How Long Do Goldfish Live? All You Need To Know

I remember the time when I was looking to buy a goldfish for my fish tank. I had a lot of questions going on in my-How long do Goldfish live? And that was what I was concerned about more.

I carried out my extensive research to find the right answers before bringing home a goldfish friend. Today, I will share it with you to decide if you should be bringing home a goldfish or not.

How Long Do Goldfish Live?

The average lifespan of a goldfish is 7 to 12 years. This is due to their frailty as compared to slim-bodied Goldfish. Because their organs are crowded into a compact, squat, spherical body, their biological processes are easier to disrupt.

The Goldfish’s life expectancy can range from 15-20 years if it is kept healthy and well-cared for.

Some slim-bodied goldfish, such as the feeder or common Goldfish and comet goldfish, have been known to live up to 40 years in an outdoor pond, which closely mimics a goldfish’s natural habitat.

Even the bubble eye, which makes some species like the black moor so appealing, can lead to a shorter lifespan. Goldfish with a slimmer body tend to live longer than those with a larger body.

How Long Can A Goldfish Survive Without Food?

Goldfish can go anywhere from 8 to 2 weeks without eating. If you’re merely going on vacation for a week or so, your Goldfish will be OK. If you wait any longer, you’ll need to get an automated feeder or hire a pet sitter.

how long do goldfish live

Surprisingly, underfeeding a goldfish is preferable to overfeeding it. Not only can uneaten food add to the impurities in the water, but overfeeding a goldfish can also make it sick.

Swim bladder difficulties can result from intestinal obstructions, causing Goldfish to swim upside down. If you see this, don’t give it any more food until you’ve removed all uneaten food from the tank.

Warm water between 78 and 80 degrees is required for a goldfish to recover from swim bladder illness and enhance its metabolism. Wait after adding a modest amount of salt to the tank. The ailment will be deadly if it does not improve.

How Long Can Goldfish Live Out of Water?

Water is extremely crucial to Goldfish, for starters! A goldfish out of the water, as you might assume, will not live long. If you imagined they’d die in a matter of seconds or minutes, you could be startled.

Goldfish may survive for up to an hour while they are not in the water. If there is at least some water — a little puddle, for example – this may be pushed even farther.

Because they leaped out of the tank with some water, some goldfish have lasted up to three hours on the floor. Being out of water is, of course, quite harmful for a goldfish.

You should never take your Goldfish out of the water on purpose. If your fish leaps out of their tank unintentionally, return them as soon as possible.

The lifespan of Different Goldfish Types

There’s multiple factors to consider when it comes to goldfish life expectancy: the type of Goldfish you have. We usually see the hardy single-tailed varieties like the Common (feeder) and Comet goldfish reaching the 20 to 40-year mark.

On the other hand, fancy Goldfish are significantly more fragile. Their squat bodies and unique characteristics like double-tails, fancy fins, head growths, bubbles, and telescoping eyeballs are linked to health issues that shorten their lifetime.

Fancy Goldfish such as the Fantail, Oranda, and Ryukin, which are tougher types, often live past their tenth birthday and well into their teens, especially if maintained in a pond. Fish with telescoping or bubble eyes, on the other hand, is unlikely to live this long. On average, a delicate, elegant goldfish lives for roughly five years.


12 to 20 years


15 to 20 years


10 to 15 years


10 to 15 years

Bubble Eye/Ranchu

Up to 5 years

Does a Goldfish Die Easily?

If you’ve been paying attention, you’ve probably noticed that your Goldfish has a longer life than your other, presumably wiser and stronger house pets, such as your dog or cat.

Even yet, it’s becoming increasingly typical to see Goldfish maintained as pets die before they reach the age of five. As a result, many new goldfish owners are perplexed as to why their Goldfish perished so quickly and how they might secure a longer life for their other Goldfish.

So, the life expectancy of a goldfish boils down to the Goldfish’s care and living environment. You may expect your Goldfish to live through their estimated lifespan of 15-20 years, provided you provide them with healthy living circumstances and high-quality tank or pond water.

The typical life expectancy for Goldfish housed in a tiny bowl or tank kept in filthy water containing substantial amounts of waste or not provided a diverse diet is 2-5 years.

Increase Life Expectancy of a Goldfish

Like that, all other living things, a goldfish’s lifetime is controlled by how healthy it is, and it is up to you, those in charge of their care, to ensure their health. Don’t be alarmed if you’re new to maintaining these fish.

Here’s how to increase their life expectancy. With a lot of love and attention, you might be able to nurture a goldfish like Tish, the world’s oldest Goldfish. Take a look at these nine practical recommendations!

Clean the Tank on a Regular Basis

If you want your Goldfish to have a long life, you must have good water quality. To avoid toxicity, it’s critical to replace the water often, especially given how much trash they create. Always do frequent water changes and invest in high-quality filtration.

You should test your water on a regular basis to verify that it has minimal nitrate levels and no harmful amounts of ammonia or nitrite.

Also, get in the habit of trusting your instincts. Examine the water’s appearance and odor. Trust your instincts and pull out your water testing equipment if you suspect something is amiss.

When it comes to improving the life expectancy of fish, prevention is always better than treatment.

Give Your Goldfish a Balanced Diet

The pellets and flakes that most people conceive of as “fish food” are more proprietary food than anything else.

So when we say “healthy diet,” we’re referring to a well-balanced, omnivorous diet. To keep health concerns at rest, offer your Goldfish a little bit of everything: pellets and flakes, some veggies, live things like worms and shrimp, and even fruit occasionally.

Don’t Feed Your Goldfish Too Much.

If you’ve had your Goldfish for a long time, you’ve probably seen that they’ll eat nearly anything at any time. In fact, these omnivorous critters will try to swallow practically anything as long as it fits in their mouth. This is something that all Goldfish do.

Yes, it’s amusing to watch a goldfish devour the food you’ve thoughtfully provided. However, you must resist the temptation to overfeed them. Goldfish are prone to digestive health issues such as bloating and constipation.

It’s possible that it’ll progress to swim bladder illness. As a result, the lifespan of Goldfish will be shortened.

Maintain a constant temperature in the water

If you want your Goldfish to have a long life, you should strive to make your tank as near to its natural habitat as possible.

Maintaining the proper water temperature is a crucial part of this. The ideal temperature range for fancy Goldfish is 65° to 72°F, whereas the correct temperature range for slim-bodied Goldfish (like the ordinary Goldfish) is 60° to 72°F. Make sure you do your homework on the goldfish breed you have.

Your Goldfish’s metabolism will speed up if the temperature is too high. While this will help them to grow larger more quickly, it will also limit their lives. Consider purchasing a pond de-icer if you keep your Goldfish in a pond that freezes over during the winter.

Allow your Goldfish to have the space they require.

For years, we’ve been led to believe that Goldfish can live in little fish tanks thanks to movies, television, and children’s books. This is completely erroneous and will almost certainly result in your Goldfish’s death.

A goldfish’s typical lifetime in the wild is 20-40 years because they have a lot of areas to swim around in, are less stressed, and live in relatively stable settings.

When a goldfish is forced to circle in one place, such as in a bowl, it becomes tremendously anxious. And when that tension reaches a breaking point, your pet may succumb.

Have a proper filtration system

Not to add that Goldfish make a lot of waste, and we mean a lot of waste. The smaller their tank, the faster and easier it will fill up with deadly goldfish waste, resulting in your pet’s death. This is why Goldfish require a huge tank.

A goldfish need a minimum of a 20-gallon fish tank to survive. You must also add another 10 gallons for each new Goldfish you add. As a result, avoid overcrowding your Goldfish in tiny tanks.

How long can a goldfish survive in a pond?

Goldfish that dwell in ponds typically live between 10-15 years, although they can live up to 20 years in certain situations.

In fact, if you care for your Goldfish in a pond, they will typically live longer than Goldfish housed in tanks. (Because the aquariums in which they’re usually kept don’t always fulfill your Goldfish’s demands.)

The longevity of each Goldfish, however, is highly dependent on the type of Goldfish you obtain.

Common Goldfish

Common Goldfish may live for quite a long time if they are properly cared for. 15 to 25 years is the average length of time you can anticipate them to live.

Fancy Goldfish

When compared to their ordinary cousins, fancy Goldfish have a substantially shorter lifetime in some circumstances.

The shorter the life span of a goldfish breed, the more carefully bred it is. Bubbly Eye Goldfish and Ranchu Goldfish, for example, only survive for about five years on average.

Fringetail Goldfish, Fantail goldfish, and Telescope goldfish may all live for 10 to 14 years, depending on how well they are cared for.

Comet goldfish, Oranda goldfish, and Shubunkin goldfish may all live up to 15 years in the wild. However, this is dependent on how well they’ve been cared for.

But keep in mind that this is only a general rule of thumb for all Goldfish. Some of your Goldfish could live a little longer, while others might live a little shorter. However, as long as you provide them with the finest possible care, they will live long and happy lives.

(Goldfish can also be kept in aquariums.) Make sure you find out if you should give them a filter, heater, or air pump, though.)

Can a goldfish survive in a bowl?

To begin with, Goldfish should not be kept just in a fishbowl.

Water Glass, Angler, Fish, Goldfish

They’re far too little to fit in with them. The recommended tank size for most goldfish species is 20 gallons. The majority of goldfish bowls range in size from one to five gallons.

However, the longevity of a goldfish in a bowl is highly dependent on the size of the bowl and whether or not it contains a filter. If you don’t use a filter, your Goldfish will only live two to three years in a tiny bowl.

Goldfish should not be kept in bowls for the following reasons:

  • Goldfish are energetic, and a fishbowl is insufficient to accommodate their high levels of movement.
  • A Goldfish generally produces a lot of waste. The hazardous chemicals that build up from that waste, such as ammonia, nitrate, and nitrite, may soon overwhelm a fishbowl, killing your fish.
  • Goldfish don’t fare well in bowls since there isn’t enough room for them to mature properly. Goldfish aren’t intended to be tiny little creatures that only grow to be a few inches long. There isn’t enough room in a bowl for optimal development.

How Long Do Goldfish Live Without Food?

A goldfish has been shown to survive for 1-2 weeks without sustenance. However, you should not keep them unfed for this long since they will get emaciated and hungry.

Veil Tail, Fish, Goldfish, Swim

In general, they can go for around four days without eating and still be healthy. Furthermore, various factors such as the fish’s health, size, and age influence how long it can go without eating.

On the other hand, Carnivores and omnivores have a tendency to go long periods of time without eating.

The Goldfish, as previously said, may live for two weeks. However, this may have the potential to have a negative impact on their health, particularly their immune system and skin color. Because Goldfish are omnivores, they can go for at least two weeks without food.

How Long Do Pet Goldfish Live?

Goldfish are gregarious and clever animals that are frequently observed interacting with one another as well as their human carers, whom they may learn to recognize.

Goldfish live for roughly 10-15 years on average, with some types lasting up to 30 years if properly cared for.

Unfortunately, due to poor living circumstances, many pet goldfish do not live to their full potential. Housing must accommodate their behavioral as well as physiological requirements for the Goldfish to have a long life.

How Long Do Common Goldfish Live?

The common Goldfish (Carassius auratus) is the sort of Goldfish you’ll find at most pet stores and win at the fair. The body of a common goldfish is long and thin, with a single tail. Their hues might range from traditional orange to white, speckled, or tri-colored.


The majority of them will be little, but did you know that this inconspicuous fish may survive for years and grow to be the size of your underarm. That’s true. A 43-year-old common goldfish has been discovered.

Up to ten years, and even farther, is a fully acceptable expectation – assuming good conditions. Most pet owners don’t realize that a common goldfish needs a large area to grow and is almost solely a pond fish.

They may grow to be quite huge and create a lot of excrement, which can quickly accumulate in an aquarium. So start digging in the garden if you want a huge, happy common goldfish.

How Long Do Goldfish Live In A Fish Tank?

They can survive in captivity for 10-14 years in a tank of at least 50 gallons. A nutritious and balanced food, as well as proper tank conditions and room to develop, make all the difference.

How Long Do Goldfish Live In The Wild?

Common goldfish - Wikipedia

A pet goldfish may live for five to ten years on average. On the other hand, a goldfish can survive for 25 years in the wild. In fact, the world’s oldest Goldfish was 43 years old.

However, correct maintenance and a tank environment are essential for extending the life of your fish.

How Long Do Fantail Goldfish Live?

Veil Tail, Fish, Goldfish, Swim

Fantail Goldfish live for an average of 10 years in a fish tank and 20 years in a pond. A Fantail Goldfish’s lifetime is mostly determined by the habitat in which it lives.

It can survive longer if you take proper care of it. The oldest Goldfish is almost 45 years old!

How Long Do Goldfish Live In A Small Pond? 

Goldfish may live anywhere from 5 to 25 years in a pond. The average pond lifetime for fancy Goldfish is 5 to 10 years. In a pond, common Goldfish can live for 10 to 25 years.

How Long Do Fancy Goldfish Live?

The many forms of fancy Goldfish (the fantail being the most common) result from thousands (yes, thousands!) of years of careful breeding in ancient China.

They all have somewhat varied traits, but their multiple tails, typically long and flowing, and their significant rounder body form set them apart from their common counterparts. The fancy Goldfish do not grow as large as regular Goldfish.

Pure Goldfish

However, they can still reach the size of an orange. This implies that it may be kept in aquariums if they are large enough.

Because Goldfish are social animals, a typical rule of thumb for maintaining them is to offer at least 20 gallons of water volume per Goldfish, with a minimum of two fish. To maintain the water quality up to standard, a lot of filtration and a lot of water changes are required.

A fancy goldfish is not anticipated to survive as long as a regular goldfish, even if given a clean water and a big tank. Many people have congenital problems as a result of their physical form and years of selective breeding.

They’ll usually die of swim bladder illness or other infections in the end. However, with appropriate care, these guys may live for a respectable ten years, or perhaps a little longer if you’re lucky. So much for Goldie’s status as a “throwaway” pet!


Goldfish are the aquarium trade’s longest-living fish! While Goldfish may survive for up to 1 hour without water, the average single-tailed can easily live for 10 to 15 years in a big aquarium and up to 20 years in a pond under ideal conditions.

With appropriate care, even luxury goldfish may live into their second decade! A prize-winning goldfish, for example, may easily outlive your dog or cat in terms of a lifetime!

There are many individuals who are unaware of how much potential a goldfish has to actually become a member of the family. To get a goldfish to survive for a long time, you must first transfer it from a fishbowl to a 20-gallon tank, which will provide it with the necessary area to thrive.

A goldfish can outlast most dogs, cats, hamsters, rabbits, and other pets in the correct setting and with sufficient care. Who knows what may happen with a huge, clean tank, adequate cleaning and upkeep, and the perfect feeding schedule? Your Goldfish might possibly set a Guinness World Record.


How old is the oldest living goldfish?

Hilda and Gordon Hand of Carlton Miniott, North Yorkshire, UK, had a goldfish named Tish for 43 years. In 1956, Tish was won by Hilda’s son Peter at a fairground stand.

How long do Goldfish last in a fishbowl?

A goldfish can’t develop to its full length in a bowl since it’s too tiny. Goldfish that are stunted and undeveloped will perish at an early age. A Goldfish maintained in a bowl has a lifespan of only 2 or 3 years.

Do Goldfish do better alone or in pairs?

It is advised that at least two Goldfish be kept in an aquarium to give the company and increase activity. Depression and lethargy are common in solitary fish. Because Goldfish are not aggressive, they may be maintained with most community fish as long as the other fish is bigger than the Goldfish’s mouth.

How long can you leave a goldfish alone?

I performed some research and discovered that Goldfish could survive without food for around two weeks. It will be alright if you are away from home for two weeks and cannot feed your fish. If you are away from home for more than two weeks, you should ask a neighbor or friend to feed your fish.

About the author

I'm Gulshan, a passionate pet enthusiast. Dive into my world where I share tips, stories, and snapshots of my animal adventures. Here, pets are more than just animals; they're heartbeats that enrich our lives. Join our journey!thing.