What Can Goldfish Eat? Complete Guide To Feeding Goldfish

Goldfish are one of the easiest fish to care for. Like any other fish they require a balanced diet, so it is important to know what food you can and can not feed a gold fish.

Goldfish have long life spans of up to 10 years in an aquarium or up to 25 if kept in an outdoor pond, So it is important to know what they can eat.  In this article I will cover the following topics

Contents
List Of Food Your Goldfish Can Eat
List Of Vegetables Your Goldfish Can Eat
List Of Fruit Your Goldfish Can Eat
List Of Foods Your Goldfish Can Not Eat
What Live Food Can I Feed My Goldfish
What Plants Do Goldfish Eat
What Can I Feed My Goldfish If I Run Out Of Food
What Food To Feed Goldfish While On Vacation
What To Feed Goldfish In A Pond
What Do Goldfish Eat In The Wild

Whether you are feeding fancy goldfish or comet or common, they all have the same diet requirements.

What Can Goldfish Eat

All goldfish are omnivores which means that they have a wide choice of foods available to them to eat.

They will also keep eating as long as there is food around. It is very important to feed them a correct amount of food each feeding time, this will reduce the risk of them over eating.

Over feeding can cause the fish digestive problems which can lead to disease and even death in rare occasions.

How Often Should Goldfish Be Fed? You should feed goldfish 2 times every day, give them enough food that they can consume in around 2 minutes.  If it takes them longer than 2 minutes to eat the food you have over fed them.

Lets take a look at the food they can eat

List Of Food Your Goldfish Can Eat

Below is a list of foods your goldfish can eat

Tropical Fish Flakes

The key to a healthy diet is to feed your fish tropical fish flakes (Available to buy on Amazon) The flakes will contain all of the nutrients and vitamins your fish will need to thrive, they also contain the correct amount of protein the fish needs.  This is what I recommend to feed your fish daily.

Tropical Fish Pellets

Same as feeding your fish flakes, but some people prefer pellets because this will minimise the amount of air your goldfish will need to gulp to consume this food. I only recommend to feed pellets to larger goldfish as the smaller ones might have trouble to swallow the pallets.

If you want to use pellets make sure you purchase Amazon

Rice

Goldfish will happily eat rice.  You should only feed your fish a small amount of rice at a time, roughly 3-4 grains and the rice needs to be cooked.  Rice should only be seen as a treat and given once a week max.

Oatmeal

Goldfish can eat oatmeal but it should not be a replacement for there main diet as oatmeal does not contain all the nutrients, fiber, protein and vitamins the fish needs.  You will need to cook the oatmeal and cool it down before giving it to your fish.

Prawns

Prawns are a good food choice to feed to your goldfish because they are high in protein and contain the right amount of fat for the fish. Make sure to remove any uneaten prawns from your water as it can pollute the water.

You will need to defrost the prawns in cold water, then make sure they are clean before cooking them. Cut them in to small pieces before giving to your fish

Earthworms

Your fish can eat earthworms as long as the worms are small enough to swallow.  You can feed them live, dried or frozen worms, they will prefer live worms.

Grains

Small grains of food will be ok to feed your fish, make sure the grains have been cleaned, cooked and cooled before feeding to your fish.

Boiled Egg

A boiled egg is a perfect treat that you can feed your fish as it is soft and they will be able to swallow it easily.  Do not season the egg with salt or pepper, give it to the fish plain.

Algae

Goldfish will eat just about anything and this includes algae.  The algae is actually a perfect meal for them as it contains high levels of nutrients which will help to give the goldfish a balanced diet.

Do not actively try to grow algae in your aquarium as the algae will reduce the water quality in your tank and can lead to many issues for your fish.

List Of Vegetables Your Goldfish Can Eat

Vegetables Your Goldfish Can Eat

Feeding your fish vegetables is a great way to introduce fiber in to their diet.  Make sure to only feed your fish vegetables once a week as a treat.

If you feed them vegetables more than once a week they will get to much fiber and this can cause issues such as constipation.

Below is a list of vegetables your goldfish can eat

Peas

You can feed your goldfish peas once a week as a treat.  Peas are great source of fiber and help to give your fish a well balanced diet.  Only feed 2-3 peas per fish.

I recommend to boil they peas before giving them to your fish as this will make them soft and your fish will be able to eat them easier.

Varieties of peas you can feed include

  • Garden Peas
  • Snow Peas
  • Snap Peas
  • Frozen Peas
  • Split Peas
  • Canned Peas

Lettuce

Goldfish will happily eat all varieties of lettuce, red lettuce is soft and easy for them to chew.  Before you give the lettuce to your fish rinse the lettuce under the tap to clean it then put it in warm water to soften it up.

It is important not to cook or put the lettuce in boiling water as this will remove the nutrients and vitamins the fish will need.

Cabbage

Cabbage make a great meal for your goldfish as it is high in nutrients and low in fat. Make sure to clean the cabbage and soak in warm water before feeding to your fish.

Spinach

Spinach is a good vegetable to give your goldfish. Make sure to wash it and place in warm water before putting in your tank.  Do not cook the spinach as this will remove the nutrients and vitamins the fish will need.

Cucumber

You can feed cucumber to your goldfish once a week.  Make sure the cucumber is fresh and well cleaned before putting it in the tank.  Chop the cucumber in to thin slices as this will help your fish when they come to eat it.

Carrots

Carrots are a good vegetable to give your goldfish, They are high in protein and should be fed to your fish no more than 2 times a week.  Make sure the carrots are pealed, cooked and chopped in to small pieces before giving to your fish.

Cauliflower

Cauliflower is high in nutrients and low in fat and is perfect to feed to your goldfish. Wash the cauliflower and cook it before giving it to your fish.

Broccoli

Broccoli is high in nutrients and low in fat and is perfect to feed to your goldfish. Wash the Broccoli and cook it before giving it to your fish.

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes can be fed to goldfish once a week.  Sweet potatoes are a great meal for your fish due to them containing high protein.

Corn

You can feed your fish corn once a week as a treat.  Corn is a great source of fiber and help to give your fish a well balanced diet.  Only feed 2-3 corns per fish.

Kale

Kale will be ok to feed to your goldfish.  Make sure to clean the Kale first, then boil it in water for 5 minutes to soften it up.  Then cut it up in to small chunks before placing it in your tank.

Chard

Chard is a green leaf that is perfect for feeding to your goldfish. Make sure to clean the chard and soak in cool water before placing it in to your tank.

Zucchini

Zucchini is a summer squash and will make a good meal for your fish. Make sure the Zucchini is fresh and well cleaned before putting it in the tank.  Chop the Zucchini in to thin slices as this will help your fish when they come to eat it.

Pumpkin

Pumpkin is high in nutrients and low in fat and is perfect to feed to your goldfish. Wash the Pumpkin and cook it before giving it to your fish

Garlic

Believe it or not you can feed garlic to your fish.  Simply chop up the garlic in to small pieces and give it to your fish raw.  Make sure to remove any uneaten garlic as this can pollute the water.

List Of Fruit Your Goldfish Can Eat

Fruit Your Goldfish Can Eat

Fruit is an important part of a fish’s diet because it is a good source of nutrients and are low in fat.

Below is a list of vegetables your goldfish can eat

Grapes

Goldfish will happily eat grapes, but you should only give it to them as a treat.  Grapes contain a high amount of sugar and very little nutrients.

Oranges

Oranges are a good food to feed your fish as it contains high amounts of vitamin c.  Oranges should only be fed as a treat at the most once a week.  Oranges contain high amounts of sugar and your fish will not be able to consume much sugar.

Watermelon

Watermelon is one of the healthier fruits you can feed your goldfish.  Watermelon should only be fed to your fish at the most once a week.

Apple

Apples can be an important part of a fish diet as they are a good source of nutrients and are low in fat. Make sure to wash the apple and cut in to small peices when feeding to your fish.

Banana

Fish love to eat bananas. Bananas are soft and your fish will have no problem to swallow it.  Bananas contain high amounts of sugar and should only be fed to your fish at the most once a week.

Pears

Fish will happily eat pears, but you should only give it to them as a treat.  pears contain a high amount of sugar and very little nutrients. Make sure to peal and wash the pears before giving them to your fish

Raspberries

Whilst fish can eat Raspberries I recommend you do not feed them Raspberries.  Raspberries are harder to cut in to small pieces and are one of the few fruits that can pollute the water if they are not eaten strait away.

Strawberries

Whilst fish can eat Strawberries I recommend you do not feed them Strawberries.  Strawberries are harder to cut in to small pieces and are one of the few fruits that can pollute the water if they are not eaten strait away.

Mango

Fish will eat Mango but be aware that Mango are high in sugar and because of this you should only feed Mango to your fish at the most once every week.  Make sure to peal and wash the mango before giving it as a treat.

Blueberries

Goldfish will eat blueberries as long as the skin has been removed.  They can not eat the skin because it is tough and hard to break down.

List Of Foods Your Goldfish Can Not Eat

Foods Your Goldfish Can Not Eat

It is important to know which foods your fish can not eat because it will cause some sort of issue for your fish such as constipation or can even be poisonous.

Below is a list of foods that your goldfish can not eat.

Bread

Bread should not be fed to goldfish as it will swell up inside the goldfish.  This can cause constipation for the fish and can also cause issues with their intestines and can even cause death.

Bread contains yeast which will expand when it comes in to contact with water.

Another ingredient that causes issues for goldfish is gluten. They are unable to break down and process gluten which will cause issues with the intestines.

In the UK feeding bread to fish has been banned because of the damage it can do to the fish.

Weetabix

Your fish can not eat weetabix because they can not process it. It also does not contain any nutrition that your fish will need. The weetabix will also pollute the tank if gone uneaten.

Dog Food

You should never feed your goldfish dog food.  The goldfish are not able to process many ingredients in dog food and it will make your fish ill if they did eat dog food.

Cat Food

You should never feed your goldfish cat food.  The goldfish are not able to process many ingredients in cat food and it will make your fish ill if they did eat cat food.

Crackers / Biscuits

Crackers and biscuits should not be fed to fish.  These foods will expand when they have been eaten and will cause many issues

Cereal

Cereal should not be fed to fish because it contains many extra ingredients that fish simply can not process. Especially ingredients such as chocolate or marshmallow.

What Live Food Can I Feed My Goldfish

Live Food Can I Feed My Goldfish

Goldfish typically go mad when they see live food in the tank.  They will eat until all of the live food has gone.

It is very important not to over feed your fish with live food.  If you are going to feed your fish live food it should only be given as a treat once a week max.

Below is a list of live food that you can feed your goldfish

Brine Shrimp

Brine shrimp is a perfect treat that your goldfish will love to eat. Brine shrimp is very common live food and is available to buy at most pet shops.  It can also be quite fun watching your fish trying to catch these shrimp.

Bloodworms

Bloodworms are a food that your goldfish will go mad for.  They make a perfect meal as they are high in protein.  Bloodworms should only be fed to your fish once a week at the max.

Daphnia

Daphnia is a perfect treat that your goldfish will love to eat. Daphnia are small and best suit smaller goldfish.  It can also be quite fun watching your fish trying to catch these.

Tubifex Worms

All fresh water five love to feed on tubifex worms, these worms are very popular food for aquariums.  Make sure they are cleaned before adding them to your tank.

Some of these worms are sourced from sewers so it is important to make sure they are cleaned before being put in your tank.

Tadpoles

Goldfish love to eat tadpoles, They love to chase and hunt them and they make a good meal for the goldfish as they are high in protein.  Tadpoles are a great choice of food because they are easy to collect when in spawning season.

You will need to separate your goldfish and tadpoles because the goldfish will eat all of them even when they are already full.

It is important not to over feed your fish because this can cause issues such as constipation.

Tadpoles make great pray because they are easily caught by the goldfish.

Glass Worms

Glass worms will make a nice treat for your fish.  They can easily be bought from your local pet shop and are once of the cleanest live food you can get.

Slugs

Your fish will eat any slugs that are small enough to swallow. The slim coating on a slug is not appealing to your fish and most of the time they will skip this meal.

Slugs are known to eat things that fish can not process very easily, So if you have slugs in your aquarium get rid of them as soon as possible,

Krill

Krill are small shrimp looking live food that your fish will love to eat.  They are high in protein and will be a great addition to your fish’s diet

Aquarium Snails

If there are small snails in your aquarium the goldfish will eat them if they are hungry. If you feed your fish regularly then they should not eat the snails. If there are dead snails in your tank make sure to remove them as soon as you can because if your fish eat them it could cause them an issue.

Leeches

Goldfish will eat any Leeches they find that are small enough to swallow. The coating on a Leeches is not appealing to your fish and most of the time they will skip this meal.

What Plants Do Goldfish Eat

Plants Do Goldfish Eat

Goldfish will eat almost anything which includes plants.  If you plan to keep live plants in a tank with goldfish I recommend that you get a quick growing plant as the fish love to nip them.

Below is a list of plants that your goldfish can eat

Duckweed

Duckweed is a floating plant that your fish will love to snack on.  It is one of the most common plants that are kept in aquariums. This plant is good for your fish as it contains vitamin c.

Azolla

Azolla is a small floating plant that fish love to eat. This plant is perfect for fish as it ads much needed nutrient’s and vitamins to the fish’s diet.

Salvinia

Salvinia is a soft floating plant that fish love to eat. This plant is perfect for fish as it ads much needed nutrient’s and vitamins to the fish’s diet.

Anacharis

The Anacharis plant is perfect to feed to your fish because it is a fast growing plant and your fish are less likely to kill it by nipping on it.

Seaweed

Seaweed is a popular treat that you can give your fish.  I recommend to buy plain dried seaweed which contains no flavouring or added salt.

Watercress

Watercress is an aquatic plant that your goldfish will love to feed on. Adding watercress to your aquarium will help to mimic what goldfish would eat in the wild.

Elodea

Elodea is an aquatic plant that your fish will love to eat. Adding elodea to your aquarium will help to mimic what goldfish would eat in the wild.

Jungle val

Fish have been known to eat Jungle val, Most of the time they will not eat this plant because it is not very appealing to the fish.

What Can I Feed My Goldfish If I Run Out Of Food

Goldfish If I Run Out Of Food

If you have run out of fish food, you can feed your fish alternative food, but it should only be done for the short term as your fish will not be getting the required dietary needs from the replacement food.

If you have run out of fish food you can feed your goldfish the following

  • Boiled vegetables such as, Carrots, Peas, Cabbage, Spinach, Corn
  • White Fish, Frozen, Prawn, Shrimp
  • Fruit which includes Grapes, Oranges, Apple, Banana, Pear
  • Rice
  • Oatmeal
  • Earthworms, Small Snails
  • Plants, Including Azolla, Salvinia, Watercress
  • Plain Boiled Egg

With vegetables it is important to clean them and boil them to make them soft before giving them to your fish.

With frozen food you will need to defrost it in cool water, then cook and cool down.

Fruit should also be washed and cut in to small pieces.

Grains such as rice and oatmeal should be cooked and cooled down.

What Food To Feed Goldfish While On Vacation

Automatic Feeder

Goldfish can go up to two weeks with out being fed.  If you are going on vacation you will need to make sure they are going to be fed whilst you are away.

There are a few foods which you can feed your fish while you are away

Automatic Feeder

By using an automatic feeder (Available on Amazon) you can feed your fish on a schedule while you are away on vacation.

You can use the feeder to feed flakes or pellets to your fish. You will need to set the feeder to feed your goldfish twice a day and give them enough food that they can eat for two minutes.

Feeding Blocks

Putting a feeder block (Available on Amazon) in your aquarium is also another option.

The block will slowly dissolve to provide your fish with the nourishment they require.  Feeding blocks typically last up to 7 days, so if your vacation is longer than 7 days you will need to look in to an automatic feeder.

What To Feed Goldfish In A Pond

Goldfish In A Pond

It is important to feed goldfish in a pond a balanced diet, the best way to do this is to feed them goldfish flakes or pallets.

You will need to feed them twice a day and give them enough food that they can eat for two minutes.

It is also important to know that if the water temperature is above 60f the fish’s metabolism will be high and they will require food rich in protein such as live food.

If the water temperature is below 60f the fish’s metabolism will be less and as a result they will require food which is lower in protein and higher in carbohydrates such as fruits and vegetables.

There will also be things in the natural environment of the pond that the fish will eat such as

  • Plants
  • Insects such as flies, worms
  • Macroinvertebrates such as caddisfly, mayfly
  • Tadpoles

If you wish to feed your goldfish additional food you can feed them

  • Vegetables such as Peas, Carrots, Lettuce, Potato
  • Fruit such as Grapes, Watermelon, Pumpkin, Mango
  • Plain Boiled Eggs
  • Live Food such as Brine Shrimp, Blood Worms, Earthworms
  • Frozen Fish such as White Fish, Shrimp, Prawn (Defrost and cook first)
  • Rice
  • Oatmeal
  • Small Grains

What Do Goldfish Eat In The Wild

Goldfish Eat In The Wild

In the wild goldfish will eat almost everything they come across which mostly includes insects, plants and crustaceans.

The fish will eat everything they come across and will not stop eating even when they are full.

Below is a list of what goldfish eat in the wild.

  • Plants
  • Insects
  • Crustaceans
  • Algae
  • Rotting plant matter
  • Other smaller fish

What Nutrients Do Goldfish Require?

A goldfish will require a balanced diet in order for them to grow at an optimum level.  The food they eat plays the biggest role in the fish development.   Lets take a look at the requirements.

Protein

Goldfish require a high level of protein in their diet. When the fish is young they will require food containing around 45% protein.  When the fish is fully grown they will require around 30%  protein.

Fat

The diet should contain 5% – 10% fat.  Animal and plant fat is the best for them.

Vitamins

Goldfish require vitamins to help aid them with their growth.   They will require the vitamins a, d, k as well as folic acid.  If you are feeding your fish flakes or pallets this will contain all the vitamins they will need.

Minerals

Small amounts of minerals are required. The fish will get the minerals from the water they are living in.  It is important that the water quality is not poor as they will not get the minerals they require.

F.A.Q

What Is The Best Diet For Goldfish? The best thing you can give your goldfish to make sure they have a good balanced diet is fish flakes or pellets.

What Food Makes Goldfish Grow Fast? If you want your fish to grown fast you can give them vegetables to eat once a week.  Vegetables are high in nutrition and will help your fish to develop faster.

Do Goldfish Need To be Fed Every Day? Goldfish do not need to be fed every day and can go up to 2 weeks without food, but, It is important for your fish to have a routine when being fed by being fed twice a day at the same times if possible,

How Long Can Goldfish Live Without Food? A goldfish can live up to 2 weeks with out food. If you are planning to be away from your fish for a long time I recommend to get an automatic feeder for them.

Signs of Overfeeding Your Goldfish? When feeding your goldfish you need to give them enough food that they can eat for no longer than 2 minutes. If you have over fed them you will see excessive food accumulating in the substrate.

What To Do If You Have Overfed Your Goldfish? If you have overfed your goldfish you should stop feeding them for 1 day.  You should also remove and replace 10% of the aquariums water because there could be rotting food which will consume the oxygen the fish need to live

What To feed Goldfish To Make Them Big? You can feed live food to your goldfish if you wish to make them big.  Live foods are high in protein and will help your fish to grow.  Only feed live food to your fish once a week max as a treat.

Do Goldfish Have Teeth? Goldfish do not have teeth, they crush their food with muscles in their throats.

Do Goldfish Eat Other Fish? Goldfish are not aggressive and will not actively hunt over fish to eat. But if they are hungry they will eat smaller fish if they can catch them.

Do Goldfish Eat Their Poop? Goldfish do not eat poop, You might see them nibble at poop, this is because they think it might be a live food such as a worm.  As soon as they relies it is poop they will spit it out.