Goldfish Nutrition Guide

Goldfish Nutrition Guide: What is The Best Food for Goldfish?

Goldfish aren’t picky eaters – they will gobble down food until there is nothing left. The problem doesn’t lie with feeding but with overfeeding!

So, if you don’t have 100% control over what they are having for lunch and dinner, they will soon become sick and might even die!

One the other hand, if you take care of them, they might live thriving for decades as the oldest one died at 43!

Now the main question is – what can goldfish eat?


Being omnivores, they will stop taking a bite at anything that seems edible to them. They have a deep fondness for protein and fat. But they love munching down leafy greens and vegetables. 

But there is a lot you should in this matter that you should know so that you can elongate their life-span and keep them free from deadly diseases.

Without wasting any more words, let’s take a more in-depth look into the matter!





Repashy Soilent Green



Tetra TetraFin PLUS Goldfish Flakes



Hikari Saki-Hikari Fancy Goldfish



Omega One Goldfish Pallets



TetraFin Balanced Diet



Repashy Super Gold



Best Commercial Goldfish Food – Handpicked and Reviewed

Among all the fish feed brands, Repashy has created an enormous fan base during the last few years. Their specialty is creating an excellent quality fish feed that contains a minimum amount of harmful content.

Repashy Soilent Green is a gel that contains algae and other similar microorganisms that goldfish love to eat.

The product comes in a powdered form that you will have to mix with water. Then, you will heat the mixture either in a microwave or in a pot. Afterward, you will stir until it achieves a gel-like form.

 The users have showered Repashy Soilent Green with praise for effective results.

Repashy Soilent Green – Things to Consider

​Type of Food


​Why Should You Consider Buying?

  • ​- ​​Rich in helpful ingredients
  • ​- ​Fish love eating it, even the stubborn eaters
  • ​- ​​​Aufwuchs (Algae and microorganisms) mix​​​​

Guaranteed Nutrient Analysis

​Crude Protein


​Crude Fat


​Crude Fiber






​2. Tetra TetraFin PLUS Goldfish Flakes – The Best Goldfish Flakes

Tetra TetraFin PLUS Goldfish Flakes

One of the main complaints of the fish keepers against the traditional fish flakes is that they collapse or crisp over time.

Well, TetraFin Plus will not show such poor quality. Moreover, the manufacturers have induced real shrimp aroma to it, making the flakes irresistible. 

The flakes are rich with spirulina algae that enhance the power of the digestive system of your goldfish. Furthermore, the mix contains a high quantity of vegetables and high proteinfish meal, making it an excellent, all-rounding food for your goldfish.

My final verdict is that, if you are planning to get flakes for goldfish, Tetra TetraFin Plus will undoubtedly be the best decision.

Tetra TetraFin PLUS Goldfish Flakes – Things to Consider

​Type of Food


​Why Should You Consider Buying?

  • ​- ​​​Water will not get cloudy with these flakes
  • ​- ​​High nutritional value with high fat and low fiber formulation
  • ​- ​​​​Real shrimp flavored with the goodness of spirulina​​​​

Guaranteed Nutrient Analysis

​Crude Protein


​Crude Fat


​Crude Fiber






​Ascorbic acid (Vitamin-C)

​390 mg/Kg

Hikari Saki-Hikari Fancy Goldfish

Kamihata Fish Industries, a Japanese brand, is a global leader in the fish industry all over the world that started its journey in 1877.

Saki-Hikari Fancy Goldfish is their premium product that boasts of a microorganism called Hikari germ that they grew in their lab.

The premium pellet offers to enhance the red tone in your goldfish while offering an increased growth rate. Apart from the Hikari germs, they have added Astaxanthin and cultured spirulina for better care.

It’s the best goldfish food for growth and color.

This by far the most advanced fish pellets in the market.

Hikari Saki-Hikari Fancy Goldfish – Things to Consider

​Type of Food


​Why Should You Consider Buying?

  • ​- ​​​​Color enhancing agents that also increases disease resistance, growth, and doesn’t float in water
  • ​- ​​​The Hikari germ improves enzyme activity leading to the better digestive system
  • ​- ​​​​​Comes from a well-known global brand

Guaranteed Nutrient Analysis

​Crude Protein


​Crude Fat


​Crude Fiber








​4. Omega One Goldfish Pellets – Best Budget Goldfish Food

Omega One Goldfish Pellets

Omega One Goldfish Pellets is one of the most favorite options among the fish keepers. The main reason behind their popularity lies in the raw materials of the pellets.

They collect the fresh sea fish from the sustainable Alaskan coastlines. Then, they combine fresh fish with self-harvested ocean kelps and other beneficial elements.

It’s rich in Omega 3 and 6 that boosts the red color in the goldfish.

But the best part of this pricing policy. Their affordable price tag almost feels insane!

Omega One Goldfish Pellets – Things to Consider

​Type of Food


​Why Should You Consider Buying?

  • ​- ​​​​​Rich in marine-based proteins (is the prime ingredient)
  • ​- ​​​​Color boosting technology
  • ​- ​​​​​​Budget-friendly

Guaranteed Nutrient Analysis

​Crude Protein


​Crude Fat


​Crude Fiber








​Omega 3 & 6


​5. TetraFin Balanced Diet Goldfish Flake Food – A Balanced Diet

I am once again adding another one from Tetra. TetraFin Balanced Diet, as the name suggests, takes a more all-rounding approach.

They have added an active life formula that contains antioxidants, selected proteins, and prebiotics. 

Apart from that, you will be getting the goodness of Omega 3 fatty acids.

 The only negative thing about the TetraFin Balanced Diet is that it contains Ethoxyquin, which is a harmful preservative.

TetraFin Balanced Diet – Things to Consider

​Type of Food


​Why Should You Consider Buying?

  • ​- ​​​​​​Contains high quantity nutrients
  • ​- ​​​​​Contains immunostimulants that make goldfish resistant to stress and diseases
  • ​- ​​​​​​​Cleaner and Clearer technology makes the flakes easily digestible

Guaranteed Nutrient Analysis

​Crude Protein


​Crude Fat


​Crude Fiber








​Ascorbic Acid


​6. Repashy Super Gold – Best Goldfish Food for Growth

Well, Repashy is hands down the best goldfish food brand in the market. The only thing that concerns most of the fish keepers is the pricing.

Repashy Super Gold is another magical creation from the brand. However, they tend to be a bit pricey, designed specifically for the premium breeds.

It has all the goodness that you have seen in the Repashy Soilent Green, just with a different formulation.

 The gel is free-from all the starch-based grains like corn wheat, and soy making it the friendliest food for a goldfish tummy!

Repashy Super Gold – Things to Consider

​Type of Food


​Why Should You Consider Buying?

  • ​- ​​​​​​​High-quality ingredients free from gluten with no fillers
  • ​- ​​​​​​Contains garlic and cinnamon that are powerful immunostimulants
  • ​- ​Contains high moisture content

Guaranteed Nutrient Analysis

​Crude Protein


​Crude Fat


​Crude Fiber






The Best Goldfish Food Buying Guide

Before you jump out and make impulse purchases seeing some flashy commercial, educate yourself.

Learn about fish food so that you can make better buying decisions.

Goldfish are omnivores meaning they will eat any type of food. However, you will want to maintain a balance among all the nutrients.

Their diet should comprise of only protein, fat, or carbohydrates. 

Experts suggest that a proper goldfish diet should contain 40-45% protein and about 8% lipid content for optimum growth and dietary utilization.

So, you should plan the diets accordingly.

You can even make the goldfish food homemade!

But first, you should know about the types of commercial food available for your goldfish.

More: Best Tank Wave Maker

​Types of Commercial Fish Food

​1. Pellets

Pellets are the most popular option among commercial fish food in the market. Pellets are a combination of multiple types of ingredients.

Different manufacturers use different ingredients, but all of them try to provide a certain combination of nutrients.  

For example, a good pellet should contain at least 40% protein and 5% fat.

Most of the commercial pellets have a fish meal, vegetable proteins, and wheat as a binding agent.

The problem is that grain-based foods like wheat, corn, or rice are not that healthy for goldfish. They can’t digest these complex carbs, and these will end up in the water increasing waste.

It might also cause issues like fatty liver.

 So, always check the ingredients on the back of the packet before buying.

​2. Flakes

Flakes are very similar to the pellets in terms of nutritional properties. The flakes tend to float on the water surface and drown upon becoming heavier.

To avoid such a situation, you should soak the flakes before putting them in the tank.

 The main issue with flakes is that you can very easily overfeed your fish with it.

​3. Gel

Right now, gels are the best option available in the market. Gels are moist, so it mimics the natural foods that goldfish are used to having in the wild. 

Moreover, gels are easy to digest and doesn’t upset the digestive system of the goldfish.

Also, you will get an abundance of options available, having different nutritional properties and flavors.

Goldfish Food Ingredients

No matter which type of food you choose, the most important thing that you should consider is the combination of ingredients.

The cheaper a fish food is, the worse ingredient it contains!

The ideal diet should contain – proteins, fats, carbohydrates, and fibers, making the meals well-balanced.

A list of beneficial ingredients in a goldfish feed –

  • ​Brine shrimp
  • ​Shrimp pest
  • ​Spirulina
  • ​Chlorella
  • ​Yeast
  • ​Fish oil
  • ​Krill meal
  • ​Squid meal

A list of harmful ingredients in a goldfish feed –

  • ​Chemical additives
  • ​Preservatives
  • ​Whole grains

However, the fact is that a commercial goldfish feed will include both beneficial and harmful ingredients.

So, no matter how much you spend on the fish food, you will end up having the nasty elements.

So, you should aim at a different thing – the nutrition proportion.

Here is an ideal combination


Ideal Percentage

​Ideal Percentage

  • ​37%

​Crude Lipid


​Crude Ash


​Crude Moisture


​Fibers, Vitamins, Binding Agents, and Others



How Often Should You Feed Goldfish?

If you have been keeping goldfish in your aquarium for some time, then you might have noticed that they always seem hungry.

The more food you provide, the more they eat. So, people assume that goldfish need a lot of food.

This is the rookie mistake number one!

Goldfish don’t have a stomach and thus never feel full. If you keep feeding them, you will just end up hurting their digestive system. In fact, most of the health issues of goldfish are directly or indirectly linked to overeating.

In reality, goldfish can survive a long time without food.

In a general sense, you should be feeding them three times a day. But each of the sessions shouldn’t be more than a minute, thirty seconds to a minute is a sweet spot.

Being scavengers, they are always in a hunt for food. So, it’s a smart idea to plant some live vegetables and greens in the tank so that they never go out of food.

More: Best Goldfish Tank Mates 

How Many Pellets Should You Feed Your Goldfish?

It’s a bit tricky question as the answer depends on a few factors –

  • ​Age
  • ​Weight
  • ​The temperature of the tank
  • ​Availability of greens/vegetables in the tank

So, what’s the solution here?

You will need to conduct an experiment to quantify the proper measurement. But first, soak the pellets in a cup of water at room temperature. As dry pellets disturb their digestive system.

Now, you will start a stopwatch, and gradually add pellets in the water. Take a closer look and figure out the exact number of pellets your fish is eating. Continue to feed them for about 30 to 60 seconds.

You should continue this process for three to five meals. Now, average out the number of pellets your fish has eaten in each of the sessions.

It should be your benchmark amount.

You should conduct this experiment again after a few months.

How Many Flakes Should You Feed Your Goldfish?

Again, you will have to follow the strategy that I have mentioned in the pellets section. The number of flakes for a goldfish is also dependent on the factors in the previous section.

So, conduct the stopwatch experiment for a few meal sessions, and you will find the ideal amount.

More: Best Sand for Goldfish Tank

Is There Any Best Time to Feed Goldfish?

There is no best time to feed goldfish. It doesn’t work like as if they were absorbing nutrients more at any particular time of day!

The rule of thumb suggests that you should feed them two to three times a day.

Well, the trick is not opting for the “best time” to feed but regularly feeding at a specific time.

For example, if you feed your fish at 9 AM on the first day, make sure to feed them again at 9AM the next day.

I would suggest you make the feeding a part of your life. A good idea would be feeding them when you wake up and once again, before going to bed at night.

Oh, No! Did You Just Ran Out of Fish Food?

We all have been through this stressful situation – your goldfish is hungry, and you are all out of food. To make things worse, the local food shop ran out of fish pellets or flakes too. And now, you will have to wait about a day or two for the courier to deliver the food from online shops.

What should you do in these situations?

First of all, don’t panic, there are plenty of options available. Most of the answers are sitting there in your fridge!

Your goldfish will love green vegetables. Skin off the peas, crush them in small chunks and toss them in the fish tank.

You will see the fish gobbling down the peas like monsters!

Then, you can try other leafy vegetables like lettuce. Just cut them to small parts and you are good to go.

The same can be said about a variety of other vegetables. If they are too hard, make sure to boil them before giving them to your fish.

On the other hand, if your fish love protein more than green carb, you can feed them brine shrimp and bloodworms.

 However, there is a smart solution that will ensure that you will never face such unhappy situations. Plant some leafy greens in the tanks. In this way, they will always have a natural source of fresh food right in the corner.

More: Best Goldfish Filter

What Human Food Can You Feed A Goldfish?

So, now you know that there are plenty of options out there if you run out of food. You must be thinking, “What other human food can my goldfish have?”

Being an omnivore, your goldfish can have almost any food rich with nutrition. Still, you shouldn’t do any kind of research.

However, I would strongly suggest you stick to the typical fish diet as they are specifically targeted to help your fish thrive!

Let me save you from the hassle and give away the list of the human food that your goldfish will love to have –

  • ​Fresh peas (shell removed)
  • ​Blanched lettuce
  • ​Kale
  • ​Cucumber
  • ​Spinach
  • ​Boiled broccoli
  • ​Banana
  • ​Orange
  • ​Whole wheat bread
  • ​Plain egg noodles
  • ​Boiled plain pasta
  • ​Shrimp
  • ​Crab
  • ​Salmon
  • ​Tuna

​There is plenty of other human food that they can digest, but you shouldn’t push the limits.


 Make sure to wash all the food before tossing them in the tank so that they have to suffer from the salt, sugar, oil, or other spices. Moreover, always the cut the food in tiny chunks.

Never make feeding the human foods to your fish a habit.

​They will suffer in the long run.

Going Away? How Long Can Your Goldfish Survive Without Food?

Life is never fair, there will always be emergencies when you have to rush somewhere without any prior notice.

You just can’t pick up the fish tank and take it with you!

If you have friends or neighbors who will love to take care of your fish while you away, then you are lucky.

Your fish will not suffer that much if they aren’t fed for a week. Things will start to deteriorate from that point.

After one week, they will still survive, but they will become feeble, malnourished, and stop moving spontaneously.

Experts suggest that two weeks is the maximum survival time in most cases.

There are two options for you in these situations –

  • ​Buy an automatic fish feeder (costs just a couple of bucks)
  • ​Plant enough edible plants in the tank

​Why is My Goldfish Not Eating

Typically, goldfish love to eat. You can call it their hobby. So, if your fish is not eating, you should assume that something is wrong.

 In most cases, they stop eating if something goes downhill with the living condition in the tank. Here are some of the possible issues that can degrade their living condition –

  • ​Unclear or dirty water
  • ​Rotten food chunks in the water
  • ​Filling the water with tap water (contains chlorine in many cases)
  • ​Dead fish in the tank
  • ​Imbalanced pH level

In some cases, goldfish stop eating because you have provided expired fish food. Always check the dates before you feed them the commercial fish food.

It’s a good idea to store the food in a cool and dry place to stop it from rotting.  

If you still can’t find any probable condition, then you should consult with a vet. It’s highly likely that your goldfish is sick and has been contaminated with some kind of disease.  


I would suggest you go for live foods like live brine shrimps or bloodworms and complementing the diet with healthy greens like spirulina or duckweeds.

However, that’s a high maintenance plan, and of course, expensive!

You can easily stick to commercial food if you want.

On that matter, let’s announce the name of today’s winners. As you might have guessed, the first position goes to Repashy Soilent Green.

Then comes, Tetra TetraFin PLUS Goldfish Flakes being the number one in the flakes category.

Finally, the third place goes to Hikari Saki-Hikari Fancy Goldfish – our friend from the Orientals!


  • William Rieder

    Hi, my name is William Rieder and I'm a pet and animal blogger. I love reviewing all things pet related, from dogs to cats to horses! I also write about other topics such as personal finance and relationships. I enjoy helping people find the perfect pet for their lifestyle and am always interested in hearing what they have to say about their pets.

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