Fish to Avoid For A Planted Aquarium

It is challenging to maintain the healthy environment of the planted freshwater tanks. The growth of the algae and leftover foods degrades the environment of the aquarium. Therefore it is essential to know the ways of protecting your beautiful aquarium. And today, we are going to focus on the types of fish to avoid for a planted tank and what fish you can house.

Several parameters destroy the beauty of your aquarium. Among them, choosing the wrong types of fish causes a severe problem for your planted freshwater tank. To get rid of these types of issues, you should do your own research to determine which species to avoid during fish selection for your planter freshwater tank.

Like every human has different behaviors. Similarly, the different species of fish possess different types of distinguishing characters. Some of them are cleaners, some of them are plant eaters and some species live in a group. If you have stocked such species and they are plant-eater, this is the worst scenario for your planted freshwater tank. Maintaining the healthy environment of the fish tank is a challenging and time-consuming process. This is why you should be very careful while choosing the species of fishes.

Read the full article on how to set up a nano planted aquarium.

Fish to Avoid For A Planted Aquarium

In this article, we are presenting you the list of some species of fish that should be avoided for a planted freshwater tank. They are: –

  • Silver Dollar Fish
  • Buenos Aires Tetras
  • Monos
  • Scats
  • Goldfish

This species of fish is very easy to care, but it is very dangerous to keep this fish in the aquarium. This fish can grow up to 6 inches in length, and they are plant eaters. These fish will empty your planted tank within a few days.

Now, Let’s describe why they aren’t good for your planted aquarium.

Buenos Aires Tetras

They grow about a length of 2.5”. Although they have a smaller length, it is not suggested for the planted freshwater tank. They live in a group of 5,6 and empty the fish tank eating all live plants in some days. These fish eat all types of aquatic plants except java fern.


Although Monos fish look really stunning they are bad for your planted aquarium as they eat live plants. If you couldn’t provide enough vegetables to these species of fishes, they will finish up your planted aquarium. You should provide enough vegetable diet if you are petting them.

These species are quite bigger than silver dollar fish.


They consume live plants in the fish tank, so it is not suggested to put then in a planted aquarium.


Goldfish also consume the plants, so your aquarium may be empty. You should note about your plant’s condition every single day and plant those plants which grow faster.

We aren’t demotivating you from keeping the above species of fishes. We are just awaring you about the nature of these fishes. Think about different possible ways to solve the mentioned problem. Don’t let your fish tank to be empty. You can always go with a few numbers of those species so the plants won’t overgrow or plant more and provide sufficient vegetables, so they won’t touch the plants in the aquarium.

Before selecting the fish, make sure that they are compatible with the environment of your aquarium. Your fish tank can be planted or not planted. So, choose them wisely for their better growth and development. Some species of fish choose open space to swim while others choose sheltered areas. Please make sure that the environment of your fish tank meets the standard of natural habitat. So that they will be happy to live, and they will grow properly.

Suitable Fish for Your Planted Tank

There are several species of fish tank fishes.  And individual species of fishes have different characters. Some of the species are suitable for the planted tank while some are not suitable for the planted tank. So, a person planning to set up a fish tank should be wise while selecting the species of the fishes.

We have prepared a list of the fishes that are suitable for your planted tank. Some of them are as follows: –

Now, let’s describe why these fish are a great addition to your planted aquarium.

Rainbow Fish

The maximum length of these types of fishes is 5 inches. They are unique due to their unique coloration, to maintain this unique coloration of fishes, you should feed them nutritious food.  It is best to keep a single male in a fish tank. These types of fishes are suitable for tropical climate.


These fishes are suitable for different types of environments. The color of these fish varies from green to red, black, orange. The plants in your fish tank wouldn’t be affected by these species of fish.


These fish are bight colored and mostly suitable for the community fish tank. The coloration includes bright red yellow, blue, dark black.


The different types of tetras are available. Among them, cardinal tetra is most suitable for the fish tank. The tetras vary from small to giant in size. This fish is available in blue and red colors.


The different species of gouramis are available in the environment. The size varies from small to big. The fish is multi-colored. some are red, blue, yellow, gold, and so on. To enhance the beauty of any type of fishes, you should feed them rich diet, frozen, dried commercial foods.


More than 1000 species of killifish have been found throughout the world. Most of them are suitable for the wild environment. Lyretail is a type of killifish which is best suitable for planted tanks. Don’t worry about a specific color. These fish have multi-color variation. You can choose among a wide range of colors.


These are also known as the king of the aquarium. The name is given because of their unique nature of the fins. They have an approximate length of 6 inches. These fishes have a life span of 10 years. These species take care of their young ones. Wide range of colors like gold, silver, black, etc. is easily available. These fishes need 8 hours to 12 hours of light each day. This fish is very easy to breed.


The color of this fish changes from time to time. The main reason to change the color is based on stress level, age, supplied diet, fish tank condition. This species is difficult to care for. They have a wide range of color variations. It can take up to 6 years to attain their best colors, while they have 10-15 years of life span. These fish love peace and avoids conflict.


They are also called millions of fish because of their breeding nature, 50 fries (baby fish) are produced each month by a mature female fish. These species are available in a wide range of colors. They love tropical waters, and these species are easy to care for. Guppies don’t lay eggs, they give birth to their young ones directly. But they eat their own young ones. So it is suggested to separate the babies. These species vary in shape and color.

Chili Rasbora

These fishes are colorful. Most species of rasboras are suitable for the fish tank. These colorful species swim together. This is the distinguishing character of these breeds

Live Bearers

Mollies Platies etc. makes excellent planted tanks. These fish won’t affect your plants in your fish tank, and they can easily adapt to the environment these fishes are easy to care and comes in a wide range of color. This is the reason these types of fishes are very popular among fish tank owners.


This belongs to catfish. These fishes love the bottom space of your tank. They don’t affect the live plants inside the fish tank. These fishes have lovely looks and are peaceful nature.

Betta Fish

These breeds are aggressive in nature. The male should be kept in separate tanks as they will fight until one dies. However, they are a great addition to your planted tank as they don’t destroy your plants or your scapes.

Read More: Common Mistakes Beginner Aquarists Make