Perhaps you imagined that a goldfish could only spend a few months, or even a few years by your side, swimming in its tank? In reality, the life expectancy of these little fish is much longer than you think. You just need to provide it with the necessary care so that it lives a little longer. Decryption.
The little story of Tish, the goldfish
Peter Hand, a 7-year-old British boy, wins a goldfish at the local funfair in Thirsk, northern England. We are then in 1956. Peter, delighted to have a pet, takes good care of it. 11.5 cm long, the red scales in Tish gradually turn silver.
Peter continues to take care of his little fish who seems very happy in his aquarium. The years go by and Tish is still in great shape. Peter considers him a full member of the family, feeds him, cleans his habitat and of course, interacts with him regularly. In 1996, Tish entered the Guinness World Records after an investigation to determine whether it was indeed the same fish and whether it was indeed the oldest goldfish in the world.
Tish dethroned the world record held by Fred, another goldfish who spent his entire life in Sussex and died in 1980 at the age of 41. Peter’s care paid off. Tish lived 43 wonderful years before passing away alongside her 50-year-old owner. This lovely story shows to what extent, by loving animals, they can, even in captivity, live happy lives.
What is the normal life expectancy of a goldfish?
The answer to this question is very random. The life expectancy of a goldfish varies depending on many things, such as:
its living environment; the quality of care received; its state of health at the time of its acquisition; the genes they inherited; the luck factor!
However, we can estimate the lifespan of a goldfish between 5 and 10 years. Some even live up to 20 years.
How to extend the lifespan of your goldfish?
As the owner of a goldfish, you can help it live a good life. Even if this animal is more distant from you than a cat or a dog, it still requires special attention.
His needs are minimal. He asks for nothing, except his food and the cleaning of his living space. By adding a little interaction, you can easily make them a real friend.
An aquarium is better than a jar
If the goldfish is often represented in a bowl, it is much better to have it in an aquarium. And in terms of capacity, a 75 liter is the ideal size for one or two individuals maximum. This way, they have room to grow and reach their full potential. Because yes, a goldfish can grow! But rest assured the urban legend which says that a goldfish grows as much as its container is false. Their growth tends to stop when the living environment is small. But they will grow as long as their container is large enough and they receive proper care. While the majority measure around 10 cm, some will go up to 20 or 30 cm. We can even see some reaching 50 cm depending on the species.
Logically, goldfish living in a large container will live longer than those living in a small bowl in which the water is not filtered. We expect between 2 and 3 years of life in a jar, compared to more than 5 years in an aquarium.
A goldfish produces a lot of waste that accumulates in a fishbowl, leading to high levels of nitrates, nitrites and ammonia in the water. This toxic potion will eventually poison your fish over time. However, plants can play the role of a natural filter.
But it is not the only reason. If the goldfish does not really grow in a bowl, its organs will grow until they take up too much space in its small body and lead to the death of the animal.
If you still prefer the jar, then you should change the water every day and add plants.
Food frequency: an important factor for the life expectancy of a goldfish
The goldfish is one of those captive animals that requires little care. He can even go between 8 and 15 days without eating. So if you are gone for a short week, it will have no impact on your friend’s health.
Some fish owners tend to overfeed their pets. It’s a bad habit that contributes to water pollution, not to mention that too much food can also kill your fish. If you notice that your fish is swimming upside down, it probably has a swim bladder problem. So stop the food intake and change the water to water at around 25 degrees with a small pinch of salt. If no improvement is observed after a few hours, or even a few days at the latest, your fish will unfortunately not survive.