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Life Span Of Goldfish in a Bowl
11-22-2012, 11:40 PM,
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Karen May Jones Offline
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Life Span Of Goldfish in a Bowl
How long can I expect goldfish to live in an ordinary fishbowl with gravel and a plastic weed? My son is old enough now to enjoy fish, and, hopefully, not pick them up (out of the water).

If goldfish (or other kind of pet fish?) can live in a simple bowl environment for a few months or more, I would like to give this a try with my son.

Bad idea, good idea?
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11-23-2012, 02:47 AM,
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Ram Offline
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RE: Life Span Of Goldfish in a Bowl
Goldfish have natural life span of over 20~30 years, if your goal is only a few months, it's like getting a puppy and expect it to live a few months and you will be fine with that.

No fish should be in a fishbowl. Those bowls aren't for fish keeping, it's nothing more than marketing. Fishbowls are in fact fish killers.
Goldfish is a very terrible idea for a beginner. They grow big (fancy goldfish can be up to 6", common goldfish can be over 10" long), they eat a lot, poop a lot, it means a lot of ammonia produced and ammonia is toxic to the fish themselves.
For fancy goldfish, you will need minimal 20 gallon for the first one, total 30 gallon for just two.
For common goldfish, you will need minimal 40 gallon for the first one, total 55 gallon for just two.

You must also have an adequate filter system. Without a filter, the fish will just die in a few weeks or a few months at most.

To understand the basic steps for getting ready to own a fish, you should read the following article.
http://petskeepersguide.com/fishless-cyc...gen-cycle/
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11-27-2012, 02:13 PM,
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RE: Life Span Of Goldfish in a Bowl
A few years ago, I know the longest lived goldfish on record was 47 years old.
Goldfish can indeed live for decades if they are cared for properly. Because of their size and bioload, a fishbowl will not sustain them for long. They will die to ammonia poisoning released by themselves.

I do not recommend goldfish as a beginner fish either. Some small sized tropical fish are much easier. You will still need a filter system, and now a heater too if you indeed go tropical.
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11-30-2012, 01:54 PM,
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Victor Leigh Offline
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RE: Life Span Of Goldfish in a Bowl
The only goldfish that I know of that had lived for years were the ones that lived in ponds. They do grow to quite a big size. In a goldfish bowl, I don't remember any goldfish which lasted more than a couple of months.

I think for a beginner, a betta would be a good first-time pet. This fish is rather hardy. It doesn't need an aeration system, too. I have seen bettas kept in bottles which came up to the surface now and then to gulp air.
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11-30-2012, 04:19 PM, (This post was last modified: 11-30-2012, 04:21 PM by Ram.)
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RE: Life Span Of Goldfish in a Bowl
(11-30-2012, 01:54 PM)Victor Leigh Wrote: The only goldfish that I know of that had lived for years were the ones that lived in ponds. They do grow to quite a big size. In a goldfish bowl, I don't remember any goldfish which lasted more than a couple of months.

I think for a beginner, a betta would be a good first-time pet. This fish is rather hardy. It doesn't need an aeration system, too. I have seen bettas kept in bottles which came up to the surface now and then to gulp air.

No offense, but you are providing all the wrong information a beginner shouldn't have had. Please do not provide any comment at all if you really don't know what you are talking about. Sorry.

Goldfish's natural life span is decades. If they live any shorter it can only mean the owner is doing something wrong. "Months", it is totally wrong here. It's like a human live only for a few years after born and someone say it's natural. Whether the fish lives in a pond or in a tank should have no impact on their size nor their life span. We fish owners know the false myth of "fish will only grow according to the size of the tank" spreading among those who don't know anything about fish.

Once again, no fish should be kept in a bowl, because those bowls are just for commercial purpose, they are no place for real fish keeping because fish die in there.

Betta is easy only when the owner is doing everything right. Betta fish can breath directly from the air (because they have the labyrinth organ) that makes them not require air pump and air stone, that is true. However, all the other basic needs of the betta fish are no different from other fish species. Their labyrinth organ (only) allow them to breath from air, and it doesn't make them immune to ammonia poisoning or below ideal temperature.

No fish should be kept in a bottle. Those pretty flower vase sold with a betta is nothing more than marketing and animal cruelty because there is no heater, no filter. Betta is tropical and they will get sick and die in water temperature lower than 78 to 80F. All fish in captivity require a filtration system in order to just survive. Because they produce ammonia and it is toxic to themselves. Only through the means of biological filtration the ammonia can be kept at 0ppm.

Once again, I am sorry I have to take you on, because I do not want OP nor any other readers to get the wrong information that we fish keepers try so hard to educate beginners not to fall for.
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12-12-2012, 02:34 AM,
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RE: Life Span Of Goldfish in a Bowl
My daughter has 2 goldfish. She won them at a carnival 6 years ago and they are still going strong. She keeps them in a 5 gallon tank with a filter. I have always gotten my children fish as a first pet. They learn the responsibility of feeding and caring for a pet. I teach them to clean the tank by themselves. As far at the above post talking about bettas being easier to care for than goldfish, I personally haven't had any luck with them. I'm sure there was something I wasn't doing right, but I'm not sure what it was.
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12-12-2012, 04:33 PM,
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RE: Life Span Of Goldfish in a Bowl
(12-12-2012, 02:34 AM)JaimieSkye Wrote: My daughter has 2 goldfish. She won them at a carnival 6 years ago and they are still going strong. She keeps them in a 5 gallon tank with a filter. I have always gotten my children fish as a first pet. They learn the responsibility of feeding and caring for a pet. I teach them to clean the tank by themselves.


Every fish species have their natural life span. For some fish species, 2~3 years is a long time. For goldfish, even 10 years is not enough. Wink


(12-12-2012, 02:34 AM)JaimieSkye Wrote: As far at the above post talking about bettas being easier to care for than goldfish, I personally haven't had any luck with them. I'm sure there was something I wasn't doing right, but I'm not sure what it was.

To keep a betta, first you need a big enough tank. A minimal 5-gallon tank is highly recommended for a single betta fish.
Betta is tropical fish, and they require at least 78F water temperature in order to live healthy. You must have a heater capable of reaching that temperature range. You must also have a filter as with all fish in captivity. An air pump is not necessary because betta is a labyrinth fish, and they can directly breath from the air.

As with all fish, the new tank should go through a fishless cycle before getting the fish, in order to avoid ammonia poisoning which is the #1 cause for fish dying in captivity.

It is the best to keep betta alone as it is not only territorial and can be aggressive toward other fish, but it also is often a victim due to the longfin being targeted by nippy fish. If you have to keep some other fish in the same tank, I would suggest nothing more than some bottom feeders such as corydoras catfish.
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12-13-2012, 04:17 AM,
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RE: Life Span Of Goldfish in a Bowl
I think you told me what I was doing wrong. Smile My Mother-in-law and I both got some Betta's at separate times. When we bought them, they were in these big vase type things with a plant stuck in it. When I got mine, there were tons of these sitting around the pet store. Because of that, I thought it was fine. I asked a lot of questions before buying it. What kind of food do I need to buy? How often should I change the water? But, the most important thing, I wondered, was if I needed to get a different type of tank to put it in. We had one of those little 5 gallon tanks with the filter in it at home. The guy at the pet store told me that it was fine to leave it in that vase contraption. After my fish died, my Mother-in-law bought hers. She asked the same types of questions. She made sure to ask about the tank issue too. This was in a different pet store, in a different town. They told her the same things they told me. Her fish didn't last long either. I'll have to call my Mother-in-law and tell her about the tank and heat. I know she would really love to get another one. Thank you for the information.
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12-13-2012, 05:29 AM, (This post was last modified: 12-13-2012, 05:30 AM by Ram.)
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RE: Life Span Of Goldfish in a Bowl
Most pet stores do not provide the correct information on how to take care of the pets. Someone had pointed it out earlier pet stores never care about the pets. They want nothing more than profit.

Betta fish in a pretty vase with a plant in it was pretty popular a while ago. It was nothing more than a marketing technique. It looked so "perfect" while in fact it was a death trap for the fish. There is no filter, there is no heater, and there is no food. A nurse at my dentist was even telling me "the plant root provides all the food source for the betta". Betta is carnivore, and they eat mostly insect larva in their natural habitat. Of course even I will chew on the root if I am hungry enough, it doesn't mean I will survive for long if that is the only food I can get for the rest of my life.
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12-18-2012, 03:00 PM,
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RE: Life Span Of Goldfish in a Bowl
I agree that pet stores that sell fish, are usually manned by a few nhigh school kids with little or no knowledge of fish, but if you can find a business that is all about aquariums & fish, supplies, etc. you should be okay. We have a local store where it's nothing but aquariums & their tenants & these guys know every fish in there, their feeding habits, plants, etc.

As JaimieSkye, I won a goldfish at the county fair, & ours lived to be close to 9 years & we never had a filter. That said, my sister & I frequently changed the water & he had a nice life in his bowl.
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12-18-2012, 03:17 PM,
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RE: Life Span Of Goldfish in a Bowl
Never recommend people not to get a filter as long as they are going to get aquarium fish. For some fish, 9 years might be a long time, but for goldfish 9 years is just short. They can live for decades (talking about 30~40 years) and that is their natural life span.

Yes, some people might do daily water change. That does not change the fact there will always be ammonia in the water between water changes even if you do 100% water change. Ammonia, even at the lowest concentration will burn the fish's gills and cause permanent damage which shortens the fish's live.

We also do not recommend 100% water change due to the fact fish can be easily in shock from sudden change in environment, and it can result in deaths. Anything such as water temperature, and water chemistry including water hardness, PH, ammonia/nitrate concentration, must not have huge change too quickly. That is why we typically do 30~50% water change once a week, and the new water must have same or extremely close temperature. The fish must not be taken out during the water change. The water must be sucked out through an aquarium vacuum. The new water should be sit there under the same room temperature for at least 24 hours, treated with water conditioner.

I do not deny the fact goldfish is more resist to temperature change compare to tropical fish who might just drop dead if there is an over 6F difference between the tank water and the new water due to the fact goldfish is coldwater fish, but it does not mean goldfish is fine with the sudden change especially it happens every day.
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12-19-2012, 06:30 AM, (This post was last modified: 12-19-2012, 06:33 AM by SweetBeast.)
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RE: Life Span Of Goldfish in a Bowl
We didn't change water daily, we didn't change all the water at a time and for a cold water fish, we did as best we could to keep the temperature close. He never showed signs of stress that we saw. And remember, what is known now was not known in the '60's. That said, I did ask an old timer recently at the aquarium specific store about the goldfish that pet stores stock, with about 50 fish to a tank & he told me those fish usually don't live long at all in a bowl, so I think 9+ years for ours, was quite good. We were kids, won a pet store fish at the fair & we did as good as we could for back then & he seemed fine. So I have no qualms about our Goldie. We gave him a good life as I'm sure he would have not even lived 9 years with someone else.
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12-20-2012, 02:47 AM,
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RE: Life Span Of Goldfish in a Bowl
I understand your opinion. You are comparing how long the fish had lived with you to if it was with someone else who might be doing a worse job.
That someone at aquarium store told you one true fact, "those fish don't live long in a bowl". This fact is the truth because a fish bowl is too small for fish, and most beginners not only have no filter but they also do not change water as a part of regular maintenance.

A fish will die faster in a bowl without a filter and without regular water change. A fish will die slower in a bowl without a filter but with water change. It does not change the fact both are the incorrect ways to keep a fish in captivity. Smile All fish in captivity require a filter system running 24/7 in order to keep the aquarium nitrogen cycle going.
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12-20-2012, 05:49 AM,
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Thumbs Up  RE: Life Span Of Goldfish in a Bowl
(11-23-2012, 02:47 AM)Ram Wrote: Goldfish have natural life span of over 20~30 years, if your goal is only a few months, it's like getting a puppy and expect it to live a few months and you will be fine with that.

No fish should be in a fishbowl. Those things aren't for fish keeping, it's a result of marketing. Fishbowls are in fact fish killers.
.....

To understand the basic steps for getting ready to own a fish, you should read the following article.
http://petskeepersguide.com/fishless-cyc...gen-cycle/
@Ram Thank you so much for the article link and thank you for letting me know about the bowl being a fish killer. Sad . I do not want to harm any animals or mistreat them or take care of them the wrong way. Thanks for your insight. It is very useful!!
(11-27-2012, 02:13 PM)Thor Wrote: A few years ago, I know the longest lived goldfish on record was 47 years old.
Goldfish can indeed live for decades if they are cared for properly. Because of their size and bioload, a fishbowl will not sustain them for long. They will die to ammonia poisoning released by themselves.

I do not recommend goldfish as a beginner fish either. Some small sized tropical fish are much easier. You will still need a filter system, and now a heater too if you indeed go tropical.
@Thor , okay, fishbowl is out. Maybe I could get a fishbowl and fill it up with venus fly traps. They would live longer than the fish, by the sound of the information given here.
(11-30-2012, 01:54 PM)Victor Leigh Wrote: The only goldfish that I know of that had lived for years were the ones that lived in ponds. They do grow to quite a big size. In a goldfish bowl, I don't remember any goldfish which lasted more than a couple of months.

I think for a beginner, a betta would be a good first-time pet. This fish is rather hardy. It doesn't need an aeration system, too. I have seen bettas kept in bottles which came up to the surface now and then to gulp air.
@Victor Leigh I've seen fish gulping air, but I thought they were trying to give me kisses when they were excited to see me. These were older goldfish at my friend's house. - long time ago. I think, after reading all these suggestions, it would be better to incorporate a filter/air system. Don't want to go to all this effort and let the little baby die and hurt my son's feelings.
(11-30-2012, 04:19 PM)Ram Wrote: No offense, but you are providing all the wrong information a beginner shouldn't have had. Please do not provide any comment at all if you really don't know what you are talking about. Sorry.

Goldfish's natural life span is decades. If they live any shorter it can only mean the owner is doing something wrong. "Months", it is totally wrong here. It's like a human live only for a few years after born and someone say it's natural.

Whether the fish lives in a pond or in a tank should have no impact on their size nor their life span. We fish owners know the false myth of "fish will only grow according to the size of the tank" spreading among those who don't know anything about fish.

Once again, no fish should be kept in a bowl, because those bowls are just for commercial purpose, they are no place for real fish keeping because fish die in there.

Betta is easy only when the owner is doing everything right. Betta can breath directly from air that makes them not require air pump and air stone, that is true. However, no fish should be kept in a bottle. Those pretty flower vase sold with a betta is nothing more than marketing and animal cruelty.

All fish in captivity require a filtration system in order to just survive. Because they produce ammonia and it is toxic to themselves. Only through the means of biological filtration the ammonia can be kept at 0ppm.

Once again, I am sorry I have to take you on, because I do not want OP nor any other visitors to get the wrong information that we fish keepers try so hard to educate beginners not to fall for.
@Ram Thank you so much. Of course I do want the fish to be happy and healthy and not just an ornament to look at for a few months.
(12-12-2012, 02:34 AM)JaimieSkye Wrote: My daughter has 2 goldfish. She won them at a carnival 6 years ago and they are still going strong. She keeps them in a 5 gallon tank with a filter. I have always gotten my children fish as a first pet. They learn the responsibility of feeding and caring for a pet. I teach them to clean the tank by themselves. As far at the above post talking about bettas being easier to care for than goldfish, I personally haven't had any luck with them. I'm sure there was something I wasn't doing right, but I'm not sure what it was.
@JaimieSkye This is what I would like to eventually happen. Have the child get involved in the care of the pet on a consistent basis
(12-12-2012, 04:33 PM)Thor Wrote: Every fish species have their natural life span. For some fish, 2~3 years is a long time. For goldfish, even 10 years is not enough. Wink



To keep a betta, first you need a big enough tank. A 5-gallon tank is highly recommended for a single betta fish.
Betta is tropical fish, and they require at least 78F water temperature in order to live healthy. You must have a heater capable of reaching that temperature range. You must also have a filter as with all fish in captivity. An air pump is not necessary because betta is a labyrinth fish, and they can directly breath from the air.

As with all fish, the new tank should go through a fishless cycle before getting the fish, in order to avoid ammonia poisoning which is the #1 cause for fish dying in captivity.

It is the best to keep betta alone as it is not only territorial and can be aggressive toward other fish, but it also is often a victim due to the longfin being targeted by nippy fish. If you have to keep some other fish in the same tank, I would suggest nothing more than some bottom feeders such as corydoras catfish.
@Thor, this is very good to know. So If I want to go beta, then it would pretty much be a tank exclusive to them, except for some bottom feeders. I am glad to know this going in, because I don't know it the pet stores would tell me this up front for fear of losing a sale Sad
(12-13-2012, 04:17 AM)JaimieSkye Wrote: I think you told me what I was doing wrong. Smile My Mother-in-law and I both got some Betta's at separate times. When we bought them, they were in these big vase type things with a plant stuck in it. When I got mine, there were tons of these sitting around the pet store. Because of that, I thought it was fine. I asked a lot of questions before buying it. What kind of food do I need to buy? How often should I change the water? But, the most important thing, I wondered, was if I needed to get a different type of tank to put it in. We had one of those little 5 gallon tanks with the filter in it at home. The guy at the pet store told me that it was fine to leave it in that vase contraption. After my fish died, my Mother-in-law bought hers. She asked the same types of questions. She made sure to ask about the tank issue too. This was in a different pet store, in a different town. They told her the same things they told me. Her fish didn't last long either. I'll have to call my Mother-in-law and tell her about the tank and heat. I know she would really love to get another one. Thank you for the information.
@JaimieSkye I saw a fish in a vase at the library, every time I went up there I kind of felt sorry for him swimming around in those roots. He wasnt there much longer than a couple of months, and I would like to think they took him home and took care of it properly.
(12-13-2012, 05:29 AM)Ram Wrote: Most pet stores do not provide the correct information on how to take care of the pets. Someone had pointed it out earlier pet stores never care about the pets. They want nothing more than profit.

Betta fish in a pretty vase with a plant in it was pretty popular a while ago. It was nothing more than a marketing technique. It looked so "perfect" while in fact it was a death trap for the fish. There is no filter, there is no heater, and there is no food. A nurse at my dentist was even telling me "the plant root provides all the food source for the betta". Betta is carnivore, and they eat mostly insect larva in their natural habitat. Of course even I will chew on the root if I am hungry enough, it doesn't mean I will survive for long if that is the only food I can get for the rest of my life.
@Ram Yes, this contraption looked like a death trap to me. He didn't have any space to swim, and he just looked abnormal. It was okay as an ornament, but I couldn't help but feel sorry for the thing. Sad Do you think Walmart would be an okay place to buy fish, it's really the only pet store around here.
(12-18-2012, 03:00 PM)SweetBeast Wrote: I agree that pet stores that sell fish, are usually manned by a few nhigh school kids with little or no knowledge of fish, but if you can find a business that is all about aquariums & fish, supplies, etc. you should be okay. We have a local store where it's nothing but aquariums & their tenants & these guys know every fish in there, their feeding habits, plants, etc.

As JaimieSkye, I won a goldfish at the county fair, & ours lived to be close to 9 years & we never had a filter. That said, my sister & I frequently changed the water & he had a nice life in his bowl.
@SweetBeast Unfortunately we do not have any pet stores other than Walmart, and some of the tanks up there look really dirty and it gives me the creeps looking at those fish in the dirty tanks.
(12-18-2012, 03:17 PM)Thor Wrote: Never recommend people not to get a filter as long as they are going to get aquarium fish. For some fish, 9 years might be a long time, but for goldfish 9 years is just short. They can live for decades (talking about 30~40 years) and that is their natural life span.

...
We also do not recommend 100% water change due to the fact fish can be easily in shock from sudden change in environment, and it can result in deaths. Anything such as water temperature, and water chemistry including water hardness, PH, ammonia/nitrate concentration, must not have huge change too quickly. That is why we typically do 30~50% water change once a week, and the new water must have same or extremely close temperature. The fish must not be taken out during the water change. The water must be sucked out through an aquarium vacuum. The new water should be sit there under the same room temperature for at least 24 hours, treated with water conditioner.

I do not deny the fact goldfish is more resist to temperature change compare to tropical fish who might just drop dead if there is an over 6F difference between the tank water and the new water due to the fact goldfish is coldwater fish, but it does not mean goldfish is fine with the sudden change especially it happens every day.

(12-20-2012, 02:47 AM)Thor Wrote: ...That someone at aquarium store told you one true fact, "those fish don't live long in a bowl". This fact is the truth because a fish bowl is too small for fish, and most beginners not only have no filter but they also do not change water as a part of regular maintenance.

A fish will die faster in a bowl without a filter and without regular water change. A fish will die slower in a bowl without a filter but with water change. It does not change the fact both are the incorrect ways to keep a fish in captivity. Smile All fish in captivity require a filter system running 24/7.

@Thor I like the idea of a vacuum. Thanks for the tip on not changing all the water. I didn't know about ph change sensitivity. I did know that the temp should be similar, but really didn't know why? So, shock can happen for a number of reasons, I've learned that now. Thank you again.



To all:

I am worried about the advice I will get from the pet stores and I appreciate the advice I have received in this thread. Thank you every one!! I will not buy a non filter/air set up. I am going to wait until spring and see if this is something we can get together and do. It will depend on my son's attitude at that time. I have to keep in mind that he likes to eat fish. lol. (just kidding!)
Love my baby sweet peas BigTiny and Valentina <3
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