Skip to Content

4 Common Questions About Goldfish Pooping Answered!

With goldfish being the most common freshwater fish kept within the fish keeping hobby, we constantly see questions from the community relating to goldfish pooping every month.

There are a number of specific questions about goldfish pooping that we see people reaching out about none stop so we have decided to publish this article answering the more common questions in the hope that we are able to help as many of our readers as possible.

Although most of the questions that we see from the community about goldfish pooping are generally about very common things that generally do not mean that there is anything wrong with your goldfish, there are often some tweaks to your goldfish’ diet that you can make to prevent them from happening.

With many of our readers being new to the fish keeping hobby, they may not be aware of these tricks that they are able to use so we hope that we can help increase awareness of how you can help keep the bowel movements of your goldfish as healthy as possible.

We have added our table of contents below to make it as easy as possible for our readers to skip directly to a specific question about goldfish poop though.

This should help you save time but if you are new to keeping goldfish, skimming the full article is probably a good idea as it can help you avoid some very common mistakes that we see people make time and time again with their goldfish.

What Does Goldfish Poop Look Like?

There is no standard definition of “healthy goldfish poop” as the primary food source of your goldfish will play a large roll in what its poop will look like.

The poop of a goldfish that is fed primarily pellets, flakes or live food will all look different to each other due to the different nutritional qualities in each primary food source having an effect on the look, shape, consistency, and color of the poop.

In addition to that, using live foods such as daphnia or bloodworms as a large part of your goldfishes diet will generally result in your goldfish pooping less too. If you don’t like the idea of live feeding your goldfish then you are able to use freeze dried daphnia and freeze dried bloodworm to feed your goldfish and keep the amount of poop they produce as low as possible.

This works due to almost all of the daphnia and bloodworm being digestible by the fish resulting in less waste and less poop with this being totally normal if these make up a large part of your goldfish diet.

If the majority of your goldfish’ diet is based on fish food flakes then it can be normal for your goldfish’ poop to be red due to the digestive tract of the goldfish being too short to digest the red dye in the red flakes.

As we covered in our article on red fish poop though, there are some more serious issues that can cause this. If you feed your fish mostly fish food pellets then their poop will usually be a shade of brown.

Is It Normal For Goldfish To Have Long Poop?

It is not normal for goldfish to have long poop and this is often a sign of a low quality diet, the fish not eating enough food or parasites taking hold of the fish.

It is generally easy to prevent your goldfish from having long poop that gets stuck to the fish by switching over to a live food or freeze dried food.

Even if you use a high-quality flake based fish food, it can still be common for your goldfish to have long poop due to the way that flake food is produced.

It is less common with high-quality fish food pellets but can still happen depending on the other food that your goldfish is eating too.

If the long poop is due to parasites then you will have to start to treat your fish with a suitable treatment. Camallanus worms are the most common in freshwater fish like goldfish but it can be a pain to find a suitable treatment that works in some areas without getting it directly from a vet.

How To Stop Goldfish Poop Hanging Out!

The easiest way to stop goldfish poop hanging out is to improve their diet, usually by making sure there is plenty of fiber in their diet to help them poop without issue.

This is why live food such as daphnia or bloodworm are excellent options as their husks serve as a way for the fish to poop without it hanging out of them.

If your goldfish is having problems with its poop hanging out and you are using a flake food then we would highly recommend that you switch to a different food source.

Although flake foods are fine for some goldfish and are often nutritionally complete, other goldfish will have problems with their poop hanging out when fed flake based foods as their primary food source.

This is why we recommend a diet made up of mixing live foods, freeze dried foods, and high-quality fish food pellets if possible.

This will offer your goldfish a nutritionally complete diet that has plenty of fiber or solid matter to make sure that your goldfish is able to poop without it hanging out of them.

How Do You Deal With Goldfish Poop Building Up In Your Aquarium?

The easiest way to deal with goldfish poop building up in your aquarium is to manually remove it during your weekly aquarium servicing using a gravel vacuum.

Shrimp and snails will not eat goldfish poop even though many people say they will so the best option is to manually remove the poop from your tank.

As we touched on earlier in the article though, there are certain tweaks that you are able to make to the diet of your goldfish to reduce the amount of poop that it will produce.

Increasing the portion of your goldfish’ diet that is make up of either live food or freeze dried foods will reduce the amount of poop your fish produces as the majority of the food can be digested and processed by your fish resulting in less waste.

Pellet based goldfish food tend to produce the most poop so if you are feeding your goldfish a pellet based food and you are trying to reduce the amount of poop they produce in their aquarium, switching to fish food flakes and adding in her live food or freeze dried foods to help them poop without it hanging is probably worth trying.

The majority of people will just clean their goldfish poop out of their tank at least once per week using a gravel vacuum as even if you do tweak the diet of your fish to produce less poop, they will still probably still need their aquarium gravel vacuuming at least once per week.


That brings our article going over goldfish pooping to an end. We hope that we have been able to help you understand the basics of your goldfish’ digestive system and how you are able to make simple changes to its diet to improve its digestive health. This then helps to change how your goldfish will poop as well as the amount of poop that it will produce too often making it easier to maintain steady water parameters due to less waste being in the tank.