What To Feed Goldfish When Out Of Fish Food

What you feed goldfish is an essential determinant of their general well-being. Most aquarists often go for fish food to ensure that they are feeding goldfish with an appropriate diet. However, if you find yourself in a situation where you unavoidably run out of fish food, there are specific alternatives that can still meet the nutritional needs of your fish.

If you are out of fish food, you can feed your goldfish with live or frozen foods, green vegetables, as well as some human food as alternatives. You can get live foods such as worms, shrimp, and daphnia or vegetables such as peas and lettuce. Hard-boiled eggs are also a good alternative for goldfish.

Nevertheless, this does not mean goldfish will eat just anything if you are out of fish food. It still requires you to ration what to feed to them to suit their demands and meet their nutritional needs. Likewise, you should note that goldfish won’t stop eating as long as it is available to them.

What To Feed Goldfish When Out Of Fish Food

Feeding Goldfish

What you feed to goldfish is quite vital to their health, growth, and lifespan. Goldfish are lovers of food, and they will continue feeding as long as you supply them.

You can choose to feed goldfish with already made fish food or other alternatives. However, a varied diet will ensure that you are meeting all the nutritional needs of your fish. You can mix goldfish flakes with granule, live foods, frozen foods, as well as vegetables, and some human foods.

They enjoy feeding on live foods such as brine shrimp, which they can also eat while it is frozen. Shelled peas, ghost shrimps, daphnia, mealworms, crickets, and bloodworms are also the right choice of food for your goldfish.

Live and frozen foods mainly ensure that your fish get an adequate supply of proteins. Some human foods, like hard-boiled eggs, also supply goldfish with an abundant amount of proteins.

Also, feeding your fish with a nice veggie mix will ensure that they are getting an adequate supply of vitamins, while also providing a varying taste for your fish.  Small duckweed, lettuce, and scaled peas are most suitable. Vegetables can also supply goldfish with an abundant amount of carbohydrates.

You should, however, note that not all human foods are suitable for goldfish. For instance, goldfish have difficulty in digesting mammalian fats. Therefore, feeding them beef heart, meat, or offal might not be very suitable.

Also, there is a deep connection between environmental or tank conditions and feeding habits of goldfish. The water temperature of goldfish can determine how well they will digest certain foods.

How Often Should You Feed Goldfish?

Goldfish will keep feeding as long as they have what to eat in their tanks. Goldfish never get filled up simply because they lack stomachs. If care is not taken, you might end up overfeeding goldfish if you keep supplying them as much as they keep eating.

Goldfish eat as much as you supply them; hence, they have a probability of overfeeding. Consequently, it becomes your duty to ration what you feed and how often you feed your goldfish.

On average, feeding goldfish about 2-3 times per day is sufficient to meet their nutritional demands. You should only feed fry more times in their first few weeks because of their rapid growth and high metabolism.

Also, you should add the food to their tank in bits, and you should ensure you don’t supply them with food that they can’t finish in about 2 minutes. And you should make sure you evacuate all food leftovers after this period.

Overloading your goldfish tank with food or leaving leftovers in the tank can be of detrimental effects. Aside from the fact that the leftover food can get stuck in your filter, it can also rot to increase the amount of ammonia and other organic wastes in your tank.

The malfunction of your filter, accumulation of ammonia, and other organic waste can negatively affect the general health of your tank members. It can lead to a general deterioration in the tank conditions, consequently, their health conditions.

How Long Can Goldfish Go Without Food?

Due to the love of goldfish for foods, most aquarists worry about the feeding of their goldfish if they are away from home for a few days or even weeks. It is good to know that your goldfish won’t die the moment you stop feeding them. They can still survive over a certain period with little or no consequences at all.

As long as your tank conditions are favorable, goldfish can survive 8-14 days without food and still thrive well. You might only need to get help with your aquarium if you intend to stay away for more than two weeks.

You should, however, ensure you leave other tank conditions at an optimum level to prevent the fish from getting sick or stressed. Likewise, you should be sure your fish is without any health complications or sick before leaving them for such periods.

It is also paramount for aquarists to resist the temptation of overloading the tank with food before leaving.  Overloading your container with food certainly does more harm than good. Aside from the fact that it won’t serve your intended purpose, it will also pollute the water.

This pollution can lead to the accumulation of toxins like ammonia in the tank. It can also compromise other tank parameters such as pH. Overall, it will most likely cause lethal damage to your fish in a few days.


Goldfish are enormous lovers of food, and they can feed almost every time. Running out of food is not the dead-end for goldfish, as they can still feed on a wide range of alternatives. Vegetables, live foods, frozen foods, as well as some human foods can serve as valuable alternatives.

Nevertheless, running out of food is not an excuse to feed goldfish anything or inappropriate food as they can react negatively to it. You should ration the alternatives in a manner that will still meet their nutritional needs. Also, you should only feed them with suitable options.

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