Hi again everyone, and happy Tuesday!
I realized yesterday when giving my butterflies their weekly meaty treat, that I should write a blog post on food, types of food, what’s good/ what’s bad and how often this specific type of fish should be fed certain things.
I think a lot of beginners –in the goldfish hobby especially– think of goldfish flakes immediately when they think of feeding their new found goldie. I have also been guilty of this when I first started out. I had no idea that there were so many stipulations on the types of food goldfish like and SHOULD eat on a daily/weekly basis, and more importantly that they should NOT actually consume goldfish flakes. This is because flakes are not packed with the nutrients your fish needs and what little may be in them immediately seeps out into your water column. This among many other reasons is why I steer clear of fish flakes.
So what do goldfish like? What’s good to feed them? I have a comprehensive list that I use every day/ week and I swear by it. There are many other options and brands of foods besides what I use that are perfectly okay for goldfish. For the sake of keeping this post from turning into a book, I’ll just stick to a short list that I use. I can also add a list of other foods goldfish love in another post if you are still interested in learning more.
Lets get started:
#1-Pellets: If you are going to feed your goldfish mostly pellets (not flakes) as a staple in their diet, I highly suggest the following brands (Omega one, Jappies fancy goldfish food, New life spectrum goldfish formula). I know there are a lot of keepers out there that love Hikari-but I personally do not recommend them. I have personally used them and noticed along with others that they make my fish floaty and bloated. One of the most important things to consider and look for when buying a pellet food is to make sure you buy sinking pellets. This is crucial for goldfish especially because when they go for food at the surface, they engulf air in the process which can make them floaty and cause swimming problems. Sinking pellets gives them a chance to eat and follow the food down to the bottom so they do not have the chance to engulf air. I usually put a pinch in the water by hand and swirl them around to ensure they make it to the bottom of the tank. When you go to buy pellets, you will also notice size differences, 1mm/2mm/3mm/4-5mm. What size is best? This is just as important as making sure the pellets are sinking, I would generally recommend no larger than 3mm. Even if the goldfish is larger, there is a chance they will choke on the larger pellets. So to ensure the safety of your fish I would stay in the range of 1-3mm.
#2-Gel Food: Some hobbyists love and swear by gel food, some hate it for the fact that it can get messy and cloud their water. I personally LOVE gel food and use this as the main staple in my fish’s diet. The brand(s) I buy are Repashy Super Green and Repashy Soilent green, as well as Repasy Super Gold-which you can buy off of Dandy Oranda’s webpage. Ken from Dandy Orandas worked with Allen Repashy to formulate a gel food specifically for goldfish, so you can be sure it’s got all the beneficial nutrients targeted towards the health of your goldfish. Currently, I mix 20% soilent green and a 80% super green for a mixture of protein and greens. Goldfish are a fish that does not need a lot of protein and it can actually have a negative effect on their health If they are fed too much. Usually protein is amped up during the fry and juvenile stage to promote healthy growth. When a fish reaches adulthood, protein is scaled back to once a week or throughout the week in very small increments. The preparation for this food is more time consuming than other food, you need to boil water and mix the food in with it to create a jello or “gel” like substance. You can then cut this into chunks once it solidifies and feed accordingly to your fish.
#3-Live foods (Fresh or Frozen): Live or frozen foods can have a great positive impact on your fish’s health. They provide nutrients that you cannot get from manufactured foods and should be a necessity in your fish diet. However, these types of foods should only be feed sparingly once or twice a week as a treat because like stated above-too much protein is not good for goldfish. Never go with freeze dried food! It is not the same as frozen food and basically has no nutrient content for your fish. When I feed frozen/live foods, it’s usually only once a week and I will alternate between bloodworms and brine shrimp. Fun Fact: brine shrimp act as a natural diuretic for your fish and if fed once weekly, it can help clean out the fish’s system to keep them regular and not at the risk of bloat/blockage. Once in a while I’ll stop at my local fish store and pick up live brine shrimp. It’s very cheap-I think like 99 cents for a few dozen or so? So it doesn’t break your bank and your fish will love them. You can also build your own brine shrimp hatchery using two 1 liter bottles, a lamp and an air bubbler. If you’d like to learn how to make a homemade brine shrimp hatchery watch this video. Usually brine shrimp hatcheries are used when raising very young fry, this is far less expensive than taking a trip to the store every day and you’ll always have a back up if you are short.
#4-Veggies: If you notice, I did not add fruit to this section. That is because fruit carries a natural acidity that is not good for your fish. Some fish keepers swear by fruit in a fish’s diet, and I’m not here to tell you it’s wrong, I would never feed fruit to my fish- but to each their own! The veggies that I recommend are ones that have a low acidity and are not going to be harsh on the digestive tract. For example, Green (bell) peppers/lettuce/zucchini slices are a good veggie to feed your fish. Usually you can take a clip and hang the veggie off the tank wall to allow your fish to pick at it. Keep in mind that fish are a lot like kids and they may not warm up to, or even eat it if they have yummy processed foods such as pellets coming their way. My suggestion would be to fast them of other foods while you have the vegetable in the tank so they have to pick at it. However, if it is not eaten in about 24 hours you should remove it from your tank because the breakdown of this vegetable will mess with your water parameters.
Well that’s all I have on foods, if you found this post informative please like and follow! If you’d like to learn more or feel I missed something please leave a comment below 🙂
Talk to you soon!