What Do Goldfish Eat? What if Out of Fish Food?

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One of the most important aspects of proper goldfish care is giving your pet balanced nutrition in the appropriate quantities.

Fish can suffer a lot if they consume a poor diet or quantity.

Although goldfish can happily accept most items, it is important to provide them with a diverse diet. It helps in keeping the goldfish satisfied and fit while also maintaining the digestive system’s health.

What Do Goldfish Eat?

It’s a good idea to combine items like flakes, pellets, veggies, and living food. The primary food for a goldfish must be high-quality, carbohydrate-rich fish pellets or flakes.

Ideally, a diet’s nutritional information should include 40% energy, 44% carbs, 10% fats, and 6% vitamins and minerals.

Supplementing these fish pellets and flake mixtures with living meat and veggies are also recommended.

We will discuss all the food items, including pellets, fruits, veggies, as well as other treats that are good for your goldfish’s health.

What Foods Do Goldfish Eat in The Wild?

Goldfish consume plants, prawns, and bugs. These omnivores are voracious predators who have some issues controlling themselves; they will keep eating even when it hurts them.

They can consume the following foods:

  • Algae
  • Phytoplankton
  • Insects
  • Tadpoles
  • Dead plant material
  • Worms
  • Fish larvae
  • Daphnia
  • Red worms
  • Brine shrimp
  • Mysis prawn
  • Aquatic bugs
  • Young crabs
  • Spinach
  • Anacharis
  • Insect larvae

These are simply a few things that a goldfish consume during its entire life in its natural habitat. Many goldfish like to consume flies, mosquito larvae, plants, and also the nests of invertebrates or other fish.

Their jaws are quite tiny, making it difficult for them to ingest large amounts of food, and their hunting ability is restricted to killing small animals.

Goldfish are excellent omnivorous, though, and they actually enjoy looking for their favorite foods all day.

What Do Goldfish Eat as Pets?

Even if goldfish were originally specifically produced in China nearly 2,000 years back for feed, they are now more frequently found wandering in a household tank. They are popular as pets because of their attractiveness and potential to thrive in environments that might be unsuitable for many fish.

They are usually housed in tanks or private reservoirs; however, they can sometimes be found in natural streams when homeowners abandon them because they can grow huge. Their nutrition varies depending on whether they are feral animals or raised in household tanks.

These diets are recommended for goldfish kept as pets:

  • Bacterial wafers
  • Dry flakes
  • Artemia
  • Bloodworms
  • Blackworms
  • Glass shrimp
  • Squid
  • Tuberous Worm
  • Water flea
  • Grasshoppers
  • Wax worms
  • Processed food pellets
  • Fish tank crabs
  • Peas
  • Cabbage
  • Green beans

Although goldfish are capable of eating the things mentioned above, many people choose to give tank fish prepackaged diet pellets. In order to help them develop a little more, goldfish housed in ponds are frequently fed veggies that have been cut up, seaweed wafers, and larvae.

Goldfish housed in ponds frequently continue to feast on bugs that approach their surroundings, such as flies. It’s a good thing since it keeps bugs from exploiting the pond to thrive.

A goldfish’s food must be carefully monitored in order to ensure that its dietary requirements are fulfilled.

What Do Fry Goldfish Eat?

Feeding a fry may be more difficult than you anticipate since the nutrition you offer could impact their growth. The most difficult task they confront is getting food items that could easily fit into their tiny mouths.

Freshly hatched embryos are considerably smaller than their mom and dad. They require food to develop, though, and they can grow very fast.

Newborns like to spend some time in the comfort of the greenery. They would either hoover up any ground waste or nibble on the flora in this area. They can easily get nourishment from algae.

You must include only smaller food items. You may achieve this by chopping things up or just tearing down the flakey food to get smaller bits. You can also purchase feeds that are created particularly for fry. These often come in the liquid, granular, or flaky form and are packed with protein.

Some foods are difficult to consume. Live meals are usually huge and are not ideal for young goldfish. Frozen meals must be thoroughly minced before serving.

If you’re raising the babies in a separate container, you may relocate them with their parents when they reach about one inch in length. They can easily consume adult food at this stage of their lives.

What Can Goldfish Eat Instead of Fish Food?

To complement their daily intake, goldfish could sometimes enjoy different types of special snacks along with their standard meal. These items provide just trace quantities – approximately what a fish may consume in a minute or two. You can give these treats around every third day. They can consume:

  • Peas without shells (skinless)
  • Bloodworms (fresh, chilled, or dried)
  • Artemia (fresh, frozen, or dried)
  • Glass shrimp (fresh, frozen, or dried)
  • Water fleas (fresh, frozen, or dried)
  • Waxworms (fresh, frozen, or dried)
  • Grasshoppers (fresh, frozen, or dried)
  • Green leaves (lettuce, swiss chard, cabbage, silver beet, etc.)
  • Boiled rice
  • Broccoli (cooked or steamed)
  • Diced corn (cooked or steamed)
  • Skinned and chopped zucchini (cooked or steamed)
  • Skinned, sliced, cooked, or steamed carrots
  • Grapes (peeled and sliced)
  • Cucumber pieces (cooked or steamed)
  • Sliced oranges
  • Sliced watermelons
  • Marine algae flakes

What Human Food Can a Goldfish Eat?

There are several types of food available in the market for goldfish apart from commercial fish pellets. There are several fruits and veggies that goldfish can consume.

Vegetables that goldfish may consume include:

  1. Peas
  2. Lettuce
  3. Swiss chard
  4. Collard
  5. Chard
  6. Cucumber slices
  7. Yams
  8. Potatoes
  9. Squash
  10. Carrots
  11. Crucifer
  12. Brussels sprouts
  13. Gourd
  14. Cabbage
  15. Green beans

Fruits that goldfish may consume include:

  1. Grapes
  2. Tangerine
  3. Watermelon
  4. Maize
  5. Apple
  6. Banana
  7. Blueberries
  8. Strawberries
  9. Quince
  10. Mangoes

What Foods Are Toxic for Goldfish?

Goldfish have to stay away from certain foodstuffs when you’re attempting to maintain their well-being, or you meet feral goldfish.

We will go through a few items that are not good for their health and should not be offered to your pet.

Grains, chips, and bread could make your goldfish bloated, which could end up killing them. Conventional fish meal lacks the nutrition these species require and clogs the environment more often than feeds particularly designed for goldfish.

Since they are opportunistic feeders, meat and bacon should be avoided by goldfish since their high levels of cholesterol could contaminate the environment and harm the fish’s kidneys.

Can You Feed Goldfish Bread?

Nope, bread is toxic for Goldfish. Bread might make Goldfish nauseous since it absorbs water as it enters the gut. The bread contains gluten, which they find extremely challenging to ingest. Therefore, you should not offer them bread.

In case you don’t have enough food left, then there are many safe food items that you can offer your pet, or you can also keep your fish on a fasting stage for a few hours until you get their food. Goldfish can go for several weeks without eating anything.

Although it is not advised and is generally a bad practice to keep your pet starving for more than a week. Bread is not just toxic to goldfish but to many species that could die from eating it.

Many people often serve bread crumbs or grains to several fish in the wild without having any knowledge about their specific dietary needs, which could result in mass death. Therefore, you should not offer anything that you are not sure about to these innocent creatures.

The Don’ts of Feeding Goldfish

Below are a few suggestions on the things you should not do while offering food to your pet:

Do Not Overfeed Your Goldfish

Avoid feeding your goldfish extra feed even when you believe they could still consume more between their feeding time. Keep in mind that goldfish are small hungry creatures who have no sense of when they should refrain from eating. If you leave them plenty of food, they would develop bloating. You might be surprised to know that they can devour their offspring as well.

You may naturally expect that your pet is bloated if it appears a bit inflated. Another method to tell if you have overfed your goldfish is by checking if their tank is unhygienic and full of debris. If you notice your tank getting too filthy, then your pet probably is excreating a lot of waste.

Do Not Leave Leftover Food in Their Tank Water

Keep in mind that goldfish shouldn’t be fed additional feed than they are able to consume within two minutes. Therefore, when those two minutes have passed, and there is still feed in the tank that has not been consumed, you can physically extract the feed.

If not, it would deteriorate and break down, degrading the water’s condition and, to some extent, turning it toxic. Among the main reasons why goldfish die is due to an excessive amount of debris in the aquarium’s water.

Do Not Feed Excessively in Low Water Temperature

Give your pet comparatively less feed if the water temperature drops to 8°C or 45° F. Due to their homoeothermic nature, goldfish have difficulty digesting protein in cold water. It is most commonly applied to fish living in ponds.

Do Not Feed Your Goldfish Fatty Food

Fish are unable to effectively process mammalian fatty acids, such as those found in pork or beef organs; hence, they should not be offered to them.

How Often Should You Feed Your Goldfish?

If you can maintain consistent feeding schedules, your pet would pick up on the patterns and develop expectations for the food at specific periods throughout the day.

Whenever they anticipate getting food, they will begin to get more energetic and assemble near the top. If they continue to act in this way between meals, avoid the impulse to give them food and follow your strategy.

Give your goldfish balanced meals at least twice daily. They don’t have strong digestive tracts to process a day’s supply of meals in one go. They usually distribute their meals throughout the day when they were in their natural habitat. Offer them enough nourishment in every meal so that they are able to consume it quickly—in under two minutes.

Even when they appear to have room for additional food, don’t give them anything since they are certainly being greedy. In case you think you are giving them more than usual, feed them a bit less. Any additional food would result in overeating and bloating. Keep an eye out for inflammation in the area surrounding the gut, which is the primary sign of bloating.

Fish might become upset and start eating less if there is excess feed in the aquarium because it could degrade and impact the water’s condition.

Some Tips While Feeding Your Goldfish

Knowing what your pet eats would enable you to provide your goldfish with a diverse, nutritious diet. To ensure that the fish are well-fed:

  • Feed your goldfish at regular intervals throughout the day. The fish would become used to know who is providing them food and would reach the top to consume food. They could even be taught to eat from your fingers with enough practice and care.
  • Treat your pet twice daily in small quantities for approximately 2-3 minutes. You will have to figure out the amount of feed to give in each one-minute session in order for the goldfish to consume everything.
  • If the aquarium becomes muddy soon, the goldfish are just being overfed and creating an excessive amount of feces. To help the fish get used to their healthy routine, gradually cut back on the feed and occasionally add rewards to the fish meal.
  • In order to satisfy the interests of various fish, simply feed snacks once or twice every week and experiment with a selection of various treats. Goldfish, the same as people, have unique dietary needs and eating habits.
  • After giving the fish their meal, take out any leftover snacks and fish meal in under 15 minutes. Unconsumed food could spoil, making it hazardous for the goldfish while also making the aquarium unsafe and generating more pollutants. Eliminating leftover food would also assist in managing your pet’s nutrition to prevent overdosing.
  • Cleansing the aquarium after a meal is an excellent practice since it allows you to eliminate any leftover items after every meal.

What Nutrients Are Essential for Your Goldfish to Grow Faster?

The speedy and perfect development of your Goldfish depends on a number of factors. However, a significant factor in your Goldfish’s rapid development is its diet.

The goldfish diet is usually rich in nutrients and moderate in carbohydrates. Consider these factors when selecting feed for your pet to ensure optimal maturation.


Goldfish, as compared to other species, need a diet containing plenty of protein. Protein needs differ between tiny and large goldfish. As a result, while your Goldfish is young, its daily nutrition should consist of around 45% protein.

Additionally, the meals of the large Goldfish must have 30% protein. Since plant protein is comparatively simple for Goldfish to process, this is the optimal alternative to give them.


The goldfish meals must contain 5-10% fat.

Animal fat is a much better option for them as it is far healthier for goldfish.


Like humans, goldfish need vitamin supplements for good development. Goldfish also need the majority of the micronutrients we need, including A, D, K, and folate.

While goldfish could produce the majority of their own micronutrients, you still have to give them a few. Thankfully, the fish chow has every nutrient your Goldfish needs.

If you provide Goldfish with nutritious food, vitamin insufficiency is generally not a concern. Additionally, simply to be cautious, you may give them chilled or fresh earthworms.


Similar to humans, goldfish also need small amounts of minerals.

The water provides mineral resources to goldfish. Mineral deficiencies are often not a concern for goldfish.

Low Carbohydrate and Fiber

The meals of goldfish should have relatively little fiber and carbs. Because of this, you need to select fish feed designed specifically for Goldfish.

Carbohydrate is commonly listed as “larger quantities” on the box of fish meal; therefore, ensure it is less than 10% while purchasing fish feed for your beloved pet.

Your fish could become sick if you consume too many carbs.

Goldfish occasionally enjoy nibbling on tank vegetation because they may readily obtain the nutrients they need from plants.

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How Long Can Goldfish Survive Without Food?

A goldfish may last for up to two weeks without consuming anything. But you should not leave them starving if you are going out for a vacation.

You can ask your friend or a neighbor to feed your fish in your absence. You could also use an automated fish feeder; however, they are only limited to feeding fish pellets and flakes.

Do Goldfish Have Teeth?

Yes, though neither their appearance nor the placement of their teeth matches your beliefs. Pharyngeal canines are what goldfish use for chewing.

They have a flattened form and assist the fish in breaking down their feed. These teeth are present close to the end of their throats.

Can Goldfish Eat Other Fish?

When given sufficient nourishment, goldfish are not an aggressive fish species by nature. Goldfish, on the other hand, are prone to eating tiny fish species as they devour almost everything that fits in their mouths.


Caring for your goldfish should not be complicated; in fact, it’s usually quite simple. Since they are omnivores, their dietary needs are less complicated than other species.

The fish will not mind if their dietary routine is changed. The trick is to change things up from different kinds of vegetables, fruits, and live feed.

Having a diverse diet keeps fish interested throughout mealtimes and guarantees they are receiving all the micronutrients they require.

You will be blessed with strong and stunning colored goldfish if you diversify their food, give them two to three feeds every day, and watch out for overconsumption.

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