How Long Do Glofish Live? (Each Species Explained)

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Last Updated on 2023-05-24

If you’re wondering how long glofish live then you’ve found the right article! In this article, not only will you find out exactly how long glofish can live, you’ll also learn what affects their lifespan, how you can improve their lifespan and other frequently asked questions as well!

So keep reading to find out everything you need to know!

How Long Do Glofish Live

The average lifespan of a glofish mostly depends on the species and how well it is taken care of. Glofish basically have the same lifespan as their non-glowing counterparts. In general, they can live from 3 to 5 years if they have a large fish tank that is regularly cleaned and cared for, good food, and are treated right away when they show signs of sickness or disease. 

Glofish Danios can live for about 5 years. Glofish Barbs can live for up to 7 years. Glofish Tetras can live for 3 to 5 years. Glofish Bettas can live 3-5 years. And Glofish Sharks can live for 4-6 years.

Doing what you normally do as an aquarist will make your glofish live longer. Changing the water in the aquarium regularly, keeping an eye on the parameters of the water, keeping the aquarium clean, and making sure your fish has everything it needs. If you take good care of them, glofish will definitely live longer.

What Can Impact Your Glofish’s Lifespan

Like any other fish, glofish won’t be able to live for very long if they are constantly stressed and live in bad conditions. Stress makes the glofish’s immune system weaker, which makes it more likely to get sick and shortens its lifespan. Here are some other things that can negatively affect the lifespan of your glofish.

1. Fluctuating pH Level

Most glofish species live in water with a pH between 6.8 and 7.8. Even if the pH level is outside of that range, they can still get used to it. But if your water’s pH level changes too much, it can stress out your glofish and make it easy for it to get diseases and infections, which can shorten its lifespan.

2. Small Fish Tanks

If you put glofish in small fish tanks, they might get deformed or stressed out which could shorten their lifespan. If an aquarium is too small, it has less water, which makes it hard to keep the water parameters stable and more likely to have big changes. Also, it could make your glofish more territorial and aggressive.

3. Wrong Water Temperature

Glofish are tropical freshwater fish that need temperatures between 75°F and 80°F to stay healthy. Anything higher or lower than that can make the water too hot or too cold for the glofish to live in, making them constantly stressed and have a short lifespan.

4. Low Oxygen Levels

Low oxygen can be very bad for the health of your glofish. Your glofish get stressed out when there isn’t enough oxygen in the fish tank, which directly affects how long they live. At first, they will respond to less oxygen by swimming less and even eating much less.

5. Aggressive Tankmates

Depending on the type of glofish, some of them can be a little bit aggressive towards each other or new fish that are added to the fish tank. Most of the time, this doesn’t hurt them, but prolonged aggression means constant stress, which can affect a glofish’s lifespan. 

6. Feeding Problems

One of the main reasons glofish die young is that they are not being fed properly. If you feed your glofish too much, there will be more food left over, and your glofish will make more waste, which can make the water have more ammonia and nitrates. Underfeeding glofish will also make them sleepy, slow their growth, have a short lifespan, and make them more likely to get sick.

The colorful aquarium fish Black tetra (Gymnocorymbus ternetzi)

How To Help Your Glofish Live Longer

Even though they have been changed, glofish are still fish, and they need to be cared for properly in your aquarium so they can live. When taking care of glofish, the only thing you need to remember is not to let them get stressed. Here are some ways to keep your glofish from getting stressed, which will help them live longer.

1. Turn The Aquarium Lighting Off 12 Hours A Day

To keep your glofish from getting stressed, don’t leave your aquarium lighting on all day. This is because glofish needs a dark and quiet environment to sleep for 8 – 12 hours a day. Also, too much light can lead to too much algae growth, which can cause other problems in the fish tank that can kill or shorten the life of your glofish.

2. Upgrade To A Bigger Fish Tank

There are many ways that a big fish tank can help a glofish live longer, but the most important one is that there is more water surface area. A lot of the water’s surface is also exposed, which lets more oxygen into the water.

As well as this, most glofish swim a lot, so they need more room to move around.

3. Keep The Ammonia And Nitrates Low

The most important thing you can do to help your glofish live longer is to keep the water in its tank clean, which can be done by performing a water change and vacuuming the gravel. If you don’t change the water often enough, ammonia and nitrates can build up in your aquarium and kill your glofish slowly and painfully. Bad water conditions can also cause stress, disease, and infections, which will definitely affect how long your glofish can live.

4. Proper Water Parameters

Water quality is about a lot more than simply how clean your fish tank is. Your glofish lifespan will depend on things like water temperature, oxygen levels, and pH levels. There are many different kinds of glofish, so make sure you do your research on the water conditions of the species you want to keep and try to make it as similar as you can to their natural environment.

5. Keep The Aquarium Water Oxygenated

To keep your glofish alive for longer, you need to make sure that the water has a good amount of oxygen in it. You can make sure there is enough oxygen in your aquarium by putting in an air pump, aquarium bubbler, or even a filter that moves the water’s surface. You can tell if there’s not enough oxygen in your fish tank if your glofish begins to look like they’re gasping for air or coming to the surface.

6. Give The Right Amount of Food

It’s best to feed your glofish the same healthy food they’re used to. Most types of glofish are omnivores, which means they can eat both plants and animals. A good rule of thumb is to only feed your fish as much as they can eat in one minute.

7. Avoid Stressing Them

Stress is the only thing that will shorten the life of any fish. When a fish is stressed, it makes a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol is liable for many of the bad things that happen to a fish’s health when it is stressed. The hormone cortisol makes it harder for your glofish to grow, reproduce, and digest food and it also weakens their immune system, making them more likely to get diseases and infections that could kill them.

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Here are some frequently asked questions that people have about their glofish’ lifespan!

Do Glofish Have Shorter Lifespans

Glofish have the same lifespan as their counterparts, so as long as you’re taking care of them properly, there will be no difference in how long they live.

Are Glofish Hard to Keep Alive

Taking care of glofish is just like taking care of any other fish. You just have to take care of them and their aquarium and they’ll live just as long as other fish.

How Long Do Glofish Danios Live?

Smart Aquarium Guide stated that glofish danios can live for as long as 5 years. But because glofish danios are a type of schooling fish, they usually live longer than that if they are kept in groups of 6 or more.

How Long Do Glofish Tetras Live?

Glofish tetras live to about 3-5 years of age, depending on the conditions they’re kept in. If you can keep them alive longer than this, then you’ve done exceptionally well!

How Long Do Glofish Bettas Live?

Most glofish bettas can live for up to 3 years, this is in part due to the poor conditions bettas are kept in before they’re bought. However, with proper care glofish bettas can live up to 5 years!

How Long Do Glofish Sharks Live?

When properly maintained and fed, a glofish shark’s lifespan can reach between five and eight years. Also, glofish sharks are very territorial, so keep that in mind if you’re planning to put them together with other fish.


GloFish are a variety of brightly colored species of fish that have been made to have a beautiful glow by changing their genes. Even though they have been changed, they still act like any regular aquarium fish.

Like other fish, glofish can get sick and die young if they are overfed or underfed, if they swim in water with a lot of ammonia and nitrates, or if they are stressed for a long time. To help them live longer, you can change the water in their tank often, keep the water oxygenated, and feed them high-quality food. Make sure your glofish are always happy and healthy, and they will live a long time.

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