When it comes to mentioning the cremes de la crème of beautiful aquatic creatures thriving in tanks, Goldfishes turn up most of the time. Most of us adults had them as pets in our mini-tanks when we were much younger, and it’s not surprising to see them in large aquariums.
It is recommended to feed your goldfish two to three times a day. At each feed give the fish enough food that they can eat for two minutes. Make sure not to over feed them as this can cause issues for your goldfish.
They do not bring beauty to any aquarium but with the right care, goldfishes can up to 15 years. Much of that depends on their dieting and feeding habits to keep them healthy and bumbling with vigor.
What then makes up a healthy goldfish diet? We’ll look into them below:
What do goldfish eat?
Contrary to what we have been conditioned to believe, goldfishes are actually fishes that thrive in the wild, in the freedom of nature all around them. Goldfishes are one of the few omnivores around.
In the wild, they can feast on plants, plant roots, algae, crustaceans, snails, larvae, insects if they want to. In some cases, they can even consume smaller fishes if they are really hungry. They got a stomach for a little bit of everything.
When it comes to goldfishes swimming around in your tank, it is recommended to feed them what their species in the wild consume to keep them healthy.
You can feed them pellets, bloodworms, goldfish flakes, brine shrimps, and boiled peas, all of which are readily available on markets and fish malls. Most of the food specifically made for goldfish are full of nutrients and come in a flavor they all love.
What you as an aquarist should do is combine what goldfish eat in the wild with what they are already used to in your tank.
Which begs the question: Why often should you feed your goldfish?
This is dependent on a number of factors:
Age of the goldfish.
It is recommended that younger goldfishes should be fed several meals per day, as it is proven that they mature faster during their first year. For the older ones, you should feed them 2 to 3 times daily to keep them healthy.
This feeding interval should be maintained daily.
If your aim is to make your goldfish breed and produce eggs, it is necessary to feed them several times per day, as the food acts as a stimulate the fishes to milt, breed and produce more eggs.
Constant water changes are also necessary in this case, as the tank will get messy over time.
During the winter, goldfishes find it difficult to digest food as their metabolism is slowed down. When the temperature drops below 50° Fahrenheit (10°Celsius), you need to feed them once a month. It’s surprising but your goldfish will thank you for it.
Feeding them more than once will cause the food to rut in their gut as a result of slow digestion, leaving them vulnerable for all manner for sickness.
If you’re planning to promote growth within your goldfishes and see them get bigger, frequent feeding is encouraged.
Most aquarists opt to use automated feeding machines which releases small quantities of food to the fishes at regular intervals. While this is a good option, especially if you’re planning to leave town for a couple of days, it is not a safe method for feeding your goldfishes.
Automated feeding machines are prone to overfeed your fishes which could cause harm to them. Also, there have been reports of these machines malfunctioning and not releasing food to the fishes.
Back to overfeeding: it is a serious concern every aquarist should know about. Fishes aren’t like us who feel our stomach has had enough and stop eating. They keep eating as long as there’s food to eat, and this can quickly lower their lifespan.
Overfeeding is also known to block their swim bladder and intestines, making them feel terrible, or worse, dead.
With the issue of overfeeding a serious concern, how much should you feed your goldfishes?
This is mainly dependent on how active your goldfishes are. If they swim around all day, you should feed them more than if they just swim nonchalantly. While there are several types of food you can feed them (as already mentioned above), feeding them is quite similar.
You are expected to feed your goldfish as much as they can finish in 60 seconds. This typically means your fish is expected to swallow everything you feed it within a 60-second window.
If there are still floating food around after 1 minute, you should cut down on the amount of food you put in the tank in order to lower overfeeding.
However, if you’re going to be feeding them pellets that sink to the bottom of the tank, you should leave out a 2-minute window; this gives the fishes time to search and consume the food.
Keep the 1-minute rule if the pellets you’re feeding them is the type that floats.
In order to avoid overfeeding your goldfish, you should feed them with an amount of food that is as the size of the fish’s eye twice or thrice daily.
So, if you’re unsure of the right amount of food to feed them, just look at their eyes and feed them flakes of that size.
Goldfishes love vegetables and plants just as much as they love other kinds of food. If you’re tired of feeding them flakes or pellets, you can feed them boiled peas without the skin.
Peas contain fibers that your fish will love and make them stay healthy. However, if your mature goldfish is experiencing constipation or floating issues, try putting only one pea per day until you see a change.
If your goldfish is not eating a certain food, it is probably because it doesn’t like it. Hence, it is recommended you spice things up by switching their food.
Another reason is that it has had its fill. In this case, you can skip a day of feeding, in a bid to clear out their system.
Goldfishes are exquisite creatures that need proper care which will guarantee a healthy and long life.
Following the listed tips above has a huge role to play in making that a reality.