Fishbowl Adviser

Goldfish Lifespan: How Long Do Goldfish Live?

When buying a goldfish, one of the concerns people have is how long their new friend is going to be with them. Some think that 3-4 years is enough for a small goldfish, while others expect to have them for years and years. But how long do goldfish live actually? What is an average goldfish lifespan?

Goldfish swimming

Average Lifespan of a Goldfish

People have a misconception about how long do goldfish live. It is believed that an average goldfish lifespan is short, but there is no truth in it. In fact, the oldest goldfish in the world had 43 years. But, setting aside the oldest goldfish, how long can you expect your goldfish to live?

Goldfish in the wild can live approximately 25 years, while a pet goldfish’s average lifespan can be 5 to 10 years if bought from reputable sources. However, a goldfish’s lifespan depends on the type and care it receives.

The lifespan of Different Types of Goldfish

An average goldfish lifespan is usually 5 to 10 years, but there is no exact answer to the question of how long do goldfish live. The goldfish life span can vary, depending on the type. Even though all goldfish seem the same to everyone, there are several types of goldfish, with the most common being the common goldfish and fancy goldfish.

Common Goldfish

Common Goldfish or Wild Carp can live to be 10 years, but the average lifespan of goldfish for this type is 4 or 5 years, due to the risks of getting diseases, predation from animals, and competition with other fish. When kept in captivity, they can live to be 10 to 14 years in a 50-gallon tank that has proper conditions, a healthy and balanced diet, and enough room to grow.

Fancy Goldfish

Fancy goldfish are considered as a double-tailed breed that was specially bred for their very decorative appearance. Among these are  Bubble Eye, Fringetail, Telescope, Ranchu, and many others.

The lifespan of these fancy goldfish depends on different factors, with the most important being the breed and the level of care it receives. In fact, care plays a major factor with fancy goldfish as some breeds will require more and intensive care than others.

Some of the heavily modified goldfish breeds like the Bubble Eye and the Ranchu goldfish can only live up to 5 years, while Telescopes goldfish live 12 to 14 years, but with a possibility of having problems with coordination and vision. Fringetails and Fantails are goldfish that can live to be 12 years when kept in a tank and 14 years if placed in a pond.

Other Goldfish

As for other goldfish types, the most popular goldfish breeds are Comet, Shubunkin, Oranda. In an outdoor habitat, a Comet goldfish will live to be 15 years, and 12 years if in a tank. Shubunkin will reach 12 years in a tank and 14 or 15 years in an outdoor pond. Oranda is a type of goldfish that usually lives for an average of 15 years, but it can live to be 20 if kept in a spacious outdoor setup.


How to Increase the Life Expectancy of Your Goldfish

While a pet goldfish can live between 5 and 10 years, the lifespan of a bowl-raised goldfish ultimately depends on its care. How can you make sure your goldfish live a long and healthy life? What is the best way to make sure your goldfish lifespan is long? What is something that goldfish don’t need or must have?

Water Temperature

Goldfish prefer living in coll water, so their water temperature should be 65 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit. However, while the typical goldfish want to have cold water, fancy goldfish don’t.  Veil-Tails, Orandas, and Black Moors do not like having cold water.

However, if the tank has increased temperature, goldfish can become sensitive to the limited availability of oxygen, so it’s important to adjust the water temperature to the type of goldfish you have.

Provide Enough Space

Most goldfish owners get small bowls for their fish. However, all fish, and especially goldfish, need room to develop. Small spaces will restrict growth and leave your goldfish more prone to illness. Because of that, goldfish owners should get a tank of at least 20 gallons that will have 35 ounces of goldfish.

As the number of fish increases, the dissolved and particulate organic carbon content in the water will rise, which can cause an increase in the bacterial load located in the water. Having a crowded bowl is just a mishap that is waiting to happen.

Avoid Overcrowding

Overcrowding a fish tank can cause anxiety, behavior problems, and poor development in fish, like increased shyness and aggression. Apart from behavior problems, an overcrowded tank can make it harder to keep clean.

Overcrowding can lead to anxiety and behavior problems in fish. A crowded tank can lead to increased aggression or shyness. It also makes it much harder to keep the tank clean. Underdeveloped goldfish can die younger than fully grown fish. While it may be tempting to fill your aquarium with many goldfish as you can, keeping it in moderation will ensure that all of your goldfish live their best life.

Healthy Diet

Just like any pet, goldfish need proper diets. You’ll need to look for high-quality flake foods and give them supplements with vegetable and freeze-dried foods matter. You can also give them an occasional treat like daphnia, which are tiny crustaceans that look like fleas.

However, you need to make sure you never overfeed your goldfish. If too much food ends up as excess waste in the tank, it can cause organic and inorganic compounds that will impact the important balance of chemistry in an aquarium. If that happens, you will see cloudy water,  hair-thin worms, patches of fungus and mold, low dissolved oxygen levels, and algae growth.

Clean Water and Habitat

Having an unclean habitat for your fish can cause many diseases and infections that can shorten a lifespan of a goldfish. Because of that poor tank maintenance and unhygienic conditions must be avoided if you want your fish to have a healthy and long life.

Since goldfish are very messy fish, you will need to clean their tanks every 2 weeks. It’s important that you don’t wait until your water clouds up and grime build-up to dangerous levels.



Despite many misconceptions about a lifespan of a goldfish, goldfish are actually the longest-living aquarium fish. How long do goldfish live? If provided with proper care and enough room, an average lifespan for goldfish can be quite long and anywhere between 5 and 15 years. However, they will need the right food, good housing with enough room, proper water conditions, and access to veterinary care.


  1. How Long Do Fish Live? – PetMD
  2. 7 Oldest Goldfish that Ever Lived –
  3. What Is the Average Life Span of a Goldfish with Proper Care? – The Nest


Related Posts

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

      Leave a reply