I’m here today to share my experience and knowledge with you on setting up a planted goldfish aquarium, taking you step by step through the process.
As someone who has been keeping fish for years (and built self-sustaining aquariums too), I can tell you that there’s nothing like the satisfaction you get from creating beautiful ecosystems for your fish to thrive in. And that’s exactly what you’re doing with a planted goldfish aquarium.
Yes, I know, planted goldfish tanks are not really the first types of aquariums that come to mind when you think about aquascaping, but trust me when I say that it’s worth doing this for your pet goldfish.
No matter if you’re just starting up with your first beginner-friendly fish or an experienced aquarist, I am sure you will learn something new and useful today.
After all, there are always new things to learn when it comes to creating the perfect aquarium for your pet fish
So get ready to roll up your sleeves and dive in (pun intended), as I tell you how to set up a planted goldfish aquarium that will look stunning, and also keep your fish healthy and happy. Trust me, it’ll be worth the effort and time you’ll put in!
How to Set Up A Planted Goldfish Tank
Some pet owners would argue that goldfish are a man’s best friend. This is because they are very easy to take care of while providing joy and bliss to their keepers.
But don’t be fooled into thinking they don’t need proper care! The key to your goldfish’s health lies in their living conditions.
And this includes creating a planted tank for them to thrive in. Here’s how to do it, in 5 easy steps.
Step 1: Choose the right tank
This first step is crucial for determining the number of fish, plants, and decorations you can add. Consider the number of fish you want and avoid over-saturating the tank.
Since goldfish will grow pretty large, you will need to calculate 10 gallons of water for each pet fish that you own. I might accept as little as 7-8 gallon per fish if you really have no other option, but that would be the bare minimum.
So if you have one goldfish, a 10 gallon tank would be enough. For three goldfish, choose a tank that offers at least 20 gallons, ideally 30.
And since we’re here, why not check out my list of recommended funny and cool names for goldfish? You need a proper name for your pet fish and my article has over 120 suggestions!
Step 2: Add a water filter and heater
A filtration system is vital for clean water and healthy fish, even though some people say that is not mandatory. Just like with keeping Betta fish, it’s best to have a filter.
You can check out my recommended water filters for aquariums here.
Same goes with a water heater. Exotic goldfish thrive with a heater, so keep that in mind. But it’s true that some goldfish can do well in cold water – just make sure you choose the right one for your setup.
Step 3: Add gravel and decorations
Use gravel to help keep plants in place and make the tank look better. Check out my recommended, best substrate for aquariums here.
The amount of gravel you add to your goldfish aquarium depends on the plants you want to add. Usually, I go with at least 2 inches of substrate / gravel as that offers enough room for the roots to grow nicely.
IMPORTANT: Make sure to use gravel that will not be swallowed accidentally by your fish. In other words, go for slightly larger cuts, not the very small, sand-like substrate that’s generally used.
Step 4: Add water and plants
When setting up your planted goldfish tank, make sure to treat your water with aquarium conditioner before adding it, and turn on your filter and/or heater.
Let it running for at least a few days as it is, before adding the plants. Some aquarists prefer to add the plants during the gravel phase – that’s an option too as it is indeed a bit more difficult to add them afterwards.
I personally add plants to the aquarium after adding water, but it doesn’t really matter when you do it. Plants can do well even if the aquarium is not cycled.
Don’t add goldfish to your planted aquarium right away, though, as there has to be no ammonia for fish to survive in water.
You will need to let your aquarium run for at least three weeks for the proper balance to be met. Do constant water tests to see where you’re at in terms of ammonia levels and only start adding fish once the water is safe for them.
Step 5: Add your goldfish
Once everything is running smoothly, add your fish one by one at regular intervals to prevent stress or ammonia buildup.
Remember to clean your water regularly, and consider adding janitor fish to help maintain a healthy environment. Make sure to feed your goldfish proper food, not things like rice, bananas or other things.
With a little TLC, your goldfish will thrive in their new home and you will enjoy the results of all your labor.
Those were the five key steps in creating a perfect planted goldfish aquarium setup. There is a bit of work involved here, but the end result will be much better than simply keeping your pet goldfish in an empty, lifeless and dull tank.