Goldfish are beautiful fish that come in a range of flattering shades of gold, copper, and black. The color richness and variety depend on genes and what they eat. If you’re new to goldfish-keeping, you probably wonder what to feed them and how that food affects them.
You will soon learn that the best diet for goldfish mimics their natural nutrient intake, so choosing a safe and nutritious food is essential for glorious colors and healthy fish. Let’s look at the best goldfish food on the market.
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15 of the Best Goldfish Foods
1. TetraFin Balanced Diet Goldfish Flake Food
The first food on our list is vitamin-infused flakes for your goldfish. You can often share food between Goldfish and Koi, making this food a great option if your tank has both. Besides being rich in vitamins and minerals, the TetraFin goldfish flakes offer a balanced diet for your fish.
If fed as instructed, any leftover flakes will not cloud or pollute the water like regular flakes. As mentioned, goldfish are among the most colorful aquatic creatures, and their nutrient intake must enhance their vivid hues. TetraFin Balanced Diet is color-enhancing and packed with antioxidants, proteins, and prebiotics for optimal color development.
- Won’t cloud the water
- Rich in vitamins and minerals
- Balanced diet
- Easy-to-use dispenser
2. Aquatic Foods 12-Types of Floating/Sinking Blackworm & Intense Coloring Pellets
This mixed pellet feed is ideal for a high protein boost meal for your goldfish. The pack comes with three different-sized pellets to suit different developmental stages, and the main ingredient is California bloodworm, which is why the protein content is as high as 50%.
Since some of the pellets sink while others float, your goldfish can feed with less feeding aggression if you have a large school to feed. Ideal for tanks and pools.
- Affordable bulk offer
- It comes in three different size pellets
- Floating and sinking pellets
- 50% protein
- 4-9% fat content
- Suitable for a mixed school of immature and mature adults
3. Seachem NutriDiet Goldfish Fish Flakes
Seachem has been a name to reckon with in the aquatic industry for decades, and its quality products are a staple to many hobbyists and aquarists. Its goldfish flakes are reinforced with probiotics, bacterial guards, and color-enhancing natural ingredients.
The flakes are suitable for adult goldfish, but crumbling can help make it easier to eat for smaller fish. Feeding Seachem fish flakes boosts your goldfish’s immunity and digestive system, and ensures optimal growth.
- It contains probiotics and bacteria guard
- Made with fish meal and other natural ingredients, including spirulina, kelp, and seaweed
- Time-released probiotic components for sustained support
- Rich nutrient content and dense supplemental vitamins and minerals for better immunity
4. Fluval Bug Bites Granules
These fish granules are infused with black soldier fly larvae, so your beloved goldfish can also benefit from the nutrients of “live” food. Each pellet’s omega fatty acid content boosts the health of fish scales, fins, and more.
For a daily staple fish feed, you need all the best nutrients. With each bite, your fish gets a whole serving of vitamins, proteins, and amino acids. This fish food has no artificial fillers, and they are sustainably processed in small batches for quality control and peace of mind.
- Infused with black soldier fly larvae
- Rich in omega fatty acids
- Well balanced diet
- Nothing artificial added
- Sustainably produced
5. Aqueon Goldfish Fish Food Slow Sinking Granules
Unlike pellets, these granules are smaller and naturally shaped to absorb water better and expand as they sink. The combination of a sinking food that absorbs water helps improve your fish’s digestion. A goldfish that tends to gulp air and bloat also thrives on a portion of mid-level food in the tank.
These granules are loaded with healthy natural ingredients, are free from artificial colorants and flavorings, and provide your goldfish’s natural diet.
- Available in 3-ounce and 5.8-ounce packs
- Less soiling of tank water
- Fish can feed freely without having to assemble at the surface
- Fish love these, even other tank mates to your goldfish
6. Repashy Super Gold – Goldfish and Koi Gel Food
If you don’t already know, goldfish and koi food can come in gel form, too. These capsules are specifically designed to boost your fish’s immune systems and promote healthy development.
Some goldfish owners have even said this gel food had cured instances of swim bladder in their fish! The premix food is of high quality and features a mix of ingredients that will benefit your goldfish and koi in various ways. With protein making up the bulk of the composition, your prized goldfish will thrive with this balanced meal.
- High-quality mix
- Great for both koi and goldfish
- Maximum protein for rapid growth
- Boosts immune system
7. Blue Ridge Fish Food Pellets
These pellets soften quickly once they come into contact with water and are easily consumed, keeping your tank water quality pure. Since the pellets soften, they are much easier to digest than hard granules or other pellets that don’t.
These pellets are an excellent option for different shaded koi and goldfish and come backed with a satisfaction guarantee. If you have a pond, these are also perfect for pond goldfish feeding.
- 100% satisfaction guarantee
- Easily digestible
- Softens in water
- High quality for value for money
- Balanced meal
8. Omega One Goldfish Pellets
What earns Omega One goldfish pellets a spot on our list is that they are the only fish pellet food on the market made from fresh seafood. Goldfish may develop stomach sensitivities, and these goldfish pellets ensure correct digestion for better gut health.
The enhanced omega fatty acids will improve the appearance of your fish and give them the energy boost they need during the breeding season. The ingredients are hand-harvested and provide a balanced meal for your goldfish without unnecessary fillers and colorants.
- High nutritional value
- Best food for goldfish made from fresh seafood
- Easy to digest
- Enriched with omega fatty acids
- Balanced meal
9. Hikari Saki-Hikari Fancy Goldfish
Hikari Saki, a fancy goldfish food, is preferred by Japanese koi and goldfish breeders. This fish food recipe is ideal for a color-enhancing diet to ensure your goldfish are vivid and do not become washed out.
The baby pellets sink to the bottom but won’t cause murky waters. Nothing artificial is included in the recipe, and it’s free of artificial coloring. Your fish will love the easy-digest prebiotics of the recipe during feeding time.
Trusted and preferred by professional breeders, this food offers a technologically advanced diet.
- Preferred by breeders
- Enhances color
- Nothing artificial in the food
- Easy to digest
- Includes prebiotics
10. Ultra Fresh Sinking Goldfish Food
If you want the best, you need to feed the best, which is why Taipei Zoo only feeds Ultra Fresh. Fish go nuts over the fresh flavor of wild-caught sword prawns that provide the protein of Ultra Fresh. With a 35% protein content, you know your goldfish will thrive.
The unique combination of nutrients, natural vegetables, marine oils, and minerals makes for a color-enhancing feed that your goldfish will love. Ultra Fresh helps to develop the most saturated color of your goldfish and koi.
Thanks to the slow-sinking structure of the pellets, your goldfish can feast for a while, even in winter. The food also doesn’t rot quickly (as the fish won’t leave a crumb), so your tank’s water quality is vastly improved.
- Available in three sizes
- Slow-sinking pellet technology
- Assists with tank maintenance
- Kind on goldfish digestion
- Best for Lionhead Goldfish, Rachu, and Oranda goldfish
11. New Life Spectrum Goldfish
The New Life Spectrum goldfish pellets are an ideal solution for a natural diet composed of fresh-caught krill and squid and harvested seaweed. These pellets offer natural protein value, enhancing your goldfish’s colors and promoting healthy growth.
However, one challenge with this goldfish food is freshness. Due to the lack of preservatives (which you don’t want to feed your fish anyway), it can be challenging to store long-term. Instead, order the size container your fish will need in the short term.
The large-size pellets are also unsuitable for smaller goldfish, so only feed this to your larger goldfish that are already mature.
- Fresh protein source from whole krill, squid, and seaweed
- Pelleted food for easy feeding of adult goldfish
- High-density feed, so avoid overfeeding
- No soybean additives or fillers
- Natural color enhancement
12. TetraPond Pond Sticks 3.53 Ounces
Goldfish are a popular pond fish choice, and when your fish lives outdoors, consider their dietary needs differently. Pond fish need minimal supplemental feeding as they have a natural environment with plants and insects they can feed on.
These pond sticks are a brilliant feeding solution. The soft sticks are easy to digest; your goldfish will quickly grab them. The nutritionally dense food is ideal for healthy fish and fights off naturally occurring diseases such as fin rot. Automatic pond feeders can also dispense sticks easily.
- Soft stick formulation
- Contains 28% protein with minimal carbohydrates (ideal for summer and spring feeding)
- Better digestion produces less fish poop to cloud water
- Sticks soften on contact with water for better digestion
- Helps with pond water quality
13. Northfin Goldfish
For a low carbohydrate but high protein food for your goldfish, consider Northfin Goldfish food. Your fish will enjoy the rich flavor of the non-bloating pellets of this highly recommended food.
Since the main ingredients are marine-based kelp, seaweed, krill, and herring meal, your fish will enjoy a quality protein source while avoiding carbohydrate-rich fillers, and your fish will enjoy a healthy diet.
Canadian-based Northfin goldfish is suitable for all goldfish breeds and offers reliable quality.
- It contains 36% protein
- Natural animal-source protein from marine sources
- Small pellets for easy digestion
- Natural color-enhancing properties
14. Tetra Goldfish Flakes 2.2 Ounces, Enriched with Vitamin C
The Tetra Goldfish flakes with vitamin C are a perfect choice for a rich food that may aid goldfish in recovery following illness. With 42% protein, your fish will thrive, grow faster, and spawn more regularly. The addition of vitamin C helps with the absorption of other nutrients and ensures healthy immunity.
Note that some of the proteins in this feed are from plant sources, such as brown rice.
- 42% protein
- 11% fat
- High in vitamins and minerals
- Ideal late summer feed
15. GoodPartner Purify Series for Butterfly koi Fish Food
Appropriately feeding all your fish breeds can be difficult for a mixed tank. However, if you have goldfish and koi in one tank (and even if you encourage interspecies breeding), this GoodPartner fish food is ideal.
This food contains Natto bacteria to help keep the tank clean if the food decomposes and when the fish poops. The balanced nutrients foster healthy digestion and flourishing immunity, producing healthy scales and beautiful colors.
- Available in two recipes, one with high protein and low fat, while another has low protein and high fat, depending on your fish’s needs
- Pelleted food comes in two color combinations
- Highly digestible
- Very palatable for picky fish
- Enhanced water clarity
Best Goldfish Food Buying Guide
The food you feed is the key to having a thriving pond or tank with healthy goldfish and koi. The best goldfish food is one that has balanced nutrition. Without food, your goldfish may dull in color, lack energy, or even sicken with illnesses like swim bladder.
To ensure you provide your goldfish with the best feeding option, consider a few factors. Let’s examine your goldfish’s dietary requirements and how to meet them with the most appropriate foods.
What to Look for When Buying the Best Goldfish Food
The nutrient content of a fish food must be diverse to meet your fish’s dietary needs. Your goldfish will benefit from having sufficient protein, fat, carbs, vitamins, and minerals in each meal. To help you better understand the importance of different nutrients, we’ve got a detailed breakdown to guide you.
Protein should make up the bulk of your goldfish’s diet. We’re looking at anywhere between 30-40% of the food’s total mass. Feeding sufficient protein promotes growth and development and will result in a strong goldfish. Your goldfish’s hood will also develop better, and so will their fins and wen.
However, not all protein sources are the same. Low-quality protein, even when fed in large amounts, will benefit your goldfish much less than a smaller amount of high-quality protein. Feeding your fish more than 40% of protein should only be done short-term rather than daily. It would help if you looked at it more like an occasional treat.
Of all the protein sources, fish prefer fish or insect protein as this is their natural dietary intake in the wild.
Fish need fat just as we do. However, since their tank environment is controlled, they will experience no seasonal fluctuations, and there are fewer adjustments that your fish has to do. Therefore, your goldfish shouldn’t be getting more than 10% fat in their diet, or they risk becoming overweight.
As for carbohydrates, your fish also don’t need as much, but carbs help with your goldfish’s energy levels. Opt for non-wheat-based carbs (wheat-based carbs are more harmful to fish) and make sure they don’t get too much. Too much carbs in fish food can also contribute to cloudy and murky water.
Vitamins and Minerals
Added essential vitamins and minerals help boost the fish’s immune system, enhancing color and supporting longevity.
We think you’ll enjoy reading about choosing the best tank for your fish, as having enough space to move helps their overall health.
Like other pet food, your fish’s food should not include artificial or harmful ingredients. Try to feed as naturally as possible and ensure your chosen food is produced in a country with stringent quality standards.
Sinking or Floating?
The best goldfish food can come in a sinking or floating pellet form. Flakes naturally float until they become waterlogged and sink. The floating feed pellets are generally smaller and more expensive. Since they float, they also tend to maintain the integrity of the water for longer. You will also have more control over your fish’s feeding. When they come up to the surface to feed, you can also easily monitor your fish’s health and overall condition.
Sinking fish food is cheaper, but since it does sink to the bottom, it has a higher chance of soiling the water. Also, if you aren’t looking at a tank but rather a pond, sinking fish pellets are great for colder weather when goldfish don’t tend to surface. Pellets also work better with automatic feeders.
Also Read: What Can You Feed Fish Other Than Fish Food?
Type of Fish Food
Specially formulated flakes give your goldfish a complete and balanced diet. It is easy to come by and is cheaper compared to pellets. One downside is it tends to cause your fish to gulp a lot of air when feeding, and this can lead to bloating.
Pellets are larger and can solve the air-gulping issue, as your fish won’t strain to bite the bigger bits. However, pellets are more expensive than flakes. Pellets come in two categories: sinking and floating. The best goldfish food should keep the water clean, and it gives you the flexibility of switching to sinking pellets in colder weather without actually changing food.
Fancy goldfish benefit from gel food more than regular breeds. Since gel food is moist, it comes the closest to mimicking your goldfish’s natural diet, which is another reason breeders and aquarists prefer it to pellets and flakes. You can even make your own gel food; however, gel foods muddy the waters more easily.
Check out our article on ‘Types Of Aquarium Fish Food Types And Nutritional Values‘.
Most fish will eat just about anything you feed them, so your vetting process needs to be even more strict. However, wanting to feed your goldfish a treat or two from time to time is fine. Feeding your goldfish the proper treats is important.
With the right food (pellet, flake, or gel), your fish may not need anything extra regarding basic nutrients. Your goldfish will appreciate a leaf of kale, lettuce, or spinach. Live or frozen food are also very nice treats for your goldfish. Live foods are high-protein treats. Frozen bloodworms, for example, are an excellent source of natural protein.
Feeding brine shrimp is an excellent option for baby fish if they aren’t large enough to have bloodworms yet. Brine shrimp can be a good supplement for adult goldfish as well. Freeze-dried food is convenient, but it’s hard to tell how much you are feeding, and the freezing process reduces the nutritional value.
The big question many amateur aquarists may have is how often goldfish should be fed? Goldfish can go quite a long while without food, especially when it’s colder and fish enter a hibernation-type state. Some aquarists believe that specific goldfish can actually benefit from fasting, but it’s essential not to starve your fish.
Since they are foodies, goldfish can eat a lot but don’t need that much. Healthy goldfish can even go up to 2 weeks without supplemental feeding if you go on vacation, but we know that leaving your fish without food will cause you to worry.
One giant health issue goldfish suffer from is overfeeding. Since they don’t have stomachs, consuming too large of an amount at a time can cause digestive issues – another issue they commonly suffer from. The recommended feeding guide is to give them no more than what they can eat in one minute, two or three times daily. You can also weigh the suitable number of pellets depending on the type of your goldfish, how many fish you have, and according to the tank or pond size.
Please don’t project your human perspective onto your goldfish, thinking they are starving and need food. Remember that you may do more harm than good if you feed them too much. Goldfish need less food than you think. Maybe toss in a few suitable vegetable leaves to give them something to nibble at during the day and to make yourself feel better.
Since goldfish are scavengers, they are constantly feeding and looking for food, but don’t mistake this for signs of hunger. With a floating vegetable leaf, they will always have something handy, and it keeps them from getting bored.
Consistent habits are the best way to feed your goldfish. Feed goldfish at a specific time throughout the day to establish a routine. Since they don’t have stomachs, this will benefit them greatly. Do it 2-3 times per day, every day at the same time. So, the schedule depends on your time; just ensure you stick to it.
Or, if you can’t be home at the same time each day, invest in a quality automatic fish feeder.
Many types of fish food are available, such as goldfish flakes, gel food, goldfish pellets, and more, so what is the best food to feed your goldfish? Goldfish will eat whatever you feed them, but choosing quality food will ensure healthy fish.
Fish flakes are easy to come by and versatile. It’s affordable to purchase large volumes of fish flakes for different types of fish. Flakes can offer an excellent solution for feeding multiple species if you have a populated pond or tank with different species.
Fish flakes come in different sizes and are suitable for smaller species with a narrow mouth diameter. Plus, flakes are packed with nutrients.
Fish pellets are larger, but they actually reduce the amount of air ingested by the fish, which will lessen bloating. There are floating and sinking pellets on the market, catering to different fish species and weather conditions. Sinking pellets are excellent for winter feeding.
Pellets make determining how much you feed your fish easy, and these generally pack even more nutritional value than fish flakes. If you often travel and use an automatic feeder, fish pellets are the better option for you, as most feeders use pellets.
One downside of the fish pellets is that if too much sinks to the bottom, it can soil the water more quickly than flakes.
Since goldfish are eager eaters, it should be a cause for concern if your goldfish isn’t eating, right? Before you panic, several reasons and factors can influence your fish, resulting in it refusing to eat for a period.
Consider your tank environment. How long has it been since you last cleaned the tank or changed the water? Check with a siphon if any leftover food is rotting in the tank, whether another fish has died, or if the water quality is subpar. Undesirable changes in the environment can cause your goldfish to stop eating.
If the tank looks fine, the next logical step is to consider the food. Has it expired? Have you been storing it in a cool and dry place? Feeding your goldfish expired food can cause them to get sick and stop eating. If the food and tank conditions check out, you should consider that your goldfish may be sick.
Symptoms such as unusual growth, discoloration, and bloating or raised scales can indicate illness. If you see these signs with your goldfish, then it’s time to call your vet or book an appointment.
One last consideration if your fish isn’t sick is a change in their environment. Every animal, even humans, needs time to adjust to changes. One symptom that can manifest during transfer to a new tank or the introduction of new fish is a lack of appetite. If so, your goldfish should return to normal in a few days.
Goldfish are relatively easy-care pets if you know what you are doing. Feeding the right goldfish food is the primary method to ensure your fish grows big and strong.
A few things to remember are:
- Don’t overfeed your fish, but feed them consistently
- Please choose an appropriate goldfish food, as they don’t have sensitive
- Ensure protein is the primary component of their diet and feed healthy amounts of vitamins and minerals
- Frozen food and fresh veggie leaves can be healthy treats for your goldfish
To determine the best goldfish food, look at their environment and your type of goldfish. If you use automatic feeders, pellets are recommended, but flakes may be more nutritionally diverse for a mixed tank. Follow our guide to find the best food for your goldfish.
Besides feeding your goldfish proper food, ensure their environment is clean and free of stress-causing fish to minimize environmental stress.
Did You Know?
Feeding live brine shrimp and bloodworms is a fantastic way to stimulate your goldfish’s foraging skills and recreate a more natural environment for happier fish.