How Often To Feed Goldfish? (Exemplary Guide)

| Published On: is supported by its audience. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn More
Guide On How Often To Feed Goldfish

Keeping an aquarium in the house is an excellent way to relish the ownership of a pet. The aquarium doesn’t require that much maintenance, and it would not be a headache for you.

The ultimate question that usually arises is how often you should feed your goldfish. It is very important to understand and get knowledge regarding the feeding of goldfish.

If someone feeds too much to the goldfish, then it causes severe live threatening problems. Most people are conscious of whether they feed their goldfish at the proper time or not.

As a human being, you cannot understand the language of fish, but you have to get experience to ensure the good health of your goldfish.

In this article, we will talk about all the aspects of a goldfish’s life and how often you should feed them. Let’s continue reading in order to get more interesting insights about the goldfish.

How Long Can Goldfish Go Without Food?

As per professional aquarists, goldfish can live for up to 2 weeks without consuming any food. It does not mean that you should leave them alone without any food and see what happens. If you feed them after two weeks, they will be malnourished. In contrast to this, they will be extremely hungry.

image of persons hand feeding goldfish

Typically, it will not be a matter of concern for your goldfish if you are leaving the place for 2 weeks. But if it gets late, you should make some considerable arrangements.

This improper education or inadequate treatment of the goldfish has resulted in the loss of too many fish, which can easily be protected.

How Often Should You Feed Goldfish?

If you keep fish in an aquarium, you should feed them at least twice or three times daily. The quantity of food should be according to the classic rule of thumb. This thumb rule means that you feed the fish by observing the size of their eyes.

If you are unable to determine the quantity of food to feed the goldfish, just give them as much as they can finish within two minutes. If you feed them the food in pellet shape, you can fix two or three pellets for each fish a day.

If you continue to give them food, they will take as much as possible. Goldfish are very greedy, and overfeeding can cause health problems for the fish.

image of a person feeding goldfish

The nitrogen cycle is the reason behind the overfeeding health problems of goldfish. It includes the decay of waste or fish feces in the tank.

The waste involves plant decay, excess food settling down at the bottom of the tank, and many others. The nitrogen cycle produces ammonia gas which is quite dangerous for any living thing inside the tank.

The nitrogen cycle also produces nitrates. Although nitrate is a good source of nutrients for live plants. If you somehow overfeed them, it will result in an increased ammonia level, making it difficult for the goldfish to survive.

How Often Do Wild Goldfish Eat?

Goldfish are popular as pets around the globe. Many fish take them as food for themselves. These fish are specifically for the aquarium, and their artificial formulation has restricted them from living in the wild.

The majority of people use them as aquarium fish. It is difficult for them to go into the wild and hunt anything to feed themselves. If you talk about the fish found in the waterways of the same species, they might be their offspring or an escaped one.

image of goldfish a big body of water

Goldfish are omnivores by nature. The term means that the animal can consume plants as well as animals. It is obvious that animals include creatures that have smaller sizes than goldfish.

The goldfish can consume the meat in small quantities, like small pellets, but they are unable to eat it like sharks. They can easily consume plants and organisms that are smaller in size.

The food consumed by goldfish can offer protein and carbohydrates. Plants and animals can easily find these in the wild. A few of the plants and animals are mentioned below.


It is the easiest to find and the healthiest to feed. Insects are the most common animal food.

Small Crustaceans

Marine creatures called crustaceans have evolved hard shells for their bodies.

Small fish

The jungle is ruled by the strongest individuals. The smaller prey will undoubtedly be eaten and consumed by larger predators.

Aquatic plants

Murky freshwater bottoms are ideal for goldfish.

Decaying plants and animal matter

Our favorite pet fish cannot eat and consume some plants and animals because they are too large.

Why Is Over-Feeding Goldfish Dangerous?

It is impossible to tell the quantity of food you should give to the goldfish. Most of the fish eat too much, so the measured quantity seems too small.

However, overfeeding the goldfish can cause too many health problems. Your fish can become lethargic, sick, and eventually die. It does not only have an adverse impact on the fish but also on all the aquarium animals living inside.

image of a persons hand feeding two goldfish in bowl

Overfeeding is associated with a lot of diseases, which include fatty liver, improper digestion, and fin rot. It can also lead to a contaminated tank because fish waste produces more feces than usual, resulting in an increased level of ammonia gas. Overfeeding can also result in colorless fish looking like shaggy fish.

The leftover food will eventually rot after settling to the bottom. The decay of dead plants and foods can result in nitrates, which are produced by the decomposition of ammonia. These chemicals are also toxic to aquatic life.

Factors That Affect Feeding Frequency

There are a variety of reasons that affect the appetites of goldfish. A few of the reasons are mentioned below.

  • The temperature of the water in which goldfish live. It has a great impact on the number of times you should feed the fish. The fish’s metabolism slows down, and as a result, they will not require that much food. The fish kept outside have different snacks available, so they might need the food as much as once per month.
  • The age of the goldfish has an influence on the fish’s feeding. You should feed them twice or thrice when they are younger. At a young age, they need more food and nutrients in order to grow healthily.
  • You should encourage them to spawn. Give them good nutrients, and they will increase the sperm count as well as the eggs.
  • If there are a lot of fish present inside the tank, you should feed them frequently. In this way, you will be able to target every single fish inside. A greater number of fish means more pollution. So feed them in smaller quantities and frequently to maintain the aquarium water and their health as well.
  • Try to maintain a healthy routine that you and your fish follow. There is no use in giving them a lot of food if you are going to be out for the whole day. Just maintain the routine to provide them with an eco-friendly environment.

The Best Time To Feed Your Goldfish

It is not possible to tell the time of the feeding fish. Feed them two or three times a day. Overfeeding can cause gastrointestinal issues.

a close up image of goldfish

This will destroy the tank water as well because they will produce more feces. This waste contains ammonia gas, which converts into nitrate, which is a toxic element for the animals living in the water.

Feed the goldfish according to the thumb rule or the pellet size food particles. The smaller size pellets are good because the fish in tanks will eat properly and will be unable to take much food.

How Much Should A Goldfish Eat?

In order to know the amount of feed they need, you should try different methods of feeding. It depends upon you whether you are following a thumb rule or giving them pellets to eat.

The thumb rule means giving them food by noting the size of their eyes. If you are unable to make an approximate about the size of the fish eye, then give them the food which they can easily consume within a period of two minutes.

How Much Do You Feed Them Each Time?

If you keep fish in an aquarium, you should feed them at least twice or three times daily. The standard rule of thumb should be followed when determining the amount of food. According to this rule of thumb, you should feed the fish based on how big their eyes are.

image of multiple types of goldfish

Give the goldfish as much food as they can consume in two minutes if you are unsure of how much to feed them. You can prepare two or three pellets for each fish per day if you feed them food in the form of pellets. They will take as much of the food as they can if you keep giving it to them.

More Goldfish related guides:

Final Verdict:

Keeping goldfish is an exciting hobby. You can relax by watching them roaming around the tank. To keep them healthy, it is very important that you take care of the feeding time and quantity.

These fish can even live up to 10 years if they are properly cared for. The best technique is to give them food when it is consumed in a short interval of time.

All the points we have discussed in this article will help you to understand the lives of goldfish. Always maintain the water in the tank to provide them with the best environment. They can remember human beings, so take some time to spend with them.

Keep the water of the aquarium clean. The nitrates produced as a result of the extra feces can cause huge losses to live organisms. Nitrate is a toxic element and can put huge pressure on fish hearts and stress them as well.

Frequently Asked Questions

#1 – Is It Ok To Feed Goldfish Once A Day?

You should feed goldfish twice a day or three times a day up until they are a year old. Goldfish should only be fed once daily once they reach the age of a year.

But there are a lot of things that might make you change this schedule. Additionally, the kind and quantity of goldfish food you give your fish matters.

#2 – Can You Overfeed a Goldfish?

You’ve given your goldfish too much food if it takes longer than three to five minutes for it to finish it all. Additionally, you’ll notice that too much food is building up in the substrate, where it decomposes into mulm, a brownish-gray or black substance.

#3 – How Do You Know If Goldfish Are Hungry?

  • Your fish is scouring the substrate for food by digging.
  • Waiting (for feeding time) at the top of the aquarium.
  • Aggression is a change in behavior.
  • Noticeable changes in size and weight.
  • Slow or uncoordinated behavior.

#4 – Why Do Goldfish Spit Out Their Food?

Fish must flex their gills while consuming food. He will spit out his food if gill parasites disrupt this motion. The presence of parasites on the fish may also be indicated externally by spots or a slimy coat.

#5 – What Is Better For Goldfish Pellets Or Flakes?

Almost all diets for goldfish will begin with the pellet vs. flake argument. When your fish develop a mouth that can handle a small pellet, it is better for their general health. Very small fish will probably need to start with flakes.

#6 – How Many Pellets Do I Feed My Goldfish?

The ideal range is 2 to 3 pellets, around twice daily. Because goldfish food pellets frequently sink to the bottom of the tank, it could take them longer than two minutes to find and consume their food. Therefore, the 2-minute feeding rule might not be the best option for goldfish food pellets that sink.

Your Author

  • Since 2009 I've been writing on different media portals about fishing. Here on this website, it's time to share those experiences I've witnessed in my entire life so far. Let me help you get the best stuff you need while fishing.