How long do goldfish live? It’s a question that plagues many goldfish owners, like the question of how long do koi fish live plagues koi fish owners. But the answer isn’t as simple as you might think.
Different factors like the type of goldfish, the size of the tank, and even the food you feed your fish can all play a role in how long your goldfish lives.
In this article, we’ll answer all your questions about goldfish lifespan so you can make your fishy friend swim happily for years to come.
How Long Do Goldfish Live?
Many people choose goldfish as their first pet, drawn in by their low cost and seeming simplicity. But while goldfish may not be as high maintenance as a dog or cat, they still require care and attention to thrive. One of the most common questions new goldfish owners have is, “how long do goldfish live?”
Goldfish typically live for 10-15 years, with some varieties living well into their 30s. However, there have also been documented cases of the oldest goldfish living past 40!
Breeding is another often overlooked factor when it comes to determining how long goldfish live. Breeding determines the size and shape of a goldfish, both of which play an important role in how long a goldfish can live.
Smaller varieties of goldfish tend to have longer lifespans due to their slow growth rate, while larger varieties are more prone to health issues related to inbreeding.
It’s also important to be mindful of how many goldfish you bring home and how they are housed together. Overcrowding increases aggression and creates competition over food and space, leading to stress levels that can shorten their life span significantly.
How To Care For Pet Goldfish To Help Them Live Longer
When it comes to answering the question, “How long do goldfish live?” one of the biggest variables is how well they are cared for.
Here are 3 things you can do to ensure your goldfish lives as long as possible.
Use Filtration and Aeration
Filters are designed to remove waste and particles from the water column, while aeration pumps add oxygen to create healthy circulation. Both are crucial for maintaining a healthy fish environment for your goldfish and giving it as long a lifespan as possible.
Test And Maintain Water Quality
Goldfish are notoriously big eaters and big waste producers, so regularly testing and maintaining their water quality is of paramount importance. In fact, water quality is probably the biggest factor when it comes to determining the lifespan of a goldfish. Keep your fish healthy by monitoring water pH levels, along with temperature, nitrate, nitrite, and ammonia levels.
Goldfish prefer a pH between 6.5 and 7.5, while their ideal temperature range is between 68 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Nitrate levels should be kept below 50 PPM (parts per million) and nitrite levels below 0.2 PPM. Ammonia levels should be kept below 0.1 PPM. This is true for goldfish ponds and goldfish tanks.
If your goldfish are kept in an aquarium, one of the most effective ways to promote their longevity is by maintaining good water quality through regular water changes. Generally speaking, 25% water changes are recommended every two weeks, especially if you have multiple goldfish in the same tank.
This means, for a 10-gallon aquarium, you’d be removing about 2½ gallons, then topping off the tank with fresh dechlorinated tap water. Just take care to acclimate any new fish prior to introducing them into your existing tank, as sudden temperature shock can cause disease or even death.
Provide Plant Cover
When it comes to how long do goldfish live, providing the right type of plant cover is essential. Plants offer many benefits to goldfish, including providing hiding places and protection from predators. Aquatic plants also serve as a natural filter, removing toxins from the water while also generating oxygen and helping promote healthy bacterial growth.
How Long Do Different Goldfish Types Live?
You can’t answer the question of “how long do goldfish live” without discussing the different goldfish types. There are over 200 types of goldfish, and goldfish lifespans for each type vary slightly.
In general, however, goldfish fall into 2 broad categories: common or fancy. Here are the expected lifespans for each:
Common Goldfish Lifespan
Common goldfish, also known as Carassius auratus, can typically live anywhere from 10 to 15 years in captivity, depending on how well they are taken care of.
Fancy Goldfish Lifespan
Fancy goldfish are any goldfish that have been bred (or inbred) for specific characteristics, such as bulging eyes or extra-long fins. In general, they tend to have more health issues than common goldfish. However, with proper maintenance, fancy goldfish can easily live 8 to 10 years in captivity.
How Long Do Goldfish Live By Water Volume?
In general, the greater the water volume, the more likely it is that your goldfish will live longer. All things being equal, goldfish survive in larger ponds or aquariums longer than goldfish in small ones. This is due to the fact that it is easier to maintain water quality in larger bodies of water than it is in smaller bodies of water.
That being said, young fish can survive happily in as little as 2 gallons of water. But if you’re looking to extend their lives and keep your goldfish healthy, it’s advisable to provide them with at least 10 gallons of properly filtered and aerated water. Don’t forget to test it regularly for pH, nitrates, and other component levels.
How Long Do Goldfish Live In A Pond?
Goldfish living in a pond? As noted above, the larger the body of water, the better it tends to be for the health of your goldfish. So as long as your goldfish is protected from predators and extreme temperatures, they could very well live into their 20s or even their 30s in a well-maintained pond.
How Long Do Goldfish Live In A Plastic Bag?
How long a goldfish survives in a plastic bag depends on how well the bag is aerated and how much the water temperature is monitored. With proper care, most goldfish will remain healthy if kept in their plastic bag home for up to 24 hours. After that point, they should be moved into a more permanent setup straight away.
How Long Do Goldfish Live In A Bowl?
Despite their name, goldfish should really not be kept in a “goldfish bowl.” With no room to move around and no filter to maintain the cleanliness of the water, pet goldfish will generally only survive 3 to 9 months–a much shorter lifespan than their 20-year potential in an appropriate pond or aquarium setting.
How Long Can Goldfish Live Without Food?
This is a common question among both new and experienced goldfish keepers. Goldfish can easily survive 2 weeks with no food. Some goldfish can even survive up to 10 weeks with no food–although we definitely don’t recommend it!
Goldfish are opportunistic feeders, which means they will eat as much food as they can find, even to the point of harming their health. So it’s actually much more common for goldfish to be overfed rather than underfed.
So, please feed goldfish the right amount so they can live out their normal life expectancy.
How Long Can Goldfish Live Without Water?
Needless to say, a goldfish requires water to live. However, they can survive out of water longer than you would expect.
Generally speaking, goldfish can survive in a water-free environment with sufficient humidity and a moderate temperature for 3 hours or more. Of course, this is not healthy for a goldfish, and you should never deliberately take a goldfish out of its aquatic environment.
How Long Do Goldfish Live On Average?
As noted above, the potential lifespan for some varieties of goldfish can reach an astounding 40-plus years!
Unfortunately, the average lifespan of most goldfish is probably closer to 2-4 years due to environmental factors, such as poor water quality or lack of a well-balanced diet.
How Big Do Goldfish Get?
The answer to this question depends on many factors, including how well you care for your pet goldfish and how long it lives. In general, most goldfish will reach a length of 5-6 inches when fully grown. However, some can grow up to 8 or even 10 inches in length. The size of their environment and how much food you give them can also play a role in their full-grown size.
What Do Goldfish Eat?
A basic goldfish diet typically consists mostly of fish flakes or pellets specifically designed for goldfish. However, it is beneficial to add variety to their diet. Goldfish will eat various plants, vegetables, insects, and even crustaceans. Peas, brine shrimp, daphnia, and freeze-dried bloodworms are all good healthy foods to give to goldfish.
Gradex Can Build Your Dream Goldfish Pond
So, how long do goldfish live? The answer isn’t as simple as you might think. Different factors like the type of goldfish, the size of the goldfish tank or pond, and even the food you feed your fish can all play a role in how long your goldfish lives.
However, by following our care tips and keeping an eye on water quality, you can help your goldfish live a long and healthy life. If you’re ready to create your own healthy goldfish paradise with a backyard pond, fill out our contact form today, and one of our experts will be in touch soon.