Whether you’re new to keeping Goldfish in your tank or pond or you’re looking for new options to keep your Goldfish happy and healthy, choosing the best Goldfish food can seem like an uphill battle.
There are so many different options to choose from that knowing where to start can be frustrating. Guaranteeing you are getting a well-balanced food that is low on fillers and harmful additives, while also saving money is sometimes easier said than done.
6 Best Goldfish Foods For Healthy Growth & Color
To help you cut through the fluff and give your Goldfish precisely what they need, without wasting money, we have sifted through the hundreds of different foods available.
Through our research, we have found 6 of the best goldfish foods that promote healthy growth and color.
1. Tetra TetraFin PLUS Flakes W/ Algae Cleaner - great goldfish food
Tetra is one of the most well-known brands in the aquarium industry. For more than 50 years, they have become a staple for both experienced hobbyists and brand-new aquarists alike.
Their TetraFin PLUS Goldfish Flakes w/ Algae Cleaner are some of the best goldfish flakes we have found in 2019. These flakes help reduce waste while keeping your water clean and clear.
Added spirulina helps aid digestion and the patented, scientifically blended ProCare recipe contains all-natural ingredients to support your fish’s immune system.
- All-Natural Ingredients.
- Spirulina Helps Reduce Waste And Aids Digestion.
- Specially Formulated To Increase Your Fish’s Immune System.
- Readily Available And Highly-Rated.
- Flakes Are Huge.
- Can Cloud Water If You Overfeed.
2. Fluval Bug Bites Goldfish Pellets - high in multiple proteins
The Fluval name may be relatively new to many aquarists, but the company has managed to secure their spot at the top with their Bug Bites Goldfish Pellets.
These pellets are a Goldfish’s primary diet in the wild: bugs! They are formulated using Black Soldier Fly larvae as the #1 ingredient which are high in protein and easy to digest.
Along with using fly larvae, the pellets also include essential vitamins and minerals, amino acids, and other trace nutrients. There are zero added colors or artificial flavors, making them a well-balanced food and our #2 pick.
- Formulated Around A Goldfish’s Diet In The Wild.
- Easy To Digest While Boosting Immune Health.
- No Artificial Flavors, Colors, Or Preservatives.
- E Crafted In Small Batches For Increased Quality Control.
- Slightly More Expensive
- Do Not Sink Immediately, As Advertised.
- Will Swell In Size If You Overfeed.
3. Omega One Goldfish Pellets - complete food for all goldfish
The Omega One Goldfish Pellets were explicitly designed for use in small to medium-sized ponds. If your pond fish need a well-rounded diet that is rich in Omega 3 & 6 fatty acids, the Omega One pellets deliver.
The recipe contains less starch and low ash content which promotes cleaner water with less waste. Each pellet is formulated from fresh seafood using sustainable fishing techniques to support conservation and the environment.
The pellets sink quickly, making them an excellent food to activate your Goldfish and Koi’s foraging instincts. For the price, it is hard to find a better pond pellet than the Omega One Medium and Large pellets.
- Provides A Fantastic Energy Boost.
- Sinking Pellets Prevent “Gulping” Air When Your Fish Eats.
- The Recipe Helps Harden Scales And Brighten Colors.
- Won’t Cloud Your Water.
- You Must Keep An Eye On The Expiration Date.
- Pellets Have A Shorter Shelf Life Than Other Brands Of Food.
4. Omega One Goldfish Flakes - keeps a cleaner tank
If you prefer a flake over a pellet, or want to change your Goldfish’s diet the Omega One Goldfish Flakes are excellent.
The formulation is 100% meal and byproduct free, significantly reducing waste and aiding digestion. If your fish have rejected other foods, the Omega One flakes are designed with picky eaters in mind.
Each flake is water-insoluble, so it won’t cloud your tank or pond. The chips contain fresh, hand-harvested kelp and spirulina to reduce excess waste.
- Natural Spirulina And Kelp Provide Amazing Digestive Benefits.
- Flakes Do Not Dissolve In Water, Keeping Clouding To A Minimum.
- Recipe Includes Natural Omega 3 & 6 Fatty Acids.
- Flakes Are Specially Formulated To Enhance Color And Boost Energy.
- Flakes Will Clump In High Humidity Climates.
- Flakes Are Smaller In Size, Making It Harder For Large Fish To Eat.
5. Tetra River Shrimp Goldfish Treats - completes shrimp
One of Tetra’s newest line of Goldfish treats are their Tasty River Shrimp treats. They are a premium addition to your fish’s diet. Formulated from real shrimp, each treat comes packed in protein and other essential vitamins and minerals.
The natural carotene found in shrimp boosts color while minimizing waste. The flakes are perfect for bringing out the native reds, oranges, and whites in your goldfish.
When you want to offset a single food source or ensure your fish are getting an additional source of vitamins and minerals, the Tetra River Shrimp Goldfish Treats are perfect.
- Made With Real Shrimp And Natural Carotene.
- Each Treat Is A Single, Whole Shrimp.
- Protein-Rich Recipe Triggers Your Goldfish’s Natural Foraging Instincts.
- Some Bottles Contain Outside Contaminates, Like Minnows Or Sticks.
- You Must Pay Attention To The Expiration Date.
- Shrimp Are On The Larger Size, Not Suitable For Small Goldfish.
6. Wardley Pond Fish Food - highly digestable formula
If you have multiple fish or a small to a medium-sized pond, the Wardley Pond Fish Food is among some of the best you’re going to find. It’s specially formulated to give your fish the energy they need to thrive while bringing out their natural colors.
Each pellet is light in weight and heavy in nutrition, providing large amounts of vitamin C to promote a healthy digestive system and minimize waste production. While they are designed with goldfish in mind, all of your favorite pond fish will eat these pellets.
- Floating Pellets Are Easy To Hunt And Forage.
- Stabilized Recipe Reduces Waste And Increases Energy.
- Won’t Cloud Your Water Or Create Yellow, Murky Water.
- It Is Infused With Extra Vitamin C For Healthy Digestive Systems.
- Large Pellets Can Be Hard For Smaller Fish To Eat.
- Must Pay Attention To The Expiration Date.
- Some Fish Refuse To Eat The Pellets.
Goldfish Food Rating Criteria
There’s quite a bit of research that goes into deciding the best Goldfish food that’s available. We know that keeping your school happy, healthy, and growing strong is your top priority, so we’ve made it ours, too.
Below are some of the criteria we’ve used to pick through each of the different foods that are available today, making sure that our recommendations contain only the highest-quality Goldfish food ingredients possible.
Protein is what makes up the entirety of our muscular system. As fish grow, their bodies require more protein to develop more muscle, keeping their bones and internal organs safe. Muscle tissue also directly converts fats and carbohydrates into usable energy.
In general, you want to make sure your Goldfish food has at least 40% protein ingredients to help round out their diet. You want to ensure that the protein is from high-quality sources, though, and not made of animal byproducts, like fishmeal.
Fats don’t make your Goldfish fat, they’re a necessary part of a well-balanced diet. However, like all things, there’s also a balance that needs to be maintained.
A balanced Goldfish food and diet is going to be based on a 20% fats to carbs to protein ratio.
The fats in your Goldfish’s food help keep their internal systems functioning while also giving them another source of nutrients that can be converted directly to energy.
In the wild, Goldfish would need more fats than they do in captivity in order to prepare themselves for the colder months and hibernation periods. With captive fish, you want to keep the fat content to a minimum -- 20% or less is ideal.
Carbohydrates are what help give your fish the energy they need to hunt, forage, and stay active. Without a diet packed rich in carbs, fish become sluggish, fat, and are at risk for developing illnesses associated with a poor diet.
The carbs in your Goldfish food help deliver the protein, fats, vitamins, and minerals throughout their body and are the first to be burned as energy when your fish moves around the tank.
The optimum balance of carbohydrates in premium fish food will be around 40% of the total content. That gives plenty of carbs to keep your fish happy and healthy, while also making sure they aren’t overeating or missing out on more essential nutrients.
Getting essential vitamins and minerals in their daily meals will help stave off illness and disease that can quickly spread to other fish in your tank.
While going through each of the Goldfish foods available today, we’ve made sure they’re using high-quality vitamins and minerals in their list of main ingredients and aren’t adding them as an afterthought.
Carbohydrates will help deliver these vitamins and minerals. Low-quality sources are harder to break down, which means they’ll likely work their way right through a fish’s system.
Only the purest sources of vitamins and minerals are allowed in our recommendations.
Fillers are a trick that companies use to “fill” the foods they’re manufacturing to create more profits for themselves.
At their most basic form, many fillers contain no nutritional value at all. Some companies have been accused of using sawdust from trees to help hold their foods together. Others use fillers such as fishmeal, wheat, soy, and other products that aren’t good for fish to consume.
While some filler isn’t always a bad thing, the “best” goldfish foods are going to have minimal fillers, if no fillers at all.
Byproducts are the leftovers after the right parts of the main ingredients have been taken out.
Many by-products are listed as “animal proteins” but are nothing more than the eyes, ears, noses, and hooves of the animals that the primary protein source was removed from.
Manufacturers will call their products “protein-based” but fail to mention that the protein sources aren’t the same protein sources that are considered normal or “safe for human consumption” in some cases.
To make sure your Goldfish are only getting the best, purest sources of protein, we’ve eliminated any manufacturers that rely heavily on animal byproducts to make up their protein sources.
Science has shown that preservatives aren’t healthy for us or our fish.
If you’ve never heard of preservatives before, they’re harmful ingredients and chemicals that are used to increase the shelf life of foods and snacks, even the ones we humans eat.
Since they’re not naturally-occurring ingredients, the best fish food won’t have them included in the recipe.
In order for us to include food as a potential recommendation on our “Best Of” list, we made sure that the use of preservatives was kept to a minimum -- or didn’t exist at all.
Goldfish Feeding Tips
For the most extended Goldfish lifespan, proper care is required. We’ve seen quite a few questions revolving around feeding and eating habits and want to make sure you understand entirely adequate goldfish care.
Take a look at the questions below, along with our answers, to make sure you’re giving your Goldfish everything they need to thrive, while avoiding potentially costly mistakes.
How Often Do I Feed My Goldfish?
Something many aquarists don’t realize is that Goldfish tend to eat a lot less food than you may think. Even though they’ll happily accept a large amount of food bring sprinkled into the tank, it’s not always the best approach to take with them.
What overfeeding does is cause an excessive amount of waste. This waste requires more frequent water changes, taxes your filter, and can spread bacteria to other fish in the tank.
Studies have shown that a healthy Goldfish can go up to two weeks without a meal, meaning you could go on vacation without worrying about feeding them though, an excellent automatic feeder can be used in these situations!
Keep their meals smaller and more frequent if you want them to be healthy. Sprinkling in a few pieces of food for 20-30 seconds a time, a few times per day, is more than enough to keep the waste down and keep your fish from getting overweight and unhealthy.
How Many Flakes Or Pellets Should I Feed My Goldfish?
This is a personal decision based on how many Goldfish you have, the size of your tank, the type of pellets you’re feeding to them, and how often you’re available to deliver their meals.
If you notice that they are leaving pellets behind, you can reduce the amount that you’re giving to them each time. Likewise, if you see them spitting out the pellets after eating a few, it’s because they are full.
Over time you will find a balance that keeps your fish healthy and full, with no remaining food hanging around the tank, but also still slightly hungry so they’re ready to eat again the next time you feed them.
When Is The Best Time To Feed My Goldfish?
You want to develop a schedule that you stick to each day. Your Goldfish (even having small brains) will begin to forage around the same time they expect to see food arrive each day.
If you see your fish nearing the surface of the water, the chances are high that they are ready to eat.
If they are searching the surface, it does not mean you should feed them every time they begin foraging, though.
Instead, stick to the schedule you have created, so your fish do not get overweight or create excess waste in your tank.
Why Is My Goldfish Not Eating?
All-natural Goldfish food will expire. Good food has an expiration date on the bottom of the container that you need to pay attention to.
If you open the container of food and receive a foul odor, you may have food that has already expired. Feeding this to your fish could make them sick or add bacteria to the water that could make your other fish sick, as well.
If your Goldfish isn’t eating, you could be dealing with a sickness or a fish that refuses the food that you are offering to them. Pay attention to how the remaining fish in your tank act and adjust your plans accordingly.
If more than one fish refuses to eat, you could be feeding them food they do not prefer.
If it is a single fish, the fish could be sick and need to quarantine the fish until you determine the cause.
What Are Good Goldfish Food Alternatives?
Giving your Goldfish a well-rounded diet is critical since no single food will provide the entire spectrum of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients they require to stay healthy.
You can add in homemade goldfish food to offset their diet and give them the nutrition they may be missing from the food you are offering.
For treats and snacks, chopped up fruits (like apples and oranges), shelled peas, and earthworms from your yard (again, chopped up) all make great additions to their diet and can help you out in a pinch if you happen to need an emergency food source for your goldfish.
Goldfish Care Quick Tips
- Make sure you do not overfeed your Goldfish. Most manufacturer’s recommendations are too high, suggesting that you feed more than you should. To keep your fish healthy, you want to reduce the amount of waste, which means you should only feed them 2 to 3 times daily for 20 to 30 seconds each time.
- Leafy greens are a great way to help your Goldfish get the added nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that they need to thrive. Adding them to a veggie clip will help them forage when there are no other food sources in the tank.
- Shrimp, krill, and bloodworms are another great source of added nutrition for your Goldfish.
- Since Goldfish do not have a stomach, they can eat as much as you are willing to feed them. Overfeeding will only lead to increased waste production, which requires you to continually filter the water, perform water changes, and potentially deal with sickness.
- Verify that the food you are giving to your Goldfish does not contain added fillers, animal byproducts, or other harmful ingredients like preservatives. Goldfish are omnivores so they can eat plant-based ingredients, but other additives could be detrimental.
- To keep your Goldfish happy and healthy, you need to perform regular water changes and monitor the performance of your pump and filter. Goldfish produce more waste than other species, so keeping your water in the optimum range is critical.
What’s The Healthiest, Best Goldfish Food In 2019?
Both flakes and pellets are high-quality and formulated to keep your fish active, healthy, and bring out their natural colors.
If you want to supplement their diet with a tasty treat, the Tetra River Shrimp Goldfish Treats are rarely refused. The shrimp treats will help guarantee your goldfish are getting all the nutrients they need.