Selecting Aquarium Goldfish Food

Selecting Aquarium Goldfish Food

Buying Goldfish Food

black moor goldfish

Having a well balanced diet is essential for the health of any living being, including goldfish. That being said, it’s not imperative that goldfish owners buy a wide variety of goldfish food — but it certainly doesn’t hurt. There are numerous types of goldfish food on the market today; different goldfish food provides different health benefits and some are even designed specifically for one type of goldfish.


Goldfish flakes are thin pieces of processed food that are ideal for small aquarium goldfish. During feeding, goldfish flakes float on the surface and the goldfish swim up and feed on them. In an aquarium, these goldfish flakes are easy to find and rarely remain uneaten for very long, assuming the goldfish have not been overfed. Overfeeding can lead to constipation. Many goldfish owners also contribute this to the goldfish flakes themselves. It is thought that when a goldfish eats the flakes too quickly, the flakes don’t have the time to expand in the water, instead they end up expanding in the stomach of the goldfish and cause digestive problems. To combat this, some people presoak the goldfish flakes before placing them into their goldfish tank. It’s more likely that these goldfish are just being overfed.

Freeze Dried

Freeze dried, frozen or live goldfish food that contains creatures like bloodworms, krill, brine shrimp or squid help add protein to a goldfishes diet. These types of goldfish food contain essential vitamins and minerals that help balance the diet of a goldfish and help reduce stress. Krill contains carotene that creates red pigments in goldfish, which helps prevent goldfish from losing their color. Squid is a marine species but can provide valuable amino acids and cholesterol that are suitable for young goldfish and fry. Frozen carrots also contain carotene and like other goldfish greens and aquatic plants, also help with the digestive tract of goldfish.

Frozen and freeze dried goldfish food come in individual servings or in brick form. In the brick form, it is relatively easy to tear off chunks or mash it up for feeding to small goldfish. Most will retain all the nutrients if they are processed correctly and don’t let the creatures’ bodies to burst. Cheap version may lose nutrients when their juices leak during thawing in the aquarium water.

Pellets & Sticks

Pellets and sticks can work for aquarium goldfish too, as long as the size of the food is much smaller than the mouth of the goldfish. Pellets and sticks are the best goldfish pond food.

three goldfish

Add Greens to the Diet

Goldfish are mainly herbivores and so they love to eat aquatic plants, green algae, vegetables, fruits, and leafy greens. Greens help with a goldfishes digestion and green peas are commonly advised as a treatment for goldfish constipation.

Aquatic Plants that Goldfish Eat

Two aquatic plants that goldfish eat are anacharis and duckweed. Anacharis is inexpensive and grows fast. Consider buying a few bunches of these and place a few in the goldfish aquarium and place the others in a waiting tank where they can continue to grow. Rotate these aquatic plants in and out of the goldfish aquarium when your goldfish eat them down. If it all works out, you will have a constant supply of green food for your goldfish. Duckweed is a small floating plant that spreads fast in a well lit tank but goldfish tend to eat it faster than it can grow. You can try the same process with the duckweed as you would with the anacharis.

Fruits and vegetables can be fed to goldfish but need to be softened before they are fed to them. Do this by either boiling or freezing them. The fruits and vegetables don’t need to be cut into small pieces that are smaller than the mouth of the goldfish; they will nibble on them like they do the aquatic plants. Fruits tend to be more messy than vegetables so they are not recommended unless you plan to do a water change soon. If after 12 hours the goldfish have not finished eating them, remove the left overs before they dirty the water by breaking apart into the water.

Fruits and Vegetables that Goldfish Eat

  • Green Peas
  • Zucchini
  • Cucumber
  • Beet tops
  • Carrots
  • Squash
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Mellons
  • Bananas

Good Green Algae

Just one of many reason to keep a little bit of green algae in your goldfish tank is that it’s a favorite food of the goldfish. Goldfish will constantly snack on green algae and at the same time, do a pretty good job of keeping it under control.

Reviewed By: Tim Winter

Tim Winter has a strong affection for pets and wildlife. His years of experience caring for various types of pets has led him to share his knowledge with others on the best practices in pet care. Tim holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communications.

9 thoughts on “Selecting Aquarium Goldfish Food”

  1. Just got a few comets when they outgrow inside tanks will move outside to pond. Have tropical snow trying goldfish.

  2. I have a buggeyed black goldfish who seems.bloated and now wnt swim much. He haznt floated to the top but acts dead. He wnt eat either. Im using flakes already. And the only get one pinch every morning for 9 goldfish. Is it possible still.that i over fed them?

    • One pinch for 9 goldfish is likely not overfeeding. Underfeeding is okay, it’s the overfeeding you must worry about. The name of your goldfish is a Black Moore from the sounds of it.

  3. Hey Nicole, try using high quality pellets with vitamin c, boiled carrots or soft shelled peas, my goldfish love those. I also use freeze dried daphnia and brine shrimp and slowly feed them so I know they eat it all. You can also feed them bloodworms occasionally.

  4. Hi my goldfish is spitting his food out which probably means he doesn’t like it but its a carnival fish and I just really don’t know what else to feed him I have tried flakes but that’s what he’s spitting out and I think he doesn’t like so what do u suggest thanks a lot!! Niki

    • You might want to try soaking the flakes in some water a bit before putting them in the tank and see if that helps.

      If it doesn’t like flakes, try brine shrimp or blood worms and also offer a mix of greens like live aquatic plants. An all protein diet is not good though; for the most part goldfish are vegetarians.

      If you see your goldfish poking around on the gravel bottom, it’s likely eating scraps and is not in any danger of dying from starvation. Also, Goldfish can go a long time without eating.


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