Best Goldfish Food For A Healthy Happy Life (Review 2022)

Goldfish can live for well over a decade. In fact, the oldest Goldfish ever recorded was 43 years old!

But, the harsh reality is, most never get to live out their full life span.

Why?

Because the majority of owners don’t understand how to properly feed their fish. And honestly, it’s not their fault. There’s too much bad information available.

And you know what, once you know the how, what, and why, it’s not hard to provide your goldfish with a diet that enables it to live a long and healthy life.

Which is what I’m going to share with you in this article. You’re going to learn about proper nutrition, and what the best goldfish food is

TLDR – Top Pick For Best Goldfish Food

Gel food is the best goldfish food.

The ingredients in gel foods, like Repashy Super Gold or Gargeer Goldfish Food, are far superior to the cheap fillers often found in other kinds of food.

Gel food also makes it much easier to precisely measure how much you’re feeding each day. 

And gel foods minimize the amount of air that the fish swallow while eating, something that is critical if you keep fancy Goldfish.

Recommended: Repashy Super Gold Goldfish Gel Food
Recommended: Repashy Super Gold Goldfish Gel Food

    Last update on 2022-10-06 / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

    These feeding recommendations are for Goldfish kept in water that is above 60°F (15°C). At 60°F and below, the fish’s metabolism will begin to slow down, and they need to be switched to a wheat germ based food. If the water temperature drops below 50°F (10°C), you should stop feeding your Goldfish altogether until temperatures rise in spring.

    What’s The Best Type of Goldfish Food?

    It’s best to provide your Goldfish with a varied diet.

    In nature, Goldfish eat just about anything that’s not nailed down: smaller fish, insects and their larvae, plant roots and leaves, crustaceans and they’ll even munch on trailing algae and dead fish they come across.

    They are true omnivores, the exact opposite of picky eaters. If it fits in their mouth, they’ll gulp it down.

    1. Get Goldfish food with high quality ingredients: This is going to provide your Goldfish with the proteins, fats, and other vital vitamins and minerals it would get in the wild from insects and smaller fish.

    2. Supplement with vegetables: This will give your Goldfish the fiber it would normally get in the wild from eating plant material.

    This fiber is important, especially for fancy Goldfish, because it helps push food through their digestive tract, which can help prevent dangerous constipation. 

    Plus, veggies provide a lot of essential vitamins and minerals.

    What Should I Feed My Goldfish?

    We know a balanced diet between high quality made Goldfish food and vegetables is key. But, which commercial Goldfish foods and vegetables are the best?

    Here’s what you need to know, especially if you have Fancy Goldfish:

    In the wild, everything Goldfish consume is generally soft and moist, so their digestive system has evolved to process these foods. 

    Because of this, soft, moist foods are easier for your Goldfish to digest. 

    Their systems didn’t evolve to eat chunks of hard, dry food, like pellets. I’m not saying you can’t ever feed Goldfish pellets, millions, maybe even billions of people do this. I’m saying that dry pellets aren’t the OPTIMAL form of food for a Goldfish’s digestive system.

    If you are going to feed pellets, it’s best to offer Goldfish sinking pellets so they don’t accidentally suck in air as they eat at the surface. Goldfish are perfectly happy to root around on the bottom to find food. Pellets and food sticks should be soaked for at least 10 minutes before feeding. This can help eliminate any air that’s trapped inside the pellets and can soften the food.

    Why Gel Food is The Best Goldfish Food

    Ingredients: The two gel foods I’ll be telling you about later are both made from really high quality ingredients, like krill, whole menhaden and spirulina, that are much healthier than generic fish meal, the ground up waste products of fish processing for human consumption, that’s found in a lot of flakes and pellets. That stuff is basically just the guts, scales and bones from the processing plant trash heap.

    Water level:  Gel foods sink to the bottom of the aquarium instead of floating at the water’s surface. This is a great thing when you’re feeding Goldfish, especially fancy varieties.

     In nature, Goldfish mostly feed along the bottom, rummaging around for bits of food. Feeding at the surface can cause Goldfish to accidentally swallow air. 

    This air can work its way into the fish’s swim bladder, inflating it to the point that the fish can no longer swim properly. This often leads to the fish’s death. 

    Feeding your fish sinking foods helps reduce the air that’s swallowed and can help prevent swim bladder issues.Portion control:  You mix gel food up ahead of time, it’s just a powder that you mix with hot water. You end up with a gelatinous slab of food that you can then cut into cubes. You can portion out however much food your fish needs much easier than trying to measure flakes or pellets.

    How Much and How Often Should You Feed Goldfish?

    This can be a really hard thing for new fishkeepers. Here’s the best single piece of advice ​I can give anyone new to the hobby: 

    Fish will always tell you that they are simply STARVING to death and you need to feed them RIGHT AWAY to save their lives. But, they are big, fat liars!!

    Orange goldfish swimming in planted aquarium

    If you feed fish every time that they beg for food, you will make them sick and pollute your water to the point that it is toxic.

    Overfeeding is one of the leading causes of fish deaths in the aquarium hobby. 

    So, how much should you feed?

    Young Goldfish that are still growing should be fed twice a day. Adult goldfish only need to be fed once a day.

    Feed your Goldfish only as much as they can eat in about 2 minutes, if you’re feeding flakes or pellets.

    Gel foods are extremely nutrient rich, you only need to offer them for 30-60 seconds.

     Immediately remove any uneaten food. 

    Uneaten food rots in the aquarium, fouling your water and providing a fuel source for bacteria, algae and water molds (saprolegnia).

    If you overfeed your Goldfish with foods rich in protein and fats, it puts them at risk for health issues.  Too much fat can build up around their organs, possibly causing a fluid imbalance. This can then result in your Goldfish developing Dropsy.

    And the dangers don’t stop there.

    If you overfeed Goldfish, they’re going to produce A LOT more waste which can set off a nasty chain reaction:

    High ammonia and nitrites: Excess fish waste will cause a spike in ammonia and nitrites, which are very toxic to your fish.

    Decreased oxygen levels: When your fish’s waste decays, it uses up the dissolved oxygen in the water that your fish need.

    Increased stress and disease: Poor water quality will stress your Goldfish, making it more vulnerable to parasites and diseases.

    Bad Smells: All the extra decomposing waste is going to leave a nasty smell coming from your tank.

    Algae Blooms: Excess waste can help fuel algae blooms in your tank. It’s true, algae isn’t 100% bad for your aquarium. However, it is unsightly.Extra Maintenance: Your filter system will become clogged with excess waste. You’ll have to unclog your filters and perform more water changes to keep up with the extra gunk.

    Best Goldfish Food Reviewed

    1. Repashy Super Gold Gel Food

    Not to put too fine a point on it, but Repashy brand is pretty much the gold standard when it comes to gel food.

    They always provide top notch ingredients that will keep fish happy and healthy. I love that the second ingredient is spirulina. This blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) is packed with  vitamins and minerals. It’s great for fish, and people, too

    MIxing up the food is super simple and you can easily make enough to last you a week or two in just a few minutes.

    Repashy is also a more economical choice than Gargeer brand foods, at least it was at the time this article was written.  Also, just like the Gargeer gel food, Repashy is manufactured in the United States

    All gel foods are pretty darn stinky when you mix them up. I highly recommend measuring out your water and powder, microwaving the water to boil and then mixing them together OUTSIDE. Your family will thank you for not flooding the house with the super strong fishy smell. Once the gel cools to room temperature or below, it no longer gives off a strong smell.

    Pros: 

    • Great mix of animal and plant food sources 
    • Less expensive than Gargeer gel food
    • You can easily mix up enough for a week or two
    • Sinks to the bottom for safer feeding
    • Simple portion control
    • Made in the USA

    Cons: 

    • Must be made up ahead of time
    • Can be stinky when you mix it up
    Recommended: Repashy Super Gold Goldfish Gel Food
    Recommended: Repashy Super Gold Goldfish Gel Food

      Last update on 2022-10-06 / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

      2. Gargeer Goldfish Complete Goldfish Gel Diet

      Gargeer foods are a bit newer on the scene than Repashy, however, their formula has an impressive ingredient list.

      This Goldfish Complete food has great animal-based food sources, like black soldier fly larvae and menhaden fish meal, as well as plant-based foods like green peas and spirulina.

      This brand is made exclusively in the United States.

      Pros: 

      • High quality ingredients
      • Easy to mix, you can make a week’s worth of food at a time
      • Sinks to the bottom for safer feeding
      • Easy portion control
      • Manufactured in the United States

      Cons: 

      • More expensive than Repashy
      • Must be made up ahead of time
      • Can be stinky when you mix it up
      Gargeer 3oz Goldfish Food. Complete Goldfish Gel Diet for Both Juveniles & Adults. Proudly Made in The USA, Using Premium Ingredients, Ocean Nutrition Gourmet Formula. Enjoy...
      Gargeer 3oz Goldfish Food. Complete Goldfish Gel Diet for Both Juveniles & Adults. Proudly Made in The USA, Using Premium Ingredients, Ocean Nutrition Gourmet Formula. Enjoy...

        Last update on 2022-10-05 / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

        Gel foods are much richer than flake or pelleted food, so you should feed your fish a bit less. Only feed them as much gel food as they can eat in 30-60 seconds. Promptly remove any uneaten food. 

        Add in Some Greens

        Offering your Goldfish some veggies a few times a week is a great way to give them added fiber as well as entertaining them with a snack they can graze on in a natural way. 

        Blanching veggies for a few seconds will wilt and soften them up, making it easier for your Goldfish to eat them.

        You can also give your Goldfish sheets of dehydrated algae. These are a highly coveted snack that’s full of vitamins and minerals.

        Omega One Seaweed, Green, 24 Sheets, 0.8 oz
        Omega One Seaweed, Green, 24 Sheets, 0.8 oz

          Last update on 2022-10-05 / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

          Whatever kind of veggies you decide to offer, I highly recommend using a veggie clip to secure the tasty treats in place. I love this magnetic one from Two Little Fishes. I’ve been using this in my 40 gallon (151 liter) tall tank for over a year now.

          I always have trouble with the suction cup kind wearing out, but this magnetic one has taken a beating with no problem. It costs a bit more than the cheapy ones, but it’s well worth the cost for me.

          Two Little Fishies Veggiemag Seaveggie Clip Accessory
          Two Little Fishies Veggiemag Seaveggie Clip Accessory

            Last update on 2022-10-05 / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

            Frequently Asked Questions:

            How do I feed my fish if I go out of town?

            A common question asked in the community.

            1.If you feed flakes or pellets,  buy an automatic fish feeder.

            2. If you’re using gel foods, it’s best to get a trusted friend or family member to feed your fish. 

            Mix up enough gel food and cut it into the portions you normally feed.

            Use a permanent marker to label the cups in an empty egg crate with the days of the week, or maybe even dates. Then put portions in each cup so the caregiver knows how much to feed each day.

            Make sure to tell temporary caregivers not to double up the next day if they accidentally skip a feeding. It’s better for fish to miss a meal or two than it is for them to be overfed all at once.

            Are there treats I can give my Goldfish?

            We all like to treat the ones we love sometimes. So, here are some tasty and healthy Goldfish snacks:

            Peas: A common treat many hobbyists use, make sure you’ve removed the skin before you feed. They’re easy to digest, however they are a bit high in protein so don’t feed too much. 

            Blanched broccoli or zucchini: Both can serve as a healthy snack and provide the fiber to supplement the gel food. Downside is they can get a bit messy.

            Live (or frozen) food: Insect larvae, mosquito larva, daphnia, brine shrimp and bloodworms are all digestible and rich in protein. Use these sparingly to supplement your fish’s protein diet.

            Freeze-dried food: These are usually found in pet stores and can be used as a treat. Bear in mind, these are very dry (not good) and it can be hard to tell exactly how much you’re feeding your Goldfish.

            Food for Thought

            If you take away only one piece of information from this article, it’s this: overfeeding is a leading cause of fish death.

            When your fish swarm up to the front of the tank to beg for food, don’t believe their lies! They are not starving to death. Stick to your feeding routine, and make sure everyone else in the house understands this, too.

            I find it’s best to keep things simple. Feed your Goldfish high-quality gel food for 30-60 seconds a day and supplement with greens. The high quality ingredients in the gel food will provide a balanced staple diet and the greens will add in much needed fiber and some extra vitamins and minerals.

            Once you’ve nailed your routine, then start providing some nice treats for your buddy, on occasion.

            I hope you find this article helpful.

            I wish you and your fish the very best!

            Recommended: Repashy Super Gold Goldfish Gel Food
            Recommended: Repashy Super Gold Goldfish Gel Food

              Last update on 2022-10-06 / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

              Katherine Morgan
              Katherine Morgan

              Hey, there! I'm Katherine from Northwest Florida. A nunchuck specialist, I've kept aquariums for over two decades, enjoy experimenting with low-tech planted setups and an avid South American cichlid enthusiast. If You'd like to see more of my tanks, check out my Instagram

              6 Comments

              1. Excellent reading. I have around 18 Gold fishes. Used to over feed. Your article has helped me and created an awareness. Thank you.

              2. I love your recommendations on feeding .. I’m exactly on the same lines.. I’m new to fish keeping but have learned a lot in the space of a few months .. I’m doing exactly as you’ve outlined .. many thanks

              3. This info is totally right on! I’ve been keeping fish my whole life. My 8 fancy goldfish are in a redundantly filtered 75 gallon tank. They get Repashy Super Gold Gel food (prepared adding 1 tablespoon of frozen daphnia to the mix in place of a tablespoon of water) every day. In the afternoon the have finely chopped softened vegetables (broccoli, peas, green beans & carrots are favorites). A couple times a week I’ll treat them with frozen brine shrimp or live food (mosquito larvae, blood worms, daphnia) collected from a stagnant water filled baby pool in the yard. They never get flakes or pellets. Repashy Super Gold is the ideal staple gel food!

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