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13 Best Plants For Goldfish – Do you know them all?

Goldfish are the most purchased freshwater fish on the market. This is not without good reason. They are easy to take care of and add a friendly atmosphere to any home.

When you first get your fish, you might want to add something extra to your tank. A few lush plants will definitely liven up your fish’s environment. It might seem simple to put in a few plants at first. However, there are extra steps to consider when you add greenery to any tank. Not every plant is suitable for a goldfish.

Goldfish have a tendency to chew up certain plants, and even uproots them. So before you go adding anything extra to your tank, realize that extra care and knowledge may be necessary. This will ensure that both your plants and your fish can coexist.

Overall, you don’t want to put plants in at a whim. While caring for a goldfish can seem intuitive, caring for tank plants is not.

Adding plants into your tank isn’t difficult. You just need to know how to correctly maintain them.

In this buying guide, we will explain which plants are suitable for your fish. We will also provide you with the best plants for goldfish. In addition, we will give you some useful tips and hints for setting up plants in your tank.

Hopefully, this will allow you to get the best plants for your new pet fish!

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13 Best Plants For Goldfish

goldfish in planted tank

We’ve given you a lot of background on tank plants. Maybe you are confused or still have questions. That’s perfectly normal. The next section of this post should clear everything up.

You won’t have to worry about what plants to buy or how to care for them. We have put all the best plants for goldfish in this list. We have also included care tips to help you and your fish when you decide which plant to purchase.

1. Amazon Sword

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The Amazon Sword Plant was originally grown in the country of Brazil. It specifically comes from the tropical region of the Amazon Basin. The benefit of the Sword Plant is its ability to survive in all kinds of climates.

Because of the plant’s adaptability, it has become a popular plant choice for tank owners. Whether your goldfish prefers warmer water or a colder climate the Sword Plant can tolerate the water well. You just don’t want to make the temperature overly frigid.

The leaves of this plant are a vivid green hue and grow back rapidly. Due to this ability to grow fast, the Sword Plant can be an ideal plant for a tank with a goldfish.

The leaves will reform quickly and your fish’s belly will be full of nutritious green treats. It will also create a nice shaded area for your fish. The plant can reach up to eighteen inches in height and will fill a tank in nicely. Whether you want the Sword Plant to be submerged all the way or submerged a little the plant will be fine.

The Amazon sword is considered to be an easy plant to care for. Just make sure it gets plenty of light and has fertilizer or substrate that has a lot of iron. This will help keep the Ph levels of the tank suitable for the plant.

All in all, if you are looking for a low maintenance and sturdy plant the Amazon Sword is a great choice. It definitely falls into the category of best plants for goldfish.

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Video: “Plant Guide: Amazon Sword”

2. Java Fern

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The next plant on this list is the Java Fern from the Southeast Asian region. In this plant’s natural habitat, it is surrounded by large bodies of flowing water. This makes the Java able to live both in and out of water.

These short little plants are a stylish addition to a tank. Your goldfish are also likely to stay away from the leaves of these plants. They have a bitter taste that is unappealing to your pet.

Java Ferns are good for people who want a cluster of plants in their tank. You can put in a group of Java and make your tank look extra lively! Or you can just keep one of these cute plants in. Whatever suits your style more.

Java Ferns can live in cold and warm climates. You just want to pay attention to how much light you put on them. Java can survive with much less light than other plants.

They can be put in the shade and work best with low-level lights. If your lighting system is too intense the Java could die. The Java will also need help rooting into your tank.

Get rocks or wood to help your plant fully plant itself into the environment. If you don’t want to put gravel in your tank this is a plant to get. Also, unlike other plants, you won’t need to get any specific kind of fertilizer.

Overall, these plants can thrive in almost any tank, and live for a few years. You might even find a new fern has grown in your tank if you take good care of this plant!

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Video: “Growing Dense Java Fern”

3. Water Sprite

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Water Sprites are another type of plant that your fish will love to snack on. These fast-growing plants will outpace your fish’s eating habits and look lovely in your tank! The Water Sprite is a fern plant and has nice soft green leaves. They are found all over the world, usually in lakes.

This plant grows a lot of foliages so your fish can hide well. This plant is also easy to take care of. If you want to get gravel or substrate for it you can root the Water Sprite. Simpler options exist though. The Water Sprite can float free of any restraints and still thrive.

Keep the lighting for this plant at a moderate level. And don’t worry about fertilizer too much. Any type will do for the Water Sprite.

Really this is one of the best plants for goldfish if you are inexperienced with plant life.

The Water Sprite grows easily and will make your tank a fun and beautiful place for your goldfish to swim in.

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Video: “Water Sprite Aquarium Plant Profile”

4. Wisteria

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Wisteria are native flora of marshlands. This Indian based water plant is another easy to maintain plant. Those who are new fish owners and new to tank plants are perfectly suited to this greenery.

In terms of looks, the blades of the Wisteria are delicate and visually appealing. They will complete the look of any tank while giving your fish a nice place to relax. Try setting the Wisteria up in the center of your fish tank. This will make the most of the plant’s looks and function.

Turning to care, the lighting for the Wisteria should be set at a moderate level. You should also consider potting this plant. However, if you prefer gravel, substrate, or pieces of wood these options can work as well.

Just make sure that your plant has iron infused fertilizer so it can survive in your tank. Keep these tips in mind and with a minimal amount of care your Wisteria will thrive.

Your goldfish will love eating this plant. Don’t worry though, the Wisteria will grow back easily and fast after it’s been consumed by your fish.

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Video: “Aquarium Plant – Water Wisteria”

5. Valissneria Spiralis

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The Valissneria Spiralis is suited to warmer climates and waters. These plants are found in the South American continent, typically in moving bodies of water like streams or rivers.

They can also be found in lakes. The Spiralis is one variation of the Valissneria species. This particular version of the plant will coexist with your goldfish with the least issues.

The Spiralis has the longest history of any of the plants on this list. This plant showed up in goldfish tanks as early as the 1800s. The plant has narrow foliage and grows tall.

If your plant is well kept you can expect it to reach heights of two-feet tall. This will only happen in warmer waters which allow the Spiralis to grow very tall. This doesn’t mean the plant can’t grow in cold-water tanks. They just won’t reach the same heights as they would in warmer water.

Your plant will regrow with ease when your fish takes a bite out of it. The Spiralis is a popular treat for goldfish. Still, it’s not hard to maintain this plant and keep it growing. You will be able to amply sate your fish’s feeding habits.

Just make sure your plant gets plenty of light at a high volume. Any fertilizer will work and help your plant reproduce. In no time you will find a new Spiralis growing in your tank.

This plant can even become overgrown if your fish doesn’t eat it enough! The proliferate nature of this specimen makes it one of the best plants for goldfish.

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Video: “How to Care for Vallisneria – The One Plant Wonder”

6. Water Lettuce

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Water Lettuce are tropical plants that do well in warm water. This free-floating flora will sit at the top of your tank. As the name suggests, this plant resembles lettuce and even smells like the well-known vegetable. It has fairly thick leaves and is coated in hair that keeps it from sinking in the water.

If you want a plant that will get rid of algae in your tank this is a great option. However, if you are new to plant tanks this will not be a good choice.

Though Water Lettuce can seem like a low maintenance plant they are harder to care for than you would expect. Lighting these plants can be tricky. They need to gradually be exposed to a high volume of light. Usually, they are cultivated in shady areas.

The amount of light will need to increase if they are going to grow though. Air humidity also needs to be considered with these tricky plants. These fauna need a higher level of humidity to thrive.

If you can get these plants under control though, they will benefit your tank greatly.

They will look nice in the water and not be eaten by your goldfish. Just make sure to trim the roots so they don’t overtake the tank.

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Video: “Water Lettuce Care & Info Pistia”

7. Hornwort

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The Hornwort is another plant of the floating variety. This plant can be found all over the world in moderate climates similar to the U.S and the United Kingdom. The Hornwort can grow long up to around two feet.

If you are looking for a simple plant, this is the plant with the least amount of work required. Almost anyone can grow this plant in a tank. Whether you decide to submerge and root this plant or let it float free is up to you.

Letting it free float will lead to easier maintenance though.

The Hornwort will not require you to do anything, just let it live in the tank. If you want to add some fertilizer you will see it grow even more. But this is also optional. Just give them some moderate levels of light.

Your fish isn’t likely to eat them but they might lounge in the lush foliage of this plant. This is one of the best plants for goldfish, especially if you want a hardy plant.

The low maintenance of this plant will make it great for those new to tank plants too!

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Video: “Hornwort: A Hardy Aquarium Plant”

8. Anacharis

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The Anacharis will greatly improve the quality of your tank water. With this South American plant, your water will become highly oxygenated. These fauna are more common in small flowing bodies of water and will look amazing in your goldfish’s tank.

They are plants that will thrive in lower temperature waters but do well in any temperature water. This plant has easy maintenance and will grow a lot without a ton of care.

Direct light is good for this plant, but mid-level light works the best for the Anacharis. If you put this plant in warmer waters expect extra fertilizer needs. When these plants are put in cold water you won’t have to worry about adding anything extra to your substrate.

Put them on gravel or let them roam around your tank in a free float style. With the Anacharis in your tank, oxygen levels will go up and excess nutrients and other substances will be absorbed. Goldfish will likely chew on the plant, but won’t be able to eat the plant entirely as it grows back fast.

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Video: “Anacharis Aquarium Plant: Beginner Plant”

9. Anubias

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The Anubias is a hardy plant with long flat leaves. This African plant is meant for tanks on the larger side. Its width can reach up to one foot wide, and its height also maxes out at a foot tall. The Anubias is a welcome addition to any tank. It’s not only simple to maintain, but it can also give your goldfish plenty of shaded area.

In terms of lighting, the Anubias can survive on mid-level light volume. However, if you want your plant to be big, higher amounts of light will help it grow. You should trim your plant every now and then.

But don’t worry about this plant filling up your entire tank. While your goldfish won’t be eating the leaves off of this plant it grows in a stable manner. So it isn’t likely to overrun your tank space.

The Anubias enjoys the same water conditions as your fish. So you won’t have to make many adjustments to the tank. This is why you will often see this plant in goldfish tanks.

When rooting this plant in the tank, try using driftwood. Your plant will take to this material the best. If you want to stick with gravel though that can work as well.

Any kind of fertilizer can work well with the Anubias, but CO2 will help your plant grow the most. This type of fertilizer will also prevent algae growth on your plants. If you take good care of this fish, they will live long, and grow sturdy and large.

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Video: “Anubias | Beginner Guide”

10. Crypt Wendtii

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Unlike many of the plants in this list, Crypts require very specific rooting. Plants like the Anubias can be more flexible and be in either driftwood or gravel. A Crypt will need substrate to thrive in any tank.

So while this plant is easy to grow, your goldfish might give you a headache as it tries to rip this plant out. Your pet isn’t likely to eat the leaves of the Crypt but it will dig around your plant.

Make sure your Crypts is protected and firmly rooted in its environment before introducing your fish to it.

Crypts can be purchased in all kinds of colors. Crypts shape and size also differ depending on water conditions. If you want small and short leaves this plant can survive under high-level light.

Crypts tend to like lower light levels though. If you want big foliage and a forest-like atmosphere, less light can make your plants grow fast. The bigger your plants are, the harder it will be for your goldfish to uproot them.

Consider adding fertilizer to your tank. This will also make your Crypt grow strong and hardy.

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Video: “Cryptocoryne Wendtii ‘Tropica'”


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The Onion Plant is a peculiarly shaped fauna that will grow well in your tank. This plant doesn’t smell like an onion, but it does look like one. Similarly to the onion, this plant has a white bulb at its root.

The bulb grows long green leaves that shoot up to form a stalk. The leaves that form the stalk are tough and unappealing to goldfish. So you won’t have to worry about your goldfish taking a munch out of this plant.

You can grow a few of these in your tank or a whole forest of them. These plants tend to grow better and stronger in a group though. Still, you will want to give this plant time to grow. They can be slow to form fully.

CO2 fertilizer will help speed up the process of growth. Potting your plant could be one way to speed up the growth process as well. Gravel might be an easier route though. In whatever medium you plant the Onion Plant, you want to make sure the bulb is visible. Do not burry this plant too deep or you could inhibit its growth.

Just make sure your Onion Plant has plenty of light so it can flourish. Warmer waters will also help your plant.

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Video: “CRINUM CALAMISTRATUM An Aquarium Plant with a Twist”

12. Brazilian Pennywort

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The Brazilian Pennywort is yet another popular plant used by tank owners. For many reasons, it is also one of the best plants for your goldfish.

This breed of Pennywort grows fast and plentifully in cold and warm waters. It is the most cost-effective plant on this list. In terms of maintenance, you won’t have much trouble caring for this plant.

The Brazilian Pennywort can be grown in a number of conditions. So they can be convenient if you don’t have extra money to spend on planting supplies like fertilizer.

The Pennywort will adapt well to plain gravel and other kinds of substrate. This is because it roots easily in any environment. If you have rocks or wood you can also root in your plants.

But if you want to keep things simple for yourself just put the plant in without rooting it. This way your tank’s bottom is free of material and easy to clean. The Pennywort will float around in your tank without any issues. The plant might take up the light, but it will look nice.

Also your fish that likes to hide when they nap will love a free-floating Pennywort. Goldfish will also have a nice snack that will grow back!

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Video: “Brazilian Pennywort Care”

13. Java Moss

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The last plant on this list is the Java Moss. This stringy plant is a favorite food of pet goldfish. Before you put your fish in with this plant make sure the Java Moss has grown enough.

These flora grow the fastest in free-floating conditions. If you don’t have gravel or substrate you can try out this option. It might be less dangerous to just plant your Java in the gravel though.

Try rooting and growing this plant in rocks for extra protection from your fish.

Once the Java Moss has grown big enough it will be able to easily live with your fish. This plant can be a great option for people that want a low maintenance plant. It can grow in almost any type of water with varying degrees of light. It also doesn’t require much care or pruning.

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Video: “Java Moss Care And Information”

The Benefits of Real Plants over Artificial Plants

For a lot of new tank owners, it might seem simpler to purchase artificial plants. Fake plants require zero maintenance. So you won’t have to buy extra materials to keep them alive in your tank.

When you buy fake plants though, your fish misses out on a number of great benefits. Real plants are known to generate oxygen in the water. This will make the tank water easier for your fish to breathe in.

Furthermore, real plants can make tanks more habitable. They have filtration properties that help clean your tank.

Fake plants provide none of these benefits and do not help your fish thrive in their home.

With real plants, dangerous accumulations of waste and toxins can be broken down properly. Ammonia will be eliminated, and carbon dioxide will be absorbed by your plants. In general, plants generate a more lifelike and healthy tank environment for your goldfish.

Still, as previously mentioned, it isn’t as simple as choosing a plant and putting it in the water. You have to consider the habits of goldfish before you buy anything.

Goldfish are known to eat live plants. They have a big appetite and will chew through most greenery.

There are a couple of solutions to this situation. One fix is to get plants that your fish won’t want to eat. There are a few species of plants that taste bitter to goldfish and will prevent them from consuming them.

The second option is to get a plant that grows so fast your fish won’t eat through them all at once. Lucky for you, we know exactly which plants you’ll need. Keep reading on and we’ll provide you with plenty of goldfish friendly plants that can live happily in your tank!

Maintenance of Tank Plants

Keeping plants in a tank does require some additional steps. You will need to watch and look out for your plant’s health. Leaves need to be trimmed every week to keep your plants thriving.

You also want to keep an eye out for dead plant material. These bits of plant will need to be removed before they decay and cause problems for your fish.

Along with looking out for your plants, they will need specific supplies to grow properly. Plants need lighting systems and fertilizer to flourish in the water. You will also need to get substrate to root them into place.

Anyone with previous gardening experience should enjoy this new form of plant keeping. But even people without any gardening chops can expect to enjoy this part of tank maintenance.

While underwater planting is unfamiliar to many people, it can be extremely rewarding when done right. You don’t have to have a green thumb or be an expert at plant care. All you have to do is make sure your plants are in the right environment.

Temperature Requirements

The first step to healthy plant life in a tank is temperature. The temperatures needed all depends on the type of plant you put into your tank. Keep in mind that goldfish tanks are around sixty-eight and seventy-four degrees Fahrenheit.

If you like to keep your tank on the cooler side some plants are better than others. Tropical plants tend to do better in warmer waters. If your tank goes below sixty-eight degrees Fahrenheit consider getting plants that can handle those temperatures.

Lighting Requirements

Every plant needs light to survive. The light is crucial to the plant in its process of self-feeding, also known as photosynthesis. Photosynthesis is not only helpful in keeping your plant alive. This process is what helps remove carbon dioxide from the water. Once the carbon dioxide is removed from the water oxygen takes its place.

To keep your plant and this beneficial cycle going you will need a proper lighting system. LED lighting is a highly recommended option.

Just make sure the wattage of the light is powerful enough. LED has all the necessary spectrums of light to keep your plan alive. These lights are also durable and have timers that can turn lights on and off at the right times.

Your plants will need upwards of fifteen hours of light to thrive. Still, you won’t want to keep your lights on at all hours of the day. Too much light can kill a plant.

The Best Way to Introduce Plants into a Tank

You want to be careful where you place your plants in the tank. Goldfish are notorious for digging into gravel and uprooting tank plants. A good way to prevent this outcome is through preparation.

Make sure to put your plants in before you put your fish in. This gives your plant time to grow roots and anchor itself more stably in the water.

You can also try putting your plant on pieces of wood or better yet a rock. This will help keep your plants rooted even when your fish digs into the gravel. Your fish won’t have an easy time taking plants off these surfaces.

This method doesn’t only save your plants though. When you put plants in before the fish, you save you and your goldfish from stress.

Plants need to be acclimated into the environment before your fish is in. If you put in plants when your fish is already used to its environment you can cause unrest.

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Goldfish don’t make the task of adding plants to your tank any easier. Hopefully though, with the information we have provided, we have eased some of this burden. Plants can sometimes be hard to maintain in a tank for people new to the task.

However, with the right knowledge, we have equipped you to undertake this task. Really, anyone with a desire to see their fish happy can grow plants in their tank.

After reading our detailed list and tips we know you will have the best plants for your goldfish!

Aaron Boyd
Aaron Boyd

Hello, I’m Aaron Boyd, the proud owner and author behind Aqua Movement. I hope my article was able to answer your questions. If you want to learn more about me, click the home icon above.

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