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What Do Goldfish Eat?

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The goldfish is probably one of the most renowned fish species in the world.  This is a very popular freshwater fish that is found in indoor aquariums across the globe.  Goldfish belong to the Cyprinidae family and are native to East Asia.  They are a small member of the carp family and were selectively bred in China over 1000 years ago.  There are several breeds of goldfish most of which are easily identified by their golden orange color.

What Do Goldfish Eat?

Goldfish are fairly easy to keep as pets because they can live in environments with low oxygen levels and goldfish flakes and foods available in pet and grocery stores due to the popularity of this fish species as a pet.  This fish species is an omnivore meaning they eat plant and animal matter.  Here is a quick look at all the foods this popular fish species enjoy eating.


In nature, goldfish are omnivores and they are opportunistic animals that will feed on just about anything they find in their environment.  They eat all sorts of aquatic plants that grow in ponds and lakes.  Goldfish can also be fed on vegetables.  Foods like shelled peas, leafy greens, cooked rice, boiled and diced broccoli, boiled and diced corn, boiled and diced zucchini, boiled and diced carrots, and others are suitable vegetables to offer your goldfish.

Goldfish can also eat certain fruits.  You can offer them as a lite bit skinned and chopped fruits, orange slices, boiled cucumber slices, or watermelon slices to keep them nourished.


These omnivores love to eat all sorts of small insects.  They rely on the protein that these foods offer which is exactly why goldfish foods are usually rich in protein.  You can offer your pet goldfish insects like a living, frozen or dried bloodworms, brine shrimp, ghost shrimp, daphnia, mealworms, or crickets.  Goldfish also enjoy eating mosquito larvae and other small aquatic insects.

Small crustaceans and zooplankton

These insects feed on all sorts of zooplankton that they can find in freshwater.  Microscopic and small zooplankton such as cladocerans, copepods, rotifers, and many others are very good food sources for this fish species.

Goldfish also enjoy eating small crustaceans such as amphipods, water fleas, larvae, water fleas, lobsters, and many others.


Goldfish can survive in harsh conditions because they can survive on detritus.  Detritus is dead organic matter from old plants, insects, and aquatic animals that they find drifting about the water or along the bottom of the dams and rivers.

Dried commercial flakes or pellets

Commercial fish foods are the most popular foods to offer your goldfish.  Good quality goldfish flakes or pellets are designed to contain various nutrients and minerals to help keep your goldfish healthy and nourished.

It is important to take note that small goldfish can have a tough time swallowing commercial fish pellets.  If you are feeding small goldfish on pellets then you should crush the pellets or soften them before offering them to your fry.

Diet Variations

Goldish can sometimes nibble at all sorts of items that they find in the tank.  They are opportunistic feeders and will eat anything at any given time.  As omnivores, they are also able to digest most food sources including decayed matter.

How to Feed Goldfish?

While your goldfish can survive on just commercial pellets or flakes, it is better to offer them additional treats and foods to help keep your fish healthy.  Ideally, you should offer your goldfish a variety of foods such as commercial fish foods, an insect snack, and some vegetables every day.

What Do Goldfish Eat In the Wild?

Goldfish is a popular pet but this fish species is also still found in the wild including areas where they do not originate from.  Goldfish often end up in rivers and dams after being flushed down the drain or after they have been let loose.  They can grow quite large if they have the large in these more spacious environments.

In the wild, they will eat all sorts of foods they find.  They love to feed on detritus and algae from the bottom or top of the water and will also feed on all sorts of aquatic animals and insects.  Aquatic plants and plants that fall into the water are also good food sources for wild goldfish.

What Do Goldfish Eat in Captivity?

In captivity, goldfish are mostly fed on commercial fish foods.  Loving pet owners also choose to treat their goldfish with additional snacks such as mealworms, bloodworms, fruits, and vegetables. If  you are offering these foods to your goldfish then it is important to only offer a little bit every day so your fish will get time to consume all foods and get in all the needed nutrients.

What do Baby Goldfish Eat?

Baby goldfish are called fry.  Goldfish breeders usually raise fry on brine shrimp and algae to boost their growth.  As the fry grow larger, they will soon start to consume larger pieces of food until they are fully capable of eating all the same foods as adult goldfish.

How Much Do Goldfish Eat?

There are quite a few things that can affect the amount of food your goldfish needs.  The bigger your goldfish is, the more it will consume.  Goldfish are opportunistic feeders and will feed all day long if they are given the opportunity.  Eating too much can however be unhealthy for your pet.

In cold temperatures, the metabolism of fish slows down and they consume less compared to warmer seasons.

Ideally, you should first add a little bit of food to the fish tank.  If your goldfish can consume all foods within minutes, then you can add a little bit more.  Stop offering food when you notice the fish leave some food drifting on the water.  You should now have a good idea of how much food to offer each feeding.

How Often Do Goldfish Eat?

Goldfish shouldn’t have access to food all day long because they will feed all day and can become obese which can restrict their ability to move with ease.  Ideally, you should feed your goldfish 2 – 3 times per day.   Only offer sufficient food for one feeding per session when feeding your fish.

Do Goldfish Eat Mosquito Larvae?

Yes, goldfish do enjoy eating mosquito larvae as well as various other types of aquatic insects or larvae.  Mosquito larvae are a very good food source to offer your fish.

Do Goldfish Eat Guppies?

Goldfish do eat guppy fry and might even consume small guppies.  The goldfish in large tanks or the wild grow much bigger compared to small goldfish and as such might even prey on adult guppies.

Do Goldfish Eat Other Fish?

Yes, goldfish do eat other fish species or even the fry of their own species if they are hungry.  Generally, they are not harmful to larger fish in your tank but fry is vulnerable to the goldfish in your tank.

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