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HomeHealth & CareWhat Do Goldfish Eat? 10+ Types Of Goldfish Food

What Do Goldfish Eat? 10+ Types Of Goldfish Food

When it comes to the question “What do goldfish eat?”, providing the appropriate diet for your aquatic pets is crucial for their overall well-being. Feeding them the right type and amount of food is an essential aspect of proper goldfish care.

Goldfish are generally omnivorous and will readily consume a variety of foods. They have a preference for plant matter but also require protein in their diet. Offering them a diverse diet is beneficial for maintaining a healthy digestive system and promoting their overall well-being.

So, what do goldfish eat? A balanced diet for goldfish should include a combination of foods such as flakes, pellets, vegetables, and live food. The main portion of their diet should consist of high-quality pellets or flakes that are specifically formulated for goldfish. These foods should contain approximately 40% protein, 44% carbohydrates, 10% fats, and 6% ash (minerals, etc). Look for food labels that indicate these nutritional values.

To enhance their diet, it is recommended to supplement the pellets or flakes with occasional servings of live food and fresh vegetables. This combination ensures that your goldfish receives a well-rounded and nutritious diet.

What do goldfish eat?

Goldfish, with their endearing personalities and vibrant colors, have captured the hearts of many. Knowing their dietary preferences is vital for ensuring their health in your aquarium.

In the wild, goldfish are omnivores, consuming both plants and small aquatic creatures. Their varied diet includes algae, aquatic plants, insects, and crustaceans, giving them the essential nutrients they need.

What do goldfish eat?
What do goldfish eat?

Replicating their natural diet in captivity can be done using specialized commercial goldfish foods. These come in various forms, tailor-made to meet the specific nutritional needs of goldfish. Here are some types of food for goldfish:


These popular, floating flakes mimic their feeding behavior in the wild. Ensure you choose flakes specifically created for goldfish to meet their dietary needs.


Sinking pellets offer concentrated nutrition. They cater to both surface-feeding and bottom-feeding goldfish and come in different sizes for various goldfish breeds.

Gel Food

Customizable gel-based foods allow you to include veggies, fruits, and proteins, ensuring a well-rounded diet. They’re particularly beneficial for fancy goldfish that struggle with buoyancy.

Live Foods

Options like daphnia, brine shrimp, and bloodworms simulate live prey. They’re rich in protein and offer enrichment.

Frozen Foods

Convenient and nutritious, frozen foods like krill and mysis shrimp are excellent treats that maintain nutritional value.

Types of food for goldfish
Types of food for goldfish


Blanched peas, spinach, and zucchini provide essential vitamins and roughage. They aid digestion and are a delightful occasional treat.


Small amounts of chopped fruits like oranges and watermelon are enjoyed by goldfish. Remember, moderation is key with sugary treats.

Insect Larvae

Goldfish relish small insects like mosquito larvae. They’re a natural source of protein and promote hunting behavior.


Tubifex worms and earthworms, either live or freeze-dried, are a protein-packed delicacy for goldfish.

Seaweed and Algae

Attach blanched nori seaweed or algae sheets to a clip inside the tank. These offer natural grazing opportunities.

What Do Goldfish Eat as Pets?

Goldfish, originally from ancient China and once bred for consumption, have elegantly evolved into beloved ornamental pets. Their adaptability means they flourish in both aquariums and domestic ponds and sometimes even find their way into natural water bodies.

Their diet in captivity differs somewhat from their wild counterparts. Common foods for pet goldfish include:

  • Algae wafers
  • Brine shrimp
  • Bloodworms
  • Commercial food pellets
  • Lettuce
  • Aquarium snails
  • Peas
  • Kale
  • Daphnia
  • Spinach

While commercial gold fish food pellets are favored in aquariums, pond-kept goldfish enjoy a varied diet including chopped vegetables, algae wafers, and occasional insects. Remarkably, even in ponds, goldfish maintain their role as insect controllers by nibbling on insects near the water’s edge.

How much does a Goldfish Eat?

Addressing the query of a goldfish’s consumption warrants precision. How often should you feed goldfish? In captivity, their dietary requirements are specific. For goldfish relying on food pellets, a regimen of two to three feedings per day is advised, adhering to the portions suggested on the packaging.

Notably, some goldfish lack self-regulation, exhibiting near-constant feeding tendencies. How often to feed goldfish? To counteract overconsumption, owners must provide ample sustenance without excess. This precaution averts the accumulation of waste byproducts, particularly ammonia, which can prove hazardous to their tank environment.

How much does a Goldfish Eat?
How much does a Goldfish Eat?

What can goldfish eat in the role of pets? Goldfish thrive on two to three daily meals comprising diverse fare like algae wafers, food pellets, and diced vegetables. The quantity should align with what they can consume within a minute or two, preventing food accumulation at the tank’s base that may compromise water quality.

In their natural habitat, goldfish are frequent foragers. Yet, their wild state offers leeway in terms of water quality and confined space for growth. How long can a goldfish go without food? A single goldfish can manage without food for about a week or slightly longer under specific conditions.

The best Goldfish food

Providing a balanced diet is the key to ensuring your goldfish’s health. There may not be a single “best” food, but some options greatly benefit their overall well-being.

One such top pick is Hikari freeze-dried brine shrimp.

This choice holds a special place due to its unique advantages. Freeze-dried brine shrimp, such as the Hikari variety, brings together the benefits of live food with the safety of a controlled environment. Here’s why we think it’s a top contender:

Hikari freeze-dried brine shrimp is a goldmine of protein, a vital component in your goldfish’s diet.

Feeding live food can be enriching for goldfish, as it mimics their natural hunting behavior. The freeze-dried brine shrimp gives your fish the satisfaction of chasing down their food, promoting a more engaging feeding experience.

Unlike live food, which carries a risk of introducing infections to your tank, freeze-dried options like Hikari brine shrimp eliminate this concern.

While the concept of a “best” goldfish food can vary depending on individual fish and their specific needs, Hikari freeze-dried brine shrimp certainly stands out as an excellent choice.

The best Goldfish food
The best Goldfish food

How many times a day do you feed goldfish?

Feeding goldfish up to three times per day can provide the additional sustenance they need.

While it’s quite unlikely to under-feed your goldfish, it’s important to exercise caution against overfeeding. Goldfish are notorious for their hearty appetites, and excess food can lead to various issues like poor water quality, digestive problems, and even obesity.

Pay attention to your goldfish’s behavior during feeding. If they consume the food within a few minutes and show no signs of hesitation, it’s a good indicator that they’re getting enough.

Offer an amount that they can eat in about 2 to 3 minutes. If there’s uneaten food left after this time, you might be providing too much.

Rotate between different types of food to offer a well-rounded diet. This practice not only prevents nutritional deficiencies but also keeps your goldfish engaged.

What do goldfish eat in the wild?

In their natural habitat, goldfish consume a variety of food sources including crustaceans, plants, insects, and occasionally smaller fish. Although it’s not possible to replicate their exact diet in captivity, it is advisable to provide goldfish with food that closely resembles their natural diet.

In addition to commercially available flakes and pellets specifically formulated for goldfish, they can also be fed peas (with the shells removed), boiled vegetables, bloodworms, and brine shrimp. These alternative food options can serve as a beneficial supplement to the standard flakes and pellets.

While live food can be offered to goldfish, it carries a slight risk of transmitting diseases to them. To mitigate this risk, frozen and freeze-dried alternatives are available. Although they may not be as ideal as live food, they offer similar benefits without the associated disease transmission risk.

Goldfish eat in the wild
Goldfish eat in the wild


Do they eat mosquito larvae?

Yes. Goldfish in their natural habitat have a tendency to consume various types of insect larvae, including mosquitoes.

Do they eat shrimp?

Certainly! Goldfish have a strong preference for shrimp, which ranks among their favorite foods. It is recommended to offer shrimp in various forms, including live, frozen, or freeze-dried, to provide a diverse and nutritious diet for goldfish.

Do they eat snails?

Indeed, goldfish do enjoy eating snails. If you’re considering adding snails to your goldfish’s diet, there are numerous options available. However, it’s important to note that this is precisely why it’s not advisable to keep snails as companions in the same aquarium as your goldfish.

How long can they go without food?

A single goldfish can manage to survive for about 1 to 2 weeks without being fed. If you anticipate being away, consider asking a neighbor or friend to feed them. Alternatively, you can use an automatic fish feeder. Keep in mind that these feeders are suitable only for flakes and pellets.

Do they have teeth?

Goldfish have pharyngeal teeth, which differ in appearance and location from what one might anticipate. These teeth are flat and aid the goldfish in breaking down their food. Positioned at the rear of the goldfish’s throat, they play a crucial role in the digestion process.

Do they eat other fish?

Goldfish, when adequately nourished, are not inherently predatory. However, due to their tendency to consume anything that fits into their mouths, they pose a risk of eating smaller tank mates.

How often should I feed my them?

Feeding your goldfish 2-3 times a day is recommended. Establishing a consistent feeding schedule helps your aquatic companions become accustomed to meal times, contributing to their well-being. However, it’s crucial to avoid overfeeding, which can lead to issues like bloat or swim bladder problems. Strike a balance to keep your goldfish healthy and thriving.

Understanding the dietary needs of goldfish is essential for responsible pet ownership. Knowing what goldfish eat, both in their natural habitat and in captivity, is crucial for their overall well-being. By replicating elements of their wild diet and providing a diverse range of food options, we can ensure that our goldfish thrive in our care.

If you’re interested in delving deeper into the captivating world of aquariums and aquatic life, we invite you to explore the wealth of informative blogs available at DryWashAquarium. Our exploration of goldfish care is just the beginning of an exciting journey that awaits you. Discover more about “What do goldfish eat?” and enjoy the rewarding experience of fish-keeping!

See More:

  1. How Big Do Goldfish Get? Information You Need To Know
  2. How Long Do Goldfish Live? 7 Ways To Increase Their Lifespan
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Mark Senske
Mark Senske
Mark Senske is a highly regarded expert in freshwater and marine aquascaping, specializing in creating captivating and visually striking aquariums. With his extensive knowledge and experience, he excels in designing and maintaining beautiful aquatic environments that showcase the natural beauty of fish and plants.


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