I picked up some sea lettuce attached to stones from the local beach near where fresh water was entering the sea, and have washed off the salt water, and placed it into my fresh water tank. The leaves appear to be pearling so I guess they might survive.

The goldfish are eating it as well, as evidenced by the green feces now appearing.

But could this diet hurt the goldfish?

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1 Answer 1


Sea lettuce might be given to goldfish, but only in a small quantity; this is to avoid it going bad before it is eaten.

Sea lettuce is not toxic if fresh and it contains minerals and vitamins that are good for your fish. Fish that are herbivores or omnivores will eat it (herbivore = plant eating, omnivore = mixed diet plant and meat eating).

Sea lettuce lives in salt water and is not able to survive in fresh water (it can survive short fluctuations in salt level, but not in fresh water).

When sea lettuce breaks down it release hydrogen sulfide; this is very toxic and it will kill your fish.

A truck driver was killed by the hydrogen sulfide gas from his cargo of sea lettuce, several people and animals like horses have died after being poisoned by this gas; more details about this in the Wikipedia article.

It can be hard to identify the edible types of sea lettuce.

  • 1
    It looks like they're still eating it though the chlorophyll levels have dropped drastically so it's probably dying now, and it's no longer pearling. I've added one ml of Seachem Flourish iron to neutralize any hydrogen sulphide being produced. Jan 3, 2018 at 18:39
  • 2
    it is better to keep the sea lettuce in a container with salt water and good lighting to keep it alive and feed your fish only the amount they eat in a short time. Jan 3, 2018 at 18:48
  • Well they rapidly polished off the sea lettuce with no apparent ill effects except the debris blocking my filters! Feb 15, 2018 at 13:08

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