The goldfish is a staple in the aquarium world. They are truly beautiful fish that come in many hues of dark yellow and light orange, hence the name goldfish. They are fish that children everywhere have, they make for great starter pets, and they are beautiful too. These things are available in pretty much every fish store around the world. The question to be answered here is; How long does a Goldfish live for? Well, the answer does depend on how well you take care of that goldfish.
The Typical Goldfish Life
The first thing that needs to be said is that the lifespan of your average goldfish can vary quite greatly. The average lifespan of a regular goldfish is anywhere from 5 to 10 years, with some lasting as long as 20 years. The current world record for the oldest goldfish is actually 43 years.
As you can see, the life of your goldfish can be very long indeed. However the lifespan of your goldfish will depend on several factors such as the size of the tank they are in, how clean and well maintained the water is, water temperature, how often they are fed, and what they are fed. Let’s go over some of the most important details so you can keep your goldfish alive for as long as possible.
We have put together an epic guide here on how to take care of a goldfish, it covers everything you need to know.
First off, to keep you goldfish alive for as long as possible, the temperature of the water they live in needs to be just right. Goldfish are generally cool water fish, and they need the water to be between 65 and 68 degrees Fahrenheit. There are some tropical goldfish species that like warmer waters, but those are quite rare.
Generally speaking, goldfish require a low water temperature because it allows them to easily access oxygen, moreover cold water usually has a good oxygenation level, something that goldfish require. Goldfish can be sensitive to limited oxygen levels caused by overheated water, which is something that will shorten their lifespan considerably.
A Good Sized Tank
Something else that helps keep your goldfish alive for as long as possible is a fairly good sized tank. Goldfish will grow according to the space which they are allotted to live in. A small tank will restrict their growth, but that is not all. A small fish tank increases the chances of the water being dirty or being contaminated, therefore it also increases the chances of the goldfish becoming ill and dying.
The best way to solve this problem is to have a large tank. This is because as there are more fish in the tank, a small tank, the amount of dissolved organic matter increases, and that can cause spikes in ammonia and nitrate levels (more here on Ammonia levels), both things which are quite deadly to fish. It is recommended to have at least a 20 gallon tank for around 35 ounces’ worth of goldfish. If you are just starting out then perhaps check out our recommended beginners aquarium tank guide.
The Goldfish Diet
Another important part of keeping your goldfish alive is feeding it a good diet. The goldfish is an omnivore and that means eating virtually anything under the stars. Goldfish do not require very much protein to survive, actually much less than many other fish. Goldfish like a well-balanced diet that is very high in fiber, has lots of minerals, vitamins, and nutrients, and consists of between 20 to 30 percent protein.
Generally, typical goldfish flakes will be more than enough to keep them satisfied and healthy, plus you can substitute some freeze dried daphnia and some vegetables on occasion. Now, what you feed them is just as important as how much you feed them.
A goldfish loves to eat, but it will get full quickly. Over feeding them will leave you with uneaten food floating around in the fish tank, food that will decompose and change the water chemistry in the tank. If you are over feeding your goldfish you may notice excessive algae growth, cloudy water , very small worms, fungus, and very low dissolved oxygen levels, all of which can be harmful to your goldfish.
You can actually make your own fish food, check out our home made fish food guide here.
As you can see, as long as you take good care of your goldfish, you should have no problem with having them survive for a minimum of 5 years, and anywhere up to 10 years. If you take exceptional care of your goldfish they may even live longer than that. You might also like this post that explains why your Goldfish is swimming upside down.