Longest Living Aquarium Fish

Last Updated on January 20, 2022 by Fabiola L.

There are cases of fish that have outlived the average life expectancy of humans. Read more about longest living aquarium fish.

Most dogs live about 8 to 12 years, and cats about 12 to 14 years. However, what about the fish?

Lifespan is one of the things that are often overlooked when choosing an aquatic pet. It largely depends on the species, as some aquarium fish can live only a few years, while others can live almost half a century.

Have you ever heard of George the goldfish who lived to be 44 years old? Is it the only one? Keep reading to find out more about the longest living aquarium fish.

How Long Do Fish Live?

How long your aquarium pet will live depends on several factors. That includes the species itself, how much attention you pay to them, the quality of their water and food, and the overall atmosphere in your aquarium tank. Keep reading to find out what fish lives the longest.

Longest Living Fish Pet

The Goldfish

Did you know that the only reason why a goldfish does not reach its estimated life potential is improper care and inadequate housing conditions? These colorful, inexpensive, and readily available aquarium pets can be kept in a pond or aquarium.

Care for them is relatively easy, and if done correctly, then you can expect an incredibly healthy lifespan. Their lifespan is 10 to 40 years, although there are specimens that live over 40+ years.

Midas Cichlid

This cool specimen is native to Central America and can reach about 10 to 14 inches. In captivity, they are mostly monochromatic, and when kept in an aquarium, the colors include brown, gray, and black with a bar pattern.

Midas Cichlid can live up to 12 years, but exclusively alone (or in pairs with its own species), due to being extremely aggressive towards other species.


The Discus (also known as the King of Aquariums) is a magnificently beautiful fish. They are usually calm and peaceful, but only occasionally show aggression towards their own. Accordingly, they can share the aquarium with other species, but you have to be careful.

This fish lives an extremely long life, between 10 and 18 years (with the right care).


Firemouth cichlids are a great choice for beginner fish keepers due to their beautiful appearance and easy maintenance.

Like all cichlid species, they are territorially aggressive towards other fish, so attention should be paid to the size of the tank as well as the species they live with. Finally, they have a long lifespan and are capable of living up to 15 years.


Frontosa is a species of cichlid that is native to East Africa. They spend most of the day lying on the bottom, getting up every morning to feed themselves. As for appearance, they have a large hump that is located at the top of the head and can grow up to 1 foot in size.

When kept in captivity, they should only be kept with large species since they are aggressive in nature. After all, if cared for properly, they can live up to 15 years.

Clown Loach

Clown Loach is a long and lean catfish, recognizable by its whisker-like barbels and a pointed nose. This true favorite with freshwater hobbyists is peaceful and can coexist quite well with other species. Best of all, they can rid your aquarium of those pesky pest snails.

Clown Loach can grow up to 12-14 inches (sometimes even more than that) and can live up to an amazing 15+ years.

what fish lives the longest

Puffer Fish

Puffer Fish originate from river-like brackish waters near the coastal areas of South Asia. This fish is greenish-yellow in color, and the adult can grow up to 3 inches. Their average lifespan is about 10 years.

Jack Dempsey

This beauty was named after American heavyweight boxer William ‘Jack Dempsey’ Harrison. If you want to get one of the longest living aquarium fish that is also naughty, this cichlid is a great choice.

This aquarium pet belongs to the group of those fish that are predatory and boisterous. It simply likes to make a mess in peaceful aquarium communities. However, it is not all negative, Jack Dempsey is also a beautiful and interesting-looking fish.

It reaches a size of up to 8-9 inches and can live as long as 10 to 15 years.

Neon Tetra

What sets Neon Tetra apart from others is their size and personality. These small and beautiful aquarium creatures can live to a ripe old age. The most interesting thing is that they can live between 5 and 10 years.

Oscar Fish

Oscar fish is also one of the very popular members of the cichlid family. They are originally from South America and are most loved for their intelligence. In terms of appearance, they have stocky and oval-shaped bodies that are black with red or orange coloring on them.

Oscar fish are capable of living up to an amazing two decades.

Koi Fish

Koi fish are a popular carp species that are native to the Black, Caspian, and Aral sea. They look very unique because of their bright colors (bright orange, white, yellow, black, and red). They are peaceful by nature, and therefore one of the most popular species of fish kept as pets.

The average length is between 24 and 36 inches and usually weighs about 35 pounds.

Now we come to the most interesting part, Koi fish can live up to 25 years with proper care, although, they are capable of living to extreme old age. Namely, fish Hanako lived an incredible 226 years. This is why this species is often considered to be the longest-living fish pet.

In Conclusion

The most important thing to remember is that different species require different needs. Therefore, try to learn how to properly care for your aquarium pet, as it can drastically prolong its life.

What is your favorite longest-living aquarium fish? Write to us in the comments below.

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