Many inexperienced aquarium hobbyists make the mistake of selecting the fish for their planted tank on a whim. They simply walk into the pet store, purchase a few species that they like and take them home. If you follow this method you may find that after a few days in your tank, or even a few hours, your fish will have devoured all of the plants you worked so hard to raise. In order to avoid this kind of disaster you should perform some basic research to determine which species of aquarium fish are not likely to eat the plants in your tank.
Types of Fish That Eat Aquarium Plants
While many species of aquarium fish are likely to nibble on the plants in your aquarium, some are capable of decimating your entire planted aquarium in a matter of hours. Silver dollar fish, for example, are particularly notorious plant eaters. Other species like mollies and swordtails may nibble at your plants but will rarely do any major damage. Though they may not actually eat your aquarium plants, some larger species like gouramis and cichlids may uproot and break apart the plants in your tank and algae eaters may chew holes in them.
Species of Fish Safe for Planted Tanks
If you have taken the time to cultivate a planted tank you should also make the effort to ensure that the fish you add to your tank will not destroy all of your hard work. Most small, community species of fish pose no threat to aquarium plants. Barbs, tetras, danios and guppies are all unlikely to do anything more than pick flakes of food from the leaves of aquarium plants. Even some of the slightly larger species like discus, killifish and dwarf gouramis are safe for planted tanks. Other species that are recommended for planted tanks include corydoras catfish, platties, gobies, minnows and betta fish.
Tips for Maintaining a Planted Tank
Healthy Planted Tank
There are many benefits to cultivating live aquarium plants in your tank. Not only do live plants enhance the aesthetic appeal of your tank but they can also increase the oxygen level and help filter out harmful toxins. In order to keep your aquarium plants healthy you need to provide a healthy aquarium environment. To create this type of environment you will need adequate light, nutrition and filtration.
In addition to these three things there is something else you can do to keep your tank a clean, healthy environment for your plants and fish. Introduce an EcoBio-Stone to your mid-size aquarium as a simple way to remove odors and clarify your tank water (for larger tanks, simply add another stone or purchase an EcoBio-Stone M 2 pack). EcoBio-Stones are made from natural zeolite and crushed stone which has been infused with beneficial bacteria. Once introduced to your tank, these bacteria will multiply and establish a colony that will then work to break down wastes, remove odors and speed up the nitrogen cycle. EcoBio-Stone is also terrific for your plants, greatly adding to the beauty of your planted aquarium.