Average Life Span of A Tankfish

Average Lifespan of A Tank Fish


Having an aquarium at your home will elevate your mood, and as time passes! And as the tank mates slowly become a part of your family. You may wonder what will be the Average Life Life span of Tank Fishes or your Aquarium fishes. The Average Life Expectancy of Aquarium fishes differs just like the average life expectancy of humans. Some fishes may live for only a few years, and some aquarium fishes can live long up to several decades. Smaller fishes usually live a shorter life span compared to bigger fishes.  Also, Fishes that lay eggs tend to live more compared to fishes that give birth to their young ones. The two most popular fishes of the aquarium, Betta and Gold Fishes, can be compared for this. Bettas usually live only up to 2 – 2.5 years, and Goldfishes, when taken good care of, can live up to several decades. You may have won a goldfish as a prize by participating in summer fairs, and within months, the fish would have died. This makes people usually think that fishes can survive only up to several months or maybe a year. But, all these happen only due to lack of fish keeping and poor maintenance. If taken care of and maintained properly, all aquatic and tank fishes can be grown for years down the lane. This blog will talk about the average age of these fishes and How some fishes lived for even several decades in great care.  We will also help you with how to take care of your cute little mates if you are completely new to fish keeping and petting. So, sit back, relax and enjoy the blog!

Short Lifespan Fishes

Anger reduces lifespan, say our ancestors. And to our surprise, it is applicable to fishes too. Most tempered fish have a short life span. Kill Fishes are the fishes within The Shortest Longevity with a lifespan of a maximum of 2 years. Bettas too are capable of living only two years, even in great conditions. Live-bearing fishes usually live for less than five years of age. Some examples are mollies, Swordfishes and Plates.

Long Lifespan Fishes

Our all-time favourite Goldfishes top the list when it comes to both calmness and longevity. They can live up to 20 to 25 years on great care and good maintenance. But, on poor care and maintenance, Goldfishes too can survive only a few years. Loaches like Clown Loach and Weather Loach can live up to 15 years. Convict Cichlid can live up to 20 years, and silver dollars can live till 10 years. There is even a history of a goldfish living till the age of 45 in most care and maintenance. So, this shows us how caring and maintenance plays a major role in your fishes’ health and lifespan. We have listed some of the records of the oldest fishes lived and their variety as follows.

Oldest Fishes Ever Recorded

Fishes are living on Earth even before the evolution of humans. There were a lot of fishes that had a longevity of Ten times the normal lifespan of modern humans. Evolution and some species extinction caused these fishes to go completely extinct. Now we are left with these modern aquarium fishes having a relatively small life span. Some of the fishes that had been on Earth for quite a while are

1. Grandad (The Godfather)

Name Age Owned By Common Name
Grandad 95 Chicago Shedd Aquarium Australian Lung Fish
Australian Lung Fish (Grandad) We call it The Godfather, as it lived almost 95 years total. It is an Australian Lungfish kept at the Chicago Shedd Aquarium. It was gifted by the Australian Taronga Zoo along with some native species in 1933. Grandad lived for almost 84 years in the Shedd Aquarium. And the most interesting part is ,It would have seen over 104 million people visiting it. Grandad was loved by visitors and also the aquarium staff.

2. Methuselah

Name Age Owned By Common Name
Methuselah 80-90 California Academy of Science Australian Lung Fish
Methuselah  Methuselah became the oldest after the death of Grandad in 2017, It was also an Australian Lungfish living in California Academy of sciences in 1938. Methuselah is aged around 80- 90 years which is not sure. But the only way to find his real age is to cut him open, which would never happen until he dies.  It is loved by people for its on-demand belly rubs and hand-fed figs.

3. Herman the Sturgeon

Name Age Owned By Common Name
Herman 80 Oregon’s Bonneville Fish Hatchery Sturgeon
herman the sturgeon It is a Sturgeon and lived till 80 years of age. Oregon’s Bonneville Fish Hatchery. It is so popular that Herman even has its Own Facebook page, pair of merchandise and even a rap video by rapper Aesop Rock. Herman was tried to be kidnapped, stolen and was also stabbed many times. Throughout those years, Herman lived proudly with his battle scars.

4. Goldie

Name Age Owned By Common Name
Goldie 45 Evans Family of The United Kingdom Sturgeon
The oldest Gold Fish
Goldie is the Oldest pet Goldfish ever lived at 45 Years. He was raised by the Evans Family of The United Kingdom. Goldie was actually won by the Evans family in a summer fair in 1960. So, became famous as time passed, and there is also a Japanese Documentary that featured Goldie’s life history. When compared with other gold fishes that swims in your aquarium goldie is considered as the famous one.

5. Butt kiss

Name Age Owned By Common Name
Herman 80 Oregon’s Bonneville Fish Hatchery Sturgeon
Owned by Steve Gruebal, Butt kiss was originally purchased in 1967 and was again purchased by Gruebal himself at 20 years of age. All those years, Gruebal was fighting The Vietnam War. Butt kiss was swimming peacefully around the tank, waiting for Gruebal to repurchase him again.

Some Other Goldfishes

Some of the other Goldfishes that lived a longer life are
Name Age Owned By Common Name
Tish and Tosh 43 and 19 Hilda Hand Goldfish
Fred and George 40 Keith and Mary Allies Goldfish
Splish and Splash 36 and 38 The Wright Family Goldfish
Sharky More 24 years Paul Palmer Goldfish
Bob 20 Goldfish

Tish and Tosh

They were bought by Hilda Hand in the 1956 fair. Tosh died at 19 years, but Tish lived till 43 years. Before Goldie, Tish was holding the Guinness record for the oldest Goldfish ever to live- 43 years. Later Goldie grabbed the title aged 45 years.

Fred and George

Won by Keith and Mary Allies in 1974 at a summer fair. This pair of Goldfish lived 40 years total and grew along with this couple from their dating life till grandparenthood.

Splish and Splash

Surprisingly, this pair also was won at a fair by The Wright family in 1977, and both fishes lived till their mid and late thirties.


Sharky is a White Goldfish with a fighter attitude. Paul Palmer won Sharky in a local fair, and his sister, too, won another fish. But Sharky lived more than 24 years of age; his sister’s pair died a few weeks after the fair. This strong-willed fish was flushed by Paul once in the toilet while washing the bowl, but still, Sharky managed to swim back to his owner.


The only player on the list who went to a $250 surgery at the age of 20 to remove his lumps was Bob. He was successfully treated by doctors and recovered quickly. These were some of the exceptional lifetimes of Goldfishes. But usually, fishes don’t live up to decades. They have a relatively short span of a lifetime. Let us see the average lifespan of different varieties of fishes in aquariums.

Average Lifespan of Aquarium Fish

The average lifespan of Aquarium fishes is unpredictable, just like the average lifespan of humans. Various factors affect the lifespan of tank fishes. Like said prior, small fishes live a shorter life span compared to long fishes. Egg-laying fishes have more life expectancy compared to fishes giving birth to their offsprings. The average life span of any tank fish variety can range between 2- 5 years. Small, Active, and angry fishes like Bettas and Kill fishes live 2 years maximum. Calmer fishes tend to live longer. So, we guess it is a calmness that can help live a longer life for both fishes and humans. Gold Fishes can live long with a comfortable life period. When taken good care of and kept under good maintenance, they can live even for decades like Goldie and Sharky. Things that kelp fishes to live longer are
  • Greater and broader tank capacity
  • Good water quality
  • Adequate nutrition
  • Lighting and heating of tank (if needed)
Now let us see the ways to improve the health and lifespan of your cute little tank mates.

How to Improve the Lifespan of Tank Fishes?

Fishes usually die so soon because of a lack of knowledge about the requirements of that species. So, Fish keepers must give a simple study on what species they are about to grow, about the water quality, lighting, and food needed by the fish. Ignorance to teach yourself is the reason why most of your fishes may die sooner in your aquarium. So, if you are wondering whether to add Goldfish or a Betta to your aquarium, perform a study and then plan on buying the needed. Buying the right tank also plays an important role. Make sure you are buying tanks and fishes from a reputable seller or online.  It is better to buy healthy fish initially, rather than buy a sick fish and treat it.  Apart from tank size and nutrition,
  • Water Temperature
  • Water pH
  • Hardness
  • Cleanliness
  • Tank plants
These criteria play a role in your fishes’ health and mood. Some tips to improve the lifespan of your pet fish are

Provide a bigger and better tank

Extra room is loved by every species on Earth. So, why not provide your cute pets with a bigger and better tank from initial stages. As a rule of thumb, it is advised to have one gallon extra for every inch your fish grows.  So, it is better to start with a minimum of 5 gallon tanks for your aquariums.

Try to Reduce Stress

Stress can be caused by various factors like
  • Stream Speed
  • No Inmates fighting for territory
  • Decorations inside the tank. 
So, Perform a study on what sort of stream speed, flooring, plants, and decorations are proffered by your species type and plan accordingly.  It is also better to have fewer inmates to reduce fighting for territorial dominations.  For Bettas, for God’s sake doesn’t even consider adding another fish inside the tank as an inmate.

Buy and Use Quality Tank Equipments

All equipment, including the tank, must be purchased of higher quality. This will help you with fewer problems in the long run.  It is also necessary to take care of the water once after filling. It is better advised to set up a 3-stage filtration system to eliminate all solid and dissolved waste in the water. You may also Add Lighting depending on your fish being Photo-philic or Photo-Phobic.  Adding A Tank Heater will help fish to be warm and cozy. Whatever equipment you buy from the store without taking proper care there is no way to safeguard it. Know more about cleaning the fish tank and it’s equipment through our posts. 

Test and Change Water Regularly

Test your tank water for pH and Salinity and once a week, it is good to change 10-25% of the water with fresh water.

Buy Good Quality Food

 It is much needed to provide your fishes with food that is highly neutral to keep them healthy. Add plant-herbivore-related products if your fish is an herbivore. You can give a party by feeding
  • Brines
  • Shrimps
  • Mealworms
  • Feeder fish to your pets who are omnivores or carnivores.
Adding some live plants will definitely help reduce the dissolved CO2 in water and improve dissolved O2. This makes breathing easier and less stressful for your fishes, enlightening their moods and showing off great health.


Just like any other process, growing fish is also learned by trial and error. In fact, it is more of an art than a hobby.  Growing your fish for a longer time requires more attention, but can be done easily in a time course. Once you love the process, you will enjoy every bit done, and seeing them grow along with you is the biggest gift that fish keeping and growing can afford you. Keep growing fish and keep visiting Petskeepingworld for more awesome content. If you liked this article, feel free to share it with your friends and family.  And comment below, which was the oldest fish you ever came across in your lifetime.
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