How Long Do Goldfish Live? Ways to Increase Their Life Expectancy

How Long Do Goldfish Live? Ways to Increase Their Life Expectancy

If you have heard of fish then you would have heard of Goldfish. Goldfish has become very famous among people these days. If you are a fish lover then it’s official that you have had goldfish in your tank at least one time!

This fish is very famous because the varieties of the Goldfish are many and they are made to live in any kind of environmental situation
These fish are widely known because of their capacity to live in any kind of environment and survive it to an extent.

FACT: You might have heard people say “You got the memory of a goldfish”? (means that a person has a bad memory).
I think its time to stop saying that because it’s NOT TRUE! Check out this scientific article published on this topic here

Now, let us find out how long your goldfish is going to live and what are the factors that influence them. First things first.

So How long do goldfish live?

Goldish lives anywhere between 5 and 20 years. Very long life span compared to that of Betta fish which only lives up to 3.5 years.

It’s not very specific, is it? Yes, it is NOT!

That large range of 5-20 years is decided on how well are YOU going to take care of it, which almost means that you are the one who decides how long your goldfish is going to live.

Let’s start from the origin, shall we? – These Goldfish belong to the member of the carp family called Cyprinidae. Cyprinidae has a reputation for having a very long life. Doesn’t matter where they live. Maybe in your tank at home or out there in nature. But generally, they live longer when they’re in their natural home. So it is very important to set up an aquarium that looks and feels like nature or may make a pond just outside your house that truly is its natural home but slightly human interfered?

Let us look at a few different types of goldfish and their life span below.

Common Goldfish

Usually lives up to 14 years if there is a very good aquarium setup or a pond setup just outside your house. If let to live in the wild (their natural habitat) they’ll probably live for anywhere around 5 to 7 years only. This is because they have the risk of being killed by other fish who would be preying on them for their food.

Fancy Goldfish

The fancy Goldfish am talking right here has two tails and they look very pretty. They have a high demand in the market.

The Telescope, Fringetail, Bubble Eyebubble, Ranchu, Fringetails, and Fantails are few of the Fancy Goldfish.

  • Telescope fish are made to live for up to 15 years. 
  • Ranchu and Buble eye goldfish are modified to have a different look and shape tend to live up to 7 years on average.
  • Fringetails and Fantails (looks almost similar with the only difference in their tail) lives up to 15 years in the pond and have a slightly lower life expectancy in the aquarium (10-12 years)

These fancy goldfishes that I have mentioned above need different levels of care to live a very long life. By the time they reach the age of 8 they come across problems with eye coordination. If you treat them too, it is very hard to extend their life to live.

Goldfish species

Life expectancy in pond

life expectancy in tank


Upto 20 years

Upto 15 years


Upto 14 years

Upto 10 years


Upto 15 years

Upto 12 years

different types of goldfish

But there are few methods that you can implement to increase the lifespan of the goldfish and here they are.

5 tips to increase your Goldfish lifespan

As I have mentioned ago the life of the Goldfish depends on how well you take care of it. It may be any fish for that matter. To achieve giving the best care to your fish, you must understand everything about their fish. I will layout few steps you can provide to your fish and along the way learn about your fish by yourself (because every fish is different from another of its same species)

1. Pond is the way to go

You might be thinking. “Well! I wanted to keep it in my aquarium”. But if you want a Goldfish to live a very happy healthy long life then you have to make a pond outside of your house so that these goldfishes can live longer. Keeping in the pond is suggested because the Goldfish can get a lot of space to swim around. This will keep them in a very healthier state. And as an added benefit, keeping them in the pond also allows you to keep changing the pond environment now and then which gives the goldfishes a chance to experience a different environment altogether.

This might sound silly but ask yourself this question. Would you live long traveling and exploring the world which makes you so healthy and super fine in all the ways possible? Or are you having to live in a 10 by the 20-foot apartment for the rest of your life? You know the answer to yourself right.

2. (Or) Shift them to pond later

If the above method is kind of a pain in the gut for you then you can take yourself some time may be to convince yourself or to build a pond as soon as possible. So now you can at least get yourself your long-awaited goldfish and let it stay in your aquarium while you prepare a very good pond for it outside your house.

You have to keep this fish in an aquarium that is at least 50 gallons huge.

This method also means another thing.

This is, you can store your fish in an aquarium and let it grow until it reaches anywhere around 12 then, shifting it to the outer pond, which gives your fish more ability to swim around.

3. Keeping it’s space clean

This goes out without saying. If you live in a very dirty area then you are meant to die young. It may be humans, dogs, goats, cows, or fish. The only difference is we choose to live in a dirty environment but the fish is meant to live wherever it is made to live by you, which brings back to the point “You are the who controls the life of your goldfish”.

You have to clean the tank at least once in 10 days to make sure the tank is clean and efficient for your teeny tiny little Goldfish to survive. No, not just to survive but to live a very happy life. Commonly, you will be very happy when you bring in the new Goldfish and a nice to clean aquarium but you tend to lose interest in cleaning up the aquarium. You are only alarmed when you see visible dirty things floating around in the aquarium. These cloud of dirty particles are enough to kill your Goldfish. These dirty particles are made up of ammonia and nitrate making it highly poisonous for the fish. Nevertheless, you should buy a water testing kit to frequently check the water for possible poisonous build-ups now and then to make sure it is good for your fish to live in.

Also, you need to adjust your Heater to heat the water to 75-degree Fahrenheit and you also have to make sure that the pH level of the water is more than 7.6 

Last but least, you have to have a very good filter if you own a very big Messy aquariums. It is recommended to use the canister filter.

4. Diet is the king

When the goldfish were out in the wild, they would eat anything and everything that comes their way of fulfilling their daily protein, fats, and carbohydrate requirements. Goldfish usually eat insects, worms, plants, and algae as and when required when they are out in the wild. However, when you keep it inside your acquisition (aquarium) you must provide them with the food that they need to survive.

Protein is a very necessary part of their diet and needs at a very alarming rate. Vegetables and fruits are necessary to fulfill their fats and carbohydrate requirements.

It is easy to make a mix of vegetables and proteins yourself to provide it to them in your home.

However, there is always an option to bring it from the pet supplement Store. Just make sure you bring any kind of fish food, they must have a good amount of protein, carbs, and fats.

IMPORTANT: If you keep giving them food without giving them any activity they are going to lose all their instinct on the preying of food. So it is recommended that you feed them worms, water fleas, and brine shrimp which are the live prey so that goldfishes can exercise their preying skills. Utilizing the skills makes their life longer too.

5. Keep the number of fish in check

You ask yourself one thing. If you are to live with 50 people in your house who always fight for food, for survival, for a place to sleep, are you going to be living in a peaceful happy life? that’s a BIG NO, right? Similarly, making your Goldfish live with other so many fish in the aquarium will lead that Goldfish to have anxiety or aggression or shyness this will put your Goldfish under a lot of pressure and it can reduce its life for good.

So making sure to give your Goldfish a really good classy home which provides them with the best life, will increase its life expectancy out the roof. You must consider this because usually, people tend to fill their aquarium with a lot of colorful fish so they can show off to their friends and family. This is only going to harm your goldfish and give it a very miserable life. Also gives you a miserable time when you decide to clean up the aquarium.

Leave a Reply