How Long Can Fish Go Without Eating?

Find out how long can betta fish go without food and some tips in case you ever find it impossible to feed them.

Fish are one of the most popular pets to have around the house as a pet and life partner who shares a home with us. They are truly friendly and calm animals that everyone wants to have with them because they do not require excessive care. Although it is true that you do have to pay special attention to certain details such as your diet.

And the thing is … How long can a fish go without eating? A specific period is not yet known, but there are some tips and certain products that we can have at our fingertips when it is practically impossible for us to feed our pet, because, after all, its diet is what it will depend on how long does he live.

The exact days that a fish can be without eating are not known because that time depends on several factors such as the species of fish in question, the care it receives previously, its state of health, the state of the water in which he lives, his previous diet … that is, an endless number of factors to take into account.

The normal thing is that a fish cannot last more than 2 or 3 days without eating.

However, an approximation could be made, because, under normal conditions, a fish could go without eating for about 2 or 3 days. When that time has passed, the pet will begin to show weakness, something logical due to the lack of food and nutrients that will cause its defenses to drop and increase the chances that the animal will become ill until it even reaches death. Don’t listen to the false myths that your animal can go without food for a week because it may happen very occasionally, but it is almost never like that and you will put your pet’s health at risk.


If your pet does not receive the proper food, the fish itself will show a series of symptoms that will serve as a warning sign to act as soon as possible and that nothing happens to it. For example, if a fish is hungry, it will have a more restless and anxious behavior than usual, that is, we will be able to see how they rise several times to the upper areas of the water in search of some food.

However, there are another series of symptoms that do not affect behavior so much, but rather act on the physical state of the animal and are seen when the hunger process of the fish is very advanced. This is especially noticeable on their skin and scales, which lose color and shine, even presenting a rather deteriorated appearance at times.

Lack of food can cause fish to eat each other to survive

Finally, it should be said that when fish do not have the food they can go through very great anxiety processes that forces them and impels them to engage in a behavior that is almost on a par with cannibalism, that is, in their constant search for food. they will be able to attack and kill other individuals. Therefore, if we see several fish in our aquarium with wounds on their fins and tailor fish that have suspiciously disappeared, it is a sign that something is not going well.


Cable to continue with its vital processes properly and to enter into serious danger. Therefore, the most effective thing is to try to prevent these animals from spending long periods without food, although it is true that from time to time the odd problem arises that makes it impossible for the owner to supply food to his fish for some time.

In this situation, it would not be bad to notify someone to take your place and feed the fish if it is impossible for you. Otherwise, your fish could die. However, there are some precautions or guidelines that can help our fish survive for a little longer. One of them would be to provide them with a varied and rich diet that allows them to have certain reserves of energy and fat and that keeps them healthy and strong. The best way to achieve this is to prepare homemade fish food, something very simple and that will also save you money.

It is advisable to have a ‘plan B’ in the event that we cannot feed our pet

Another guideline is to keep the water in your fish tank or aquarium as clean as possible. With this, you will ensure that the environment of your fish is free of batteries, parasites, and infections that can harm them if they are weak due to lack of food.

Finally, you must also pay special attention to the levels of oxygen in the water. This is a fundamental aspect because these levels are key in the future of the fish. Water poor in oxygen, in addition to a lack of food, could lead to a fatal result for the animal.


There are certain moments in life when it is almost impossible to take care of your fish, such as going on vacation and having no one to be in charge of feeding and caring for our animal. Therefore, in stores, there are certain products that can provide food for some time in the aquarium or fish tank.

In pet stores, there are products that can solve the problem

One of the best-known products is tablets or shells, the most common of which have a whitish color, which is put in the fish tanks and gradually dissolve. During this process, some substances that serve as food for our pet are released, although we must be careful with them because some substances from which they are released can alter the parameters of the guide and cause the opposite effect of the desired one.

Also, in any specialized pet store, you can find at your disposal some cookies or sticks that basically consist of pressed feed that is diluted in the water in the fish tank little by little.

As a last option, and not for that less important, but quite the opposite because it may be the most effective, you can get automatic food dispensers. These devices are placed on the surface of the water, such as on the upper edge of the pond, and release the food stored in their tank into the water based on the programming you have previously made. You will have no problem finding them, plus they are very useful and easy to place. The only thing you should bear in mind is that when food is in the tank for a long time, it becomes damp and loses many of its properties.


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