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6 Good Reasons to Use Gel Food for Goldfish

Nicole Cosgrove

June 30, 2021

Raising fish in tanks has come a long way, from the types of filters you can use to the décor that you can add to make the tank more aesthetically pleasing. The same thing applies to food. Science has made it easier to understand the nutritional needs of goldfish. No longer are flakes your only option. You can find pellets, freeze-dried invertebrates, and treats, to name a few.

Pet owners have also explored other things, such as commercial or even DIY gel foods. It’s true that all products aren’t created equal. Some offer better nutritional value than others. You’ll also see various price points, which often reflect the amount of additives or filler ingredients that they contain. However, you have more choices overall, which is a good thing for your goldfish.

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What Goldfish Need

To consider the value of gel food, it’s helpful to begin with what your goldfish needs. These fish are omnivores in the wild. They’ll consume both plant and meat-based foods. They are also opportunistic generalists. That means they’ll take what they can find. It’s an excellent evolutionary strategy because it leaves their options open for getting adequate nutrition.

Goldfish need foods that are 12% fat and 29% protein, with an energy-protein ratio of 9.7 kcal for optimal health and growth. They also must have many of the same nutrients that humans and other animals require, such as vitamin A, niacin, and calcium. Therefore, adequate nutrition is the primary consideration when evaluating gel foods for goldfish.

feeding goldfish_New Africa_Shutterstock
Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock

6 Reasons to Use Gel Goldfish Food:

1. Easy to Measure

One of the main benefits of gel food is that it’s easy to measure so you can avoid overfeeding your goldfish. Observing their appetite over a few days will help you determine how much to offer your fish. Then, it’s simply a matter of portioning it out to the right size. That makes it easy for kids to handle the task or if you are going on vacation and having someone else take care of your goldfish.

2. Highly Digestible

Gel foods are highly digestible because they are soft. That’s a valid point because goldfish don’t have a stomach and can’t store the extra. Instead, they absorb nutrients through their GI tract. Essentially, these products start digestion because of their consistency.

3. Excellent Nutritional Value

Like many commercial foods, gel foods can contain a broad range of foodstuffs, from insects to fruits and kelp. That ensures adequate intake that meets the goldfish’s nutritional needs with one product. That can also save you money in the long run, making gel foods a win-win for pets and their owners.

4. Easy to Use

Feeding your goldfish gel foods couldn’t be easier. Simply portion it to the right amount, and drop it in the tank. We suggest feeding your fish around the same time every day. That way, they’ll learn when to expect it and be ready for their daily meal. It’s also an excellent way to monitor their appetite to catch illness or disease early for better recovery.

Tetra 77150 Tropical 48 Count Vacation Gel Feeder Block

5. Convenient

The convenience of using one food to tick off all the nutritional boxes is reason enough to switch to gel products. There is prep involved if you use a powder, and it’s preferable to keeping frozen meat products in your freezer and cutting out portions to feed your fish. Gel food is also safer for you and your fish.

6. Versatile

You can prepare gel food as your pet’s primary dietary source. It will satisfy their daily nutritional needs. However, you can also dehydrate the finished product to use as a treat for your goldfish. That makes it more versatile and adds to the convenience factor.

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Final Thoughts

Feeding gel foods is an excellent way to give your goldfish the nutrition that it needs in a form that is easy to use. It can help prevent overfeeding because you can cut the prepared product to size. That makes it more convenient than soaking pellets every time you feed your fish. Simply prepare a batch every couple of weeks, and pop them in the tank at mealtime.

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Featured Image Credit: TD wt, Shutterstock

Nicole Cosgrove

Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts' knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.