I'll handle this BUM BUM BUM bascily ingredients are labled from the greatest amounts to lowest, like buying chocolate the way you choose the richer one is by the ingredients saying cocoa butter THEN sugar, so we need to do the same here... 1st look at the first ingredient it's usually fish meal which is okay but not great 2nd look for the ash contents, the higher the amount the less nutrients a goldfish can get (IE empty calories. fish or smrimp meal includes bones of the fish and shells of the shrimp which are completly useless so they add on to the ash contents) 3rd try to look for things that are less artificial (artificial coloring, vitamin supplements, etc) you can tell that they're less if they're listed at the bottom of the label 4th when comparing two label brands look to see when they start using fillers and find the one that has a filler listed further down in the end of the igredients (fillers are useless pieces of food with low nutritional value they come in the form of yeast, flour, and things like that so if one has corn meal in the 5th position after the first ingredient and another has it at the 8th, then the one at the eigth are a better bet fillers may also add to the ash content) 5th if the ingredients has 3 or less fillers that is a high quality food 6th although it's rare the best food for any fish will list "whole fish meat" or "whole shrimp meat" as the number 1 or 2 ingredient 7th which I don't think I should mention is look for something high in protein (that's a basic) and the one that fits this description is omega one which has whole salmon meat as the first ingredient and does not have much fillers another one would be hikari's label dynaflyx(forgot name) is better then hikari's label but it is rather hard to find (new word aquarium at 38th street between 2nd and 3rd ave in NY has it.) pro-gold starts out with fish meal within the first 3 ingredients but they are high in protein although not as high as hikari's label this rating here was based on ingredients and analysis charts the preference amongst users on this board is rather from experience which is not a bad thing
As a recent buyer of a starter pack from goldfish connection my opinion is if you have it dont buy it as most of the items sent to me were sorta "last year" items, the aqua master although still good in filtration can create a ruckus, the rena filter is okay but it is more overly praised, the diffusers where nice though, and although we may have it already the testing kit is loaded with all the basics, but the other supplies we can do without, a stand for an air pump we already have enough things hanging on our tanks, the four-way splitter was of low quality Lee's aquarium supply, and the silicone air tube was a bit less then required for an average 120 gallon tank with two diffusers. And on a note the aquaclear 600 was taken off the shelves of other markets for an unknown reason, and when i consulted with another on-line dealer he stated that the aquaclear 600 filter is a really old module and can easily be replaced by 2 whispers or another sort which would be more silent although they may lack the roomier capabilities for biospheres and the sort.