Is my county fair goldfish going to live long?

The kids won a goldfish at the county fair last night and we have it in a small aquarium with some gravel.

Any chance this fish will live long? I can’t imagine it was coddled while hanging around in a plastic bag waiting for us to take it home. On the other hand, how much maintenance could it need?

We’re going to give it a sliver of food each night but anything else we should be doing?

A sliver of … fish food? Like, a couple of flakes from the pet store? Or do you mean, like, people food?

Do you have a filter, aerator, or any other way to keep the water moving? How big is the “small” aquarium - 5 gallons? 10? Any other fish in there with it?

Goldfish produce more ammonia than most commonly kept fish. It’s a primary reason they die in a goldfish bowl - they’re suffocating on their own waste.

My county fair goldfish lived for 2 years in an aquarium without a filter. It was a fighter, though. Had two aquatic frogs for roommates and they terrorized the poor thing.

I had a goldfish from a fair that lived 5-7 years. He ended up as big as my hand, so when he died we had to bury him instead of flush him.

I had several county fair goldfish that lived for many years in an aquarium with a filter.

I think the oldest ones were 10 years old before they finally kicked the bucket.

DANM! I’ve had them last 5 years or so but 10?! Impressive.

Goldfish are carp and pretty damned rugged. I’ve put them in filtered and unfiltered tanks. The unfiltered tanks reeked like pee after a few days, but that cleared up by a couple weeks once the amonia-eating bacteria got established. After that I had goldfish in a tank. And all the excitement that brings. Which is limited. Because it was a fish tank, not an Abrams.

I won one in first grade that lived until I was a freshman in college. Goldy was a champ.

The real pertinent question about how long it will live isn’t where you got it, but how good you are at taking care of fish.

From here:

There’s a book for everything. Or a site.

If your kids get tired of the fish, consider donating it to someone with a garden pond. In temperate climates, the fish can winter outside.
It is cruel to keep the fish alone in a tank that is too little, or even worse, a bowl..

We got a 39 cent goldfish that lived for ten years, eventually growing large enough to be cklassified as a carp.
All the other fish we had in the tank died, but that one just kept on going.
We also had a betta that was won at a fair that lasted at least three years.
So, yeah, those cheapie fish can really last. Or they might die tomorrow. It’s hard to tell.

Goldfish can be pretty hardy. A long time ago, I worked in a thrift store, and one of my coworkers had put a “feeder” goldfish (the kind that fish stores feed to their cichlids - pretty much the same kind as yours, just not stuck in a plastic bag and jostled around for a couple days) in a donated fishtank - this was several years before I started, but I was told he was about an inch or so long when they got him. They kept him in a basic tank, and changed the water out every week or so.

By the time I quit a couple years later, “Goldie” was around 5 years old. He’d grown to about 7 inches long, eaten several tankmates, and outgrown three tanks, one of which had sprung a leak over a holiday weekend, leaving him in about four inches of water for three days, before we returned from the holiday. I wouldn’t be surprised if the bugger is still alive, 16 years later.

The goldfish world record holder for age was apparently won at a fair, and supposedly lived a further 43 years… :slight_smile:

I’d recommend getting a cheap filter for the tank if you want it to live more that a few weeks, and preferably some dechlorinator (find out how the filter works so you don’t kill the vital bacteria in it- only ever clean them in tank water, never ever under the tap, and don’t replace all the tank water with new fresh tap water in one go). Around here you can pick a second hand filter up at garage sales and markets for a tiny amount.

Especially until you get a filter, it’s probably best to only feed every second day- really, it won’t hurt the fish, and you’re a lot more likely to poison it from over feeding - goldfish will keep eating long after they need to, they just don’t digest the extra and it comes straight back out and rots. You can’t use appetite as even a vague guide. Underfeeding is very hard to manage, they need such a miniscule amount compared to a mammal or bird in order to live.
I’d still be impressed if you beat 43 years though :wink:

That makes no sense- goldfish are all members of the carp family, species Carassius auratus, they’re not un-carp when they’re small and carp when they’re big, and they never become common carp, (which is what koi are) they’re a different species.

Our kids were given a choice of putting the carnival fish in the toilet or in the garden fountain. They chose the fountain. 3 years later, when the fish were too big for the fountain, they were moved to the pond and eventually became 18" lunkers. We moved, but I’ll bet they’re still there.

I won a fish at the fair when I was five that lived to be eleven years old. Big honking thing, too. We kept him in a bowl and had to move him to a bigger bowl when he outgrew the first one. We washed it out once a week or so. We took him camping with us and everything. Good little fish, he was.

That reminded me that I had a fish over for dinner on Saturday… Yumm.

My kids won a fish at a halloween carnival. I think it’s a plot by Walmart to get you to buy tank kits and such. I got a used tank from a friend and after a week, the fish lost it’s tail and was covered in mold or fungus or something. I threw in “tablet,” also from walmart, and the fish healed. Now the tank is clear, the tail grew back. So far it’s 10 months old.

When the fish sees a person walk by the tank, it’ll do a little “feed me” dance in the front of the tank. Usually it hangs out in back.

The house plants are alive, the fish is alive, next up is a girlfriend!

We had several make it for years in a filtered aquarium but I never had one make it a week kept in an unfiltered bowl.

Our fish in the unfiltered bowl

Bought 2 fish 2006, one thrived, the other did not. Took the sick one back to the shop for humane reasons (“Just kill it” said the kid) bought a replacement. Introduced oxygen weed from local dam.

2008 the kid decided the fish had out grown the bowl, she saved and bought a small aquarium, still no filter.

2010 introduced new plant & snails from same shop - both fish dead within the week. Cleaned out the bowl, harvested more ‘wild’ oxyweed, let snails settle. Bought two more fish.

2011 doing fine, doubled in size. Water fully replaced, gravel rinsed free of waste and tank scraped free (no soap) of snail eggs every two or three weeks.

Hardy little buggers. Still don’t know why that plant killed the last lot.

My wife “won” one a few years back. We set him up in a posh 10 gallon tank, but he only lived about five months.

The tank has been recycled into a healthy little community of platys, mollies, and an increasingly enourmous pleco.

Can goldfish–little carp–be eaten with a decent taste of other panfish? I guess this could be another life-shortening situation (little unintended double meaning there)–which is why I justify sneaking in this question when I could…