Average & Potential Lifespan of a Goldfish

It makes me mad whenever I hear this:

“Yeah, we tried keeping a goldfish once. But of course, it didn’t live more than a few weeks.”

While it’s true that goldfish do have a reputation for being short-lived pets…

… do they deserve it? 

No way!

In this article I’m going to blow your mind about how long a goldfish can live – and the REAL reason so many goldfish die early.

Let’s cut to the chase!

Goldfish CAN Live to be 40+ Years Old

There, happy I didn’t keep you in suspense? 😉

Yep, in fact:

Goldfish are the longest lived of all aquarium fish.

Just take a look at the chart below:


They are also one of the longest living of all popular domesticated pets!

Goldfish can easily outlive a cat, dog or even a turtle.

Now isn’t that absolutely amazing? 😀

But there’s a catch:

This is really only true of slim-bodied goldfish, like Common and Comets (typically given away at fairs as prizes).

Fancy goldfish on the other hand, have a much shorter lifespan – with good care, 5-10 years is the average.

This is because selective breeding has drastically removed them from their original form and caused them to be much more fragile genetically.

That said:

Some of the hardier (and less extreme) fancies, like Fantails, have been known to exceed the 15 year mark.

Of course, such long goldfish lifespans aren’t the norm for fancies.

Oldie Goldies: Check Out these Long-Lived Fish!

Who is the oldest goldfish in the world?

Let’s have a look at the proof.

A goldfish called Goldie passed away at the ripe old age of 45 several years ago.

That’s nearly half a century old!

Sadly, Goldie was disqualified from the title of the world’s oldest goldfish in The Guinness Book of World Records because his owners couldn’t provide the necessary documentation…

… So the official crown (get it? off-FISH-ial? Sorry, I couldn’t resist 😉 ) ended up staying with Tish the goldfish.

Tish had passed away a while before Goldie at age 43.

And these aren’t the only champions:

Recently, two comet goldfish fair friends (Fred and George) were recognized for passing the 40 year mark in Britain, outliving the family dogs.

There is no question that goldfish have the ability to live for a very long time.


This brings us to the more puzzling fact…

Most Goldfish Always Die Rather Quickly

So, exactly what is the average lifespan of a goldfish kept in captivity?

I’ve been unable to find any stats to offer a definite answer, though fancy goldfish (with proper care) typically reach 5 to 10 years in captivity.

This is because their modified bodies makes them less resilient than their slim-bodied relations, who can survive much longer in the wild.


It’s a safe bet that most goldfish don’t make it past a few years once acquired (many don’t last more than a few weeks).  Those who manage to make it to even twice that are somehow seen as “superfish.”

That’s still nowhere near how long they should live – let alone 40 years!

But people think this is normal – that goldfish don’t live long because they can’t.

(We now know that isn’t true.)

By now you should be beginning to see that something isn’t right with this picture.  We have goldfish can live long, but they usually don’t.

What gives?!

Well, good news:

I’m here to shed some light on the 2 main reasons why goldies are only making it to a fraction of their potential lifespan.

Reason #1 Behind Such Short Goldfish Lifespans

It’s true that some goldfish just aren’t able to live out their full lifespan because of factors out of our control, such as undernourishment during the early years of a goldfish’s life or even the more sinister use of anabolic steroids by farmers.

But high death rates in most cases are caused by one major thing…


Most people – even those at pet stores – honestly have no clue about the needs of the fish they are buying or selling, and in many cases hold to outdated and downright false ideas about what it takes to make this species thrive.

So it is rare that a goldfish will be able to survive in the conditions they are kept in – it isn’t right for them.

Here is a handful of all-too-common no-no’s that cause untimely deaths:

1. Keeping their fish in the wrong living space, such as a bowl or small tank


Put your goldfish in a bowl?

You are just asking for it to die quickly!

Bowls are extremely dangerous environments for a goldfish.   Because they get dirty so quickly, the small space makes the level of toxins so high that it literally burns the fish alive, often leading to sickness and infection (if they don’t die from the burns first).

They need a properly sized tank in order to do well.

It’s amazing they last as long as they do!

2. Feeding them an improper diet and/or overfeeding

Goldfish (especially the fancy ones) have very specific needs when it comes to what to eat and how often to eat it.

Sadly, goldfish flakes are the go-to staple that often causes constipation, excess protein and overfeeding (it’s about impossible to tell how much you have actually fed!).

Overfeeding causes a host of problems, from throwing off the biological balance of the tank to terminal conditions such as dropsy.

Not good!

3. Not cycling the aquarium first


All aquariums are closed environments.  They need filtration, and that filtration has to have a colony of beneficial bacteria built up over time in order to work.

That’s why we need the cycling process – to give us that good bacteria.

Not cycling the tank is a huge mistake that causes goldies to die from the totally imbalanced water parameters that result from a lack of “good bugs.”

Contrary to popular belief:

You can’t just walk home from the pet store with a NEW fish and put it in a NEW tank that doesn’t have a good bacteria colony and sit back, thinking everything will be fine.

Reason #2 Behind Short Goldfish Lifespans

This one is something most people never think of.

Picture this:

You do everything right for your new pet, care-wise.  You are the epitome of a perfect goldfish owner.


The fish gets sick and dies within a few months (or less) regardless.

What happened?

Well, it could be that your fish got stressed out from the whole pet store ordeal.

See, they ship the fish around a lot from place to place, and it stresses their immune system.  Then they are exposed to a bunch of other fish, many which are carrying diseases.  When the fish is weak is when it is susceptible to picking up a problem.

So what happened in this case only could have been prevented by buying your goldfish from a reputable supplier or breeder (which is the only way to buy goldfish that I recommend).

Admittedly, this doesn’t happen to all pet store goldfish.

Some are treated better than others.

Some are also hardier than others.

But you eliminate a lot of the risk by not shopping at the pet stores. 🙂

The Secret to Having the Longest Lifespan for Your Goldfish

People don’t necessarily do these things because they want their fish to suffer – they just don’t know any better 🙁

In fact:

Most fish owners are horrified when they learn what they have been putting their beloved pet through!

But it gets worse:

There are way more care mistakes than what I’ve brought up in this article – mistakes that people make at the expense of their pet’s life.

I don’t have time to cover all of them in this article, which is why I spent the last 2 years of my life pouring my wealth of goldfish care knowledge into one resource, The Truth About Goldfish.

It has EVERYTHING you will ever need to know in order to master the art of goldfish care to ensure your fish lives its life to the fullest.

Check it out 🙂

In Conclusion

We’ve busted the myth that goldfish can’t live a long time.

I’ve also revealed the reason they usually don’t.

Now I want to hear from you.

Did you learn something interesting?

Maybe you want to share the age of the oldest goldfish you ever owned?

Either way, drop your comment below.

4.5 90% from 48 ratings
Rating 4.5 90%


  1. Judie Smith April 8, 2017 at 4:05 pm - Reply

    We got our goldfish at a harvest festival over 8 years ago. He’s been in a glass bowl with no filter. I feed him regular goldfish food and he even comes to the side of the bowl when it’s feeding time. We are AMAZED he’s lasting this long!

    • Veska Vlada July 4, 2017 at 11:19 am - Reply

      You’re actually proud of that???

      Rating: 5
    • Darlene January 18, 2018 at 1:09 pm - Reply

      Hi Judie, We also have our goldfish in a 2.5 gallon glass bowl without filtration, he is now 18.5 years old. Around 10 years ago he got very ill and was floating upside down, it was do to bloating from that dry goldfish flake food, he got gas and it caused him to float upside down. I fed him a cooked garden pea and it saved his life, since then I only feed him frozen fish food and he is happy and healthy.

      Rating: 5
      • Pure Goldfish
        Pure Goldfish January 22, 2018 at 12:49 am - Reply

        Wow, thanks for sharing Darlene 🙂

      • Monica September 18, 2018 at 4:04 pm - Reply

        Hey fish lovers!
        I got two goldfish for my daughter when she was 2 yrs old . One unfortunately died a couple of years later. But i still have 1 left. My daughter is now 15 yrs old.
        I feed him only once a week with vitamin fortified pellets and clean out the tank only twice a year. He is very happy and healthy.

        Rating: 5
  2. Rebecca Gleason Coston May 15, 2017 at 8:43 pm - Reply

    Who this helps so mush all my friends are going to read what i am writing and they will want goldfish to because they live so long. I really want goldfish but if my parents won’t let me i will do the research that proves they are the best pet ever!

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish May 19, 2017 at 5:08 pm - Reply

      Glad it helped you, Rebecca! Hope you get to have a goldfish soon!

  3. Rachel Hardy August 7, 2017 at 4:44 am - Reply

    It’s quite the story how I ended up with my goldfish.
    Firstly, a friend of mine moved down to North Carolina and she couldn’t take the goldfish she had won at the local fair with her, so she gave her pet to me to care for.
    “Guffy” the single tailed, common goldfish was in a fish bowl and all alone, gasping for oxygen at the very top constantly. I felt horrible about this, so I set out to aquire a better tank and some other fish for tank mates.
    I eventually came home with a 10 gallon aquarium kit and a few days after that, I introduced Guffy and the other three new fish to the new habitat.
    Not one of them was at the top of the tank gasping and they all seemed lively and content, so I thought I was all set.
    Then I learned about how huge goldfish get, and I realized that they would need a tank far bigger than 10 gallons. I felt awful.
    I went back to the pet store and bought the biggest tank my cramped apartment could accommodate, which unfortunately was only a 38 gallon aquarium – but I figured it was still much better than 10 gallons!
    I do the best I can do to take care of them all. They’re my babies, as silly as some think being so attached to fish would be. They actually have very sharp memories. They follow me from one side of the tank to the other, recognize my voice, and hang out and watch me if I sit nearby.
    I love them so much. I would totally give them that 180 gallon aquarium or pond if I could…

    Rating: 5
    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish August 9, 2017 at 8:16 pm - Reply

      Aww thank you so much for sharing your story, Rachel. Kudos to you for doing your best to give them a great life!

  4. Donna Hanson August 14, 2017 at 10:19 am - Reply

    I acquired Chuck & Norris after hearing my Boss telling a friend on the phone she was sick of caring for them. She was actually planning on throwing them into the retention pond behind her home. I immediately confronted her and asked to take them. She brought them over in a small goldfish bowl with a live plant that was nested atop a paper plate with the roots in the water. They appeared healthy, water changes done weekly. These guys were won by her daughters at a church fair 3 years prior. I upgraded them to a larger bowl but not long after Norris died. I researched a little and found Chuck needed a bigger tank and added air. So far Chuck lives and I have had him 3 years. He always comes to the front of his tank to greet me and seems content. I hope he lives a long time!

    Rating: 5
    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish August 15, 2017 at 2:17 am - Reply

      That was so nice of you, Donna! It’s always great to hear stories like this. Thank you so much for sharing and stopping by to leave your comment!

  5. Jon September 9, 2017 at 12:46 pm - Reply

    When I was a kid I won a goldfish at the fair. My Mum put hi in the (small) pond in the garden. He grew big. When they sold their house 25-26 years later he was still swimming around (a lot bigger). Also, even though this is a goldfish site I want to add that our Jack Russell lived until it was 17 (had to be put down because of cancer) and our cat which we took in as a stray at around 2 years lived for another 21 years (also had to be put down sadly). I don’t know what my Mum does to animals but boy do they live long.

    Rating: 5
    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish September 9, 2017 at 9:17 pm - Reply

      Ask her what she feeds them 😀

  6. Kim September 12, 2017 at 9:22 pm - Reply

    Bought our son starter tank and added fish later. This was for his 8th birthday present. Shubunkins didn’t hang around long but goldfish still going. Son’s coming up 28 next year. Goldfish has survived moving in to new larger tanks and has changed colour from the standard gold to white with some gold. Mum and dad do the caring for fish and tank cleans these days!!

    Rating: 4
    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish September 24, 2017 at 11:42 pm - Reply

      That’s amazing, Kim! Thanks for sharing! That makes nearly 20 years!

  7. Ron Lakin September 30, 2017 at 2:59 pm - Reply

    I built a small pond (4′ x 3′) about 12 years ago. at first we stocked it with a dozen store bought goldfish. 5 of them have survived over the years. I added more gold fish twice and 2 koi once, all died but the 5 original goldfish. I feed them the flakes once a day in the winter and twice during the summer. I add new water every 3 months (more often in the summer). They have all gotten huge except one has a growth. i was concerned when a wandering turtle hung out for 3 weeks, but he didn’t seem interested in eating the goldfish .

    Rating: 5
    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish October 1, 2017 at 11:07 pm - Reply

      I hope your fish keep going strong, Ron! Those 5 must be pretty tough little guys!

  8. Angie October 1, 2017 at 4:48 am - Reply

    I have three different types in a large tank they are all ten years old and quite large I enjoy them alot and do my best to care for them and there environment.sadly the black one is not looking to good so I’m hopeing it bounces back

    Rating: 3.5
    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish October 1, 2017 at 11:06 pm - Reply

      I hope he does, too, Angie! Thanks for sharing!

  9. Nadine October 11, 2017 at 4:22 am - Reply

    Cool read. We have had our 3 goldfish from the fair going on five years! I was telling my husband how much my fish love me. Its true they just float around in such happiness and follow me around the tank. 2 are orange 1 has a longer feathery tail and the last is bright orange and white. Those 3 seriously sleep on each other and just cant get enough of one another they really are just so pretty and neat to have. I do have a filter and bubbler some plants gravel and a skeleton in their tank and honest to God that tank is always so crystal clear its amazing how clean they keep it. 10 gallon and i feel like sometimes they should he in my 20 gallon lol. I can only hope they live til 40 and im sure my oldest son who is 5 will be the one to want to keep them

    Rating: 5
    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish October 22, 2017 at 11:14 pm - Reply

      Aww, thanks for sharing your story! Goldfish do have such personality, don’t they? If you could get them a larger tank, I bet they’d have an even better chance of living a long time 🙂

  10. Beth October 18, 2017 at 10:00 am - Reply

    Very interesting article. I believed the myths about goldfish not living long, and only having 3 second memories. I got my son 2 goldfish in one of those plastic small tanks, thinking that they only have 3 second memories so why would they need a big tank?! Sadly one died not long after we got him, he’d always seemed poorly though. But the other, Bob, is still doing well (he was 2 this summer) and he has got his own little personality. Some faces scare him but others don’t?! He used to be scared of the neighbour’s cat, but now they both just look at each other for ages! When Bob first saw the cat he’d swim as far away as he could and you could see he was panicked. So he must have learned that the cat isn’t a threat (I never leave the cat alone with Bob!).
    I’m pleased to say that he is now in a lovely big glass tank, he’s got so much more room and is a lot happier. I just didn’t realise how playful goldfish were, he loves to swim up the the filter and let the stream of water blow him back! It’s so lovely watching him in his new tank with so much room to play. I’m ashamed I didn’t realise the importance of a proper tank at first. I’m hoping he lives for many years to come!

    Rating: 4.5
    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish October 22, 2017 at 10:47 pm - Reply

      Your story is very touching, Beth! Thank you for sharing your experience so others can learn too. We all make mistakes along the way of our fish keeping journey, the good news is Bob has a great life thanks to your care and research 🙂

  11. Gilly October 27, 2017 at 12:30 pm - Reply

    We are a prop management company and adopted 2 abandoned goldfish 22 years ago and they are still going strong to this day

    Rating: 4.5
    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish October 29, 2017 at 4:23 pm - Reply

      Awesome, Gilly! Do you know what breed of goldfish they are?

  12. suzuki October 31, 2017 at 8:35 pm - Reply

    When I was a kid, I had a carnival goldfish (a comet?) live some dozen years in a decent-sized bowl. We had no bubbles or filter pump, but we regularly changed out the water in the sink. (He seemed to ) (I think our city has pretty good ground water, not chlorinated or artificially fluorinated.)

    He (or she) had temporary mates at different times, but none lasted long. He never showed signs of parasites or petechiae or distressed behavior. He was always pretty interactive, right up to the end, a great pet. (If I remember correctly,

    I’ve had no such luck with any fish since, despite real fish tanks, treated water, bio-filters, etc. 🙁 Still trying!

    Rating: 4
    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish November 4, 2017 at 11:00 pm - Reply

      Every fish is certainly different! I’d recommend picking up a copy of our book to help you on the right path with keeping other fish 🙂

  13. Lucja Falkowski October 31, 2017 at 10:55 pm - Reply

    Our fish Goldie passed away 2 days ago. Goldie was 13 years old. Our grandchildren thought he was special. When it was feeding time my granddaughter would let Goldie when he came to the top of the tank. He will be missed.

    Rating: 4.5
    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish November 4, 2017 at 11:01 pm - Reply

      I’m sorry to hear you lost Goldie 🙁 13 years is still a long time!

  14. Lucja Falkowski October 31, 2017 at 10:58 pm - Reply

    Our fish Goldie passed away 2 days ago. Goldie was 13 years old. Our grandchildren thought he was special. When it was feeding time my granddaughter would pet Goldie when he came to the top of the tank. He will be missed.

    Rating: 4.5
  15. brett mclean November 25, 2017 at 2:27 am - Reply

    Have had goldfish for the last 35 years or so. 3 gallon glass Globe bowl with about 2 inches of marbles. No filter or pump. Flake food every day, small amount. When the bowl gets nasty ( every 2-3 months or so ) I scoop the ( single) fish out, clean the bowl and a complete water change with well water, no chemicals. Put him back in. That’s it for tank care. Mr Fish was a 69cent pet store refugee and is 17-18 years old, has nice clear eyes, good color and is still frisky. The previous one made it to 13yr going strong but an overzealous cleaning lady killed him with Pledge overspray. Believe it or not, that one would let me “pet” it and also allow me to grab it barehand before cleaning, I swear it recognized me.

    Rating: 4
    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish December 31, 2017 at 10:25 pm - Reply

      They do recognize faces 🙂

  16. Carver December 5, 2017 at 11:10 pm - Reply

    I will be getting a goldfish for Christmas I am 8 I hope to see while I grow up

    Rating: 5
    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish December 31, 2017 at 10:09 pm - Reply

      What kind of goldfish did you get, Carver? 😀

  17. Rosie December 13, 2017 at 3:25 pm - Reply

    Our goldfish named Fishy is alive and well for over 15 years. Goldfish were given to all the children at a Birthday party my son attended when us was 6 and he is now 21, all of other children’s fish died within days. We put our fish into the standard round fish bowl and always use filtered water from our under the sink water filtration system. I have two bowls one is filled with water about 2 days before to gets to room temperature and then he is switched out. He was orange and is now turning alittle whiter. Would this be due to age? He has a great personality and always seems to be on what ever side of the bowl that I’m on. I recently got a bigger bowl. Do fish stop growing when they hit a certain age? or do you think that he will get bigger now that I have put him in a bigger round fish bowl?

    Rating: 4.5
    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish December 31, 2017 at 9:58 pm - Reply

      Yes, fish will eventually stop growing. Fading color on older goldfish is normal too.

  18. Michael Nelson December 15, 2017 at 8:51 pm - Reply

    I am 55years old , and my goal is to have my two goldfish , #7 and tangerini out live me . Initially I had a 2 1/2 gal fish tank. I killed 6 goldfish because of lack of knowledge and buying sick fish. UGH! I studied hard and learned each goldfish would like 10 gals each.my wife told me she was going to the basement to get my birthday present. I imagined a large fish tank. Then I thought nah she wouldn’t get me that for her kitchen However there she was carrying my new 20 gal tank up the steps. She loves me for sure! #7 got his name because I killed 6 fish before him. Fish are well. I have all live plants. I use ammo chips and aquarium salt . Water changes are key. If fish acts odd. A partial water change may just do the trick. I vary their diet with three different foods.

    Rating: 5
    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish December 31, 2017 at 9:56 pm - Reply

      Thanks for sharing your story, Michael! I hope your fish live a very long time and they will definitely do better with a bigger tank. Kudos to your wife!

  19. Annie December 27, 2017 at 5:22 pm - Reply

    I have one fish (Mrs. Fish) in a bowl that I clean regularly. I got her for a dime from the feeder fish tank at a pet store. I don’t have time, space, or finances for an aquarium, but I figure she has a better life than being eaten…

    Do fish do better with a partner? Or solo? She is 3 years old and seems happy!

    Rating: 5
    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish December 31, 2017 at 9:45 pm - Reply

      I would definitely not recommend getting another fish in that setup. Most likely it will kill Mrs. Fish.

  20. Robin January 20, 2018 at 2:03 am - Reply

    We just lost our goldfish, who lived in a 50-gallon water trough at the stable for at least 15 years. I changed the water once a year and fed him occasionally. I was always careful about keeping a bucket of old water for him and then refilling the trough gradually, so the temperature and PH wouldn’t shock him. We have well water, so chemicals weren’t in problem. Mostly he lived on the grain the horses dropped in the trough and whatever else fell in the water. He started out as a 10-cent, 1-inch goldfish and grew to 7 inches. We live in Virginia, so it gets down in the single digits once or twice during the winter. The trough did not have a heater. It froze over many times, but he was always there when the ice thawed. Recently, though, we had two weeks of subfreezing temps, culminating with a night at -4 degrees. After the water thawed, he floated to the top. Don’t know why he didn’t make it this time. My guess is the water froze all the way to the bottom. I tried to post a PDF of him but it wouldn’t take.

    Rating: 4.5
    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish January 22, 2018 at 12:29 am - Reply

      If the water freezes solid, it can kill the fish 🙁 Sorry for your loss, he sounds amazing!

  21. TheRatDragon January 23, 2018 at 7:50 pm - Reply

    I currently have a 75 gallon tank with 3 Common Goldfish, 1 Shubunkin Goldfish, 1 Bristlenose Plecostomus, and 3 Fathead Minnows. Two of
    these fish I am especially surprised of! The first is Carp. He is a 5″ Common Goldfish who I’ve had for about 1 year. The second is Pepper. He is a 3 1/2″ Common Goldfish who I’ve had for about 4 months. The third is Shuby. He is a 3 1/2″ Shubunkin Goldfish who I’ve had for almost a year or so. And the last two are…Tip and Tiny! I’ve had Tip the longest, about 1 1/2 years! I got him at a carnival! He was in a large plastic trash barrel filled with untreated hose water, no aeration, no filtration, and out in the beaming sun! I won him, along with 3 others ,who were “Tip, Cream, and Reggie”, and immediately put them in the only tank I had in the house. I put them into a 15 gallon high tank with an Aqueon Quieflow 20. I didn’t know I had to treat the water from chlorine and chloramines, and I had no clue about “cycling” the tank. Sadly, Reggie died first. Next, Cream was suffering, so I had to put her out of her misery. All I did was feed her to my Garter Snake, Knot. But miraculously, Tip has lived, and grown a lot! I don’t assume he’ll grow much, as I assume he has bad genetics, but when I got him he was about 2″, now he’s 3 1/2″! He is now with Carp, Pepper, and Shuby, Carp being his “BFF”. And another fish was like Tip. He is named “Tiny”. I got him last year at another carnival to give to my brother as a gift, but my brother has no earthly idea on how to care for anything but himself and cats (and not even that well!), so I took him back. He is unusually small, but I’m not surprised. I got him when he was only 1″, but now he’s 2″! To conclude, I am very happy for my fishcakes (is what I call them!), and I hope they live for years to come! I must be doing something right, as they’ve all been alive for longer than they would’ve been in the small, cramped, over-stocked, 20 gallon long, Petco “Feeder Fish” tank stocked with over 50 other small/large Goldies! (FYI, I really want to start a Goldfish Rescue!)

    Rating: 4.5
    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish January 28, 2018 at 9:38 pm - Reply

      That’s quite a story, TheRatDragon! A goldfish rescue is a fantastic idea 🙂

  22. Amy February 9, 2018 at 4:48 am - Reply

    I had 3 goldfish in a bowl filled with water. One of them died (January 6, 2018, to February 5, 2018). And then, the smallest white one died (Jan. 6, 2018, to Feb. 8, 2018). I still have one more left, and I can’t get a bigger container 🙁

    Rating: 3.5
    • Amy February 9, 2018 at 4:51 am - Reply

      And it has the wrong date. The real date for me is on February 8, 2018 at 8:47. Also, I buried the two fishes in my backyard. RIP. :/

      Rating: 3
    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish February 11, 2018 at 10:10 pm - Reply

      I’m sorry to hear that, Amy 🙁 Changing the water regularly will be very important until you can upgrade.

  23. Angela March 7, 2018 at 5:54 pm - Reply

    We won our fish a fantail at a fair twenty one year’s ago and he was kept in a medium sized bowl with no filter etc. He never had any health problems and he was a very much loved family pet to six children over the years.He sadly died yesterday.

    Rating: 5
    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish March 11, 2018 at 10:24 pm - Reply

      Aww, 21 years is a long time though 🙂 It must have been hard to lose him 🙁

  24. Carole April 5, 2018 at 1:00 pm - Reply

    Very interesting reading all the comments. This week we brought our 20+ years old ordinary goldfish indoors. We used to keep fish indoors then built a large pond and our current Goldie was bred in our pond about 25 yrs ago when we had about 45 goldfish, then when we moved 16 yrs ago we brought 25 with us to a new pond. 8 yrs ago we had to fill in our pond as venomous snakes came to drink from it and also eat the fish. The remaining 22 were placed in a very large outdoor tub without filtration, only aeration and they lived until 18 were killed 7 years ago when the local council sprayed the streets for mosquitoes – without warning. Goldie was the only one left by Feb 2018 so my daughter gave me one of similar size from her tank, for a mate. In the pond I only fed them every 3-4 days with normal flakes and all lived quite well on that until the mosquito repellent episode. Now the two of them are in a 64 litre (17 gallons) tank with filtration and aeration and fed only a tiny amount of flakes each day. One point: our have always lived in rain water, not tap water and this new tank was filled with rainwater. Just hoping the will live

  25. Brandius Smith April 16, 2018 at 1:40 am - Reply

    I have a goldfish from the county fair in August 2006. He is still alive today and lives in a five gallon fish tank with a filter. I also have a fancy goldfish I bought from petsmart in 2009 he is still alive today and lives in a 29 gallon tank.

    Rating: 5
    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish April 21, 2018 at 8:45 pm - Reply

      Those are some long-lived fish, Brandius!

  26. Freya April 22, 2018 at 6:09 pm - Reply

    My goldfish has recently turned 10 months old and he is 6.5 inches long already, I had only started researching goldfish a few months before my boy hatched and I have learnt so much in the past year. He currently resides in a 50 gallon tank and I cannot wait until I can upgrade him!!

    Rating: 5
    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish April 29, 2018 at 9:53 pm - Reply

      That’s amazing how fast he’s grown! 😀

      • Freya May 2, 2018 at 6:53 am - Reply

        I know right? Im just wondering how big he will grow, being this big already!!

        Rating: 5
  27. David May 12, 2018 at 10:02 pm - Reply

    Was the persian new year recently and it was custom to buy gold fish. We have four little ones and we kept them in a fish bowl. I changed the water every week using bottled water (Poland Springs) as it didn’t take long for them to pollute the water. Finally I got them a bigger mini 3.5 gallon tank and they seem happier now. They don’t greet me anymore and beg for food anymore though. The only think is one of them was a silver goldfish who has gone black since adding black stones to the bottom of the tank. Kind of weird. Natural camouflage I think.

    Rating: 4.5
    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish May 13, 2018 at 11:18 pm - Reply

      Thanks for sharing, David! You might want to try testing the ammonia, as turning black is indicative of burns.

  28. Freya May 20, 2018 at 12:39 pm - Reply

    Its so sad seeing how many people in the comments keep their goldfish in a bowl and still dont know its terrible ?

    Rating: 5
  29. Wren June 17, 2018 at 1:26 pm - Reply

    I have five goldfish in a three thousand gallon pond. I would like to get a couple more but worry they won’t get along, any tips?

    Rating: 4.5
    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish June 18, 2018 at 5:30 pm - Reply

      Goldfish are community fish and should get along. Usually when they don’t it’s spawning season.

  30. Tracy August 26, 2018 at 12:47 am - Reply

    My son chose a one eyed fancy tail gold fish along with an all white one. Wish I knew exactly how old they are but they would have to be around 7 years old now. The white has a gorgeous flowing tail and One eyed Willy is smaller, Willy often has to be feed peas because of their food. Just recently moved the into a 50 gallon tank and I love that they have so much space now. So happy to see that they have such a long lifespan. Looking forward to enjoying them for many more years. 🙂 Will look into a better food option for them.

    Rating: 5
    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish August 31, 2018 at 10:26 pm - Reply

      Sounds like you are doing a great job for your fish, Tracy! Keep it up!

  31. Michael Cutts August 27, 2018 at 8:10 pm - Reply

    My goldfish is 18 years old and gets excited when I come home from work as that is usually feeding time. Tomorrow I have to transport him 170 miles to our new home in the Scottish Highlands.

    Rating: 4.5
    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish August 31, 2018 at 10:41 pm - Reply

      18 years?! You go Michael!

  32. Julia August 30, 2018 at 1:15 am - Reply

    Hello! I had two fancy oranda goldfish about 2 inches or so. I just lost my orange oranda Goldfish Harry to disease and I believe swim bladder issues. I buried him in my backyard and his sister Hermione seems to be doing well now! I hope hermione lives a long happy life with me!!! Thank you for all the tips you have included in this they are very helpful and hopefully will help me be able to keep baby Hermione growing, thriving and surviving!!!!!!!

    Rating: 5
    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish August 31, 2018 at 10:43 pm - Reply

      Haha thanks for stopping by Julia, hope Hermione has a great life with you with many years to come!

  33. Robot or Not September 21, 2018 at 4:42 am - Reply

    Having had salt and fresh water before (and after losing a very big 5 to 6 inch fan tail in 94 and quitting, decided to give it another shot. Got a baby fan tail, had to gradually build the tank sizes again because all my stuff was gone and we went from bowl, 5, 10, 20, to 40 gallon and he got pretty good size as was happy. I would come home and wave at him and he would wag his body. Unfortunatley this past Hurricanne Florence we lost power for four days and my ph levels went wack, and the filter was acting strange, woke up at 1AM and he passed. Burried him, dont know if I can do another fantail.

    Rating: 4.5
    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish September 21, 2018 at 3:31 pm - Reply

      Aww I’m sorry to hear that :'(

  34. RS2OOO October 19, 2018 at 6:08 pm - Reply

    I’ve kept Goldfish all my life and have a calico butterfly moor / telescopic eye which spawned in 1999 and she’s still going strong and still producing eggs. She’s around 12″ long (including tail) which is huge for this type of fancy goldfish. She lives in a 5 foot tank with 2 young males. After the next spawning I’ll separate the males and leave her in there with another female to live the rest of her life in peace.

    Rating: 5
    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish October 19, 2018 at 6:48 pm - Reply

      That is AWESOME!! Would love to see a photo posted to our group 🙂

      • RS2OOO October 19, 2018 at 7:29 pm - Reply

        Not sure how to post / upload a photo here?

        Does this link work:


        Rating: 5
      • RS2OOO October 19, 2018 at 7:46 pm - Reply

        I’m not on FB btw, hence can’t post on there.

        That link isn’t the best photo of her but its enough to give you an idea. She’s a picture of full health and so much energy for a fancy going on 20 years old.

        Although this fish isn’t quite show quality her Mother won best in class at a national show in the late 90’s so she’s from a good bloodline.

        The secret is:
        1) Water Quality
        2) Water Quality
        3) Water Quality
        4) Healthy varied diet fed small amounts regularly including Saki-Hikari pellets, prawns, bloodworm, mussels, mealworm, peas, earthworms, broccoli etc.

        Rating: 5
        • Pure Goldfish
          Pure Goldfish October 19, 2018 at 8:00 pm - Reply

          What a gorgeous fish! You’d never know she’s 19 years old!! I was thinking to myself, “I wonder if she’s got a longer body or a round body” and your photo confirmed. I think the longer-bodied fancies are way hardier. Thanks for sharing your secrets too, water quality is super important! 😀

  35. RS2OOO October 19, 2018 at 9:07 pm - Reply

    Her body isn’t quite as long as that photo makes out, but longer bodied fancies are much less susceptible to swim bladder problems. Shorter bodied rounder fancies look better but they usually don’t go past 6 years old without getting swim bladder issues.

    Here’s a couple more photos of her and one showing the males who’ll be spawning with her next year.



    Rating: 5
    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish October 19, 2018 at 9:18 pm - Reply

      I loooove Broadtail moors. 😀 Those are so showy! Bet the babies would be amazing. I really can’t believe she still spawns at that age! You are definitely a master 🙂

  36. joe November 23, 2018 at 1:14 pm - Reply

    I built a pond in my livingroom, its about 16″ high, 8 ft long and 3-4 ft wide. put lots of rocks, gravel, a filter that lives in the basement so it is not seen. its output comes out to power a rocky waterfall. I seasoned it well with water and rocks from an established tank. Pond liner is under everything. I added 6 feeder fish i got for $1.00. 1 died in a few days, the next one died 6 years later leaving me with 4. The other 3 lasted 10 years and died within a month of each other. the lone survivor is now going on his 14th year and has become huge!

    Rating: 5
    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish November 27, 2018 at 12:19 am - Reply

      Wow! Sounds like your fish has quite the life!

  37. Sam December 13, 2018 at 5:27 pm - Reply

    Any recommendations for a tank, food and (live?) plants? My son won a fish (Finnagen or Finn for short) at our summer fair and he’s so peppy and cute and greets us in the morning and throughout the day. I never thought I would put money into a goldfish but he’s been with us over 6 mo and I’m determined to give him a good life now that I know they should live so long. I think he’s a little bloated (is trying to stay straight…one side wants to go up slightly) and I read some raw peas could help? I’m looking at 10gal tank on amazon as I read that’s what one goldfish will need and I’m getting some good pellet food instead of the terramin crud we have.

    Rating: 5
  38. Ayva January 19, 2019 at 2:58 pm - Reply

    I had a bubble eye goldfish. I got her around 5 months ago but she died from a fungus that I caught to late. She lived in a 2 gallon tank with no filter and I cleaned the water weekly. I was just wondering if you knew what I could’ve done to help her.

    Rating: 5
    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish January 20, 2019 at 12:14 am - Reply

      Bubble eyes are pretty sensitive to live in an unfiltered environment. The smaller tank size increases the ammonia concentration. Next time you get a fish (if you decide to), I recommend getting a filter and a bigger tank if possible 🙂

  39. Paul January 19, 2019 at 11:35 pm - Reply

    I have two tanks,one is a 55 gallon with 4 multicolored gold fish that are between 8 and 10 inches long.The other tank is a 15 gallon tank with 3 gold fish about r5 inches long.The larger fish are 5 years old and the others are about 2 years old.The big thing is to change the water at least once a week and don’t keep the water to warm because these fish are pond fish.If the water is too warm they will have breathing problems and die on you. Don’t over feed them too much and use the clear water formula.I hope to have them for as long as I can.Hope this helps some of you all. Thanks ,Paul, boat6768@hotmail.com PS-I use aquenon filters and no heaters.

    Rating: 4.5
    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish January 20, 2019 at 12:15 am - Reply

      Great tips Paul!

  40. Sunny January 30, 2019 at 8:26 pm - Reply

    Bad goldfish care is one of my biggest “pet” peeves. I don’t keep them because I don’t have the space for them in my narrow flat, but I grew up with them at my parents’ house. They currently have six goldfish over ten years old that were all around 12+ inches long the last time I saw them, living in a pond out back because they outgrew their tank and my parents didn’t have space for a bigger tank, so they dug up a corner of the backyard and put a simple, basic pond in instead. There’s mesh over the pond to protect them from the snakes and raccoons, the space has some fencing and a roof around it to protect them from the harsh winters, and they’re big and happy.

    Just because some goldfish manage to live long lives in inappropriate conditions doesn’t mean we should be smug about it. Humans can live in a small cell in reasonably good health as well, but that doesn’t mean they’re happy. Taking on the responsibility for a life means we should provide that life as optimal conditions as possible.

    Rating: 5
    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish February 1, 2019 at 9:42 pm - Reply

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Sunny!

  41. Jo February 16, 2019 at 1:44 am - Reply

    Hi all

    Iv been reading all the comments and there are so many versatile was people are looking after their gold fish. I required two beauts at the cricket club fair. I was actually horrified fairs are still being so cruel. My to boys went on hook a duck (you can’t loose) and they were adamant the fish is their prize even though I encouraged them to choose a toy. Anyhow 🙄 I immediately came home to get them out of there plastic bag wtf! Fuming I was. That was 2years ago. They have a tank with a filter and bubbles obviously 😃 I choose times of the day for the bubbles to mix it up a little. However Iv never been comfortable with this flake food tbf. A few things I have wore down from the comments are frozen fish food? And vitamin fortified pellets? I saw some gold fish pellets in a shop recently and was tempted to buy but then was worried I’d upset the apple cart as they seem ok. Gold fish are greedy I have learnt. As they don’t have a stomach I think they would eat forever or a least till it kills them. However, I do worry if I’m feeding them appropriately. There are so many differing accounts online it’s difficukt to know which is accurate. Any advice I welcome. For vinny & Wendy 🐳😁

    Rating: 5
    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish February 18, 2019 at 5:40 pm - Reply

      Thanks for sharing! You may want to check out our article on goldfish food 🙂

  42. Ashley March 8, 2019 at 3:31 am - Reply

    My toddler absolutely LOVES fish, and my husband and I would like to get her an aquarium for her birthday. I’ve had many aquariums throughout my life, but I want to make sure to make this one is as healthy and balanced as possible so she’ll have her fish friend for a long time. We’re planning on a 20-gallon tank with live plants, possibly with a couple small catfish or algae eaters to keep things clean, and at least one common or comet goldfish. Would you recommend getting one or more goldfish for a tank that size?

    Rating: 5
    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish March 8, 2019 at 4:22 pm - Reply

      I would do 2 so one has a friend 🙂

      • Ashley March 8, 2019 at 7:34 pm - Reply

        I was hoping you would say that 🙂 I would hate for him/her to be lonely.
        Thanks for your help!

        Rating: 4.5
  43. Tony March 27, 2019 at 11:47 am - Reply

    Awesome and informative! Thank you for taking the time to compile this article.

    The guy that said “are you really proud of this” is a Numbat, you should be proud of it because of the love and effort you put into the text. Well done !

    Rating: 5
    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish March 27, 2019 at 4:17 pm - Reply

      Thank you so much for your kind words, Tony 😀

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