New 55 gallon planted tank: Goldfish?
I've haunted this forum quite a lot since I've ventured back into the hobby after a 13 year hiatus. I've found those that frequent these boards, those who offer their advice, to be among the best the web seemingly has to offer, which is why I am finally coming out of the shadows. In advance, I thank any and all of you who have unknowingly helped me back into my great enjoyment of aquaria that I so long have missed.
Before I get to the meat of my first post, let me describe my current preferences, which is to say, the way I like my planted tanks. First, I am definitely a low-tech guy, one of the all-natural (or as close as I can get) variety. I like my tanks running on only mechanical and biological filtration: sponge filters, HOBs with sponge, floss, and ceramic rings. I'm also really getting into mixing up mineralized topsoil with clay, KCl, dolomite, etc, and capping with small gravel. I like my tanks heavily planted. I run 1-1.5 wpg--either T8s or T5s. I do not use any ferts--liquid or otherwise. I don't run CO2. Further, I like big 30-50% water changes weekly. I have naturally alkaline (Ph 8) and semi-hard water. I prefer to overstock on plants and understock on fish. Using this system that I've borrowed from others, I've carved out my own way of doing things and am seeing vibrant, healthy fish and fantastic plant growth in all four of my tanks.
Now, here is where I would really like all the advice and thoughts you can come up with. I have recently acquired a 55 gallon, and from the moment I saw it, I thought of keeping goldfish again. I did some initial research and have come up with mixed messages on goldfish in the planted aquarium. From what I've read, it would seem that it can be done successfully, but special attention needs to be paid as to the types of flora involved.
Can anyone recommend specific plants that goldfish will leave alone? Is it even possible to heavily plant a goldfish tank where the fish will not annihilate all of my work? How many goldfish would your recommend in such a setup? I would be running 2 30-60 filters (1 Aqua-clear and 1 Whisper), and a large (air-driven) sponge. Are there specific types of goldfish that you would recommend? I'm leaning toward Black Moors at the moment, but my opinion could be changed easily enough if there exists evidence enough to rule them out. I do prefer the hardiest species available, which is why, to this point, I've mainly focused on labyrinth fish, rainbow fish, and danios. Will goldfish tear through an inch of gravel and disturb my soil-mix? Also, will goldfish be okay in water temperatures required by my plants, 74-76 degrees?
Thanks in advance to any and all who take the time to read, consider, and respond to my first post in this fine forum!