How Long Can Goldfish Go without Food?

Do you need to go on a trip? But you are worried about your goldfish? If yes then you need not to be worried. Here you learn how long a goldfish will be able to survive without eating.

How to feed your goldfish? Although they can stay alive for one to two weeks without eating food. But don’t let them feel hungry for so long, as they will become weak or malnourished. So in case you need to stay out of the home that means you are going on a trip.

Then ask your neighbor to take care of your fish. Otherwise, check out the following tips to keep your fish safe. 

How Long Goldfish Are Able to Stay Alive without Food? 

One of the common questions asked by the owners of goldfish is:- Will goldfish stay alive if I am not around? So as mentioned previously that they can survive up to 2 weeks. But their immunity level will become weak and also their color will get affected.

They can stay healthy for 4 days even if you don’t feed them properly. But this might affect other factors of the goldfish such as their age, size, and health. If they go without food for a long time.

Generally, omnivores and carnivores have the capacity to survive without food for a long time. As goldfish are also omnivores, a goldfish can also survive without food for 2 weeks.

How to Feed a Goldfish if They Are Away from You?

There are several methods through which you can do so. If you want to go out of home for a few days and are worried about your goldfish then consider the following ways:

Fish Sitters

It is one of the ways to keep your goldfish safe when you are away from them. Fish sitters can either be your neighbors or you can knock commercial sitters for this purpose. Commercial sitters can take care of your fish.

They are probably available in public aquariums either in hospitals, schools, etc places. Besides this, you can hire commercial sitters for domestic tasks. In fact, these sitters will look after your fish better than your neighbors.

These sitters are also trustworthy as they already have experience with the same. Although you need to guide them by telling them about the needs of your fish. Feeding schedule, how to clean the aquarium, and other details.

Also, you need to pay for this but it will ensure the survival of your fish.

Vacation Feeders

If you find a commercial fish sitter a bit costly, then choose vacation feeders. Vacation feeders are specifically designed to release the feeding blocks at certain intervals. But these feeders contain the food which can’t be devoured by your precious goldfish.

To change this you can manually enter the food according to your will. You need to add it into the chamber so that the feeder will release the food without any obstacle.

There are many pros to using this, it includes the following. 

Benefits of Using Vacation Feeders 

  • Reasonable expenditure
  • Fish will enjoy a variety of tastes of food in one go.
  • Food will be released at the same point, this will reduce the wastage of food. 
  • You can go on vacation without worrying about your fish

Automatic Feeders

These feeders work just like vacation feeders. They released dry food items to feed the fish. They release this food once a day or once every 2 days. It depends upon the timer that you have set. 

How to Figure out If a Goldfish Is Hungry or Not?

There are a few techniques that will clear your doubt. If your fish is hungry or not. Although it is easy to find when your fish is full. But it becomes quite difficult to find when the fish is hungry.

When a Goldfish swims in an area that is not familiar to them, it shows that your fish is hungry. This indicates that your fish is searching for food. If your fish is sluggish, then that is another factor that shows your fish is hungry. They get hungry when you are not feeding your goldfish. 

This is obvious but they also become malnourished or hungry when you are not feeding them properly. When they are extremely hungry they tend to attack other fish. This is not a normal indicator.

It shows that your fish need food immediately. When they start gobbling quickly this gobbling again shows that your fish require food. So these are the ways through which you can find out if your fish is hungry or not. Don’t leave them hungry.

Also, try to feed them the right proportion of food from time to time.

How to Know the Right Proportion of Feeding Goldfish?

Mostly fish keepers make the mistake of not feeding their fish properly. This phenomenon is also called underfeeding. 

Goldfish keepers frequently fast because it is thought that by doing so, your goldfish will be less likely to develop the buoyancy issue known as swim bladder disorder (SBD).

You might think that you are feeding them properly. What if the quantities are not enough and your fish is starving? 

How to Avoid This Mistake?

  • Consider using automatic feeders.

These feeders make sure to feed your fish when you are not home. Not just that these feeders also release the correct quantity of food at the fixed feeding time. This helps your fish to avoid being underfed or overfed.

  • Make A Schedule

It’s better to decide the correct time and stick to it. Consistency is a key for everything even when it’s about feeding your fish. 

  • Feed The Correct Quantity

The goldfish should feed their food for around 3 to 5 minutes. You will notice a few leftovers after that. This will help you to determine that your fish is full now.

Why Is My Goldfish Not Eating?

There could be many reasons why your goldfish is not having the food. Actually depending upon the various factors they have unique requirements. So if you want to find out its reason, then continue reading.

Bad Quality of Water 

One of the main reasons is the poor quality of water. If your goldfish is not even having juicy flakes, then it could be because of the bad quality of water. The requirement of temperature for fish is around 23 degrees Celsius.

Their excretion is also comparatively more than other fishes. Because of this, the chances of rising nitrate levels that are present in the water increase. It could be harmful and result in making your goldfish avoid eating.

Hence check the condition of the water, and keep it optimal. Filter the water from time to time and also keep check on the temperature. Goldfish is NOT a tropical fish. Maintain the recommended level your goldfish will start eating soon.

Taste of Food

Another reason for this problem is the taste of food. The same boring mundane food needs to be substituted now.

Try to give dry meat food like bloodworms and brine shrimps. Else you can substitute the old food with lettuce or spinach. These are the source of foliage for the fish. 


Another common cause that makes your fish avoid food could be constipation. When you notice that your goldfish reach the bottom surface and feel shy after you approach them to feed.

Then the reason could be constipation. You can offer your fish-cooked pea. It will help your fish and provide ease. Even after this your fish is not eating then leave it for about 48 hours it will naturally make your fish feel better.


Another reason that makes the fish avoid food is sickness. When they suffer from bladder disease. You can notice this by observing the swimming behavior. They started swimming sideways or rolling only on one side or else swimming upside down only.

What Are the Causes or Reasons for Diseases?

Overfeeding, excessive fat, or constipation are the main causes. They put pressure against the bladder. To control it you can leave your fish without food for around 48 hours. Else consider feeding them with fibre rich food like peas that help in digestion. 

What Are the Ideal Food Items to Feed Goldfish?

Insects, plants, small fishes, worms, etc are some ideal food items. 

Food Items for Fishes in Indoor Aquarium

Take care of your fish by feeding them the following items:-


This is ideal to feed goldfish. But their nutritional content falls while coming in contact with the water. 



Another great food for fish. It has the capacity to hold nutritional value for a long time. Also, you can offer leftovers for your fish. 

Why Avoid Over Feeding Goldfish?

These are nimble, small & greedy. So these goldfishes can eat whatever you offer them. What happened if your fish overeat:-

Excess Leftovers

Goldfish quickly eat when they are hungry.  They tend to eat within 3 to 5 minutes. After that, the remaining food is excessive. These leftovers will pollute the water and make it toxic. Hence consider pouring the right quantity and scoop out the leftovers after 5 or 10 minutes.

Excess Excretion

Naturally, goldfish excrete more waste as compared to other fishes. So if you give extra food or overfeed them the amount of waste will increase which again results in polluting the water.

Unhealthy Goldfish

As mentioned earlier, excess excretion and more leftovers make the water toxic. This toxic water then results in affecting the immune system of your Goldfish. Except that overfeeding also creates pressure on the swim bladder which causes the disease to your fish.


The mixture of food, excretion of waste, and bacteria results in creating bad order. There is no smell in a clean fish tank. So if you are smelling a foul odor then it is a sign of overfeeding.

FAQs Related To:- How Long Gold Fish Live without Food?

How Long Can a Goldfish Stay Alive without Food?

A Goldfish can stay alive for up to 2 weeks without feeding. But don’t let them starve for so long. After 4 or 5 days they will start starving. 

After how Many Days One Should Feed Goldfish?

Feeding Goldfish once a day is sufficient. Feeding them for 3 to 5 minutes is the correct time. The remaining food after this time period is just a waste.

Is It True that Goldfish Eat Their Poop?

Yes, this is a tendency of omnivorous fishes to eat poop. But they do so only if it is broken into small particles.

Does a Goldfish Become Habitual of Their Feeding Schedule?

Yes, fishes are intellectual animals and remain alert about the feeding time.  Fish or other such intelligent animals also recognize those who feed them on a regular basis. When you approach them to eat they will swim and come near the wall or the corner of the tank.

Do Goldfish Also Eat Other Waste Material?

As mentioned earlier, they are greedy and they will consume whatever you offer them. So they eat anything. Make sure to clean the tank by removing the excessive waste food out of it.

Suggest Some Brands for Goldfish Food?

  • Omega One Goldfish Small Pellets
  • API Fish Food Pellets
  • Fluval Bug Bites Goldfish Formula
  • Verdict
  • Omega One Goldfish Medium Pellets
  • TetraFin Balanced Diet Goldfish Flake Food
  • API Flakes

Final Words 

It is easy to keep a Goldfish. But it is quite difficult to make sure that you don’t over feed or under feed them. Also, feed at the same time regularly.

In case you need to stay away from your home for some time then you can contact a fish sitter or purchase an automatic feeder or vacation feeder. Goldfish can live up to 2 weeks without eating but just keeping them without feeding is like torturing them.

Hence make sure to feed them in maximum after 4 days and minimum feed them every day once.


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