Can Goldfish Eat Rice? Let’s Quell The Myth!

It’s fair to say that Goldfish are one of the most popular pet fish kept by pet owners and aquarists. Feeding your fish is one of the most rewarding parts of owning a pet fish. What to feed your goldfish has long been a topic of conversation, we were recently asked if Goldfish can eat rice?

Let’s first answer this question and quell the myth about goldfish and rice.

Can goldfish eat rice? Whilst goldfish will eat rice cooked and uncooked it is not advisable to feed them starchy food with no vitamins. They offer no nutritional value and secondly uncooked rice once swallowed will expand in their stomach and possibly harm your fish. Do not feed goldfish rice cooked or uncooked.

image of goldfish for an article about if goldfish can eat rice
Goldfish will eat just about anything but should they eat rice?

Why Is Rice Bad For Goldfish?

Rice may seem like a good idea, it’s inexpensive and easy to store and quick and easy to feed your fish. However, rice has no nutritional value so I would be careful. Pure carbohydrate foods are not good for your fish. They simply do not provide the nutrients and vitamins your goldfish need to thrive.

Any fish kept in captivity needs a balanced and nutritious diet.

Facts About Rice

Rice is the seed of the grass species Oryza sativa (Asian rice) or Oryza glaberrima (African rice).

It is one of the most important food sources for human consumption and over 851 million tons of rice are consumed each year.

Cooked rice is composed of 68% water, 28% carbohydrates, 3% protein, and negligible fat (see the table below).

Image credits and data

It contains moderate amounts of B vitamins, iron, and manganese (10–17% DV) per 100 gram. Not enough to sustain a healthy and balanced diet for your goldfish.

The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) monitors arsenic in foods, particularly in rice products. Rice tends to absorb arsenic more readily than other food crops. These levels are very low and not a concern for human consumption but could possibly have an impact on small pets and goldfish.

(Legal disclaimer) Fishkeeping forever has no scientific data to back this claim. It is our opinion from the research we have read on the FDA website.

Cooked Or Uncook?

If you feel you have no choice but to feed your goldfish rice then you must feed them cooked rice.

Rice can absorb a huge amount of water when uncooked and will expand to three times its overall size. Imagine your goldfish eats lots of uncooked rice and fills its belly, the consequences would be disastrous.

After a few minutes, the rice starts to expand due to the water intake. What do you think will happen to the rice and your fish’s stomach?

It’s not going to be good, is it?

At least feeding your goldfish cooked rice reduces the risk of harming your fish. But as mentioned before, why you would want to feed your goldfish rice is beyond me.

There are many inexpensive flake foods and live foods on the market that have been designed and created with your fish in mind. They offer all the nutrients and vitamins your pet fish needs to thrive.

feeding fish. Can goldfish eat rice?
Feeding your fish is fun. Just ensure you feed them the best foods possible.

Summary: Can Goldfish Eat Rice?

NO, Goldfish should never be fed rice. It offers no nutritional value and is possibly dangerous to your fish for the reasons mentioned above.

Feed your goldfish other plant matter and vegetables more suited to their digestive system or simply buy a pre-made fish food perfect for your fish.

We use Tetrafin Goldfish flake food. It offers all the vitamins and minerals your goldfish needs. Feed them this flake food and mix in some live food and plant matter from time to time and they will thrive in your home aquarium.

Reference Material Used

At fishkeeping forever we pride ourselves on providing the most accurate information we can to help you answer your fish keeping question. We are only human and as with all topics, there’s always room for debate and we sometimes get things wrong.

Our own knowledge comes from being in the fish industry for many years, however, we also rely on other sources of information. We try to give full credit for any informational source used in this article ‘Can goldfish eat rice‘ as well as any other topics we write about.

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