Keeping live plants with goldfish

Live aquarium Plants: Water Sprite

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Can you keep live plants with goldfish?
Will they all get eaten?
What kind of live plants are suitable for a goldfish tank?

The answer to the first question is a very definite yes! You absolutely can keep live plants with goldfish, and you don’t have to be an expert to do it. As long as you choose the right kind of plant then – even if you’re a beginner – there’s no reason to avoid live plants in favor of plastic or silk fakes.

To see our suggested goldfish tank plants, browse all of our aquarium plant articles here or jump straight to a specific plant using the links below.

But won’t they get eaten? Yes, they will. It is true that goldfish will eat almost anything, and that they eat a lot. That’s why we say that you need to choose the right kind of aquarium plant. Some plants grow quite slowly and will be completely eaten away before they have chance to grow… but others grow more quickly than goldfish eat, and can therefore survive a bit of goldfish nibbling!

Even with fast-growing plants though, one potential problem with keeping live plants with goldfish is that they may get dislodged from the substrate. Goldfish like to dig around in gravel and pull on plants, which can cause your nicely arranged display to become uprooted and float around the tank. However, this problem can usually be solved by attaching a weighted base to the plant or tying it to a rock or ornament.

Finally, all aquarium plants require a reasonable amount of light in order to survive. We discuss the lighting requirements of each plant in the following articles, along with other aspects of their care.

So, what are the best live plants to keep with goldfish?
Plants with goldfish: Amazon Sword

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In the articles below, we look at some of the very best live plants for keeping with goldfish. All of these plants are relatively low maintenance and grow quickly enough to not be eaten away!

Amazon Sword


Anubias barteri

Banana Plant


Java Fern


Vallisneria Spiralis

Water Sprite

Water Wisteria


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  • Donn

    Have you tried a Marimo moss ball?

    • disqus_ZgPTAIRZRP

      My comet goldfish made a salad out of my Marimo moss ball. I managed to salvage enough pieces of it to roll into a dime sized ball which lives in a separate container now.