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How long can goldfish go without food?

How long Can goldfish go without food? Is it possible?

Many of you are doubting without knowing how long can goldfish go without food. So I decided to write this article will almost cover everything that you should need to know.

First of all, tell me why we need to know how long goldfish can go without food? There may be many reasons. From my experience, I was unable to feed my goldfish because I went on a trip,

As it was sudden planning, there is another example my sister who lives separately unable to fed because of her business trip.

Sometimes you may have face this situation so, I did lots of research on the internet regarding this, and I want to share it with you.

Sad to say first-ever I brought to my tank was a goldfish couple and they died. When I am on a vacation trip, and I hope this will really help to prevent such a situation of anyone who reads this.

And you will be wonder how long they can go without food.

how lon can goldfish go without food

How often should goldfish be fed?

They often like to eat at any time you fed. But it will cause your fish unhealthy.

After that you may have to suffer, it gets much time to recover them, it is better to feed in the required correct amount. It is advisable to feed your goldfish twice a day.

You can choose both morning and evening as most of you are in the commitment of home or any other busy life matter. Goldfish are omnivore; you may no need to feed them with too much food. It will be an additional advantage over your busy life.

Be sure not to overfeed them as it become hazardous later. We will discuss it below it in more detail. Keep reading!

How long can goldfish go without food?

Yes, generally we say they can survive for 1-2 weeks.

There was amazing news published in a British news web site called “The Telegraph”, where it says

When there was an earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand, that city area has completely vanished, and there was a goldfish tank, and they survived for about 134 days with no one to feed or check.

You may ask whether is it could be possible? My answer will be yes because when you have alternative foods, you can also survive even in a tough time.

Same applied here. The tank was fully grown with algae and other aquatic debris.

They used to survive by consuming it. But keep in your mind, it is completely risky.

how long can goldfish go without food

What can goldfish eat if you run out of food?

As mentioned above by scavenging algae, insects and other aquatic debris at the bottom of the tank, they can often survive.

For the question, how long can they go? Approximately goldfish can survive about 8-14 days roughly two weeks. If this prevails for a longer time, it may cause malnourished.

And other health aspects such as their immunity and colour may be affected.

Even finally, you can identify them suffer from lots of hunger. And it is okay for three to four days; they can have fit and health without feeding.

After that, it will be a huge issue, and you have to make other arrangements to overcome this, under that you may consider health, age and size when feeding!

What might be reasons: you to skip feeding goldfish?


There may be several reasons but, basically, one thing is when you are on a vacation, family trip, or business trip often miss the feeding.

Another thing is water quality parameters in the tank. They usually required 23 C as optimal conditions. also they excrete more waste other than other fish in the tank, that can lead to an increase in the nitrate level in water causing toxic.

Therefore it is wise to hold feeding for about 2-3 days until soon as you fix this.

You may use better filtration so on, keeping all conditions at an optimal level can avoid this swim bladder disease also can be a reason.

It caused due to the blockage of the digestive tract of fish such as constipation, also organs which are overgrown can be press against swim bladder may also be a reason.

Therefore it tends to show swimming sideways, sometimes turn on to one side.

Anyhow to overcome this buoyancy problem, a dietary pea can be give to ingest after keeping them for around 2-3days fasting.

Some times they may get bored with eating vege food all the time. To increase the feeding interest may use blood worms, brine shrimps along with fresh spinach.

How can you feed your goldfish when you are away?

1.Ask a Friend,

You can ask for a friend, relative, neighbour or even a fish sitter. The best way is to have a fish sitter rather than a friend or neighbour because they have professional experience in feeding and will maintain the aquarium properly.

Fish sitters generally range from neighbour to commercial professional. They may be work in commercial aquariums, hospitals etc.

The problem arises when a friend or relative feeding they can lead to overfeeding, it might pollute the tank water and sometimes may kill the goldfish.

If you are not available for more than ten days to feed, there is nothing to do you can ask for a friend and give him with a schedule to be feed and all the necessary instructions considering the safety when feeding your fish.

How much you should fed your goldfish at a time?

Generally, you may feed the fish with food that can completely consume within 2-3 minute or food in the size of its eye mostly prefered.

But the amount of food given vary with water parameters like temperature and whether it is summer or winter season in normally humans need to consume a lot of food during the winter season due to high metabolic activity.

It is opposite sence applied for the fish as well.

Also, you can use a pill organizer, especially when your friend or relative feeding. It can easily set the required amount of feed during a unique time period, and it is easy to use anyone.

How long can goldfish go without food in a pond?

how long can goldfish go without food

Either your goldfish in a tank or a pond they can not survive without food for over a longer time period.

If you have your fish in a pond, you can keep it for a longer time period without feeding, do you know why? It is easy,

There was a fish tank in my ex-girlfriend home they never fed it because tank completely full of live aquarium plants, algae diatoms and other aquatic debris.

They survive eating those as much as food available for them.

But the issue comes in the winter season as pond water get freeze and due to the lowering of fish metabolism by hibernation there you must help it to recover, During the hibernation and just after hibernation.

2.You may use an automatic feeder,

Simply it is easy to use you have only to fill it and program. But need to set the schedule, correct amount of food to be fed in the needed time period.

You can use this when you are on a vacation of six weeks longer.

And I want to say that feeding at a schedule and when you want to continue may face difficulties as myself faced. Since unable to identify how much of food that the machine feed.

Therefore it is advisable to set the machine not day before, but for about a week before you go on vacation.

So make sure you know the exact amount to be feed; otherwise, it will overfeed and change water conditions as nitrate levels increase in water.

As I told my first goldfish couple died because of installing the machine day before the vacation. There were a lot of algae overgrown in my aquaria. Therefore be careful!

3.When it comes to slow feeding how long can gold fish go without food?

They are manually designed highly compressed food blocks which can be used to feed fish as it gives food slowly. And can say it is a very cheap way to have on vacation when unable to find a fish sitter.

There are two types of slow feeders as vacation feeders and weekend feeders.

  • Vacation – When you are on more than ten-day trip/ absent for 10 days
  • Weekend – if you are not able to feed for 2-3 days, especially weekend trips include this.

You can choose according to your purpose, but as many fish keepers say this slow feeding led to sludge forming, which may cause several ammonia spikes and become toxic to your goldfish.

Be aware of that!

How do you identify your goldfish are hungry?

This is very important to know, which gives a correct indication of the correct amount of feeding. There you can see these observations,

Goldfish usually swim happily everywhere, if you observe closely abnormal behaviour like digging the substrate, spend more time within live aquarium plants scavenging for foods.

It is a good sign of hungry, and also you may see aggressive behaviour when feeding and try to eat more and more feed as much as possible.

It is a primary indication of a hungry fish. Also, they tend to harass other fish mates by attacking if you observe some lethargic behaviour or sluggish or slow behaviour; it also another indication.

You can compare your goldfish with other fish mates regard to their size, activity with same old fish mates.

Now you can avoid such a situation and feed at on time when they are hungry while increasing the wellness of your fish.


  • Sluggish behaviour
  • become aggressive
  • harass other fish mates
  • spend more time digging the substrate
  • size compared to the same old goldfish mates

What should you feed your goldfish: Ideal goldfish feeds

Ideally, you can feed flake, pellets, gel food in addition, dried frozen brine shrimp, blood worms, zucchini, daphnia and some green spinach can use for feeding.

There are some critical facts to be pay attention when feeding pellets as they are floating pellets, you can give it after soaking or sinking around 1-2 minute for ease of digestion.

And it will prevent ingestion of a lot of unnecessary air into the body and thereby reducing the buoyancy problems.

These can be accumulate at the bottom of the tank result ammonia spikes can cause pollute the water.

Flake food lose its nutrition upon contact with the water; meanwhile, you can easily prepare the gel food within the home and give it to the fish.

How can you identify you have overfed your goldfish?

When we are feeding, especially friend, a neighbour can overfeed your goldfish.

As goldfish will eat whatever you feed them. So to take an immediate remedy to avoid such a situation signs of overfeeding tank is a must, let us see,

Many foods can collect at the bottom of the tank normally we give food that can eat and finish within 2-3 minute.

It clearly shows whether we have given excess food or not.

As the fish can not ingest all of these, it causes to change the water parameters.

Result in bad odour arise from the tank it is mainly because of bacterial activities on that excess food. In a well managed clean tank, there can not smell such a bad odour.

You also can see many overgrown algae all over the tank; this also clearly signals tank conditions not suit for fish and overfed.

Another thing you may observe excess fish waste all around the tank, no need other evidence as it shows you have overfed.

As a result of the above conditions, goldfish may subject to diseases like swim bladder. So now you have good knowledge, and I hope it will help you to avoid overfeed and protect your loving fish.

Related questions most of the fish keepers ask:

What human food can goldfish eat?

Apart from primary fish food, there can be a variety of vegetables and fruits goldfish eat, which include vegetables like spinach, cucumber, pea, carrots.

It is better to give them as blanched vegetables which avoid bacteria carry on it. And fruits like apple, orange, grapes and blackberry which favours the most.

Someone can ask; can goldfish eat a banana? My answer will be yes they prefer it same as other fruits so be aware it should be given as lumps ( as in small quantities).

Apple can be given by chopped into tiny slices.

So on some of my friends ask me, can goldfish eat cooked rice?

I did research even practically test on my own goldfish. I saw they love it very much.

But need to fed one rice grain at a time and excess feeding cause harm as earlier mentioned. It is a good source of dietary supplement for fish too.

What other feed goldfish besides fish food? Other than they eat diced zucchini, dried frozen crickets, ghost shrimp etc.

Do goldfish eat their own poop?

Yes, they will be. One thing it is a common thing for omnivore fish, another thing they sometimes scavenge at the bottom and whatever they find eat.

No need to get fear, best way to avoid this by removing the debris within the tank regularly.

What happens if goldfish eat poop? be happy your goldfish is active and healthier as it is a normal behaviour of most of omnivore and tank is in healthy condition.

Do goldfish need to eat every day?

No, it does not.

Feeding once a day is not necessary if you skip one or two meal, it does not matter.

But feed 2-3 times a day and fed small quantities as much as possible to prevent overfeeding. Having algae and diatoms within the tank that may be helpful even if you may get skipped to fed.

By the way, someone asks me, can goldfish survive without food for 2 days? If you read the article from the beginning, you will find the answer!

How long does it take for a goldfish to starve to death?

As earlier mentioned, it could survive for 4 weeks if it was a naturally balanced pond or a tank. Unless they survive only for about 4 days after that, health and colour may get affected.

How long can goldfish go without oxygen?

Yes, surely they can survive without oxygen more than months, how amazing! Approximately they can live up to about 5-6 months without oxygen.

You may be confused about how this could happen? Fish have enzymes which can convert carbohydrate to Alcohol easily under this anaerobic ( a condition where absent of oxygen) and release it via gills.

So they can survive. The best example for this, In Nothern Europe some winter facings areas all lakes, ponds are getting freeze during the winter season.

Until melt ice in the spring fish survives without any harm.

How long can goldfish go without a filter?

When I first brought my goldfish, I had only a small bowl. I kept them for around 2-3 years. But it was very tough work as we have to change the water instantly.

Sometimes daily.

If you are doing a job or any other, it will make so difficult to manage. You can go for a larger tank with a filter which will do massive work on behalf of you.

Thereafter I did research on the internet there I found that they live 2-3 years. I was very happy without knowing anything about fish keeping I kept them alive.

But who reading this article probably will not face a situation I faced. I am really glad here.

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As now you that goldfish can go without food for about 2weeks, it doesn’t mean you should keep them starve or test what I have told. Look after your goldfish properly is a huge responsibility.

It is also a life. Suppose you have a vacation to hire a fish sitter than asking for a friend or neighbour. Experience person can take care of your fish that anyone. I hope this article will help you to make the decision at the right time!

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