Goldfish Not Feeding

I have recently put several varieties of Goldfish into my Garden Pond, they are swimming around as though they are looking for food, but they will not rise to take the food I give them which is a floating feed.

Why is this and what can I do?

Grant's Reply


Goldfish are like any fish species, very wary of anything hovering over the top of their pond as it usually wants to eat them.

They will be eating the food you give them, but only when you are nowhere near the pond or after it sinks to the bottom.

What you need to do is train them to come to the side of the pond for feeding.

This is relatively easy, and over a short period of time you can even train them to eat out of you hand.

Goldfish in ponds being naturally cautious will have felt your footsteps as you approached the pond. You need to turn this from a danger signal to a feeding signal.

At the same time and at the same spot every day until they are trained, approach the pond and tap lightly on the side or splash the water.

Feed very lightly. Stay at the side of the pond for a few minutes and then leave.

Repeat the next day.

After a few days you will notice some of the fish will start to become inquisitive as they get hungry. Some may even dart up to snatch some food.

Don't be tempted to start feeding them their normal amount at this stage because they need to learn you are the source of their food.

After about two weeks you should have the fish trained to approach the spot you have chosen as their feeding spot. The more fish in the pond, the easier it is to train them as their naturally competitive nature at feeding time will see a few dominant individuals make the first move, followed by the more timid ones.

Once you have got most of the fish coming to be fed you can slowly increase their food to the normal amount.

Having your fish trained in this way makes it easier to judge how much food to give them as you will notice when they start to lose interest in the food.

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Jun 22, 2023
Fish Not Feeding
by: Grant

Hi Phil

Just follow the instructions I gave to the other submitter.
The key thing is to be regular with the time, tap the side of the pond, feed very very little so the fish become hungry, and don't start feeding too much at the start until all the fish are comfortable feeding when you appear.

Jun 22, 2023
by: fishy phil

I have the same problem just put my pond in the garden & put 4 goldfish into it.
they do not come to the surface to feed @ all. they been in the pond for a week have tried little bits of diffrent food but still not feeding or coming to the surface, what could be the problem, would like some advice as never kept fish before.

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