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dnalex

Goldfish Life Expectancy & Other Interesting Observations

135 posts in this topic

:rofl you are right in that pellets are much more convenient in this scheme, because you can even use automatic feeders such as the Fishmate F14 to control the exact number of pellets to throw in per feeding.

Currently, I am feeding 3 times per day, because I can't do any more than that lol

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Yeah, but the feeders can't make sure everyone gets their share! Oddly, it's Georgia (my big 'un) who misses out at feeding time! She gets SO excited that she swirls around at the top, freaking out, while Goldie, much smaller, swims slowly below her. Georgia misses most of what goes down, even if it's right in front of her, and Goldie snatches it up! So while Goldie is eating I put more down for Georgia.

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Super Interesting Alex! I'm especially interested in the brown algae consumption too. I have been letting it grow on my back wall and all over the fake plants. I have noticed My Fish defiantly nibble at it more often than not. Tthe algae doesn't quite get a chance to grow properly lol.



Super Interesting Alex! I'm especially interested in the brown algae consumption too. I have been letting it grow on my back wall and all over the fake plants. I have noticed My Fish defiantly nibble at it more often than not. Tthe algae doesn't quite get a chance to grow properly lol.

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As an update--I did decide to go back to feeding once a day. My fish thrived eating thusly for many years (Georgia is 6 and huge!) so I decided that recently I've been feeding too much. They still bug me in the evening, but they aren't frantic--they seem to be doing well eating once a day again, and it ensures that I'm controlling their intake. :)

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I want to see growth in all of my fish but with temps fairly low outdoors they're only being fed once or twice a week and then grazing on algae. Indoors however I've upped the amount and frequency of feedings and I definitely think it is paying off. I've seen growth in all of my fish, especially my youngest (Izoku who hatched back in may). My fish outdoors are experiencing the seasons but I am running a heater so it's not getting nearly as cold as it would. It will be interesting to see long term how they grow and age seeing as most fish in there are a year or below; which the exception of harumi my TVR who is two.

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How much do you think you are paying per month to run that heater outside, MK?

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How much do you think you are paying per month to run that heater outside, MK?

I have no clue! It can't be very much however because I have not heard complaints from my parents, so it can't be enough to raise the bill substantially. The heater is absolutely fantastic however, and was worth every cent I spent on it (it was quite a few cents let me tell you!). The pond is warm enough that my water lily came out of hibernation and it slowly growing a pad. And it may be anecdotal but I've noticed that in the now months the pond has been around 50 (on some days much warmer but never much cooler) I've seen a significant increase in wen growth. At least much more than I expected to see given the temps, but I suspect this is because increased sunlight when the pond is normally full shade has caused algae to grow thick on the pond walls, which the fish eat. Honestly so far the fancies have taken winter fantastically and I have no doubts about leaving them out for years to come.

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Hi, if I am reading this correctly, the results are more for the fancy type goldfish right?

I am wandering on results for Comets / Common goldfish kept in a coldwater aquarium, such as a 75g planted one.

Or how about the fancy Fantail only, again in a coldwater aquarium.

What are your experiences with these 3 types?

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Hi, if I am reading this correctly, the results are more for the fancy type goldfish right?

I am wandering on results for Comets / Common goldfish kept in a coldwater aquarium, such as a 75g planted one.

Or how about the fancy Fantail only, again in a coldwater aquarium.

What are your experiences with these 3 types?

The results were actually single tails.

However, I do think that it is fair to say that the more long-bodied fish, such as single tails will have a considerably better lifespan (and health) compared to the more compact body fancy goldfish.

My point in writing this wasn't that goldfish don't live 10-20 years or more. They can, and do. There have been a number of KGW members who have goldfish in being 10+. However, I don't think it can be an expectation that they will all live this long. Rather, it can be an aim, and something that you consider as you decide to keep goldfish. Things that can help achieve this aim: buy goldfish whose bodies are not pushed to extremes, feed properly and don't overfeed, don't overstock, don't overtreat with medications, and keep them in ponds. :)

It's like with humans. While some live to be 100 or more, on average we do not.

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Hi, if I am reading this correctly, the results are more for the fancy type goldfish right?

I am wandering on results for Comets / Common goldfish kept in a coldwater aquarium, such as a 75g planted one.

Or how about the fancy Fantail only, again in a coldwater aquarium.

What are your experiences with these 3 types?

Pond fish (when you remove predators) tend to live longest by default because of metabolism changes seasonally, a pond fish regardless of type may outlive an indoor fish not experiencing these fluctuations. Because even in a cooler aquarium you're not getting the extremes you see outdoors which set up fish for low metabolic demands for a decent chunk of the year. This in essence prolongs their life a bit more. With body types as you go from singletail nearly wild carp body type into a compact and deep bodied animal you are more likely to experience issues related to the changes in body shape which will obviously effect lifespan. However this varies greatly between individuals, because it is heavily genetics based.

Alex sniped me :P

Edited by Pearlscaleperfect

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Depends on where you live, MK! Hawaiian ponds, for example, don't quite have this benefit with the season temps. :rofl

Having said that, I don't think anyone will disagree that a properly installed pond that protects against predators will likely give your goldfish the longest lifespan, no matter the type. :)

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Thanks for all the post, specially from Dnalex original post.

Not owning single tails at the moment, I was hoping for realistic huge improvements switching from fantails to single tails eventually in the long run. I was always under the wrong impression that I could hope for 5 years from fancies, and 15-20 years from Common Goldfish, as an average of course, and not an average of 6 - 8 for single tails... I have all fantails in order to be close to the single tails, no more of the other types for me eventhough my wife complains that they just look like normal goldfish, wanting to make my chances higher at a stronger breed and life expectancy and lesser disease due to body being too compacted because of modified genes. I cannot currently hope for a pond, I am restricted to aquariums....

Edited by zfarsh

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Zfarsh,

I am not saying that the average life expectancy for single tails in ponds and tanks are 6-8 years. It is probably higher, with predation and better health factored in (Shakaho pointed this out).

I don't know that it's 15-20 years, either, though, and to be honest, I think that's a bit much.

So what is more a realistic average lifespan for single tails in captivity? More than 5-7 years, but doubtfully 15-20. It's somewhere in between. Keep some, and you will find out. I think the outcome with be satisfactory. :)

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Actually, Alex, I will question that. :)

I don't have any idea how long goldfish live in garden ponds. The problem is that in the larger ponds -- which would seem to be most ideal for goldfish -- the fish reproduce prolifically. Who can tell if the fish you are looking at now is the same one you put in 10 years ago as opposed to one of its descendants? I know one woman on a pond forum who says all of the feeders she stocked her pond with 9 years ago are still there, but she has also mentioned fry every year. Nick11380 had a better case for his large pond in which he had large goldfish and had only put some in as feeders 10 years before. He said he had never seen fry and had bass in there which ate all the fry. Also, he had no idea how many goldfish were in the pond, so couldn't determine what fraction of the 100 feeders had survived.

There are data on feral goldfish, however, and these show most of the goldfish are young with few over five years old, but some were 10 years old or more. Goldfish have so many predators that we would not expect them to die of old age.

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Hi Sharon, I'm just conceding a point that you made in a post in this thread previously, which was that captive animals tend to live longer than their wild counterparts, especially predation has been factored out to large extents. :)

I am actually waiting for you to draw conclusions from your own experience as you go along. :)

There has to be a major difference in the life expectancy in the wild and in a protected, maintained pond/tank. Zoo animals live to ages far beyond those of wild animals. While humans living in an undisturbed hunter-gatherer culture have a healthier diet and lifestyle than we do, and may actually be healthier through most of their lives than us, they don't approach our life span.

I suspect predation is huge. Goldfish produce those incredible numbers of eggs because that's how many it takes to replace themselves. When small, they are eaten by aquatic predators. I read a story on another forum from a guy who had his large koi pond almost finished and tossed in a dozen feeder goldies to get an ecosystem going. Things came up and he didn't get back to work on the pond for almost two years only to find the pond was swarming with thousands of little goldfish. He asked for help and was told to put in ONE large mouth bass. The goldfish were gone in a summer. He caught the bass and put in his koi, Frequently people use ONE bluegill in a large pond to avoid overpopulation from fry. These fish aren't big enough to take grown goldfish let alone koi. Avian predators, particularly big ones like herons, egrets, and cranes, like to take the big koi. People who have ponds too large to cover will tell stories of a pond being completely cleaned out by one heron in a week.

The study of the Iraq goldfish was fantastic. They had big numbers for those graphs and got beautiful curves. It's interesting that the fish are still growing at 10 years old, which doesn't support the idea that the older fish are in decline. Most growth curves of feral fish that I've seen are pretty flat after 5 years of age.

I need to read that paper in detail. Thanks for the reference, Alex.

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Thank you Alex and Shakaho for sharing this info. I may have to experiment and add 1 single tail to my group of fantails and see.

Edited by zfarsh

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I am a bit surprised about the fact that 60% of their diet in the wild is brown algae. Now if these guys would please start cleaning their tank walls themselves, that would be great. :D

My fry are in a tank that was cycled just prior to their inclusion. The brown diatoms were an unsightly problem until I realized that they were the little guys' natural food. I usually leave Just Enough for them to forage after scraping the glass and they seem to enjoy it. But you're right, Oerba - it would be even better if they scraped the glass for me.

Edited by mysterygirl

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The first study says that the common goldfish usually only get to 5-7 inches but it also says 4-8. Yet the max is stated as 23 inches in one section of the article but only 16 in another. I would not personally consider this reliable.

The second study was also not conducted on fish kept in the trade. Most commons are kept in horrendous conditions and are already stunted in growth which can reduce longevity and skew off the keepers view of age. You could think they are only a few months old and they could be nearly a year or even more. Goldfish produce growth stunting hormones that kick in if they are crowded, cramped, or aren't getting enough food. It's supposed to stunt other fry nearby but in tanks it backfires on the fish in aquariums. That's why they can survive in bowls and not grow at all or very little in a few years time.

Edited by BeginAgain

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The first study says that the common goldfish usually only get to 5-7 inches but it also says 4-8. Yet the max is stated as 23 inches in one section of the article but only 16 in another. I would not personally consider this reliable.

The second study was also not conducted on fish kept in the trade. Most commons are kept in horrendous conditions and are already stunted in growth which can reduce longevity and skew off the keepers view of age. You could think they are only a few months old and they could be nearly a year or even more. Goldfish produce growth stunting hormones that kick in if they are crowded, cramped, or aren't getting enough food. It's supposed to stunt other fry nearby but in tanks it backfires on the fish in aquariums. That's why they can survive in bowls and not grow at all or very little in a few years time.

I think you need to review your goldfish knowledge.

Let's start with producing some "reliable" studies on this mythological stunting hormone, and the scientific basis for your second paragraph above. Thanks.

I don't mean to be short with you, but as you start to try to critically evaluate a reading, which you should, you need to evaluate if what you've learned so far has any factual basis.

You also need to verify if people are talking about body length or total length as well as taking note that the geological survey is a meta-compilation of a number of sources.

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I will admit that further research into the topic led me to find that a growth stunting hormone isn't really the right wording for it and while scientific evidence is lacking on the topic, a similar hormone exists. Read more here: http://www.seriouslyfish.com/stunted-growth-means-stunted-lives/

Edited by BeginAgain

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cont. In short, growth hormone is suppressed and altered by "stressors" in an environment. It is extremely possible that the normal growth hormone is altered to become a stunting hormone. Saying that a normal common bred solely for food as a feeder is not potentially stunted is as false as saying ammonia in an aquarium doesn't exist.

(I posted the above because I was running low on edit time and had to fix a thing with the link. I couldn't go back and re-edit it to add to it)

Edited by BeginAgain

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cont. In short, growth hormone is suppressed and altered by "stressors" in an environment. It is extremely possible that the normal growth hormone is altered to become a stunting hormone. Saying that a normal common bred solely for food as a feeder is not potentially stunted is as false as saying ammonia in an aquarium doesn't exist.

(I posted the above because I was running low on edit time and had to fix a thing with the link. I couldn't go back and re-edit it to add to it)

Please show actual scientific data, instead of hearsay when we have these discussions.

Do you know how many "feeders" who have grown up quite huge.

Seriously, do more reading, and apply critical thinking when you do.

Do not make assumptions. If stunting hormones exist, wouldn't you think scientists have jumped all over it? It's big money after all...

We also have many threads on this forum on the subject of stunting, including with actual scientific references. Do some searching, please. :)

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cont. In short, growth hormone is suppressed and altered by "stressors" in an environment. It is extremely possible that the normal growth hormone is altered to become a stunting hormone. Saying that a normal common bred solely for food as a feeder is not potentially stunted is as false as saying ammonia in an aquarium doesn't exist.

(I posted the above because I was running low on edit time and had to fix a thing with the link. I couldn't go back and re-edit it to add to it)

This is a false statement. There is an extremely simple pair of logical fallacies in it.

1. Commons bred as feeders are YOUNG fish. They are not small due to quarters but are small due to age. They have the potential (and many people here could show you their 'feeders') to grow just as exponentially as any other young fish. Their genetics are often poor because they aren't *supposed* to grow up, which can sometimes lead them to have a smaller size. Often, though, that is not the case at all.

2. All fish have the potential to have halted growth for one reason or another. It doesn't have to be called "Stunting" and doesn't mean that all small fish are "stunted". There are so many more (many genetic) factors that could stop growth.

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They have the potential to grow large yes, but they are very likely to have been stunted. They stunt their growth when given stressors. If a feeder tank at a chain store is not a stressor I don't know what is. How many people have looked bred and raised their own common in a proper environment and compared it's growth to a fish that is purchased as a feeder that should be the same age (using a sizing chart as reference for it's supposed age) and grown them both to full size to see which gets larger/lives longer? If you go by the research article you provided originally, they are only supposed to grow to around 7 inches but up to 23. 7 inches is not full size but how many keepers here own a fish that has grown to more than 20 inches? Was that fish the 6 years the studies are saying most are when they die? The evidence there is fairly lax so I don't think that anyone should base life expectancy on that when many, many fish have out lived that.

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They have the potential to grow large yes, but they are very likely to have been stunted. They stunt their growth when given stressors. If a feeder tank at a chain store is not a stressor I don't know what is. How many people have looked bred and raised their own common in a proper environment and compared it's growth to a fish that is purchased as a feeder that should be the same age (using a sizing chart as reference for it's supposed age) and grown them both to full size to see which gets larger/lives longer? If you go by the research article you provided originally, they are only supposed to grow to around 7 inches but up to 23. 7 inches is not full size but how many keepers here own a fish that has grown to more than 20 inches? Was that fish the 6 years the studies are saying most are when they die? The evidence there is fairly lax so I don't think that anyone should base life expectancy on that when many, many fish have out lived that.

Many fish? Show me the data, or is this something you expect?

You keep talking about stunting like it's commonplace. Show me the data and real actual stunted fish, please.

There a lot of many things that we wish to be true, but it doesn't make it so. I am happy that you are thinking long and hard about this topic, so let's bring some real data to the table please.

Otherwise, this whole stunting thing is just like the bogey-man, or big foot.

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