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RE: Planted Goldfish Tank (was: a few questions)

> 1. Goldfish are considered a cold water fish. 

Actually, Goldfish tolerate a wide range of
temperatures.  Their reputation as cold water fish
stems from the fact that they can survive in an
outdoor pond even if the water is frozen over.  Here
on the sunny, warm Gulf Coast, my 400 gallon (give or
take) pond sees water temps at 82-84 degrees in
summer.  The key seems to be insuring that the water
is well oxygenated.  

> Most of the plants we keep are tropical plants, used

> to higher temperatures. My tank runs at 75 - 80 
> degrees, so it seemed risky to subject the fish to 
> the high temperatures.

That's true, but there are many beautiful plant
species that are natives of the American temperate
regions, and can be utilized in a tank with somewhat
cooler temperatures.

> 2. Most of the sources I read recommended a pH of 
> 7.4 or higher for goldfish. My tank always runs at 
> 6.8 or so, and the plants never do well above 7.0. 

As with temperatures, goldfish tolerate a wide range
of pH levels.  They're quite happy in slightly acidic
water--my pond's pH never seems to get above 7.0,
owing to the large amounts of oak leaves that I can
never seem to keep out of the water.  A number of
people also use barley straw and peat to assist in
algae control, and the tannins they produce also lower

> It seems that there is an inherent incompatibility 
> between the needs of the fish and the best situation

> for the plants.

It depends on the plants selected.  With a little
research and shopping around, I'm sure she could find
a nice selection of plants for her goldie tank.

The biggest issue is finding plants that the goldfish
won't devour.  They're constant grazers--if it's
edible and they can get their mouths around it,
they'll try it.  If they like it, it's history.

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