Daisy Ricefish are great for community tanks, especially with other small peaceful fish. They are adaptable to a range of water parameters, are easy to feed and get along with most other community fish.
However, are they ideal for planted aquariums? Which plant species are best for Ricefish and why?
Do Daisy Ricefish like real plants in their tank?
Daisy Ricefish thrive in live planted tanks, especially when they are very heavily planted. In their wild habitat, Daisy Ricefish are found in forested streams, rocky scrapes and flooded reedbeds that are rich in plantlife.
Ricefish spend the majority of their lives hiding amongst tall grasses and foliage where they feed, avoid predation and spawn.
They very much appreciate live plants to be present in the tank, often becoming stressed in their absence, so having a backdrop of dense plant leaves is important if you want your fish to settle in.
How do you know which plants are suitable for Daisy Ricefish?
Pretty much all plants you will find for sale at your local fish store will be safe for Ricefish. Anything that is rated to be safe for ponds or aquariums will be suitable in your Daisy Ricefish tank, so finding plants for your Ricefish tank is very easy so long as you have access to aquarium plants.
What plants do Daisy Ricefish eat?
Daisy Ricefish do not eat plants, at least not healthy live plants. You may sometimes see them swallow parts of dying or dead leaves, or tear up rotting plant matter, but they are very unlikely to eat your live plants if they are in a healthy state.
The main diet of Ricefish is infusoria and insect larvae that live at the top level of the waterline. They also occasionally eat soft algaes and plankton.
Daisy Ricefish lack the mouthparts and strength to effectively tear up and eat a healthy plant leaf, and so you don’t need to worry about them attacking any plants that you add to the aquarium. Even some of your most delicate mosses and carpeting plants are safe in your Ricefish tank.
How to choose plants for a Daisy Ricefish tank
When it comes to selecting the right plants for your Daisy Ricefish tank, you have a wide range of choice, as most aquatic plants will work. The only plants you want to avoid are either those which don’t fit the size of your tank, or have different requirements than you can offer.
However, it sometimes helps to be a little picky about the plants you choose, as you want to have healthy plants that will grow well and fit the right requirements for your situation.
- If you have a small tank, you want to look for slow growers.
- If you have poor lighting, look for plants that can live in low light conditions.
- If you are new, look for hardy plants that are forgiving of early mistakes.
The Ricefish themselves put no strain on what types of plants you choose, however, the restrictions of your setup may mean you are bottlenecked into picking certain hardier plants, or it could mean that you have the freedom to try any plants you like; it all depends on your situation and level of equipment/dedication.
The best plants for Daisy Ricefish
With all this being said, you may be lost for choice. Which plants would work best for your situation? What plants do we recommend?
Well, for anyone new to plant keeping, to help you choose, we typically look for a few key characteristics in a plant species that makes them ideal. These are:
- A plant which grows in a controllable manner and is easily contained.
- A plant which can survive in a range of conditions.
- A plant which is easy to grow under differing quality of light.
- A plant that is hardy and resistant to being destroyed.
With these key points in mind, here are some of our recommendations to get you heading in the right direction for an easy time when it comes to growing out and maintaining your Daisy Ricefish planted tank:
Susswassertang is a really good starter moss. It grows in all different types of conditions and water parameters, under weak and strong lighting and is highly versatile in terms of how it can be grown in your tank.
Susswassertang is extremely hardy, able to survive extreme conditions. It is actually more difficult to kill than it is to keep alive, which makes it not only an ideal moss, but an ideal starting plant for anyone who wants to get into planted aquariums.
Another moss, Java Moss is another great starter plant that can be incorporated into many different tank setups due to its versatility.
Like Susswassertang, it can be tied to driftwood or rocks, wrapped around an ornament or simply floated in the tank, and chances are, it will grow.
Java Moss is very much enjoyed by Ricefish, who will see it as a good place to stick their eggs. It is usually recommended if you want to breed your ricefish to be used as a natural spawning mop.
Of course we can’t ignore Anubias on this list, as it is one of the best all round aquarium plants.
For smaller setups, we recommend Anubias nana petite as its smaller leaves and root systems make it ideal for small fish to go hide amongst.
Anubias nanas small frame will not impose too much on swimming space like some of its larger cousins, and its growth is much easier to control.
What plants should you avoid putting in a Daisy Ricefish tank?
Finding plants that don’t work with Ricefish is actually pretty hard, as they seem to go well with almost anything.
Of course you want to avoid poisonous plants, so if you are looking in the pond section of your garden centre, make sure you are looking in the fish safe department. When it comes to aquarium plants, nearly everything is game, as they are all tried and tested to be safe for fish.
A good way to rule out plants you should avoid, is to look at your setup and situation.
Is your tank large enough to support some of the faster growing, bigger plants? Is your lighting strong enough to support more difficult plants to keep? Do you use fertilisers? What type of substrate do you use? How warm do you keep the tank?
All these questions can help steer you in the right direction, and help you to stay clear of plants which could cause potential issues later down the road.
Our personal recommendation is to avoid Duckweed if you are at an early stage in your fishkeeping career.
Duckweed is a small floating plant which spreads rapidly and covers the top layer of the tank in sheets of itself, draining nutrients from the water column with its hanging roots and blocking light from penetrating the top layer of the tank.
If allowed to take over, Duckweed can cause issues as it reduces gaseous exchange, which reduces the oxygen level in the tank, making it harder for fish to breathe and blocks out light, which other plants need to stay alive.
Duckweed must be regularly removed and controlled properly if it is to be of benefit to the aquarium, so unless you are prepared to correctly manage it, then we do not recommend it.
Do Daisy Ricefish need live plants?
If you really want your Daisy Ricefish to do well, then you need to use live plants. Ricefish are most at home when swimming amongst tall reeds and grasses which obscure the vision of predators and provide food in the form of infusoria.
We highly recommend going for a planted tank if you decide to keep Daisy Ricefish, although you can keep them without live plants, they will rarely show their true colours.
Keeping your fish as natural as possible is key to success and for Daisy Ricefish – this means having lots of live plants.