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Goldfish feeding - by Carl Strohmeyer

A quality goldfish and koi food starts with quality aquatic based ingredients. Fish derive most of their energy from fats, not carbohydrates (although cereal is needed as roughage). Also the amino acids that make up proteins should be ones that can be easily metabolized by fish. Soy proteins and feather meal that are used by many foods are not the best quality. An analogy I used in another blog to compare amino acid (protein) quality is this: You can achieve the protein analysis of many pet foods with a pair of leather shoes, yet leather shoes are for the most part, made up of un-digestible proteins that will eventually lead to renal (kidney) failure in fish.
DL-methionine is an essential amino acid for producing the “Lionhead” feature in goldfish. High levels of methionine can be found in the vegetable proteins of spinach, green peas, and garlic. DL-methionine can also be found in fish meal.

It also should be pointed out that no one food should be fed alone (including Sanyu). A balanced diet for goldfish should also include
Spirulina Flakes, and Brine or Mysis shrimp (which have a natural laxative for goldfish). Frequency of feeding is also important, think of goldfish as under water horses (there are differences of course), they are regularly grazing, unlike say a lion. The point is that goldfish have digestive tracts meant for a more vegetable diet and constant grazing, not unlike horses, and if not kept full, they can develop gas (that is also why the brine shrimp and spirulina are important). Another point of note is that most fancy goldfish are very inbred and have poor digestive tracts which make them even more sensitive to a poor diet and intestinal gas.
Try and feed your goldfish at least two or more times a day (if more often, feed less per feeding). Also soak your fish food in water for at least 5 minutes so that it does not float, which will prevent your goldfish from ingesting air (which can cause digestive problems). Be careful with feeding too much flake food (even the spirulina flake, although this flake does not cause the intestinal gas problems that many flakes such as TetraFin do), and again soak any flake food too.

Another point about goldfish is that they often ‘root’ around in gravel or sand so be careful with a size that may get lodged in a goldfish’ throat. If should happen try and gently dislodge the gravel with a blunt tool (not sharp) such the end of a Q-Tip without the cotton part. This can be fatal if not removed.
Some goldfish keepers advocate not keeping goldfish in tanks with gravel which is definitely a good way to prevent this in the first place, however I have found this rare in tanks with pea sized gravel or sand and I find a bare tank rather boring to look at. Should you choose a bare tank you can add potted plants to improve the décor of your tank.

*A quality food such as
Sanyu or Hikari Pellets (another is Spirulina 20 Fish Food Flake ),
*Changing water (20%) once per week,
*Keeping a ph of 7.2- 7.6,
*Proper mineralization and electrolytes (a KH and GH of at least 50 and 100 respectively), such as Wonder Shells mineral Blocks

*Proper filtration (including germicidal).
*And proper tank size (one average adult goldfish per 4-8 gallons, depending on filtration)
*The above are just basic steps, try and read more in depth
Aquarium information articles

Professional aquarium maintenance experience since 1978 as the owner of one of the larger aquarium maintenance companies in LA, CA.

I have been in the hobby since 1969.



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