The aquarium industry has come a long way since Buddhist monks first started keeping Goldfish as pets in the 9th century. Selective breeding has changed this species to a collectible one, with show-quality specimens commanding hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars!1
Feeding your Goldfish a nutritious diet is imperative for their good health. After all, with the right care, they can live up to 20 years old. If you’ve browsed the shelves at your local pet store, you know that there are literally hundreds of food choices. We understand if you feel overwhelmed.
Our guide goes over everything that you need to know about choosing the right food for your Goldfish. We discuss the necessary nutrients that it should contain so you can compare the various products. Finally, we have detailed reviews of popular choices to help you decide.
Table of contents
- A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
- The 7 Best Foods for Fancy Goldfish — Reviews 2022
- Buyer’s Guide
- Goldfish Nutritional Needs
- Types of Food
- Proper Feeding of Your Fancy Goldfish
- How Much to Feed Your Fancy Goldfish
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
|Best Overall||API Goldfish Fish Food||
|Best Value||Wardley Goldfish Medium Floating Pellet||
|Premium Choice||KYORIN Saki-Hikari Fancy Goldfish||
|Fluval Hagen Goldfish Pellets||
|Hikari Oranda Gold Floating Pellets||
The 7 Best Foods for Fancy Goldfish — Reviews 2022
1. API Goldfish Fish Food — Best Overall
API Goldfish Fish Food scores points because its form is excellent for adult Goldfish. The formula includes several protein sources for a well-rounded diet. Fish like the product too. However, since it’s nutrient dense, it’s imperative not to overfeed them.
The food provides nutrients to enhance the color of your fish, which is a great option for those with fancy Goldfish. While the blend of proteins provides adequate nutrition, there are inconsistencies with the density, which affects the sinking of the pellets.
2. Wardley Goldfish Medium Floating Pellet — Best Value
Wardley Goldfish Medium Floating Pellet takes top honors as one of the best foods for fancy Goldfish for the money. The processing of the product ensures excellent nutrition, including vitamin C. However, there are filler ingredients.
It is also a floating food, which can increase the risk of digestive issues in fish from gulping air. The other consideration is waste generation due to the high amount of plant-based proteins. On the positive side, the fish love it.
3. KYORIN Saki-Hikari Fancy Goldfish — Premium Choice
KYORIN Saki-Hikari Fancy Goldfish is a high-quality product that goes the extra mile to provide optimal nutrition for fancy Goldfish. The formula includes probiotics, which may improve the digestibility of the food and have less of a negative effect on the water chemistry.
The manufacturer is based in Japan, which may account for the high price. The parent company, Kyorin Food Industries, Ltd., specializes in these products as a breeder of fancy Goldfish. This is a product for fry rather than adult fish.
4. Fluval Hagen Goldfish Pellets
Fluval Hagen Goldfish Pellets is a nutritious food in a smaller size that minimizes waste. It allows you to give your fish the exact amount of food without extra bits sinking to the bottom to foul the water. The formula includes a full slate of vitamins and minerals from multiple sources.
The pellets are the best of both worlds for fish that like to feed at the surface and those that prefer them to sink. The food includes krill and herring, so it has a strong smell that some may find disagreeable. Otherwise, it’s a decent product that delivers good-quality nutrition.
Many fish die as a result of improper food and/or portion sizes, which can be easily prevented by proper education. That's why our best-selling book, The Truth About Goldfish, covers exactly what you can and can’t give your goldies when it comes to mealtime. It’s even got a section dedicated to keeping your pet fish alive and well-fed when you go on vacation!
Many fish die as a result of improper food and/or portion sizes, which can be easily prevented by proper education.
That's why our best-selling book, The Truth About Goldfish, covers exactly what you can and can’t give your goldies when it comes to mealtime. It’s even got a section dedicated to keeping your pet fish alive and well-fed when you go on vacation!
5. Hikari Oranda Gold Floating Pellets
Hikari Oranda Gold Fish Food is an offering from this specialty company that pushes the envelope on price. The good news is that it offers excellent nutrition in a pellet form that is suitable for adult Goldfish.
The manufacturer specializes in species-specific diets, so it has the knowledge and understanding of how to produce foods that enhance the coloring of fancy Goldfish. Surprisingly, there are few ingredients in this formula. However, they cover the bases for vitamins and minerals.
6. Aqueon Goldfish Granules
Aqueon Goldfish Granules offers a reasonably priced product that delivers optimal nutrition for all life stages. That makes it an excellent value if you have Goldfish of varying ages. The granular form ensures that fish of all sizes can consume it.
Like in many blends, some pellets sink and others float. That’s because of the filler ingredients. They also account for the lower price of this product. However, the food includes the necessary nutrients to keep your Goldfish healthy.
7. Northfin Goldfish Food
Northfin Goldfish Food is a premium product with a premium price tag to match. It has a long ingredient lists, with a few unusual additions, such as clay. However, it does have a suitable balance of plant and meat sources.
It comes in a pellet form that has varying sinking times. That can satisfy whatever feeding preferences your Goldfish have. On the downside, the product is pricey. It also has a pungent odor, which may turn off some pet owners.
The essential thing to understand about food for fancy Goldfish is that this species’s nutritional needs differ from other aquarium fish. They won’t necessarily thrive on a diet that you’d feed Bettas or other tropical fish.
Evolution dictates an animal’s nutrient requirements. Often, their diet must provide what they can’t synthesize in their body. That’s one reason that people — and guinea pigs — must get adequate amounts of vitamin C every day. Let’s define what is vital for Goldfish of any variety.
Goldfish Nutritional Needs
Goldfish are omnivores. That means they eat a mix of plants and meats. They are also opportunistic feeders. They’ll consume what they can find in their habitat, which in this case, is their tank. That’s why it’s critical to make sure that your Goldfish has what they need to survive and thrive.
Like other animals, fancy Goldfish have nutritional needs that vary with their life stage. Fries will need more of the good stuff to support growth and development. The term macronutrients refers to the top three types of nutrients: protein, carbohydrates, and fat.
Protein is the most important of the three because of its role in body maintenance. It consists of smaller building blocks called amino acids. Some are essential because an organism can’t produce them in their bodies, so their diet must provide them. Others are non-essential because an animal can make them.
Goldfish need at least 29% of their dietary intake to contain protein. However, more isn’t necessarily better. Research shows that high-protein diets don’t make super fish. Instead, the nutrient’s influence on body size and development plateaus after this amount.
On the other hand, carbohydrates aren’t a significant factor. The foods that Goldfish eat undoubtedly will contain some amount of carbs. The percentage doesn’t always put a commercial food in the deal-breaker or dealmaker category.
The correct proportion of fats or lipids is essential, however. Fat yields more energy than carbs. It also plays a role in the fish regulating their body temperature and for the synthesis of other compounds and body structures. Goldfish need about 7-13% fat to survive and grow.
Types of Food
The variety of food types can make choosing a product difficult. There are many differences, aside from the nutritional value of one kind over another. Much of the debate rests with the Goldfish’s feeding style. You won’t have to have them long before you figure out that they are messy eaters.
That’s why your aquarium setup and maintenance needs to be more involved with these voracious feeders and why they need a fish tank as opposed to a fishbowl.
Manufacturers know that dealing with live insects or aquatic organisms, such as bloodworms, is unpleasant. That’s why you’ll find a host of freeze-dried options, like crickets, krill, and shrimp. Unfortunately, these still have a foul odor.
Live foods are excellent choices if you can handle them because they provide complete nutrition for fish. However, we understand if throwing mealworms or crickets into your tank isn’t an option for you. Another downside is that decaying remains can quickly create an unhealthy environment. The same thing applies to dehydrated, frozen, or freeze-dried products. While they provide adequate nutrition, it’s also imperative to make sure that you’re not overfeeding your fancy Goldfish.
Pellets or Flakes?
You may think that the different forms don’t matter, but they vary considerably from several perspectives.
First, there’s the weight. If your Goldfish don’t eat the flakes right away, they will get waterlogged and sink, or they’ll dissolve and become unavailable to your fish. That can worsen the water quality in the same way that waste does. It decays and converts to ammonia, which feeds the nitrogen cycle.
The other concern is the nutritional value of flakes. When they break down, the vitamins and minerals that they contain disappear. That’s especially true with water-soluble nutrients. They will disintegrate quicker as soon as they hit the water.
Flakes have their place. They are an appropriate form and size for fry and smaller fish. However, that sums up their usefulness for fancy Goldfish.
Pellets are more like adult food for fish that don’t need softer foodstuffs. They are more nutritionally dense and won’t dissolve as quickly as flakes. The good stuff they contain will be available for the fish for longer. That typically makes them the better choice between the two.
Proper Feeding of Your Fancy Goldfish
The best food for fancy Goldfish is a moot point if you don’t feed them properly. There are several things to consider, such as how much and how often to offer them something to eat. Both factors have a direct impact both on the health of your pets and the water quality.
Adding variety to the diet of your Goldfish is an excellent way to ensure that they’re getting the right complement of nutrients. Remember that they are omnivores. Commercial diets will satisfy most of their needs, which is essential to bear in mind if you feed your fish a large amount of animal food.
How Much to Feed Your Fancy Goldfish
The best way to gauge how much food your Goldfish should get is to pay attention to how much they’re eating. Your fish will learn the routine, especially if you feed them at the same time of the day. Since they are opportunistic feeders, they will fill their bellies quickly once the food is available.
Another factor is the water temperature. How cold or warm it is will affect the fishes’ metabolism. That will play a role in their appetite and feeding behavior. Goldfish typically prefer cooler water temps. Another way to gauge the amount is to pay attention to the water quality. Goldfish generate a great deal of waste in any case, but if you’re noticing a large amount of uneaten food in the gravel, it’s time to cut back a little on the food.
Observing their behavior will give you all the information you need. It’s also an excellent project for your children to be in charge of the feeding schedule.
How Often to Feed Your Fish
How often you feed your fish also relates to temperature and metabolism. Being fed once a day should be sufficient to satiate them. Water temperatures can speed things up, including when they’ll get hungry again.
Another way to get a handle on it is to check the tank’s water chemistry. Monitoring the ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels will give you the info that you need to make informed decisions about maintenance.
Floating Versus Sinking
Another point to consider is whether the Goldfish food floats or sinks. If it stays at the surface of the water, the fish will gulp air when they feed. That will end up in their guts and can contribute to digestive issues.
Sinking foods are the better of the two options to prevent any problems. Again, the fish will figure out where their food is coming from and adapt quickly.
Based on our reviews, API Goldfish Fish Food is the best overall food for fancy Goldfish. It provides an excellent complement of proteins from various sources in a form that will also help the water quality.
Wardley Goldfish Medium Floating Pellet is a smart choice for a basic food that gets high marks for its nutritional value and affordable price. It fulfills the needs of your fish without breaking the bank.
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Featured Image Credit: Wardley, Amazon