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Mandi-in-Japan.

How do goldfish eat?

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Ok, this may seem a stupid question, but how do goldfish eat?

I assumed that unless they bite of more than they could swallow whole, they would use teeth-like structures in the back of their mouth to grind down the food whilst pacing around the tank with their head down.

I have 2 goldfish, one of which inhales his food in small amounts (1 pellet at a time) and the other which tried to cram as many pellets into his mouth as possible and then "chews" them.

I feed them Hikari floating pellets (I can't find sinking at any of my LPS) and peas once a week (after a day of fasting and before a water change). I bought some Tetra flakes since I don't want them to swallow too much air, but Hikari is a better brand so I haven't changed the food yet. They get a pellet each in the morning and then 3 pellets in the evening.

After noticing the "chewing" I started dropping in the pellets slowly, so they could only take one at a time. Iruka still "chews" even when it's just one pellet. He also seems to have digestive problems since he has long poop every so often (the same colour as the food).

When I feed peas, they both just inhale them, so could it be a problem with the pellets? Is this just normal behavior? He "Chews" for around 5 minutes and goes back to normal. I don't know if he's always done this, since I adopted them both 3 months ago.

Am I over-feeding? Or just feeding the wrong food? Or is Iruka just a quirky goldfish?

All my water parameters are fine.

Ammonia - 0

Nitrites - 0

Nitrates - 5

pH - 7.4

Temp - 21 degrees C

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If you soak your Hikari pellets for a minute and then squish them a little, they will sink. I wouldn't feed the Tetra Flakes, flakes are less nutritious, and messier in the tank. Just my opinion.

My fish all chew, goldfish do have "teeth" in the back of their mouths to chew with. Boog chews fast, Fraggle & Alfonso take longer to chew.

Edited by Red

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I'm sure I can be accused of overfeeding, but that seems like very little food. But maybe those pellets are a lot bigger than mine. I feed a pinch per fish twice a day and a pinch for the shrimp. I mean a full finger pinch. They seem to be able to eat it in 5 minutes. I feed Omege One small goldfish pellets.

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I feed my guys Saki-Hikari pellets, and they're tiny - they're designed for very young fish. Mine get a full-finger pinch between 4 of them twice a day, so you may be overfeeding a bit, going by your sig none of your fish are huge. Cutting the feeding down won't do any harm.

Mine are all suck-in-as-many-as-possible-and-chew-like-crazy eaters :)

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Well it's the trailing faces that make me think I;m overfeeding, but the pellets aren't big at all. Soaking them doesn't make them sink, they're designed to always float for easy cleaning. I live in Japan, so Hikari are the main brand I can find, but all the pellets are floating type. My town is very small so my choice is limited to the pet ailse in the hardward store.

My fish were a little are the podgy side when I adopted them, so cutting down on food was also a way to bring them back to normal weight. I'm glad other people have chewers. I was worried about what I could do, sometimes when he's chewing (if he's gobbled up 4 pellets at once) then he rises to the top as he chews, panics, swims to the bottom, turns around and does it again. That why I started feeding one pellet at once.

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If you squish them a little(flatten them, squeezes the air out) between your fingers they will sink. :)

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All fish chew. :) They have teeth-like bones in the back of their throats to grind up food while they run water over it to soften it.

As for the amount to feed, less is always better. Fish really don't need a lot of food, and so it's easy to overfeed. Even if they can fit a ton in their mouths, it doesn't mean that's not too much food. So it's good that you feed small amounts... it's definitely better for their health in the long run. :)

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I get the Saki-Hikari purple packet, and those are sinkers, they also contain probiotics which help prevent constipation - for their size I think my guys get loads of food and they're very rarely constipated, but it does sound like you might be feeding a bit too much. I get about 30-40 pellets to a pinch, they get easily 10 each, X the ryukin tends to get about 15...she's a pig though and hoovers up loads before the others have realised it's feeding time. I would try giving your guys 1 pinch between the 4 of them for a few days, twice a day if you like, and if you can get the purple one I really recommend it. You can also try putting the one you have into gelfood with peas and gelatin, then it'll sink because the gelfood does and the goldfish will get the added bonus of the peas :)

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Its always better to feed your fish several small meals than one big meal. Goldfish dont have stomachs like most fish, so what you feed them goes through them in about 5 - 10 mins, with no stomach they have to gather the nutrients in the food in that amount of time. So feeding several small meals is better for them :thumb:

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i feed mone often. It takes 30 seconds for them to finish what is in the tank but i do this 2-3 times per day. Most days.

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I feed a small amount twice a day, because my white ranchu will float for hours after eating if he gets too many pellets at once.

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I only know how single tails eat, and all I can say is, you don't put your body parts in there at the same time! (BTW, I only serve Ocean Nutrician Spirulina Flakes. I feed once a day. I don't fast them. Usually in the afternoon I'll give them 2 slices of lime or lemon, once in a while avocado, or a few pinches of minced garlic, occasionally peas. Never feed them worms or pellets, etc.

All three are big methodical chewers. I guess it's because they are so big, but their mouth area extends forward and then retracts back into their face with each chew action. When they tear off a big piece of lime, or hit on a big hunk of avocado, it's a real show with the faces they make.

Edited by austinado16

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i feed gel food and frozen hikari bloodworms or brine shirmp.. i have some pellets (sinking) that my current supplier gave me that are high in protein, i feed them twice per week. my fish get fed once a day, sometimes twice (twice will occur before the day of fasting) and they fast every friday. peas on saturday followed by their weekly wc.

i have no problems with my fish chewing their food. i used to have a floater and only fed the frozen hikari product with steamed veggies, but their diet is more staple now as he's since passed on.

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Hey guys, thanks for the advice. I thought I had replied, but apparently not. Sorry.

So my fish still have trailing faeces, which concerns me. I read about throwing out food after 6 months and figured the food that I inherited with the fish had probably been open for over a year by now, so I switched them to the tetra flakes for now. I soak them so they sink and feed one flake per goldfish. They've not been chewing since I switched the flakes, so I think it was just the shape of the pellets

I changed the food a week ago, but have seen trailing faeces again, so fed peas on that days. Today I noticed that the faeces were floating and looked a little lumpy/sticky. They were dark and thick this morning. I fed them peas again today (one this morning and one at night). I noticed one of them had a poo that started off brown but turned clear/white and stringy. Also, one two occassions I have woken up early and noticed one of them sitting on the bottom before they realised I was awake. I fed them peas and they seemed fine for the rest of the day.

Is this still a food issue, or should I be concerned about something more? I tested the water parametres again today and everything was fine except the Ammonia was at 0.25, so I did a 40% water change. Nitrites were at 0 and Nitrates were at 20ppm. Recently the temperature has dropped a little, so even though I keep my room warm, their tank is now aroun 19-20 degrees instead of 22-23. In summer it was at 27, so could the temperature change be causing their digestive problems? Should I ask people on the diagnosis forum, since maybe this has gone off topic a little?

Sorry for bombarding you with questions, but these are my first fish and I lost 2 during the summer so I really don't want to lose these 2. Thank you for all your help so far!

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