Goldfish, how to feed your pet!

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How to feed your goldfish is one of the most important things you need to know!

Pretty, lively, and very sociable, goldfish make wonderful pets and are great for beginners. They do have some particular care requirements, however, to keep them happy and healthy.

Good care starts with the right sized aquarium, and then the aquarium needs to be properly maintained. And because you’ll want your goldfish to thrive, and keep their beautiful colors, you’ll want to feed them proper foods at the right time!

What to Feed Your Goldfish and How Often?
by Toby Sanders

Many people buy their first goldfish without researching the essentials of proper fish care, including what to feed your goldfish, how much to feed them and how often. If you overfeed your goldfish, the filtration system will not be able to keep up with the ammonia build up, which can kill your new fish.

Additionally, too much food can become embedded in the plants and gravel within the tank which will begin to decay and emit harmful toxins into the water. On the other hand, too little food will prevent your fish from growing properly due to the nutritional deficiencies they will experience.

Three of a kind goldfishPhoto courtesy nymawayca

What do I feed my Goldfish?

With so many options on the market, it can be difficult to choose which brand and type of fish food will be best for your swimming pets. You should always check the labels to ensure the foods are not packed with filler ingredients that do not provide your fish with any nutrients at all.

When your fish gets the right amount of nutrients, not only will they be healthy but they will show it off with their bright colors as well.

  • Dry food
    The most common type of fish food available on the market is dry fish food and it comes in the form of flakes, pellets, wafers and sticks. Some of these are designed to sink to the bottom of the tank (usually pellets) and others to float on the water’s surface (usually flakes).
    Since goldfish are known to graze at the top and the bottom of an aquarium, both types of food are appropriate. Goldfish do spend a lot of time moving through the substrate at the bottom looking for bits of food they may have missed at meal times. However, if your goldfish are sensitive to buoyancy problems or are sick, you will need to provide them with sinking food.
  • Photo courtesy Kate Brady
  • Live food
    Live food for your goldfish is a brilliant source of protein and is often used to get fish ready for breeding. It is often recommended that you first feed the live food with a nutritious diet before feeding it to your fish. This will ensure your fish benefit from the additional nutrients, this is called gut loading.
    Live food is especially good for young fish that are still growing and the fancy variety goldfish with developing head growths. It is possible to cultivate your own live food and a popular choice for this is brine shrimp since their eggs can be quickly hatched. Earthworms are another popular choice as long as they are thoroughly cleaned and collected from areas that do not use herbicides. Additionally, you could also let your goldfish feed on live aquatic plants like duckweed.
    Be careful when feeding your goldfish live foods as many of them can contain diseases that will make your fish sick. Earthworms and brine shrimp are safe food in that they don’t usually carry disease.
  • Frozen food and freeze-dried food
    A great way to avoid disease and maintain the nutrition of live food is with frozen or freeze-dried food. Frozen foods are available in chunks which your goldfish will love. Be sure to break them up for younger fish to eat easily. The most popular freeze-dried foods are brine shrimp and blood worms.
    It is important to feed your goldfish with a variety of food as they will get bored of the same type of food meal after meal. A variety of food is provided to your fish with different vitamins and nutrients that they need to thrive.
Photo courtesy anion

How much should I feed my goldfish?

The general rule is to feed your fish no more than they are able to eat in five to six minutes, per day. Pay attention to your fish for signs that they have had enough to eat. If they look a little sluggish and have a bulge in their belly, it generally means they have had enough.

You will also need to determine how often to feed your fish. Since their digestive system won’t be able to process all the food they need in a day, you may need to feed them smaller amounts multiple times a day.

For example, feed them two to three times a day in one to two minute long sessions. If you are wondering if you should feed your fish more, you probably shouldn’t. Goldfish are cold-blooded and don’t require calories to maintain body heat like mammals do, so do not feed them outside of your set feeding times.

Author Toby Sanders

Author Toby Sanders has more than 15 years of experience in aquarium sector, and says, “I’m totally passionate about creating Aquarist Guide blogspot. I enjoy sharing all of my knowledge to help you guys effectively build your own tank. I believe that when you find the easiest way to raise your lovely fish successfully throughout my blog, you will definitely fall in love with fish keeping more than a popular hobby.”

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