How Long do Fish Live in An Aquarium? | Average Life Span

Last updated on December 24th, 2022 at 11:05 am

When purchasing fish, it is always useful to learn about how long do fish live and their life expectancy in order to thoroughly prepare and create all the necessary conditions for them. We often perceive the fish as something insignificant. However, some species, with proper care, can survive as well as mammals.

How Long do Fish Live in An Aquarium

The Lifespan of Fish Depends on Many Factors:

  • Species affiliation;
  • Water temperature;
  • Sizes;
  • Conditions of detention.

In nature, there are fish that live only in one season. These species have chosen the ideal strategy to ensure the survival of their offspring during drought, but they themselves die.

The lifespan of some large fish, such as the beluga, is not exactly known and is estimated at tens or even hundreds of years.

Some representatives of the fish “kingdom” do not age at all, they only grow. These amazing animals include sea bass, which lacks aging mechanisms. In the process of ontogenesis, it becomes so huge and clumsy. That it is simply not able to get food for itself or get away from fishing gear.

Of course, with most aquarium inhabitants, things are much simpler, although, of course, each species has its own nuances.

Fishing Gears

Size Matters

In nature, the lifespan of many animal species is directly related to size. Small rodents often do not live more than 4 years, and elephants can roam the savanna for 60-70 years.

The fact is that the metabolism of small organisms is much faster than that of giants. This rule also applies to fish, therefore, when purchasing a small neon or zebrafish. You do not need to rely on the fact that he will be with you as long as your beloved dog. But large fish, on the contrary, can live for quite a long time, slowly reaching impressive sizes.

life span of fish in an aquarium

The Warmer The Water, The Closer The Old Age

Fish, as aquatic organisms, are especially strongly dependent on abiotic factors, including water temperature. For different species, the requirements for this indicator may be different and depend mainly on the origin.

The longest-lived representatives of aquarium pets are goldfish. Which are cold-water animals, and their average life expectancy is 10-15 years. Although there are unique ones that live up to 25-30 years.

One of the most heat-loving fish – discus, also have a rather impressive life expectancy – 8-12 years, but in their case, size has a positive effect.

The most optimal temperature for keeping most tropical fish is 24 ° C.

Keeping animals in cool water can prolong their life. But it is important not to overdo it in this matter. Otherwise, the fish will experience stress, which negatively affects their immunity.

Related : Feeding Aquarium Fish

Lifespan of Popular Fish Species

Below is a list of the most popular aquarium fish most commonly you can find in pet stores.

Goldfish – 10-15 years old. In nature, crucians can live up to 25 years, and the oldest aquarium fish Goldie has lived with its owners for more than 30 years.

Pangasius is a very hardy animal that can live for over 10 years. In good conditions, with proper nutrition and large volumes, shark catfish can delight owners with their company for up to 20-25 years.

A three-hybrid parrot in an aquarium can live for about 10 years. Although there are cases when this cichlid lives up to 15 years.

In good conditions and spacious containers, scalars can safely live up to 10 years.

With the right content, monodactylus will delight the owner for 7-10 years.

Metinnis is a silvery schooling fish that spends most of the time in the middle layers of water and lives for over 10 years.

Arowana is a large, sometimes aggressive fish, very strong and jumpy. Animals raised in captivity have a life expectancy of 10-15 years.

Discus are very expensive and difficult to keep fish that can survive for inexperienced aquarists for only a few days. In good conditions, they can live up to 15 years, although on average this figure is 10 years.

Under proper conditions, severums can grow up to 30 cm, and their life expectancy is over 10 years.

For African cichlids, the average lifespan is around 8 years.

average life span of a fish

Lets Talk About Some More Fishes

The lifespan of the Astronotus and other American cichlids is directly related to the quality of care provided by the owner. With a well-balanced diet and in good conditions, these large fish can live up to 15 years.

The chalky barb with a length of 35 cm lives on average 8-10 years.

Flower Horn lives for 10-12 years.

In good conditions, koi carps can live up to 35 years.

Gourami lives on average 4-6 years.

The giant gourami is long-lived, capable of living in captivity for about 20 years. And with proper care, it can easily live up to 25 years.

The life expectancy of cockerels in an aquarium is 2-4 years.

Neon, zebrafish, small species of barbs and cardinals in captivity can live for 3-4 years.

Thorns and barbs of medium size in good conditions live up to 5 years.

Mollies, swordtails and platies have a life expectancy of 5 years in good conditions.

Guppies do not have a long life, the duration of which does not exceed 3 years.

In captivity, the life span of the brocade catfish is 15-20 years.

Loaches, such as labeos and battles, with good care can live for 7-10 years.

Corridors can please their owners for a long time – for 10-12 years

life of a fish

The Most Important Thing is Living

Of course, in order to reach the above age, the owners require a lot of care and competent care. Fish, especially young ones, are rather gentle creatures that can hardly tolerate a change of scenery and stress. Very many of them die in the first months under the wrong conditions of detention. From which a stereotype appeared that the age of aquarium pets is short-lived.

First of all, you need to correctly calculate the size of the aquarium. It is believed that 1 liter of water should fall on 1 cm of the fish body. Such calculations cannot be taken as absolute truth. Since an allowance must be made for the species of the fish. For example, for 2 astronaut uses, rather spacious containers are required – from 200 liters. And a flock of 15-tailed neons will feel comfortable in 30 liters.

In aquariums, it is important to have a quality filtration system. That does an excellent job of removing organic contamination and providing good quality water. Animals poisoned with ammonium compounds can die within a few months.

It is equally important to organize the necessary oxygen supply to the animals. Usually, many filters include this function. But if you notice that the fish are too often near the surface of the water. And their gill covers are spread out, then you need to get a compressor as soon as possible . 

Such “deaths” are especially dangerous in the summer. When the water becomes too warm and poorly retains oxygen. The exception is labyrinth fish, polypters, kalamoicht, chain catfish and corridors. These animals can use atmospheric air for breathing, and they are not afraid of low oxygen content.

feeding your fish

Few More Tips

When buying fish, you need to find out about their origin and the recommended keeping temperature. For tropical animals, this figure is 24-26 ° С, and for cold-water animals – 18-22 ° С. If necessary, especially in the mid-season, a tropical aquarium can be equipped with a temperature-controlled heater.

It is also important to remember to care for your aquarium as a whole. A rectangular container is desirable, from which it is necessary to drain about 25-30% of the water weekly and replace it with a fresh one. Contrary to popular belief, it is categorically impossible to completely drain water and rinse the soil.

When equipping the aquarium, it is advisable to adhere to the natural style. That is, use live plants, natural driftwood, and stones, which you can prepare yourself.

Well-chosen species composition is no less important. Poorly compatible animals will periodically bully each other in the battle for food or territory, thereby creating an unfavorable stressful environment.

Disease outbreaks that can be introduced into an aquarium with new inhabitants are especially dangerous. Before putting newcomers in a common container. It is better to pre-keep them in a quarantine aquarium for 2-3 weeks. As a rule, this time is enough for most diseases to show themselves.

In order for the fish to live for a long time, it is recommended to feed them with high-quality and varied food. Live food, a variety of vegetable feedings are well suited for this role. It is better not to use dry food for too long, as it will never compare in nutrient content to a natural diet.

So, despite the widespread belief that fish live very little, these animals show a rather long lifespan, comparable to mammals. With proper (and not very difficult) care, tailed pets can delight you for a long time. In some cases, they can even become new family members.

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