Do Goldfish Eat Other Fish?: Myfishkeepingworld

Do Goldfish Eat Other Fish?

Generally speaking, Goldfish are calm and sociable animals that are not violent in their natural state.

There is no conflict between them and their own kind or other fish species, and in appropriate living conditions, they will not create any issues.

Are Goldfish Predators in Their Natural Environment?

Goldfish are omnivores, meaning that they will consume everything that fits in their mouth without discrimination. They will not show preference for anything, even their tank mates for their food.

Goldfish, on the other hand, are very kind and friendly, in contrast to other rigorous predatory species such as cichlids, tiger barbs, rainbow sharks, pufferfish, Oscars and so on. They do not go after other fish in order to consume them.

However, in the wild, your pet goldfish is not only predatory.  Due to the fact that goldfish continue to grow as much as their resources allow until they die, they are regarded one of the worst invasive creatures. Despite the fact that goldfish continue to emit growth-inhibiting hormones, the concentration of these hormones in an aquarium tank or a bowl ensures that their size remains limited to their environment.

However, in large bodies of water such as lakes and streams, the growth-inhibiting hormones are diluted in a large amount of water, allowing them to develop without any limits.

Remember that goldfish are voracious eaters who will not stop eating on their own initiative. As a result, they consume plants, crustaceans, and other fish in lakes and other water streams without regard for the consequences, resulting in a scarcity of food and resources for the other native species.

It is possible to inflict significant ecological harm by releasing your pet goldfish into nearby ponds, lakes, or any water streams in your community.

Do goldfish kill other fish

Do Goldfish Eat Each Other and Their Babies?

There is a brief answer to this question: no, goldfish do not consume one another. Goldfish, by nature, are not aggressive and, in general, are not predatory in their behavior. Although this nonpredatory character is generally observed, there are notable exceptions.

When goldfish are reproducing, they tend to generate hundreds of sticky eggs. Although the eggs are theirs, they do not behave in a manner that would indicate parental instincts. As a result, they are unable to identify their own babies. They may even devour their own eggs after they have bred.

Goldfish are known to explore for food and consume largely bite-sized portions of anything that is edible when they are hungry. If they chance to stumble across a little fish, such as a newborn goldfish, they may not be able to tell the difference, and if the fish is within their reach, they will almost certainly consume it without thinking about. This is since they swim about hunting for little pieces of food, and when a newborn goldfish crosses their path, they mistake it for food.

In order for the eggs to survive and hatch into young goldfish, they must continue to exist in an unpredictable environment until they reach adulthood, when they will either become prey to other goldfish.

The good news for newborn goldfish is that once they can swim and reach a size of 2-3 cm, their chances of becoming food reduce substantially.

Can Goldfish Eat Dead Fish?

It’s likely that if a fish dies from sickness or stress in the tank, the goldfish will attempt to consume it in order to eliminate it from their environment. If a fish dies in your tank, the goldfish may have already begun to gnaw at it before you have a chance to pull the fish out of the tank.

This is not due to the fact that they are predators, but rather since they are always looking for food.

Do Goldfish Eat Other Fish?

Due to the fact that goldfish are not predators, they will not attack other fish in order to consume them. However, when they’re looking for food, they may swallow smaller fish, much like they do with their baby goldfish. Whenever anything like this occurs, it is not done in a hostile way and is completely unintentional.

Can Goldfish Eat Shrimp?

Because shrimp are so little, it is probable that a goldfish will consume it.  Because shrimp are constantly at danger when kept in the same tank as goldfish, it is not a good idea to keep them together in one tank. Due to the fact that goldfish will consume whatever they can fit into their mouths, shrimp will never be safe in their presence.

Can Goldfish Eat Snails?

Snails may make excellent friends for goldfish, but only if they are the appropriate size for the tank. An adult goldfish can eat any snail that is smaller in size than the goldfish’s mouth. The eggs of snails have also been shown to be consumed by goldfish, which may be beneficial if you do not want your snails to reproduce.


What Causes Goldfish to Become Aggressive and to Eat Their Tank Mates?

Goldfish eat everything that fits in their mouth without thinking

As previously stated, goldfish will devour practically everything that can fit into their jaws, even other goldfish. No matter whether they are related or not, if it is edible and fits in their mouth (plant or animal matter), they will consume it. Goldfish, on the other hand, will sometimes consume a bigger fish in the tank. The fact that they demand their own space and get violent when they feel crowded is a significant part of the reason for this.

Adding More Fish in the Tank

Many aquarium keepers observe aggressive behavior in their goldfish when they add additional fish to the tank, and this is common with goldfish. Because goldfish are territorial, they may attack and consume their new tank mates if the tank becomes overcrowded. However, in most situations, they will attempt to chase them away first. This will serve as a reasonable warning that some action is required on your part. A healthy and happy existence for an adult goldfish requires the consumption of 10 gallons of water daily.

Goldfish Eat a Sick or Injured Fish

Even though goldfish are not known to be very aggressive, they have been seen to prey on other fish that are seen weak in the tank. If a fish becomes ill or injured, the goldfish will not let it to remain in their area. They may attempt to consume them in order to get the weak fish out of the water.

Goldfish are Sociable Fish when Things Do Not Get Too Crowded for Them

Goldfish, on the other hand, are not precisely cannibals, and they frequently make excellent companions for other fish. The majority of the time, only fish that are smaller than their mouths are taken as prey. Goldfish, on the other hand, are more sociable fish, and they are happiest when they are living in a group of other fish. It is critical, though, to ensure that things do not get too crowded for them, and they have enough space to create their territory.

Aggressive Behavior at Breeding Season

Occasionally, what you may see as violent behavior may just be a demonstration of basic breeding habits. Most fish species, even the most passive, show aggressive mating behavior on occasion.

The mating season, the beginning of spring, the full moon, or after a significant water change are all times when goldfish may begin spawning, and it doesn’t get much more aggressive than that.

Even if you have done all possible to provide a safe and healthy environment for your fish, it is possible that it is not what it seems to be. Even if it seems like your goldfish is attempting to consume or bit its tank mate, it is possible that they are attempting to mate. A male goldfish will chase after a female goldfish around the tank at first, which seems to be aggressive. However, this may not happen at all.

Although this seems to be a charming arrangement, if you do not have enough space for their young, you may choose to separate them. Although your two grown goldfish get along well, if there isn’t enough space in their tank for their offspring, they will both consume them.

However, if you do not require goldfish babies, you can gently remove the male and place him in a different aquarium throughout mating season.

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Poor Water Quality Causing Goldfish to Become Aggressive

Because goldfish do not have stomachs, after they are fed, the food does not truly remain in their bodies for very long because they expel as much as they can after eating it.

Given that goldfish feed continually will generate a large amount of bio-waste. Maintaining water quality, even with filtering systems, may be difficult. Unclean water can disrupt the normally calm and placid mood of goldfish, causing them to become unhappy.

Underfeeding Makes Goldfish Aggressive

Substantial underfeeding may cause aggressive behavior in goldfish, such as fighting and biting tank mates while attempting to get edible food. Feed them on a regular basis, which is 2-3 times a day, and feed as much as they can ingest in under 2 minutes. For example, if you are giving veggies or pellets to your goldfish, remove any food that has not been consumed by your goldfish after two minutes.

Remember that overfeeding your fish might lead to illness.

Body Shapes and Varieties

Some goldfish species are more dominant and aggressive than others.

For example, the Ryukin Goldfish has a more pointed head than other species of goldfish and is more likely to attack gentle goldfish.

Some goldfish are hybrids with unique forms, like as longer fins.

Other goldfish may get aggressive as a result, and they may inflict harm as a result.

If you discover that your goldfish are consuming each other, it’s better to put them in a tank with other goldfish of similar species.

Goldfish Personality

This is an uncommon occurrence, but sometimes you may encounter a fish that is hostile and bratty for reasons other than those previously discussed.

It’s almost as if it had a personality of its own.

Sometimes they may be alphas and pack leaders, but in any event, if you see that a particular fish is generating excessive stress for the others, you should remove it from the aquarium.


Are Goldfish Cannibals?

When determining whether goldfish are cannibals or not, it is important to remember that goldfish are sociable creatures that love living in groups. They find it simple to engage with other fishes of their own species and with fishes from different species. The availability of appropriate care and attention will determine whether ordinary goldfish can be managed.

When they get used to the face of the aquarium keeper, they will swim openly to him, making hand feeding a highly feasible option without displaying any signs of cannibalism or aggression. In their natural state, smaller goldfish attempt to avoid any type of human interaction. However, once they reach a middle-sized or adult goldfish, their fear of humans is no longer present.

When common goldfish are transplanted to the tanks of other common goldfish, they will not engage in cannibalism, but will instead familiarize themselves with and form excellent friendship with their new tank mates by rubbing up against the body of their new friends.

Typically, they will swim side by side with the other fish while facing forward, or swimming sideways while facing opposing directions, or swimming over another fish in a perpendicular position.

Education is a phrase that describes the behavior of the first introduced to the aquarium fish. As soon as the fish can adapt to the environment, the activity gradually ends, and everyone is free to explore the aquarium on their own.

When goldfish are eating, there is a hierarchy in that the bigger goldfish consume the majority of the food. A tiny goldfish, on the other hand, may find itself in a conflict with the bigger ones in order to win the greater part. This is not always a sign of cannibalism, but rather a sign of a healthy goldfish, according to some experts.


How to Prevent Goldfish from Eating or Attacking Other Fish?

If you provide your goldfish with an appropriate habitat, they should be less likely to feel the need to consume other fish in the tank. Fortunately, while goldfish are known for having laid-back attitudes, there is typically something you can do to correct the issue if they begin to consume other fish. You may use any of the ways listed below to figure out why your goldfish could be eating on the other fish.

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Give Goldfish Enough Space

Regardless of whether you have goldfish or any other kind of fish in your tank, room is the significant aspect.

If goldfish are restricted to a small area, they may get anxious and begin to eat other fish, especially a weaker ones, in order to free up more space. Each Goldfish needs a total of 10 gallons of water. As an example, if you want to add a second goldfish to your tank, you’ll need 20 gallons of water, and so on. If there’re too many fish in the tank, there is a good chance that there may be problems.

Due to the high volume of waste produced by goldfish each day, water quality will worsen in an overcrowded aquarium. The goldfish will become aggressive if they live in an unsanitary environment. Make certain that your goldfish have enough area to move and swim around freely interacting with one another in order to maintain their good relationship.

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Provide a Good Water Quality

The quality of the water has a significant impact on whether or not the goldfish feel content in their surroundings. If they have to live in poor water conditions, they may see other fish as a potential danger. Even though they have enough of room, they may act out and bite the other fish as a result of their frustration.

Because they are continually eating, goldfish produce a lot of waste. Maintaining a goldfish tank is a costly hobby that requires the money, space, time, energy, and, most importantly, passion. The most important factor in maintaining a healthy goldfish aquarium is passion!

Make Sure the Goldfish Always Have Access to Clean Water in Their Tank

Despite the fact that the filtration is operating 24 hours a day. Make it a habit to do partial water changes on a monthly or biweekly basis to ensure that their water remains clean. In order to do this, you need drain around 30% of the water and replenish it with new water. It depends on the filtration and the size of the tank in proportion to the number of specimens in the tank.

Keeping water parameters at their optimal levels is an important part of goldfish keeping. These parameters include water temperature between 68° to 74° F /20°- 23°C, acidity between 7 and 8 pH, Hardness up to 12 dGH, carbonates and bicarbonates 80 to 180 ppm, ammonia, and nitrites at 0 and nitrates less than 20 ppm.

The quality of the water has a significant impact on the health and temperament of Goldfish. Good water quality, as well as a healthy food and enough of room, are essential for keeping goldfish happy and colorful.

Improve the Performance of the Tank

Another thing you can do to keep your goldfish from eating one another is to keep them apart from one another. If they ever exhibit symptoms of violence against one another, you might consider purchasing a tank divider to keep them apart. These are typical acrylic and do not harm the water’s quality.

When it comes to cleaning the aquarium as often as your fish would want, it might be difficult to keep up. By adding some live plants to their tank, you may assist them in maintaining better water quality. Try adding some rocks or ornaments for the other goldfish to hide behind if one of your goldfish is being particularly aggressive toward the others.


Organize an Adequate Feeding

Goldfish are omnivores, which means that they consume both plant and animal stuff in their diet. Furthermore, they are opportunistic feeders, which means that they will eat everything, including planktons, tiny fish, zooplankton, worms, aquatic plants, invertebrates, larvae, small snails, and so on.

In home aquariums, goldfish mostly thrive on commercial flakes or pellets, depending on the fish keeper’s preferences and experience. Goldfish, on the other hand, need much more than commercial flakes and pellets in order to grow and live a long and healthy life. You should provide them with blanched vegetables such as spinach, peas, zucchini, kale, carrots, cucumbers, and other such items.

Always remember that unblenched vegetables, not cooked vegetables, should never be fed to aquarium fish. It is possible that store-bought veggies include chemical pesticides and insecticides, which may alter the chemistry of the aquarium water, causing harm to your fish fins and scales, as well as internal organs in certain cases, and finally resulting in their death. Additionally, rotting vegetables may provide a significant amount of nitrogen to your nitrogenous bacteria.

Goldfish digest their food differently from other fish

It is important to ensure that your goldfish are receiving the proper quantity of food since they do not digest their food in the same way that other animals do. Because goldfish do not have stomachs, the food they consume does not remain in their bodies for very long. Feed them three times a day and clean up everything they don’t consume within two minutes to ensure that they get the proper quantity of food.

When goldfish consume an excessive amount of food, they run the danger of getting ill. The problem with underfeeding them is that it will encourage them to see their tank mates as potential threats. If they believe there is a lack of food, they may attempt to consume the other fish in their immediate vicinity. So, it is best to feed them several times a day rather than one large meal.

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Provide a New Residence for the Aggressor

If you have a goldfish that is more hostile than the rest, no quantity of meals or hiding places will be helpful. It’s possible that you’ll have no option but to separate the goldfish from the rest of your fish. If you continue to let that fish to remain in the aquarium, you are endangering the safety of the other fish in the tank.

You will either have to remove the aggressive goldfish into a separate tank so that they can live on their own, or you will have to find them a new home if a solitary tank is not an option.

Look after Sick or Injured Fish

Goldfish may sometimes attempt to consume a sick or damaged fish in order to get them out of the water. If this is the case, you will need to isolate the sick or wounded fish to solve the situation. This will provide them enough time to fully recover before they are able to return to the goldfish’s environment.

If a goldfish bit another fish, you would need to treat the wounds with rot solution. It will help to prevent them from getting an infection with the goldfish’s disease. Wounded fish are at danger of attracting germs, which might make them ill if they are not treated very once.

Unfortunately, fish that have been attacked by goldfish are more likely than not to have emotional disturbance as a result of the assault. It is possible that they will seem more cautious and terrified among other fish than they were before the goldfish attempted to consume them.


Take Care of the Babies

  • If you truly want to breed your goldfish, but the parents have consumed the eggs, you may want to consider isolating them from the main tank for the time being.
  • Remove either the eggs or the fry and place them in a mating aquarium with ideal water conditions to ensure a successful hatching.
  • Additionally, you may separate the parents and place them in a different tank to limit the likelihood of harm to your eggs.
  • The water should be warm enough for the eggs to hatch between four and seven days, ideally between 68° and 74° F
  • You may feed the goldfish fry the same way you would ordinary goldfish, but in lesser portions after the eggs hatch.
  • Upon reaching around an inch in length, you may move the young goldfish into the main aquarium.
  • Place them in plastic bags filled with the same water that they were reared in and float them in the main tank to regulate the temperature of the tank water.
  • After that, put them in the tank.


A Parasites in the Tank

You may see the damaged fins of your goldfish from time to time.

At first glance, you could conclude that they’re bite marks, but there are a variety of alternative possibilities.

An illness such as itch or white spot disease might be the source of the problem.

There is a parasite in the tank that causes white patches on the goldfish’s body or on the gills. It spreads swiftly through the tank.

You must remove the fish from the aquarium and place them in a separate hospital tank, or the sickness will spread throughout the whole aquarium very fast.


Select the Most Suitable Neighbors

Goldfish, for the most part, are not nasty or aggressive fish. They are just a voracious eaters that will consume everything appetizing that fits in their mouths without hesitation. As a result, pick fish species that will not fit in the adult goldfish’s mouth and have a calm attitude, such as Platies.

If you wish to raise little colorful fish with goldfish, you should pick species that are speedy and nimble, such as Celestial Pearl Danios, White Cloud Mountain Minnows, and so on.

Avoid at all costs some little fish species, such as Neon Tetras, which are fin nippers, if you have a Long-Tailed Goldfish or any other Fancy Goldfish in your aquarium. Tetras are a fantastic alternative for keeping alongside Goldfish if you still want to retain them. Cardinal Tetras and Ember Tetras are wonderful choices.

A word of caution: despite the swiftness of these little fish species and the abundance of hiding places, it is possible to come across a few missing specimens every now and then

Finally, if you are a goldfish enthusiast, the greatest choice available to you is to add some more Goldfish to your tank. In their natural environment, they are omnivorous predatory fish that may coexist peacefully with other members of their species. They will most likely get along with others, especially if they are the same size and variety as they are themselves.

The Fantail, Goldfish, Telescope Eye, and Lion Head are just a few of the huge, elegant Goldfish that swim and feed at a leisurely pace in their aquariums. When this kind of Goldfish is housed with an active Comet and Shubunkin Fancy Goldfish, it is possible that they will be unable to compete effectively for food.


The majority of goldfish are not aggressive. The fact is that they truly like being in the company of other fish and may form excellent friendships with a wide variety of other water animals. One condition is that their new companions can’t be any smaller than the size of a goldfish’s mouth. Goldfish are voracious eaters that are always on the lookout for new treats.

If a goldfish opens its mouth and a fish is tiny enough to fit within, there is a strong possibility that the Goldfish will swallow that fish. While most fish are secure in the presence of a goldfish, these attractive orange fish will misbehave when their living circumstances are substandard. They may even attempt to consume their tank mates in order to free up more room in their tank.

Maintain a clean and roomy tank at all times, and your goldfish will be less prone to attack their buddies.

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