Am I doomed from the start with goldfish?
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Old 11-08-2008, 06:46 AM   #1
airbreather
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Am I doomed from the start with goldfish?


I have been trying to experiment with different plants in my 55 gal, but my goldfish and my pleco seem to think just about every plant is really a salad bar for them. I feed them a well rounded diet, and I've tried distracting them with cucumber & zucchini, but if I run out then it's right back to uprooting and eating the plants.

Hornwort seems to be surviving them, as are some 5cm grasses, but anything with a leaf seems to end up lunch. Am I just doomed from the start trying this with goldfish and plecos? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

(oh, and I don't really want to put any plants behind barriers in the tank, as I've hear some people do. I just want to find plants that dont taste good. )
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Old 11-08-2008, 07:05 AM   #2
MistyRiver
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Um.... From my experience and everything that I have heard, I would have to say yes.
Not only do goldfish like to eat your tasty little plants, their gonna want to move them around even if they did not taste good. Thus, killing the plants (I would think).

Plecos tend to be fine with Java Fern though... Could give it a shot.

I'm not the most experienced person though, but I'm sure someone on here will give you an appropriate answer.

Good luck...
Got any pics?
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Old 11-08-2008, 10:18 AM   #3
mojave
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Anubias Barteri or Braodlead can do. So as various crypts, hygrophila polysperma (they are fast growers), various swordplants.
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Old 11-08-2008, 07:14 PM   #4
airbreather
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Thanks for the suggestions! I think my LFS has bunches of crypts in stock right now, and the anubias look familar, so I think I'll be able to find those too at some point. I've been looking for java ferns and moss and haven't run across any yet, which is surprising because I hear they are very hardy and popular.

I don't have a working camera at the moment, but when I get mine fixed or get a new one I'll post some pics up. My fishies are still a little miffed at me for a grapewood "tea" incident last week. But it's coming along...
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Old 11-08-2008, 08:36 PM   #5
James From Cali
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Problem with cryptocorynes is they usually go through crypt melt which may entice the goldfish. They also do not like to be moved and they will continue to melt if moved by said goldfish. Java Ferns and anubias should do okay.
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Old 11-08-2008, 09:13 PM   #6
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i have had good fish and plants... java fern, Anubias , onion plant all do fine ...hornwort did ok under high light because it was tuff enough they would not mess that much and grow so fast it wouldn't matter if the chewed on it alittle. it nice to keep plants and gold fish cause gold fish are "dirty" so lots of nutrients for the plants and the plats give the gold fish food win win, have fun expermenting see what they like i use to grow ancharis and duck weed just to feed them just to feed them.
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Old 11-08-2008, 11:21 PM   #7
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Try anacharis, some pond people use it.
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Old 11-09-2008, 04:10 AM   #8
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your pleco might attack your goldfish btw. Not compatible companions.
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Old 11-09-2008, 07:14 PM   #9
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Your first MAJOR issue is that goldfish are NOT tropical fish and should NOT be kept with tropical fish like your pleco. Next, depending on what kind of pleco you have, it could get entirely too large for your 55. I'm currently going through this issue and my 12 year old common is going to have be upgraded to a 120 gallon soon.

Next, 55's are deep tanks for planted tanks. It's best to have short squat tanks (like breeder tanks) with lots of surface area and planting area in order to get the light down through the water to the plants and also so the plants actually have room to grow once they get established. The general/widely used rule of thumb of a minimum of 2 watts per gallon of light isn't going to apply to your 55 as they are just too deep for smaller plants to get the light they need. You don't say what kind of light you have on the tank but you need to think about that as you get more serious about trying to establish your planted tank.

First order of business, move your goldfish. It either needs an unheated tank or put it outside in a pond (depending on where you live). Next, you pleco is going to be much less likely to tear up your plants if it has a safe place of its own to go and hide. Boil some driftwood like manzanita or african rootwood which will both sink on their own without soaking and add it to your 55 for both a centerpiece and a pleco hideout. Most appreciate the coverage and will be much less likely to go tearing around the tank and uprooting plants looking for coverage. NEXT start supplementing your pleco's diet with zucchini, cucumber, veggie wafers, & other veggies. If it's eating your plants it's obviously because it's hungry and needs more greens.

THEN you can start figuring out what kind of wattage you have and what kind of plants you can support once your other inhabitants are happy. I would suggest reading about low light plants (there is a very good list on this site) and even contacting your local aquarium society to see if anyone near you has planted aquariums and could offer advice. Finally, good luck.
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Old 11-09-2008, 07:18 PM   #10
seAdams
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To everything valerietheangel said:

Also, how many goldfish and what kind are in the tank?
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Old 11-09-2008, 08:31 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by valerietheangel View Post
First order of business, move your goldfish. It either needs an unheated tank or put it outside in a pond (depending on where you live).
I agree with the unheated but this is not always true. Keep it at lower temperatures but use the heater to maintain the temperatures. Fluctuations can cause stress on fish of all kinds and a heater keeps the temperature Stable.
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Old 11-10-2008, 02:39 AM   #12
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Fancy goldfish are fine with temps around 72 - 74 degrees and agree that fluctuations are bad.

More important than temp is tank size, number of fish and type of filtration since most goldfish are kept in overcrowded conditions in too-small tanks, where they invariably poison themselves.
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Old 11-10-2008, 03:13 AM   #13
valerietheangel
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I'm sure goldfish can survive in tropical temperatures however goldfish are not and were not bred to be tropical fish and keeping them at high temperatures will no doubt stress them. I also agree that fluctuations in temperature are not optimal, however goldfish are much more adapted to these conditions than tropical fish are and it isn't going to affect them the way it would rams for instance. Temperatures inside a house in an unheated tank are never going to fluctuate to the degree that outside ponds do. And goldfish have been kept in outside ponds since they were hybridized SEVERAL hundred years ago.
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Old 12-09-2008, 10:54 AM   #14
airbreather
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The tank is not heated unless it gets chilly in winter - I live in San Diego and the tank is almost always stable at 72. I sometimes have to add treated ice in the summer to keep it down below 75. I have 3 fan tails and 1 moor who all do fine in the 55 gallon at that temp - the worst ailment any of them have gotten once out of Q from the store is a minor case of fin rot, which went away on its own after a routine water change. I monitor and change their water regularly, so they're in no danger of poisoning themselves unless something terrible happens to me. I have a sponge and re-fillable cartridges of activated carbon in a Marineland HOB filter with a (what I believe to be somewhat useless) bio-wheel.

As for the plec, he's never shown me any sign of stress at 72. He's also a well fed guy - zucchini, blanched lettuce, peas, frozen greens from the LFS, a hoagy-sized chunk of driftwood, AND whatever he finds at the bottom in the way of flake food. He might go a day or two without a chunk of something like zuc to suck on, and that's when he might be going after the plants. But I'm not even certain which of the fish really is the culprit for uprooting the plants or eating them, so I just implicate them all. Anacharis never lasts long with them. At the moment, he has two ridiculous halves of a "sunken pirate ship" that came with the tank when I bought it, and he has claimed both of them as his territory for hide-outs. I have been trying to find suitable wood to replace it because I hate it, but I leave it in the tank in the meantime because he likes it. The tank is forever a work in progress, and the right wood (that doesn't cloud the tub) has not come to me yet.

My goldies and my plec are all between 1 and 3 years old, so they are far from full grown. I understand about tank size, filtration, overcrowding... they are well loved and will be taken care of. I also understand that some plecs are aggressive - the only time he shows any aggression as of yet is if one of the goldies goes after his cucumber while he's sucking on it, then he chases them away and goes back to it. The moment I see him go after them unprovoked or see evidence on any of the goldies that he's attacking them, the situation will change.

I hope that quells any fears about the well-being of the fish involved.

My lights are the two fluorescent tubes that came in the hoods when I bought the tank used. They are certainly PLENTY for the hornwort, it grows like a weed and reaches the surface in what seems a matter of days, then I re-distribute it and it sends more runners up to the surface. Half of the tank is becoming somewhat of a hornwort forest. It looks neat, but I'd like some variety, of course, and color would be awesome! The small (amazon swords? i think? i never know with my LFS) do okay, but they often look like the plec has sucked pock marks in them, though I've never seen him doing it. I always assumed he was eating algae off of them, and was overzealous. The only other plant is a tall grassy-looking thing that has a ginger-type rhizome at the base - it's longest blades are up to 11 inches long at this point. The tank is 24 inches deep. I'm hoping to find plants that will be happy without additional CO2 or ferts and that aren't "tasty." Thanks everyone for all of the suggestions!
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Old 12-09-2008, 03:40 PM   #15
tendril
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I keep all my fancy goldfish tanks at 72 degrees using a heater. They do much better at this temperature than fluctuating at 65-70 degrees like they would if there were at room temp. They also all have BN plecos, some of which have been alive for over five years.

My goldies have left Java Fern, Anubias, Wisteria, Hornwort and Swort plants alone. But YMMV. I keep all my plants on driftwood or in pots. If you look around aquaticplantcentral you will find several people who have been successful with planted goldfish tanks.
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