How Long Can Goldfish Go Without Food
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How Long Can Goldfish Go Without Food?- It is crucial to know the answer to this question, despite the fact that no one likes to ask it. Occasionally, life gets in the way, and we are unable to ensure that our goldfish are fed at their usual hour. The most important factor is the disparity between how frequently goldfish must eat and how frequently they should eat.

If you’ve ever wondered how much fish food to give your goldfish or how long they can go without food, continue reading for the answers to these and other fish-keeping questions, as well as general feeding habits and recommendations for caring for goldfish.

How long are goldfish able to survive without food?

This is one of the most common questions asked by amateurs. Will my goldfish survive my absence? As previously stated, goldfish can survive for two weeks. However, this can negatively impact their health, specifically their immune system and skin tone.

They can survive without food for around four days while remaining healthy. In addition, various factors, such as the fish’s health, size, and age, determine how long it can survive without nourishment. Carnivores and omnivores have a natural tendency to endure long periods without nourishment. And because goldfish are omnivores, they can survive at least two weeks without food.

How to care after your goldfish while you are away?

The most likely reason you’re wondering how long a goldfish can survive without food is that you’re leaving your home for a time. Now, it must be said that goldfish (and the majority of betta fish) are fantastic and robust fish that can survive without food for a length of time. As we have just stated, if you will be away for less than eight days, your goldfish will be OK

There is even a story reported on the British news website The Telegraph in which a goldfish in New Zealand survived an earthquake for an astounding 134 days. The impoverished fish fed on algae and other deceased occupants of the aquarium. This tragic and severe event demonstrates the resilience of goldfish.

As long as you have been properly feeding your goldfish, the aquarium water is immaculate, and you have effective filtration, there is no cause for concern. Goldfish should be alright for up to two weeks of absence, although there is some risk associated. Here are your available selections.

What does your goldfish consume?

The nutrition of your goldfish has a direct effect on the water chemistry. If you are unable to feed your fish, it is unlikely that you can perform routine maintenance. Choose a diet with less protein to reduce the amount of ammonia produced by your fish. Unless they are show fish, the majority of goldfish should consume roughly 30 percent protein in their diet. Again, the lower the temperature of your fish’s tank, the lower their metabolic needs, therefore less food or fewer feedings will benefit them.

How Often Should a Goldfish Be Fed?

Goldfish thrive on multiple tiny meals per day. They enjoy eating and will continue to do so even when full. In fact, they will consume food till they vomit. However, a goldfish should have a few meals a few times a day.

If you can feed your fish three or four times per day, it will be optimal for their health. Most individuals are too busy to be on call to feed their fish, so they end up feeding their fish once or twice daily. Certainly, this is perfectly appropriate and will also maintain the health of your fish.

What Do Goldfish Consume?

Let’s start with what and how much they eat in the wild. Goldfish are continually hunting for food in the wild. They lack a stomach, thus they do not experience satiety and do not know when to stop eating. Plants, tiny fish, aquatic insects, and algae comprise the wild goldfish’s diet.

In captivity, they no longer need to collect food, but they can still develop an eating disorder if their food intake is not regulated. Foods like floating pellets, sinking pellets, brine shrimp, ghost shrimp, and gel food are available at local pet stores for feeding goldfish.

Should Goldfish Be Fed Rapidly

Fasting is a widespread habit among goldfish owners since it is believed that by doing so, your goldfish would have a lower risk of getting swim bladder disorder, a buoyancy problem (SBD). This notion has not been scientifically demonstrated to be a viable way for treating or preventing swim bladder problems.

The primary notion is that goldfish overeating (particularly fancy-bodied goldfish with rounder stomachs) may cause their full tummies to press on their swim bladder, preventing them from effectively managing their buoyancy in the water.

Rather than fasting, it may be preferable to feed goldfish with swim bladder issues multiple small, easily digestible meals throughout the day.

Variables That Determine How Often You Should Feed Your Goldfish

In most cases, you should feed your adult fish once a day, however, there are a few exceptions that require you to adjust its feeding schedule:

Nutritional Considerations

Diet has a direct correlation with water chemistry, therefore selecting a diet with less protein will minimize the quantity of ammonia expelled by the fish. Idealistically, a Goldfish’s food should consist of 30 percent protein, although the water temperature will still affect this situation.

How old are the goldfish are

Depending on the age of your fish, you must alter the frequency of feeding. If your fish is young (less than a year old), you should feed it twice or even three times a day, as frequent meals promote healthy development.

Water Temperature

Similar to many of our other scaly companions, goldfish are ectothermic. Ectothermic indicates that a fish’s body temperature is directly proportional to the temperature of the water in which it swims. Goldfish are tolerant of a wider variety of water temperatures than tropical fish, which demand warmer water.

To increase the amount of time a goldfish can survive without food, the water temperature can be lowered, so slowing the fish’s metabolism and reducing its energy requirements. Here are some suggestions for decreasing your tank’s water temperature:

Add a trace amount of ice to the tank. Maintain equilibrium by supplementing with a water conditioner. Relocate the tank to a significantly cooler environment, such as a lower floor or the basement. If possible, position the tank in front of an air conditioner and allow the aerator to draw cool air into the tank.

Feeding during the season of reproduction

You can feed your goldfish as much as it can consume in 15 to 30 minutes three to four times per day, but be sure to keep the water clean. Providing adequate protein to female goldfish enables them to produce healthy eggs.

Condition Of Your Fish’s Body

Given the diversity of goldfish body types, it might be difficult to evaluate the body of a goldfish. Ideally, a goldfish with a substantial fat reserve and healthy muscles will endure longer in the absence of food.

There are several methods of assessing the physical status of your Goldfish. If you observe a fish swimming in regions where it does not normally swim, it may have an increased hunger level and be searching for more food sources. Upon becoming too hungry, the fish may become aggressive and attack other fish in the tank, provided other fish are there.

Several fish

If you have more than one goldfish in your aquarium or pond, you should feed them 2-3 times a day, but no more than they can consume in two minutes.

How can goldfish be fed when absent?

However, there are a number of methods for feeding fish. They consist of:

Fish watchers

Fish sitters can range from your neighbor to professionals. They can literally determine whether someone lives or dies. Commonly found in public aquariums, hospitals, schools, etc. are commercial sitters.

Additionally, they are available for domestic labor. In actuality, this is preferable to entrusting a neighbor. Consequently, you should educate them on your fish’s demands, feeding schedule, tank maintenance, and other essentials. It will cost you a cent, but it is the only method to ensure the survival of your fish.

Pet Sitters

If you have a reliable friend or neighbor, they can be an excellent resource for preventing your goldfish from becoming hungry! Ensure you discuss your complete plan with the fish sitters and that they have the contact information for your recommended licensed veterinarian.

In the event of an emergency, it is important that they seek actual veterinary care, as this may be the only way to save your goldfish from a sudden illness. If you know that you will be constantly absent during the week, hiring weekend feeders can be a terrific solution to keep your aquarium fed consistently.

Slow-release calories

These very compacted food blocks must be present in order to notify you accurately of all your possibilities. These weekend or vacation feeders are intended to slowly release food over an extended period of time.

I would not, however, suggest this alternative. Most blocks are designed to last no longer than fourteen days. This is the amount of time that goldfish should be able to survive without nourishment. These blocks also have a tendency to become sludge prematurely. In this situation, it may begin to decompose, resulting in a high ammonia increase that could kill your fish.

Vacation nourishment

If you are unable to employ a fish sitter, a vacation feeder will suffice. They are designed to release feeding blocks at predetermined intervals for a predetermined duration. On the other hand, these feeders may contain food that your fish cannot consume.

To counteract this, physically place the desired food in the chambers, and the feeder will drop the food without complication. There are many advantages to employing this strategy. They consist of:


  • Very little food remains during food disposal
  • Reduce food prices
  • Fish are fed a range of foods simultaneously.
  • Since food is distributed from a single location, food waste is reduced.

Before leaving on vacation, gradually expose the fish to the new feeding strategy so that they can adjust.

Mechanical Feeder

A vacation fish feeder is intended to operate for many days while you are away. Additionally, you can choose the traditional method of feeding fish. Automatic feeders are food dispensers that release food at predetermined intervals. You can set both the time and the quantity of food to be dispensed.

Automatic fish feeders are not always reliable, which is a problem that you will encounter. Before leaving your fish, ensure that you thoroughly read the reviews and make any necessary corrections. Additionally, you should test this fish-feeding method before leaving your fish unattended.

If you leave and the feeder malfunctions, does not turn on or causes too much food to be distributed, it is recommended to observe this personally. Turn on your feeder for two days prior to your vacation and observe how the fish respond.

Ensure that the feeder you select is appropriate for the sort of food you are feeding your fish. If not, you will have issues with food clogging and becoming trapped in the feeder.

Healthy Dietary Routine

Establishing a daily feeding routine is crucial. A good feeding regimen for the majority of goldfish is twice or three times each day. Feeding your goldfish more than this may result in overeating and health issues, or in the fish food resting on the bottom and decomposing.

Constipation or food impaction from overfeeding, as well as ammonia poisoning and toxic shock as extra food decomposes, are associated with both of these situations when trying to maintain healthy fish. Learn how to treat a constipated goldfish on this page.

What are the best foods for goldfish?

They graze on smaller fish, insects, worms, and plants in the wild and in outdoor ponds. what about in aquariums kept indoors? To prevent your goldfish from starving, you must feed them the following foods:


Floating pellets are good food for goldfish since they retain their nutritional value for an extended period of time. Additionally, scooping leftovers is a breeze. In contrast, when eating on them, they consume a great deal of air, which might strain their digestive systems.

Goldfish are most naturally fed sinking pellets. They consume them without difficulty and are not prone to inhaling air. However, recovering leftovers is difficult, so they will degrade and pollute the water.

Gel Food

If you don’t want to buy pre-made gel food, it’s really simple to manufacture your own. It is simple to feed your fish and includes a wealth of nutrients. Some may argue that gel food is the most natural option for feeding your fish.


Probably the most frequent sort of goldfish food is flakes. They are quite simple to use and contain some nutritional benefits. The issue is that when the flakes are added to water, they lose a small amount of nutritious value.

This is normal and something all fish owners must deal with, but it is crucial to remember.

How Can I Tell Whether My Goldfish Is Hungry?

When you initially acquire a goldfish, it might be difficult to determine whether it is receiving enough food. Obviously, you can follow the pet store’s instructions, and you can also read the back of the food container. However, every fish are different, just as all humans have varied dietary needs.

There are a few indicators that your goldfish is hungry that you can observe. If you observe any of these symptoms, you may need to change the feeding schedule or the meal itself to provide your fish with what it requires.

Feeding Your Goldfish During the Breeding Period

Similar to human pregnancies, the frequency with which you feed your goldfish will have a significant impact on their reproductive success.

Increasing the amount of food you provide them will cause them to produce more eggs since they require the additional energy to maintain their health and create a new life.


Goldfish can survive without food for nearly two weeks. However, you should not leave your goldfish without food for too long. Therefore, if you intend to take an extended trip, you should make arrangements to feed your goldfish.

Asking a neighbor friend to feed your fish while you are away is the simplest solution. If you do not wish to disturb others, you can utilize an automatic fish feeder.

Using slow-release fish food is an inexpensive approach to feeding your fish when you are away from home for an extended period.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs) about How Long Can Goldfish Go Without Food?

Can goldfish survive without food for a few days?

Yes, four to five days are recommended. However, it can survive without nourishment for around two weeks. Just make sure you don’t starve it.

How can I determine whether I am feeding my goldfish enough food?

If your goldfish do not swim upside down, you are feeding it adequately. When a goldfish swims in this manner, it is suffering from swim bladder difficulties brought on by a lack of food.

How much human food can a goldfish consume?

Clearly, goldfish can consume a variety of fruits and vegetables, but this should not be their major diet.

Regularly feeding fruits and vegetables every two to three days is beneficial for their entire nutrition.

How often should goldfish be fed?

Once a day is sufficient. Ensure that the amount you feed can be consumed within three to five minutes. Everything remaining is a waste. In addition, adhere to a regular feeding schedule.

Can goldfish survive a week without food?

Adult goldfish can survive without food for a week, but it is not advised. Three to four days without food will not hurt your goldfish, but you should try to avoid it if possible.

Do goldfish consume bread?

Bread is routinely fed to fish, however, it is unhealthy for them. If you run out of food, you should never give your goldfish bread. You may also feed additional foods, such as the fruits and vegetables listed above.

Is it possible to overfeed a goldfish?

Yes, goldfish are more susceptible to being overfed due to the rapidity with which they consume food. Overfeeding them can have serious repercussions, including swimbladder illness, immune suppression, and even death.

Feed them the correct amount of food at a certain time to avoid this.

Can goldfish survive three weeks without food?

No, goldfish cannot survive three weeks without food. Goldfish are able to survive without food for up to two weeks, although it is not suggested to do so because caged goldfish have a daily feeding schedule. If you will be gone for more than three or four days, ensure sure your goldfish are fed on a schedule.

Do fish cease eating when they become full?

Fish may continue to consume food even when they are satiated. However, once they are quite full, they will cease eating. They should not be overfed.

A decent rule of thumb is to feed them the amount of food they can ingest within two minutes, or the amount of food equal to the size of their eye.

Can a goldfish adjust to a regular feeding schedule?

Fish are intelligent creatures who are instinctively aware of their feeding times. Additionally, they recognize the humans that feed them. As you approach the tank, the fish swim towards the wall.

Can goldfish consume other forms of waste?

Yes, they consume all organic matter in the tank. To avoid poisoning, always remove surplus food and trash from the aquarium.

How can I determine if I am feeding my fish adequately?

You should feed your fish twice or thrice daily. And you should only give them as much food as they can devour in two minutes. Alternatively, you should feed your goldfish food proportional to the size of their eye.

Can a goldfish be left for a week?

As long as you have been properly feeding your goldfish, the aquarium water is immaculate, and you have effective filtration, there is no cause for concern. Goldfish should be alright for up to two weeks of absence, although there is some risk associated.

Is daily feeding of goldfish acceptable?

Two or three times a day should be used to feed goldfish until they are one year old. Once goldfish reach the age of one year, you should only feed them once each day. There are a variety of circumstances that may necessitate adjusting this schedule. Additionally, the type and quantity of goldfish food you feed your fish are essential.

Should I add salt to my aquarium?

Maintaining a low level of salt in your aquarium is not just effective for treating nasty goldfish ailments. It inhibits them. Regular use of an aquarium salt solution can help minimize goldfish stress and encourage slime coat formation. Plus, salt can eliminate parasites that are toxic to goldfish, eradicating one problem!

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