Buying killifish for your aquarium could be a fantastic choice. Owning killifish has the potential to be a great experience.
Many people flock to these fish because they’re pretty. Others like caring for them because they’re hardy and don’t die easily.
If you’re thinking of getting some killifish as a beginner, you’ll be glad to know that they’re beginner-friendly fish. It’s still good to know as much as you can about them before moving forward, though.
How long do these fish live? What can you do to positively impact the lifespan of these fish?
Continue reading to learn about average killifish lifespans. You’ll also get a lot of related information that will prove useful to you.
How Long Do Killifish Live?
Since there are so many types of killifish, the answer to this question is complicated. There isn’t an average lifespan statistic that you can give for all killifish.
The lifespan of each individual killifish must be considered. There are three different categories of killifish that you should know about.
They bury their eggs deep in the ground so they can survive periods of time when the water dries up. Semi-annual killifish go through similar issues, but they don’t deal with drought periods as often.
Non-annual killifish live longer than other killifish types. These killifish live in permanent bodies of water and don’t have to worry about having an accelerated growth cycle.
Below, you’ll learn about many popular killifish types. You’ll get information about how long they live, so you’ll understand what to expect if you choose to buy them for your home fish tank.
Least Killifish Lifespan
The least killifish is a fish that isn’t actually a true killifish. You see, killifish are defined as an egg-laying species, and the least killifish is a live-bearing fish.
It’s considered the smallest live-bearing fish that’s known to man. These little fish are very interesting despite not being true killifish.
If you buy one of these fish, you can expect them to live for three to five years. They can live for as close to five years as possible if you’re very good at keeping the fish healthy and happy.
How Long Do Golden Wonder Killifish Live?
Golden wonder killifish might be the most common that you’ll find being sold in aquarium stores. These fish are popular, and they look really nice, too.
If you do a good job caring for these fish, it’s possible for them to live up to four years. Of course, this assumes that you’re doing everything right.
You must keep the fish tank clean, monitor the water parameters, and feed the fish a good diet. If you’re a proactive fish owner, it’ll be plausible to keep your golden wonder killifish alive for four years or slightly longer.
How Long Do Clown Killifish Live?
Clown killifish are easily some of the most popular fish that you can find. These are among the most well-known killifish.
Many people like them because they can be kept in community tanks. You can put them with peaceful fish that are small but not small enough to be eaten.
The average lifespan of clown killifish is between three and five years. Do your best to meet the care needs of these fish so they can live for as long as possible.
How Long Do Gardneri Killifish Live?
Gardneri killifish are also commonly referred to as steel blue killifish. These killifish grow to be two and a half inches long at maturity.
They can live for up to two years in a fish tank setting. If you’re looking for a killifish to put in a community tank, these will do nicely.
Steel blue killifish are peaceful enough to get along with compatible tank mates. Choose the tank mates wisely, and you can have a good experience.
How Long Do Blue Notho Killifish Live?
Blue nothos are fish that many people have fallen in love with. They have red bodies that feature metallic blue speckles that look aesthetically pleasing.
They’re certainly good fish to buy and care for at home. However, they don’t live for very long.
The average lifespan of blue nothos is only one year. So you simply have to enjoy them as much as you can during the year that you have them.
How Long Do Redtail Notho Killifish Live?
Redtail nothos are similar to the blue notho fish mentioned above. Many people say that these fish are like cousins.
The redtails are a bit different, though. They have very impressive anal and dorsal fins that help them to stand out a little bit more.
These fish don’t live for a very long time. They have the same short one-year lifespan as the blue nothos do.
How Long Do Argentine Pearlfish Live?
Argentine pearlfish are known for being rather aggressive. Since these fish are very aggressive, it isn’t wise to keep them in a community fish tank.
They just don’t get along well with others. Keep them in their own fish tank for their own safety and that of the other fish.
You’ll also find that these fish are short-lived. They only live for around eight months in a fish tank.
How Long Do Blackfin Pearlfish Live?
Blackfin pearlfish have a lot in common with the Argentine pearlfish mentioned above. They’re the same size, and they also have the same life expectancy.
You can expect blackfin pearlfish to live for eight months in a fish tank. Sometimes they might live just a bit longer than this in a fish tank, but they’re short-lived fish.
Even so, these fish are rather fun to have. You’ll enjoy the speckles that they have on their bodies because they form vertical lines that look interesting.
How Long Do Blue Lyretail Killifish Live?
The blue lyretail killifish is one that you might wish to keep in mind. It has a pretty body that’s colorful enough to stand out in a fish tank.
These fish are famous for having interesting tails with elongated rays on top. The rays feature bright yellow stripes.
When you buy these fish for your tank, you can expect them to live for two or three years. They should be good fish to own that will be fun to watch in the tank.
How Long Do American Flagfish Live?
Many people say that American flagfish are among their favorites. These fish could be amazing fish to own, but they’re rather aggressive.
This isn’t going to be a good fish to put in a community fish tank. Even so, it’s easy to see why people love them when looking at how colorful they are.
The average lifespan of an American flagfish is between two and three years. Do your best to care for these fish so you can enjoy them for as close to three years as possible.
How Long Do Blue Gularis Killifish Live?
Blue gularis killifish are another popular option. They have gorgeous fins that look very colorful.
Their flowing fins make them look a little bit like betta fish. You’ll enjoy having some of these fish in your aquarium if you choose to buy them.
The blue gularis killifish have lifespans of three to four years. They can live for a pretty long time compared to many other killifish, but they’ll die earlier if you don’t care for them well.
How Long Do Magnificus Killifish Live?
Magnificus killifish are impressive to look at. These fish are colorful and flashy additions to your fish tank.
If you want a fish that will stand out in a good way, these fish will fit the bill. These have long been a favorite among killifish enthusiasts.
A magnificus killifish has an average lifespan of two years. It isn’t going to be as short-lived as many other killifish, but they don’t live for as long as some of the long-lived fish that you’ll find.
How Long Do Red-Striped Killifish Live?
Red-striped killifish are very fun fish to add to your aquarium. They have red stripes running from the tail to the nose.
Overall, this is one of the prettiest types of killifish that you can buy for your tank. They’re excellent fish to purchase.
These fish grow to be around two inches long. Expect red-striped killifish to live between three and five years in your fish tank.
How Can You Keep Killifish Alive Longer?
There isn’t anything you can do about the lifespans of these fish. Killifish generally have fairly short lifespans.
This has to do with the way that they’ve evolved. Many types of killifish are annual or semi-annual fish. They live in non-permanent bodies of water that dry up during certain times each year.
To deal with this, the fish evolved to go through their life cycles very fast. Some can reach sexual maturity in just eighteen days.
Knowing this, you’ll find it easy to see why so many killifish live for only one year or less. It’s unfortunate, but it’s just how these fish are.
Of course, there are killifish that can live for multiple years. Some non-annual killifish can live for many years.
No matter what type of fish you buy, you need to care for it right to keep it alive. Focusing on giving the fish the right care will be the best way to guarantee that it’ll live longer rather than dying before its maximum lifespan has been reached.
Keeping the Tank in Good Shape
Keeping the tank in good shape is one of the best ways you can help your killifish. Killifish are going to be healthier if the water parameters are where they need to be.
Ensure that you monitor the pH balance of the water. Test the water regularly and make adjustments when necessary to keep things in the right range.
Know that you need to maintain the right water temperature, too. Do your best to avoid temperature fluctuations since that can stress the fish and make them sick.
Keeping the tank clean is another part of this. You need to take the time to do regular tank maintenance.
Clean the tank regularly and make sure to do water changes often enough. If you fail to do this, the tank will get dirty, and the water quality will suffer.
Feed the Fish Well
Feeding the fish is another part of the equation. Killifish are either going to be omnivorous or carnivorous.
You need to do your best to give them the right types of food. Look up the recommended diet of whatever type of killifish you own.
If you’re caring for a carnivorous killifish, you’ll be focusing on giving the fish a variety of healthy and meaty foods. Omnivorous killifish will need a bit more variety.
Feed the fish on a consistent schedule without overfeeding them. Know that overfeeding has been known to cause temporary swim bladder malfunctions.
Choose Tank Mates Carefully
Most killifish are at least semi-aggressive. There are some of these fish that are fairly peaceful, but it differs based on the species.
No matter what, you need to choose tank mates carefully for these fish. Always research things before choosing to put killifish in a community aquarium.
Some fish, such as the American flagfish, aren’t meant to be community tank fish. There are killifish that are simply too aggressive to get along with other fish in an aquarium setting.
Choosing improper tank mates could negatively impact the lifespan of the fish. Sometimes it might even make the fish try to jump out of the tank to escape the situation.
Keeping killifish in your aquarium should be a great time. However, many of these fish don’t have long lifespans.
Some fish, such as blue nothos, will only live for around eight months in a fish tank. Other types of killifish may live for several years.
It just comes down to whether the killifish are considered to be annual, semi-annual, or non-annual fish. You’ve learned about the lifespans of the popular killifish for fish tanks already.
To keep these fish alive for as long as you can, take care of them to the best of your ability. Be sure to give them healthy food and maintain the tank properly.
Jeff has always enjoyed having pets, but as a child, he was drawn to his family’s fish tank. Being able to maintain a small ecosystem and observe the behaviors and interactions in the underwater world peaked his interest early on and has kept him hooked until this day. On Avid Aquarist, Jeff shares everything he’s learned about helping aquatic life survive and thrive in a home aquarium.