Can I Keep Live Plants With Goldfish Or Will They Eat Them

Having live plants with goldfish can be tough. Goldfish love to nibble on plants, likely destroying the greenery in your tank. Yet, careful planning and the right plant species can make a peaceful home for both fish and plants.

To make it work, choose robust plants like Anubias, Java Fern, or Amazon Sword. These have tough leaves and can resist the nibbles.

Provide hiding places with rocks or driftwood. This adds beauty and offers the fish something else to do instead of eating the plants.

Introduce floating plants like Duckweed or Water Lettuce. These add color, shade, and cover. Plus, since they are floating, the goldfish can’t reach them.

Also, maintain good water conditions. Filtration, water changes, and lighting will help the fish and plants thrive.

Understanding the Compatibility between Live Plants and Goldfish

Goldfish are notorious for their big appetites and tendency to munch on anything in their tank – even live plants. But it is possible to keep plants alive in a goldfish tank, if you take the right precautions.

  • Go hardy: Choose robust plant species that can handle the occasional goldfish nibble. Anubias, Java Fern and Amazon Sword are all good options.
  • Anchor securely: Make sure the plants are firmly planted in the substrate, so goldfish won’t be able to uproot them. A weighted base or mesh can help.
  • Provide hiding spots: Tall, dense vegetation like Vallisneria or Hornwort can serve as golden hideaways, reducing the temptation to eat other plants.
  • Avoid delicate leaves: Plants with fragile leaves or thin stems are more likely to get munched. Stick to species with thicker foliage and tougher structures.
  • Monitor water: Keep an eye on your water quality – it’s essential for both goldfish and plants. Test and filtrate regularly to stay balanced.

Remember, some goldfish may have stronger plant-eating habits than others. You might need to experiment to find the perfect balance between greenery and fish.

To help out, try these tips:

  • Feed a balanced diet: Give your goldfish a variety of food, so they don’t snack on plants due to hunger. Vegetables are a great source of fiber.
  • Enrich and stimulate: Give goldfish enriching activities like floating toys or aquarium decorations, so they don’t get bored and eat the plants!
  • Create visual barriers: Place large decorations or rocks in strategic places, to block off areas where live plants are located.

By following these steps, you’ll be able to keep live plants and content goldfish in harmony. It’s all about understanding each fish’s needs and creating a suitable environment.

Factors to Consider Before Keeping Live Plants with Goldfish

Having live plants and goldfish together needs thoughtful thinking. Here are 3 main ideas to think about:

  1. Compatibility: Not all plants can do well in a goldfish tank. Some plants have soft leaves that get eaten by goldfish. So, pick plants like Anubias or Java Ferns that can handle being nibbled.
  2. Water Conditions: Goldfish produce a lot of waste. This can change the water’s pH, ammonia, and nitrate levels. Pick plants that can handle these changes.
  3. Tank Setup: The layout of the tank matters for goldfish and plants to live together. Goldfish like to dig. This can disturb plants’ roots and uproot them. Put rocks or driftwood in the tank to help keep plants in place and give fish places to hide.

Note: Not all goldfish eat plants. Watch your goldfish’s behavior and adjust. Give them fresh vegetables like lettuce, spinach, or peas to satisfy their cravings and stop them from eating your plants.

Benefits of Keeping Live Plants with Goldfish

Having live plants with goldfish can be great for both the fish and the aquarium. Plants provide many advantages that help the wellbeing of goldfish and make the aquarium look beautiful.

  • Clean Water: Live plants absorb extra nutrients like nitrates and phosphates from the water, preventing algae growth and keeping the water perfect for goldfish.
  • Oxygen: Goldfish need oxygen. Plants give off oxygen through photosynthesis, which keeps the oxygen level up and helps goldfish breathe.
  • Hiding and Playing: Live plants offer a place of safety and fun for goldfish. They can hide, explore, and play among the plants, making them feel more secure.
  • Food Source: Some live plants are a nutritious food source for goldfish. For example, duckweed and elodea contain lots of nutrients.

Plus, live plants add a splash of colour, shape, and texture to the aquarium.

To maximize the benefits, pick the right plants that fit the water temperature and acidity. Give the plants the right lighting. Trim and maintain the plants so they don’t take over or decay. Use fertilizers or plant supplements for aquatic plants to help them grow. This way, aquarists create a peaceful underwater home that’s great for the goldfish and the plants. Cleaner water, oxygen, hiding places, and food all contribute to the goldfish’s health.

Potential Challenges and Solutions

Goldfish have a habit of nibbling on live plants. But, with the right strategy and techniques, you can make a balanced environment where your goldfish and plants can both thrive. Here are some challenges and solutions for keeping live plants with goldfish:

Challenge Solution
Goldfish eating plants Pick hardy and fast-growing plant species that can handle the nibbling of goldfish. For instance, Anubias, Java Fern, and Water Wisteria. Also, add plenty of hiding spots in the tank to stop goldfish from reaching them.
Nutrient deficiencies Goldfish excrete a lot of waste, leading to nutrient deficiencies in plants. Utilize high-quality fertilizers designed for aquariums to make sure plants get all the nutrients they need. Additionally, regular water changes can help maintain ideal water quality for both the fish and plants.
Algae growth Live plants compete with algae for nutrients, lowering the chances of excess algae growth in your aquarium. Also, use an appropriate lighting schedule and keep the tank clean to avoid algae overgrowth. Put algae-eating snails or shrimp into the tank for natural control of algae populations.

It’s vital to note that not all kinds of goldfish will have a big appetite for live plants. For example, fancy goldfish tend to be less prone to nibbling on vegetation in comparison to their common or comet equivalents.

Pro Tip: Observe your goldfish’s behavior and alter their diet accordingly to reduce their interest in munching on live plants. Give them a varied diet that includes high-quality pellets, flakes, and frozen foods to ensure they get all the necessary nutrients without depending only on veggie options.

Tips for Successfully Keeping Live Plants with Goldfish

Goldfish often eat live plants. But, these tips will help create a beautiful and lively aquatic environment with live plants and goldfish.

  • Choose fast-growing, tough plants. Anubias, Java Fern, Amazon Sword, and Hornwort are good options.
  • Offer hiding spots and coverage for the plants. Goldfish may be less likely to nibble on them if they have places to explore.
  • Use floating plants like Water Lettuce or Water Hyacinth. They add beauty and shade, and compete for nutrients, making it less appetizing for goldfish to snack on other plants.
  • Introduce plant-friendly tankmates like snails or shrimp. They clean the tank and compete with goldfish for food, reducing their urge to eat the live plants.
  • Fertilize regularly with liquid or root tabs made for aquarium plants. This gives plants the essential nutrients they need to stay strong and healthy.

Also, monitor water parameters such as pH, ammonia levels, and temperature to create a suitable environment for the fish and plants.

In conclusion, by picking sturdy plant species, providing hiding spots, adding floating plants, introducing compatible tankmates, and offering proper fertilization, you can keep live plants with goldfish and reduce their chances of becoming a snack.


Live plants and goldfish can happily coexist – let’s dive into the conclusion to learn more!

Java Fern and Anubias are some aquatic plants which are hardier and less likely to be eaten by goldfish. Choose plants which can withstand goldfish nibbling or uprooting. Maintenance and trimming of plants may be needed to keep balance in the ecosystem. Plants also improve water quality by absorbing nitrates, and create a natural environment for goldfish.

For additional success, get larger-sized goldfish species that are less likely to nibble on plants. Secure the plants with sturdy anchors or weighted bases. Regularly monitor water parameters to address any issues.

Bring live plants into your goldfish tank for a visually pleasing and enriched aquarium experience!

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ 1: Can I keep live plants with goldfish?

Yes, you can keep live plants with goldfish. In fact, live plants can provide numerous benefits to your goldfish tank, such as enhancing water quality, providing oxygen, and creating a more natural environment.

FAQ 2: Will goldfish eat the live plants?

While goldfish are known to nibble on plants, they do not typically eat them to the point of complete destruction. However, it’s important to choose plant species that are hardy and can withstand some nibbling.

FAQ 3: What types of live plants are suitable for goldfish tanks?

Some recommended live plants for goldfish tanks include Java fern, Anubias, Hornwort, Amazon sword, and Vallisneria. These plants are generally hardy and can tolerate the conditions in a goldfish tank.

FAQ 4: How can I protect my live plants from being eaten?

To protect your live plants from being eaten, you can try the following measures:

  • Choose plants with tougher leaves that are less appealing to goldfish.
  • Provide alternative food sources, such as sinking pellets or vegetables, to satisfy your goldfish’s herbivorous tendencies.
  • Use plant weights or place rocks around the base of the plants to anchor them in the substrate.
  • Consider creating a separate plant-only section in your tank.

FAQ 5: Are there any signs that my goldfish are eating too many plants?

If you notice excessive plant destruction, yellowing or dying plants, or if your goldfish are not eating their regular food, it could be a sign that they are consuming too many plants. In such cases, you may need to adjust the plant-to-fish ratio or remove certain plants altogether.

FAQ 6: Can I use artificial plants instead?

Yes, if you are concerned about your goldfish damaging live plants, you can use artificial plants as an alternative. However, it’s important to ensure that the artificial plants are made from fish-safe materials and do not have sharp edges that could harm your goldfish.