When it comes to feeding your pet goldfish, it seems that fish flakes might be the only option for their diet. Well, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to know that you’re able to expand your fish friend’s meal repertoire. A key aspect of proper goldfish care is ensuring that your pet gets the right kind and amount of food. Not doing this can be detrimental to the well-being of your fish.

Typically, the diet of a goldfish in the wild includes insects, crustaceans, smaller fish and plants. These fish are omnivores, and the food you feed them must be as close to their natural diet as possible. There are specially formulated pellets and flakes available that are meant only for goldfish. If you run out of fish food, you can feed them boiled vegetables, peas or small pieces of seafood like white fish or shrimp.

Please make sure to not overfeed your goldfish any of the following foods, just like their fish flakes. Also, please consult with your veterinarian if you’re not sure how to properly prepare each new food.

Other Variety of Food For Goldfish

What would these new meals entail? Without further ado, here are some goldfish meal substitutes to try in moderation:

Green Pea

Yes, you read that correctly. The vegetable that you’ll find in many dishes in restaurants, and your home, can also be fed to your fish friend! Fish owners may give their goldfish a single, cooked green pea — but only when the shell is removed from the pea.


Another great food that you can introduce to your goldfish, periodically, happens to be blanched spinach. Just like the pea, you’ll want to make sure that the spinach is clean, fresh, and a tiny amount is given to your fish friend. This will be a great, delicious way to break up the age-old fish flakes that they’re used to.


If you’re looking for another vegetable to throw into the mix, then a blanched cucumber will do the trick. Again, make sure that it’s the smallest piece of this veggie, it’s clean, and that any skin is taken off. You’ll be amazed to see how your goldfish eats up this classic food!

Can You Feed Your Fish Dog Food?

This is by far the wildest wondering I’ve come across regarding fish keeping and fish food. Why anyone would want to feed his/her fish dog food beats me, but odd as it is, the question is pretty common; more than it should of course.

So, is it Ok to feed fish dog food?

Most definitely NO!

Dog food is formulated for a dog’s digestion system and nutritional requirements and not fish. The food especially lacks the extra minerals and vitamins required by fish.

That said, I do not have an experience of any aquarist daring enough to put this theory to test. But when the streets start talking and rumour mill run overtime, there is a need for a little research, and that I did.

As it turns out, some hobbyists have success feeding their fish dog food.

Even so, many of the fishes tend to grow big and look impressive from the outside, but internally the dog food causes health problems, including increased belly fat and an overall weight problem.

That said, which aquarists feed their tropical fish dog food you ask?

Well, fish keepers with cichlids in their tank are particularly likely to feed their fish dog food as treats.

A word of caution though, in case you are one to take that risk (keeping cichlids); It’s only best to give your fish dog food as seldom treats and not a staple for everyday feeding because of the cons I’ve stated above.

Lastly, your fish will accept dog food!
I’m convinced that like bread, your fish cannot tell the difference between tiny chunks of dog food and fish food.

This means that whatever your reason is for offering your fish dog food, the fish will most likely devour the food to its own detriment.

Human Food For Goldfish

It’s not much trouble to prep a dinner for a goldfish that she’ll find delicious. It can also rival or exceed the nutrition found in the goldfish flakes. Raid the fridge to find appropriate vegetables for goldfish: a cooked pea with the shell removed, a blanched romaine lettuce leaf, cucumber, kale, spinach, or bits of cooked vegetables. Although a high-fat, low-fibre goldfish pellet should make up the base of a proper goldfish diet, adding fresh food on a regular basis provides optimal nutrition.

Pet Food For Goldfish

If you keep reptiles or amphibians as pets, you might have something on hand that your goldfish will enjoy. Toss in a few fresh, frozen, or freeze-dried brine shrimp, mealworms, or crickets. Goldfish will also eat earthworms, wax worms, bloodworms, black worms, and daphnia. These animal-based foods will give your fish added nutrition and enjoyment once you have him on a pelleted goldfish diet. Goldfish living outside in a pond where temperatures fluctuate will especially relish these natural, high-value foods.

Some of the foods we eat are perfectly safe for fish. If you run out of fish food, these are the best alternative options to feed them.

Green Leafy Vegetables: Many fish species love greens like spinach and lettuce. Ensure that you cut the leaves up into tiny pieces before adding them to the tank. Boiled greens are a better option since they are easier for the fish to digest. Some species may be allergic to greens, so avoid this food if you notice your fish acting lethargic. Brussels sprouts, cucumbers, sweet potatoes, and zucchinis are other veggies you can try.

Seafood: Carnivorous species can be fed white fish fillets like cod and tilapia. It’s a good idea to avoid pieces of oily fish since these can make your tank messy. If using frozen fillets, make sure you defrost them before feeding them to your pets.

Rice or PastaThis may come as a surprise, but fish love to eat cooked rice and pasta! These are convenient and readily available alternatives when you run out of fish food. Simply break the rice or pasta into smaller pieces and drop them in the tank.

Hard-boiled Egg Yolks: Many smaller fish and shrimps love hard-boiled egg yolks. It’s a good idea to feed them tiny pieces as an occasional treat. But be careful not to overdo it, since yolk particles can make the water in your tank cloudy.

Peas: Boiled peas are another excellent substitute for fish food. Remove the outer skins and break them up into smaller pieces before feeding them to your aquatic pets.

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