Goldfish have been bred for hundreds of years to have special features like elegant double tails and egg-shaped bodies. That compact physique can sometimes cause constipation and digestion issues, so goldfish owners devote a lot of time and energy into finding the best foods for their water piggies. After decades of personally keeping and raising goldfish, here are our top 10 foods we love to feed to ensure that our goldfish get a wide variety of essential nutrients, color-enhancing ingredients, and necessary roughage.
Note: Some people believe that goldfish should never be given floating foods or else they may gulp air from the surface and end up with intestinal problems. In our years of experience, we regularly feed floating foods and have not seen any health issues with our fish. In fact, floating fish food is sometimes preferred because it remains at the surface for fish to find and doesn’t get stuck in the substrate or behind aquarium decorations.
If you’re looking a professional-grade, goldfish-specific prepared food to feed every day, then Saki-Hikari Fancy Goldfish is the brand we recommend. This 3 mm sinking pellet is loaded with beneficial probiotics, wheat germ, and seaweed to improve digestion and support intestinal flora. Color-enhancing ingredients, such as astaxanthin and spirulina, help to boost your goldfish’s red coloration without muddying the white areas. Finally, these pellets are packed with Vitamin E and C to strengthen your fish’s immune system against diseases. It’s no wonder that people have fallen in love with the Saki-Hikari line of specialized foods for goldfish.
While single-tailed goldfish have streamlined, torpedo-shaped physiques, double-tailed goldfish have balloon-shaped builds that can be prone to blockage, bloating, and swim bladder disease. As a preventative measure, many owners supplement their fish’s meal plans with vegetables to increase the fiber content in their diets. Our preferred vegetables include canned green beans, zucchini slices, canned carrot slices, and leafy vegetables like lettuce and spinach. If the vegetable is not soft enough for the goldfish to nibble on, you may need to blanch it first by briefly boiling it in water until it reaches the desired tenderness. Also, unshelled peas are often recommended as a cure-all for constipation issues, but be aware that they are a bit messy when placed underwater and can be labor-intensive to feed on a frequent basis.
Despite the emphasis on feeding goldfish lots of plant matter to keep their digestive system running efficiently, don’t forget that they are actually omnivores and also require a healthy amount of protein. Frozen foods are a very high-quality, clean food that does not quickly disintegrate in water, allowing your goldfish to forage throughout the day and find leftover pieces on the tank bottom. Sold at most local pet and fish stores, they often come in packages of individually foil-sealed cubes or frozen slabs that you can break off into smaller chunks. Our favorite frozen foods for goldfish are spirulina brine shrimp, daphnia, and krill. Much like fiber, the exoskeletons on these crustaceans are not typically digested and thus help to flush out the fish’s bowels and keep things moving smoothly.
Other fish like African cichlids and freshwater herbivores also need plant-rich diets to avoid bloat. Therefore, we like feeding these specially formulated cichlid pellets that contain a complete nutritional balance of fish proteins, wheat germ and alfalfa for easy digestion, and spirulina and krill for color enhancement. As with many Hikari brand foods, these pellets are also fortified with key minerals and supplements, like vitamin A, D3, and E. Hikari Cichlid Excel comes in both floating pellets and sinking pellets for your convenience.
Looking for a goldfish-specific food that isn’t a pellet? Repashy worked with goldfish experts to design a premium gel food with the best ingredients on the market. Goldfish love gel food because it is soft and moist, easy to digest, and gentle on their sensitive swim bladders. If you really want to spoil your goldfish, Repashy Super Gold contains an incredible blend of krill, algae, black soldier fly larvae, squid, seaweed, egg, plant proteins, fruits, flowers, and more. This mixture is also chock-full of essential vitamins, calcium, and beta carotene for color enrichment. In addition to Super Gold, goldfish owners like to feed Repashy Soilent Green, an algae- and plant-heavy gel mix with an astounding 8% fiber content. Read this article for easy instructions on how to make Repashy instant gel food in less than 10 minutes.
Xtreme Aquatic Foods has one of the best, all-in-one formulas for omnivore fish, and we regularly feed their pellets to our goldfish, community fish, and cichlids in our retail store and personal aquariums. Their special recipe contains appetite-enticing ingredients such as krill, shrimp, squid, and spirulina algae. To make a well-rounded, complete diet, they also include important nutrients, vitamins, and minerals for healthy growth and natural color enhancement. Xtreme fish foods are all made in the USA, and depending on the size of your goldfish, you can choose between their 1.5mm Floating Pellets, 1.5mm Slow-Sinking Pellets, and 3mm Big Fella Pellets.
Ever wonder how goldfish and koi are related? These distant cousins were both originally developed from carp in East Asia. Therefore, consider bringing in Hikari Gold koi food into your goldfish’s meal schedule. This high-grade floating pellet is created for cold water pond fish, so it contains easy-to-digest ingredients that pass through the body quickly, even in cooler temperatures. In addition, the food is specially formulated to develop excellent body condition and optimal colors while avoiding unhealthy fat accumulation. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly, daily diet that will bring out the best growth in your goldfish, give these pellets a shot.
Spirulina is a type of blue-green algae (or cyanobacteria) that is widely used as a food source for humans, poultry, livestock, and fish. It is naturally rich in protein, iron, beta carotene, vitamins, and fatty acids. By mixing it with fish, shrimp, and beneficial supplements, Xtreme has created a spirulina flake food that fish love. When raising goldfish fry, the flakes can be easily crumbled to a smaller size that the babies can eat. If you prefer a sinking food instead, Hikari Algae Wafers have an excellent balance of proteins and veggies like seaweed, alfalfa, and spirulina.
Most of the foods on this list have been focused on providing good fiber and roughage, but what about getting your fancy goldfish to display the most amazing colors possible? Hikari developed a floating pellet for boosting the coloration of blood parrot cichlids, and we’ve found it also works well for goldfish. This recipe contains a ton of natural color-enhancing ingredients like chili pepper, phaffia yeast, krill, astaxanthin, canthaxanthin, lutein, and marigold flowers. Plus, it includes beneficial probiotics for promoting healthy growth and aiding in digestion. Add Hikari Blood Red Parrot+ to your goldfish’s weekly meal rotation for the ultimate boost in color.
As you probably know, goldfish are more than happy to eat most aquarium plants if given the chance. However, if you have another tank that is overrun with plants or algae, it could be an excellent food source for your goldfish. Got aquarium decorations covered in hair algae? Move them temporarily into your goldfish tank for a good cleaning. Prune your overgrown stem plants, scoop out your excess floating plants, and toss the trimmings into your goldfish aquarium. If your tank’s water surface is completely covered in duckweed, consider transferring a goldfish into the afflicted aquarium until all traces of duckweed are gone. (Just be aware that your water piggies may snack on smaller fish if given the chance.)
Thankfully, there are some live plants that are tough enough to withstand goldfish, so if you’re looking to set up a planted goldfish tank, see the following article to learn about the top 5 easy plants we recommend.
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