Everyone loves chocolate, right?
This leads to many goldfish owners wanting to “treat” their goldfish to a tasty piece of chocolate. Unfortunately, this is a terrible idea.
Goldfish will eat chocolate – they eat pretty much anything. However, you should absolutely not feed your goldfish chocolate as it contains sugar, which has been known to kill fish. Additionally, chocolate is not something goldfish have evolved to eat as it’s not found in their natural habitat, so they are unable to digest it.
Anyway, this article will cover a bunch of reasons that goldfish should not eat chocolate. I will also explain the proper food that you should feed your goldfish.
Why Goldfish Can’t Eat Chocolate
The reason goldfish can’t eat chocolate is actually pretty simple – goldfish don’t have stomachs! This means that they can’t digest processed foods, and chocolate is most certainly a processed food. Crackers are also a processed food that you can’t feed goldfish, which I have covered on this website before.
Moving on from that, even if goldfish had stomachs, they still couldn’t eat chocolate because it contains sugar. So, what’s the problem with feeding goldfish sugar?
Sugar is pretty well known to kill all types of fish. And that includes goldfish. In this incident from India, a molasses factory leaked sugar into a river and killed thousands of fish.
The stomachs of fish, or intestines in the case of goldfish, are not built to process sugar. The reason is simple – sugar is not something that fish are ever exposed to in nature, so they haven’t evolved to process it.
Just think about it, how would a fish ever get access to sugar in nature?
Exactly. There is no scenario in nature where a fish would find sugar.
To further this point, sugar will cause a bacterial bloom as bacteria feed on sugar. If you put chocolate in your fish tank, then expect your tank to get all cloudy as bacteria feed on the sugar and reproduce.
Subsequently, algae will form to eat the bacteria.
In summary, don’t feed goldfish chocolate… ever. The fish can’t process the sugar in the chocolate and all that sugar will mess up the bacterial balance in your tank.
Now, goldfish won’t instantly go belly up in your tank if you feed them chocolate once every year, but if you consistently feed them chocolate or feed them too much chocolate, then you will have some problems in your tank.
The next section will cover what you should feed your goldfish.
The Type of Food to Feed Goldfish
Goldfish can healthily eat a pretty wide variety of food. They’re fine with most vegetables. And especially like eating leafy, aquatic greens.
Anyone that has tried putting goldfish in a planted tank knows that goldfish have a tendency to strip the leaves of plants clean.
So, leafy greens are perfectly ok to feed goldfish. In fact, I’d say the majority of a goldfish’s diet in nature will consist of leafy greens.
Of course, goldfish also need some protein and fat. They can’t eat nothing but vegetables – goldfish aren’t vegetarians.
For meat, I recommend worms, mosquito larvae, and tiny cuts of fresh raw meat. Goldfish are perfectly capable of eating all that. Just don’t overfeed them this type of food as they do fill up quickly on it. And then you will have rotting food in your tank, which can cause problems to the balance of your tank.
Now, I know that not everyone has the ability to feed their goldfish a diet of purely natural food, which is fine. Most goldfish owners feed their goldfish pellets or flakes specifically designed for goldfish.
Goldfish Pellets vs Goldfish Flakes
The debate between whether to feed goldfish pellets or flakes is beyond the scope of this article. As a quick summary, flakes are smaller and float on the surface while pellets are larger and sink to the bottom.
The nutritional of the two are the same, so that isn’t a big concern. It’s simply a matter of personal preference.
Personally, I prefer using flakes as uneaten flakes are easy to scoop up off the surface with a net. Uneaten goldfish pellets will sink into the substrate, dissolve, and cause some bacterial growth as the pellets are broken down.
The bacterial growth will throw off the balance of your tank and cause an algae bloom. Neither of those are things that you want in your tank, so be careful if you feed your goldfish pellets. And make sure to not overfeed pellets as that will lead to a huge mess in your tank.
Well, that covers it for whether or not you can feed your goldfish chocolate…
You should not feed your goldfish chocolate. The goldfish do not view chocolate as a treat and too much sugar, which chocolate contains, can kill your goldfish.
Don’t feed fish anything that contains. Instead, stick to a diet of fish flakes, pellets, soft leafy greens, worms, or mosquito larvae. In fact, a better treat than chocolate for goldfish would be a nice, juicy bloodworm.