Why Are My Goldfish Not Eating?

By Jamie Boyle

There are many reasons why goldfish may not be eating and there are certain things people should do to take care of their goldfish and make sure they’re okay.

Here are several reasons why your goldfish may not be eating:

1. Poor water quality, polluted water- make sure test the water
2. Water chemistry such as PH, Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate may be off the scale, check levels
3. Filter may be dirty, causing stress and poor conditions resulting in fish not eating.
4. There may be dead goldfish in the tank causing bad conditions resulting in fish not eating.
5. Goldfish may have disease or illness’s resulting in lack of interest for food and eating. Sickness is one of the top reasons why goldfish don’t eat. Pretty much the same as humans, when we’re sick the thought of food doesn’t interest us.
6. Food may be old or stale, lack of nutrients.
7. Goldfish may be showing lack of interest in the same food, try feeding your goldfish a different food.
8. Make sure there is no chlorine in the water, make sure you always add AquaPlus Water conditioner when performing water changes.
9. There may be an organic matter build up in your aquarium. Make you stir up the aquarium gravel with a aquarium gravel cleaner to make sure aquarium bed is clean.
10. Your goldfish do sleep, maybe there resting and full resulting in lack of interest in eating.
11. If you’ve recently purchased goldfish from a pet store, they still may be getting used the their new surroundings. Usually it may take a day or two to get used to their new surroundings as stress is a big reason why as well goldfish are not eating.

By cross elimination you can figure out why your goldfish may not be eating. Once you’ve determined why they’re not eating, fix the situation and they will begin eating right away. Usually its something simple. Think about it, would we like eating the same food everyday, same goes for goldfish. Offer your goldfish a variety of different foods to make sure they stay healthy.

16 comments on “Why Are My Goldfish Not Eating?

  1. Puu-Chu on said:

    Hi, I stumbled across your blog as I was looking for a reason why my goldfish’s tail fins are deteriorating. I had two orandas and one had died because of that. As i’m new to this hobby, it is very much appreciated if you can guide me on this.

  2. Jamie Boyle on said:

    Well the most often reason is water quality. Bad water quality is the number one reason why goldfish get sick and develop diseases.Check you water, I bet that’s the problem.Sincerely,Jamie BoyleThe Goldfish Guy

  3. Anonymous on said:

    hi! i stumbled to your blog because i was wondering if it is safe for my goldfish to be in the same aquarium with my peco catfish?

  4. Merlin on said:

    hi, 4 out of 7 goldfish are sick due to finroot. Bubbles is recovering. Giant is not eating. Squilly is eating but tends to go frantic somtimes like swimmimg after its tail. Mai shows no sign of finrot but tummy looks sucked in and he’s not eating staying still. Each are in own Qt bowl with clean conditioned water salt n tonic according to water capacity measurement. The other 3 are in main tank 60lit(157lit tank) also under treatment just in case. Ammonia level is 0.5-1mg before treating. Detected sick fish on Dec 11. I have been caring for them for 5 yrs plus now. Pls help. Am I doing the right thing?

  5. Kevin p. on said:

    Hi Jaime, i have a question for you. I have a goldfish, an we’ve had him/her for about a year. We just bought a few more today and put them into our tank. At first we were worried that the two new ones would gang up on the first one. They are a bit bigger than our first fish. But it seems like the first fish is nipping or biting at the other two fish. Is this a mating thing, or is my original goldfish just really agressive? If so what should i do? Thanks in advance for any response!

  6. Anonymous on said:

    I suggest you place bets and let them fight to the death!

  7. Heidi Ferguson on said:

    Hey there. Got given a goldfish as a gift from a friend about two and half weeks ago. Haven’t had fish for years but I kept him in a modified icecream container (I also added water ager to the water) for about a week until I went away for a weekend to buy him a fish tank (I live in the mountains). I left a weekend fish food shell in the container for him, but when I came back he was looking very sick and did not appear to have been eating. I set up his new tank in the next couple of days. It has a built in lighting system, which I turn off at night so he can sleep, a built in filtration system and I have added gravel to the bottom of the tank. I used the right amount of water ager to remove the problems in tap water and I had the tank running before I put him in it. After I got back and started feeding him his normal fish flakes again he was quite happy and once I got him into his new tank, although a bit bewildered, he seemed much happier and healthier. He has not eaten for almost a week and has been displaying more and more bizarre behaviour. Initially, he was eating in his new tank, and appeared to be settling in well. He started spending increasing amounts of time in one corner staring at his reflection in the glass, leading me to believe he was lonely and I needed to buy him a friend soon. Then I noticed he wasn’t eating.. at all. There is a lot of fish food sitting on the bottom of his tank in the gravel because I keep trying to make him eat. He is an orange goldfish normally but his scales are looking very unhealthy and are turning black in many places. His fins and tail also look very unhealthy. He is still swimming around but I have no idea what to do. If he doesn’t eat, he will get sicker and die. How can I fix the problem? What is it?!If you had any suggestions, could you please email me at heidi.fergo@hotmail.comThank you!Heidi Ferguson.

  8. PetGoldfishForum on said:

    Hi Heidi,Getting into the goldfish hobby again I see. Glad to have you back :)What happened to your goldfish is that it went through stress being in a bowl with no air pump or filter. Those fish food shells are great when people are on vacation as a last alternative but when you have no air pump, filter, and your goldfish is creating fish waste, stress is sure to happen.I read once you put him in his new fish tank you noticed your goldfish more lively which is great but the stress he went through he may be showing signs now. Your goldfish is not eating as he is sick.There are several things going on:1. Your goldfish is not eating as he is sick, you will need to treat him to get his health better.2. Water quality is an issue here, as you mentioned food still left in bottom of tank. If your goldfish don’t eat what’s given to him in first 2 minutes discard it right away as it will cause your water quality to spoil. Water change is needed and tested as well.3. Goldfish black spots are a sign of healing known as melanophore migration. That’s why you are seeing those black spots on goldfish. This is caused by stress due to poor water quality.4. It seems your goldfish has fin and tail rot and you will need to begin treating your goldfish for fin and tail rot right away. If you simply see split fins and tail this can improve on its own but suggested to use Melafix Fish Medication as it helps tissue regrowth and heals fish quickly. Also you mentioned that your goldfish is not quite as orange as he was. When a goldfish colour fades this means the presence of parasites flukes. You can treat this using CopperSafe From Mardel Labs fish medication used to treat against external parasites causing loss of colour.I hope this helps you out more and we can get your goldfish health back to normal. Basically it’s water quality issue and a couple of health issues as well. Problem with your water quality is that it wasn’t cycled long enough and your ammonia has probably spiked along with nitrite. Add beneficial bacteria to your aquarium, on every water change and when setting up new aquariums, perform a water change and treat goldfish. Do this and I’m sure your goldfish will come back to life if its not too bad.Need anymore advice please feel free to stop by anytime. Wish you best of luck with your goldfish.You should join my goldfish forum Love to see you there too!Sincerely,Jamie BoyleThe Goldfish GuyNew Goldfish Forum!www.PetGoldfishForum.com

  9. Anonymous on said:

    Hi I wonder if you can help me? My pond gold fish are not eating. They look healthy but no way are they interested in any food I offer them. The pond is filtered with a pump and I have added fresh water…any ideas would be helpfulBarbara

  10. Anonymous on said:

    Hi Jamie, I’ve got a goldfish that seems to have swimbladder – floating on it’s side at the top of the tank for about 3 days now. Up until the day before yesterday it was managing to eat a little. I’ve kept nil by mouth for 48 hrs and today I’ve been trying to feed it boiled peas (without the shell). However, the fish won’t eat anything and is still floating. I’ve tried hand feeding it as well with no luck. Please help!

  11. i got 18 goldfishes in a 36 gallon tank, i being haven them fore a year and seems to be fine for me, but until a day or two day…they haven't being eating at all i put food in the tank try to make them eat but none of them would eat……. they look very sick can someone help me….. i got the fishes from a friend with the tank and everything include he had to move out…but its being a year and until now i have seen this i don't know what it is….

  12. Anonymous on said:

    Hi, we have a goldfish which is about 9 years old. Recently we have noticed it appearing as if it were dead alot, it sinks to the bottom of the tank, or hides at the side of it, then a few hrs later it starts swimming about, is this normal for an older fish, and how long do goldfish normally live.

  13. Anonymous on said:

    I had 2 fish in a bowl for about 2 years, I recently put them in a 10gal. tank, the next day one was at the bottom of the tank on its side I took him out and was like that for the rest of the day, the next day they were swiming ok, put at the top up wards opening and closing there mouth almost all day, their fins looks like its shedding, it white clouly stuff. they also domt eat they spit it out if they get it in their mouth. please help i dont like to see them like that, i know its werid but i feel sick my self and cant eat I miss the old them i love my fish.

  14. Anonymous on said:

    Hi there I was wondering if you could help?I have three comment goldfish. For some reason one has stopped eating! i have checked everything, water quality, different food and i have also tried most over the counter products such as aqua safe, disease safe, tonics and bacterial treatment. The other fish are fine and eating well. The other goes for the food chews it and spits it out! its also smaller that the other two fish and hasn't been eating for a few month now, please help!

  15. Anonymous on said:

    "Hi there I was wondering if you could help?I have three comment goldfish. For some reason one has stopped eating! i have checked everything, water quality, different food and i have also tried most over the counter products such as aqua safe, disease safe, tonics and bacterial treatment. The other fish are fine and eating well. The other goes for the food chews it and spits it out! its also smaller that the other two fish and hasn't been eating for a few month now, please help!"This is happening to me too!!!

  16. harsha on said:

    hey .. I'm new to fish raising… how to check water purity.. i use bore water… i mean water from well .. so .. do i need to check the water .. if yes how.. with simple tools please guide me.. three fish died.. one not eating food.. I'm just depressed ..

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