Goldfish keepers who take their fish keeping very seriously rarely feed foods like pellets and flakes to their fish.
Instead, they prepare diets that include fresh vegetables, as well as live and frozen foods.
Most larger pet stores and aquatic retailers will stock a range of frozen foods for fish, and some will even sell live food that is good for goldfish too.
If you’re looking for some alternatives to pellets and flakes then check out some of the suggestions below.
Five of the most popular goldfish foods
Daphnia are small crustaceans, which make a great food for both adult goldfish and fry.
Daphnia are quite widely available in pet stores. Or you can even raise your own daphnia colony in a small container, to provide an endless source of free live food!
Bloodworms are fly larvae. They are bright red in color and can grow to just over half an inch long. They are tube-shaped, and when live, will attach themselves to the side of your tank for your fish to pick them off! Like daphnia, bloodworms are easy to find in stores, either live or frozen.
Tubifex worms live in the mud of shallow ponds. Live tubifex worms are good at hiding in the substrate of your tank, which offers extra entertainment for your goldfish, as they have to go hunting for their food!
White worms, like daphnia, are easy to culture at home. They are small and white, and grow to just over half an inch long. White worms thrive at low temperatures, so it’s often best to keep them in the fridge even when they are alive.
Brine shrimp are tiny little shrimp that, again, are easy to culture at home. They are very high in protein so we suggest keeping them as treats rather than as part of your goldfish’s regular diet.
Live or frozen?
Live and frozen foods provide similar nutritional benefits to your fish, so don’t worry if you can’t find live food for sale where you live. Frozen food also has the advantage of being low maintenance and easy to store.
That said, goldfish do enjoy chasing live food, so do consider giving it a try if you can!
It is important to buy your live food from a specialist retailer, whether you intend to feed it right away or use it to create your own culture. Food caught from the wild will usually contain parasites that can harm your fish.