Can Goldfish Bite? [Actual Facts You Should Know]

Can Goldfish Bite

Imagine that you just won your first goldfish from a county fair. You bought it a tank, fish food, and everything else you need to care for it. As you watch it swimming around in its tank, you stick your finger on the glass, pointing at it. Your goldfish comes forward and tries to nip at your finger. So…

Can goldfish bite? Yes, goldfish can bite you. They have small teeth in their mouths using which they can nibble on you. But you won’t feel much pain even if your goldfish bites you. This is because goldfish don’t bite the same way other animals bite.

However, it is important to know a few facts about goldfish and their nibbling tendencies before you put your finger in its mouth…

Do Goldfish Have Teeth?

Along with a tongue, goldfish do have teeth in their mouths, but they are very far back in their throats. They are specifically in the pharynx section of their mouths and are called pharyngeal teeth.

So, if a goldfish tries to have a go at you, it will not hurt, and you will not even feel their teeth. You would have to stick your finger in pretty far to get full-on bitten by a goldfish.

Their teeth tend to be small and flat in the back of their mouths, instead of in their gums like humans.

Even if you could get back far enough in a goldfish’s mouth for it to bite you, it will not hurt at all; you are unlikely to feel it.

Can Goldfish Lose Their Teeth?

As goldfish grow and get older, they will lose their teeth. However, their teeth do grow back, unlike human teeth.

As their old teeth fall out of their mouths, their new teeth are growing right behind them so they can replace the old ones.

It is important to note that to see their teeth, you need to wait until they fall out into the tank. You cannot see them in their mouths, because of how far back they are in their throats.

However, once they fall out, you can find them when you clean your fish tank.

Do All Fish Have Teeth?

All types of fish have unique teeth. They vary in the following ways:

  • Size,
  • Shape,
  • Location and
  • Sharpness.

You can find teeth in all fish; however, no two fish teeth are the same. For example, the piranha and bluefish’s teeth are sharp, small, and pointy to tear up flesh, whereas the sheephead fish has human-like teeth. Muskie and Pike fish have sharp teeth designed to eat birds and other fish.

Every species of fish has teeth, specifically designed for their eating habits.

They all vary in shape and size, and some can be seen upfront while others are located in the back. If you cannot see a fish’s teeth, then most likely their teeth are further in the back where you cannot see them.

Recommended Further Reading: How To Take Care Of A Goldfish? (Goldfish Care In 3 Simple Steps)

What Happens When A Goldfish Bites You?

Goldfish tend to be very playful and are unlikely to bite you, but if you are teasing them or dangling your finger in front of them, they may try to nip at you.

Will It Hurt If A Goldfish Bites You

The short answer to this is no. Goldfish may nip at your fingers if you put them in front of them, but it will not hurt at all.

And they do not bite in the same way an animal would, they may try to nibble a little on your finger, but that is about the extent of their “biting” that they would do to you.

Most goldfish do not bite because they are more playful than anything. If they do any biting, it will be them sucking on your finger or nibbling on it a little bit.

That is about all they would do to you, and it would not hurt you at all.

Can A Goldfish Bite Other Fish?

Goldfish may bite other fish aggressively, but you need to understand that most goldfish do not bite other fish in their tank.

They tend to be laid back and relaxed; some goldfish are shy, while others are outgoing. So, the likelihood of a goldfish biting others is not as common. A few reasons a fish might bite other fish may include the following:

  • It is hungry.
  • It’s mating.
  • It is sick.
  • There’s not enough space.
  • There’s not enough food.
  • It has feeding jealousy.
  • There is new fish in the tank (territorial).
  • It has a pushy personality,
  • It’s defending against being bullied.

There are a lot of different reasons goldfish might bite other fish, so you need to watch out for signs of these aggressive behaviors. You may have to intervene in the tank if you have some fish fighting each other.

My Goldfish Is Biting Other Fish What Do I Do?

If your goldfish is biting other fish in your tank, you may need to act sooner rather than later.

There are various reasons goldfish get aggressive towards other fish, and they can even damage their fins if they bite too hard.

So, you need to fix any of the following issues you may have.

Overcrowded Aquarium

Is your fish tank full?

You need to have a minimum of 10-gallon tank for your goldfish, and a 20-gallon tank for two fish, and so on.

If your fish does not have enough space in its tank, it may get stressed out and become aggressive towards those that are in its way.

To remedy this, you need to get a tank large enough to house all of your little critters.

Check the recommended tank size for each of the fish you own and get a tank larger than that. This way, you can make sure all of your fish have enough room to grow and thrive.

Related Further Reading:

Water Quality

With overcrowding in an aquarium, comes bad water quality. This can also upset your little guy.

A lot of fish can equal a lot of waste, which in turn makes the filter work harder and take longer to clean the water. This means a lot of time living in waste, which would make anyone unhappy.

If your fish has unhealthy living conditions, this may cause it to get stressed out and turn aggressive towards other fish. When you have a lot of fish in a tank, you need to carry out the below steps:

  • Change the water once a week or every two weeks (depending on how many fish you have).
  • Remove 30 percent or 3 gallons of the tank’s water for every 10 gallons your tank has.
  • Replace old water with a fresh one and treat it with a water conditioner before reintroducing it into the tank.

This process is called partial water change, and you need to consistently do this along with full water changes. This helps the water filter to not work as hard and also allows your fish to live in clean water, without having to move it around a lot. Always do full and partial water changes, alternating between the two to ensure that your fish live healthy lives.

Interesting Further Reading: Do Goldfish Poop and Pee? (Here’s What We Found)

Feeding Time

When feeding your goldfish, keep in mind that they do not have any stomach in their bodies. So, at feeding time, the fish are eating their food, but it does not stay in their bodies for a long time. This way they make a lot more waste which can make your tank dirty.

Make sure you do not underfeed or overfeed your fish. Too much food will make them sick, while too little will make them aggressive, and they will start biting other fish in their tank. You need to feed your fish two to three times daily and only feed them as much as they can eat within two minutes. If you feed them pellets or veggies, make sure you remove uneaten food to reduce waste in your tank.

Mating Time

If your male goldfish starts to chase a female goldfish in the tank, he is trying to mate with her. He may nip at her when he gets close enough; however, it should not be enough to harm her. If you do not want little goldfish babies, you need to place the male in a separate tank away from the other fish. This will prevent him from mating and give the female goldfish a sigh of relief.

To Wrap Up

Goldfish do bite, but it won’t harm you.

Their teeth are too deep inside their mouth, so you won’t even feel them.

However, this is no reason for you to put your finger in your goldfish’s mouth.

Leave your goldfish alone, and it will thank you for it.