What To Feed Goldfish When You’re Out Of Fish Food

Many people who keep fish in tanks wonder if their fish are getting enough food and the right amount of nutrition. The health of your fish depends on a lot of things, like how well you take care of them and how well the aquarium is kept. Even though store-bought fish food might be enough to feed your goldfish, it’s still a good idea to give them something different every so often. After all, we want them to have good food and live long healthy lives. But before you give your fish whatever is in your fridge, you should find out what they can safely eat.

What to Feed Goldfish When You’re Out Of Fish Food

It’s time to feed your goldfish, but you just realized you don’t have any more food for them. Don’t panic; you can still feed your fish. If you run out of food for your goldfish, here are seven other things you can feed it.

1.  Vegetables

Vegetables seem to be the human food group that your goldfish can eat the most of.

But that doesn’t mean that all vegetables are safe or that all amounts of vegetables are safe.

2.  Fruits

Most fruits are okay for goldfish, but you should give them much less of them than you would vegetables. They should not ever be used instead of a real, balanced food for goldfish.

3. Insects

Insects are safe for goldfish to eat, as well as their young and eggs. Goldfish in the wild would eat any insects that fall into the water. Don’t worry if those insects get close enough to your tank or pond for your goldfish to eat them. 

4. Worms

Mealworms are one of many insect species that are safe for goldfish to eat due to their omnivorous nature. Worms shouldn’t be fed too often, though, unless you’re making homemade food for goldfish. This is to keep the water from getting too dirty with ammonia.

5. Shrimp

Your goldfish can eat shrimp, but don’t give them too many of them. Shrimps have a lot of calories, so if you feed them too often, your fish will gain weight and make too much ammonia. In small amounts, they are safe for your goldfish to eat.

6. Aquatic Plants

It’s unfortunate that goldfish often consume or dig up water plants, as these are visually pleasing and functional, as they can consume the harmful chemicals that fish poop makes. We’ve found some plants that are not only easy to take care of but also tough enough to survive your goldfish’s nibbling.

7. Algae

As a snack, goldfish like to eat a little bit of algae. But most of the time, they’d rather eat fish food and bugs than algae. Because of this, they only help a little with algae in a pond.

Goldfish on a black background

Homemade Food for Goldfish

Even though store-bought foods are made to be healthy for your fish and have a lot of nutrients, they can be pricey and have a lot of chemicals as well as artificial ingredients.

Creating your own fish food is a great way to ensure that your fish get a healthy diet and that the food fits their exact needs. Here are 7 homemade food you can give to your goldfish

1. Hard-Boiled Egg Yolks

Many smaller fish and shrimps love hard-boiled egg yolks. It’s a good idea to feed them tiny pieces as an occasional treat. But be careful not to overdo it, since yolk particles can make the water in your tank cloudy.

2.  No-Cook Fish Food

This easy recipe doesn’t need to be cooked and can be made in 30 minutes. Put chopped spinach, peas, and cucumber in a blender, then add water and gelatin. Then you can freeze it by putting it in an ice cube tray.

3. Boiled Spinach

Spinach is best sourced from nearby growers, farmer’s markets, or other local establishments. You’ll be able to get your hands on some fresh, nutritious spinach while simultaneously helping out your neighborhood farmers.

4. Sliced Fruits

Goldfish can also eat fruits, but they shouldn’t get too many of them, and they shouldn’t be used to replace other foods. To make this, you can slice fruits like grapes, oranges, watermelon, corn, apple, banana, raspberries, and strawberries into tiny pieces and make sure you don’t feed them too much.

5. Cooked Peas

Peas are another food that goldfish like to eat. Even if a goldfish is sick or has a clogged intestine, they can heal it. To keep your goldfish from choking, you should peel the skin off the peas before you feed them to them.

6. Cooked Carrots

When it comes to what they eat, goldfish are very picky. Goldfish can eat carrots whenever they have the chance. Because carrots have vitamins and minerals, they help goldfish grow but make sure that you don’t give too many carrots to your goldfish.

7. Blanched Cucumber

Even though cucumber is not a meal on its own, it can be a healthy addition to a meal. You boil it or put it in the microwave before cutting it into tiny pieces that your goldfish can eat. You can also put a piece of cucumber in the water with a plant weight and let your fish eat it all day.

What Food Can Kill Goldfish?

It’s not a bad idea to try to mix up what your goldfish eats a little bit. Goldfish will eat anything that fits in their mouths, so make sure you don’t give them anything that could hurt them. Here are seven foods that could kill your goldfish.

1. Bread

Even if your goldfish ate a little piece of bread, you probably don’t need to worry. It isn’t directly bad for them. This doesn’t mean you should feed your goldfish bread or bread crumbs, though. In fact, it’s usually best to stay away from it.

2. Chocolate

Chocolate is not a good thing for any fish, including goldfish, to eat. Fish flakes or pellets should make up most of a goldfish’s food. Sugar, which is in a lot of processed chocolate, is known to kill all fish, including goldfish.

3. Crackers

Crackers are not good for goldfish to eat in general. In addition to being bad for your goldfish’s health, crackers could cause its intestines to swell, which could lead to constipation or even more serious blockages. Still, if your goldfish eats a little bit of cracker, it’s not likely to die.

4. Cereal

Because grains aren’t good for goldfish in general, and because cereal has extra things in it, you shouldn’t give cereal to your goldfish. Though a little bit won’t hurt it, it’s better off with something like goldfish food or some leafy greens.

5. Wax Worm 

Goldfish can eat wax worms without getting sick or dying, but you shouldn’t feed them wax worms because they have a lot of fat, which could result to fatal health problems. Wax worms have more fat than any of the foods we recommend. Because of this, wax worms are not a good choice when thinking about what treats to give your goldfish.

6. Betta Food

Even though goldfish can temporarily eat betta food, you shouldn’t feed it to them. Bettas eat meat, so they have different dietary needs than omnivores like goldfish. For example, they need more fat and protein in their food. If you feed your goldfish Betta food for a long time, it could hurt its health.

7. Rice

Goldfish will eat both cooked and uncooked rice, but you shouldn’t give them starchy foods that don’t have any vitamins. They have no nutritional value, and if they eat uncooked rice, it will grow in their stomachs and could hurt them. Don’t give goldfish rice, whether it’s cooked or not.

FAQ

How Long Can Goldfish Live Without Food?

Fishkeeping Wisdom says that Goldfish can go about two weeks without eating. Their metabolism can work without food for a long time, but it’s not a good idea to do this. Even though goldfish don’t eat every day in the wild, if they are used to eating twice or three times a day, going without food for a long time can hurt them.

Can Goldfish Eat Betta Food?

Tiny Underwater says that bettas eat meat, so their food is made just for them and is usually high in fat and protein. If your goldfish eats this kind of food for a long time, it could be bad for its health.

Can Goldfish Eat Rice?

Yes, technically, goldfish can eat rice, and some goldfish owners say that their fish love eating small amounts of cooked rice, as stated by Jaljeev. However, you shouldn’t feed your goldfish rice, because it has no nutritional value to your fish, and it can also lead to overfeeding, bloating, and constipation.

Can Goldfish Eat Broccoli

It is stated in Our Aquariums that goldfish can eat broccoli. In fact, broccoli is one of the best foods you can give your aquarium fish. But you shouldn’t take this statement at face value. There are, in fact, some rules and ways to feed goldfish broccoli to avoid health problems.

Can Goldfish Eat Cheese

According to Aquarium Fishkeepers, fish can’t eat cheese because they don’t have the enzymes they need to break down dairy. Cheese is made from milk. Lactase, which helps break down milk, is not found in fish, and that means they aren’t even able to break down dairy.

Can Goldfish Eat Crackers?

Tiny Underwater says that crackers are bad for your goldfish. It can cause swelling and constipation, which results in problems in the digestive system.

Can Goldfish Eat Noodles?

Aquariums At Home states that fish are big fans of cooked grains like rice and pasta. If you ever find yourself out of fish food, these are some easy options to consider. Prepare the rice or pasta by cutting it into smaller pieces, and add only a few to the tank at a time.

Can You Feed Goldfish Bread?

Goldfish should not be fed bread because it is unhealthy for them, says Aqua Goodness. Bread can cause constipation in Goldfish due to stomach expansion. Bread’s gluten is especially tough on Goldfish stomachs.

Can Goldfish Eat Tropical Fish Food?

No, if goldfish eat tropical fish flakes, they won’t die right away. Goldfish don’t have preferences when it comes to food, so you can put anything in the fish tank  and they will surely eat it. But just because they can handle tropical fish flakes for a short time doesn’t mean that it’s good for their health in the long run, according to Hepper.

Recap

To run out of fish food happens to every aquarist at least once in their lifetime. There are other ways to feed your goldfish that can be found in your home that are generally safe to feed like vegetables and fruits in small amounts. Some, like grains, must be avoided as they can be bad, and others, like animal foods, must be avoided as they are packed with calories and not good for goldfish to eat all the time. You can also make your own fish food, as long as you don’t add things that are bad for the fish, like salt or fat. What makes our domestic pets happy is usually stuff we already have on hand.