Wondering how often to feed goldfish? Think your beloved finned pet can thrive only by eating pellets and flakes?
Allow me to teach you how your pet can stay healthy, be rather active, and have gorgeous bright colors with proper nutrition.
After reading this guide, you will undoubtedly know how often you will be feeding your goldfish. As a bonus, I will reveal a plethora of tricks and hacks that will help keep a healthy, happy, and disease-free goldfish.
So, shall we start?
- What Do They Eat?
- How Often to Feed Goldfish?
- Other Essential Factors About Feeding Frequency
- The Best Time to Feed Your Goldfish
- How Much Should a Goldfish Eat?
- Do Not Forget to Improve the Tank’s Water Quality
- Other Goldfish Keeping Tips
What Do They Eat?
Most of us have only seen these domesticated fish inside an aquarium or pond. And, that is why some find it a little difficult to imagine a bunch of goldfish swimming in a more natural setting like a lake.
As a matter of fact, I know a few folks who think that goldfish cannot survive in the wild.
In reality, though, these creatures flourish in their natural habitat, thanks to a smorgasbord of treats and scientifically formulated food available.
Goldfish are, in essence, omnivores, meaning they consume both animals and plants. In their natural habitat, these wondrous creatures eat crustaceans, insects, and plants.
Additionally, they may even consume smaller fish, especially if they are quite large.
When it comes to their plant consumption, goldfish prefer algae, leaves, and plant roots. Their animal consumption, meanwhile, includes larvae, snails, and small fish.
As you can see, they practically eat anything available to them in the wild.
And, since your goldfish is domestic, you should mimic what these fish eat in their natural habitat. To me, it is hands down, the best way to make your pet as happy and healthy as possible.
And, fortunately, there is no need for you to swim in ponds or local lakes just to catch some snails or small fish for your pet’s upcoming meals.
Nowadays, there are plenty of specially formulated goldfish food options that come in the form of bloodworms, brine shrimp, pellets, and goldfish flakes.
Also, you may feed your fish with peas and other boiled vegetables that you can easily find local grocery stores.
Personally, I prefer pellets and flakes, as they are designed scientifically for goldfish. And guess what? They are full of essential nutrients too.
Plus, they are flavorful and tasty for your fish.
Here is a quick list of some of the things that you may feed your pet.
- Small live food
- Shrimp pellet food
- Mosquito larvae
- Homemade fish food
- Green vegetables
- Frozen food
- Goldfish food flakes
- Goldfish food pellets
- Brine shrimp
- Live aquatic plants
- Algae wafers
A blend of outdoor and indoor food is just what your goldfish needs. Not only will it improve their health, but it will also enhance their vibrant colors.
And, best of all, it will make them a whole lot happier.
How Often to Feed Goldfish?
Since you already have figured out what are the best food options, the next thing you have to do is to know how often to feed goldfish.
It can be somewhat tricky since some goldfish types and breeds have different needs and nutritional requirements.
But, in general, you should aim to feed your goldfish about 2 to 3 times per day. And, you should feed your goldfish in intervals, so that you can keep them organized and full for the entire day.
Also, create a feeding schedule, and make sure to stick to it. If you feed them at 9 AM, 1 PM, and 7 PM on Monday, record it or set up a digital reminder on your smartphone, so you can also feed them at the same time on the other days.
Not only will it give you a set feeding schedule, but it provides your goldfish something to look forward to as well.
You may invest in an automated goldfish feeding machine, which releases an ideal amount of food for your pet at different periods of the day.
If you are going to be away for a few days, you should seriously consider investing in this handy piece of fish keeping equipment.
Furthermore, this machine is ideal for people who are having a difficult time remembering to feed their aquatic pets.
Another excellent option for goldfish pet owners is the fish food feeding block. As the name implies, it is virtually a block of fish food that you put in your aquarium, allowing your goldfish to eat frequently throughout the day.
On the low side, both feeding blocks and automated feeding machines may lead to overfeeding, which is a cardinal sin for goldfish owners.
Other Essential Factors About Feeding Frequency
Feeding frequency for your goldfish also depends on several factors. Check out these tips that will come in handy when keeping a goldfish.
Age Of Your Goldfish
Every young goldfish needs frequent meals several times a day since these fish grow the fastest in their first year. Several small fish food feedings throughout the day are better for your pet’s growth than one whole big meal.
In winter, goldish, especially those in ponds and the outdoors, can be fed just once a month. Keep in mind that hibernating fish barely digest food because their metabolism slows down.
In fact, too much food during hibernation may end up rotting the fish’s gut, which can lead to sickness or death.
If you want your beloved pet to get bigger, you need to serve more frequent small meals.
Trying to get your goldfish to spawn? You might want to feed them several slightly larger meals every day. High food amounts will help your goldfish produce more milt and eggs.
Check out this fantastic and informative video!
The Best Time to Feed Your Goldfish
Goldfish, unlike humans, do not have a daily schedule. They do not have a 9-to-5 job, and they do not have extracurricular activities.
So, it is okay to feed them at any time of the day. Just make sure that you are feeding them a couple of times per day.
Moreover, follow a schedule, as it can be quite beneficial for your fish.
How Much Should a Goldfish Eat?
Overfeeding is a big no-no for goldfish owners. Not only will it make them sick, but it can also shorten your pet’s lifespan quickly.
Unlike humans, these fish do not have an actual stomach, meaning goldfish will not feel full at all.
Since they do not feel full, they will never know when to put a stop to their eating spree.
Their appetite is insatiable, and it is your job, as their owner, to control the amount of food they consume.
Overfeeding can cause a variety of health problems for your goldfish. For instance, it disrupts their digestive system as well as blocks up their swim bladder and intestines.
The amount of food to feed for your pet depends on how active your goldfish is.
If you have a larger aquarium (more than 10 gallons), and your pet has plenty of room to explore, you should feed it more than the less active ones.
As a general rule of thumb, you should feed your pet as much as it can consume in a couple of minutes.
After 2 minutes of feeding and food dropping, everything should be inside the belly of your goldfish.
If there are still pieces of food floating around, you should perhaps cut the amount back, until you there are no more leftovers in your tank.
Aside from making your goldfish sick, overfeeding and food leftovers can make the aquarium water cloudy and dirty.
This, in turn, will surely make it harder for you to clean your aquarium.
Feeding Goldfish with Pellets
Planning on using pellets as your pet’ staple diet? It is best to aim for 2 to 3 pellets around twice per day.
Since goldfish food pellets tend to sink to the tank’s bottom, it might take them more than 2 minutes to spot their food and eat it.
So, the 2-minute feeding rule may not be the perfect solution for goldfish food sinking pellets.
You may apply the 2-minute feeding rule, however, if you are using floating fish food pellets. I also use 2 to 3 pellets, when it comes to the floating option.
Feeding Goldfish with Flakes
The 2-minute rule is also perfect for goldfish that eat flakes. Fish owners that feed their pets with flakes have the tendency to overfeed.
After all, the small amount of flake food does not look a lot and may seem not enough.
But, believe me, it is what your goldfish exactly needs.
For flake users, another crucial rule to follow is to feed your goldfish 2 to 3 times per day with a food amount that is as big as the eye of your goldfish.
It is basically a rough estimate of the right amount of flakes to feed them.
So, if you are not sure how much to feed them, just take a look at their eyes, and try to match the amount of food to feed them.
Peas: The Perfect Veggie Goldfish Food
Fish, like humans, want a little variety for their diet. From time to time, I feed my goldfish with small and skinless peas.
Goldfish surely love plants and vegetables, and peas are incredibly healthy, tasty, and nutritious for them.
Plus, they are small enough to fit conveniently in the goldfish’s mouth.
Peas are so beneficial and valuable for goldfish in an array of ways. For one, they sink quickly to the aquarium’s bottom, meaning goldfish will not have to gulp some air, as they eat, helping prevent any digestive problem.
Most of my adult goldfish can eat around 2 to 3 peas each. Smaller fish, meanwhile, can consume 1 or 2.
If your fish is healthy and has no problems in buoyancy, it is ideal to follow this ratio to prevent excessive buildup of fiber.
Do Not Forget to Improve the Tank’s Water Quality
There is more to the health of goldfish than the food it eats. To keep a healthy and happy goldfish, you also need to know how to clean an aquarium effectively.
And, goldfish are known as dirty types of fish, producing tons of bioload and waste. The more food they eat, the more waste they are going to create.
Unfortunately, it can lead to a variety of issues for your aquarium’s water quality. Keep in mind that goldfish eat, swim, and excrete in one environment.
Their waste, along with the uneaten food, will eventually build up and create a lot of ammonia – a toxic element that can be dangerous for your goldfish.
So, feed your goldfish wisely and clean your water tank regularly.
Trust me, you do not want your goldfish to turn into black because of ammonia burns, or suffer any problem.
You will love the tips shared in this video.
Other Goldfish Keeping Tips
Want to maintain a healthy and happy goldfish? Then, make sure to heed these tips and informative words of advice.
Bigger Goldfish Aquariums are Better
If you are so eager to see your pet reach its max size, feeding your goldfish tons of food will not be enough.
As a goldfish owner, you need to make sure that your goldfish has a lot of space for it to grow into.
Amazingly, goldfish can get pretty big. A carnival goldfish, for instance, can grow up to 2 feet and up to 10 pounds.
So, forget that small goldfish bowl!
Instead, look for a bigger fish tank and continuously monitor your fish’s diet and the aquarium’s water quality.
And, by the way, some goldfish can live up to 40 years if they are correctly maintained.
Clean the Aquarium Once They are Done Eating
Any unconsumed food in the aquarium will begin to rot and cause some issues to its water quality. And poor quality in aquarium water is one of the leading causes of goldfish diseases.
So, always get rid of leftover pellets or fresh food bits using aquarium forceps or a net.
And do not forget to follow a regular tank cleaning schedule.
A high-quality goldfish food has better ingredients as well as boasts a higher percentage of fat and protein. Not to mention, it contains all the essential nutrients that your pet needs for the rest of the goldfish’s life.