What Do Goldfish Eat in the Wild?

Goldfish are a species of beautiful freshwater fish, that belong to the carp family. Goldfishes are carps, though carps come in a variation of colors, certain mutations and environmental factors have caused the goldfishes to look like they are now, the bright orange color.

Goldfish have been a pet to humans for a long time. They can be seen in most households inside a fishbowl. And as a pet, humans have discovered the diet of goldfish far too well. But what about their wild counterparts? Has it ever struck your mind what might goldfishes eat in a wild environment? How would their diet be?

The below context explains everything about the diet of goldfish in the wild, and if you are thinking of petting one, what should be the best goldfish food around.

What does a goldfish like to have in their wild, natural environment?

What Do Goldfish Eat in the Wild?

The answer to this is pretty simple. Since belonging to the carp species, the diet of goldfishes can be easily observed by what the carps eat in the wild. But first, let’s talk a bit about their anatomy.

Like any other carps, goldfishes have pharyngeal teeth, which makes them one of the fish species with teeth. Their teeth are placed at the bottom of their throats and can re-grow the teeth whenever they are lost or fall off, throughout their life. These teeth enable them to eat almost anything eatable in their surroundings.

Goldfish when living under wild, natural conditions in freshwater environments, consume naturally occurring carp foods like insects and tadpoles. Apart from these, goldfishes are also seen to be eating frogs, spawns, and other freshwater creatures that they can feed upon. These are considered to be the best goldfish food present in the wild.

Goldfish are popular for being omnivores in their ecosystem. These fishes belong to wild carps, aquatic plants such as algae as their main herbivore diet. Among other marine creatures, goldfishes are seen to eat other smaller fishes or freshwater creatures. And sometimes mosquitos or mosquito larvae too. a goldfish diet expands even beyond this, sometimes towards small crustaceans, detritus, and zooplankton.

Goldfishes are considered to be heavy eaters by numerous animals’ experts, they are said to consume anything that floats around them. Plants or freshwater creatures alike.

What is the best goldfish diet in a captive environment?

But what would you feed a goldfish when it is kept as a pet in a fishbowl, what can be the best goldfish food that you can offer to keep your goldfish healthy? Here’s what you need to know.

First of all, for every creature, a balanced diet is required to be healthy. Goldfishes can eat anything, but anything does promise that it would be healthy for the fish. And for this purpose, the below-given list discusses the best diet that you should feed your goldfishes with.

  1. Pellets, Gel Food, and Flakes.

Pellets, gel foods, and flakes are considered to be the staple diet for goldfishes. Without this, goldfishes can’t do well for a long period. This food is considered as one of the best goldfish food because it is healthy, rich in vitamins, and every other nutrient that would be crucial for goldfish health in the long term. But if you are confused about which one to choose, here’s a piece of short information about each.


  • Gel food is a very moist food item that is considered very well for swim-bladder-problem-prone goldfishes.
  • Pellets are considered to be a very good option other than gel food. These can be either soaked or not and given to the fish. Since it is composed of organic food, it is highly nutritious.
  • Flake food is one of the most common fish foods found in any pet store. These are food substances that are made into thin layers, often called flakes, that float over the surface of the water. These are easily considered to be the best goldfish food.

How often should goldfish be fed with pellets, gel foods, or flakes? A very small amount of either of these foods works the charm. They provide the necessary amount of nutrients, proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals, and carbs needed for the fish to last a whole day.

So, which one should you choose? You can choose either of the three choices to feed your goldfish. Each one of these is sufficient in its nutrient.

What Do Goldfish Eat in the Wild?

Having the same diet every day can develop a dislike for the food, and thus, it is advised to often feed your goldfish with treats. But, what kind of foods are these treats? These are the kind of food that you feed your goldfish occasionally, like 2-3 times over a week.

A treat can be anything, there is an amazing variety of foods that goldfishes like to eat as treats. Some of which are, Algae, Black soldier fly larvae, Brine shrimp, Daphnia or Earthworms, Freeze-dried or frozen Bloodworms, Houseflies, or sun-dried Krills. There is hardly anything that can qualify for the best goldfish food when compared to other food items.

How do these treats beneficial to the goldfish? Apart from the fact that goldfishes love treats at times, live, and/or dried foods provide the goldfishes a boost of protein, that is essential when you want your goldfish to grow in size properly and develop into a healthy goldfish. It is often observed that treats help in enhancing the color pigments, the bright orange colors look more prominent when fed with the right kind of treats.

Final thoughts.

From the above context, you can easily conclude that feeding a goldfish isn’t difficult at all. They can consume anything that you give them. These are some of the easiest fishes when it comes to diet. Their omnivorous lifestyle is the main reason for that. You can always vary the foods that you offer your goldfishes from time to time, varying is the key to provide your goldfishes with proper growth, health, and color enhancement. Pellets, gel foods, flakes can be included into a staple regular diet, whereas some veggies and treats can be included in their routine once or twice a week. Thus, providing all the nutrients that goldfishes require.