Best Plants for Goldfish – Top 6 Reviews, Guide, FAQs, More

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You’ll agree with us when we say that Goldfish are a species that can really gain a lot of value out of being surrounded by aquarium plants. 

This prompted us to test out some of the popular plants available out there in order to really see what they can do for a Goldfish and rank them in some sort of order. 

In today’s post, we’ll discuss how you can choose a healthy and beneficial plant for your Goldfish and also how you can maintain and take care of it

Top Pick

This easy-to-maintain product comes in a small package but with time and care, it can grow inside your aquarium all the way up to 14 inches and last a long time.

Runner Up

This plant is very easy to grow and also very forgiving to novice mistakes. It’s safe for your fish and its thickness provides your Goldfish with something to play with.

Also Great

These plants don’t require too much attention to maintain and they also eliminate algae by removing excess nutrients from the water. They can float freely or be tied.

After months of testing and observing Goldfish behavior with different plants, we can say with confidence that these three are the best of the best. 

Now, let’s get into the reviews for the top 6 best plants for Goldfish. 

Best Plants for Goldfish - Top 6 Reviews

1. Overall Best Plant for Goldfish - Greenpro Java Fern Review

The Java Fern is a rhizome plant which means that you should not bury it in substrate. If you cover the rhizome, the plant will quickly start to rot. The proper way is to anchor it onto something heavy and secure such as a piece of Driftwood. Once you do this, you can sit back and watch your Java Fern grow. 

Greenpro does a wonderful job of packing the plant eloquently. It comes reinforced so that the plant does not get damaged in any way no matter how badly the box is treated during shipment. 

Features of Greenpro Java Fern – Best Plants for Goldfish

  1. Grows up to 14 inches
  2. Great for beginners as well as veterans
  3. Long, thick leaves provide security to fish
  4. Needs low to moderate light
  5. Should not be buried underneath substrate
  • Tough, rugged leaves
  • Does not require a lot of light 
  • Easy to plant
  • Inexpensive
  • Beginner-friendly overall
  • May not be appealing for aquarists who want their plants to be inside the substrate

If you want a rugged plant with tough, long leaves then this is definitely the plant you’re looking for. It comes securely packaged and free from any kind of pests or diseases. 

2. Best Low-Light Plant for Goldfish - Mainam Anubias Barteri Coin Leaves Review

Anubias Barteri is a plant that’s famous mainly due to the fact that it can survive and not only survive but thrive in many different types of conditions. This is what makes it the ideal candidate to be in a Goldfish tank along with many other types of tanks. 

Its leaves are large and round which is perfect for Goldfish as this gives them a sense of shelter and safety. 

Features of Mainam Anubias Barteri Coin Leaves

  1. Guaranteed replacement if plant is dead within 3 days of delivery
  2. Pest-free
  3. Requires low to moderate light
  4. Should not be buried in substrate
  5. Thrives in cold water
  • Quite a hardy plant
  • Large, enveloping leaves that can be used as hiding spots
  • Keeps Goldfish entertained
  • Adds to the aesthetic appeal of your tank
  • Increases oxygenation inside your tank
  • Can be difficult to securely place inside tank for beginners

If you don’t have enough cash to invest in extra lighting for your Goldfish tank then this is the plant for you. It grows perfectly in low light and its leaves are thick and large.

3. Best Algae-Neutralizing Plant for Goldfish - Brazilian Hornwort Bunch Plants Review

Hornwort Bunch plants actually can be a wonderful and very beneficial addition to your Goldfish tank in a way that no other plant can. This is because not only do they help in the oxygenation of your tank but they also actively discourage the buildup of algae inside it. They are able to achieve this because they actively use up all excess nutrients that are present inside the aquarium water thus, none of it is left for the algae.

They can grow up to be extremely large plants that do a great job of providing your Goldfish with many hiding spots and places to roam around. 

Features of Brazilian Hornwort Bunch Plants

  1. Requires moderate light
  2. Approximate size during purchase: 6 inches to 8 inches
  3. Maximum length of 24 inches
  4. Require about 8 hours of light per day
  5. Dark Green in color
  • Resilient to cold water conditions
  • Discourages the growth of algae
  • Stimulates excitement in Goldfish
  • Fast-growing
  • Can be placed inside tank in a number of ways
  • Dies rather quickly in low light conditions

If you have algae inside your Goldfish tank that just won’t go away then this is the plant for you. It does a great job of oxygenating the tank and it also has a lush, green appearance. 

4. Best Entertainment Plant for Goldfish - Imported Anacharis Bunch Review

Anachris, also known as Brazillian Waterweed, is a very popular aquarium plant among beginners since it doesn’t take a lot of care to grow and can survive in quite tough conditions as well. It’s a plant that your Goldfish will probably enjoy nibbling but not to worry, its leaves are tough and this plant can definitely stand up to your Goldfish. 

The great thing about this plant is that you can place it in your tank in many different ways. You can leave it floating inside your tank or you can anchor it down by securing it to something heavy or fixed. 

Features of Imported Anacharis Bunch

  1. 4+ stem cuttings tied into a bunch
  2. Requires a moderate amount of light
  3. Hardy aquatic plant
  4. Long, wavy leaves for your Goldfish to play around with
  5. Can be placed in your tank in a number of ways
  • Natural, lush appearance
  • Helps remove ammonia from your tank
  • Requires little to no maintenance
  • Beginner-friendly
  • Affordable
  • Can die easily if not provided enough light

If you feel your Goldfish don’t get enough stimulation then this is the plant for you. It has long leaves which will definitely attract your Goldfish to come and play with them and they also enjoy nibbling on these leaves.

5. Best Low-Maintenance Plant for Goldfish - Mainam Amazon Sword Review

The Amazon Sword is another highly popular option among novice fishkeepers for the exact same reason: it’s a hardy plant that can survive with little to no maintenance. It starts off as a timid little plant but in a very small amount of time, it can grow to have extremely large leaves which your Goldfish will take advantage of by swimming around them and hiding in them. 

It grows very quickly so, even if your Goldfish nibble on it, it will be able to grow those leaves back in no time.

Features of Mainam Amazon Sword

  1. Requires low to moderate light
  2. Deep-rooted plant
  3. Large, enveloping leaves
  4. Does not need an aquarium fertilizer to grow
  5. Replacement guaranteed if plant is dead within 3 days of delivery
  • Doesn’t require too much light
  • Forgiving of harsh conditions
  • Can grow to become very large
  • Tested to be free of diseases and parasites
  • Grows very quickly
  • Requires a deep layer of substrate to grow effectively

If you don’t usually have a lot of time in your daily schedule to look after your aquarium plants then this is the product you’re looking for. All you have to do is securely install this plant into your Goldfish tank and this plant handles the rest.

6. Best Background Plant for Goldfish - Greenpro Java Moss Review

Java Moss is the type of plant that does not get anchored so this gives you the liberty to place it inside your Goldfish tank in any way you want. You can attach it to rocks or driftwood or even use it as a carpet plant. 

It comes neatly packed in a portion cup. 

There’s a chance your Goldfish may start to nibble on this plant but if you keep them well-fed, you can definitely prevent this from happening. 

Features of Greenpro Java Moss

  1. Derives nutrients from fish waste
  2. Comes in a cup that is 2.5 inches big
  3. Background plant
  4. Total weight: 4.8 ounces
  5. Snail and algae-free
  • Doesn’t require too much light
  • Can be grown in tanks of many different sizes
  • Comes in a healthy portion
  • You can place it anywhere you like inside the tank
  • Does not require any fertilizers
  • Goldfish tend to eat Java Moss
  • Relatively expensive

If you want an attractive background plant for your Goldfish tank then this product is perfect for you. It gives your tank a great, natural-looking aesthetic and it does a great job of aerating your tank.

best plants for goldfish

Buyers’ Guide

What is better to have in a goldfish tank, live plants or artificial plants? 

We’re going to be diplomatic here and say that there really is no one “better” or “correct” option. Both artificial and live plants have their own unique sets of advantages and disadvantages. It’s really up to you to decide based on what you want from your aquarium plants. 

Artificial plants are much easier to work with. There’s no risk of disease or pests involved and of course, they don’t require any sort of lighting or special care for them to grow properly. However, them being artificial means they don’t provide any real functional benefits to your aquarium’s ecosystem such as the circulation of oxygen and CO2, etc. 

Live plants are great because they discourage algae growth by using a lot of the excess nutrients in the water that could have been utilized by algae. They also help oxygenate the water by a lot which helps your fish breathe easily and be relaxed. That being said, live plants do require care and attention. They can easily wilt and die if you’re careless with them. Not to mention, if you get a live aquarium plant from a low-quality brand, you might run the risk of introducing diseases or pests to your aquarium. 

Why should I keep plants in my Goldfish tank?

As we’ve briefly discussed above, having plants in your Goldfish tank can have many functional benefits. 

Plants do a great job maintaining the environment in a tank and also help in keeping the water well-aerated. Oxygen is a natural by-product of photosynthesis that is constantly released into the aquarium water when you have plants in it. If you have children, you can really teach them a thing or two about how ecosystems work by showing them how aquarium plants and your Goldfish benefit from each other. 

Other than that, for Goldfish especially, the leaves of plants give them a lot of space to play, explore and hide inside their tank. They act as a source of entertainment and help keep your Goldfish active, alert and happy. 

What are some things to look for when purchasing aquarium plants for Goldfish?

Some things to observe and keep in mind in order to ensure you’re getting a high-quality aquarium plant for your Goldfish are: 

  • Temperature 

The important thing to realize here is that Goldfish are coldwater fish, i.e., they do not live in tanks that are heated. So, you’re going to want to get aquarium plants that will be able to thrive in cold conditions. Avoid all types of aquarium plants that require a certain level of higher temperature in order to grow effectively. 

  • Ease of Plantation 

If you’re a beginner, you may want to invest in a plant that is relatively easy to plant inside your aquarium. This is especially important if you’re introducing your plant to an already established aquarium. You don’t want to spend too much time displacing the water around your aquarium while trying to plant your aquarium plant as that may cause your Goldfish a lot of distress. 

  • Level of Maintenance 

Again, you have to think about this if you’re a beginner. Always think about how much care an aquarium plant is going to need in order to effectively grow and whether you will be able to provide that level of care or not. We recommend that if you’re not confident in your abilities to effectively take care of an aquarium plant then you should invest in plants that are more forgiving and can thrive in several different kinds of conditions. 

  • Plant Size 

Obviously, you need to consider this and get aquarium plants that will fit appropriately inside your Goldfish tank. The important thing is that you should research and find out what the maximum possible height of your aquarium plant is going to be. You should not judge the aquarium plant’s size based on what it’s height is when you buy it. 

What should I do if my Goldfish is eating my aquarium plants? 

If your Goldfish is eating your aquarium plants, there’s really nothing you can do to deter it from doing so; it’s going to happen no matter what. The only thing you can do in this case is do your research and replace your aquarium plant with a different species that your Goldfish won’t be as keen to nibble on. 

Do Goldfish like aquarium plants in their tank?

Yes. As established earlier, aquarium plants give Goldfish a great sense of familiarity and make them feel at home. They also provide them with hiding spaces and places to explore which is always stimulating for Goldfish. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Do Goldfish like Driftwood?

Yes, definitely. The small corners and little nooks and crannies that are found in Driftwood are the perfect places for a Goldfish to explore and go hide in when they are stressed out or anxious.

Are moss balls safe for Goldfish? 

Yes. Moss balls look great in small Betta or Goldfish tanks and are a popular option among aquarists looking to add plants to their aquarium. They are especially safe because most Goldfish don’t have a tendency to ingest them so you don’t have to worry about them eating it and it making them sick or anything of the sort. 

Will Goldfish eat Java Fern? 

This is highly unlikely. Most fish, including Goldfish, don’t like the taste of Java Fern leaves so they tend to leave them alone. Even most plant-eating fish have a lot of trouble tearing them because their leaves are often very thick and sturdy. This is why Java Ferns are one of the most popular options when it comes to plants for Goldfish. 

Will Goldfish eat Anubias? 

No. Goldfish are a lot less likely to nibble on the leaves of Anubias Barteri than they are with most other plants. This coupled with the fact that the Anubias Barteri plant is able to withstand the water conditions that Goldfish thrive in make it an excellent option for an aquarium plant to have in your Goldfish tank. 

What purpose does Driftwood serve in a Goldfish tank?

Driftwood serves a number of purposes when you place it in your Goldfish tank. 

Firstly, Driftwood is something that naturally exists in fish habitats so seeing it in their tank will give your Goldfish a sense of comfort as they will be seeing something they’re familiar with. This helps keep your Goldfish de-stressed. 

Speaking of stress, if your Goldfish do get stressed out, Driftwood provides them with the perfect hiding place. 

Lastly, Driftwood is the perfect object you can use to anchor your aquarium plants down securely inside your Goldfish tank. 

Why is my aquarium plant dying? 

This could be due to a number of reasons and you can narrow down what the reason is by observing how your aquarium plant is dying. 

If the leaves are turning black and dying, this may be due to increased phosphate levels inside your Goldfish tank. 

If the plants are wilting, then it might be due to an imbalance of nutrients inside your Goldfish tank. 

If there’s an excess amount of algae inside your aquarium that’s preventing your plants from growing properly, this may be caused due to excessive or erratic lighting. 

What should I do if one of my aquarium plants has caught a parasite or disease? 

The first thing you should do is dislodge your aquarium plant safely and place it into a quarantine tank. Next, observe all the other inhabitants inside your main tank and ensure nobody else is infected. If you do find another plant or fish that has been affected by the disease, you should put that inhabitant into the quarantine tank as well. 

After that, you can do your research into how you can cure whatever disease they’ve been affected by in the quarantine tank. Once the disease has been completely eradicated from the quarantine tank, you can place your plant back into the main tank. 

Can a dead aquarium plant kill my Goldfish? 

Yes. When an aquarium plant dies, it starts to decompose. This decomposition process actually uses up a lot of oxygen inside your tank and thus, can lead to very low oxygen levels inside it. If you don’t remove the dead aquarium plant as soon as you can, it can definitely result in dead Goldfish as they will start to have trouble breathing and then eventually suffocate.  

Can too many aquarium plants kill my Goldfish? 

This can definitely happen in larger settings such as ponds because a high amount of plants tends to give birth to a form of algae that can release toxic compounds; it’s much less common in small Goldfish tanks, however. That being said, we do recommend that you keep an eye on how many plants you have inside your Goldfish tank. You want to give your Goldfish ample space to swim about. Crowding your Goldfish tank up with a high number of plants can definitely cause your Goldfish’s stress levels to rise. 

Can aquarium salt kill aquarium plants? 

Yes. Aquarium salt often cannot be used with most aquarium plants and freshwater fish. Also, it’s quite common to overdose aquarium salt which can result in you killing everything inside your tank. We strongly recommend you not to use aquarium salt if you’re running a Goldfish tank. 

Final Verdict

Plants certainly do have a lot of benefits for Goldfish but it’s important for you to do your research in order to ensure which plants are compatible with a Goldfish’s environment.

After months of observing behavior and testing plants, we’ve decided to give the crown to the Greenpro Java Fern. It’s tremendously easy to plant and is forgiving when it comes to water conditions. Not to mention, it comes very neatly packaged so it doesn’t get damaged during shipping. 

And with that, we’re at the end of our post for the best plants for Goldfish. 

Let us know in the comments which plants you have inside your Goldfish tank.

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