What Do Goldfish Eat In The Wild? What Is The Risk Of Overfeeding?

Goldfish are a kind of pet fish that is very familiar to everyone, particularly those who have a hobby of fishkeeping. There is a typical question in goldfish farming: “What do goldfish eat in the wild?”

Goldfish are omnivores and require nutritious foods providing high contents of carbohydrates and proteins. Marines plants are also another nutritious source of food that creates a healthy goldfish diet.

Thus, it is optimal to identify the right food for your pet fish. You will need to conduct this to make sure that goldfish are healthy with bright colors! 

The article below will provide more information for you to have an in-depth investigation!

The Typical Diet Of Goldfish In The Wild 



In wildlife, people can see goldfish in the ecosystem of freshwaters such as small rivers, lakes, and ponds. 

They take an interest in slightly murky water with slow movements and about 30 degrees centigrade. The water would have a pH between 6.5 and 8.5.

Goldfish like grouping up as a school of fish to live in natural habitats. They especially do not show aggressive personalities.

In the wild, the goldfish’s feeding style is similar to the ancestor, the wild carp.

As being omnivorous, they can eat plants as well as animal matter that they can find in the water. However, the goldfish diet mainly includes an abundance of aquatic plants.

Some of the most popular foods that goldfish can find in the water are: 

  • Soft algae 
  • Tiny insects and insect larvae
  • Small-sized frogs, tadpoles, and frogspawn
  • Little marine creatures such as invertebrates and  barnacles
  • Fresh and decaying aquatic plants
  • Tiny fish and fish eggs fitting their mouths.

The Ideal Diet Of A Pet Goldfish Based On What They Eat



One of the best ways to help your goldfish grow and nourish healthily is by feeding them a diverse and balanced diet as in wildlife. 

Therefore, you can incorporate the same food that they will find in the water. It would meet the nutritional demands of the goldfish.

Readymade fish food is one choice you can consider as it is available, convenient, and consistent for your pet fish. 

Nevertheless, if you feed this type of food repeatedly day after day, it would not offer a sufficient amount of nutrients for your colorful fish. 

As you are able to use commercially available fish food as the main meal, it is also good to add many other foods for extra nourishment. Keep your pet fish in good conditions and help them reach a longer lifetime by feeding them the item below in the goldfish diet.

Readymade fish food

You can include ready-made fish food in the goldfish diet such as veggie pellets and food flakes at some stores. 

The veggie pellet lasts longer and keeps nutritional qualities better than the food flake after you open it. Despite that, some types of fish prefer the food flake to the veggie pellet owing to the quality of easier digestion for fish. 

Almost all veggie pellets would fall deeply into the water and it takes time to completely dissolve. It then creates much time for the goldfish to try to find food. 

When you buy commercially available fish food, look at the label to make sure that it consists of all the nutrients your pet fish requires.

Vegetables and fruits

In their natural habitat, almost all the nutrients of the goldfish are marine plants. To simulate this in your tank, treat them with fresh vegetables and fruits many times per week. 

Several selections consist of:

  • Boiled peas without the shell
  • Cooked vegetables, such as potatoes, chard, and pumpkin
  • Sliced fresh fruits, such as apples and mangoes
  • Leaves such as kale, spinach, and lettuce.
  • Finely-chopped vegetables such as carrots and broccoli 

Live or freeze-dried food

You can feed your pet fish with live or freeze-dried food. Some choices are brine shrimp, daphnia, blood worms, white worms, and crickets just 2-3 times a week.

As these types of food have high contents of proteins and fats, they would be a great supplement to the goldfish diet and help them develop more quickly.

Dangers Of Overfeeding Goldfish 



Goldfish are interesting animals that will move quickly towards you if they feel your existence. The reason is that goldfish make an association of your existence with food. 

The goldfish not only gobbles up any kind of food you treat, they will also browse the aquarium and dig for food anywhere and anytime.

With a good appetite, goldfish will eat any edible item that they can discover in the water. Nevertheless, overfeeding is very harmful to goldfish since their body parts do not include a stomach.

The goldfish’s mouths do not have any teeth. Rather than that, this type of fish has pharyngeal teeth. They look similar to the hard plate at the rear of the mouth. 

When goldfish eat any food, the pharyngeal teeth will crush it up into much smaller particles. 

As a result, the food flows very fast through the digestive system. All nutritious substances are ingested by the body, and the remaining food is excluded as waste.

Because the goldfish lack a stomach, they are incapable of containing much food. Hence, you should treat them with soft foods at various times rather than only one time a day.

Excessiveness of food will cause too much waste eventually. It would make the aquarium polluted and the water dirty.

Furthermore, unconsumed food will remain in the aquarium and cause toxins that will be detrimental to the health of your pet fish. 

Therefore, you should treat your goldfish with a moderate amount of food and follow a daily feeding plan for their health.

How Often Should You Feed Goldfish 



The regular feeding schedule that you should follow is on average two or three times a day. It is a simple and effective program in any situation.

You should also comply with this rule consistently every day. It would create a regular development and a healthy digestive process for your pet fish.

Treating goldfish at irregular times day after day will cause the risk of falling sick or receiving an inconsistent quantity of food.

However, if the aforementioned guide above makes things work well, you do not need to worry about varying your plan a little when you want. It is some kind of thing associated with personal experience.

For instance, you may realize that your pet fish does not consume food as much as they grow bigger. 

In that case, it is reasonable to try reducing the number of feeding times per day from 3 down to 2 times. You should keep in mind to consistently weigh the quantity of food you will give them to assure that you do not reduce their intake too rapidly and suddenly. 

The general recommendation for fish keepers is to stick to the guideline when they are starters. Still, they can practice common senses when becoming more experienced.


Having an investigation into the varied and nutritious diet for goldfish is not so challenging as people normally think. Instead, the rules are super easy to follow. 

Even though you should follow the principles, it is also fine to make some moderations based on your goldfish’s conditions. Consequently, you will meet a wide range of sudden situations that require small changes.

In a nutshell, achieving a deep understanding of the goldfish lifestyle will help your pet fish nourish with a continuous and balanced feeding program.

Frequently Asked Questions

What can I feed my goldfish if I run out of fish food?

If you are running out of readymade fish food for your pet fish, there are a lot of homemade foods to feed. You can try fresh vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, lettuce, shelled peas, or cucumber. 

Do you need to feed pond goldfish?

Generally, goldfish in ponds can find aquatic food in the water, but it is still necessary to offer additional nutrition with a moderate amount of food. 

You can try store-bought fish foods like veggie pellets or food flakes. Fresh vegetables and fruits are also good. If possible, you can feed them live or freeze-dried food.

Do goldfish eat algae in a pond?

In their natural habitat, marine plants like algae are one of the most favorite food of goldfish. As a result, the goldfish will probably eat algae in a pond. 

How long can goldfish live without food in a pond?

In fact, goldfish in a pond can live without food for at least half of a month. There is no need to worry if you have to leave the house for some reason. It is because goldfish can find aquatic plant and animal matter food in the water.

What is the best food for goldfish in a pond?

As it is mentioned above, ready-made fish food, fresh vegetables and fruits, and live or freeze-dried food are the three best choices for goldfish in a pond as well as in a tank.