Do Goldfish Eat Algae?

Yes, goldfish do eat algae, they are omnivores, requiring both plants and meats to formulate a healthy and balanced diet. Oddly enough, goldfish do not have stomachs, instead, they digest food as it travels through their intestines, extracting the nutrients as the food passes.

Goldfish algae eaters

This means that they produce an abundance of waste, far quicker than most other fish, leaving them hungry all the time.

Algae is almost always readily available in healthy fish tanks, which means breakfast, lunch, and dinner time for goldfish! Despite popular belief, goldfish do have teeth which help with breaking down and consuming the algae.

Is Algae Good for Goldfish and Do I Still Need to Clean my Tank?

Algae is the main food source for many different freshwater algae-eating fish, but not goldfish. Goldfish require a balanced diet that consists of meaty and plant-based foods, not just algae.

Is Algae Good for Goldfish?

Algae do not contain much nutritional value to your goldfish, but it is not harmful to them either. They could not live off just eating algae, and too much algae may be harmful to them.

The best thing to do is provide them with a healthy and balanced goldfish diet and then allow them to graze on algae when they please.

It is important that they receive their required nutrients from other food sources as algae does not contain everything that they need to be healthy.

Goldfish feeding

We have a comprehensive guide that runs you through the perfect goldfish food and diet for your goldfish to live a healthy and happy life.

Do I Still Need to Clean my Tank?

Absolutely yes, you still need to clean your tank and change the water on a weekly basis. Goldfish produce an abundance of waste that can harm the water quality in your tank, causing disease and infection for residents.

Not only this, but if your tank has a lot of light exposure it will produce algae at a rapid rate. Goldfish enjoy grazing on algae, but they are not going to be able to keep up with massive algae outbreaks.

Too much algae can also kill plants that goldfish feed on and use to hide away in.

Goldfish Algae FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Now that we have covered the main question, it makes sense to answer some of the most popular hobbyist questions on this topic.

Can Goldfish Eat Algae Wafers?

Algae wafers are a good addition to their diet, they actually contain more nutrients than algae itself.

Most algae wafers will contain fish meal, spirulina, pea protein, dried seaweed meal, and other vitamins and minerals as well as the algae!

Do Goldfish Eat Algae In Ponds?

Algae grow at a rapid rate in ponds, especially those that are exposed to lots of natural sunlight.

Goldfish will certainly eat the algae in ponds, however, there is usually too much for even the goldfish to finish.

By adding extra plants to your pond you will be starving the algae of nutrients, which will reduce the numbers.

Guppies and algae

This as well as having hungry goldfish will certainly see the number of algae in your pond minimize over time.

Can Too Much Algae Kill Goldfish?

There are many different types of algae that grow in aquariums, with some more poisonous and harmful than others.

Algae also produce a lot of carbon dioxide at night which reduces the oxygen saturation in the water, which can often lead to your goldfish struggling to breathe due to low oxygen.

Do Goldfish Eat Algae Eaters?

Goldfish are not predatory, nor are they vicious carnivores. However, they do consider fish that are big enough to fit inside their mouths as food, you can read more about whether or not goldfish eat each other or other fish in one of our latest articles.

Most algae eaters are big enough to handle themselves when it comes to goldfish, but some of the smaller, more innocent ones could be in danger of becoming a snack for a large goldfish.

Rubber-lipped plecos are always a good option to accompany your goldfish in their tank as they are big enough in size to not be eaten and do a fantastic job of clearing the algae from your tank.

Bristlenose pleco

The issue with some plecos is that they can end up eating the slime layer from goldfish's bodies, which then exposes their skin to bacterial infections and disease. If this happens, remove the fish before it is too late.

Final Thoughts

Goldfish are fantastic algae eaters, but this is certainly not the only thing they eat, far from it, in fact.

Be careful with goldfish and algae, making sure that your fish is using algae to add another food to their diet rather than replacing anything important.

Algae does not have the right amount of nutrients to fully support their diet, however, it is a great addition, and will save you some time when trying to remove algae from your tank!