Do Frogs Eat Goldfish? (Frogs and Toads in Backyard Ponds)

Do frogs eat goldfish in backyard ponds? Sometimes they do. Many frogs will eat whatever they can fit into their hungry little mouths, whether it be bugs, fish, or even other small animals. They can indeed consider goldfish prey -if the goldfish are sufficiently small. Larger goldfish should be safe, however. 

That is, unless a bullfrog shows up… Luckily, there are ways that you can repel nuisance bullfrogs altogether.

Your goldfish will also be mingling primarily with average-sized, run-of-the-mill frogs, or toads. Keep only large goldfish in your pond, and they ought to be spared from becoming a froggy snack.

Bullfrogs Are a Goldfish Danger

One frog you will not want to make an appearance at your backyard pond is the notorious bullfrog. Why? Because these frogs are just a terrible nuisance. Like most frogs, they will eat anything they can fit into their mouths… and their mouths are huge! This can put even the smaller of your beautiful koi or even larger goldfish at risk. These voracious frogs eat turtles, birds, bats… you name it!

Bullfrogs will even eat other frogs… with a bullfrog in the area, no pond critter is safe to relax. They are unwanted visitors that you will surely wish to see off.

Goldfish Actually Consider Tadpoles a Snack

Did you know that goldfish consider tadpoles a snack? These baby frogs are diminutive enough for many fish to pop into their mouths easily. Your fish should aid in keeping your frog population under control.

Just never introduce frogs as tadpole… at least, not if you are hoping for them to live! Your fish, on the other hand, will thank you for the meal.

Goldfish that Frogs Won’t Eat

You can certainly keep goldfish and frogs together harmoniously. Again, just make sure that, compared to the frogs, the goldfish are bigger. Most goldfish can grow quite large if they have enough space (and if they are safe from predators). Some breeds happen to be a bit larger and tougher, however. These include:

Comet Goldfish

Not only is the comet goldfish beautiful, in red, bicolor, orange, and yellow… but it’s also a respectable 10-12 inches in size. This makes it unappealing to frogs as a meal. The Comet Goldfish makes a lovely and hardy pond fish overall.

Ryukyu Goldfish

This unique-looking goldfish has a big hump and a much smaller head in proportion. The Ryuku Goldfish can reach 8-10” long in a pond and is hardy enough to handle the light and weather conditions of ponds in general. And, of course, these fish are a bit too big to frogs to swallow!

Shubunkin Goldfish

The Shubunkin is a fantastic frog survivor. This is because these sleek, strong fish grow to be about 1 foot to 18”, sometimes more. That’s a bite big enough to turn even the most ambitious frog away!

In fact, Shubunkin and frogs can get on quite amicably, as they are no true threat to each other.

Common Goldfish

Common goldfish may grow just a couple of inches long in a tank, but in a pond, they can reach 12-14 inches… or longer. Of course, if there are frogs in your pond, you will not want to transfer introduce common goldfish that are too small. To be safe from frogs, any goldfish should typically be no less than ½ foot.

girl looking into a pond
Goldfish and other smaller pond fish are better at clearing mosquitos than Koi

Other Fish Safe for Backyard Ponds with Frogs

Your goldfish would probably not find a few other fishie friends amiss, so long as they are companionable. What is a fish pond without Koi, after all? This breed has been dubbed The Living Jewel of the fish world. Koi fish also grow to a whopping 3 feet in length, so frogs won’t cause them to bat an eye! Orfe is another remarkable and frog-resistant fish addition that you could consider.

Goldfish that Frogs Will Eat

If a goldfish is small enough, a frog won’t quibble about what breed they are. This being said, there are some goldfish species that are naturally smaller, or more delicate, or which swim slower. Some like this are the twisty-tailed goldfish, the telescope goldfish, the bubble eyed goldfish, etc.

Other Fish that Frogs Will Eat

Frogs do love a good minnow. They must also catch many mosquitofish in order to fill their bellies. Guppies, bluegills, sticklebacks, and red shiners are also at risk of becoming a quick meal. Again, frogs will eat any fish that is sufficiently small, so beware!

If you’ve been wondering, ‘do frogs eat goldfish,’ then hopefully this gives you your answer. Frogs do indeed eat goldfish -but only younger, littler goldfish, or those that swim too slowly. They will leave alone goldfish that are larger. Frogs also do not generally eat Orfe or Koi.

Carl Broadbent
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