Ask the average person who buys goldfish for their home the goldfish life expectancy on their new purchase, and they will probably answer in months, or at the most a couple of years. The answer is quite different than you would expect.
Would you believe a common goldfish can easily live to be 10 to 15 years old? This is not what most people expect, since their own experience probably included burying fish, flushing them down the toilet, or other methods of disposal.
What if someone told you goldfish often can enter into their twenties when cared for properly? You might begin to think this is going to involve some kind of science fiction water additive. There are two recorded cases of goldfish reaching 43 years old. These two cases may be extreme, but it gives you the startling truth you need to be aware of.
Goldfish life expectancy is not what most of us believe simply because most people do not care for their fish properly. If you walked into a zoo or professionally ran aquarium the caretakers would be able to point out many of their goldfish which have been with them for many years. The reason their fish survive is because they know how to care for them
What is the biggest contributing factors to your goldfish’s lifespan? This is the one topic almost every professional, pet store, or breeder will try to drill into your head. Water quality is the most important item in a goldfish’s life. You must maintain the water in a very clean state, keeping it well oxygenated, and managing the PH balance. Water temperature is important, but not as critical as the other components. A goldfish can tolerate a wide range of temperatures, but not dirty water.
The second biggest factor is a proper diet. You need to make sure to balance your goldfish diet to provide them enough food, but not too much. We often feed our goldfish like they are human. A little extra food will not hurt them. The problem is an overfed goldfish becomes constipated, dirties the water faster, and is more prone to illness. Balance the food intake by only giving the fish what they can eat quickly. Do not be tempted to overfeed at one time to compensate for missing a meal later.
The other thing professionals do it to watch their fish closely. When they notice a fish becoming ill, they will remove it from the other fish and then treat the fish in a different tank. Since many diseases are caused by water quality, they will recheck the main tanks water to make sure the other fish are safe.
When you properly care for your fish you will suddenly become one of the people who believe in a long goldfish life expectancy. Taking great care of your goldfish may even get you into the Guinness Book of World Records, it is only 44 years away, well within reach of your goldfish.