A 6-week growth trial was conducted to investigate the effect of dietary supplementation with maggot meal (MGM) and soybean meal (SBM) on the growth performance and antioxidant responses of gibel carp (GC) and darkbarbel catfish (DC). The basal diet was formulated to contain 114 g kg−1 fish meal (FM) and 200 g kg−1 SBM. The basal diet was supplemented with either 280 g kg−1 FM (Control), 390 g kg−1 MGM or 450 g kg−1 SBM to obtain three isonitrogenous (crude protein: 380 g kg−1) and isocaloric (gross energy: 16 kJ g−1) diets. For GC, a significant decrease in specific growth rate (SGR) was only observed in fish fed the SBM diet compared with the control (P < 0.05). Principal components analysis (PCA) of GC showed a higher similarity in antioxidant response to dietary supplementation with MGM and SBM proteins between liver and intestine, but the DC did not. The present results suggest that supplementing 390 g kg−1 MGM protein to basal diet cause an enhancement of the antioxidant capacity in GC, but supplementing 390 g kg−1 MGM and 450 g kg−1 SBM proteins to basal diets resulted in a significant attenuation of the antioxidant capacity in DC.