Goldfish are beautiful and diverse creatures that come in a wide array of flattering colors. How your pet turns out has a lot to do with the food. We aren’t only talking about goldfish, but also dogs, cats, other pets, and even us humans. What do goldfish eat, what’s good for them, and how does the food affect them? The best option for your goldfish is to mimic their food in the wild as much as you can. This can be tough in captivity, but that’s why we are here. In this article we will explore the best types of food as well as how to best feed your goldfish in your tank.
Goldfish food come in a variety of forms, ranging from flakes, pellets, gel or greens. There is even live food you can incorporate into their regular diets. Flakes and pellets are generally the easiest options, but other than the forms, there are a ton of other things to look into. Let’s take a look at the best options on the market.
View The Best Goldfish Food Below
1. TetraFin Balanced Diet Goldfish Flake Food
The first one is vitamin infused flakes for your beloved aquatic creatures. Goldfish and Koi can often share their food, so this is a great option if you own both. Other than being rich in vitamins and minerals, the TetraFin goldfish flakes are a balanced diet for your fish. If fed to your fish as instructed, the leftover flakes will not cloud or pollute the water as regular flakes would. As said, goldfish are among the most colorful creatures in be found in water, and it’s important that their food enhances their vivid hues. The Tetrafin Balanced Diet is color enhancing and packed with antioxidants, proteins and prebiotics.
- Won’t cloud the water
- Rich in vitamins and minerals
- Balanced diet
- Color enhancing
- Easy to use dispenser
2. API Goldfish Fish Food PELLETS
Even fish can suffer from improper digestion, which is why it’s so important for these fish pellets to contain fiber and protein sources. To further protect the tank environment, these food pellets are formulated to result in less waste and ammonia. Keep your goldfish happy and healthy with pellets infused with garlic and vitamin c to help with growth and supports the immune system. Your little creatures will get the maximum absorption of nutrients with these naturally enhanced fish food pellets.
- Packed with fiber and protein
- Produces less waste and ammonia
- Vitamin C helps with the immune system
- Maximum absorption and minimum waste
- Enhances color
3. Hartz Wardley Pond Fish Food Pellets
Here is another option if you prefer food pellets. Even fish pellets don’t need to be difficult to digest. These fish pellets provide the energy your little fish need to thrive all the while being easy on the stomach. The protein to fat ratio is easily absorbed to make sure only the minimum amount is wasted. This, in turn, guarantees cleaner water and the added vitamin C will also boost your fish’s immune system. While it’s advertised as being good for goldfish, it’s great for all pond fish. So if you have any other creatures in the same tank, these fish food pellets can feed them all!
- Lightweight food that is easy to digest
- Healthy ratio
- Won’t soil water
- Boost vitamin C
- Great for all pond fish
4. Fluval Bug Bites Granules
These fish granule food also infuse black soldier fly larvae into the mix so your beloved goldfish can also benefit from the nutrients of live food. The omega fatty acids are very rich within each pellet and boost the health of fish scales, fins and more. For a daily staple, you need all the best nutrients. With each bite, your fish gets a full amount of vitamins, proteins and amino acids. You won’t find anything artificial in this fish food and they are sustainably processed in small batches for quality control.
- Infused with black soldier fly larvae
- Rich in omega fatty acids
- Well balanced diet
- Nothing artificial
- Sustainably produced
5. Aqueon Color Enhancing Goldfish Granules
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These fish granules are made to make sure your little goldfish will flourish in the tank, similar to being in the wild. Another benefit it boasts is it will not cloud water if fed as directed. All the vitamins, minerals and other trace nutrients in the recipe will enhance your goldfish’s color and ensure they grow big and strong. They create less waste and the formulation makes sure the granules allow for maximum absorption so virtually nothing is wasted.
- Will not cloud water if fed as directed
- Enhanced with vitamins, minerals and other trace nutrients
- Enhances color
- Maximum absorption
- Less waste
6. Repashy Super Gold – Goldfish and Koi Gel Food
We also mentioned that goldfish and koi food can come in gel forms. These capsules are specifically designed to boost the immune system for goldfishes and koi. Some goldfish owners have even said it had cured swim bladder! The premix food is of high quality and features a mix of ingredients that will benefit your goldfish and koi in a variety of different ways. With protein taking up the maximum amount of the composition, your tank creatures will have no issues digesting this gel food.
- High-quality mix
- Great for both koi and goldfish
- Maximum protein
- Boosts immune system
7. Blue Ridge Fish Food Pellets
These floating fish food pellets are the same as the ones used by the leading American koi fish breeder. The difference is it will only cost you a fraction of the price! Once these pellets come into contact with water, they soften quickly and can also be consumed just as quickly to keep the water quality pure. Since they soften, they are much easier to digest than hard granules or other pellets that don’t. They are a great option for different sided koi and goldfish and come backed with a satisfaction guarantee.
- 100% satisfaction guarantee
- Easily digestible
- Softens in water
- High quality for cheaper
- 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 can have stomach sensitivities and these goldfish pellets are there to ensure they encounter little to no trouble with digestion. The enhanced omega fatty acids will improve the appearance of your fish and give them the energy boost they need. The ingredients are hand-harvested and provide a balanced meal for your goldfish.
- 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 fancy goldfish food is one preferred by Japanese koi and goldfish breeders. Their recipe is a color enhancing diet to make sure your goldfish are vivid in color and not washed out. The baby pellets sink to the bottom but won’t murky the waters. There is nothing artificial included in the recipe, including artificial coloring. Easy to digest with prebiotics, the Hikari Saki fancy goldfish food is what your fish will love during feeding time. Trusted and preferred by professional breeders, this is a technologically advanced diet.
- Preferred by breeders
- Enhances color
- Nothing artificial
- Easy to digest
- Includes prebiotics
10. Kaytee Koi’s Choice Fish Food
It’s simple and easy, this floating fish food is suitable for all seasons. Each of these little pellets will go to providing your goldfish with the best possible balance of nutrients it needs to grow. They can be fed to any sort of pond fish and are made in the USA adhering to stringent manufacturing standards. The nutrients, vitamins and minerals in each package will enhance the color, and support their immune system and boost longevity.
- Best food for all pond fish
- Supports the immune system
- Well rounded diet
- Made in the USA
- Suitable for all seasons
Best Goldfish Food Buying Guide
The key to having a thriving pond with healthy goldfish and koi is the food you feed. The best goldfish food is one that has balanced nutrition. Without food, your goldfish may dull in color, lack energy, or even get sick with illnesses such as swim bladder. In order to make sure that you are providing your goldfish with the best option, there are a few factors to look out for. Let’s take a look at what is important for your goldfish to consume in terms of a daily diet.
What to Look for When Buying the Best Goldfish Food
This is a widely encompassing factor to look for. Your goldfish will benefit from having sufficient protein, fat, carbs, and vitamins and minerals in each meal. To help you better understand the importance of said nutrients, we will break them down into individual sections.
Protein – Protein should make up the bulk of your goldfish’s diet. We’re looking at anywhere between. 30-40% of the food. Protein is needed for growth and development and will result in a strong goldfish. The hood will also develop better and so will the fins and wens.
However, not all protein is made the same. Low-quality protein, even in large amounts, will not benefit your goldfish as much as a smaller amount of high-quality protein. If you ever feed your fish more than 40% of protein, it shouldn’t be done on a daily basis. You should look at it more like a treat.
Fat – Fish need fat just as much as we do. However, since the tank environment is controlled and won’t go through seasonal fluctuations, that is just less adjustment that your fish has to do. In this case, your goldfish shouldn’t be getting any more than 10% protein in their diet or they run the risk of being overweight.
Carbs – As for carbohydrates, you also don’t need as much but they do help with your goldfish’s energy level. Go for non-wheat based carbs (which are more harmful to fish) and make sure they don’t get too much. Too many carbs in fish food can also lead to cloudy and murky water.
Vitamins and minerals – Added essential vitamins and minerals help with boosting the immune system, enhancing color and supporting longevity.
Similar to other pet food, your fish food should not consist of any artificial or harmful ingredients. Try to go as natural as possible and make sure the food was manufactured in a country with stringent standards.
Sinking or Floating?
The best goldfish food can come either in a sinking or floating pellet form. The floating feed is 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 their feeding and when they need to come up to the surface to feed, you can also monitor their health conditions more easily.
Sinking fish food is cheaper, but since they do sink to the bottom, they have 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. They also work better with automatic feeders.
Type of Fish Food
Flakes – Flakes are artificially formulated to give your goldfish a complete diet. They are easy to come by and are cheaper compared to pellets. One downside is they tend to cause your fish to gulp a lot of air when feeding and this can lead to bloating
Pellets – Pellets are larger, can solve the air gulping issue, but are more expensive than flakes. Pellets come in two categories: sinking and floating. The best goldfish food will hopefully keep the waters clean and they give you the flexibility of switching to sinking pellets in colder weather.
Gel 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 why breeders and aquarists prefer it to the other two. You can even make up your own gel food, however, they do muddy the waters more easily.
What Else Can I Feed My Goldfish?
A lot of fish will eat just about anything you feed them, which is why your vetting process needs to be even more strict. However, there is nothing wrong with wanting to feed your goldfish a treat or two from time to time. Feeding your goldfish the proper treats is what’s important.
With the right food (pellet, flake or gel food), your fish may not need anything extra in terms of basic nutrients. A leaf of kale, lettuce or spinach from time to time will be appreciated, though. Live or frozen food can also be a very nice treat for your goldfish. These are the treats that we mentioned before that are very high in protein. Frozen bloodworms, for example, are an excellent source of natural protein.
For baby fish, brine shrimp are great options if they aren’t fit to have bloodworms yet. Brine shrimp can also be a good supplement for grown goldfish as well. Freeze-dried food is convenient, but it’s hard to tell just how much you are feeding and the freezing process actually diminishes nutrients.
How Often Do You Feed Goldfish and How?
The big question a lot of amateur aquarists may have is how often should goldfish be fed? They can actually go quite a long while without food, and this is especially true if it’s hibernation time. It is said that some goldfish can actually benefit from fasting, but it’s important not to overdo it.
Since they are foodies, goldfish tend to be able to eat a lot, but they don’t actually need that much. They can even go up to 2 weeks without food if you go on vacation, but we know that just creates more worry.
One big 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 amount is feeding them for more ore than 1 minute and only about 2-3 times a day. Count out the suitable number of pellets depending on the type of goldfish, how many you have and tank or pond size.
Don’t project your human perspective onto your goldfish thinking that they are starving and need food. Try to remind yourself that you may be doing more harm than good if you feed them too much. They need less than you think. Maybe toss in one of the above-mentioned leaves of vegetables to give them something to do during the day and make yourself feel better.
Since goldfish are scavengers they are always feeding and looking for food. This way they will always have something handy and it keeps them from being bored.
What is the Best Time to Feed Goldfish?
Consistent habits are the best way to feed your goldfish. Feed goldfish at a specific time throughout the day so there is a routine established. 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 really depends on your time, just make sure you stick to it.
What Type of Food Should I Feed?
As mentioned above, there are so many types of food for your goldfish. We are talking about goldfish flakes, gel food, goldfish pellets, and more, so what is the best to feed your goldfish? Goldfish eat just about anything, so we are sure they will appreciate whatever food you feed them.
Fish flakes are easy to come by and they are versatile. It’s easy to find a lot of fish flakes for different types of fish. If you have a populated pond or tank with different species, flakes can offer a great solution as they can offer a quick solution.
Fish flakes are generally smaller than pellets and are good for smaller species. Not to mention, they are packed with nutrients as well.
Fish pellets, on the other hand, are larger and this actually reduces the amount of air digested by the fish, which will lessen bloating. There are floating and sinking pellets on the market, which can cater to different needs. Sinking pellets are great for colder weather.
It’s easy to know just how much you are feeding your fish and they generally pack even more nutrition compared to fish flakes. If you often head out of the country and set up an automatic feeder, then fish pellets are the better option for you.
One downside of the fish pellets is that they can soil the water more easily than flakes can.
Why is My Goldfish Not Eating?
We keep mentioning that goldfish are big eaters, so it should be a cause for concern if your goldfish isn’t eating, right? Before you panic, there are a number of reasons and factors that can influence your fish and result in it refusing to eat.
Take a look at your tank environment. How long has it been since you’ve cleaned the tank? Check if there is any leftover food just rotting in the tank and maybe if another fish has died or if the water quality is subpar. Undesirable changes in the environment can cause your goldfish to stop eating.
If that all looks alright, then the next logical step is to take a look at 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 both of the aforementioned factors have checked out, then you should consider that your goldfish may just be sick.
Symptoms such as unusual growth, discoloration, bloating or raised scales can be indications of illness. If you find your goldfish is displaying any of these signs, then it’s time to call your vet.
One last thing to look for if none of the above applies to you is a change in the environment. Every animal and even humans need some time to adjust to new changes. One symptom that can manifest during this adjustment period is a lack of appetite. If this is the case, your goldfish should return to normal in a few days.
Goldfish are relatively easy to take care of if you know what you are doing. Goldfish food is the main method to make sure your fish grow up big and strong. A few things to remember are not to overfeed your fish and to feed them consistently. They don’t have stomachs so what you choose to feed them is important. Making sure protein is the main part of their diet and to get healthy amounts of vitamins and minerals that may take other forms as well.
Frozen food and fresh veggie leaves can be healthy treats for your goldfish. To determine the best type of food, look at the environment and your type of goldfish. If you have automatic feeders, pellets are recommended, but flakes are more diverse. Follow our guide to find the best food for goldfish.
Other than making sure your goldfish has the proper food, you also need to do your part in making sure the environment is clean.
Did You Know?
Feeding actual live brine shrimp and bloodworms is an amazing way to stimulate your goldfish’s foraging skills and to simulate their natural environment.