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.
1. Saki-Hikari Fancy Goldfish
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.
3. Frozen Fish Food
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.
4. Hikari Cichlid Excel
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.
5. Repashy Super Gold Gel Food
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.