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

Exact Answer: Up to 2 weeks

Having a pet is a dream for many people. Most of them fulfil it someday while others never attempt it. This is because having a pet is a big responsibility. It is like adding a new member to the family and undertaking all their responsibilities from their safety to their happiness.

This is the reason many people like to start slow and the best pet for this purpose are fish, goldfish to be more precise. Goldfish are some of the most common pets because they are very easy to take care of.

How Long can Goldfish Go Without Food

How Long can Goldfish Go Without Food?

Among pet fish, goldfish are the most popular and many people prefer them as a pet. However, many details must be taken care of as well. One of the most concerning among these faced by people is how often should the goldfish be fed and how long can they go without food.

Goldfish are very voracious eaters. They tend to eat a lot if given the opportunity even if that makes them sick. Therefore, ideally, they should be fed very small amounts of food four times a day. Many people feed them twice a day which also works fine.

Experts suggest that the goldfish can survive up to two weeks without food. This makes them travel friendly because they will be able to survive without food for a while. But there can be many repercussions to it as well. They will be malnourished and this can lead to many other severe health problems that will soon follow.

Besides how long a fish can go without food also depends on some other factors:

Healthy Fish

Goldfish that are at the peak of their health might be able to survive for up to two weeks without food. This will not be good for the fish and may later cause problems but the fish will live.

Unhealthy Fish

Healthy fish may survive for long but goldfish that have health issues and are not at their healthiest might not survive more than a few days.

Health ConditionsSurviving Time
Healthy FishUp to two weeks
Unhealthy fishLess than a week

Why Can Goldfish Go So Long Without Food?

Goldfish are known to be able to survive without food for long periods. Experts claim that goldfish can survive up to two weeks without food. This is so because goldfish can adjust their metabolism depending on their need and so do not have to eat to survive.

Goldfish can change their metabolism depending on the temperature of the water. If the temperature of the water is low, then accordingly the metabolism of goldfish will also slow down. A slower metabolism means that the body does not need energy as much, and even all the other activity will also slow down. The body of the fish will be able to function on a little amount of food and thus the goldfish will not need to eat as frequently.

Even though experts have claimed that goldfish can survive for two weeks without food, there is no guarantee that this will happen. Not all goldfish can go two weeks without food and in fact how long the fish will survive without food depends on many factors, many of which may be unknown to the owner of the fish and hence this experiment of not feeding the goldfish for two weeks is very risky.

Besides, how long a goldfish will survive without food depends on its health as well. The fish might have many underlying health problems. Plus, even if the fish survives two weeks without food, it will be under immense stress which will cause new health problems to arise.


Goldfish make for great pets and are very easy to take care of. The main functions of the owner in taking care of them are to provide a clean good aquarium and find the balance between not overfeeding them and not starving them. many goldfish can go for as long as two weeks without food but this is not true for all goldfish. Hence, this aspect must be handled carefully to ensure the pets are healthy and safe.


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