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Can Tropical Fish Eat Goldfish Food?

The popularity of keeping tropical fish has seen a spike recently with a large number of beginners starting to keep their own tropical fish in their aquariums.

This has resulted in more and more questions being asked from the community about how they are able to offer the best possible care for their new tropical fish.

Although we have noticed questions being asked ranging from how to layout a tank for tropical fish to how to how to solve common health issues and everything in between.

The focus of today’s article is going to be on a common question that we see from the community about tropical fish nutrition that we have seen multiple people ask and that is if tropical fish can eat goldfish food or not.

With so many people reaching out to ask about this as well as there being a large amount of misinformation online about tropical fish and goldfish food, we wanted to publish this dedicated article.

Our hope is that we will be able to help as many of our readers as possible while also improving the nutritional profile of the diet of your tropical fish too.

Can Tropical Fish Eat Goldfish Food?

Although a large number of people do try to feed their tropical fish goldfish food, this is generally discouraged due to standard goldfish food being nutritionally deficient for many tropical fish.

Although it may look like the goldfish food and tropical fish food have similar ingredients, the actual percentage breakdowns of each ingredient is totally different with tropical fish food usually having a number of essential additives too.

Thankfully, the prices of high-quality tropical fish food have come down over the last decade or so and are now usually at a very similar price to their goldfish food equivalents.

This means that there is no reason to purchase goldfish food for your tropical fish for budget reasons while still having the incentive to feed your tropical fish a tropical fish food due to the more complete nutritional profile that it has.

We know that there are a number of people who do feed their tropical fish goldfish food and recommend other people do it on social media but we would recommend against this.

Not only can feeding your tropical fish goldfish food result in a number of deficiencies in various essential vitamins and minerals but it can also result in health problems as well as color fade in some of the brighter fish too.

What Kind Of Fish Food Do Tropical Fish Eat?

The majority of people choose to feed their tropical fish a flake or pellet based tropical fish food that has been specifically designed for the dietary requirements of tropical fish.

A large number of people also offer their tropical fish some form of live food to help keep their diet interesting while also offering some mental stimulation too but some people prefer the freeze-dried variants of live tropical fish food.

One of the better options for live feeding tropical fish are brine shrimp and although these can work well as a goldfish food too, they tend to offer a more nutritionally complete profile of vitamins, minerals, and macronutrients.

This makes them an excellent option for all types of fish with most fish enjoying swimming around their aquarium to catch the brine shrimp too as it offers some mental stimulation.

Although live brine shrimp are freshwater based, they will usually be fine in saltwater for around 30 minutes too but most fish will eat all of them before then anyway.

We understand that some people don’t like the idea of offering their tropical fish live brine shrimp so we would recommend that you at least try a freeze dried brine shrimp option as most tropical fish really do enjoy brine shrimp as a treat food option.

It helps to keep their diet interesting instead of just feeding them a flake based diet while offering some higher levels of some vitamins and minerals too.

Is Flake Food Good For Tropical Fish?

A flake food designed for tropical fish to eat can be good enough as a single food source as it has a higher nutritional profile than goldfish flake food helping to meet the nutritional requirements of your tropical fish.

Most people do opt to add in some form of treat food for their tropical fish too be it live food or freeze dried but this is not essential provided you have a good enough flake food.

As we touched on earlier in the article, there really are a number of cheap but high-quality tropical fish flake food options on the market these days that help to keep your costs as low as possible but ensure that your tropical fish get all the nutrition that they need.

This is why we really don’t see any need to feed your tropical fish goldfish food due to the tropical flake food options usually being the similar price now.

There are even some nutritionally complete tropical fish flake food options allowing you to just feed your tropical fish flake food without ever having to supplement their diet with anything else.

Although this does sound like a good thing, it can actually be a negative as live food offers some mental stimulation and excitement for your fish as they hunt the live food in their tank.

Can You Feed Tropical Fish Live Food?

Tropical fish love having live food options supplement their diet as it offers a new food source with new tastes while also breaking the monotony of being in their tank as the chase the live food.

We know that some people don’t like the idea of feeding their tropical fish live food options such as small water bugs though and understand why many people opt to use a flake based food option.

In our opinion, the best live food option for tropical fish are live brine shrimp as the vast majority of fish seem to really enjoy them. Live daphnia or water fleas are also an excellent live food option for tropical fish too offering the same benefits as brine shrimp too.

Both brine shrimp and daphnia make excellent live feeding options for goldfish too but are not nutritionally deficient for tropical fish like regular goldfish flake based foods.

This is why they are both great options for tropical fish and offer a great treat food option to spice their diet up and be used to supplement a tropical fish food product.

Is Frozen Food Good For Tropical Fish?

There are a number of freeze dried food options for tropical fish that can work well to supplement their diet and add new tastes and textures.

This can be a great option for anyone who wants to offer their tropical fish a treat food but doesn’t like the idea of live feeding them the bugs or insects.

From the rest of our article above, you may be able to guess that we feel that freeze dried brine shrimp are probably the best option out of all freeze dried food options for tropical fish.

You can also use other options such as freeze dried bloodworm too with most tropical fish enjoy them just as much as they enjoy brine shrimp.

If you really want to keep the diet of your tropical fish interesting then you can alternate between both of the options if you want too.

Use freeze dried brine shrimp as their treat food option until they run out and then switch over to feeding them freeze dried bloodworms for the next option and then keep switching between the two.


That brings our article going over if tropical fish eat goldfish food or not to an end. Although tropical fish can technically eat goldfish food and survive, most goldfish food products are nutritionally deficient for tropical fish so a specialist tropical fish flake food option will almost always be the best route to take. We would also highly recommend that you supplement your tropical fishes diets with either freeze dried or live food options to help keep their diet interesting and top up some vitamins and minerals too.