Hepper is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

Can Goldfish Eat Crackers? Substitutes & FAQs

Lindsey Stanton Profile Picture

By Lindsey Stanton


We all love treating our goldfish, and finding new treats for them to try can be a fun experience. Goldfish love to eat, so watching them voraciously go after a new snack can be rewarding.

But as much as we all love treating our goldfish, we also all want to do what’s best for our goldfish. This means knowing which foods are safe and enjoyable for goldfish to eat. This may have led you to wonder if your goldfish can have a little bit of the crackers sitting in your pantry.

If you’ve ever wondered if your goldfish can have crackers, it’s not a good idea to feed crackers to your goldfish. Here’s what you need to know!

Can Goldfish Eat Crackers?

Goldfish are omnivores but their digestive tracts are not made to digest foods high in starches and salt. They are also not made to digest processed foods. Goldfish can digest foods high in fiber, like leafy greens, and protein, like insects.

Also, goldfish don’t have stomachs. They have digestive tracts that are made to absorb nutrients as the food passes through, but the food doesn’t have a place where it digests significantly before entering the intestines like human’s stomachs do.

Foods like crackers may swell up in your goldfish’s digestive tract, causing blockages or constipation. Even if they are able to process it through, crackers have little to no nutritional value for your goldfish.

goldfish bowl
Photo Credit: LUIS PADILLA-Fotografia, Shutterstock

What Can You Give Your Goldfish Instead of Crackers?

There are lots of fresh foods that your goldfish can eat! Since goldfish in nature eat mostly aquatic plants and insects, it leaves you with a surprising number of options to treat your goldfish.

Here are some of the options for safe treats you can offer to your goldfish:
  • Proteins: Bloodworms, brine shrimp, daphnia, earthworms, mealworms
  • Vegetables: Peas (skinned), broccoli, zucchini, arugula, cucumber, carrots, romaine lettuce, brussels sprouts
  • Fruits: Watermelon, oranges, apples, grapes (skinned)
  • Goldfish Food: A simple way to treat your goldfish is to offer a variety of foods. Pellets, gel foods, flakes, and other high-quality foods can be rotated to provide variety while still making sure your goldfish’s nutritional needs are being met.
goldfish crackers
Image credit: PxFuel

Other Considerations

There are a few things to remember when feeding fresh foods to your goldfish:
  • When offering insects to your goldfish, make sure they are coming from a trusted source, like your local pet store. Earthworms from your yard may have consumed lawn chemicals or pesticides that could harm your goldfish. The same goes for any insects from an untrusted or unknown source because you need to be sure of what the insects may have come into contact with.
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables should be steamed, boiled, or blanched before serving. Otherwise, your goldfish may have trouble digesting the food.
  • Skins should be removed from fruits and vegetables before serving. This includes cucumber, zucchini, grapes, and peas.
  • Replace fresh foods in your goldfish’s tank daily. Anything they don’t finish shouldn’t be allowed to stay in the tank too long or it will begin to rot and risk fouling the water.

aquarium plant divider

In Conclusion

Even though your goldfish can’t have crackers, hopefully you’ve got some good ideas of how to treat your swimming friend. Goldfish are simple creatures, but they love snacks! Your goldfish will appreciate any healthy treat you give them.

Remember, though, that goldfish will eat just about anything they can fit into their mouths. This means that you’ll have to make sure you’re only offering safe treats to your goldfish. Unfortunately, crackers aren’t a safe snack for your goldfish, but there are lots of safe, satisfying options!

Find out if other foods are safe for your goldfish with our guides:

Featured image credit: vishwats, Pixabay

Related Articles

Further Reading

Vet Articles

Latest Vet Answers

The latest veterinarians' answers to questions from our database