To begin my aquascaping journey, I am going to rescape my 75 gallon goldfish aquarium which are currently inhabited by my Orandas, Rosco and Storm. I've been incredibly uninspired by this messy tank simply because owing goldfish and wanting an extravagant aquascape has its challenges.
Unlike small tropical fish that frequent renowned aquascapes, goldfish manipulate their surroundings. Since it is their home, I supposed they have a right to decorate it how they want. But, that doesn't mean I can't have the aquascape I want. I know them and they don't fool me! They love to dig up my plants trying to forage for food. The tender new leaves are truly irresistible to them and they will nibble unless I feed them a filling diet. Best of all, they throughly enjoy picking up small amounts of substrate. They'll swim around munching on the delicious dirt, and then when they're finished guess what they do. BLOW IT OUT EVERYWHERE! Everyday all I see are clouds of dirt coming up from the base of my plants, out pops a goldfish (munching away), and then BLAH; a rainstorm of dirt. I'll tell you what, this is exactly why we can't have nice things. The goldfish ruin it by just being themselves.
Not only do my Oranda have terrible house-keeping habits, their large size and disregard of caution gets them into trouble with hardscape materials and semi-dense plant mass. I say semi-dense because have you ever thought, "Yeah, I can fit my huge body through that super tight space". And, you tried knowing that is was a bad idea. Well the different between my goldfish and us is that we learn from our mistakes. If the rock, wood, or plant space looks like it just might be possible to squeeze through, they will try. Although their clumsiness seems cute and larger size majestic, not goldfish-proofing the aquascape has resulted in missing scales, torn fins, and bent dorsal ridges
Don't get me wrong though. In all honestly I am in love with my goldfish and if they hadn't melted my heart with their delightful personalities I probably wouldn't have this problem. Instead of quitting on my goldfish aquascape dream, I am going to design my new scape around them. So, lets analyze the issues and brainstorm on an aquascape design.
Issue No. 1: Digging Up Plants
I'll need to choose plants that have a strong rooting system so they will stay firmly in place when the goldfish come to dislodge.
Issue No. 2: Eating Plant Leaves
Plants will have to have a thicker leaf or terrible taste to prevent the goldfish from going to town at the salad bar.
Issue No. 3: Moving Substrate
The substrate needs to either be nearly impossible to get a hold of (good luck) or I'll have to pick a substrate that I don't mind being moved around. I'll also need to think about how I'll be able to move the substrate back in its rightful place on cleaning day.
Issue No. 4: Large Size
Plant mass needs to be either dense or spacious. Spaciousness allows for free swimming while densely packed plants prevent plants from entering and traveling trough the mass.
Issue No. 5: Clumsiness
Nothing can stop them from being clumsy but goldfish-proofing the aquascape can prevent cuts and scale damage. There cannot be any sharp rocks or wood that can scrape and harm the goldfish.
Now that I now the issues and how to possibly solve them, the goldfish aquascape dream is slowly coming to reality. Follow to join the conversation and see how my new aquascape is coming along, goldfish included.