Yes, both the gold fish and the betta fish are types of fish. They have fins, they have gills, they have mouths, they need clean water, they like to swim, and of course they need food. However that is as far as the similarities between the 2 fish go. We’re here to talk about the diets of these fish, what they like to eat, and whether or not a gold fish can eat betta fish food, as well as vice versa.
Simply put, a betta fish cannot eat goldfish food, or at least only very small amounts of it on rare occasions, such as in an emergency when you run out of betta fish food. Your betta fish needs a high amount of protein, and that is something that goldfish food just cannot provide.
So, what are the nutritional requirements of each of these fish? here is a quick summary of Goldfish and Betta Fish Feeding
A goldfish does not have very specific eating requirements, or at least not as specific as the betta fish. Goldfish are omnivores, which means that they eat both meat and plant based matter too. Goldfish do not require very much protein in their diet, and in fact can survive on lower levels of protein than many other fish. (more on Goldfish tank mates here).
Goldfish need a good mix of protein, vitamins and nutrients, and quite a lot of fiber too, with the protein intake only needing to be around 20 percent of their overall diet. Generally speaking, generic flaked goldfish food is more than enough to keep them happy. However you do want to mix it up a little with freeze dried foods, live foods, flakes, and some fresh food too.
The point is that goldfish are not very picky and as long as they have a balanced diet they will be just fine. All of that being said you can feed a goldfish betta food occasionally, but not too much. Betta fish have some pretty specific dietary requirements and their foods are high in protein. A betta fish’s food will be too high in protein for goldfish to eat all of the time. Moreover, goldfish like their food to sink to the middle or even the bottom of the fish tank, which as you will see is not the same with the betta fish.
You can actually make your own fish food, we previously put together a home made fish food guide here that covers 5 simple recipes to try.
Betta Fish Feeding
On the other hand, betta fish are insectivores and carnivores, meaning that the vast majority consists of meat and proteins. In simplest terms, a betta fish needs to have a diet that consists of 50 percent protein at the very least. Anything under 50 percent protein is no good, and ideally speaking, around 60 to 70 percent protein is the best.
As you can see, a betta fish’s diet needs to contain a whole lot more protein than a goldfish’s diet. Betta fish like to eat a mix of high protein foods such as pellets (if you are having issues with pellets then check out this post), blood worms, brine shrimp (more on aquarium shrimp here), daphnia, and other small meaty creatures. Moreover, the betta fish likes to eat its food while it is floating near the top of the tank, which is why betta food is often designed to float near the top, unlike goldfish food which tends to sink deeper down into the tank.
It's also important to get the right tank for your Betta Fish, more on that here.
Can Goldfish Eat Betta Food: The Conclusion
The bottom line is that goldfish can eat some betta fish food, but not a lot because the protein levels are just too high and might harm the goldfish. On the other hand, goldfish food does not nearly have enough protein to support a healthy betta fish. Therefore, while each fish can eat the other’s food on very rare occasions, it is not recommended. Both the betta fish and goldfish should be fed food that is specific to their needs.