What Can Goldfish Eat Besides Fish Food?

A widely popular name in the list of a fish pet is goldfish. Everybody loves this pleasing species for their friendly nature and vivid coloration. Also, goldfish are very easy to take care of and can live for a long time with you.

The core part of taking care of goldfish comes in the form of diet. Goldfish can have a variety of food. Though they can be happy with fish food, there are some foods that you can feed your goldfish. In this article, we will shed some light on what can you provide your goldfish besides fish food.

Foods habit of goldfish

What does goldfish eat? Well, many people consider goldfish only as an aquarium fish. But in reality, goldfish also live in the wild. There are different food habits for both aquarium goldfish and the wild ones.

Domestic goldfish can have almost everything you tend to give it. But it is recommended to provide them with a bit of their wild food preference, just to make them satisfied.

Aquarium goldfish mainly live on fish food. Flakes, pallets are their main food. You can also feed them peas without skin and some other veggies.

However, wild goldfish have a different taste in food. In fact, they grow quite large in the wild because of their diversified diet.

Goldfish are actually omnivores that mean they have both plants and animals as food. Wild goldfish eat plants, insects, and even tiny fish when they are comparatively large.

As plants, goldfish like to have algae. They also eat leaves and plant roots. Whereas in the animal criteria, goldfish eat snails, insects, and larvae. Such a broadly balanced diet, isn’t it?

What human food can your goldfish eat?


Can goldfish eat rice? Well, yes. Surprisingly goldfish enjoy eating some of the food that we eat, and rice is one of them. Boiled rice can be a great alternative for fish foods for goldfish. Simply break the rice into smaller pieces and feed your goldfish. Pasta also falls into this category and does the job.

Boiled egg yolks

Many small fish love hard-boiled egg yolks, and goldfish is one of them. But this is more of an occasional food. You can use it occasionally to treat your fish. The yolks can make the water muddy, so make sure you do not overdo it.


Peas without skin can be an excellent alternative to fish flakes too. Peas are good for your goldfish because they tend to sink in the bottom of the tank. So your goldfish can be saved from swallowing some air while eating. Also, peas are tiny, and the fish can comfortably take them inside their mouth.

When it comes to food value, peas have lots of fivers, and it is a crucial element to keep your goldfish away from digestion problems like constipation.


Green leafy veggies are a good food option for goldfish. They are easy to digest. Also, sweet potatoes, cucumbers, and zucchinis are the vegetables that you can try.

If you are thinking of feeding vegetables to your goldfish, make sure they are boiled properly. Raw veggies can cause digestive problems. Also, cut them into small pieces, so it becomes easier for the fish to swallow.

If you see any health issues or lethargic movements, avoid that particular food. Many fish are allergenic to veggies, and they tend to become inactive. So notice their movement carefully.

Live food

Goldfish love lives food. In fact, they grow large in the wild because of the wild foods they have there. Live foods like earthworms, bloodworms, and daphnia are full of protein and can be a great alternative to the normal fish food.

It is recommended to give your goldfish a taste of wild food occasionally. So you can always go for these insects and worms. They are widely available in the fish food store. You can even find some of them in your garden.

These live food can transmit disease if these are not prepared well. So before feeding them, make sure the foods are well prepared.


Goldfish have a hobby, and that is grazing. They tend to graze quite often, and while grazing, they eat whatever food is there at the bottom. Some algae grow in the goldfish tank, and they can be a good food option for goldfish. They grow naturally and can make your goldfish appetite full.

Factors to consider

Your goldfish will eat almost everything you put in the tank. But you have to consider the facts and act accordingly. There are some main things to focus on while feeding your goldfish

The growth of your goldfish depends on the nutrition it gets. If you want to see your goldfish grow more, you would like to feed it more frequently.

Another important factor is age. Goldfish tend to grow more in the early stage of their life span. So young goldfish need to have more food for growing as a large one.

Temperature can be a key factor too. In winter, when the temperature drops below 50-degree fare height, it is considered the hibernating period for goldfish.

In this time, the metabolism of goldfish gets slow, and the food can get rotten, which might cause health issues of your goldfish. So feeding them once in a month in this period is sufficient.

If you are looking to get your goldfish spawn, you need to keep them into “Breeding condition.” Inbreeding condition, you should feed them several times per day. The more you feed them, the greater growth you are promoting.


What should you avoid feeding your goldfish?

Well, as we have already known that a goldfish is an eating machine. It can eat whatever food you put in the tank. Feeding a goldfish in the tank is different from feeding a goldfish in the pond. Goldfish do not have a real stomach as we do. So they do not know how much to eat. So the more you give, your goldfish will eat more. Thus it becomes the responsibility of the owner to make sure the goldfish is getting enough nutrients without feeding your goldfish these food items below.


Many fish pet owners have a common question, can goldfish eat bread? We often tend to throw a lot of bread into the pond for fish. Well, bread is not an ideal food for goldfish. It can swallow inside their stomach and can create constipation and other health issues. Also, bread does not have the nutrients that a goldfish need. The US has banned bread as fish food in 2011.


Cereal is grains, and grains are not advisable for goldfish. Also, there are some other ingredients like chocolate, marshmallow that can cause problems for your goldfish.

A small amount of cereal will not kill your goldfish. It may not do any harm too. But feeding your goldfish cereal on a regular basis can cause health issues.

Betta Food

We often feed our goldfish with betta food. Remember, this is only an emergency alternative to fish food.

Betta fish are carnivores, whereas goldfish are of omnivore’s nature. SO betta fish food contains added fat and protein that your goldfish do not need. So feeding betta food for a more extended time may affect your goldfish physically.

Feeding tips for your goldfish
  1. Goldfish can eat a lot, but they actually need a very tiny amount of food to stay active. Overfeeding can cause health problems and shorten their lifespan. So avoid feeding your goldfish a lot.
  2. Try to stick to a routine. If you can feed your goldfish at the same time every day, it will create a good eating habit. The fish will also be excited about food at that time.
  3. Feed them for two minutes. If you see any food particles remaining inside the tank, cut the food supply. Some food may sink at the bottom, and the fish might take time to find it. In that case, wait a little longer.
  4. Remove the extra food from the tank after 15 minutes of feeding the goldfish. This other food can rot and make the water dirty.
  5. Give a treat to your fish only once to twice a week. The treats may appear very tasty to them, but actually, they are not healthy enough. So feeding these items on a regular basis can cause constipation and other problems.


Being careful while feeding your goldfish is a must. It gets all the nutrients from the foods you re providing. Though fish food has all the necessary nutrients, you might not have fish food all the time.

So as the alternative of fish food, there are many items for your fish to provide. These are healthy enough and can give your goldfish a different taste.

But you need to be cautious with the amount and type. Though these food items do the work for a day or two, long term usage may cause health problems for your goldfish. If you sense a problem, stop providing that particular food item.

Throughout the article, we tried to talk detailed on what can you feed your goldfish beside fish food. So now you have a number of options, even if you’re out of fish food.


Leave a Comment