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[APD] goldfish and plants
Hi all --
I dipped into this hobby about 6 months ago, and I'm now totally in love with my 6 fancy goldfish. I also am a longtime gardener, and want to have a planted tank. Most every source simply says, "goldfish and live plants don't mix," but I'm willing to put in extra effort to see if I can maintain both. Right now I have a 10-gallon tank with a haphazard few plants in it -- they are thriving as are the fish. No heat, no fertilizer, no special care for the plants at all.
I am about to set up a new 36-gallon bowfront to move the fish into. Now that I've see what is possible with planted tanks, I want to start with a good set of plantings, and see what I can do.
For the new tank, I only have about 1 watt/gallon of light right now, but will upgrade if necessary. So for starters, I know I need to start with the lower-light, hardier species. I have 1-1/2" of gravel and some larger river rocks, as well as bamboo cut in lengths for some vertical interest. I want to keep it simple and elegant.
I'm writing to ask for suggestions from anyone who has tried plantings with goldfish.
Specifically, I don't know if I should/must add a planting substrate below the gravel. If so, which would be best?
Also, should I heat the substrate since the water will always be on the cool side for the goldies? Would an under-gravel heater increase the water temperature (I already live in Colorado where the room temp is fine for the goldfish)?
Also, can anyone vouch for fertilizers that help the plants and don't harm goldfish?
Finally, I'm assuming when I do a water change, I will mess up the top 1/2" or so of the gravel, as I do now. I guess I can only do this where there are no plants. Will this be an adequate routine for keeping the water and the bottom clean, without disrupting the growth?
Any other helpful ideas will be greatly appreciated. Thanks much,
JJT in Aspen
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