Goldfish are great creatures to have in your home. They are fun to watch, they are relaxing, and fairly easy to take care of too. One thing that you need to know about Goldfish is that they do have some pretty strict dietary requirements so it’s important to understand what is the best Goldfish food and their feeding requirements.
In fact, what you feed your goldfish, how much you feed it, and long list of other food related factors is big determinant in regards to the health and longevity of your fish. Let’s get right into it and talk about what kind of foods you should be feeding your goldfish (This is our top food pick) as well as all other relevant feeding related info.
The Dietary Requirements Of A Goldfish
Goldfish are primarily herbivores. This means that they like a lot of organic plant life as their main source of food. That being said, goldfish are technically omnivores and will eat smaller fish, brine shrimp, and small insects too. When it comes down to it, a goldfish’s diet should consist of absolutely no more than 40 percent protein. Any more protein (meat) than that, and your goldfish may become sick. (It's also important to have the right tank mates for your Goldfish, more on that here).
If you are not going to be using generic goldfish food, this is definitely something that you will have to keep in mind. One thing to keep in mind is that your goldfish need some good variety in order to meet their nutritional requirements and get all of the essential vitamins and nutrients that they need to stay healthy.
So What Is The Best Goldfish Food? 6 Options To Consider
In case you are not sure about what kind of food is best to buy for your goldfish in terms of quality, pricing, brand names, and other factors, here are some of the best goldfish food options that you can go with.
1. TetraFin Goldfish Flakes
These are some great basic goldfish flakes to go with (You can buy them here). They contain all of the necessary ingredients to meet your goldfish’s dietary requirements, and they won’t cloud up the water either. This stuff contains Omega-3 fatty acids and they are very easy to digest too. This is a small amount and will generally last for several weeks. It is an ideal amount for 1 or a few fish.
2. Tetrafin Goldfish Flake
These flakes are much like the first ones on the list. They float, they don’t cloud the water, they contain everything your goldfish needs for a balanced diet and more. The main difference is that these flakes are also enriched with vitamin C. These flakes are ideal for large fish and large amounts of goldfish.You can buy them here.
3. Aqueon Goldfish Granules
These granules are pretty much just goldfish pellets meant for smaller goldfish. They slowly sink down to the bottom of the tank, they provide your goldfish with a well-balanced diet, and they are specially made to make your fish produce less waste. They are also a good option because they won’t cloud up your tank.
4. Fluval Goldfish Pellets
These pellets are ideal for medium and larger sized goldfish. They provide a good mix of protein, vitamins, nutrients, and everything else your goldfish needs for a balanced diet, plus it has even been enriched with vitamin C.
5. Omega One Freeze Dried Blood Worms
These freeze dried blood worms make for an excellent source of protein and minerals, they help enhance the natural pigments of your fish, and they are also loaded with vitamins.
6. Hikari Bio-Pure Freeze Dried Daphnia
This is another good frozen goldfish food option to go with. These things are full of vitamins and protein, they are free of parasites and harmful bacteria, and they won’t cloud the water either.
What Kinds Of Food Do Goldfish Eat?
Goldfish do have some pretty strict dietary requirements so you can feed them any old fish food and hope that they stay healthy and happy. Here are some of the best foods that you can use to feed your goldfish in order to keep them satisfied and as healthy as can be.
Flakes are probably the most common goldfish food which people use to feed their goldfish. Goldfish like these flakes because they float around in the water, thus making for easy prey. There are special goldfish food flakes that you can buy at virtually any pet shot or pet fish retailer.
Keep in mind that too much food like floating fish flakes can cause your fish to be gassy and can also cause digestive issues due to them swallowing air when eating the floating flakes off of the water’s surface. Flakes are also known to lose their nutritional value over time when the package has been opened up and they have been exposed to air.
Pellets are another prime choice for many people looking to feed their goldfish an easy and quick meal. Once again, most pet stores and pet fish retailers will carry pellets specially designed to meet the dietary requirements of goldfish. Keep in mind that pellets will usually sink to the bottom of the tank, something which goldfish don’t like as much as floating food, but there are some types of fish pellets which do float.
Sinking pellets can be a problem because they are harder for your goldfish to find, and thus they often rot in the bottom of the tank and can pollute the water. Another thing to keep in mind here is that the fish needs to be big enough to eat the pellets. A smaller fish may not be able to fit the pellets in its mouth and will therefore not be able to eat them.
Live foods make for a great alternative to conventional pellets or flakes. Keep in mind that live foods are meats or sources of protein, so you should only feed these to your goldfish 2 or 3 times per week at the very most. Some good options to go with include brine shrimp, daphnia, tubifex worms, glass worms, and aquarium snails.
Some people even feed their goldfish smaller live goldfish. Something to keep in mind is that live goldfish may contain diseases which can make your goldfish sick. Other live foods such as daphnia, earth worms, and brine shrimp usually never carry diseases that can harm your goldfish. (Shrimp can also help removing algae).
Frozen Or Freeze Dried Foods
These foods are another good alternative to conventional foods. They are similar to live foods, with the only real difference being that they are dead and have been frozen. Just like live foods, you really only want to feed these things to your fish 2 or 3 times per week so as to not feed them too much protein.
Freeze dried or frozen goldfish food will be a little more expensive than plain live foods, but they have the advantage of being completely disease free. Keep in mind that you will have to break up the chunks of frozen or freeze dried foods for smaller goldfish to be able to eat them. These foods can come in the form of brine shrimp, blood worms, tubifex worms, krill, plankton, Mysis shrimp, Cyclops, and daphnia.
The final thing that you can feed your goldfish with is live plant matter. After all, goldfish are primarily herbivores, so some veggies and plants make a good alternative to their steady diet of flakes or pellets. Besides your normal goldfish food and occasional protein feedings, it is recommended to feed your goldfish some kind of plant based matter around once per week to supplement essential nutrients.
Goldfish do not actually have stomachs, so the various compounds, nutrients, and vitamins in plant matter will help them digest their other foods much easier. Things like frozen peas (no skin), frozen zucchini, boiled broccoli, and diced potatoes all make for good plant based goldfish foods. The occasional lettuce leaf or piece of seaweed will also make a good addition to your goldfish’s regular feeding routine.
The Problem Of Over Feeding Goldfish
One big problem that many people experience, the vast majority without knowing it, is that they over feed their goldfish. Over feeding your goldfish can cause it to become overweight, sluggish, sick, and cause a long list of problems that no goldfish owner wants to deal with.
The trick is to know how much to feed your goldfish, and just as important, when to stop feeding your goldfish. A good rule to keep in mind is that if your goldfish is showing a belly bulge or is very sluggish and slow when looking for food, then they have definitely eaten enough.
Another thing to keep in mind is that it is better to stop feeding your fish if you are unsure of how much to keep feeding them. In most cases it is probably best to feed them a little less than way too much. You can know about how much your goldfish need to eat. A goldfish should spend no more than 6 minutes per day eating.
However, goldfish do not have stomachs, and in order to stop overfeeding, it is best to feed them r times per day, with each feeding session lasting about 2 minutes. A goldfish should never eat more food in one day than they can consume in 6 minutes. You can also try doing feeding sessions that last 1 minute each, but then you will have to do 6 sessions per day.
Remember to not let your fish beg for food and never give in to their longing looks. Goldfish are not that smart and will simply keep eating, more or less until they burst, so it is up to you, not the fish, to know how much it needs to eat. The biggest concern when it comes to feeding goldfish is over feeding, so be sure to never feed them too much. Also, goldfish like a steady schedule, so whatever feeding routine you choose to follow, make sure that you follow the same schedule every day.
Going Away For A Few Days – How Long Can A Goldfish Survive Without Food?
You may want to go away for a weekend, but how long can your goldfish survive without food? After all, nobody wants to come home to dead fish due to not being fed. It may sound unrealistic, but the fact of the matter is that a goldfish can survive for up to 10 days or even 2 weeks without food, but no more than that.
If you are really worried about your fish not getting food when you are away, you can always get something like an automatic fish food dispenser. These do work to feed your fish, but beware, they can malfunction and release way too much food.
Also, you could try getting a solid block of food, which your fish can nibble on when they get hungry. The problem with fish food blocks is that they can make the water cloudy, plus there is no control over how much food your goldfish actually eat; it’s all up to them with the blocks.
You might also find our goldfish guide helpful, it covers a lot of information on looking after goldfish.
As long as you keep all of the things that we have talked about in mind, you should have no problem keeping your goldfish healthy and happy. Just feed them a well-balanced diet, make sure to not over feed them, and keep a good feeding schedule.