For beginner hobbyists, Betta fish and Goldfish are perhaps the most commonly acquired fish, and for good reason. However, both of these fish species require a totally different living environment from one another. Additionally, they have different behavioral patterns and require different care.
Feeding Betta fish food a few times to Goldfish is not going to kill them, but their digestive system and nutritional needs are wildly dissimilar. So, what will happen if you feed Betta food to your Goldfish? In short, nothing will happen straight away, but if you continously feed your Goldfish Betta fish food then there will be many health problems down the line. Read on to find out why.
Each species of fish requires a different diet to suit their specific needs and mimic natural foods they would find in the wild. Betta fish are carnivores, meaning that they eat pretty much anything, from worms and insects to even small fish!
Their diet should consist of 70% proteins in the wild, and 50% proteins when owned as a pet. The majority of Betta fish food will contain the recommended amount of these proteins.
Goldfish, however, are omnivores and require a balance of both protein and vegetables. They have a unique digestive system as they don't have stomachs, which means that excessive protein intake can and will likely cause them problems, such as swim bladder disease, kidney failure, and gas.
Betta Fish Food
The best food for Bettas to have a healthy and balanced diet is live foods. Annoyingly, live foods are probably the hardest to source but you can use alternatives like frozen or freeze-dried foods which will provide similar nutritional content.
Betta fish feed on the surface, so their foods are typically designed to float on the surface of your tank. Pellets are additionally a good option as there are many options that have been specifically made for Betta fish, providing them with the right amount of protein and vitamins to help them maintain their colors and live a healthy life. Overfeeding your Betta with pellets will cause them to sink quickly, which isn't good for your tank's water quality or cleanliness.
In the wild, Goldfish will eat a variety of different foods, mainly plants, insects, and crustaceans, which is a pretty balanced diet. Keeping the variety there when feeding your Goldfish is fundamental in them maintaining healthiness. Additionally, if your Goldfish is fit and healthy it will usually radiate brighter colors and patterns.
Goldfish are not very picky and will eat almost anything put in front of them, which is why it is important to keep them away from foods that they don't agree with. Commercial Goldfish food that can be found in almost all stores and online is very different from Betta fish food because it contains less protein and more carbohydrates. Additionally, goldfish teeth are situated in the back of their throats, and consist of small teeth that are used to grind up food for digestion, rather than chewing.
Can You Feed Goldfish Betta Food?
On occasion, Goldfish can eat Betta food as additional protein. However, you should feed your Goldfish sparse amounts of Betta fish food, and, perhaps as a treat, give your Goldfish some Betta food maybe once every 2 weeks. Even doing that is not particularly advisable but could be done as a last resort.
Goldfish typically feed off foods that have sunk in the middle or bottom of your tank, if you decide to feed your Goldfish Betta food then they will only take it once it has sunk. Due to Bettas' aggressive and territorial nature, the food might not even sink before the Bettas have eaten it all. Having said that, you shouldn't house Bettas and Goldfish in the same tank.
What Else Can Goldfish Eat?
If you end up running out of your Goldfish food and cannot purchase more until the next day (we've all been there), then there are some alternatives. You can feed your Goldfish something in your kitchen, provided it meets the dietary requirements.
Goldfish are omnivores, but take a lot of vegetables in their diet, so, add some vegetables to the meal. Peas with their shells removed, broccoli, small pieces of oranges, zucchini, and even cucumber will do, make sure they are all finely sliced and peeled so that your little Goldfish can eat them.
Adding brine shrimp or bloodworm to their diet is a good idea too, but the majority of their diet should consist of vegetables and fiber. If you are going to feed your Goldfish these suggested foods, it is a good idea to do so before changing the water in your tank. Uneaten food will lead to a plethora of aquarium issues that you do not want to deal with.
Realistically, it is not a good idea for anyone to be feeding their Goldfish with Betta fish food. They have totally different dietary requirements and feeding them the same foods will make your Goldfish become unhealthy quickly.
Sure, if you are going to feed your Goldfish some Betta food for extra protein as a special treat once and a while, that is fine. However, if you begin feeding them Betta food in excess, you are running some huge risks and jeopardizing your Goldfish's health.
Conducting research before feeding any new fish is something that you have to do. Diet is too important to ignore, and is one of the most fundamental aspects of being a good and responsible hobbyist!