5 Easy Plants For Goldfish Aquariums

5 Easy Plants for Goldfish Aquariums

Goldfish are notorious for munching on or digging up aquatic plants, which is a shame because live plants are both beautiful and beneficial, capable of consuming the toxic chemicals produced by fish waste. Thankfully, we’ve found several plant species that are not only easy to care for but also hardy enough to stand up to your goldfish’s curious nibbling.


1. Crinum calamistratum

This bulb plant that grows slowly is known for its long, crinkly foliage. It can grow up to four feet (1.2 m). It can tolerate higher pH water and harder water, just like goldfish. The plant is strong and thick so that it won’t be damaged if goldfish bump into it. Unlike most of the other plants in this list, crinums are planted into the substrate and therefore risk being uprooted by your fish. Protect the bulb you just planted by putting it in a ring of stones or in the middle a large, hollow stone.

Your crinum may be a bit sad looking when it first arrives. It isn’t used to your water conditions and might have some melting leaves. However, if you give it low to medium light and keep it from being moved, it will become well-established and produce ruffled, flowy tendrils that reach the surface of your aquarium.

2. Anubias

Anubias are a popular beginner plant. They have low light requirements, easy to care for, and a wide variety of shapes and colors. Anubias congensis and Anubias caféfolia are larger varieties. Their thicker leaves and thicker roots can withstand heavy use. Anubias do not require substrate so you can plant them in a tank with goldfish. You can either attach them to wood with super glue gel or sewing thread to secure them. To prevent anubias from being knocked down, you can simply place the plastic pot in an Easy Planter.

Keep fish away from your plants by placing your anubias in an Easy Planter decoration

3. Marimo Moss Ball

The velvety green algae orb is actually a type of algae that keeps its shape by being bounced around in the bottom of lakes. You can place it in your aquarium, and your goldfish will kick it around. They prefer cooler water and low light levels. If their fuzzy surface starts collecting bits of detritus, just swish it around in a bucket of aquarium water to clean it off. You can find more information about their care requirements here.

4. Java Fern

Java ferns look very similar to anubias. They can be grown in any environment that is suitable for beginners, such as low light and a good substrate. While they don’t come in as many varieties, the most popular ones include regular java fern, Windelov (or lace) java fern, and narrow leaf java fern. You can attach them to rocks or driftwood, or place the plastic pot in an Easy Planter decoration. It is easy to propagate them by 1) cutting the Rhizome into two pieces, 2) trimming a leaf, and then floating it in the aquarium. Little plantlets will grow from the tiny black dots.

5. Bolbitis Fern

This beautiful aquatic plant is also known as the African waterfern. It has unique texture and emerald-green leaves, which are uncommon in other aquatic plants. It is a Crinum calamistratum ancestor and enjoys water with a higher pH and hardness. The bolbitis fern is similar to anubias. It likes to be attached in aquarium decorations and hardscape. This will ensure that the rhizome of its plant does not become buried. It will grow slowly if you provide low to moderate lighting and some liquid fertilizer.

Give these plants a try, and eventually your goldfish will realize that they can’t or don’t want to eat their leaves. To keep them away from temptation, offer them plenty of plant matter and algae foods. Have fun with your goldfish aquarium and take in the beauty of nature each day.

For more information about how to house, feed, and care for your fancy goldfish, read this care guide next.