FEB 13, 2019 6:42 PM PST

Many Pet Goldfish Never Reach Their Life Expectancy, and Here's Why

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

Goldfish are a favorite pet among both adults and children, but most pet goldfish are lucky to survive for just five years before kicking the bucket despite their 15-year life expectancy. But why is that? – As it would seem, the leading factor for shortened life expectancy among pet goldfish is poor tank maintenance.

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Like all living things, goldfish defecate after eating; the resulting fecal matter litters the water they swim in with toxins that can have adverse impacts on the animal’s health. In the wild, naturally-existing bacteria keep this under control, but that’s not the case in a frequently-cleaned fish tank.

Ensuring your goldfish lives a long and fulfilling life means replicating the wild environment as closely as you can. In most cases, that involves investing in a large enough tank, doing away with chlorinated water, and introducing bacteria that will interact with the animal’s fecal matter.

Furthermore, you should never dump the entire tank when cleaning it. Instead, it’s better to replace 30% of the tank’s water with fresh dechlorinated water at regular intervals. The science indicates that this can prevent the goldfish’s natural hormones from stunting growth – this may explain why wild goldfish reach such incredible sizes as opposed to pet goldfish.

So if you’ve had lousy luck raising a pet goldfish, then perhaps you should take these tips into account.

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
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