How Long Can Goldfish Go Without Food?

How Long Can Goldfish Go Without Food?

“How long can goldfish Go Without Food?” No one wants to ask this question, but it is important to know the answer. Life gets in the way sometimes, and we can’t always make sure our goldfish eat when they’re supposed to. The important thing to think about is the difference between how often goldfish should eat and how often they need to eat.

If you’ve ever wondered how much goldfish food to give them or how long they can go without food, keep reading for the answers to these and other fish-keeping questions, as well as some general eating habits and tips for taking care of goldfish.

How long can a goldfish go without being fed?

This is one question that many people who have hobbies ask. Will my goldfish live even though I’m not there? As was already said, a goldfish can live for two weeks. But this can hurt their health, especially their color and immune system.

In general, they can go about 4 days without eating and still be healthy. How long a fish can go without food also depends on its health fit, size, and age, among other things. Both carnivores and omnivores tend to stay without food for a long time. And since goldfish eat everything, they can go without food for at least two weeks.

How to care for your goldfish while you’re away

Most likely, you’re about to leave your house for a while and want to know how long a goldfish can go without food. Now, it should be said that goldfish (and most betta fish) are great, strong fish that can go for a while without eating. We just talked about how your goldfish will be fine if you leave for less than 8 days.

Even after an earthquake in New Zealand, a goldfish lived for an amazing 134 days, according to a report on the British news site The Telegraph. The poor fish ate algae and dead fish that had died in the tank. Even though this is a sad example, it shows how strong goldfish are.

There’s nothing to worry about as long as you’ve been feeding your goldfish well, the water in the aquarium is clean, and you have good filtration. Your goldfish should be fine if you leave for up to two weeks, but there is some risk. Here are some things you can do.

What do you feed your goldfish?

The food your goldfish eat has a direct effect on the chemistry of the water. If you can’t feed your fish, I doubt you’ll be able to do the other things you need to do. Choose a diet with less protein for your fish if you want to reduce the amount of ammonia they give off. Unless they are being shown, most goldfish should get about 30% of their food from protein. Again, the fish’s metabolic needs are lower when their tank is colder, so giving them less food or less often will help them.

How often should a goldfish be fed?

Small meals several times a day are fine for goldfish. They love to eat, and even when they are full, they will keep eating. They will eat so much that they will get sick. But a goldfish does best with small meals a few times a day.

The best thing for your fish is to feed them three or four times a day. Most people are too busy to feed their fish every hour, so they end up feeding them once or twice a day. Yes, this is perfectly fine, and it will also keep your fish healthy.

How do goldfish get food?

First, let’s talk about what and how much they eat in the wild. When they are in the wild, goldfish are always looking for food. They don’t have a stomach, so they don’t know when to stop eating because they don’t feel full. Goldfish in the wild eat algae, small fish, aquatic insects, and plants.

In a zoo, they don’t have to catch their own food, but they can still eat too much if you don’t control how much they get. You can give goldfish food from pet stores, like floating pellets, sinking pellets, brine shrimp, ghost shrimp, and gel food.

Should Goldfish Be Fed?

Fasting is a common thing that goldfish owners do because they think it will make their fish less likely to get swim bladder disorder, which is a problem with their buoyancy (SBD). Science hasn’t shown that this theory is a good way to fix swim bladder problems or stop them from happening.

The main reason for this belief is that if goldfish eat too much (especially fancy-bodied goldfish with rounded stomachs), their full bellies may press on their swim bladders, making it hard for them to control their buoyancy in the water.

Instead of making your goldfish fast, it might be better to feed them smaller meals more often that are easy to digest if they have problems with their swim bladders.

How often you should feed your goldfish depends on a few things.

Most of the time, you should feed your adult fish once a day, but there are some situations where you might need to change how often you feed it:

Dietary Considerations

The amount of protein in a goldfish’s food has a direct effect on the chemistry of the water. If you feed the fish less protein, less ammonia will be released from the fish. Your Goldfish should get about 30% of their food from protein, but the temperature of the water still has an effect on this.

The age of the goldfish

Depending on how old your fish are, you need to change how often you feed them. If your fish is less than a year old, you should feed it twice or even three times a day. This will help it grow and stay healthy.

Water Temperature

Goldfish are ectothermic, like many of our other scaly friends. Ectothermic means that the temperature of a fish’s body is the same as the temperature of the water it swims in. Goldfish can live in a wider temperature range than tropical fish, which need their water to be warmer.

To increase the amount of time a goldfish can go without food, you can lower the temperature of the water. This will slow down the fish’s metabolism, making it use less energy. Here are a few ways to make the water in your tank cooler:

  • Put a little bit of ice in your tank. Make sure you use a water conditioner to keep things in balance.
  • Move the tank to a lower floor or the basement, where it will probably be much colder.
  • If you can, move the tank in front of an air conditioner so that the aerator can pull cool air into the tank.

Feeding during the breeding season

You can feed your goldfish as much as it can eat in 15–30 minutes, 3–4 times a day, but make sure to clean the water in its tank. Giving female goldfish enough protein is what helps them make healthy eggs.

Body Condition Of Your Goldfish

Because there are so many different kinds of goldfish bodies, it can be hard to judge them. If a goldfish starts out with a lot of fat and strong muscles, it will probably last longer without food.

There are other ways to check in to see how your Goldfish is doing physically. If you see the fish swimming in the best places it doesn’t usually go, it might be because it’s hungry and looking for more places to eat. When the fish gets too hungry, it might start to attack the other fish in the tank, assuming there are other fish there.

Multiple fish

If you have more than one goldfish in your tank or pond, you should feed them 2-3 times a day and don’t give them more food than they can eat in two minutes.

How can you feed your goldfish when away?

Well, there are a few different ways to feed the fish. Among them are:

Fish sitters

Fish sitters can be anyone from your next-door neighbor to people who do this for a living. They can literally mean the difference between life and death. A lot of public aquariums, hospitals, schools, and other places have commercial sitters.

They can also be hired to do chores around the house. In fact, this is better than putting your faith in a neighbor. So, you should tell them what your fish needs, how often they should be fed, how to care for the aquarium, and other important things. It will cost you a dime, but it’s the only way to make sure your fish will live.

Pet Sitters

If you have a friend or neighbor you can trust, they can be a great way to make sure your goldfish don’t go hungry. Make sure you talk to your fish sitters about the whole plan and give them the number of your preferred certified veterinarian.

Telling them to go to a real vet in an emergency is a good idea, since this may be the only way to save your goldfish if it gets sick suddenly. If you know you’ll be gone most of the week, hiring someone to feed your fish on the weekends can be a great way to keep your aquarium fed regularly.

Food that takes a long time to digest

These tightly packed blocks of food can’t be left out if you want to know everything you can do. These weekend feeders or vacation feeders are made to release food slowly over a long time

I would not suggest this choice, though. Most blocks are built to last for no more than 14 days. Goldfish should be able to go without food for this long anyway. Also, these blocks tend to turn into sludge too quickly. In this case, it could start to rot and cause a big rise in ammonia, which could hurt your fish.

Feeders on vacation

If you can’t find a fish sitter, a vacation feeder is a good alternative. They are made to give out feeding blocks at regular times for a set amount of time. On the other hand, these feeders could have food that your fish can’t eat.

To fix this, put the food you want into the chambers by hand, and the feeder will drop the food without any trouble. Using this method has a lot of good points. Among them are:


  • When food is thrown away, there isn’t much food left over.
  • Less money for food
  • Fish are fed many different things at once.
  • Since the food comes out of one place, there is less waste.

Before you go on vacation, slowly introduce the new way of feeding to the fish so they can get used to it.

Feeder Automatic

A vacation fish feeder is made to work while you are away for a few days. You can also choose to feed your fish the way you have always done. A food dispenser that sends out food at set times is called an automatic feeder. You can set the time, and you can also choose how much food to give out.

The problem with automatic fish feeders is that they don’t always work as they should. Make sure you read the reviews carefully and make any changes you need to before you leave your fish. Another thing to think about is that you should try out this way to feed your fish before you leave them.

If you leave and the feeder has a problem, doesn’t turn on, or gives out too much food, it’s best to be there to see it. Turn on your feeder for a day or two before you leave on your trip to see how the fish do.

Make sure that the type of food you give your fish can be handled by the feeder you choose. If you don’t, the food will get stuck in the feeder and make it hard to clean.

Healthy Feeding Schedule

It’s important to set a schedule for feeding your pet every day. Most goldfish should be fed twice or three times a day to keep them healthy. If you try to feed your goldfish more than this, it will either eat too much and get sick, or the food will just sit on the bottom and go bad.

When trying to keep fish healthy, both of these can cause problems, like constipation or food buildup from overfeeding, or ammonia poisoning and toxic shock as the extra food breaks down. Find out how to help a goldfish that can’t go to the bathroom.

Which are the most Ideal goldfish feeds?

They eat smaller fish, insects, worms, plants, and other things in the wild and in ponds outside. what about in aquariums that are inside? To make sure your goldfish don’t starve, you should feed them the following:


Goldfish also do well on floating pellets because they keep their nutritional value for a long time. Also, it’s very easy to scoop up leftovers. On the other hand, when they eat them, they take in a lot of air, which can be hard on their digestive systems.

The most natural food for goldfish is pellets that sink. They eat them with no trouble and don’t often swallow air. But getting rid of the leftovers is hard, so they will break down and pollute the water.

Gel Food

  • If you don’t want to buy it already made, gel food is easy to make.
  • It is easy to feed to your fish and is also very healthy for them.
  • Some people will say that it seems most natural to feed your fish gel.


Goldfish probably eat flakes more than any other kind of food. These are easy to use, and they have some health benefits. The problem is that the flakes lose some of their nutritional value when they are put in water.

This is normal, and every fish owner has to deal with it, but it’s important to remember.

How can I tell if my goldfish is hungry?

When you get a goldfish for the first time, it can be hard to tell if you are feeding it enough. You can, of course, follow the instructions from the pet store and read the back of the food container. But each fish has a different diet, just like each person has a different diet.

You can watch for a few things to tell if your goldfish is hungry. If you see any of these signs, you may need to change how or when you feed your fish to make sure it gets what it needs.

Feeding Your Goldfish While During Breeding

Just like with humans, how often you feed your goldfish will have a big effect on them when they are trying to have babies.

If you give them more food, they will lay more eggs because they need the extra energy to keep their bodies healthy and make a new life at the same time.


Goldfish can live without food for about two weeks. But you shouldn’t leave your goldfish without food for that long. So, if you want to go away for a long time, you should make plans for your goldfish.

When you go on vacation, it’s easiest to ask a neighbor friend to feed your fish. If you don’t want to bother anyone, you can use a fish feeder that feeds the fish on its own.

Using slow-release fish food is another cheap way to feed your fish when you won’t be home for a long time.

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

Can goldfish go for a few days without food? 

Yes, the best number of days is 4–5. It can, however, go about two weeks without food. Just make sure you don’t starve it.

How do I know if I’m giving enough food to my goldfish?

If your goldfish don’t swim upside down, you know you’re giving it enough food. When a goldfish swims this way around the tank, it’s because it’s not getting enough food, which makes its swim bladder hurt.

How much food from people can a goldfish eat?

Goldfish can eat a lot of fruits and veggies, but they shouldn’t be their main source of food. It’s good for their overall diet to give them fruits and vegetables every two to three days.

How often should goldfish be fed?

So, once a day should be enough. Make sure that what you give them can be eaten in 3–5 minutes. After this, anything else is a waste. Also, feed your pet at the same time every day.

Can an adult goldfish go without food for a week?

Adult goldfish can go a week without food, but it’s not a good idea. Your goldfish won’t die if you don’t feed it for 3–4 days, but you should try to avoid doing that if you can.

Can bread be eaten by goldfish?

Fish are often fed bread, but it’s not good for them. If you run out of food, never give your goldfish bread. You can also feed them other foods, like fruits and vegetables.

Can a goldfish get too much food?

Yes, because they eat so quickly, goldfish are more likely to get too much food. If you feed them too much, they can get swimbladder disease, have a weaker immune system, or even die. Feed them the right amount of food at the right time to avoid this.

Can goldfish go three weeks without food?

No, goldfish can’t go three weeks without eating. Goldfish can go up to two weeks without eating, but you shouldn’t let yours go that long because they need to eat every day when they’re in a tank. If you are going to be gone for more than three or four days, make sure your goldfish has a set time to eat.

When they’re full, do fish stop eating?

Even when they are full, fish may keep eating for a while. But they will stop eating when they are full. You shouldn’t give them too much food.

You should give them as much food as they can eat in two minutes. Another good rule of thumb is to give them as much food as the size of their eye.

Can a goldfish get used to being fed at the same time every day?

Yes, fish are smart animals that know when to eat. They also know the people who give them food. When you get close to the tank, the fish swim toward the wall.

Can goldfish eat trash from other places?

Yes, they eat anything that grows in the tank. To keep the fish from getting sick, you should always take out the old food and waste.

How do I know if my fish are getting enough food?

Your fish should be fed twice or three times a day. And you should give them as much food as they can eat in two minutes. Or, you should feed your goldfish as much as their eyes are big.

Can a goldfish be left alone for a week?

There’s nothing to worry about as long as you’ve been feeding your goldfish well, the water in the aquarium is clean, and you have good filtration. Your goldfish should be fine if you leave for up to two weeks, but there is some risk.

Is feeding goldfish once a day okay?

You should feed goldfish twice or three times a day until they are a year old. Once goldfish are over a year old, you should only feed them once a day. But there are a few things that could cause you to change this schedule. Also, it matters what kind and how much goldfish food you give them.

Should I put salt in the tank with my goldfish?

Keeping the salt level in your tank low is not only good for treating ugly goldfish diseases. This stops them. A regular aquarium salt treatment can also help goldfish feel less stressed and make more slime coat. Also, salt can kill parasites that are bad for goldfish, which solves one problem right away.

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