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litelboyblu

How long can goldfish last without food?

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So the title says it all but I have two fancy Goldie's (small) and I'm leaving on a vacation for two weeks, if they can't last two weeks without food I'll be having someone come over to feed them :)

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I would never leave a fish without food for more than 10 days, and 10 is pushing it. If someone could come and feed them once or twice, a premeasured amount of food that you leave out, then I would have that done. Just make sure that you premeasure the food and leave it for them. We all know how good of beggars the goldfish are! 

Edited by ChelseaM

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You could also set up an automatic feeder like the Fish Mate F14 :)

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I only let my goldfish go up to a week, with out food, if I'm out of town.  If I'm away longer than that, I'll use automatic feeders or get someone to swing by and feed them.

 

I keep my goldfish with live plants and whenever I get back after a week, I find that the goldfish have tried to eat the plants that they normally don't touch.  I mostly grow Anubias and the new soft leaves will all have been munched on!

Edited by Acro

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They well be fine.  If someone comes to feed they well also need to do a water change.

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They well be fine. If someone comes to feed they well also need to do a water change.

I really have to disagree. I have gotten much information that 2 weeks is enough to starve the fish.

And 2 or 3 light feedings over the course of the 2 weeks will not warrant a WC, since not enough ammonia will build up. Daily feedings would, but not once or twice a week.

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I guess once or twice a week will be a good amount of food. I don't want them coming to my house to do a water change! Haha, thank you for the help!

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If somebody is coming over, make sure the food is premeasured!!!!!!!! Then hide the containers of fish food. This will eliminate the care giver feeling sorry and over feeding wish will in turn fowl your water while your gone! :(

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If somebody is coming over, make sure the food is premeasured!!!!!!!! Then hide the containers of fish food. This will eliminate the care giver feeling sorry and over feeding wish will in turn fowl your water while your gone! :(

I use auto feeders and hide the food even though my sister always checks on my fish when I'm away.  She would totally overfeed them :rofl

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Haha, thank you both! I found someone who will help me. Should I tell them to feed my Goldie's ONCE or TWICE a week? :) thank you all with your help so far!

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Since you are going to be gone for 2 weeks I would shoot for twice a week. I think they would make it on once a week but if they were my fish I would prefer twice a week or at least once every 4th day which would be 3 feedings while you are gone.  Part of the reason I am suggesting more if possible is that you said the fish are "small".  I assume young as well.  These fish do not have as much "reserve" to live on and their metabolism is running at a faster rate than a full grown fish.  Kind of like how kids need to eat a lot as they are going through growth spurts.

Edited by DieselPlower

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They well be fine. If someone comes to feed they well also need to do a water change.

I really have to disagree. I have gotten much information that 2 weeks is enough to starve the fish.

And 2 or 3 light feedings over the course of the 2 weeks will not warrant a WC, since not enough ammonia will build up. Daily feedings would, but not once or twice a week.

 

Ok let me try again. I have done this when we were out of water. Busted pipes.  So yes it can be done.

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As for how question of how long I think the question what temp goes with it. For example a pond in winter where water temps are near freezing 2 weeks is nothing but in normal tank with temps in the 70s it could be detrimental.

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I really have to disagree. I have gotten much information that 2 weeks is enough to starve the fish.

 

Chelsea, can you give me the source of this information?  I know we usually say that goldfish will do fine for a week to 10 days without food, but I don't know where that information comes from either.

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I really have to disagree. I have gotten much information that 2 weeks is enough to starve the fish.

 

Chelsea, can you give me the source of this information?  I know we usually say that goldfish will do fine for a week to 10 days without food, but I don't know where that information comes from either.

 

 

I'm not Chelsea, but I will take the liberty of answering as well.

 

Source 1: Johnson & Hess's Fancy Goldfish. There, the time limit is 5-7 days.

Source 2: Bristol Aquarists say up to two weeks. http://www.bristol-aquarists.org.uk/goldfish/info/keeping-fs.htm

 

I think that for sure the limits can be stretched up to two weeks (or more), but there is a cost of stress and associated problems. Other factors that also come into play for specific tanks will include the available of other things (algae) for fish to much on, the temperature of the water, and how much you've overfed in the past. How old/big the fish are may be a factor as well, among other things.

 

I will say that if it were me, I would try to get someone(s) to feed 1-2 times during the 2 weeks I am away, but if I can't, I can't.

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Thanks, Alex. :) It was your help that got my first source last time... I can't remember the name of the Ranchu guy from Australia that you messaged for me... at least I think it was that man. 

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There are actually two different, but intertwined questions on this topic:

1) How long can goldfish go without food?

2) How long should goldfish go without food?

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Yep, I found the thread. It was Hoover's last D&D thread, when Jeff posted saying his friend did the experiment with fasting the fish. He said that the large ranchu could go 3 weeks, technically, but not to do it because it was cruel.  So yeah, definitely those two questions right there...

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I would also explain to whoever feeds the fish WHY it is a problem to feed more than you tell them to. I did this with my mom, and she's never overfed my fish. Most people who have never kept fish have no idea that overfeeding can make the water toxic (and you can say it in those terms, without needing to get too technical), but if you explain that, it will make sense.

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There are actually two different, but intertwined questions on this topic:

1) How long can goldfish go without food?

2) How long should goldfish go without food?

Yes, the old "survive vs thrive" debate :)

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