8 Longest Living Aquarium Fish (Lifespan, Photos, Care)

The life expectancy of the vast majority of aquarium fish is short and, on average, from one and a half to 3-5 years. However, some species live much longer, delighting their owners and relieving them of the need to constantly acquire new inhabitants or independently breed fry. Below you can get acquainted with several species of Longest Living Aquarium Fish

Longest Living Aquarium Fish

Longest Living Aquarium FishLifespan
Goldfishlive for 15-20 years
Black Morulioslive up to 8-10 years
Panaque Nigrolineatuslive up to 10 years
Metynnis Argenteuslive up to 10 years
Haplochromis Livingstonilive up to 10 years
Tambaquilive up to 12-15 years
Botia Clownlive up to 15 years
Cichlasoma Severumlive up to 15-18 years

Goldfish: long-lived champion with Chinese roots

Not so long ago, it seemed that modern exotic species would finally oust goldfish from the field of view of aquarists. But today the demand for these close relatives of the common crucian carp, bred by Chinese breeders one and a half millennia ago and brought to Russia in the seventeenth century, is growing again. Including because, with the right content, the goldfish becomes a full-fledged member of the family for many years.

goldfish freshwater fish

Imposing beauties of golden-red color with a gorgeous veil-like tail live for 15-20 years, and with proper feeding in optimal conditions, they can live up to 30 years. By the way, there are many varieties of goldfish. But it was the veil tail that became the character of Pushkin’s famous fairy tale and one of the most popular decorative aquarium fish.

In order for the goldfish to live as long as possible, it needs to be fed the right food, no more than twice a day and not overfeeding. It is extremely simple to overfeed the veiltail (he is also a fan-tail): like all representatives of the genus of crucian carp, they are unusually gluttonous.

In addition to proper nutrition, a goldfish needs clean, nitrate-free water with a temperature of 18-20 ° C and a fairly spacious container – for one pair (male and female), you will need an aquarium with a volume of 100 liters or more.

We add that it is difficult for slow, non-aggressive clean-headed goldfish to find good neighbors. Some seek to eat them, others freeze in cool water, and still others make it unsuitable for the life of veil-tails.

Therefore, a couple of goldfish or several females and one male is the optimal solution for a species aquarium.

Black morulios: the king of large aquariums with shark appearance and absurd personality

If you plan to populate a large aquarium with long-lived fish, we recommend paying attention to the black morulis (labeo). These powerful beautiful fish resemble a shark in shape and arrangement of fins.

black morulios

They grow up to 50 cm in length. They bully up with fish living in the same tier – the middle layer of water. They protect “their” territory from other labeos, therefore, for the joint keeping of several representatives of the species, a lot of space is needed, zoned with stones, ceramics and large snags.

Black labeos are active during the daytime, but do not like bright light: the lighting of the aquarium should be soft and diffused.

The basis of morulis nutrition is plant foods (salads, vegetables), which must be alternated with dry food, as well as fresh or frozen protein foods of animal origin.

With good care, black labeos live up to 8-10 years.

Panaque nigrolineatus: striped native of South America

These catfish from the locaria family attract attention with their spectacular color, original shape of fins, non-standard proportions of the head and body. Heat-loving fish with a pronounced territorial behavior will feel bad in cool water and will not get along with catfish of another species, but they will become good neighbors for cichlid predators living on the “upper floors”. The latter will not harm the panaka, whose body is reliably protected by bone plates.

panaque nigrolineatus fish

Panaque nigrolineatus grow up to 30 cm in length, and therefore the volume of water for a comfortable stay of one individual should be at least 200 liters. When decorating an aquarium, it is necessary to provide for the possibility of arranging a shelter for a catfish, which should be spacious enough, otherwise the panak can get stuck in it.

Like all locaria catfish, Panaque nigrolineatus need a source of cellulose. Placing a snag in the aquarium will solve this issue – the catfish will chew it with pleasure. Diversify his diet with vegetables and spirulina tablets.

Striped large-headed catfish live up to 10 years if the environmental conditions are comfortable and the nutrition is balanced and correct.

As a rule, even professionals are not involved in the reproduction of Panaque nigrolineatus in captivity they are supplied to aquarium farms from their natural habitats.

Metynnis argenteus: is a brilliant solution for creating a festive atmosphere

If you decide to order a large aquarium for a restaurant, entertainment center, festive salon, etc., you should make sure that its inhabitants look good in a festive atmosphere.

metynnis argenteus

Metynnis argenteus scales sparkle with dazzling silver in skillfully crafted artificial lighting, creating a sense of celebration and uplifting.

These fish are unpretentious and peaceful, a small flock will feel comfortable in an aquarium of 300 liters or more.

Metynnis argenteus get along well with scalars and most other aquarium fish.

A well-fed Metynnis argenteus grows up to 15 cm in length (and almost the same height) and pleases its owners with its “brilliant appearance” for 10 long years.

Haplochromis Livingstoni: spotted actor hunter

These representatives of the cichlid family attract attention not only with their spectacular appearance but also with their original behavior. Males reach up to 25 cm in length, females are smaller.

Males are aggressive, as befits cichlids. In the aquarium, they will fight each other. Females are calm and peaceful, get along well with other aquarium fish of a similar size. At the same time, both males and females will eat with pleasure, which must be taken into account when selecting the species composition.

haplochromis livingstoni

Haplochromis Livingstoni catches the “trifle”, pretending to be dead and waiting for the prey to swim closer. Watching such an “ambush hunt” is incredibly interesting.

In good conditions in captivity, Haplochromis Livingstoni can live up to 10 years.

Tambaqui: decoration of an artificial pond

Unlike carnivorous representatives of the family, omnivorous piranhas of the pacu genus prefer a vegetarian diet, but they can feast on small gape fish.


In captivity, the herbivorous piranha grows up to 60 cm, which means that a flock of 4 – 5 specimens will need an aquarium with a volume of 1000 – 1500 liters. A flock is a prerequisite for the normal existence of a pacu, together they feel much more confident.

In general, these relatives of evil, voracious and fearless predators are very shy. Paku panic when the lights are suddenly turned on, accidentally hitting the glass, and even just sudden movements near the aquarium. Therefore, the ideal option for keeping them is an artificial pond, in which the flock will behave more calmly, and the fish will be able to live up to 12-15 years.

Botia clown: “talkative” striped barbel

Having populated a large aquarium with mobile, very bright, and beautiful fights with clowns, you will be able to communicate with them for 15 long years. And communicate in the literal sense of the word the mustachioed representatives of the loach family will thank you with a characteristic click for the food you like.

botia clown

In captivity, fish grow up to 20 cm and live in flocks, so they need a spacious aquarium: at least 400 liters per flock of 3-5 individuals. Take care of good aeration of the artificial reservoir, its cleanliness, the constancy of parameters such as illumination, temperature, acidity and hardness of the water, as well as the presence of numerous shelters in which battles can rest from annoying attention.

Cichlasoma Severum: the ability to fictitious sex change

Cichlasoma Severum live in pairs; several pairs can only be kept in a very large aquarium, divided into separate zones. Fish actively defend their territory from other Severum.

cichlasoma severum

In the absence of males, females can form false “married” pairs, in which one of the fish, without changing the genus, takes on the “duties” of the male to protect the territory. Cichlasoma Severum is omnivorous, unpretentious to lighting, graceful, and regally beautiful. In good conditions, they live up to 15-18 years.

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