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New To Planted Tanks, Advice Needed!

Discussion in 'New to the Hobby Questions and Answers' started by mrstwalker, Apr 20, 2015.

  1. mrstwalker

    mrstwalker Member

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    So this is going to be a few months out, but I want to gather as much information as I can before I begin this process!
     
    I have always wanted show quality butterfly telescope goldfish. And when I move in the next few months I think I will be at a place I can start the process. I have also always wanted to have live plants in my aquariums, but again I havent been in a place where I really have the time for them. 
     
    So, here is my idea of how I want my tank set up. 
     
    It is going to be a 55 gallon long aquarium, bare bottom. Black background & black bottom. I am going to get 3 -- maybe 4 wine glasses, on the larger side and plant the plants inside of these. I just think it will give a really nice minimalist look to the aquarium..
     
    What supplies do I need to get started?
    What are some hardy plants that will be healthy for the goldfish? (yes I know goldfish eat plants -- i am fine with that as long as the plants are good for them)
    How do I care for the plants? 
     
    Any other advice is really appreciated!! 
     
     
     

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  2. Gruntle

    Gruntle Member

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    My initial advice based on fairly limited experience is you might be headed for a lot of work. Here are the reasons as I see them:
     
    1. My plants are thriving, mainly because the roots are in the substrate, which means any waste from the fish descends into the substrate and feeds the plants. In a wine glass, you'll probably have to add soil (which may not be the look you're after) and the waste will not generally fall into the glasses, meaning you may have to fertilise regularly.
    2. If the plants grow well, there will soon be a lot of roots in a small container, which may get unsightly and may restrict their growth.
    3. Your goldfish (from my experience) will most likely continually uproot the plants, mine spent all their time pulling plants out just to see how red my face went.
     
    Don't get me wrong, I love the ides, I'm just not sure how successful it will be for you.

    My initial advice based on fairly limited experience is you might be headed for a lot of work. Here are the reasons as I see them:
     
    1. My plants are thriving, mainly because the roots are in the substrate, which means any waste from the fish descends into the substrate and feeds the plants. In a wine glass, you'll probably have to add soil (which may not be the look you're after) and the waste will not generally fall into the glasses, meaning you may have to fertilise regularly.
    2. If the plants grow well, there will soon be a lot of roots in a small container, which may get unsightly and may restrict their growth.
    3. Your goldfish (from my experience) will most likely continually uproot the plants, mine spent all their time pulling plants out just to see how red my face went.
    4. Depending on how large your fish grow, they might knock over your wine glasses a lot.
     
    Don't get me wrong, I love the ides, I'm just not sure how successful it will be for you.
     
  3. attibones

    attibones Member

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    I would also be worried about a fish knocking over a wine glass and breaking it in the tank. This can be potentially dangerous. If you want to try something like this, I would look for stemless wine glasses or larger glass bowls (almost like "fish" bowls in a tank). But goldies do enjoy rearranging.
     
    You may have better luck with floating plants instead of rooted plants although that wouldn't work well with your proposed decoration.
     
  4. jag51186

    jag51186 Member

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    If I were going to try this, I would probably do root feeding plants, and put root tabs in the gravel that's in the glasses that's holding the plants in place.

    I would also use clear plastic glasses...and you should use other types of drinking cups of all sizes, shorter and taller, to add more interest.

    Sword plants might be a good option as they have tougher leaves so maybe the goldies wouldn't love them as much??
    It also might be worth it to attach the base of the glasses to the tank bottom...
     
  5. attibones

    attibones Member

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    Swords, particularly amazons and compactas, have very dense root systems that can sometimes spread the entire length of a tank. They wouldn't do well in containers. The goldfish are less likely to eat waxy leaves like anubias.
     
  6. Byron

    Byron Member

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    I agree with others on all points mentioned, and will add another concern.
     
    I assume the bottom of the tank is intended to remain bare (there would be no reason for plants in "pots" otherwise).  This is not a good idea.  The substrate is the most important place in the aquarium for "nature" to do its thing, even more than the filter in a balanced aquarium.  All sorts of bacteria (in addition to the nitrifying ones) live in a healthy substrate, and it is a complex place.  Now, obviously one can have bare tanks, but these are best for breeding and stores where more frequent water changes can deal with things.  Goldfish are significant waste producers, and without a substrate of gravel (or sand) you will be siphoning out water and waste daily.  You want the aquarium to function naturally, for the health of the fish and plants, and the substrate is key in this.
     
    Byron.
     

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