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Which goldfish food is best?

With the right care, goldfish can live up to 10 to 15 years, with some varieties reaching 30 years old. Picking the right goldfish food is an important part of creating a long, healthy life for your fish.

Feeding it the wrong food or too much of it easily leads to health issues. If you’re looking for quality fish food that suits most goldfish, Ultra Fresh Sinking Goldfish Food is an excellent choice. 

What to know before you buy goldfish food

Types of goldfish food

You’ll find three main types of goldfish food:  

  • Flakes: This type of food is affordable and readily available, but it isn’t the best for most goldfish. It’s easy to overfeed goldfish with flakes, plus they can create digestive issues when fish gulp air while they eat from the surface of the water. 
  • Sinking pellets: Sinking pellets fall down to the substrate. These allow goldfish to engage in natural foraging behaviors as they search for food on the tank floor. It also keeps them from gulping air as they eat. 
  • Floating pellets: These have more nutritional value, and you’re less likely to overfeed your fish with floating pellets. However, fish can still gulp air while they eat them. 

Nutritional requirements

It’s a good idea to learn more about the nutritional requirements of your goldfish. 

  • Protein: Goldfish need a good amount of high-quality protein in their diets, predominantly from seafood sources, such as shrimp and krill. Young goldfish that are still growing need roughly 35-40% protein in their diets, while older goldfish need around 35-40%. 
  • Fat: Since goldfish get a lot of energy from fat, fats and other lipids should make up about 5%-10% of a decent goldfish food. 
  • Fiber and carbohydrates: Fiber is important for healthy digestion, and carbohydrates convert into fat deposits that keep fish alive through leaner months. Goldfish require food that contains around 10% of fiber and carbohydrates. 

What to look for in quality goldfish food

Pellet size

If you choose pellet food, most standard-size pellets work for small and medium goldfish. Large pellets are better for medium and large aquarium goldfish. And you’ll need extra-large pellets for pond goldfish. 

Clear-water formula

Some fish foods have a clear water formula, which breaks down without clouding up the water. However, you should still have an aquarium with filters in the tank to keep the water clear and clean. 


The orange, red and yellow hues of goldfish all come from a carotenoids-rich diet. Fish food with significant quantities of carotenoids will enhance the colors of your goldfish. Look for color-enhancing goldfish foods with carotenoid-rich ingredients, such as krill meal and certain types of algae. 

Probiotics and prebiotics

Some foods contain probiotics, prebiotics or both to enhance the digestive health of your goldfish. Since these fish are prone to digestive issues, such as swim bladder disease, it isn’t a bad idea to do what you can to support their digestive system.

How much you can expect to spend on goldfish food

The price depends on various factors, including package size and quality. Expect to pay $2-$15 for an average container of around 2 to 5 ounces. 

Goldfish food FAQ

How often should you feed a goldfish? 

A. You should feed your goldfish small meals two to three times a day, rather than one large meal. This helps prevent overfeeding.

You should space these feeds out roughly evenly and try to stick to the same times each day. A good rule to stick to is to not feed your goldfish more than they can eat in around two minutes. 

What real food can goldfish eat? 

A. Goldfish enjoy varied diets, so you can supplement their commercial food with fresh food. In terms of human food, goldfish can eat a range of veg, including shelled peas with the skin removed, leafy greens, zucchini, carrots and broccoli. Make sure tougher veg is steamed or boiled, diced and peeled. 

You can also feed your fish things like brine shrimp, mealworms and daphnia. Of course, when you supplement their diets with these foods, you need to reduce the number of pellets or flakes you feed them.

What’s the best goldfish food to buy?

Top goldfish food

Best Ultra Fresh Sinking Goldfish Food

Ultra Fresh Sinking Goldfish Food

What you need to know: This high-quality food enhances the natural color of goldfish, thanks to the shrimp and certain seaweeds.

What you’ll love: Its slow-sinking formula lets fish eat some food on its way down and forage some from the bottom. The added probiotics encourage healthy digestion. The clear water formula keeps tanks from getting cloudy. 

What you should consider: Some complained that it sinks quicker than expected. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top goldfish food for the money

Best TetraFin Goldfish Variety Pellet Food

TetraFin Goldfish Variety Pellet Food

What you need to know: Since these pellets float, they’re great for fish that like to eat flakes. 

What you’ll love: The bite-size pellets are great for goldfish on the smaller end of the spectrum. The “Procare” formula supports immune health, while prebiotic ingredients are great for digestion.  

What you should consider: They contain more filler ingredients than is ideal, though they’re not bad for the price.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Best New Life Spectrum Large Pellet Goldfish Daily Diet

New Life Spectrum Large Pellet Goldfish Daily Diet

What you need to know: Thanks to their bigger-than-average size, these pellets are great for medium and large goldfish. 

What you’ll love: They contain quality protein and other nutrients from whole krill, squid and seaweed. They don’t include notable filler ingredients, such as soybeans. Since they’re sinking pellets, they’re great for natural foraging behaviors and can help prevent swim bladder disorder. 

What you should consider: They’re best suited for fancy goldfish rather than common varieties. They’re too small for pond goldfish.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Lauren Corona writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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