How Long Do Goldfish Live? Must-Know Facts On Fish's Lifespan | Kidadl


How Long Do Goldfish Live? Must-Know Facts On Fish's Lifespan

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Goldfish usually grow about 8-12 in (12.3-30.5 cm); they follow selective breeding and their growth is generally determined by the water temperature, genetics, and diet.

A goldfish’s vision is as good as a human’s. All of the spectrums visible to humans are also visible to the goldfishes.

They can differentiate between day and night. In addition to this, they have a unique photoreceptor that allows them to see ultraviolet and infrared lights. This helps them find their prey and avoid underwater predators while they live in water bodies. Water changes affect them too. A type of goldfish is called the comet goldfish, or the comet-tailed goldfish. This comet goldfish is found in the United States. Goldfish don’t have ears. They perceive sounds in these two ways. Firstly, goldfish have bones in their head that vibrate in response to the water waves. Their brain then translates these inner ear vibrations into sound. Secondly, they have a lateral lining of cells running through each side of their body which are very sensitive to water movement. These cells can easily detect vibrations. Goldfish are extremely sensitive to noise. They can suffer from hearing loss and stress due to high vibrations so, don’t expose your pet goldfish to loud noises when you keep them in a tank. We all know about the infamous goldfish memory that lasts up to 30 seconds, right? Poor goldfish are falsely accused of their memory because they can remember things for three months and distinguish between the time intervals.

Goldfish are very friendly, unproblematic, and socially active animals but can be grumpy when hungry or stressed. Due to their social nature, goldfish have to be kept in groups or pairs of their own kind. Don’t put them in tanks with fast swimming and large fishes because they cannot compete with other fish for food and end up starving themselves.

Hearty goldfish have longer, leaner, and streamlined bodies which allow them to move faster in the water. Fancy goldfish have round or egg-shaped bodies and can’t swim as fast as the hearty ones. Fancy goldfish are more delicate creatures that are very much prone to illness. Fancy goldfish are mostly the kind to be raised as a pet.

Goldfish love swimming and they need plenty of space to swim their hearts out, so a fishbowl or a small bowl is never suitable for these fishes. You will need a tank or an aquarium to keep your pet goldfish. To start, the best-sized tank you can get for goldfish is a 20 gal (76 l) long-style tank. As goldfish are big food lovers, they eat a lot and excrete a lot, too, and their tanks often contain toxic ammonia spikes, so filtration of the tanks is a must. It would be best to keep the tanks as clean as possible because a dirty tank and water can affect their health.

After reading about the average life expectancy of a goldfish, do check out goldfish facts, and how long do guppies live?

How long do goldfish live in a pond?

How long can goldfish live? Common goldfish lifespans are about 10-15 years in a pond, but some common goldfish may live up to 15- 20 years lifespans. That’s how long can goldfish live! 

Goldfish kept in a pond tend to live longer than those kept in a tank. However, the lifespan of goldfish depends on the type of goldfish. Common goldfish live longer than fancy goldfish. Goldfish can live in any size of habitat. Goldfish can live in a bowl and also in an aquarium.

One can improve their goldfish’s quality of life, increase the lifespan of a goldfish and make their pet goldfish live longer by the following methods:

Good quality of water is vital for the fish. Watch out for nitrate, nitrites, and ammonia levels in the pond, as they are very toxic for goldfish and every fish in general. This is why filtration of the water is essential.

High-quality food should be fed every day. Make sure you don’t only provide them processed market food but also organic natural food.

Checking the oxygen level of the pond and making sure the pond is oxygenated is also important. After all, fish need oxygen just as much as humans do, and without enough oxygen, they might get suffocated and die.

Ensure the pond is not overcrowded with fish because this might limit the amount of oxygen and food available for each fish.

Water parameters like the temperature and pH of the pond should always be stable. The temperature of the pond should be between 55-80° F (13-26° F), and the pH should be around seven or eight.

How long do goldfish live without food?

Goldfishes can survive in their bowl for a long time. The long time and the lifespan of a goldfish depend on various factors consisting of the bowl and water, but it's plausible. It can survive for a long time, which means that the goldfish can live up to 15 years old with proper food and nutrition. There has been a world record for the longest living oldest goldfish. The oldest goldfish ever noted had lived for 43 long years.

Even though goldfish are small in size, goldfish live for quite a long time without food, which is up to two weeks in general. After two weeks, the goldfish starts to get malnourished and weak, but that doesn’t mean they die immediately. Goldfish are continuous food eaters to the point where they get sick and even die because of voracious and overeating. As an owner of the goldfish, it is sufficient to feed your pet goldfish three to four times a day. Goldfish literally get their mouth onto anything. But, not everything they eat has to be beneficial to them.

So, if you have a goldfish as your pet, it is essential for you to find the best goldfish food for these goldies. Remember, the closer you mimic their natural diet in the wild, the healthier your fishes will be. The natural diet of a goldfish includes little fish, worms, insects, decaying plant matter, plants, and algae. As goldfish are omnivorous, vegetable or plant matter makes up a vast portion of the goldfish’s diet. But, they also consume a good amount of protein that can be found in tiny marine animals and insects. Generally, a goldfish’s food can be summarized into three categories:

The staple diet: Flakes, gel food, and pellets provide your goldfish with all the nutrition they need. Plus, they have the perfect ratios of minerals, vitamins, carbs, fat, and protein. So, they are a balanced diet for your goldfish.

Foraging material: Leafy green and other species of vegetables are excellent foraging food that can keep your goldfish healthier and happier.

Treats: Treats should be given to them to provide variety. And, it is ideal for giving them a nutritious treat around two to three times per week. Treats like dried or live food are not just tasty, but they also have color-enhancing properties and are loaded with vitamins, which will help your goldfish live longer.

Goldfish in the aquarium.

Can goldfish die of old age?

Of course, goldfish can die of old age! Time and death don’t spare anyone now, do they?

Fish especially are susceptible to their surroundings so that they can die earlier than their estimated age of death. For them to survive in your home happily, you need to keep their home free of waste. Treating the water regularly to get rid of all waste impurities is a must to maintain the water quality. They mostly don’t show any signs of old age or that they are even dying, so it can be tricky to say if your goldfish is fine or not.

If your pet goldfish is eating less, not looking as healthy as before, or getting slower, these are the signs of old age. While in an aquarium or tanks, goldfish generally live for an average of 10 years, but in the wild, it’s not always the case. Due to predators and other natural factors, in the wild, they tend to lose their lives earlier than expected.

As mentioned above, goldfish tend to lose weight as they get older. You can see an indent or space between their skull and spine because of the weight loss. Your goldfish might start to look longer than before, and it’s not because of growth but their weight loss. Their eyes can be seen bulging out, and you might find it unusual. Their skin gets discolored and might start looking translucent.

Goldfish are famous for their nonstop eating, but as they get old, they lose their appetite and start eating less. The most significant sign that your goldfish is old is when they begin to swim on their side; there are also instances when the goldfish gets too tired even to swim and starts floating instead. They’ll stay in the same place in the tank for too long.

How do goldfish act when they are dying?

Fish, in general, don’t act dead like some other animals, so if your pet goldfish is lying upside down and its body is swelled up like a balloon, you must know there is something wrong.  

Goldfish float upside down when they are dying because many of them are heavy in the top region and possess an organ in the lower region of their body that is filled with air. Goldfish don’t feel any pain while dying, unlike humans. Their body produces gases that make them swell up and float on water because initially, they drown after they are dead.

Once your goldfish is dead, never flush it down the toilet because that could cause a lot of harm to the waterways. It is a better idea to dispose of it in your garden instead.

Now, as to why goldfish stay at the bottom of the tank? There are many reasons like:

Stress: Goldfish exposed to stressful surroundings tend to become lethargic and anxious, making them stay at the bottom of the tank. Reasons for the stress can be bad water quality or a lousy tank mate who doesn't get along with the goldfish. So make sure you take proper goldfish care of these factors if you have a goldfish as your pet.

Illness: A sick goldfish doesn’t feel like swimming and often prefers sitting at the bottom of the tank. It’s better to consult a vet if you find your goldfish’s behavior unusual.

Boredom: When you provide too little space for your goldfish to swim, like keeping them in a bowl, for example, they get bored and stay at the bottom of the water.

Suffocation: If the oxygen level or ventilation isn’t enough for your goldfish, they feel suffocated and slowly sink at the bottom of the tank. The only solution to this is placing an air stone or bubbler in the tanks.

Swim bladder disorder: If your goldfish is experiencing problems with swimming itself, it will obviously stay at the bottom and prefer not to swim. The solution? Consult a vet.

The most common reason for a goldfish's death is the bad quality of water. These fish are susceptible, especially the fancy goldfish. Hence, as a goldfish owner, it is one’s duty to check the water regularly, change the water if it’s too dirty, and maintain the water parameters like temperature and water. Keep a goldfish in tanks or ponds but never keep it in a fishbowl or a small bowl because, as discussed above, goldfish are avid swimmers, and they need enough space for that to stay healthy and happy. Some people put their goldfish into a small bowl and then wonder why they died!

How long goldfish live depends on various factors.  Common goldfish can live long in a fish tank or pond or even live in an aquarium or a bowl. The fact that they can live in a bowl makes them attractive to many. If you want to add fish to your large tank or pond, or aquarium, you need to take proper care that the goldfish are compatible with the other kinds of fish in your large tank. You can mix various species of goldfish in the tank. There are multiple species of goldfish to choose from. These species generally have a long life, but due to health problems, they tend to die early. Health problems may occur due to the slightest negligence.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for how long do goldfish live then why not take a look at bumblebee vs honeybee or butterfly life span facts.

The Kidadl Team is made up of people from different walks of life, from different families and backgrounds, each with unique experiences and nuggets of wisdom to share with you. From lino cutting to surfing to children’s mental health, their hobbies and interests range far and wide. They are passionate about turning your everyday moments into memories and bringing you inspiring ideas to have fun with your family.

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