Can You Feed Goldfish Bread?

If you have ever kept goldfish, or know anyone who has, you are probably aware that they are greedy little things that can grow to surprisingly humongous sizes.

In the wild, goldfish are accustomed to foraging for anything and everything to give them the energy to battle water currents and predators. Whilst the goldfish in your pond or bowl at home won’t have these same motivations for getting energy, they still remain a very hungry species.

Goldfish that are kept outside in a pond are often fed bread, which is thrown into the pond for them. Of course, being as greedy as they are, the goldfish will eat it!

However, does this mean you can feed goldfish bread? You may well be wondering whether it is particularly healthy for them. Luckily for you, we have done all the research for you and you will find the answers within this article. 

What Exactly Is A Goldfish?

First things first, it would be handy to explain in more detail what a goldfish actually is. A goldfish is a domesticated breed of carp fish. It was first bred in Ancient China for their ponds in the famous ornamental gardens.

The goldfish is thought to be bred from the grey-colored Prussian carp and is of course a cousin of the famous crucian carp and koi fish. 

Over time, the goldfish has been bred and evolved into the goldfish we are all familiar with today, although it wasn’t always that lovely orange-gold color and looked grey at first.

The fact that they have been domesticated over time means that their diets and mannerisms will be slightly different from their original, wild Prussian carp roots. 

Typical Goldfish Diet

Next, we should of course explore the typical diet of a carp (where the goldfish was bred from) in the wild compared to captivity. A carp in the wild, as discussed above, has many other factors to consider when choosing their diet.

They have to source their food in the wild themselves and need lots of energy to enable them to survive. Survival for goldfish in the wild is hard due to the threat of other factors such as predators which are typically larger fish or animals who eat fish, as well as the harsh conditions of wild water environments.

Obviously, the goldfish that we are talking about have been bred thousands of years ago specifically to be domestic creatures. Therefore, their lifestyles are dramatically different from that of their relatives. 

In the wild, carp eat aquatic plants, small crustaceans, algae, and aquatic insects. This provides them with the energy they need. However, the diet of domesticated goldfish is very different.

Typically, in this day and age, goldfish are fed specially formulated fish food with the nutrients they need and a good balance of carbohydrates. They have very little protein as goldfish can struggle to digest proteins.

The specially formulated goldfish food is typically in flake form, but can also be pellets. These forms float easily in the water, eventually settling on the bottom of the tank so that food can be eaten throughout the day. 

They tend to be fed twice a day but can be fed up to three times a day. The amount of food you put in should be just a pinch in your fingertips and should be sprinkled slowly, over one minute to give them time to eat most of it.

You don’t want any food to be wasted, as this can make the tank very dirty. If the tank does start getting dirty, you may have overfed them. 

What Other Foods Can Goldfish Eat?

Your goldfish are not limited just to flakes or pellets for the rest of their days. There are some other foods that they can safely eat, that can be fed now and again, and in very small amounts.

Make sure that you leave two days or more between each of these other foods, and remember that their main diet should consist of the specially formulated fish food in either flake or pellet form.

You can safely feed your goldfish shrimps such as brine shrimp and ghost shrimp. You can also feed them bloodworms, both dried and live. Believe it or not, just as rice and vegetables are healthy for us, our goldfish pals can also happily munch on these too.

You can feed them boiled or microwaved broccoli, corn, zucchini, leafy greens, and carrots. All in small amounts, of course. Make sure the rice you feed them is plain and cooked. You can even feed them grapes as long as they are peeled and chopped into tiny pieces. 

You can also feed them cucumber that has been boiled or microwaved, as well as slices of watermelon and orange, remembering to make sure they are very small pieces. There is even the option to buy algae wafers that are specially formulated for fish. 

So, Can They Eat Bread?

So, with all the yummy foods your goldfish can eat, especially the rice, you may well be wondering if the bread is suitable for them. Rice and bread are both carbohydrate-rich, so we would forgive you for thinking bread is fine.

However, bread can cause some serious issues for our fish friends! Even though it is commonly thought to be suitable and is even thrown into ponds for them, bread can swell in the stomachs of goldfish, causing extreme bloating and pain.

It is very likely to cause constipation for your goldfish. Sadly, there have been so many cases where bread has caused goldfish to die prematurely.

Therefore, to answer the question, we definitely do not recommend that you feed goldfish bread. Other foods to avoid include meat, fast foods, and any other food that is not included on the earlier approved list. 


Our final word on this matter is that goldfish are greedy creatures, and if you did feed them bread, they would certainly eat it.

However, it is extremely damaging for them and there are far better other options out there if you want to give them a change from the usual fish food flakes or pellets.