How Often To Feed Goldfish For Good Health

Figuring out the perfect feeding schedule for your goldfish can be a bit of a puzzle. Overfeeding is a common mistake, but don't worry, I've got the scoop on how often to feed your goldfish, keeping bellies full and the water clean and clear.
How often to feed goldfish

How Often Do You Feed A Goldfish?

How often to feed goldfish depends on the water temperature, and the water temperature depends on the type of goldfish you keep.

The chart below is a feeding frequency guide, based on the temperature of your goldfish aquarium.

TANK TEMPERATUREFEEDING FREQUENCY
Below 50°F (10°C)Very infrequently (once a week) to none
50-60°F (10-15°C)Once or twice a week
60-70°F (15-21°C)Every other day or once a day
70-75°F (21-24°C)Once or twice a day
75-80°F (24-27°C)Twice a day
Above 80°F (27°C)Water is too warm for Goldfish!

How Water Temperature Affects How Often To Feed GoldFish

Fish are ectotherms, meaning their body temperature is regulated by their external environment.

The temperature of the water influences their metabolism, reproduction, growth, and immune system function.

Different types of goldfish require different temperatures to thrive and this will affect how often you feed your fish.

  • Common, Comet & Shubunkin Goldfish: These hardy cold-water goldfish are known for adapting to various temperatures.
    They are found in the wild and often kept in garden ponds, and able to tolerate lower temperatures, with the ideal range being 64°F to 70°F (17.5°C to 21°C).

  • Fancy Goldfish: These goldfish are not found in the wild and need higher temperatures to thrive and have a preferred temperature range of 68°F to 74°F (20°C to 23°C).

The warmer the water, the hungrier they become.

What Should I Feed My Goldfish?

A high-quality flake and pellet form a good foundation for a goldfish diet.

It can be complemented with fresh, frozen, or freeze-dried foods like brine shrimp, bloodworms, daphnia, and vegetables such as shelled peas, broccoli, spinach, and lettuce. 

Fruits like blueberries, strawberries, and watermelon can be fed in moderation.

Goldfish also enjoy consuming plants, with duckweed and elodea being excellent options that they love to gobble down!

How Much To Feed A Goldfish

This is one of those questions that everyone has a different answer to, and it all comes down to what works for you and the temperature of the water.

Each goldie has its unique character so you’ll have to monitor yours and work out the right amount for your fish, it’s always best to slightly underfeed rather than overfeed….even when they are begging for more food!

A couple of ‘rules of thumb’ you could use as a starting point are:

The 2-Minute Rule

I’m sure you’ve heard this before, but if you haven’t, this is how much food your goldie can eat within 2 minutes. Feed no more than that.

The Eye Size Rule

Look at your goldfish and feed them a portion of food that is roughly the size of one of their eyes.

My Goldfish Feeding Schedule

I feed my goldies twice per day as follows:

TIME OF DAYWHAT TO FEED
MorningGoldfish pellets
EveningFresh veggies and freeze-dried foods

Avoid repeating the same food at both feedings. Variety is key to a balanced diet.

Make sure that any fresh vegetables are soft and in small pieces to prevent digestive issues.

How To Feed Goldfish While On Vacation

If you’re going on vacation you have 2 options.

1. Automated Feeder

Automatic feeders are a great option when going on vacation. 

One thing to note with these automatic feeders is that they take a little fine-tuning, so it’s best to check it is set up and dispenses the correct amount of food BEFORE you go away.

You need to buy a decent quality one, the cheaper ones can get condensation built up inside them. This then causes the food to clog together and it won’t dispense into the tank properly.

Only use dry food (pellets work best), as anything with moisture will cause the food to clump together and potentially cause mold to grow.

2 great options are:

Our Top Pick
Runner Up
4.3
4.2
$30.99
$18.99
  • Easy to set up
  • Quiet operation
  • Fully programable with a clear LCD screen
  • Dispenser can provide 15 individual meals
  • Sealed against moisture to prevent bacteria growth
  • Rechargeable battery has usage of up to 2 months
  • USB-C charging cable included
  • Easy to set up and use
  • Automatically dispenses food every 8, 12, or 24 hours
  • 2 x AA batteries included
  • Can only be charged using the supplied USB-C cable DON'T throw it away!
  • Can be difficult to get the portion size right for a single fish
As an Amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. This is at no additional cost to yourself.
As an Amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. This is at no additional cost to yourself.
Our Top Pick
4.3
$30.99
  • Easy to set up
  • Quiet operation
  • Fully programable with a clear LCD screen
  • Dispenser can provide 15 individual meals
  • Sealed against moisture to prevent bacteria growth
  • Rechargeable battery has usage of up to 2 months
  • USB-C charging cable included
  • Can only be charged using the supplied USB-C cable DON'T throw it away!
As an Amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. This is at no additional cost to yourself.
Runner Up
4.2
$18.99
  • Easy to set up and use
  • Automatically dispenses food every 8, 12, or 24 hours
  • 2 x AA batteries included
  • Can be difficult to get the portion size right for a single fish
As an Amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. This is at no additional cost to yourself.
03/16/2024 08:44 am GMT

2. Fish Sitter

This is a job to give to someone who you can trust, preferably someone who knows about fishkeeping.

When I go away, I measure out each day’s food allocation into a pill box and hide the main tub/bag of food.

EZY DOSE 7 DAY PILL CASE
4.6
$6.99 $5.49

Pre-measure the food you want to feed your fish each day.

Great for pet sitters while you are away on vacation, to avoid overfeeding.

Dimensions in Inches (L x W x H): 8.75 x 4.5 x 1
Material: Plastic
Weight: 4oz
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As an Amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. This is at no additional cost to yourself.
03/15/2024 11:35 pm GMT

People who aren’t fishkeepers themselves don’t realize that overfeeding goldies isn’t good for the fish or the water quality.

Problems Caused By Over-feeding Goldfish

The best way to keep your goldfish healthy is to avoid overfeeding them.

They will eat all day long, they are not known as water piggies for no reason!

The 3 main problems caused by over-feeding your goldfish are:

1. Swim Bladder Issues

Fancy goldfish are prone to swim bladder issues due to them taking in excess air when greedily feeding at the water’s surface.

Feeding them a sinking goldfish pellet or Repashy gel food is much better than floating flake food for this reason.

2. Dirty Water

Goldies are messy fish. More food = more poop = more strain on your tank’s nitrogen cycle.

If you’re fish are producing more waste, you’ll need to clean your goldfish tank more often.

3. Health Problems

Besides swim bladder problems, some other goldfish health issues are:

Closing Thoughts On How Often Do You Feed Goldfish?

So we’ve established the factors affecting how often goldfish need to eat are tank temperature and the type of pet goldie you keep.

Try not to overfeed your pet goldfish and you’ll help them avoid most health problems and keep the water cleaner.

I know I know, they pull the cutest of faces when begging for more food like a puppy does, but giving in to them is not in their best interests!

Check out the aquarium health section for more guides like this to keep your aquarium in tip-top shape.

Paul

Paul

Hey, fellow fish enthusiast 👋! I'm Paul and I've been an aquarium addict since I won my first goldfish at the fair many years ago. Let me share with you the knowledge that I've gained along the way (and avoid the mistakes I've made!), so you too can create an underwater paradise for your aquatic friends.