If you plan on getting some goldfish, or you already have some, you probably don’t want a bare tank without any plants. Aquariums without plants just look and feel weird. However, you might also know that keeping live plants with goldfish can be a bit problematic, especially because goldfish do like eating many of them.
Yet, there are some plants which are more than ideal for goldfish tanks, which is what we are here for today. Let’s get right to it and help you find the best aquarium plants for goldfish out there right now.
|Amazon Sword||Our top pick||9.5/10|
|Java Fern||Hard leaves so shouldn’t be eaten||9.1/10|
|Java Moss||Fast growing plant||8.4/10|
Do Goldfish Like Plants In The Tank?
Yes, absolutely do goldfish love to have plants in their tank. Goldfish in the wild live in environments that can be quite heavily vegetated, and you want to recreate this heavy vegetation in your home aquarium.
Now, goldfish generally love to eat a whole lot of aquarium plants, to the point where you might have to buy new ones on occasion, but you do want to provide your goldfish with some plants for eating.
Moreover, goldfish will also enjoy some resting areas, especially under larger leaves where they can get some shade, as well as some privacy from tankmates.
10 Best Live Plants For Goldfish
Here we have what we consider to be the top 10 safe plants for goldfish, ones that can survive in the same tank conditions, and for the most part can resist hungry goldfish.
1. Amazon Sword
The Amazon sword plant is definitely one of the better options out there for goldfish tanks. Now, goldfish do find the leaves of this plant quite tasty, which you might see as a problem.
However, the Amazon sword’s leaves grow quite quickly, and they can grow up to 16 inches in height. Realistically, the fast growth of this plant should offset the pace at which your goldfish will eat the plant.
It’s also a good option to go with because Amazon sword roots tend to grow fast and they anchor themselves well in substrate, so goldfish won’t be able to easily dislodge them. Moreover, it’s just a really nice looking aquarium plant that is easy to care for.
It’s water parameter and tank needs match those of the goldfish quite well, so there should be no problem there, plus the leaves do create an ideal hiding spot for them.
2. Java Fern
The java fern is another plant that is ideal for goldfish tanks, for a variety of reasons. Now, the main reason why the java fern makes for an ideal plant for a goldfish tank is because the leaves of it are quite hard, and goldfish really do not like to eat them.
So, you don’t have to worry about the goldfish mowing down your java ferns when they feel like a snack.
Moreover, java ferns do not like being buried in substrate, but they do appreciate being tied to some rough rocks of driftwood, which combined with the fact that goldfish don’t like to eat this plant, means that it should be safe from damage.
There is also the fact that java ferns can survive in a variety of lighting conditions, water temperatures, and pH levels, all of which coincide with the tank requirements of goldfish.
3. Java Moss
Java moss grows at a moderate pace, and it grows faster in higher light conditions, although it will do fine in low light conditions too.
Moreover, java moss is not the favorite snack of goldfish, although they may nibble on it. Even if your goldfish do nibble on your java moss, it should grow fast enough to offset the pace at which it is eaten, especially if you take good care of it.
Java moss is one of those aquarium plants which does best when anchored to some rocks or to driftwood, so the chances of it being dislodged by your goldfish are pretty minimal too.
Other than that, another reason why java moss is ideal for goldfish tanks is because it is very easy to care for. It does well in most lighting conditions, it can survive in both colder and warmer waters, and it’s pH needs are not too demanding either.
The next plant which you may want to consider adding to your goldfish tank is duckweed. Now, most aquarium owners hate duckweed because it grows so darn fast that it can take over a fish tank in a matter of weeks.
Keep in mind that this is a floating plant which features small and round leaves. It’s easy to care for because it grows so easily and because it does not require you to root it down, as it just grows on the surface of the water, much like Lily Pads.
Yes, it can overtake an aquarium fast, and when it does, it ends up blocking out a lot of light. However, for a goldfish tank, this is ideal because goldfish love eating the soft and tasty leaves of the duckweed plant, which helps to offset the super fast growth and propagation of it.
Other than that, duckweed has no pressing or demanding needs that you won’t be able to meet.
5. Water Sprite
Now, once again, goldfish do love to eat this plant. They love the taste and the soft and fleshy leaves which water sprite features. It can grow pretty large as well, but you probably won’t need to trim it, because the goldfish will take care of that problem for you.
However, under the right conditions, water sprite grows so fast that it really does not matter how much of it your goldfish eat. Water sprite is very easy to care for, as it can be rooted in gravel substrate, but it also does fine as a floating plant too.
In terms of tank conditions and compatibility with goldfish, water sprite has the same pH, temperature, and water hardness demands as goldfish, so you should not have any problems there.
Wisteria is easily planted in a fine gravel substrate, and its roots tend to quickly form a dense and strong root system, so them being dislodged by your goldfish should not be much of an issue.
Moreover, wisteria can easily grow to 20 inches in height, or even taller, given the right conditions, plus it grows extremely fast, sometimes more than 2 inches per week. Yes, your goldfish will probably like to nibble on wisteria, but the point here is that it grows so fast and large that it being eaten should not be a problem.
Heck, if anything, your goldfish eating this plant is doing you a favor by removing the need for you to trim it. When it comes to water conditions and tank requirements, those of wisteria and goldfish are very similar, so they can easily be kept in the same tank.
7. Vallisneria Spiralis
Now, this plant looks more or less like your average grass that you might find on a well kempt lawn.
However, the leaves are much thicker and broader than your average grass, and this stuff can easily grow to 30 inches in height or more. Under the right conditions, it can grow by inches per week.
Sure, some people may not like this due to the fact that it often needs to be trimmed and maintained, however the leaves of this plant are enjoyed as a snack by goldfish, so in all reality, the fish should take care of the trimming for you.
Vallisneria Spiralis does need to be rooted in some fairly fine gravel substrate, but the roots do grow fast, and after a week or two, they should have developed a root system strong enough to resist being dislodged by hungry or boisterous goldfish.
8. Water lettuce
Water lettuce does grow at a decent pace, and it can get quite large, so you do need to watch out for it overtaking your tank.
Remember that this is a floating plant, quite a large one that can grow up to 5 inches in diameter, so if not kept under control, it can block out light and absorb too much oxygen from the water.
However, it does make for an ideal option for goldfish tanks because it is a floating plant, which means that there is no possibility of a goldfish dislodging its roots from the substrate.
Moreover, goldfish may nibble at it a little bit, but because it is a large floating plant, the chances of this are fairly minimal, plus they do not seem to enjoy the taste all that much either. Other than that, water lettuce is also very easy to care for, which is another bonus.
This is one of those plants that has quite the rough and needle-like texture, which means that goldfish don’t love snacking on it, and unless they are very hungry, they usually won’t eat it.
Moreover, Hornwort does grow very fast and very tall, so even if your goldfish do eat it, it grows more than fast enough to offset the pace at which it is eaten.
In fact, you will probably have to trim it regularly to stop it from growing too large. Furthermore, the roots of the hornwort plant do great in gravel substrate, the root system develops fast, and the chances of your goldfish dislodging it are minimal, but they will like resting under the leaves of it to get some shade.
Finally, the tank requirements and water conditions that hornwort requires are pretty much the same as goldfish.
Now, the good part about this stuff is that it can easily survive in the same tank as goldfish. Moreover, goldfish will like to rest under it to get some shade.
The issue here is that goldfish absolutely love to eat anarchis, and they will absolutely demolish it. Yes, this plant does grow fast, but it may not grow fast enough to offset the pace of being eaten be the fish.
However, a trick here is to add some fully mature and large anarchis to your goldfish tank, as this will help offset the rate at which your hungry goldfish devour them. Other than that, this plant is actually very easy to care for, which is of course a bonus indeed.
What Aquarium Plants Will Goldfish Not Eat?
Ok, so the fact of the matter is that goldfish will eat pretty much any kind of aquarium plant you put in the tank. However, what you can keep in mind is that there are a certain few plants which goldfish will stay away from. Anything that has really thick and rough leaves is probably safe.
Anything with a rough and hard texture probably won’t be eaten by them, especially if it has sharp and needle-like leaves. Also, floating plants, especially larger ones like water lettuce tend to be safe as well.
We were not kidding when we said that goldfish will eat pretty much any aquarium plants you can put in there, so your best bet is getting plants that grow really fast.
Live VS Fake Plants For Goldfish
You might be thinking that you can just put fake plants in your goldfish tank, which yes is an option, but not the best one (we have covered fake plants here if you want some more information).
Sure, fake plants might not get eaten by your goldfish, but they also don’t look that nice and they don’t grow either. It definitely does not feel right with fake plants.
Fake plants also don’t help filter the water and they don’t help balance CO2 and O2 either, both of which are big drawbacks. Sure, your goldfish might eat real live plants, but it’s still the better option to go with over fake plastic plants.
Do Goldfish Like Driftwood?
Yes, goldfish may enjoy some driftwood, as they might even nibble on it, or at least just get some rest inside of its hollows (you can see our top 10 driftwood picks here).
However, goldfish tanks are already quite susceptible to algae, and driftwood definitely won’t help there, plus driftwood can also alter water chemistry. When all is said and done, adding driftwood to a goldfish tank is not recommended at all.
There you have it folks, the 10 best plants to add to a goldfish tank which can resist being eaten by them and probably won’t get dislodged either. Yes, it’s always a bit risky, because goldfish will eat pretty much any and all aquarium plants, but that said, a bare tank without real live plants just does not feel the same.