Goldfish Health Problems: Not Eating

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Filed in Fish/Reptile, Health

With animals of any kind, you can usually be sure of one thing: they like to eat. So, when your animal isn't eating its normal amount, then you know something's up. This phenomenon includes even fish.

But how do you tell if your fish is eating normally?

It's important to pay attention to the amounts of food you're feeding your fish, along with how much is leftover in the tank (which you should remove). Also, how often are you feeding? Once a day? Twice a day? Or several times a day? If you're not sure about any of these, your first step is to put your fish on a regular feeding schedule. Usually, several times a day is perfect.

Once you have a feeding routine down, then you'll be able to notice when your fish is suddenly missing meals or not finishing what you put out. The more you keep an eye on his eating habits, the better you'll be able to understand when there is a problem.

Get the Big Picture

If you're fish isn't eating his food on his regular routine, the next question you need to ask yourself is: where is his food going? Does he share his tank with other fish? If so, his food could be getting swallowed up by his buddies (hence, another reason to keep an eye on all of your fish's habits). Even fish have a hierarchy.. If the fish you're concerned about it smaller than the other ones, then he could be last in line when it comes to getting his fair share of dinner. Your fish could be timid, too. Having prying eyes watching him might make him nervous. This is where you come in. It's up to you to make sure your special fish gets its fair share, whether it's by means of separation during feeding time or coaxing him to feed from your hand, it's important that your fish is eating his proper amount.

Cats, Now Fish?

We've all heard of cats being finicky, but can your fish take on these feline characteristics?

Sure, why not. Even fish get tired of the same old, plain food. If you see your fish taking a slurp of food, then spitting it back out again, then you could have a finicky fish. Don't be insulted if he doesn't like your taste in fish food, but instead, find him a food that he will like. Goldfish aren't too picky, so it shouldn't be hard to find a food that he will like. And remember, when your goldfish gets hungry enough, he'll end his hunger strike and eat.

How Long Should You Wait?

If he doesn't eat any food past three days, then you should call your Vet because he may have some sort of disease. Give him a visual physical and see if he's exhibiting other characteristics besides the not eating.

Ian M. Stewart is the Senior Writer and Editor at Pet Food Express.com. He lives with his wife, two cats and dog in Oakland, Ca.

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