Goldfish Food – Good, Bad and Really Bad

This article was written by Anna over at

“A few months back I made myself a big ol’ color coded list of every goldfish food I could find, ranking their ingredients and quality into rough categories from “definitely feed this!” to “holy cannoli if you see this burn it” and everything in between. I’d meant to keep it as reference for when someone on the forum came through mentioning one I hadn’t heard of or couldn’t remember off the top of my head, but I figure I may as well share it for everyone :)

*Please note that I have only personally used a small portion of these foods, and this list is not the be-all, end-all. These judgements are made mainly from an educated reading of the ingredients list and guaranteed analysis, as well as to a lesser degree the company’s reputation, and customer and keeper reviews. Individual fish react differently to different foods and sensitive fish may need more specialized diets than just picking a good pellet.

Anna mentioned that any of this information could go out of date, due to changes in formulations, so if you feel there is any information which is incorrect please let us know.


Green – The best! Recommended as staples for daily feeding alongside a varied diet of fresh veggies and occasional worms. Gels and other high moisture options are recommended for fancy goldfish over dry foods when possible.

Yellow – May be rotated in with other staple foods for variety, but should not be used regularly. Some have slightly lower quality ingredients or a few too many fillers, others are good quality but not well balanced for daily feeding.

Orange – Passable for a week or two if you’ve really got nothing else on hand, but otherwise don’t waste your money. Feeding these long term is not going to be healthy for your fishies.

Red – No. Please do not, seriously.

Red – Dear god no please I beg of you O.o How do they SELL this stuff??? Horrifying…

Okie dokie onto the list!

AAP Paradigm Herbivore

API Goldfish Pellets/Flakes

Aqua Master Goldfish Food

AquaDine Duraflake

Aqua One Goldfish

Aqueon Goldfish Granules


Azoo 9

Cobalt Goldfish

Drs Foster and Smith

Encore Goldfish Floating

Essentials Goldfish Flakes (Pet Valu)

Fluval Bug Bites Goldfish Formula (Great insect-based supplement to their diet, just not for use as a staple)

Hagen Fluval Goldfish Pellets

Hikari Lionhead/Gold/Oranda Gold/Excel

Hikari Saki Red

Ken’s Premium Koi & Goldfish Pellets, Summer and Spring/Fall Mixes

Laguna Pellets

Marineland Color Enhancing Goldfish

Nat Geo Goldfish Flakes

New Era (also sold under the brand “Vitalis”)

New Life Spectrum

Northfin Goldfish Pellets

Nutrafin Basix Goldfish Pellets

Nutrafin Max Goldfish

Omega One Goldfish Pellets

Omega One Frozen Freshwater Veggie Gel

Purina AquaMax

Repashy Soilent Green

  • Other wonderful Repashy mixes include:
  • Super Gold
  • Super Green (All plant based, will need more protein supplementation for young fish if used as a staple)
  • Meat Pie (A great treat but not for regular feeding)

Sakura GOLD

Seachem Nutridiet Goldfish

Sera Goldy

TetraColor Goldfish Granules

TetraFin Plus Goldfish

TetraFin Goldfish Crisps/Flakes

TetraSmart Goldfish

TopFin Goldfish Flakes

Tropical USA Goldfish Color Pellets

Tropical USA Super Goldfish Mini Sticks

Wardley (Hartz)

Wardley Advanced

Wardley Weekend/Vacation Feeder Blocks

Xtreme Aquatic Foods Goldfish PeeWee Pellets

YFS Goldfish Supreme

YFS Seafood Crumble


Bonus Section! Why the bright red foods are awful! The worst! Give me nightmares at night!

  • Laguna Pellets – first four ingredients are fillers, plus contains hydrolyzed poultry feathers. Apparently feather meal often contains traces of poultry antibiotics and other chemicals including inorganic arsenic 🙂🙃🙂 The Ken’s food also contains feather meal, which is super disappointing. He carries a couple of very nice things, and a couple of horrendous ones, the goldfish foods being one of them.
  • Purina AquaMax – pretty much all fillers and preservatives. Some more yummy poultry byproducts in there. And I mean. Come on. Did anyone even know Purina made fish food? Considering their less than stellar reputation for other pet food I wouldn’t really trust their fish food as far as I could throw it.
  • TetraColor Goldfish Granules – 8 of the first 10 ingredients are fillers… Wheat, starch, corn, oat, soy gluten, wheat germ, yeast oh my gooddddd please stop
  • TopFin Goldfish Flakes – unspecified “protein” listed as first ingredient. Seriously. Just “protein”. Buncha fillers and artificial colors. Zero actual real ingredients. Zip. None. This is PetSmart’s flagship brand and there is literally no food in this.
  • Wardley Goldfish – Ooooh we have eight different fillers, plus fish bone meal! I just got a bad pet food bingo!