Plants for Goldfish: 14 Best Choices With Pictures

If you’re looking to add a touch of life and color to your goldfish tank, then aquatic plants are the way to go! Before introducing any plants into the tank, it’s important to understand which ones your goldfish will love! Not only do plants make for a great aesthetic addition, but they also serve as a natural source of food and oxygen for your goldfish.

In this article, we’ll be exploring the best plants to add to your goldfish tank, so that you can create a healthy and beautiful underwater environment for your aquatic pets. So, let’s dive in!

Do Goldfish Like Plants in The Tank?

Adding plants to your goldfish’ tank is a great way to improve their happiness in a variety of ways. They’ll give the tank more hiding places make it feel more natural, and improve the water quality. Some of the best plants for goldfish include: Water sprite, anubias, java fern & Amazon Sword.

Why Are Plants Good For Goldfish?

Plants are great for goldfish for a few reasons. First of all, plants also give them something interesting to explore and nibble at, which helps keep them entertained while providing essential micronutrients as they chow down.

Also live aquarium plants can naturally filter out excess waste and ammonia created by your fish’s respiration process. This is especially helpful if you have a smaller-sized fish tank; larger tanks require fewer filtration systems due to their increased water capacity.

Live plants also helps regulate pH levels and discourage algae growth, two essential components in maintaining healthy goldfish habitats.

However, before introducing any new plants into your tank, make sure that you thoroughly research their needs and determine if they are suitable for the type of fish you own. For instance, many tropical plants may require higher temperature ranges than cold-water fish like koi or comet goldfish need.

Altogether, goldfish love live plants in their tank making them worthwhile additions to most home aquariums!

Plants for Goldfish_ 14 Best Choices With Pictures

What Plants Are Best for Goldfish?

Now you know one of the key elements of a goldfish aquarium is live plants. Not only do they add beauty to the aquarium, but they also provide a host of benefits for the fish, such as oxygenation, shelter, and natural filtration. However, not all plants are suitable for goldfish. In this article, we will explore the best plants for goldfish.

Anubias

Anubias is a popular choice for goldfish aquariums due to its hardiness and tolerance for nibbling. This plant has thick, dark green leaves that can grow up to 5 inches long. It can be attached to driftwood or rocks, making it a great option for aquascaping. Anubias can thrive in a range of lighting conditions and water parameters, making it an ideal choice for beginner aquarists.

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Java Fern

Another durable plant that goldfish love is Java Fern. This plant has long, narrow leaves that can grow up to 13 inches in length. Java Fern is known for its ability to tolerate low lighting and a wide range of water parameters. It’s also a slow grower, which means it requires minimal maintenance. Java Fern can be anchored to driftwood or rocks, making it a great choice for aquascaping.

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Amazon Sword

If you’re looking for a plant that can add height and drama to your goldfish aquarium, Amazon Sword is an excellent option. This plant has long, green leaves that can grow up to 20 inches in length. Amazon Sword is a nutrient-hungry plant, so it’s important to provide it with regular fertilization. However, it’s a hardy plant that can tolerate a range of water conditions and lighting.

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Hornwort

Hornwort is a fast-growing, low-maintenance plant that can provide great shelter for goldfish fry. This plant has fine, feathery leaves but be warned, it can grow up to 15 foot in length. Hornwort can be left to float freely in the aquarium or anchored to the substrate. It’s also a great natural filtration plant, helping to remove excess nutrients from the water.

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Water Sprite

Water Sprite is a popular plant for goldfish aquariums due to its fast growth and ability to remove excess nutrients from the water. This plant has delicate, light green leaves that can grow up to 13-14 inches in length. Water Sprite can be planted in the substrate or left to float freely in the aquarium. It’s also a great hiding place for goldfish fry.

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What Floating Plants Are Best for Goldfish?

Floating plants not only enhance the visual appeal of your aquarium, but they also provide natural filtration and shade for your goldfish. However, not all floating plants are suitable for goldfish, so it’s essential to choose the right ones.

Here are some of the best floating plants for goldfish:

Water Lettuce

Water lettuce is a favorite among goldfish owners because it’s easy to grow and maintain. It provides a great hiding place for your goldfish and helps to control the growth of algae by consuming excess nutrients from the water. Water lettuce is also known for its large, attractive leaves, making it an excellent addition to your aquarium.

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Frogbit

Frogbit is another excellent option for goldfish tanks because it can tolerate a wide range of water conditions. It has small, round leaves that float on the surface, creating a beautiful green cover for your aquarium. Frogbit also absorbs excess nutrients from the water, helping to keep it clean and healthy for your goldfish.

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Salvinia

Salvinia is a fast-growing floating plant that can quickly cover the surface of your aquarium, providing plenty of shade for your goldfish. It has small, oval-shaped leaves that resemble moss and can help to reduce the growth of algae in your tank. Salvinia is easy to care for and can thrive in a variety of water conditions.

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Duckweed

Duckweed is a popular floating plant that is often used in goldfish tanks. It’s known for its small, bright green leaves that float on the surface of the water. Duckweed is an excellent natural filter and helps to remove excess nutrients from the water. It’s easy to propagate and can quickly cover the surface of your aquarium.

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Water Hyacinth

Water hyacinth is another beautiful and fast-growing floating plant that can provide shade and shelter for your goldfish. It has long, feathery roots that hang down into the water, providing a hiding place for your fish. Water hyacinth also helps to absorb excess nutrients from the water, making it an excellent natural filter.

When choosing floating plants for your goldfish tank, it’s important to consider their growth rate and size. Goldfish are known to nibble on plants, so you should choose plants that can tolerate some damage. Additionally, you should avoid adding too many plants to your aquarium, as this can lead to an imbalance in the water chemistry.

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What Plants Are Best for Goldfish Ponds?

Adding plants to your goldfish pond can enhance its visual appeal, improve water quality, and provide natural hiding places for your fish. However, not all plants are suitable for goldfish ponds, and it’s important to choose the right ones.

Here are some of the best plants for goldfish ponds:

Water Lilies

Water lilies are a popular choice for goldfish ponds, and for good reason. These floating plants are not only visually appealing but also provide shade and protection for your fish. They come in a variety of colors, including white, pink, and yellow, and can grow to be quite large. Water lilies require full sun and well-aerated water to thrive.

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Hornwort

Hornwort is a versatile plant that can be either submerged or floating. Its feathery leaves help to oxygenate the water and provide a hiding place for your fish. Hornwort is also great for reducing algae growth and can be propagated by stem cuttings.

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Water Hyacinth

Water hyacinth is a fast-growing floating plant that can provide shade and shelter for your goldfish. It has long, feathery roots that hang down into the water, providing a hiding place for your fish. Water hyacinth also helps to absorb excess nutrients from the water, making it an excellent natural filter. However, it’s important to keep this plant in check, as it can quickly cover the surface of your pond and become invasive.

Parrot Feather

Parrot feather is a unique plant that can add an interesting texture to your goldfish pond. It has long, bright green leaves that resemble feathers and can grow both submerged and floating on the surface. Parrot feather provides a great hiding place for your fish and helps absorb excess water nutrients.

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Cattails

Cattails are a common plant found in wetlands and can be an excellent addition to your goldfish pond. They have tall, narrow leaves that can grow up to 10 feet tall and provide a natural habitat for birds and other wildlife. Cattails also help to absorb excess nutrients from the water and can improve water quality in your pond.

Water Poppy

Water poppy is a beautiful floating plant that is perfect for goldfish ponds. Its bright yellow flowers add a pop of color to your pond, and its lily pad-like leaves provide shade and shelter for your fish. Water poppy can be grown in full sun or partial shade and requires well-aerated water to thrive.

Advantages of Live Plants for Goldfish

Live plants are a fantastic addition to any goldfish tank or pond, providing numerous benefits for both the plants and the fish. Here are some of the advantages of having live plants in your goldfish tank:

Improved Water Quality

Live plants can improve water quality by absorbing nitrates and other toxins that can be harmful to goldfish. They also produce oxygen during the day, which helps to aerate the water and maintain a healthy environment for your fish.

Natural Habitat

Live plants provide a natural habitat for goldfish, recreating a similar environment to what they would find in the wild. They offer shelter and hiding places for the fish, which can help to reduce stress and encourage natural behaviors.

Nutrient Source

Live plants can also act as a nutrient source for goldfish, providing them with a natural food source. Some plants, such as duckweed and water lettuce, are even edible for goldfish and can supplement their diet.

Algae Control

Live plants can help to control the growth of algae in goldfish tanks or ponds. They compete with algae for nutrients, reducing the amount of available food for algae to grow. In addition, the shade provided by the plants can help to prevent the growth of algae on the walls of the tank or pond.

Aesthetic Appeal

Live plants add aesthetic appeal to goldfish tanks or ponds, creating a natural and visually pleasing environment. They come in a variety of colors, shapes, and sizes, allowing for customization and personalization of the tank or pond.

Disadvantages of Live Plants for Goldfish

While live plants offer numerous benefits to goldfish tanks and ponds, there are also some potential drawbacks to consider. Here are some of the disadvantages of having live plants in your goldfish tank:

Your Goldfish May Eat the Plants

Goldfish are notorious for nibbling on live plants, which can damage or destroy them. Some species of goldfish are more prone to plant-eating than others, so it’s important to research and select the appropriate plant species that can withstand their nibbling.

High Nutrient Requirements

Live plants require specific nutrient levels to thrive, which can be challenging to maintain in goldfish tanks or ponds. Goldfish produce high levels of waste, which can result in excess nutrients that can promote algae growth and cause water quality issues.

Increased Maintenance

Live plants require regular maintenance, including pruning, fertilizing, and cleaning. This can be time-consuming and may require additional equipment or supplies.

Introduce Parasites and Diseases

Live plants can introduce parasites and diseases into goldfish tanks or ponds. It’s important to quarantine and thoroughly inspect any new plants before adding them to the tank or pond to prevent the spread of potential infections.

Cost

Live plants can be expensive, especially if you need to purchase a large number to cover a significant area in the tank or pond. In addition, the cost of specialized lighting and fertilizers can add up over time.

Should You Put Fake Plants in Your Goldfish Tank?

Given the variety of options on the market, it can be difficult to decide whether fake or live plants are right for your goldfish tank. While there are advantages and disadvantages to both, here are some points to consider when making a decision.

Pros of Using Fake Plants

Fake plants offer easy maintenance: they don’t need trimming, pruning or other upkeep like live plants do. Additionally, these artificial decorations often come with bright colors — from reds and oranges to blues and purples — so you can customize your tanks with eye-catching accents that last longer than natural greenery does. 

Furthermore, if you’re just starting out with fish keeping, fake plants can be less expensive and easier for beginner hobbyists who aren’t confident about their ability yet.

Cons of Using Fake Plants

On the other hand, fake plants lack certain benefits of live vegetation, such as providing shade, coverage, and essential nutrients for healthy fish. In addition to this, they have the potential to become hazardous if not supervised properly. 

Therefore, you’ll need to make sure that any objects added to the environment won’t cause harm. Finally, it’s worth noting that while artificial vegetation looks visually appealing, its vibrant hues may end up distracting rather than enhancing an ecosystem’s look, thereby detracting from a natural experience instead of adding zest!

FAQ

Do Goldfish Eat Floating Plants?

Yes, goldfish can eat floating plants. While they typically prefer to consume sinking foods like flakes or pellets, they may nibble on some types of floating plants as well. In particular, duckweed and anacharis are particularly appealing to these fish since they provide both nutrition and comfort.

Should You Put Fake Plants in Your Goldfish Tank?

Fake plants can be used in a goldfish tank for purely aesthetic purposes, however, it’s important to keep in mind that plastic plants won’t offer the same benefits as natural aquatic vegetation — such as oxygenation, nutrient support, and hiding spots — so you should opt for real live plants whenever possible.

Do Plants Keep Fish Tank Clean?

Yes, aquarium plants do help to keep fish tanks clean by acting as “scrubbers” that trap dirt particles and debris before it has a chance to soil up the tank. Additionally, certain types of aquatic vegetation also absorb nitrates which helps to reduce pollution levels in the tank.

Recap

In conclusion, adding plants to your goldfish tank can bring tons of benefits to both you and your goldfish. Not only do they provide a natural food source and oxygen, but they also create a visually appealing underwater landscape. By choosing the right plants for your goldfish tank and providing proper care, you can create a healthy and thriving environment that will make your goldfish feel right at home. So go ahead and add some greenery to your tank, and watch your goldfish flourish!

About the author

Hey! I'm Antonio!

Betta fish keeper for over 6 years now! Since owning a betta I've also housed all kinds of tropical fish, and have seen all manner of problems and how to look after them!

If you need any advice you can always message me or better yet join the Facebook group where a community can answer your questions!

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