Your planted tank sure looks good… good enough to eat! If you don’t want fish eating all of the plants in your aquarium, we’ve put together a few tips to keep nibbles at a minimum.
You’ve put in the work and the time, and now your planted tank is thriving. The last thing you want to do is have all your hard work be destroyed by hungry fish. Many freshwater aquarium fish are omnivorous, eating a variety of foods, but some are herbivorous – this means that they feed primarily on plant matter. If you stock your planted tank with plant-eating fish, it’s like letting a kid loose in a candy store!
Plant-Eating Fish to Avoid
If you plan to cultivate a thriving planted tank, you need to be very careful about what kind of fish you use to stock your tank. Certain fish are more likely to feed on aquarium plants than others, and these are the species you want to avoid. Examples include the following:
Related: What are the Most Difficult Aquatic Plants to Grow?
Related: Top 3 Substrates to Use in Planted Aquariums
Plants for Herbivorous Fish
If you decide to keep plant-eating species of fish in your planted tank, you’ll have a challenge on your hands. It’s not that it can’t be done successfully, but you do need to be mindful when choosing your tank inhabitants. Here’s a list of some of the best plants to use in planted tanks inhabited by herbivorous species of fish:
In addition to choosing fast-growing species of plant for your planted tank, you should also make sure that you are feeding your fish enough. If your fish are properly fed, they will be less likely to feed on your aquarium plants. Feed your herbivorous fish spirulina flakes as well as blanched zucchini and other fresh vegetables.
Cultivating a planted tank is no easy matter, especially if you stock your tank with plant-eating species of fish. If you are careful and do your homework ahead of time, however, you will find that it is possible to keep plants and herbivorous fish in the same tank.
If you think there’s something fishy about Kate Barrington, it’s because she’s been a lifelong lover of pets, particularly aquarium fish. Since receiving her first 10-gallon tank as a birthday present in 5th grade, she has become an avid aquarium enthusiast as well as a freelance writer specializing in the aquarium niche. Kate is a regular contributor to several aquarium fish websites and has a column in a bi-monthly pet magazine.