Many people think of goldfish as a low-maintenance pet. While it may be true that caring for goldfish isn’t exactly difficult, there are some Do’s and Don’ts you need to follow. In addition to providing your goldfish with a large enough tank and the right equipment, you also have to know how to feed him properly.
Choosing the right kind of food for your gold fish is important, but just as important is the amount you feed him. Many aquarium hobbyists make the mistake of overfeeding their goldfish and that is a recipe for disaster. If you want to avoid making the same mistake, keep reading to learn what and how much to feed your goldfish. You’ll also receive tips for keeping your goldfish tank clean.
What Should You Feed Your Goldfish?
Goldfish are omnivorous which means that they will eat plant foods as well as meaty foods. This also means that you need to include a variety of different foods in your goldfish’s diet. Your goldfish will eat goldfish flakes or pellets as well as live, frozen, and freeze-dried foods like bloodworms, tubifex worms, and brine shrimp. They may also eat small feeder fish or small crustaceans.
The best thing you can do for your goldfish is to choose a high-quality pellet or flake food formulated especially for goldfish. This product will form your goldfish’s staple diet and then you can offer him fresh, frozen, and freeze-dried foods as occasional treats. Just be careful not to feed your goldfish too many rich or fatty foods at once because it could cause digestive issues.
In addition to feeding your goldfish a high-quality staple diet, you should also offer some fresh vegetables like lettuce or frozen vegetables like peas or zucchini. You can also offer your goldfish boiled broccoli or potatoes. Some aquarium hobbyists even grow duckweed in their goldfish tanks to give their fish something to munch on.
When it comes to feeding your goldfish, variety is important. In the same way that you would get bored eating the same thing every day, so do your goldfish. Variety is also important to ensure that your goldfish get the right balance of nutrients. It is fine to choose a high-quality pellet or flake food as your goldfish’s staple diet but don’t forget to supplement with fresh, freeze-dried, and frozen foods.
If you need help choosing a high-quality staple diet for your goldfish, try these Omega One Goldfish Pellets.
How Much To Feed Your Goldfish
You should feed your goldfish as much as they will eat, right? Maybe not. Many aquarium hobbyists make the mistake of feeding their goldfish too much, assuming that they’ll eat all of the food eventually. The problem is that when you give your fish too much food at one time, they can’t eat it all before it starts to sink and, once it does, your fish may never get to it.
The best rule of thumb to follow in feeding aquarium fish is to only offer them as much as they can eat in about 4 to 5 minutes – per day. The number of times you feed your goldfish each day doesn’t really matter as long as you stick to this simple rule. Most aquarium hobbyists find that two or three small feedings per day is adequate for gold fish.
Something else you should know about goldfish is that they tend to beg – they are like a dog in this respect! You shouldn’t be surprised if your goldfish start to gather at the top of the tank when they see you coming because they expect you to feed them. Don’t give in to this temptation!
Goldfish have fairly delicate digestive systems so they can’t really process a lot of food at once. These fish are particularly sensitive to fatty foods as well, so try to limit the amount of fatty live foods you offer your goldfish. If you want to give your goldfish something to snack on, offer them some fresh leafy greens to nibble on throughout the day.
If you are planning to leave town for a few days, don’t feel like you have to give your goldfish extra food in preparation for your absence. It can actually be good for your goldfish to go a few days without eating! As long as the water quality in your tank remains high, your goldfish can actually go for quite a while without food before they experience any negative effects.
A Word About Water Quality
Goldfish are notoriously dirty fish – they just produce a lot of waste. The more you feed your goldfish, the more waste they are going to produce and that can lead to problems with water quality. As your goldfish eat and excrete waste, their waste (along with any uneaten fish food) falls to the bottom of the tank where it accumulates and starts to break down.
As the debris at the bottom of your tank breaks down in what is known as the nitrogen cycle, the beneficial bacteria in your tank water produce ammonia as a byproduct. Ammonia is toxic to aquarium fish and even a small concentration of this toxin can be dangerous. Fortunately, those same beneficial bacteria help to convert ammonia into nitrites and then into nitrates, a less harmful substance.
Although nitrates are a little less harmful for your goldfish, you still want to keep the concentration as low as possible. The best way to do this is to perform frequent water changes, removing about 25% of the water volume in your tank and replacing it with fresh, dechlorinated water. The only way to rid your tank of nitrates is to physically remove it, so plan to do at least one water change per week.
To learn more about the aquarium nitrogen cycle, check out this video.
Did you enjoy this article? No matter what kind of fish you choose to keep, it is important that you learn everything you can about their dietary needs. What you feed your goldfish is just as important as how much you feed them – even a little bit of overfeeding can be dangerous.
Now that you know how to care for your goldfish properly, we hope you’ll leave comments about your experience below! We also encourage you to share this article with friends, especially if they are fellow aquarium hobbyists! Thanks for reading!