Hi. I really want to do a planted goldfish tank. Any ideas on how to stock? I have a 120gal with a 30 gal wet dry filter, it pump s700-900 gal per hour.
I'd start with no more than six goldfish in 120 gallons (20 gallons per fish). From there, let things get established, and watch your water parameters.
I have no experience with wet/dry filters, so I can't say if a 30 gallon is "enough" biofiltration. It's probably quite sufficient, as a couple of Aqueon 55/75 filters can probably handle the bioload. The turnover rate looks to be above the 5-7x rate.
The big thing about goldfish: They are big, massive fish. They eat a lot, they eat pretty much everything in sight, they grow fast, and they produce lots of waste.
They constantly dig, pull up plants, and graze on anything in sight.
I love 'em...
There are a couple of rules, though:
- If it can
fit in a Goldfish's mouth, it will
be in a goldfish's mouth. Plan accordingly in every aspect (substrate, plants, other fish, decorations).
- Goldfish are natural sifters of sand. Gravel (especially sharp gravel) can get lodged in the fish's mouth and can kill the fish.
- Goldfish are smart, curious fish. There are even goldfish training kits. If a Goldfish can fit, thinks
it can fit, or wants to fit in spite of all evidence to the contrary, it'll try. I've had a couple of decorations kill goldfish.
- Don't mix fancy and non-fancy goldfish. Fancy Goldfish aren't the fastest swimmers, and can end up starving because a faster comet eats all the food before the big lionhead gets to where the food was.
- Start out with a tank stocked for adult fish sizes. Wait for them to grow. Keep an eye on nitrate levels. If a weekly 50% water change won't keep the nitrates below 20 PPM, you're overstocked.
As for plants... the best method I've seen is trial & error. See what plants the fish don't tear to pieces.
In general, they are all fast growers, and they need to be. Amazon Swords, Water Wisteria, Anacharis, Hornwort, java ferns, and cryptocornes are commonly planted. A possible exception is Anubais, which is a favorite among planted goldfish keepers,
My fish leave the anubais alone. They're fighting with the amazon swords (not sure who'll win), the water wisteria seems to be doing OK. I plan on adding hornwort and crypts in the spring, and we'll see how they fare.
Duckweed is generally gobbled up by goldfish, so it's something you'd keep in a different tank to grow, and then you unload the 'overgrowth' into the goldfish tank to be eaten.