can goldfish eat bread

Can Goldfish Eat Bread

The “Low-Down” on Bread

We assume that bread is a staple food or treat to give to fish.


Who hasn’t gone to fish ponds with a bag of old bread and fed the fish?

Little did we realize that bread is harmful for goldfish.

Can a Goldfish Eat Bread?

Definitely not!

When consumed by any living creature (man, animals, fish,) bread swells up in the stomach and intestine.

The goldfish may appear to enjoy bread as a treat, but once swallowed, its belly begins to swell.

Discomfort will follow.

Why is bread bad for fish?

All breads contain yeast.

When the bread is consumed, it begins to expand.

Not only does it cause pain and discomfort, but will also cause the fish to become constipated.

The delicate digestion system of the goldfish is unable to process and break down the gluten found in the bread flour.

In addition to swelling from the yeast and lack of digestive ability, the goldfish will suffer quietly.

Other fish in the ocean, lakes, ponds, and rivers are not immune to this same problem.

sunset lake

People love to gather around ponds and feed the fish with day-old bread not even realizing they are harming, and even killing, the fish.

These fish become so swollen and incapacitated from the bread that they fall prey to other predators in the water.

Bread banned as food or bait in the United Kingdom

Because bread is so dangerous to feed to any fish, the United Kingdom went as far as banning white bread from ever being fed to fish or used as bait when fishing.

The bread caused the fish to become so painfully bloated and listless that officials made the humane choice to ban it.

Healthier Options for Goldfish

Because we love our pets, we want to love them and nurture them.

Ensuring they are fed correctly while providing healthy food options not only extends their life but protects their overall well being.

front facing goldfish

Goldfish thrive on protein and plants.

You can easily find the proper fish food at your local pet supplies, but remember they can quickly get bored with pellets or flakes.

Changing things up and giving your fish a variety of food and treats keeps them happy and healthy.

What should I feed my goldfish?

The most important thing to remember when it comes to your goldfish’s diet is to keep it exciting and keep it healthy.

Goldfish become bored with the same thing day in and day out and at times may not eat.

Dry Food

Flakes or pellets purchased from a pet supply store are generally what most fish owners buy, however, there are not enough nutrients in dry food alone.




TetraFin Goldfish Flakes, Balanced Diet Fish Food

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Aqueon Goldfish Granules

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API Flakes

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Additional types of food should also be given.

Also, note that flake food remains at the surface of the water unless you have a hang on power filter which tends to push the food down to the bottom of the fish tank. 

With this in mind, pellets may be a better option for your fish.

Live Food

Live food is an excellent source of protein and is perhaps that most important thing you can give your fish.

Never feed your goldfish anything from lakes, dirt, ponds, etc.

Only feed your goldfish live food that is purchased from the pet supply store. This ensures that there are no diseases that can be passed on to your fish.

Seafood Options

Goldfish love little bits of seafood. Make sure that if it’s frozen, thaw it completely before feeding to your fish.

Be sure to only feed your goldfish seafood that you yourself feel safe eating.

Some good options are:

  • Lobster Meat
  • Mussels
  • Crab Meat

Vegetables, Fruits, and Plants

Vegetables and fruits provide a healthy source of nutrients that are beneficial to your goldfish.

fruit in heart bowls

Before feeding to your fish, make sure it is soft and finely diced into tiny bits.

Live aquarium plants are a treat they enjoy nibbling on. 

Consult your local pet supply on what types of live plants you can place in your aquarium.

Also, use caution when placing too many plants in the aquarium because plants deplete the oxygen in the water when the lights are off.

  • Peas (remove the outer layer)
  • Lettuce (uncooked)
  • Broccoli
  • Cucumber
  • Oranges
  • Apples
  • Live Plants such as duckweed, anacharis, azolla, salvinia
  • Seaweed

Foods to Avoid

Goldfish should never be fed:

  • Anything containing animal fat
  • Bread
  • Cooked Lettuce
  • Uncooked Peas

When should I feed my Goldfish?

Goldfish are known to overeat to the point it’s fatal.

Be very careful not to overfeed.

  • Feedings should be three to four times a day and should be done at the same time each day.
  • Feed a small pinch of food between your thumb and finger.

Another good option is to invest in an automatic fish food feeder.

We recommend this Amazon Product.

PROCHE Digital Automatic Fish Feeder


If you are unsure of something you would like to feed your goldfish, it is always best to know if it safe and healthy.

yellow and black goldfish

Variety and creativity with feeding will keep your goldfish active, healthy, and very happy!

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