What Can Goldfish Eat Instead of Fish Food?

There are tons of goldfish owners throughout the world and sometimes, we wonder what can goldfish eat instead of fish food. To give you an idea, goldfish can consume certain vegetables like spinach and carrots.

You can check out the table below.

Cucumber SlicesBanana
Sweet PotatoesRaspberries
Lima Beans

Goldfish are truly adorable. Not only do they come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but their shades are unique too. They are among the most common aquarium pets and possess a keen sense of their surroundings, including their taste for food. In this regard, goldfish show remarkable flexibility.

They can take several diets, including several vegetables and fruits, or live prey (worms). Their palate is highly versatile, so if you run out of fish flakes or simply want to offer a variety of foods to your pet, it shouldn’t be a problem.

Moving on, here are some food options that you can try out for your goldfish other than fish food:

Let Them Graze

Since goldfish are naturally scavengers, they often search the bottom of the tank for food. Almost anything that lands on the bottom is a potential meal, and you’d be surprised to know that this also includes the fecal matter or scales of fellow fish.

what can goldfish eat instead of fish food
aitoff | Pixabay

But for a better treat, if you allow algae to grow controllably inside your tank, the goldfish can nibble on it. Algae are highly nutritious and a natural diet for goldfish; hence, this is a healthy option.

However, the downside of this method is that your fish may also ingest a pebble from the substrate, which is not healthy at all.

High Protein Foods

Since goldfish are omnivores, the occasional worm meal can help them thrive in captivity. Protein-rich diets are excellent for promoting growth and improving the health of your fish, and they taste good too (for the fish, of course).

You can easily access options like mosquito larvae, blood worms, shrimp meal, and chopped mollusks.

Many retailers sell vitamin-enriched versions of these meals to provide the ultimate treat for your fish. Don’t overdo it though; feed with moderation and use other options too.

Bring Out the Veggies & Fruits

Goldfish can eat a lot of finely chopped up vegetables too, and it is a good idea to treat them with these once in a while, it provides them with vital vitamins and minerals.

Some examples of vegetables that your goldfish will enjoy:

  • Peas
  • Lettuce
  • Spinach
  • Potatoes
  • Cucumbers
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Lima Beans
  • Broccolis
what can goldfish eat instead of fish food
kkolosov | Pixabay

Similarly, you can add fruits like grapes, oranges, apples, mangoes, bananas, strawberries, and pears to the mixture. In either case, you will first have to boil the vegetables and fruits and then finely chop them to minuscule sizes so that they’ll fit easily into your goldfish’s mouth. This processing is crucial as it will make the food eatable and digestible for the fish.

What Else Can Goldfish Eat?

You can also try out duckweed. Duckweed is an aquatic plant, a weed to be more specific, which is a common food source (highly nutritious) for many water-dwelling animals.

You can either buy it from a local store at a very cheap rate or if you have some growing near your place, pluck some out from there. In either case, boil it and then chop into fine pieces before feeding.

what can goldfish eat instead of fish food
allybally4b | Pixabay

You can also feed oatmeal or cooked rice to your goldfish; they seem to love it.

What Can Goldfish Eat Instead Of Fish Food: FAQ

Here are the frequently asked questions when it comes to goldfish and fish food.

What human food can you feed a goldfish?

You can feed numerous veggies and fruits to your goldfish like:

  • peas
  • spinach
  • kale
  • grapes
  • orange
  • watermelon
  • apple
  • banana

Some individuals additionally feed oatmeal and also rice to their goldfish.

Can goldfish eat bread?

Bread is generally thrown to goldfish, particularly fish kept in fish ponds. You need to never ever feed bread to a goldfish as it can swell up inside their intestinal tracts and also create bowel irregularity as well as also fatality.

Can goldfish eat bananas?

Bear in mind: Wash all fruits as well as vegetables prior to giving them to your goldfish. Boil vegetables, and also peel any type of fruit especially bananas if you’re planning to feed your fish with them.

How long can a goldfish go without eating?

According to experts, goldfish can go approximately two weeks without eating. Just because your goldfish can survive for that length of time, it doesn’t mean that you should starve them.

How often should goldfish be fed?

Feed your goldfish two to three times daily. It is necessary to stay clear of overfeeding goldfish as this can cause indigestion and/or dirty water in the tank. In terms of the total up to feed, a good guideline is to just feed an amount that the goldfish can eat in under 2 minutes.

Can goldfish eat rice?

As mentioned above in the article, goldfish can eat rice. Make sure that the rice is cooked before feeding it to your goldfish. While it’s not recommended, they will consume it.

Do goldfish beg for food?

Along with frequent communication during the course of eating, your goldfish is going to know to affiliate your existence along with food, hence you may discover all of them “asking” for meals whenever you move toward the tank. Your fish will certainly very soon learn to expect eatings, given you adhere to a particular supplying schedule.

From VivariumTips,


It is exciting to go through a list of alternative food options for your pet, and you probably can’t wait to try them all out.

But remember not to overdo it. Overfeeding your fish can be disastrous, and it can do more harm than good, as it ruins the gut tract.

Instead, use these options in moderation; observe which foods your fish fancies, and you can use those more than the others.

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