Goldfish Food: What Do Goldfish Eat?

 Small carp known as goldfish are prized for their beauty. These fish were selectively bred in China over 2,000 years ago for food, but they have since spread throughout the world as beloved, if transient, pets. Even though goldfish are typically thought of as being small, in the right circumstances, they can grow to be quite large—up to five pounds.

Goldfish Food: What Do Goldfish Eat?
Goldfish Food: What Do Goldfish Eat?

 What do goldfish eat to grow so big in the wild and in captivity? We will take a look at all the foods that goldfish enjoy and what you need to do to keep them healthy.

This is an informative article. Nodisk One is not permitted to make a diagnosis or recommend any form of veterinary care. If your pet is in pain or ill, we recommend that you take him to the vet.

What Do Goldfish Eat In The Wild?

 Goldfish eat insects, plants and crustaceans. These omnivores are opportunistic eaters who have a little trouble controlling themselves; they will continue to eat even if it is to their detriment. Some of the foods they will binge on include:

  • Algae.
  • Zooplankton.
  • Mosquitos.
  • Tadpoles.
  • Decaying plant matter.
  • Worms.
  • Fish eggs.
  • Blood worms.
  • Brine shrimp.
  • Mysis shrimp.
  • Water fleece.
  • Baby lobsters.
  • Water lettuce.
  • Anacharis.
  • Insect larvae.

 These are just a few of the most common foods goldfish eat throughout their lives in the wild. Most of the time, goldfish will choose to eat insects, insect larvae, plants, and insect eggs or other fish. They have relatively small mouths that make it difficult to consume large amounts of food, and their offensive abilities as hunters are limited to taking small creatures by surprise.

What Do Goldfish Eat As Pets?

 A goldfish eats commercial food pellets and chopped vegetables. Although they were first selectively bred in China over 2,000 years ago for food, goldfish are more often seen swimming around in a home aquarium these days. They are very common pets, valued for their beauty and ability to thrive in conditions unfavorable to other fish.

 Typically, they are kept in home aquariums or ponds, although they also appear in natural waterways when people discard fish because they have grown too large. When kept in captivity, their diet is different from when they live in the wild. These are the foods that goldfish eat as pets:

  • Seaweed patties.
  • brine shrimp.
  • blood worms.
  • Commercial food pellets.
  • Salad.
  • Aquarium snails.
  • Peas.
  • kale.
  • Daphnia.
  • Spinach.

 Goldfish can consume each of these foods, although most people are content to feed them commercial food pellets if they are in an aquarium. Goldfish kept in ponds and allowed to grow a little larger will often receive chopped vegetables, algae patties, and insects.

 In many cases, goldfish kept in ponds will continue to feed on insects that approach their waters, such as mosquitoes. This is lucky because it prevents insects from using the pond as a breeding ground. It is important to pay attention to a goldfish's diet and feed it enough so that its nutritional needs are met.

 In addition to pellets made especially for them and flakes, goldfish will eat boiled vegetables, peas (without the shells), brine shrimp, and bloodworms. The foods mentioned above significantly differ from flakes and pellets.

 If you choose to feed live food rather than freeze-dried food, there is a slight risk of transmitting disease to your goldfish. To avoid this, There are frozen and freeze-dried foods available, to prevent this. They're not as good as live foods, but they provide many of the same benefits without the same risk of disease.

Types Of Goldfish Food

The goldfish food you buy will likely come in one of these forms:

  • flakes.
  • sinking pellets.
  • Floating pellets.
  • Live foods.
  • Freeze-dried live food.
  • Vegetables.

 There are a few factors to consider when deciding whether to feed your goldfish flakes, pellets, live foods, freeze dried foods, or a mix of everything.


 Flakes are probably the most common type of food for goldfish. One problem with flakes is how quickly they disintegrate and pollute your fish's water. Goldfish can swallow air when eating flakes or pellets floating on the surface of the water, which can cause digestion problems.

 The flakes may lose some of their nutritional value after opening the jar and exposing the flakes to air. Compared to flakes, pellets maintain their nutritional value longer.


 Pellets are a common type of goldfish food that are easily found at pet stores. Some pellets float on water, making it easier to dispose of uneaten food. Uneaten food should always be removed so as not to pollute the water.

 Pellets are very easy to store and they also make it easy to measure how much you are feeding your goldfish. Are your fish Big enough to eat pellets? Some pellets may be too large to fit in the mouths of young fish.

Live Foods

 Available at most pet stores, live goldfish foods include brine shrimp, tubifex worms, daphnia, and aquarium snails. Live foods provide an excellent source of protein for your goldfish.

 The catching and eating process is also closer to what your goldfish would do in the wild. However, by purchasing live creatures from a pet store, you risk introducing diseases and infections into your aquarium.

Freeze-Dried Foods

 Like live foods, freeze-dried foods offer plenty of protein, but without the risk of disease. For this reason, we recommend including freeze-dried foods in any balanced goldfish diet.


 It's true! You don't just have to feed your goldfish fish food. They can also eat "human food", including vegetables. One of the best vegetable choices for goldfish is shelled peas.

 Peas are excellent for preventing constipation in goldfish. To give peas to your goldfish, simply rinse the peas, heat them in a pan or in the microwave to soften them, then remove the shells. Feed your goldfish 2 or 3 peas at a time, cut into small pieces. Other vegetables that can be fed to goldfish include kale, lettuce, cucumber, and spinach.

The Best Goldfish Food

 Goldfish need a balanced diet, so there really isn't a "best" food for goldfish. However, one of our favorites is the Hickory freeze-dried brine shrimp. It offers plenty of protein for your fish like feeding a live food but, because it is freeze-dried, without the risk of infection. In our opinion, it's a great contender for the title of best goldfish food!

How Often Do You Feed Your Goldfish Each Day?

 We recommend feeding adult goldfish once a day. You can feed young goldfish up to three times per day. It is highly unlikely that you will underfeed your goldfish, but it is very easy to overfeed them. So you have to be careful!

How Much Should Goldfish Be Fed?

 Overfeeding can be very bad for your goldfish. Goldfish don't have stomachs, so they're never "full" like humans. This means goldfish will eat and eat as long as there is food available! Adding too much food can cause your goldfish to overeat. Intestinal blockages and swim bladder issues result from this. A long trail of poo behind your goldfish is a sign that your fish has eaten too much!

 You should feed your goldfish two or three times a day, but only very small amounts at a time. Slowly add tiny pinches of food to your aquarium, over about a minute, never adding more than your goldfish can eat during that time. If you leave food in your aquarium after feeding it, it will get stuck in your filter and rot, polluting your water. Therefore, after the feeding session, you should discard any uneaten food. It's often a good idea to feed your goldfish right before you do a water change, as you can then remove any uneaten food during the tank water change.

 If you keep your water at a low temperature, your goldfish should eat even less of it. Your goldfish's metabolism slows at lower temperatures, which means it needs less food than when kept in warmer water. The main thing to remember when deciding how much to feed a goldfish is this: it is extremely unlikely that you will seriously harm a goldfish by feeding it too little. But you could very easily hurt a goldfish by feeding it too much!

What Nutrients Are Needed By Goldfish For Their Rapid Growth?

 When it comes to your goldfish's rapid and ideal growth, several factors are at play.However, a significant factor in your Goldfish's rapid growth is their diet.

 A high protein, low carb diet is typically the "goldfish diet." For your goldfish's best growth, consider the following factors as you choose its food:


 Goldfish, in contrast to other fish, need a diet high in protein. Protein needs differ between small and large goldfish. Therefore, a small Goldfish's diet should be roughly 45 percent protein. Additionally, the diet of the large Goldfish should contain 30% protein. Since plant protein is very simple for Goldfish to digest, feeding it to them is ideal.


 5–10% of the diet of goldfish should be made up of fat. Animal fat is better for Goldfish than lipids derived from plants when it comes to fats.


 Vitamins Just like humans, goldfish need vitamins for healthy growth. The majority of the vitamins that we need, such as vitamins A, D, K, and folic acid, are also necessary for goldfish. Although goldfish can produce the majority of their own vitamins, you still need to give them some. 

 Thankfully, the fish food includes every vitamin your Goldfish needs. If you feed Goldfish a healthy diet, vitamin deficiency is typically not a problem. Additionally, just to be on the safe side, you can give them frozen or live blood worms.


 Like humans, goldfish also need very small amounts of minerals. The water is where goldfish get their minerals. Usually, Mineral deficiencies are typically not a problem for goldfish.

Low Carb And Fiber

 Very little fiber and carbohydrates are needed in the diet of goldfish. For this reason, you ought to select fish food designed especially for Goldfish. The word "bulk" or "Ash," which denotes carbohydrates, is typically found on the packaging of fish food, so before purchasing fish food for your Goldfish, make sure that it is not more than 10%.

 Your fish may become ill if you consume too many carbohydrates. Goldfish occasionally enjoy nibbling on aquarium plants because they can easily obtain the fiber they need from them.

What To Avoid Feeding Your Goldfish

 They must stay away from certain foods whether you are trying to maintain the health of your goldfish or you find wild goldfish. We'll list some of the foods that are either bad choices or never, ever, should be placed in a goldfish aquarium.

  • Bread.
  • Generic fish food.
  • Crackers.
  • Cereal.

  • Beef.

  • Pork.

 Cereal, crackers, and bread can all make your goldfish bloat, which can kill them in the end. Compared to foods made specifically for goldfish, generic fish food frequently lacks the nutrients that these fish require and clogs the water more.

 Even though they are omnivores, goldfish should avoid eating things like beef and pork because their high fat content can negatively affect the water and harm the fish's liver.

How Much Time Can Goldfish Live Without Eating?

 There are three ways to feed your fish while you are away if you are going on vacation. A fish feeder that releases predetermined amounts of food at predetermined intervals can be purchased. This is risky, though, as the feeder might break and release an excessive amount of food! A feeding block, which is a block of food that sits in the water for your fish to nibble on, is another option, but these have their own issues. Feeding blocks can make the aquarium water cloudy and change the parameters of your water.

 Ask a friend or neighbor to visit once or twice during longer vacations to feed your goldfish, Thats the third way, but make sure you show them how to do it properly first! Your friend might not be very experienced with feeding goldfish, so you should explain to them how much to feed, when to feed, and how much food to prepare in advance.

 The most crucial thing to understand is that goldfish can live for a surprising amount of time without eating! Leaving your goldfish without food is probably best if you're going on vacation for two weeks or less. They will be fine, we promise!

How To Remove Leftover Food From The Tank

Unused food can be removed from the tank in a number of ways, including the following:

Make A Partial Water Change

 To rid the water of unnecessary impurities like leftover food, you should perform a partial water change. Making a partial water change also aids in clearing the water.

Use A Fishnet

To remove the uneaten food from the water, You can use a fishnet.

Use A Siphon

 The leftover food may become trapped in the substrate if you have it in your aquarium. Using a siphon is the simplest way to get such uneaten food out of the water.

Fish That Clean The Tank

 If you see a lot of algae in your aquarium, introduce some fish that eat algae and some bottom food to get rid of the algae and any uneaten food.

Advice On Feeding Goldfish

 You will be able to feed your goldfish a varied, healthy diet once you have the answer to the question, "What do goldfish eat?" To keep your fish happy and healthy, keep the following advices in mind:

  1. Feed goldfish at regular intervals throughout the day. As soon as the fish learn who is feeding them, they will come to the surface to receive food. They can even learn to take food off your fingers with enough practice.
  2. Feed the goldfish for up to a minute at a time, two to three times per day. As you want the fish to consume everything there is and not leave any behind, you will need to develop your ability to judge how much food to add in each one-minute section.
  3. If the tank gets dirty very quickly, the fish are overfed and produce too much waste. Slowly reduce the amount of food to acclimate the fish to their new diet and supplement the goldfish food with occasional treats.
  4. Only give treats once or twice a week and try a variety of different treats to suit different fish preferences. Like humans, goldfish can have different tastes and food preferences.
  5. 15 minutes after feeding the fish, discard any leftover treats or food. Uneaten food can rot and will be unhealthy for the fish, and it also contributes to a dirty tank and additional toxins. Removing uneaten food will also help regulate your pets' diet so they don't overfeed.
  6. Cleaning the reservoir after a feeding is a good idea as you can remove uneaten food from your most recent feeding.

 Learning how frequently to feed goldfish is not difficult. In fact, many of the fundamental ideas are ridiculously simple! But within that, you'll need to gradually develop a level of situational decision-making. There are numerous situations that could alter your plan of action. A thorough understanding of them will enable you to give your goldfish better care and maintain a regular, healthy feeding schedule.

As always, calling your veterinarian for additional advice is never a bad idea if you're having problems. They can assist you in regaining control over any feeding issues you may be experiencing.

Regular water changes are one of the most important aspects of maintaining a healthy environment for your fish to thrive. And it's not too difficult; just adhere to the clear instructions.

Only credible sources, such as peer-reviewed studies, are used by Nodisk One to substantiate the information in our articles.