How To Feed Your Goldfish, Fancy Goldfish, And Fantail Goldfish
You might think feeding goldfish is a simple matter. You sprinkle some goldfish flakes into the aquarium and you're done for the day. That might be fine for minimal health but if you're interested in keeping your goldfish at optimal health and happiness then there are some things to consider. Firstly, no matter how much they seem to beg for food don't feed them all the time. Overfeeding is a leading cause of death when it comes to aquarium fish. In fact they can easily go a few days without food once in a while if you're going to be away. If you ever miss a feeding or two don't feed them more food to make up for it. Keep a regular feeding schedule for your goldfish.
There is some debate as to how many times a day you should feed them. Once or twice a day seems to be what most say however I think feeding them three times a day, spread out evenly, gives them something to do besides swimming about the tranquil waters. Once you feed them they seem to spend hours afterward swimming around looking for scraps and making sure they got everything. That being said, the portions should be extremely small. Goldfish basically have one long intestine and no real stomach. Although you should consider it to be the size of their eye for the purposes of measuring food. Measure that amount for each fish in your hand instead of sprinkling the food in randomly. In addition, if it seems to be more than they can eat in a few minutes, then feed them less next time. Don't be afraid of starving them. There are very few tales of goldfish starvation, yet a plethora of accounts telling of death due to overfeeding. There's also the additional leftovers they will inevitably miss that will decay, and pollute the aquarium water.
So what do you feed goldfish?
Most fish food labeled as being for a specific species should be nutritionally balanced for said fish species. Flakes are the standard but I recommend rotating with other types of fish food such as pellets. This is not only to give the fish some variety, as they do have a sense of taste, but also to prevent swim bladder issues. This is a particular problem with fancy goldfish, and the variety of odd shaped bodies they can have. Flakes float on the surface so goldfish will constantly gulp to get all the food. If they take in too much air it will affect their ability to stay upright under water and swim straight. Air bubbles in the feces, fish not being able to sit still on the bottom of the tank while they sleep, swimming lopsided, and fish bobbing to the surface quickly are signs of trouble in this area. At that point it's best to quit feeding them flakes and stick with pellets and other foods such as microwaved shelled peas which will help drive the excess air out of them. It also keeps them under the surface while they eat. When all remedies fail simple peas can do wonders! You can also feed them little pieces of microwaved spinach, tubifex worms, brine shrimp, and even live daphnia to give them a variety of foods for health and varied stimulation to improve their quality of life.
You can find a variety of fine goldfish food at The Goldfish Shoppe.