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Aquarium fish life expectancy?

Karmicnull

Member
Joined
6 Sep 2020
Messages
620
Location
Cambridge
I'm finding that the conventional wisdom around fish life expectancy doesn't seem to match my experience. Whilst that may be down to my ignorance and mistakes, I thought I would ask what y'all think.

For example a whisker under 2 years ago I got 8 Cherry Barbs. The internet seems to think that they have an average lifespan of 4 years and may live up to 7. I have five left. To hit that average lifespan the others all need to live to be at least 5 and a half. Likewise with Otos. Lots of sources say they 'typically' live in the tank for 3-5 years. Call it 4 on average. I originally had 8. One jumped after about 4 months, two others vanished (bodies never found) after about a year. So the others will all need to live to the ripe old age of 6 if I'm to succeed as an internet-standard averagely competent fishkeeper. When it comes to Panda Corys I'm definitely on a losing wicket. I've had 2 that didn't make it through quarantine, offspring pop-up every now and then, and the overall population seems to fluctuate between 9 and 12. The interweb think they should live until age 10 in a tank, so some of mine will need to make it to around 20!

Those are just three examples. I don't want to bore everyone with obsessive documentation about the lives and deaths of my various breeds, and three is plenty to make the point. My suspicion is that the internet doesn't really know what 'average' means, and the way I should interpret all these figures bandied about is "if your fish manage to survive the first year, then you can reasonably expect that quite a few will thrive for several years more, so long as something bad doesn't happen."

Of course, it could be me. I like to think my fish look happy and healthy, but I could just be getting things completely wrong.

Thoughts?
Simon
 

castle

Member
Joined
19 Dec 2015
Messages
892
Location
norfolk
"if your fish manage to survive the first year, then you can reasonably expect that quite a few will thrive for several years more, so long as something bad doesn't happen."

Exactly this, if the fish makes a year, and you don't change much...

Some fish are still kicking from when I was a teen - silver dollars hitting 20 years, a couple of pleco in there too. Tetra in their tank also last a good 6+ years, and I'm 99% sure they've not been added to in 10. So those tetra's may be 10, they do look a little decrepit. A friends parents still have two of those massive gouramis, again, they're getting on for 20+. Grandparent's angelfish were about 16 when they went.

I find wild fish live a little longer than farmed. Bigger fish normally cope better too. All the fish need is food, shelter and a bit of warmth. Consistency, really. I have a gut feeling those who feed blister frozen foods get better lasting fish too.

From my day to day, I don't have too much experience on this, I generally move fish on every couple of years - but there are notable exceptions as stated above.
 
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