Freshwater Plants for Goldfish Tanks Featured

Some of the best plants for your goldfish tank are outlined in this article about choosing freshwater plants for your goldfish tank.

Goldfish are wonderful fish to keep in the home aquarium, but they can be a little tricky. These fish tend to have higher oxygen requirements than most freshwater fish which means that maintaining high water quality in the tank is essential. A simple way to boost the oxygen content of your goldfish tank while also enhancing its appearance is to stock your tank with live aquarium plants. Not all plants are well-suited to a goldfish tank due to the temperature of the water and the tendency of goldfish to nibble on plants. In this article you will learn about some of the plants that are recommended for goldfish tanks.

goldfish with java fern Java fern do well in moderate light or shade

Java Fern

The Java fern (Microsorum pteropus) is an amphibious plant native to Southeast Asia – amphibious means that it can grow either fully or partially submerged in the water. These plants are found growing along the banks of streams and rivers, producing long, flat leaves in bunches that grow up to 8 inches tall. Java fern can be planted individually or in small groups and they are best planted in the middle of the tank rather than the back. These plants do well in moderate light or shade, but they may wilt if the lighting is too bright. Ideally, Java fern should be attached to rock or driftwood – it may not root properly if planted directly in the substrate.


Goldfish have a tendency to eat anything green, so the key to keeping live plants in your goldfish tank is to choose some that grow quickly. Duckweed (Lemnoideae) is a floating plant, growing on the surface of the water in tiny round leaves. This plant tends to grow best in bright light, though it shouldn’t receive more than 12 hours per day or it could result in excess algae growth. Because duckweed is a floating plant, you don’t have to worry about using a particular substrate in your tank – the plant will gather the nutrients it needs directly from the tank water.


Hornwort (Ceratophyllum demursum) is a type of floating plant that does not put down any roots. Though it doesn’t produce roots, hornwort can be anchored in the substrate if you don’t want to have it floating on the surface of your tank. This plant grows in long, fine-leaved strands up to 24 inches long. Hornwort is incredibly easy to care for and they tend to grow fairly quickly which makes them an excellent option for a goldfish tank.

Amazon Sword

Amazon Sword plants (Echinodorus bleheri) are a very hardy plant native to the Amazon River basin. These plants are incredibly popular among aquarium hobbyists because they thrive in a variety of tank environments and they are very attractive. An Amazon Sword plant produces broad green leaves and the plant may grow up to 18 inches tall. These plants do well either fully or partially submerged and they can be planted either directly in the substrate or in pots. Amazon Sword plants do require medium to high levels of lighting but, for the most part, they are very hardy and easy to care for.

Other Tips for Planted Tanks

It is important to remember that aquarium plants are photosynthetic organisms – this means that they require light for energy. This being the case, you will need to equip your tank with a high-quality lighting system to give your live plants the energy they need to thrive and grow. As is true with your goldfish, water quality is also important for keeping your live plants healthy. An easy way to boost the water quality in your tank without making any drastic changes is to install an EcoBio-Stone in your goldfish tank. EcoBio-Stones are made from volcanic rock and cement. EcoBio-Stone also contain nitrifying bacteria that will help to keep your tank water clean and clear, thus improving your tank environment for both your goldfish and your plants.

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