Home Goldfish 12 Reasons Why Do Goldfish Die So Fast? Helpful Guide

12 Reasons Why Do Goldfish Die So Fast? Helpful Guide

Why Do Goldfish Die So Fast

Experiencing to see the death of your first goldie is nothing less than a tragedy. Many people do not recover from this suffering for the rest of their lives. For this reason, memories of the life and death of goldfish, which people bought and raised as children, leave such an impression on the mind that people never intend to keep goldfish again. The question of ‘why do goldfish die so fast’ haunts them badly. 

It is nothing short of trauma. If you, too, are a victim of such trauma, this article will help you cope with it. Moreover, if you are going to buy a new Goldie, do not ignore this article at all because we want your beloved goldie to swim in your fish tank in good health and happiness for more than 45 years.

Quick Answer

Do you know what goldfish are called? ‘The longest-living fish in the aquarium.’ It might be surprising that many aquarists claim that goldfish can live more than 40 years, like the Tish lived for 43 years and Goldie 45 years, but at the same time, some people come forward with the issue that their every goldfish dies overnight or within a week or month. 

How is this possible? Is there any problem with the aquarists? Or has the fish been bothered by something?

There are many possibilities, but the answer that goldfish are born to die quickly is not satisfactory at all. They love to live longer, but how much they live depends upon your hard work. So, let’s discuss in detail why they can die so fast and how you can make them live longer. 

12 Reasons Why Do Goldfish Die So Fast

Goldfishes can stay with you for many years but need proper care, which is not difficult to provide. If you are consistent in fulfilling the basic needs of these goldies, you are a good pet owner, which you want to be.

But, for that, it’s essential to understand the things that cause issues and hindrances in the long lifespan of goldfish; that’s why I have mentioned 12 reasons that may be the culprits behind your goldies’ early death. 

Pet Isn’t Healthy

What if your pet is not healthy, this is the case when you buy a new goldie, but the pet store gives you an unhealthy and sick pet. How can one survive longer if bred in poor conditions or a bad area? 


Please remain cautious while choosing where you should buy a goldie. Though you have several options like buying from pet stores but remember to check some points like 

  • Where is the fish lived previously (tank size and environment)
  • What’s the level of cleanliness?
  • Ask the doctor to check the fish first.
  • Ask various questions related to goldfish care to the pet store staff; it will help you to find out how much they pay attention to goldfish care. 

Moreover, you can also buy a goldie online; still, it has some issues like checking the health and courier problems like finding a service licensed in live fish transport. 

The best thing is you find a fish breeder near your location or in your area. Mostly the fishkeepers are passionate and caring because they love goldfish, not breed it for the sake of money. As their intentions are different and positive, their method of caring for them will be best. 

Leave a home

Leaving home isn’t easy for anyone; the same goes for goldies. When you buy one and put it in your aquarium, it gets stressed out because of the new environment. This stress will go with time; if the goldie is not in good condition, it can’t survive. 

However, if the goldfish can win over stress in many cases, they are still at a higher risk of falling into different diseases and ultimately dying. 


The best way is to buy a fish that is healthy and comes from a good aquarium environment and try to make the similar one for it in your home. Try to get everything that a goldfish need in a water tank. In other sense, give them the best home to make them live happily and long.  

“I Can’t Swim”

If you can listen, you will surely hear it saying, “I can’t swim because of the narrow space.” 

At the start, they are tiny, but after getting proper food and a clean environment, goldies grow very big, and that’s why they need a suitable tank according to their size to live properly and long. 

Though you have a small fish, you should choose a tank bigger than what is suitable for an adult fish. 

Remember that cramped spaces not only restrict the growth of goldies but also affect the overall quality of their lives because the inappropriate space doesn’t allow the body’s organs to develop fully.

The resulting pressure can cause the fish to become bloated and hinder its normal development, ultimately leading to suffocation due to its compact body size and enlarged organs.

Moreover, narrow spaces with less water are more prone to build up toxins. Higher toxin levels are the biggest life-threatening threats to goldfish. 

An estimated 20 gallons of water is needed to add in a goldfish tank for each fish so it can swim easily and live its life to the fullest. 


Give dogfish a proper place to swim freely by applying the rule of 1 inch of fish = 2 gallons of water needed. Remember, if your goldie swims freely, it can live longer.  

Why Are There So Many Fishes?

Putting them in a big tank doesn’t mean you can put all your pet fish (as much as you wish). Moreover, adding too many fish tank accessories can also narrow down the space and irritate the goldfish. A goldfish feels relaxed and happy when swimming without restrictions and has enough space to explore. 

When the space is insufficient, your goldfish gets stressed out. They become territorial and aggressive. Goldfish are messy fish, but at the same time, they are sensitive to toxins and can get sick easily in dirty water. 

More fish in a tank means more mess and more dirty water. Moreover, it also increases the competition, and keep in mind your goldie doesn’t like competition, especially with the big fish. 


Give your fish a broad space and clean water to swim freely. Try to avoid putting big fish with your goldie. Trying to make them gel with other tribe members is not a good idea. You have to remember that you have to be very careful while selecting your orange fish tank mates. 

As a suggestion, add tetras, platies, plecos, Corydoras, catfish, etc. but make sure to consider other points like temperature and water parameters. 

Is Filtration Good

These Messi fishes can contaminate their water more rapidly than others. They eliminate waste in water several times a day. 

As this waste contains a high amount of ammonia content, the water gets polluted, and if your goldfish remains in such water for a long time, they will not live for long with you. The lungs are badly affected by ammonia poisoning and stress which becomes a leading cause of goldie’s death. 


So, to prevent this situation, you need a water tank with a good filtration system that is efficient enough to remove the physical waste and toxins from the water to make it clean and fresh for goldfish. Otherwise, water’s high amounts of ammonia and nitrite cause various illnesses and infections. Even if your goldfish is overexposed to these toxins, it will suffocate and die. In addition to good filtration, you have to replace the filtration media from time to time and clean it when needed to function properly. 

Environmental Changes

Goldfishes are sensitive to environmental changes like changes in water chemistry and temperature. If you have a good cycle mature tank, then there are fewer chances to see your goldfish in distress. 

But if you are going to buy a new orange fish, remember the environment from which your fish came. There is a 95% chance that the pet store has kept the fish in unsuitable water; thus, the chances of distress still increase if you try to change its environment and give them suitable water. 


As changes are necessary, don’t do it rapidly. Every time you clean the tank or do a water change, constantly check the pH and chemical levels so you can make the environment suitable for your goldfish. 

Goldfish Food

The level of waste they eliminate suggests that they consume too much food. Goldfish are always hungry and constantly wait for food, search for it in their surroundings, and just gulp whatever they find.


Thus it’s your duty to give them balanced and nutritious food. Don’t overfeed them; otherwise, your fish becomes lethargic and lousy and eliminates too much waste, which in turn damages their health. 


One of the most prominent and usual causes of goldfish early death is illness. Let’s discuss in brief some common diseases. 

Parasitic Infection

Another cause is that most pet stores fish carry internal and external parasites like ich or lice.

They damage the tissues of fish by chewing away. Sometimes fish comes out of this infection, but sometimes it gets multiplied, and fish is too weak to resist.

Flukes And Iches

Ich is a curable parasite in which a white spot appears on the gills and body of a goldie. Isolate it from other goldfish, put it in a hospital tank, and treat it with fungicide. When fish scratches their bodies on the surface, have swollen bellies, or an outer mucus covering, it means your orange fish is infected with flukes which means parasitic flatworm attach to the inside of a fish’s gills. It is treated with doses of Praziquantel.

Bacterial Infection

Studies show that add good bacteria to your goldie tank, but on the other hand, harmful bacteria are already present in all aquariums, even in healthy ones. When the fish get stressed out, injured, or weak for any reason, these bacteria attack the fish and cause external and internal infection; otherwise, they wait aside. These infections are fin rot, mouth rot or ulcer (external bacterial infection), Septicemia, and dropsy (internal bacterial infection).

Swimbladder Disease

Swimbladder disease is another common cause of goldfish death, and the symptoms include your fish swimming sideways or upside down. Typically, this problem arises due to overfeeding, and it can be addressed by reducing the amount of food given to your fish or by fasting them for a few days.


The average temperature that each goldie enjoys is between 68 and 74 degrees, which is why this fish is categorized as a cold-water fish. Though partially shaded and floating plants in the tank keep the water temperature ideal for goldfish, they can still survive in freezing temperatures through going hibernation. 

However, hot water isn’t ideal for these freshwater aquarium fish. So, people having aquariums make sure that light in the aquarium doesn’t heat the water. Temperature between 68 to 74 degrees is ideal, and rise or fall makes it fatal for goldfish.

Improper Shipping

If your goldfish died within the first 12 hours of bringing it home, then it may be a shipping problem, and your fish had a difficult time during shipping. Sometimes they are exposed to toxins in bags and crowded with lots of other fish that may be fatal due to different diseases. The smaller the fish, the more chance that they may die soon from stress. Try to use safe and healthy ways of shipping to avoid damage, and pick out a healthy and strong fish before bringing it home. 

Low Oxygen Level

Have you ever seen your goldie trying to come on the water’s surface as it wants to come out of it? The low oxygen level in the water is the main reason behind it. Though not, like humans and animals, goldfish still need oxygen to live. 

Moreover, aggressive algae growth and foul odors are other things that indicate that the oxygen level is not sufficient in the tank. 


First, add plants to the aquarium as they are the most significant source of oxygen due to their photosynthesis process. Adding a powerhead and fountain in the aquarium and pond, respectively, are also good options. 


Goldfish tanks require various devices such as filters, decorations, and heaters to maintain optimal living conditions. However, these electronic devices can malfunction and potentially harm the fish. Electrocution is a rare but possible cause of young goldfish deaths if the devices are not checked frequently. 


In case of electrocution suspicion, turn off the electrical currents at the fuse box and let the water cool down until you wait for it before touching the tank. Checking the product quality before purchase is always advisable.


Why do goldfish die so fast? I don’t think that this question remains challenging for you. Though there are several potential reasons behind your goldie’s death, each has a solution. So, don’t worry. I hope this article eliminates your fear of having a goldfish, and you will soon make up your mind to buy a new goldie to bless your aquarium. 

Previous articleHow To Take Care Of A Goldfish? Complete Guide
Next articlePanda Goldfish Complete Overview: Aquarist Guide


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here