Tropical Fish Site

Profiles Reviews Guides for Tropical and Marine

How Long Do Tropical Fish Live For



One of those “how long is a piece of string?” questions is – how long will my tropical fish live for? This is based on a number of different variables, firstly, the type of fish as some will live for much longer than others but we’ll come on to that later. Other variables depend upon the conditions the fish is kept in your tank. These variables include:

  • Tank size
  • Aquascape in the tank
  • Food
  • Tank mates
  • Stocking level of the aquarium
  • Water parameters and conditions

Assuming all the above are at their optimum levels and the fish is not prey for any of the tank mates and all other conditions are kept to the advised level then we can look at the type of fish and it’s lifespan. For further information on the optimum conditions, take a look at our tropical fish profiles for individual fish information and advice.


A tropical fish can live for anything from 5 years to 30-50 years, although the average lifespan of a tropical fish should be around 10-12 years. Some fish such as the infamous clown loach will not even reach full adult size until it is near the 8-10 year mark so can outgrow smaller fish such as guppies before it is even fully grown.