough to resist the attacks of most goldfish.
The beautiful red color of the leaves is only achieved in conditions with a lot of light. Otherwise, the leaves will be green. It multiplies very simply; by cutting and planting parts of the parent plant, or by tearing and planting numerous lateral branches that develop on the parent plant. This way, in just a few weeks, a bush of exceptional size can be obtained from a few plants.
Under the right conditions, this plant grows very quickly and is, therefore, more than welcome in any aquarium (high consumption of nitrates and ammonium ions). The most decorative effect can be achieved by planting it in groups.
Water Purifying Score: 80%
Vallisneria is a strong plant and is often recommended in goldfish setups. It has tough leaves and is a fast-growing plant that will quickly create a jungle out of the background of your tank in the right conditions, and is difficult to kill.