How Long Can Goldfish Go Without Food (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 10 days

Goldish can survive for around 10 to 14 days without food. Goldfish need a huge amount of food in small batches. This is the reason why goldfish eat frequently every day. All the goldfish would need 4 to 5 meals every day.

All the fish owners would have different work commitments and this may prevent them from having food. This may be due to the fat percentage the fishes have in their body. The fish are quite acquainted with eating disorders. As the wild fishes rarely get to eat meals in a day.

The fasting tolerance of fish is unbelievable. It’s always recommended to feed the fish on time for good health.

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How Long Can Goldfish Go Without Food?

Minimum time10 days
Maximum time14 days

The body of the fish is capable of controlling hunger for around 10 days easily. There could be many reasons why the fish may have to starve. Sometimes, the water quality issues affect the food of the fish.

Therefore, the person should stop adding food to the water, if water quality issues are happening. The person should avoid feeding the fish with swim bladder issues. The swim bladder issue in fish happens when there is any blockage in the digestive tract of the fish.

Not only goldfish but there are also many other fishes that will survive for days without having food. The immune system of fish doesn’t require heavy meals to work properly. The digestive system of the fishes can’t tolerate overfeeding.

According to some experts, the goldfish may require 2 to 3 days for digestion of the food. The slow digestion process in goldfish is another reason for them to have high fasting tolerance. The owner should always avoid giving a high amount of protein to the goldfish.

The goldfish would face digestive issues if a high amount of protein content is in the diet. It’s not that they don’t require protein, but they need small protein content. Sometimes, the goldfish may stop eating if there is a lot of food in the aquarium.

The goldfish will not be able to eat all the food at one time. This will cause the rotting of food inside the aquarium. Rotting food would be dangerous for the survival of goldfish, as they would produce ammonia.

Why Can Goldfish Go Without Food For This Long?

Everyone needs to be specific about what to feed the goldfish. Food such as live bloodworms may transfer some bacteria with them inside the aquarium. There are many types of fish foods that contain the required quantity of nutrients for the goldfish.

The eating habits of the goldfish play a vital role in determining how long they can stay without food. If your goldfish has a habit of eating two meals daily, then making them starve for a few days would cause stress in them.

Stress in goldfish would cause them to spit out food easily after eating. Sometimes, unfavorable water conditions will increase the stress level in the goldfish. If someone feeds the goldfish high-quality meals 4 to 5 times, then you can skip feeding the meals for the next 2 to 5 days.

No goldfish would be able to digest rice if given very frequently. Therefore the owner should try to feed the food which is convenient and good for the digestive system of the goldfish.

Sometimes, the goldfish would start developing health issues if not provided with the required amount of food. This situation is very rare but would be life-threatening for goldfish.


The goldfishes can survive without food for 10 days, but the owner should always try to keep the fish healthy. The good health of goldfish would come when they will eat a nutrient-rich diet.

Sometimes, the fish may have to avoid eating food for around 3 to 4 days to clear the buoyancy issues. The goldfish can survive around 15 years if they are given good food and clean water. Taking care of goldfish is vital and this can be done by developing correct eating habits in them.


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