Flake foods versus pellets

There are lots of different types of goldfish food. Including flake food, pellets, bloodworm and brine shrimp.

Some goldfish keepers don’t give much thought to fish food and simply pick up whatever is convenient when shopping. However, it is worth thinking about the pros and cons of pellet food versus flaked food.

So, are sinking pellets or floating flakes better? Read on to find out more about them.

Flakes v Pellets

Natural feeding

In their natural habitat, goldfish pick their food from the bottom and middle levels of the water, rather than the surface. They also spend lots of time rooting around in the substrate, picking scraps of food from the bottom of their pools.

In the wild, swim bladder disorders are very uncommon in goldfish, and yet they are quite common in domestic fish. It has been suggested that feeding flake food, which floats on the top of the water, causes the goldfish to gulp air when they eat. This could contribute to the fish developing a swim bladder disorder.

The pros and cons of feeding sinking pellets

One pro of feeding pellets is that they sink to the bottom of the tank, which allows the fish to feed more naturally. This also removes the potential problem of the goldfish gulping air while eating.

Pellets are also much easier to measure out accurately if you are monitoring your goldfish’s food intake. And they have a longer shelf life once opened.

A downside of sinking pellets is that they can sit at the bottom of the tank and start to rot. Rotting food will lead to higher levels of ammonia in your tank, which is very bad for your fish. Also, your goldfish may accidentally eat gravel when foraging for pellets.

The pros and cons of feeding goldfish flakes

The upside of feeding goldfish flakes is that they are less likely to sit uneaten in the tank and pollute the water. Also, some fancy and exotic goldfish may find it easier to eat flakes rather than pellets.

The negative side of feeding flakes is the potential for the fish to gulp air when eating them. Also, they don’t last as long once opened, so feeding pellets can often be cheaper in the long term.

Nutritional content

Obviously, the nutritional content of the food is the most important factor to consider. Whether you choose pellets or flakes, you should only buy premium, quality foods that are designed especially for goldfish.

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