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Shahbazin

I Seem to be Feeding Them All Wrong...

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... so I need to figure out what I should be giving them. Can you switch goldfish suddenly to a new food, or are they like dogs, & you need to gradually introduce the new food? I had been giving them (common & comet types) Aqueon Goldfish Granules (sinking), but it was hard to tell how much they were eating in their outdoor tub, so I tried them on Wardley Goldfish Pellets (floating) because they seemed to like bread crumbs (that I was feeding to our chickens), & they liked this food real well. Now, they have been eating lots of algae, mosquito larvae, bugs that fall in their tub, pieces of aquarium plants that were pruned from our 10 gallon aquarium, so they've had some variety. When I move them indoors, I'll need to supply the variety; I am going to try some of the kinds mentioned on this forum. How should I re-introduce sinking foods? 

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Just chuck it in.

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Goldfish may hesitate to eat new foods, but they will come around.  Healthy goldfish will never starve themselves, but they will be eager to overeat.  I, personally, do not buy into many of the recommendations for goldfish feeding.  My fish are all outdoors.  They get floating koi pellets from me, along with some duckweed when it's growing well, and some earthworms when I am harvesting worm compost from my worm bin.  They help themselves to bugs and worms that they find in their ponds, along with nibbling almost continuously on the algae and other goodies growing on the sides and bottom of their ponds.  They are ridiculously healthy.  

 

If I kept them in aquariums,  I would grow duckweed for them in a separate tank, and probably give them some worms too, but still wouldn't follow the elaborate feeding programs some propose.  I'm too cheap and too lazy.

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I do agree that overlooking easy additions like duckweed is to your detriment. It's hardy, quite invasive, cheap, and tasty :D

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It's just important to feed them healthily. Everything else is up to you. I basically just feed mine a good quality gel food and frozen bloodworms and they do just fine. I bet they would do great on a good quality pellet too. 

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Yes: balanced, healthy food without overfeeding.  The 1-2% of their weight per day in food rule is a good standard.  Avoid feeding them bread crumbs, although wheat germ incorporated into a gel food is fine. They shouldn't have a problem adjusting. 

 

I give my indoor fish slightly more protein rich foods than my outdoor fish, since eating the mosquitoes, midges and bugs is the job of the pond fish. 

 

For the record, my pond goldfish and koi ignore duckweed. Since it kind of (kind of?!) invasive, was happy to leave it out of their food supply. I do have Anacharis, also known as the Brazilian Waterweed in the pond for them to nibble on, that plant does well in the aquarium too.

 

I enjoy giving them a variety day-to-day and making their food - mainly so I know what is in it. You may want to increase the availability of algae indoors.

 

Soilent Green is mostly spirulina algae. It is a powder that you make with boiling water and then chill like jello. Having 2-3 different pellets  to alternate and a treat (bloodworms, brine shrimp) would be an easy indoor food mix without making your own gel food. But try making a simple gel food for them, it is an experience if not exactly "fun."

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I think your fish are the only ones on this planet who ignore duckweed, MG. Every fish I have ever owned has devoured it.

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Studies of the stomach contents of feral goldfish indicate that in warm weather the primary food of goldfish is detritus -- the crud in the bottom of a body of water, consisting of animal excrement,  dead plant and animal material,  and live decomposing organisms.  In the cold water of winter, they don't eat much, but the primary food is insect larvae and other small animals, since plants aren't growing, and decay is very slow.

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Studies of the stomach contents of feral goldfish indicate that in warm weather the primary food of goldfish is detritus -- the crud in the bottom of a body of water, consisting of animal excrement,  dead plant and animal material,  and live decomposing organisms.  In the cold water of winter, they don't eat much, but the primary food is insect larvae and other small animals, since plants aren't growing, and decay is very slow.

I think I'll stick with pellets, gel food and bloodworms. :rofl3

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I think your fish are the only ones on this planet who ignore duckweed, MG. Every fish I have ever owned has devoured it.

 

I know - I was equally surprised. I took a handful home from my LFS as a new treat and it did very well surviving on it's own in the pond - but the fish never touched it. Probably simple unfamiliarity and too many other high-protein choices. Mosquito and midge larvae, unfortunate spiders and crane flies are a constant.

 

It lasted for a long time, but I never witnessed a fish eat it. That's not to say they didn't.

 

They avoid fresh red peppers too -  unless I cook it and take the skins off and mix it with their gel food. It could be the color? Or the hard to chew texture.

Edited by mysterygirl

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A lot of what the fish in a pond do and do not eat is a matter of "culture."  People who have multiple ponds have observed that the fish in one pond will not allow a water lily to grow while related fish in another pond never disturb the water lilies.  The fish in one pond devour tadpoles, while those in another pond are being overrun by frogs and won't touch a tadpole.

 

If you throw an unfamiliar food into the pond, most of the fish will just watch it suspiciously and wait for one of the more dominant fish to check it out.  If alpha fishy grabs a piece of the new food, swallows it and looks for more, everyone will join in.  If alpha fishy circles it and backs away, everyone else will look for something fit to eat.

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They avoid fresh red peppers too -  unless I cook it and take the skins off and mix it with their gel food. It could be the color? Or the hard to chew texture.

 

It could be that the even very very mild spice is irritating to the gills. Remember that we have a more deadened sense of taste, which is why if we had a mouthful of dirt with a single pea in it, we couldn't find the pea. A goldfish can find that pea easily and quickly, and separate it from the dirt.

Edited by ChelseaM

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So what are some foods I should avoid giving my fish? I've already done some reading, enough to know I should limit the amount of meat I give them, that spinach supposedly interferes with how they absorb certain nutrients.  Also that they don't handle sugars very well, so I guess that rules out fruit.

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Meats? I only use fish (shrimps, fresh fish) in my gel food. Other than that they never get any thing remotely related to meats.

Fruits - I've never used them, since they cloud the water and are not very good for your fish. Some use them as treats, but they don't digest sugar very well.

 

Broccoli is nice, but gives gas. They will also eat the inside of cucumbers/squash. Peas are great, just boil and skin them. Never heard that about spinach - feed it sometimes. I use a lot of live foods instead. Live bloodworm or misquito larvae I can get pretty cheap at my LFS - frozen sometimes but I forget to use them since my freezer is in the basement :)

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Well, by meat I include fish, worms etc. Animal protein in general.

 

How about shredded carrot? I have plenty since I use them in my breakfast smoothies. Or are they hard for goldies to digest?

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 I wouldn't do carrot because it's sugary.

 

Instead of having land-grown veggies, try to include things like Nori. Nori is the seaweed that you wrap sushi with, and is available in a variety of grocery stores. It's easier for them to digest, because it is a water plant like they would eat in a "natural" environment. Just pop it in the tank on a veggie clip and let the fish munch away at it.

 

You can certainly feed a good amount of animal proteins. In fact, it's good to give younger fish more proteins, since it aids in their growth and health. I feed frozen bloodworms daily, along with my Repashy Soilent Green. I generally aim for around 40-45% protein in my fish's diets, mainly as frozen bloodworms.

Edited by ChelseaM

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Seconding nori! My fish are crazy about it even when they're weird about other dark greens (spinach, etc.). 

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I'll remember that. Thanks.

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