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*Amanda*

Want to improve my plant-keeping skills

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So I've been keeping plants (anacharis and Amazon swords) in my tanks for about a year now, but have never done anything besides stick them in the tank and bury them in the gravel - mostly because I have been focused on the fish. The Amazon swords' leaves have been turning brown; I think that's because they are in the tank closest to the window (although this does not bother the anacharis). I am not at home right now to check the light bulb type, but I can tell you that it's just the basic light that comes with the aquarium sets, nothing special.

I do have a couple of questions:

1) Everyone always seems to be talking about their goldfish eating the plants, but I have NEVER seen mine do this. I have only seen them dig up plants to get to food that fell nearby. I wonder why mine won't touch the plants - they eat everything else without hesitation! I would actually like it if my goldfish ate the plants, if it's good for them. Which plants are best for goldfish nutrition? So far I have only found articles about plants that goldfish DON'T like, as opposed to what they do like - it seems a lot of people don't want their goldfish eating their plants.

2) I have heard a lot of people recommend anubias, but at the store they have 4-5 different species in the Anubias genus available. Are they all good for goldfish, or are some species not?

3) I only buy the plants that Petsmart sells in those clear plastic tubes, since I am always worried about diseases or harmful organisms that might be carried over from stores' aquariums (and most of the stores here have A LOT of problems). Is this a legitimate concern, or will bleaching the plants take care of this no matter what?

Thanks all!

Amanda

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Not sure about everything else but the amazon swords definitely need root tabs since they're heavy root feeders :) I can usually tell it's time to put in new tabs when I see the leaves on mine start yellowing.

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Swords to best with enriched substrate (substrate like dirt, ecocomplete, aquasoil) or gravel with root tabs. They will grow in low light but they grow quickly with LOTS of light.

Fish favorites are soft/tender leaf plants, but it can easily be a waste of money to continually buy plants that get completely eaten.

I recommend any floating type of plants that grow quickly. Mainly any floating plant: water lettuce, duckweed, frogbit, water wisteria, etc. Most floating plants grow fastest with low-high lighting and fishes love to eat 'em. If your fishies like them too much, you may have to make a farm container to keep them out until there's enough to feed them the extras. We have guides on how to do that on this forum.

Fishes generally don't eat thick leaf things like anubias, java fern, and swords. That's why people recommend them, so they don't get completely chowed down.

In my experience, I have had no problems if I bleached/PP. Except if the plants came from an outdoor pond... I could never quite kill aphids with either solution. (But I hear diatomaceous earth helps)

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  1. Do extensive research on the plant even before you purchase it. This will allow you to better understand what you may be purchasing as well as if it is right for your tank. Remember, plants are living things and require many of the same basics as a fish does.
  2. Know all of the specs of your tank: Lighting, water quality, substrate, etc. and compare it to what the plant needs.
  3. Get creative. Goldfish uproot everything. Find ways to keep the plant rooted so it can establish itself. There are seemingly endless ways to do this. :)
  4. Be prepared for sudden loss of plants once the fish find that they are tasty. Some of us Kokonuts have spent way more than we wanted to on plants the goldfish just destroy. I personally don't want mine eating the plants just because that gets expensive fast. They can destroy entire plants in a day or less. These fish are sharks in cute clothes.
  5. Find out what the plants in your tank require for fertilizer and try to find a safe and balanced fertilizer combination for your whole tank.

As for Anubias, most any species will work in low-light tanks as far as I know. Just don't try and bury the Rhizome. They do great superglued to large rocks and driftwood.

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Chelsea has some sage advice! :) Especially number four... :rofl3

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Chelsea has some sage advice! :) Especially number four... :rofl3

You know I was thinking of you especially, Tammy. ;):rofl

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So I've been keeping plants (anacharis and Amazon swords) in my tanks for about a year now, but have never done anything besides stick them in the tank and bury them in the gravel - mostly because I have been focused on the fish. The Amazon swords' leaves have been turning brown; I think that's because they are in the tank closest to the window (although this does not bother the anacharis). I am not at home right now to check the light bulb type, but I can tell you that it's just the basic light that comes with the aquarium sets, nothing special.

I do have a couple of questions:

1) Everyone always seems to be talking about their goldfish eating the plants, but I have NEVER seen mine do this. I have only seen them dig up plants to get to food that fell nearby. I wonder why mine won't touch the plants - they eat everything else without hesitation! I would actually like it if my goldfish ate the plants, if it's good for them. Which plants are best for goldfish nutrition? So far I have only found articles about plants that goldfish DON'T like, as opposed to what they do like - it seems a lot of people don't want their goldfish eating their plants.

2) I have heard a lot of people recommend anubias, but at the store they have 4-5 different species in the Anubias genus available. Are they all good for goldfish, or are some species not?

3) I only buy the plants that Petsmart sells in those clear plastic tubes, since I am always worried about diseases or harmful organisms that might be carried over from stores' aquariums (and most of the stores here have A LOT of problems). Is this a legitimate concern, or will bleaching the plants take care of this no matter what?

Thanks all!

Amanda

1) I understand what you mean about the fish eating the plants, but the problem is that it's hard to have it both ways. When they eat plants, they destroy them, so you can't have the plants and have the fish eat the plants too. If you want a plant that they will eat, you could offer them some duckweed. They will eat every bit of it quickly, so if you want a steady supply, you would have to grow it in another tank or bucket.

Also, I agree with Chelsea -- if you want your fish to have more vegetation in their diet, there are cheaper and easier ways to do that than to sacrifice aquarium plants. I want plants in my tank because it makes for attractive to me, but I also believe that plants are good for the fish. They use extra nutrients in the water, they provide cover for the fish, they harbor algae that the fish peck at, they provide a more natural setting. They can't have those advantages and a salad bar too. ;)

2) Anubias are great, and the different varieties all are fine. Some might grow better or bigger, and I think you can have a great-looking tank with a variety of anubias. They should grow even with stock lighting, and you don't have to plant them, so you can remove them for cleaning. You can grow them on ornaments too. :thumb:

3) Some plants will melt in the bleach, but many people rely on the bleach dips to remove nasties, and they seem to work.

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I just try different low light plants. Keep what works and move the one that don't to a different tank. So I recommend moving your sword plant getting more of what doing good and try at least one new plant.

What works in my tank may not work in yours.

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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You've received a lot of really great advice so far, Amanda. If you haven't already, I would check out this wonderful post Jess (Tithra) wrote.

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So I've been keeping plants (anacharis and Amazon swords) in my tanks for about a year now, but have never done anything besides stick them in the tank and bury them in the gravel - mostly because I have been focused on the fish. The Amazon swords' leaves have been turning brown; I think that's because they are in the tank closest to the window (although this does not bother the anacharis). I am not at home right now to check the light bulb type, but I can tell you that it's just the basic light that comes with the aquarium sets, nothing special.

I do have a couple of questions:

1) Everyone always seems to be talking about their goldfish eating the plants, but I have NEVER seen mine do this. I have only seen them dig up plants to get to food that fell nearby. I wonder why mine won't touch the plants - they eat everything else without hesitation! I would actually like it if my goldfish ate the plants, if it's good for them. Which plants are best for goldfish nutrition? So far I have only found articles about plants that goldfish DON'T like, as opposed to what they do like - it seems a lot of people don't want their goldfish eating their plants.

2) I have heard a lot of people recommend anubias, but at the store they have 4-5 different species in the Anubias genus available. Are they all good for goldfish, or are some species not?

3) I only buy the plants that Petsmart sells in those clear plastic tubes, since I am always worried about diseases or harmful organisms that might be carried over from stores' aquariums (and most of the stores here have A LOT of problems). Is this a legitimate concern, or will bleaching the plants take care of this no matter what?

Thanks all!

Amanda

You've already gotten lots of excellent advice :D

1. my fish do not eat plants either. When I first got them I was going on vacation so I bought a bunch of anacharis for them to eat while I was gone because I heard this was a favorite, but my fish never touched it. After spending time on this forum my sense is that goldfish fall into 3 basic categories: 1. those that will attempt to eat every plant in sight, even purportedly goldfish safe plants like anubias and java fern, 2. those that eat some plants, these fish are trial and error, you just need to try different plants and see what they will eat or not, most fish fall into this category, and 3. those that really don't seem to have an interest in eating plants for whatever reason. Types 1 and 3 seem to be the minority with #2 being the majority. My fish seem to leave most plants alone. There are a couple I have found that I can't keep with them because for whatever reason they find these couple very enticing (blyxa japonica and limnophila aromatica)

2. All species are great goldfish plants. There are actually some really great anubias species (there are many many many types) ranging from teeny tiny anubias petite to tall large leaved anubias frazeri, along with a few different colored anubias such as the hard to come by anubias stardust or anubias white

3. In my opinion this is a legitimate concern. I do not buy plants from tanks with fish locally as a general rule. If I do, they get bleached and quarantined for a couple weeks. There is potential risk of bringing something into your tank with plants, I think the risk is probably relatively low in all reality, but it's enough of a risk for me that I always bleach or PP plants that come from sources I trust. With plants coming from unknown or potentially sketchy sources, I bleach or PP and then QT them. Bleach will take care of most things, but some pathogens such as ich in the cystic stage can be very resistant to these sort of disinfection methods so a QT period is a good way around that (without a host any potential parasites will die off).

I would just start doing some research on plants and begin slowly expanding. Always research a plant to see what it needs before you buy it and make sure you have the proper setup to provide that :)

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I agree that research is super important! There's been a lot of times that I've seen a plant labeled somewhere as "low light" or "easy" and I've done a little Googling to find many aquatists saying that the plant needs high light, or CO2 (Which I don't get into...I'm all about simple plant keeping at this point) or is just finicky in general.

I have a lot of anubias in my goldfish tank, which does ok with just natural sunlight. It gets a decent amount of it. Anubias is slow growing in general though. All the different types are great. It depends on what look you're going for more than anything as some as bigger, some are more compact, etc. I just buy whatever anubias I can find because I think they all look nice together.

A lot of it does seem to be trial and error, especially when you're a beginner. I keep more plants in my tropical tank and I have absolutely no luck with stem plants but swords love me. I would start simple with something you have success with and keep doing research as you go along. Maybe try to get some better grow bulbs? I have a standard top for my tropical planted tank; I just bought better bulbs. Nothing fancy (The bulbs I have were about $10 each) but it's been working great for me at this level.

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