How Long Can A Goldfish Live Out Of Water?


Your goldfish lives and swims happily in the tank. And you view it as one of the best ways to keep it safe all the time. However, the fact is not always like that since this “little pet” accidentally leaped out of the tank.

So, how long can a goldfish live out of water?

Finding out the answer will help you save it from danger in time.

How Long Can A Goldfish Live Out Of Water?

Compared with the other aquarium species, the goldfish known as a typical pet tends to be weaker. It has a petite body that wears a beautiful “coat” of vulnerable grills. And without the aquarium, this species will suffocate in the lack of oxygen quickly.

A goldfish, in general, can withstand up to 60 minutes out of the aquarium. But the figure could be different (even longer) due to some variables. Your little pet jumps out of the tank and then stays onto a tile or wooden floor.

Due to the non-absorbency, these surfaces will keep water with it, for example. Also, the cool room temperature can help it survive at least 3 hours.

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Without The Aquarium, Is The Fish Dead Or Alive?

Yes, it is. If you find the fish out of the aquarium before the time mentioned above runs out, it could still be alive. Hence, you can try to apply some reviving treatments immediately.

For better checking, we bring here several signs showing that it is dead, as follows.

  • Easily-cracking skin as flexed
  • Completely drying out the body
  • Concave eyes
  • Gray pupils
  • Missing body parts

How A Goldfish Survives When Being Out Of An Aquarium?

Here is an instruction on five steps that helps to revive the goldfish jumping out of the aquarium.

  • Step 1: Immediately take it into the cool water, which contains essential oxygen. For explanation, the factor that causes the fish to die out of the aquarium is a lack of oxygen.
  • Step 2: Gently remove dirt and debris sticking onto its Then, carefully open the gill cover (it would be a better sign if the gill is still in red).
  • Step 3: Placing the fish as near an air bubbler as possible in the tank. This device can provide adequate water circulation for the dying fish.
  • Step 4: Maximizing the aeration in the aquarium to partially change the water quality.
  • Step 5: For better effectiveness, place the fish into a bag containing water and pure oxygen, and next, add some dexamethasone to encourage the senses’ revival. Also, you can add some stress coats to make the aquarium safe for the fish.

Even In Aquarium, A Goldfish Can Be In Danger

Without the aquarium, a goldfish can be in danger. But even in the aquarium, there are also numerous risks threatening the health of your pet. It may die due to reasons regarding diseases or depression.

So, what to do?

Detecting The Problems

Here are some of those problems and symptoms.

  • Breathing disorder: The disease and poor water quality can cause the fish to show rapid Moreover, you may see lots of foam appearing on the surface. At the same time, the fish lies at the aquarium bottom.
  • Internal parasite: Goldfish is a type of gluttonous species. If you see it ignoring food or losing weight, the issue related to internal parasites could come.
  • Swim bladder disorder: You can detect problems of the swim bladder disease or improper feeding by several symptoms. For instance, your fish swims in an erratic direction (upside down) and keeps rubbing up against the surface.
  • Fungal disease: The indication includes the fins getting folded or torn, discolored skin spots, bumps, convex eyes, paling gills.
  • Fin rot: Its symptom is the appearance of some milky white spots on the fins and tails.

Separating Your Sick Goldfish

The first and most crucial step is to separate the sick fish from its tank mates. The main reason is to prevent the disease from spreading. In case that there is one only, it is OK to keep it in the same aquarium.

In the process of moving the sick pet to a “hospital,” we suggest using a paper bag with a plastic layer inside to transport it. This usage will protect the fish from getting stressed. Another note to bear in mind is that you should not reuse the water of the old tank for the new one.

It could exacerbate the illness, then. Furthermore, you put the fish (still being inside the bag) into the new tank for around 20 minutes first. Thanks to this protective step, the temperature change cannot shock the fish.

Also like: Why did my goldfish turn white

Checking The Water Quality

Maintaining a good water quality also holds the key to providing the fish with a happy and healthy life.

For the checking process, you can buy a testing kit sold in any pet shop. It enables you to detect water problems like the high level of ammonia. Besides, the equipment helps to measure the aquarium temperature, which should range from 50 and 78°F. Another function of this testing kit is to test for acidity and oxygenation.

Cleaning Tank & Changing Water

A goldfish normally produces lots of body waste. The dirty daily buildup bringing ammonia and bacteria can leave severe effects on the water quality over time. So, cleaning the tank and changing the water regularly also helps to save the fish.

Checking The Goldfish

After cleaning the “house” and changing water, it is time to observe your little pet for days to ensure that the treatment has worked effectively. In case that the illness still stays the same, it would be better to wait for 1-2 days before trying another treatment.

Final Thoughts

How long can a goldfish live out of water?

Well, you have already got the answer that it could be between 1 and 3 hours. The exact time amount will be different based on the surface on which the fish jumps out of its aquarium.

If your little pet also faces this bad luck, hopefully, our instruction of surviving above can help.

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