Can fish eat cheese?
Care & Breeding

Can Fish Eat Cheese? Everything You Need to Know

Can Fish Eat Cheese? Let’s find out in this article.

Cheese is a dairy product made with milk by a process of coagulation of the milk. It is widely used in foods all over the world. There are many varieties of cheese, they are available in both flavoured and normal textures. 

But if you are a fish enthusiast and you like to do experiments with your fish diet and you are planning to feed cheese to your fish then STOP and read this article first before feeding cheese to your fish as it’s not the simple as it seems.

Now the Question here is 

Can Fish Eat Cheese?

This topic is debatable. Some fish lovers think that cheese is totally safe for fish as most fishes are omnivorous so they most probably eat anything. One of my friends who is also a fish aquarist, thinks that cheese contains high fat which is good for fish health. But also he prefers other fish food like pellets, flakes, etc.

According to my experience, Cheese contains dairy components that are harmful to fish. Fishes are not able to digest the fats and proteins which are present in dairy products. And if you feed them cheese and they don’t digest it, then it can cause bloating and digestion issues which are risky for your fish’s health. Also, these days cheese are having preservatives, chemicals, and additives which are not at all safe for your fish. So my advice is that you must never feed cheese to your fish.

Understanding the Relationship Between Fish and Cheese

Cheese is not a healthy snack for your fish. The digestive system of fish is very sensitive and you must be careful of your fish diet. Cheese has a hard texture so fish can’t break it down easily and thus it can also stuck in the fish throat which is very dangerous for your fish. 

Again as I have mentioned before, people have different opinions on this so according to some fish aquarists, cheese is a great source of protein for your fish but it must be used wisely since it’s not a natural product and can cause issues if you overfeed your fish with cheese.

Why cheese is harmful to fish?

Fish are not able to break down the cheese and so they can’t digest it, which can cause bloating and digestion issues. Dairy components of cheese are harmful to fish. Flavored cheese or cheese with preservatives is also very dangerous for your fish. So you must avoid feeding cheese to your fish at any cost. 

Can fish eat cheese?
Can fish eat cheese?

These are the reasons why your fish can’t consume cheese!!!

Adaption of Aquatic food

Fishes are marine animals, they live underwater. So they adapt to their environment and they like to eat foods which are produced under the water or most probably grown vegetables or fruits. 

But fish is not produced under the water and thus it’s not a suitable food for your fish so you must always prevent cheese in your fish diet.

Toxic preservatives 

These days cheese includes preservatives to increase its shelf life. Cheese is also available in flavored forms which is not suitable for fish to eat. 

Cheese also contains many bacteria which are important for the production of cheese but it can be harmful for your fish and definitely, your fish’s health is your number one priority. 

Also if you add cheese to the aquarium it may bring microorganisms into aquarium water and the water can get affected by bacteria which is dangerous for fish’s life.

Cheese is not healthy

Cheese is not a healthy snack for fish. This is because fish don’t require lots of fat to survive and cheese is full of fat so it’s not a healthy snack for fish.

Cheese consists of huge amounts of fats which can cause an imbalance in the digestion system of fish. Cheese can also cause chemical changes in the blood of fish. So you must prevent feeding cheese to your fish.

Alternatives to Cheese for Fish Nutrition

Fishes should have a balanced diet. The fish diet should consist of pellets, live food, frozen food, flakes, etc.

You can also give them a treat by feeding them fruits twice a week. You can feed your fish with mangoes, strawberries, blueberries, grapes, apples, etc

These all food items will add nutritional value to your fish diet and are definitely far better than cheese as fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamins, proteins, fibers, etc.

Other items which are best for fishes are brine shrimps, bloodworms, etc and these are a part of fish’s everyday diet and are the basic fish food which is a great source of protein

Which fish enjoy eating cheese?

Throughout the article, we have explained why you should not feed cheese to your fish, but still, there are some fishes that enjoy eating cheese. Some fishes like the flavour and texture of cheese so they like to eat it.

How to feed cheese to fish?

If you are feeding cheese to your fish, then only use a little portion of cheese and don’t overfeed your fish. 

Always use cheese that has a mild flavor. Avoid flavored cheese. Cut your cheese into smaller chunks which can be easily eaten by your fish. 

Add only a tiny portion of cheese into the aquarium. If you observe that your fish are not eating cheese then remove the cheese immediately from the tank to avoid causing any bacteria.

 Following are the fishes which enjoy eating cheese


Tench are basically bottom feeders and they mostly eat everything that comes their way, and cheese is another best option for tench only if provided in small amounts. Tench have a strong sense of smell and so they use their sense of smell to find their food since cheese has an aromatic smell so Tench identify cheese faster and like to eat it.

Can fish eat cheese?
Tench Fish


Bluegills also like to eat cheese. In the situation of bluegills, you must feed them with tiny chunks of cheese which are not flavored and they should be mild in taste so bluegills can easily eat them without causing any issue.

Can fish eat cheese?
Bluegill Fish


Catfishes like to eat food that has a strong smell. Since cheese has a strong odor and aroma so catfish like to eat cheese. Also, catfish are able to eat and digest cheese so you can feed them with a tiny portion of cheese.

Can fish eat cheese?


Trout do eat cheese. Also, cheese is a very popular fishing bait for trout since trout do like to eat cheese. Because the appearance and a strong odor of cheese will attract trout fish. 


Can Neon Tetras Eat Cheese?

Yes, Neon tetras can eat cheese but you should feed cheese in an appropriate way so it doesn’t cause any risk.

Feed them tiny portions of cheese and always cut cheese into smaller chunks so Neon tetras can easily eat and digest it. 

You can use cheddar cheese or other cheeses which have a soft texture so your neon tetras can easily eat it. 

Also, neon tetras are omnivorous so they can literally eat anything that comes their way so they can eat cheese. 

Can Goldfish Eat Cheese?

Goldfishes are a popular pet fish and many people like to keep them. They can eat cheese but you should not feed them regularly with cheese as it might be harmful. 

Goldfishes must have a balanced diet to survive so don’t overfeed them with cheese. Serve only a tiny amount of cheese to your goldfish.

Do Betta Fish Eat Cheese?

Betta fish are basically carnivorous so they can definitely eat anything. So you can feed them with cheese. 

But the problem is betta fish has a sensitive stomach and they are not able to break down or digest foods that are rich in fats. And since cheese is rich in fat so you should only feed very little portion of cheese to your betta fish, or in my opinion you can completely avoid cheese in the case of betta fish as cheese is not a necessary food item in fish diet.

Do guppies eat cheese?

Cheese is not very rich in nutrients and doesn’t add much value to guppies’ health but still, you can feed them with cheese in little amounts. 

But never make cheese a regular item in their diet as it may be very dangerous if guppies or any other fish consume cheese daily.

You can feed them occasionally with cheese. Feed them with smaller chunks of cheese so guppies can easily digest it.

Which cheese can I feed to my pet fish?

You should feed your fish with cheese which is soft in texture and mild in flavor. But if you feel that your fish are not eating cheese then remove the cheese from the tank as soon as possible to avoid creating a bacterial environment for your fish as cheese might dissolve in water and can cloud the tank water. 

Also, don’t feed expired or bacteria-affected cheese to your fish as it can be very dangerous for your fish’s health. As fishes also require healthy and clean food just like humans do.


In conclusion, cheese is not a suitable food item for fish as it can cause digestion issues, and bloating, and may contain toxic preservatives and additives. Fish are not able to break down the dairy components of cheese, which are not healthy for them. However, there are some fish species like tench and bluegill, who may enjoy the flavor and aroma of cheese, but it should be fed to them in small amounts, without any additives or preservatives.

It is important to maintain a balanced and healthy diet for fish, consisting of pellets, live food, frozen food, flakes, fruits, and vegetables, as these items are rich in vitamins, proteins, and fibers. Overall, it is best to avoid feeding cheese to your fish and stick to natural and healthy food items for their well-being.

Can Fish Eat Cheese? Everything You Need to Know
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