Do Goldfish Eat Tadpoles And Frogspawn?

If you’re wondering whether goldfish eat tadpoles and frogspawn, then you’ve come to the right place. In this article, you’re going to find out whether they do, and more importantly, if it’s going to be good or bad for them.

You’ll also find out things you can do to stop tadpoles from being eaten by predators and why it’s probably a good thing that some of the tadpoles don’t survive.

Key Takeaways:

  • Goldfish do eat tadpoles and frogspawn, showing a preference for tadpoles, but they may also consume frogspawn depending on their interest.
  • Tadpoles can be beneficial for goldfish if they are from frogs, as they offer nutrition, but caution is advised with toad tadpoles that produce toxic chemicals.
  • Factors influencing whether goldfish eat tadpoles include the size of the tadpoles and goldfish, the number of goldfish in the pond, and how well-fed the goldfish are.
  • To prevent tadpoles from being eaten, providing hiding spots, creating shallow areas in the pond, and setting up partitions using mesh nets can be effective strategies.

So Do Goldfish Eat Tadpoles And Frogspawn?

If you’re wondering, “do goldfish eat tadpoles and frogspawn?” then the answer is most definitely yes. Goldfish will pretty much eat anything that’s in your pond that’s small enough, and tadpoles are no exception.

While they love tadpoles, it’s a little bit less likely that they’re going to eat frogspawn. It all depends on whether it catches their eye or not. But in a lot of people’s experience, it appears that they prefer tadpoles to frogspawn (however, they’ll still definitely eat both).

Are Tadpoles Good Or Bad For Goldfish?

It all depends on what type of tadpole your goldfish are eating. If they’re eating tadpoles produced by frogs, then they’re going to be absolutely fine for goldfish and potentially even beneficial.

However, toad tadpoles are another story. Toad tadpoles produce toxic chemicals, and while these should discourage your fish from eating them, you should still be cautious.

CharacteristicToad TadpolesFrog Tadpoles
Body ShapeShort and FatLong and Skinny
ColorEntirely BlackGray-Green with Gold Flecks
Development DurationAbout 4 MonthsAbout 14 Weeks
Habitat PreferenceDeeper Water, Long StringsShallower Water, Clumps

(Find out whether goldfish can eat bread or bloodworms.)

What Are The Factors That Determine Whether Goldfish Will Eat Tadpoles?

There are a couple of factors that determine whether your tadpoles are going to get eaten by your goldfish. And here are the main ones.

The Size Of The Tadpoles And Goldfish

If the tadpoles become too big or the goldfish are too small, then you won’t have to worry about the tadpoles being eaten. After all, if they’re not going to fit into your goldfish’s mouth, then he’s not going to bother eating them.

How Many Goldfish Are In The Pond

And it’s not just how many goldfish are in the pond, but how many goldfish are in the pond relative to the size. A pond that is overstocked is going to result in a lot more tadpoles being eaten than a pond that is sparsely populated.

How Well Fed Your Goldfish Are

Another deciding factor in whether your goldfish are going to eat tadpoles is how well fed they are already. If they’re already getting lots of food, then it’s going to decrease the chance that your goldfish will want to eat the tadpoles.

(Did you know overfeeding can lead to constipation and swim bladder disease.)

How To Stop Tadpoles Getting Eaten?

If you don’t want the tadpoles in your pond to be eaten, there are a few things you can do to reduce the chances of this happening. Here are some of the best ways to stop them from being eaten:

Give Them Somewhere To Hide

One of the first and easiest things you can do is make sure that you’re adding lots of hiding places for them in the pond. The hiding places should be big enough for them to fit into but small enough that the goldfish can’t get there.

You can try using twigs, rocks, and wood to do this as well as various ornaments that you find in shops.

Make Sure There’s A Shallow Spot In The Pond

As well as this, you could also try making sure that there’s a shallow spot in the pond where the tadpoles can rest. This is ideal because your goldfish will not want to go to the shallow parts as it’s harder to swim in, and they’re more vulnerable to outside predators.

However, you should be warned while your tadpoles won’t have to worry about the goldfish in the pond, they’ll also have to worry about outside predators, just like your goldfish.

Setup A Partition

Lastly, you could also try setting up a partition in your pond using a fine mesh net. This way, you’re going to be able to keep your goldfish happy in one part of your pond and your tadpoles safe in the other part of your pond.

The easiest way to do this is to attach the mesh to a pole that is big enough to fit from one side of the pond to the other. Once you’ve placed the pole over your pond, you can use something to weigh down the net. You don’t have to partition off a big part of your pond, and normally a shallower part will work great.

However, it’s hard to get this perfect, and even then, some tadpoles are likely to slip out. The most important part is making sure that some goldfish don’t slip back in.

Does It Matter If You Don’t Save All The Tadpoles?

One of the most important things to remember is that you’re not going to be able to save all of the tadpoles in most cases. In fact, nature hasn’t intended for this to happen. If too many of the tadpoles survived, then the pond would soon become overrun with frogs who like to come back to the pond to spawn more.

That’s the reason that frogs produce so many tadpoles in the first place. Only a handful of them is going to survive after everything. So in most cases, the best thing you can do is leave them and let nature take its course!

What Are The Benefits Of Tadpoles In Your Pond?

Keeping tadpoles in your pond actually has another of benefits not just for your goldfish, but also the pond itself! Such as:

  • They’re going to eat algae in the pond, helping to keep it clean, as well as eating pests like mosquito larvae and other small insects!
  • They’re also going to help add nutrients back into the water ensuring your pond plants get enough food!

What Are The Draw Backs Of Tadpoles In A Pond?

However, you do need to weigh up the pros and cons of keeping tadpoles in your pond, as there are also a few cons you should be aware about.

  • Tadpoles could end up bringing more predators to your pond which could attack your fish.
  • If not enough get eaten, then you may end up with an overpopulation of frogs.
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Here are some frequently asked questions that people have about tadpoles and frogspawn in their pond!

Do Goldfish Eat Frogs?

It’s unlikely that your goldfish would be able to eat a frog, unless it was still fairly small.

Do Goldfish Eat Mosquito Larvae?

Not only will goldfish eat mosquito larvae, they absolutely love it! So if there is mosquito larvae in your pond, it’s just going to be an additional snack for your goldfish.


Now you know that goldfish will definitely eat tadpoles and frogspawn. However, you can help deter them from eating too many in a variety of ways. And there are also a variety of factors that will determine how much they’ll eat naturally, too.


About the author

Hey! I'm Antonio!

Betta fish keeper for over 6 years now! Since owning a betta I've also housed all kinds of tropical fish, and have seen all manner of problems and how to look after them!

If you need any advice you can always message me or better yet join the Facebook group where a community can answer your questions!