How Long Do Goldfish Live


Goldfish are the favorite of aquatics hobbyists. Beginners love them because they are one of few fish species that greet and engage them with excitement and grace at the pet shop. This fish is also the equivalent of our pet dog in terms of sociability. Experts say goldfish are also capable of social and associative learning. Cool!

Given the goldfish’s friendly nature, innate intelligence, and radiant beauty, it is not uncommon for people to ask how long do goldfish live. Now is your golden opportunity to learn how many years this fantastic fish will keep you company, mesmerized, and entertained.

How Long Do Goldfish Live?

Goldish can live between five and 15 years. However, with the right living condition and other factors, these fish can live up to four decades. Some goldfish varieties or breeds are hardier than others, allowing them to live longer, too. In general, the closer their living conditions to their natural habitat’s characteristics, the longer is their lifespan, barring other factors.

Common Goldfish

The common goldfish or wild carp can thrive in the wild for up to a decade. Unfortunately, fish competition, disease, and predation can shorten their life expectancy by half. They can live up to 14 years if kept in a 50-gallon aquarium.


The gorgeous Fantail is a favorite among newbies and seasoned aquatics hobbyists because of its captivating long-flowing tail and low-maintenance requirements. Unfortunately, Fantails are not as hardy as other goldfish varieties. They can only live between five and ten years, depending on how much care you give them.


With its long-flowing, comet-like golden tail, the Comet goldfish can live up to 15 years in a pond that closely resembles its natural habitat. In a tank, the Comet may last only for about a dozen years. It is essential to know that Comets may live only up to four years in sub-optimal living conditions.


Known for its distinctive Wen cap, the colorful and peace-loving Oranda can thrive for 15 years. Some can last two decades and more, given the right aquarium conditions. They are active, bright, and healthy and make for perfect aquatic pets.


Small and colorful, the Shubunkin is perfect for outdoor ponds because they love cold water. They also resemble the Koi, although smaller. Let them thrive in a pond, and they will live up to 15 years. Putting the Shubunkin in a tank will reduce its life expectancy by three to four years.


This goldfish, with its unique textured and bubbly appearance, can live up to 10 years. They are hardy. However, they are quite prone to a few fish diseases that can shorten their lifespan to only five years. Suboptimal living conditions can also affect their life expectancy.

How to Make Goldfish Live Longer?

Goldfish breed or variety is a factor in their life expectancy. However, other factors can also affect how long your goldfish will live. You may want to adhere to the following tips if you want your goldfish to live longer.

A Larger Home, Please

The larger their swimming environment is, the happier are your goldfish. Goldfish thrive better and able to socialize with fellow goldfish and other fish species. They can play and feel more secure, too.

That is why the best environment for goldfish is a pond. If your home does not have extra space for an outdoor pond, you can make do with a large fish tank at least 50 gallons in size.

Mimic Their Natural Habitat

Goldfish are cold-water-loving species. They do not like warm water. They also love plenty of freshwater plants where they can play hide-and-seek or feel secure in their environment. Some goldfish breeds also love to munch on plant matter.

Make sure the water temperature is between 68- and 74-degrees Fahrenheit. You also need to maintain the water’s ideal pH and other chemical properties.

Only a Clean Habitat Will Do

Unhygienic living conditions can shorten your goldfish’s life expectancy. Aquatic plants usually do the trick. However, you should always include a filtration system in your fish tank or pond to manage nitrogenous wastes.

Having a water testing kit is handy. You can check water quality and other parameters to know if the water is healthy for your fish or not.

Good Nutrition

Goldfish need an excellent balance of vegetables and proteins. These fish thrive on microworms, insects, zooplankton, algae, and aquatic plants in the wild. Always choose a goldfish food that meets their nutritional requirements.

No Overstocking

Overcrowding your fish tank or pond can shorten your goldfish’s lifespan. Your goldfish will not be able to move as freely as they want. Overstocking also translates to more nitrogenous wastes that can make the water unhealthy for your fish.

Frequently Asked Questions


How long do goldfish live in a bowl?

Two to three years. A bowl is too small for a goldfish to grow and develop. The Chinese loved showing off their goldfish when they had visitors. As such, they placed their most beautiful pond goldfish in a bowl temporarily for guests to adore. Unfortunately, people picked up the idea that it is okay to put a goldfish in a bowl.

How long can goldfish live without food?

Eight to 14 days. However, the longest record is 134 days or about 20 weeks. Shaggy and Daphne were two goldies that survived that long in the aftermath of the February 22, 2011, Christchurch, New Zealand earthquake.

How old is the oldest goldfish fish?

45 years old. Unofficially, of course. This title belonged to Bradninch, Devon, UK goldfish parents Tom and Pauline Evans’s Goldie that died in 2005. Officially, the oldest goldfish on record is Hilda Hand’s Tish. This Thirst, North Yorkshire, UK goldie lived to the ripe age of 43 in 1999.

Translating Tish and Goldie’s age in human years, they would be 215 and 225 years old, respectively.


Answering the question “how long do goldfish live?” requires a basic understanding of their characteristics and unique requirements for optimal living conditions. Giving them the proper diet, ensuring proper fish tank conditions, addressing their health problems, and giving them plenty of reasons to be happy can help your goldfish grow to their fullest.

On average, goldfish can live anywhere between five and 15 years. Observing proper goldfish care and meticulous fish tank maintenance can increase your goldfish’s life expectancy up to three times more. Your vibrant, peaceful, smart, and friendly goldfish will keep you company for many years to come.

Leave a Comment