Can Goldfish Eat Bread? (Caution Advised)

When there isn’t much food around the house for your goldfish, you may be wondering if it’s okay to feed them bread. In this article, not only are you going to find out whether goldfish can eat bread or not, but you’re also going to learn what type of food they should eat and great alternatives that are always lying around the house!

So keep reading to find out everything you need to know!

Can Goldfish Eat Bread?

So, can goldfish eat bread? It’s never a good idea to feed your goldfish or any fish bread. It’s not good for them, and in fact, if you feed them bread, it can actually cause a lot of harm. So if you plan on feeding your goldfish bread, it’s much better to find a safer, healthier alternative for them.

Why Is Bread Bad For Goldfish?

The main reason bread is bad for your goldfish is due to what it contains. Because there’s yeast in bread, once it’s been eaten, it’s going to begin to expand. You can even notice this in people as we often become bloated after eating bread.

However, unlike with people who don’t really notice the bread bloating them, it can have disastrous effects on a goldfish.

And it’s not just the yeast in the bread either. Bread also contains gluten which is indigestible to goldfish. So if they do eat bread, not only is the yeast going to cause them to suffer, but they’ll also have trouble digesting the gluten, which is going to be extremely painful to them and can cause serious problems.

What Can Happen If Goldfish Eat Bread?

If your goldfish eats bread, there can be some pretty serious consequences. Here are all the reasons you should avoid giving your goldfish bread.


The first reason you should avoid giving your goldfish bread is that it can often lead to indigestion. And as you probably know, indigestion is incredibly painful and uncomfortable.

If your goldfish has indigestion, you’ll be able to physically see it in them as well. Their belly will bloat, and they may also see that they’re having a lot of trouble defecating. As well as this, they’re much more likely to act lethargic and avoid eating food.

(When you notice that your goldfish is suffering from indigestion, you can help them by feeding them high-diet foods such as a blanched pea or daphnia.)


As well as indigestion, your goldfish may also become constipated as well. And when left untreated, constipation can often become worse and even turn fatal.

You’ll be able to tell if your goldfish is constipated because once again, they’ll stop eating and begin to bloat. As well as this, they’ll also become a lot more lethargic, and you may notice that their feces is stringy or they’re not defecating at all.

If you want to know how to treat constipation then you can read a full guide here.

Swim Bladder Disease

Lastly, if you give your goldfish too much bread then they may also end up suffering from swim bladder disease as well. While swim bladder disease is often treatable, it’s definitely not something you want your goldfish to suffer from.

You’ll be able to tell if your goldfish has swim bladder disease as they’ll no longer be able to swim properly. You may notice them constantly floating up or down or on their sides. They may also spend all their time at the top of the tank or on the substrate.

And on top of all this, they will also exhibit the symptoms of constipation and indigestion as well.

What Should You Feed Your Goldfish Instead Of Bread?

Instead of bread, there are plenty of other great alternatives. Here are some of the staple foods that belong in every goldfish diet and some human food that’s much healthier than them.

Specific Goldfish Food

Of course, the best thing you can feed your goldfish is food specifically designed for them. You should look for food that is high in protein and fiber as well as natural ingredients.

A great way to tell if the food is high quality or not is to look at the ingredients. If the first few ingredients are meat and no fillers like corn, then it’s most likely going to be a great choice.

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Live Food

Your goldfish is going to love you if you feed them live food. Brine shrimp, mosquito larvae, and daphnia are great choices as they’re high in fiber as well as protein.

You should avoid giving your goldfish blood worms, though. They’re not as healthy, and they can often affect your goldfish’s digestion. If you do want to feed them blood worms, make sure you’re only using them as a treat every week.

And lastly, while it may not be as beneficial as live food, you can also give your goldfish freeze-dried and frozen food as well. Just make sure that before you add them to the tank that you’re placing them in some tank water first. This will thaw them out as well as hydrate them back to their normal size.

If you don’t have any meat in your house, you can feed your goldfish; then, egg yolks are a great way to make sure they’re getting the protein they need. Just make sure you’re hard-boiling them first and then breaking them up into small pieces before you add them to the tank.

Caution should be used with eggs, though. If you add too much to the tank at once, they’ll often make the water turn cloudy.

Vegetable And Plant Matter

Another great alternative that is going to make up part of a healthy goldfish diet is plant and vegetable matter. And if you don’t have any goldfish food to hand, they make a great supplement until you can go and buy some.

Peas are a great choice for goldfish (just make sure you blanch them first as well as de-shell them). If you don’t fancy giving them peas, then broccoli, lettuce, and kale can also make great choices. Once again, just make sure you’re blanching them.

You can even try adding small amounts of fruit such as apples to the tank, and they absolutely love seaweed as well!

As you can see, there are plenty of things that might be lying around your house that you can feed your goldfish.

And lastly, if you’ve put plants in the tank, they’ll be able to get some of the nutrients they need. Some great plants for your tank include java fern, anubias, duckweed, and anacharis.

Other Food To Avoid

As well as avoiding bread, there are a couple of similar foods you’re going to want to avoid. Anything too grainy or too man-made generally is best to be avoided. So make sure you avoid the following:


Similar to bread, some people often think it’s a good idea to feed their goldfish crackers, but this definitely isn’t the case. If you feed your goldfish crackers, it’s going to have the same effect as bread. They’ll end up becoming bloated and possibly suffering from constipation or indigestion.


Also, you shouldn’t crumble up cereal and feed it to your goldfish either. Cereals are too grainy, and just like bread, they definitely don’t have a place in your fish’s diet. Cereal may even be worse than bread as they’re often packed full of ingredients that your goldfish definitely shouldn’t be eating.


As you can see, bread definitely isn’t worth feeding to your goldfish as it will most likely make them sick or feel uncomfortable.

If you don’t have any food for your goldfish, you should stick to feeding them plant matter or egg yolks.

Otherwise, try giving them goldfish flakes, live animals, and blanched vegetables.