Goldfish are one of the most popular fish species to own as a pet, but it doesn’t mean they are any easier to look after than other species. These fish have the same care requirements as other fish and you must make sure you have everything they need before bringing them home from the pet store. This includes their tank, tank filter, water conditioner, lights, substrate and other accessories like fish tank decorations needed to keep them happy.
But what about their food? Does your goldfish need special food to thrive and stay healthy? Is there a food that helps them to keep their special color? Fortunately for you, we have complied a best goldfish food buying guide below that lays out everything you need to know about goldfish food and feeding goldfish. We have even included some of our top picks of the best goldfish food out there on the market today, so if you’re interested in learning more, keep reading on.
What Kind Of Food Do Goldfish Eat?
In the wild, goldfish eat a range of food. These foods include crustaceans, plants, algae, insects and smaller fish that are available to them in abundance.
Unfortunately, in captivity, they are not able to access these foods! Therefore, you must purchase the best goldfish food for them. These foods usually come in the form of flakes, pellets, gels and even live and frozen foods. Goldfish also like fibrous vegetables such as lettuce, spinach, kale, cilantro and zucchini, and natural foods such as earthworms, bloodworms, krill and daphnia. Goldfish need both protein and vegetables in their diet to stay healthy.
Best Goldfish Food – Types
As we have mentioned above, there are a few different forms of goldfish food that are available for captive goldfish. The best goldfish food help to keep them healthy and provide them with the nutrients they would naturally find in the wild.
Flakes are the most common type of goldfish food and the type of food you probably think of when it comes to feeding fish. You should always make sure the flakes have a good protein and carb balance (high protein and low carbohydrates), because many flakes are made with a lot of fillers.
Fish food pellets are the second most common goldfish food. These can be floating pellets, which are the easiest food to retrieve once your goldfish has had enough to eat. However, eating pellets from the surface of the water can cause your goldfish to ingest a lot of air when they eat, which can cause them digestive discomfort. Again, you should check that they are of high-quality and not full of fillers.
Sinking pellets are a more natural way for your goldfish to feed, but if they don’t eat them all then the pellets can decompose at the bottom of the tank, making the tank dirty and the water cloudy.
Frozen food is a great way to give your goldfish the nutrients they need, but the downside is that you need to thaw it out each time before you feed them. You also cannot re-freeze this food.
Gel food is the easiest food for your goldfish to eat because it is easier to digest and contains a more optimal nutrient ratio than flakes or pellets.
Live food is an excellent best goldfish food option and more closely replicates the diet they would live off in the wild. Live food can include brine shrimp, aquarium snails, worms and daphnia. However, these foods can be difficult to get your hands on!
If you’re ready to find the right food for your goldfish, take a look at the best goldfish food we recommend. All these foods are available to you on Amazon.
The Best Goldfish Food — Reviewed
Omega One Goldfish Pellets are formulated specifically for the sensitive goldfish digestive system. They are 100% meal free and contain significantly less starch than other goldfish foods, allowing for a healthier diet. Included in these pellets is hand-harvested fresh ocean kelp that provides critical nutrients and aids in digestion. Natural beta carotenes in salmon provide extreme color enhancement, too. Rich in omega 3 & 6, these pellets give your goldfish energy and immunity. They are also naturally insoluble, which reduces water pollution, and they have significantly less starch, which reduces fish waste, allowing for a cleaner tank.
These goldfish pellets from API are made with optimal protein sources and fiber to help promote a healthy digestion within your pet fish. They are formulated for maximum use of nutrients that ultimately results in less waste and less ammonia production so your tank stays cleaner and the water quality remains high. The pellets contain yeast, garlic and vitamins C and E to help support your goldfish’s immune system and you can feed these pellets up to twice a day, with the amount of food that your fish will consume within 3 minutes.
The TetraFin Balanced Diet Goldfish Flake Food is a nutritionally balanced diet for optimal health color and vitality in your goldfish and helps to support their immune system so they live a long and healthy life. Designed to be easily digested, these pellets help to reduce the amount of waste your goldfish produces so that your tank stays clearer and the water stays cleaner for much longer. This food offers a complete diet and provides all the nutrients they need and is a top to mid feeder. These flakes can also be fed to small koi, perfect if you have a mixed tank.
The Wardley goldfish flakes have an ideal protein-to-fat ratio that helps to support healthy growth for your goldfish. Made with high-protein fish meal and other ingredients which help to enhance the natural colors of your goldfish, this food maximizes protein utilization and reduces fish waste to help maintain clearer water and a healthy environment for your fish. There are no added artificial dyes in this food that can harm your fish or cloud the water, either. Even better, this food comes in a convenient, easy-to-store jar, so the flakes stay fresher for longer.
Another food from TetraFin, these goldfish flakes include algae flakes — an extra vegetable matter helps to support fish health and promote digestibility. This food support your fish’s immune system for optimal health and a long life and the flakes are designed to be easily digested, helping to keep aquarium water clean and clear. With color enhancing properties, this food enhances the goldfish’s naturally brilliant colors, too. Again, this food can also be fed to small koi, perfect if you have a mixed tank.
These Aqueon goldfish flakes provide balanced nutrition for daily feeding of your goldfish and other ornamental pond fish. They are formulated with natural ingredients and colors with added vitamins, minerals and trace nutrients for a healthy diet, and help to support a healthy immune system and bring out the true colors of your fish. These flakes are specially formulated so that your goldfish utilize more of what they eat, therefore creating less waste and keeping the tank a lot cleaner! You can feed these flakes in small amounts that your fish will consume in under 2 minutes.
These pellets from Blue Ridge are floating pellets designed for both goldfish and koi. Easily digested, these pellets soften quickly for easy digestion, encourage healthy growth, and wont pollute the water, ensuring your tank stays cleaner for longer. This food provides a completely balanced nutritional diet and even contains a special blend of vitamins and minerals that promotes resistance to stress and immunity to disease. Perfect for both goldfish and koi, this is another food that can be perfect if you have a mixed tank. This food is made in the USA by strict guidelines, so you can be sure it is safe.
The Hikari goldfish food is specially developed to bring out the true colors goldfish are known for. With carotene for active color enhancement which will bring out your fish’s beauty, these pellets are floating pellets and therefore allow you to see what your goldfish is eating. You can also remove anything they don’t eat so the water stays cleaner for longer. Supporting a healthy immune system, this food has a great taste that your goldfish will love while also offering balanced nutrition that promotes a long, health-filled life. All of these are qualities you want from the best goldfish food.
These Tetra floating pellets provide a nutritionally balanced staple food for all goldfish and the colorful mix of pellets features patented ProCare formula that supports immune system health and a long life. Scientifically developed, this mix of highly nutritious ingredients plus vitamins, minerals and trace elements provide optimum nutrition and they also work to enhance the naturally brilliant colors of your fish. Bite sized for easy feeding, these floating pellets sit at the top of the water so you can see what your fish is eating and remove any uneaten pellets easily so the water stays cleaner and doesn’t go cloudy.
With up to 40% of nutrient-rich Black Soldier Fly Larvae as the first ingredient, these Bug Bites from Fluval are an excellent choice of food for your goldfish. High in multiple proteins like whole salmon, these pellets are also rich in Omega 3 and 6 for healthy skin, scales and fins and are also fortified with essential vitamins, amino acids and minerals for a balanced daily diet. With a slow sinking formula, your fish can feed at their preferred depth and you can easily remove any food that hasn’t been eaten to keep the water clean. This food is made in Canada with no artificial fillers, colors or preservatives, so you can be sure your goldfish is eating healthily.
This goldfish formula from Northfin includes ingredients such as organic kelp, whole antarctic krill meal and spirulina for a complete and balanced diet. Filler free, by-product free and artificial pigment free, this food is naturally healthy and offers a nutritious food for your goldfish. The protein based diet means that your fish call fully digest it much easier and therefore absorb all the ingredients, staying healthier and producing less waste. This also means the water in your fish tank will stay much cleaner for longer! A slow-sinking pellet, your goldfish can enjoy their food at their preferred depth, too.
These pellets from New Life Spectrum offer easy-to-digest, high-quality nutrition from aquatic proteins, helping to keep your fish healthier for longer. There is algae and seaweed included in the formula for less goldfish bloat, also meaning there is less waste and the tank stays cleaner for longer. This food naturally enhances your goldfish’s color with no added hormones and there are no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives in the formula so you can be sure your fish is eating healthily. The negative buoyancy of these pellets means they will float, too, perfect for monitoring how much your fish is eating and removing any uneaten food for a cloud-free tank.
Best Goldfish Food FAQ’s
How often should you feed goldfish?
Goldfishes should be fed around two to three times a day and you should stick to a schedule. However, always ensure you don’t overfeed your goldfish. Because they don’t have a stomach, overfeeding is very common with this species and they may seem hungry when they are not! You could actually go away for two weeks without feeding them and they would survive (although we don’t advise this!).
How much should you feed goldfish?
The amount you feed your goldfish greatly varies. The amount they need is based on factors such as whether they are still growing, the temperature of the tank and how often you feed them. The general rule is that you should only feed them as much as they can eat in 60 seconds or less. If your goldfish eats all the flakes within 60 seconds the first time you feed them, then you can add more flakes the next time.
Why is my goldfish not eating?
There could be a number of reasons why your goldfish is not eating properly. First, take a look at their tank. Is the tank dirty or is there rotting or dirty food in it? Did you forget to treat the tap water after doing a water change? Is the tank at the right temperature? If everything seems in order, then check the food. The goldfish food could be expired.
If both the food and tank seem okay, then your goldfish could be sick. If this is the case, call a vet so you can get a diagnosis and effectively treat them. This is one of the more extreme options, so make sure your goldfish isn’t just full before worrying if he is sick or not!
Feeding your goldfish the best goldfish food is very important in ensuring they stay happy and healthy and live a long life. There are many options of goldfish food out there, including flakes, pellets, gels and even live food. When feeding, always ensure you stick to a schedule so your fish know when their next meal is. You should also watch out for overfeeding as this can be detrimental to your goldfish’s health. Many foods contain a lot of fillers and not enough nutrients, so be sure to check the ingredients list before buying, too. We know you’ll find the best goldfish food that your fish will love in the list above!
Check out our other Fish Tank, Food & Accessories posts here:
- Best 20 Gallon Fish Tanks Guide
- Best 5 Gallon Fish Tanks Guide
- Best Aquarium Thermometer Guide
- Best Aquarium Vacuums Guide
- Best Aquarium Gravel Cleaners Guide
- Best Water Conditioner For Fish Tank Guide
- Best Aquarium Rock Guide
- Best Aquarium Plants Guide
- Best Fish Tank Decorations Guide
- Best Fish Tank Gravel Guide
- Best Aquarium Sand Guide