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How Long Can Goldfish Go Without Food?

How Long Can Goldfish Go Without Food?

Gold fish are among the most common type of fish among beginners and experienced fish hobbyists and breeders.

They are readily available in pet stores at friendly prices and are easy to take care of in an aquarium.

Goldfish have vibrant colors and shiny skins.

Over the years, there have been many more fascinating varieties of goldfish resulting from crossbreeding.

Tank Conditions for Goldfish

Most fish breeders, especially beginners keep goldfish in a fishbowl. However, goldfish are very messy and need consistent and constant water changes. It is hard to maintain the water clean for a goldfish while in a fishbowl. Goldfish thrive in an aquarium.

Common goldfish are among the largest species of fish that can grow up to 18 inches long compared to other specially bred goldfish. A goldfish can live comfortable in a 20 gallons of water tank alone, or in 30 plus gallons of water with a tank mate. However, experts recommend a 40 to 55 gallons of water tank for two goldfish.

Goldfish require a consistent water temperature. It is important to choose water filters that do not heat up the water. In addition, place your aquarium away from light, or places where the aquarium is most likely to receive heat from the outside.

Ambient light, may not only cause temperature changes, but also facilitate the growth of algae in the aquarium.

When providing water for your goldfish, there are various options. You can buy bottled water from your pet store that is oxygenated to suit non-aerated fishbowls and aquariums. You can also treat your tap water with a de-chlorinator and use it for your goldfish.

Remembers, you should never use untreated tap water. Tap water contains components such as chlorine, heavy metal and other impurities that could kill your fish.

The ideal water temperature for common goldfish is approximately 65 and 68 degrees Fahrenheit and for a fancy goldfish it is between 65 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit. To keep the temperatures constant, keep a water heater and a thermometer in your aquarium.

Goldfish are not aggressive fish. They can live well with other tank mates. However, their tank mates should be live in water conditions that much those of the goldfish.

Feeding Schedule for Your Goldfish

Goldfish Feeding Schedule

Goldfish Feeding Schedule

In the wild, goldfish are omnivores. They eat aquatic plants, insect larvae, other smaller fish, fish eggs and crustaceans. One of the major mistake goldfish breeders forget is that you ought to feed your fish what they would feed in the wild so as to ensure they receive all the nutrients they require.

Most goldfish breeders assume it is okay to feed their pet tropical fish food. However, goldfish menu should contain less protein and more carbohydrates. Feed your goldfish specified goldfish flakes and granules, supplemented with fresh vegetables, fruits, shrimp, live Daphna and freshwater.

Additionally, you can feed your finned friend small invertebrates, mosquito larva, blood worms, duck weed and scalded peas. When feeding your fish freeze dried food, soak them first to avoid causing digestive problems. Vegetables such as rice, beans and carrots should be finely peeled, chopped or boiled before being fed to the goldfish.

How Often do You Need to Feed the Goldfish?

Feed your goldfish a small amount of food two to three times in a day. Remember, you should only give your goldfish food that it will consume in two minutes. A general rule to determine how much food to give your fish is to feed it as much as the size of its eye. Left-over food will sink at the bottom of the aquarium, decompose and cause water pollution.

How Long Can Goldfish Survive Without Food?

Most people believe goldfish are suitable for people who travel often. They are known to survive from 8 days up to 2 weeks without eating anything. Goldfishes’ metabolisms speed up and slow down depending on the water temperature. If the temperatures are lower, the metabolism will be slower hence your fish will not need to eat frequently.

However, different goldfish behave differently after a few days of no food. Some goldfish may die while others go into a form of hibernation. If you are away for more than two weeks, it is important you find someone to check on your fish. It may not be a good health choice to leave your fish go without food for long. Lack of food can cause stress to your goldfish which will lead to other health issues.

The number of days that a goldfish can survive without food is also determined by other factors. Some goldfish are stronger and healthier than others therefore can go for more days without food. Other goldfish may have health issues unknown to the owner. Keep your fish well fed, to avoid going for a trip only to come back and find a lifeless goldfish.

Is Your Goldfish Getting Enough Food?

Goldfish is Getting Enough Food?

Goldfish is Getting Enough Food?

If your goldfish is not getting enough food, there are signs that it can give to communicate to its owner.

Slow swimming and form of lethargy

Goldfish are active swimmers that swim very fast from one end of the aquarium to the other. If you note your goldfish is swimming slower than normal, then something may be wrong. Although goldfish can swim slower due to many reasons, you should first check if your fish is well fed before treating it with other conditions.

Swimming at the top of the aquarium

Another sign to look out for is if the goldfish is swimming or floating at the top of the aquarium. Goldfish will swim near the top when hungry as they to look for food or anticipate to be fed. Once more, if you see your goldfish swimming near the top, it could be for a number of other reasons, but do not rule out hunger as one of the possible reasons.

Digging around the substrate

When your goldfish is not getting enough food, you will see it digging the substrate in an attempt to find food.

Behavior changes

Goldfish are peaceful fish. However, when they get hungry or if they are not getting enough food, they will become aggressive, chasing their tank mates around the aquarium.

Weight changes

Without enough food for many days, goldfish will show noticeable weigh changes and size. A healthy diet will help to restore your fish’s weight and size. Just as mentioned above, these changes may result from other health issues, however, you should not rule out the need for the fish to get more food.

Tips for Feeding Goldfish While Away

Since you already know how long your fish will go without food, it is important to find someone to check on your fish if you will be away for a longer period. Most people ask their neighbours to feed the goldfish while they are away while others find a babysitter.

The sitter is given guidelines on what to find the fish and how to ensure the tank conditions are favourable for the fish.

You can also buy an automatic fish feeder to feed your goldfish for you while you will be away. An automatic fish feeder drops food into the aquarium at certain intervals.

Some fish owners have said the feeders fail at times, which is true, but with a good brand that has been tested and reviewed by many other customers, you do not have to worry about your goldfish starving while you are way.

The Problem of Over-feeding

Goldfish keepers can go to two extremes, feed their fish little food or too much. Too little food can cause health problems, stress and reduced immune system. Too much feeding on the other hand can cause, blocked intestines.

Blocked intestines will lead to swim bladder problems, which shows when a fish floats at the surface of the aquarium most times and swims upside down. Excess food in the tank can also cause water pollution. Any uneaten food sinks at the bottom of the tank and decomposes to cause water pollution.

To avoid water pollution in the aquarium, you will need a water filter. A filter will remove fish waste and left over food to ensure your fish is healthy and is living comfortably.

Goldfish require their water tank to be cleaned often, once in every two to four weeks. However, in case you notice water pollutant or algae, you should clean the aquarium sooner. For smaller fishbowls that do not have water filter, cleaning and water changes should be more regular.

Although a goldfish can go for long without food, it will still require care to ensure it is healthy and living comfortably.

Goldfish can go for days without food. However, the number of days each goldfish can go without food depends on other factors such as the fish’s health conditions. People who travel for a period of up to 2 weeks can comfortably leave their fish without food, however, longer than that, they will need a babysitter or an automatic fish feeder to ensure their fish is well fed.

Written by Fabian

Hey, I'm Fabian, chief editor at Aquarium Nexus. I really enjoy the aquarium hobby and love sharing my experience with others. If you have any questions feel free to contact me or leave a comment below.

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