Goldfish are lively fish that will liven up any tank with their vibrant colors. Many hobbyists decorate their aquarium by keeping live and fake plants. Now, the question that arises when you keep goldfish and plants together is, do goldfish eat plants?
Yes, goldfish do eat plants. However, they do not eat certain live plants like Anubias, Java Fern, and Anacharis as they are difficult to nibble. Live plants are recommended for goldfish aquarium as they help maintain the water’s oxygen levels by removing the ammonia and carbon dioxide.
Goldfish indeed like and attempt to eat everything edible. However, that should not discourage you from keeping plants in the aquarium. Let’s talk about goldfish and plants in detail.
Do Goldfish Need Plants?
It is not mandatory to have plants in a goldfish aquarium. However, plants are highly recommended.
Plants are not only good for your goldfish, but they also play a vital role in maintaining your aquarium’s ecosystem.
Plants help in creating a healthy habitat. They reduce the ammonia and carbon dioxide in the aquarium water.
Also, they help to increase the oxygen levels in the water, which is very important for reducing the stress of your goldfish and for their healthy growth.
Goldfish are found in ponds, lakes, streams, and rivers and are surrounded by plants in the wild.
So, plants are an excellent way to imitate their natural environment. Besides, plants provide shelter and security for your goldfish.
Okay! Goldfish do well in planted tanks, but not all plants are beneficial.
It would be best to choose plants that your goldfish will not look upon as a snack.
Recommended Further Reading:
- What Do Goldfish Eat? What To Feed (And Not Feed) Your Goldfish
- How To Take Care Of A Goldfish? (Goldfish Care In 3 Simple Steps)
- Can Goldfish Live WIth Shrimp? (How To Keep Them Together?)
What Are The Best Live Plants To Keep With Goldfish? (What Plants Goldfish Won’t Eat)
What works with one species of fish will not necessarily apply to another fish.
When it comes to choosing a plant for your goldfish aquarium, you need to be selective and wise.
Goldfish, being omnivores, will be delighted to see a plant in their habitat. They will surely look upon the plant as a snack.
So, you should choose only those live plants that goldfish will not prefer to eat.
Anacharis, Hornwort, Amazon Sword, Anubias, and Java Fern are some of the plants that your goldfish will not eat.
These plants are easy to maintain and do not require any special attention.
Java Moss is another goldfish aquarium friendly plant. Goldfish can eat java moss plants.
However, if your goldfish are well-fed and not starving, they will avoid nibbling on this plant.
Terrestrial plants can also be placed in a goldfish tank.
You can wash the roots and then stick them in the tank water with their leaves exposed to the air.
Pothos plant is widely used as it helps in controlling nitrates.
Alright! Now you know which plants you can keep that goldfish won’t eat.
However, what if you want to keep other plants? How can you stop goldfish from eating them?
How To Stop Goldfish From Eating Your Plants?
Goldfish are messy fish. They cannot resist nibbling, digging, pulling, and snacking on the aquarium plants.
No matter which plants you put in their aquarium, there is a high probability that your goldfish will dig and nibble them.
You will be surprised to see your plants uprooted and dislodged from the substrate in no time.
So, does that mean you should not keep plants in the aquarium from the fear of them being destroyed by your goldfish?
Not at all! You need to carefully choose the plants that your goldfish will not prefer to eat.
Java Fern is one such plant. Goldfish don’t like the taste of Java Fern, and so they will not eat it.
You can tie this plant to a rock so that it does not get uprooted.
Duckweed and Anacharis are other plants that you can keep in your aquarium.
These plants are considered to be tasty, and your goldfish will surely munch on them.
However, they grow at such a pace that your little one will not be able to eat all of them.
You should not choose an exotic looking aquarium plant for your goldfish tank.
Instead, you need to be smart and choose a plant with thick leaves or leaves that look like thorns.
Such plants will not be appealing to your goldfish, and they will avoid eating such plants.
To avoid your plants from being dislodged by goldfish, you can tie the plants to a rock or an ornament.
You can also attach some weighted base to the plants so that your goldfish will not be able to dislodge them.
You can even place plants in a pot or vase that can fit in your aquarium.
Furthermore, you can include green leafy vegetables into the everyday diet of your goldfish.
This may help as your goldfish will be content, and your plants may be saved.
Finely chopped lettuce, spinach, and kale are also a good option as they are nutritious.
Related Further Reading:
- What Do Goldfish Eat In The Wild? (Typical And Ideal Goldfish Diet)
- What Do Goldfish Eat In A Pond? What To Feed Them In Ponds?
- Why Do Goldfish Float? (How To Stop Them From Floating?)
- Can Goldfish Eat Bread? (Why It’s Bad And What To Feed Instead)
Why Choose Live Aquarium Plants Over Fake Ones For Your Goldfish?
Plants are the best and natural way to enhance the beauty of an aquarium.
Plants not only enhance the look of an aquarium but also improve the quality of the water.
Some veteran aquarists believe that fake plants are an excellent alternative to live plants.
This way, you can save your live plants from being eaten.
Also, artificial plants require less maintenance as compared to live plants.
However, you will then not be able to get the benefits of live plants. So, let’s compare live and fake plants.
Pros of live plants:
- The life span of goldfish increase with live aquarium plants, and they will thrive more.
- Live plants mimic the natural environment of the goldfish.
- They oxygenate the water and remove toxins from the water.
- They also compete with algae for nutrients and thus reduce the growth of algae in the aquarium.
Cons of live plants:
- You cannot completely stop your goldfish from nibbling and biting the plants.
- Chances of your plants being uprooted or destroyed are comparatively high.
- Live plants can grow fast and may outgrow your tank.
Pros of fake plants:
- Lots of options readily available in the market for fake plants of different sizes and shapes.
- Fake plants require minimal maintenance.
- Their lush or bright color will not fade easily.
Cons of fake plants:
- There are chances of your goldfish getting injured due to the plants’ edges.
- Parasitic infection may get transferred to your goldfish from fake plants.
- They don’t look like anything real.
- They will also not oxygenate the aquarium and will not offer any biological benefits to your aquarium.
Interesting Further Reading:
- Do Goldfish Need Filters? (Can Goldfish Live Without A Filter?)
- Do Goldfish Eat Snails? (And Can Snails Live With Goldfish?)
- Do Goldfish Eat Algae? (Is It Bad And How To Get Rid Of Algae)
Goldfish are voracious eaters, and so the plants in the aquarium will not be spared.
That does not mean that your goldfish tank should not be planted, especially after seeing the benefits of live plants.
You can always choose suitable plants for your tank that your goldfish do not prefer to eat.
Anabias, Anacharis, Java Fern, Amazon Sword are the best examples of plants that you can place in a goldfish aquarium.
You can use live or fake plants as per your choice.
However, live plants are recommended as they are more beneficial to goldfish.
Though fake plants look lovely and brighter than live plants, they don’t have any additional benefits for goldfish.