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Home > Goldfish > Can Goldfish Eat Betta Food? Nutrition Facts & More

Can Goldfish Eat Betta Food? Nutrition Facts & More

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Yes, goldfish can eat betta fish food sparingly as it is not harmful to them. Betta food will not harm your goldfish, but it should not form part of your goldfish’s main diet as these two fish have different nutritional requirements.

If you are wondering if you can supplement your goldfish’s diet with betta fish food, or perhaps feed them betta food because you already have it and want to feed it to them until you can get proper goldfish food, the general answer is yes, Goldfish can eat Betta food, however, it does not fulfill a goldfish’s nutritional needs. Let’s dive in for more details.

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Is Betta Food Safe for Goldfish?

Betta fish are carnivorous, which means that their food is high in protein and contains little plant matter, whereas goldfish are omnivores and require a significant amount of both protein and vegetation in their diet. So, although goldfish can eat betta fish food and it is safe for them, it does not fulfill a goldfish’s nutritional needs.

Goldfish food contains slow-digesting plant matter and protein that is designed to replicate the natural diet goldfish would eat in the wild, and betta fish food contains high amounts of animal-based protein because that’s what they are used to digesting in their natural environments.

There are no harmful ingredients in betta fish food that will directly harm your goldfish, but if they eat too many of the wrong types of food, it may cause some intestinal discomfort.

Many goldfish die as a result of improper feeding, diet, and/or portion sizes – which can be easily prevented by proper education.

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Why Should You Not Feed Betta Food To Goldfish?

If you want to start feeding your goldfish betta food because you have run out of your goldfish’s main staple diet, then it will suffice for a day or two. However, the digestive systems of bettas and goldfish are different so they may receive little benefit from eating foods with a betta fish’s nutritional requirements.

You will not harm your goldfish by feeding them betta fish food, but it should not become a staple long-term because your goldfish will not be receiving the nutrients they require, which can only be achieved by feeding your goldfish commercial foods that are formulated specifically for their dietary needs.

Why Is Betta Fish Food Different From Goldfish Food?

Commercial foods for betta fish contain high amounts of protein which is suitable for the carnivorous betta who has a digestive tract that is designed to process large amounts of protein and benefit from it. Goldfish have a much slower digestive tract than betta fish, which makes it difficult for them to process such protein-rich foods. Betta fish foods also contain certain levels of amino acids, vitamins, and minerals that are suited for their nutritional requirements, and not a goldfish.

It should also be noted that goldfish are cold-water fish that naturally consume vegetation such as algae, plants, and veggies, whereas bettas are small tropical fish that have adapted to living off high levels of animal-based proteins that they can metabolize quickly.

When manufacturers formulate a species-specific diet for fish, they will consider the fish’s anatomy and natural diet and try to incorporate it the best they can to include foods that these fish would eat and thrive off in the wild.

Goldfish eating fish food
Image Credit: Rabbitmindphoto, Shutterstock

What Can You Feed Goldfish Instead?

If you have run out of goldfish food or want to increase your goldfish’s protein intake, it is better to use food sources that are much gentler on a goldfish’s digestive system rather than feeding them staple foods created for other species of fish.

These food sources can include commercial supplements such as freeze-dried algae, worms, invertebrates, and blanched veggies or deshelled peas which can be made in your kitchen. These foods can be used as a supplement alongside your goldfish’s staple diet which should be formulated for their species, so there are many more options to consider before feeding betta food to goldfish as a temporary substitute.

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Final Thoughts

It is safe for goldfish to eat small amounts of betta fish food in moderation, but it is important to consider the different nutritional requirements of these vastly different fish species before feeding them certain foods. The same answer would apply to feeding betta fish goldfish food—the nutritional requirements are too different to substitute as a staple food for another species of fish.

Goldfish should be fed a high-quality pellet or gel food formulated with the right nutrients for their bodies and it is only recommended to feed betta food to them if you have run out of other options and it will only be a temporary replacement until you can source their correct diet.


Featured Image Credit: peter67, Pixabay

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