Very Old Fantail Goldfish

How to know if fantail goldfish is slowing down/dying from old age.

What happens when fish are aging or in last year/month/days of age related death.

Grant's Reply


If kept in ideal conditions, fed a variety of foods including some live, Goldfish can live for many years.

Size is a good indication of whether a Goldfish is being kept in ideal conditions. A Fantail over five years old should have a body length of at least 4-5 inches (100-125mm).

It is not uncommon for a goldfish kept in a well set up aquarium to live 10+ years, in a pond 20+ years.

In China there are 40+ year old Goldfish!

If a Goldfish is nearing the end of its natural life, it becomes less active, sitting on the bottom frequently.

Another good indication is fin condition. The leading edges of fins become ragged on long finned varieties.

If your fish is kept in ideal conditions, and its age is approaching the maximum expected, a gradual change in diet may be helpful, especially if it presently doesn't include fresh greens or any live food.

If it has been kept in an aquarium, a spell in a pond over the warmer months where it receives natural sunlight seems to give them a boost.

Goldfish lifespans are considerably shorter if not kept in ideal conditions, 5 years in a bowl would be exceptional.

If the age of your Fantail isn't that old, but it is exhibiting the symptoms of old age, adding a little un-iodized salt to its water will give its immune system a boost.

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Jan 10, 2018
Live Food
by: Grant

Hi Pam

What live food to feed depends on the season, so most enthusiasts use frozen options as it is more convenient and available year round.

Some of the choices include frozen daphnia, bloodworms, tubifex worms, adult brine shrimp.

If you have the time and space, daphnia are a natural food and a mild laxative, but they do take daily maintenance.

If you are allowed by your local authority, my favorite is mosquito wrigglers that can be raised in small containers.

The important thing to consider is, don't feed a massive amount initially. Feed a very small amount and see how Hot Lips reacts. Very gradually build up the quantity if he seems fine. At 20 years old you obviously have the feeding sorted for this fish, and starting to feed live (frozen) food is a big change.

Jan 06, 2018
My old fantail
by: Anonymous

Hot lips is 20 years old and lives in a tank of reasonable size, he's quite happy but seems to be permanently hungry. I feed him on a pinch of flakes am and then 2 x. Aquarium ball pellets in the evening at 4 hourly intervals. What live food do you suggest? Thanks. Pam

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