Koi Fish Lifespan – How Long do Koi Carp Live?

Koi carp fish are decently sized creatures with a quite long longevity. They have been bred for years and years with the intention of creating beautiful color and pattern morphs and, thanks to that, their life expectancy in captivity has also been extended.

If you are planning of placing some ultimate décor such as spectacular koi fish inside your favorite garden pond, you can expect them to stay there for a nice part of your life. Obviously, as long as you take good care of them.

So, how long do koi carp live in the first place? Well, a standard lifespan is around 30 or 40 years, which is considerably long for fish. Moreover, there have been reported some cases of koi carps surviving for even 70 years and more.

Improve Your Koi Life Expectancy

So, here are a few tips on how to improve the life expectancy of your beloved koi fish:

– Genetics

Some fish are simply predestined to live longer than others, and there is sadly nothing you can really do about it. Luckily, you can surely influence on basically all other factors which can prolong their life.

With koi carps being genetically bred in order to achieve different color combinations as well as spectacular patterns, this has led to them being more habituated to spending life in captivity.

Consequentially, modern species have a slightly longer life expectancy when compared to those which are collected from their natural habitats to become pets.

However, non-modified fish are certainly expected to live longer. For instance, common carps, which feature no ornamental coloration, can live much longer than captive-bred koi carps.

– Food Quality

What you feed to your fish is just as important as what you feed to yourself or your family. Indeed, the higher quality of the food, the healthier your pet will be. Therefore, you can also count on them living for more years.

Koi carps are omnivorous creatures, meaning that they require a well-balanced and diversified diet plan in order to thrive. Also, make sure to get them the right dose of healthy treats, to keep them interested and less bored. And finally, remember to never overfeed your fish.

Even if you plan on keeping them in an outdoor pond, overfeeding can become just as dangerous there as it can be inside an aquarium.

This is essential in order to provide your fish a stable water environment as well as to avoid any chance of them developing food-related health complications.

– Water Quality

The quality of the water where fish live is crucial. This is their living environment, and it dictates how healthy will they be as well as how long may they live for.

Same goes both for aquariums and for outdoor ponds. Therefore, a water testing kit will be your best tool in ensuring they are safe from infections and other issues.

Make sure their water has a pH of neutral values, that it is neither too cold or too hot, and that ammonia and nitrites are at zero at all times.

Since there is usually quite a lot of sunshine across gardens, you should ensure that it does not directly hit your pond with koi carps.

The easier way to accomplish that is by planting enough greenery which can act as a shelter. Consequentially, this may lead to increased decaying plant matter over time, so please make sure to remove such matter as soon as you notice it.

– Filtration

Some first-time keepers may think that outdoor ponds require no filtration, but that is simply wrong. As long as there is no water current, filtration cannot be happening. Therefore, this is an essential predisposition for your fish being able to actually breathe.

Ensure that you setup such filter which suits the size and the depth of your pond. Also, it would be good to perform general cleanings occasionally, perhaps once or twice a year.

This will ensure that all debris, decomposing plant matter and all impurities are removed manually.  

– Wintering

Getting your fish ready to survive wintertime is a must if you want them to survive until next spring. Koi fish are extremely adaptable to all kinds of temperatures, but there are some basic adjustments which they need for their humans to perform.

There are multiple options of getting your pets ready for cold days. Other than moving your fish into an indoor aquarium or than placing a heater inside their outdoor pond, you can let your pond to naturally freeze.

In order to achieve that properly, you should first ensure that such pond is deep enough for them to stay at the bottom, where the water is constantly cold.

Also, place an air stone at the bottom, so that your fish can breathe normally, and make sure to switch their food to appositely designed meals for colder days.

Your koi carps will eat less often, and in less quantities, and will basically spend their days in tranquility, waiting for the first rays of sunshine.   

How Long Can Koi Live in Aquarium?

In an aquarium, koi fish can survive just as long as they would in a pond, with one crucial factor: tank size. These fish can grow considerably large and thinking that they may happily live into a medium to large size tank is wrong.

They may not outgrow it, because it simply will not be possible, but that does not mean that they are thriving.

How to Determine the Age of Your Koi Fish?

Some experts agree that their age can be determined by observing the rings inside the scales. Or, more precisely, by counting the light and dark bands. However, others say that this is not even closely accurate.

How old is the Oldest Koi?

Until today, the oldest koi fish to be recorded was Hanako, a beautiful 226-year-old koi fish.

Wrapping Up

Koi fish are not just magnificently beautiful, but they are also intelligent creatures that can live for many years. Even hundreds, in rare occasions. Therefore, plan on ensuring all the ideal conditions to your new pets and perhaps they may even outlive you.

Koi Carp   Updated: July 2, 2021
avatar Hello, my name is Fabian, and I am the Chief Editor at Aquarium Nexus. I have over 20 years of experience in keeping and breeding fish. The aquarium hobby brings me immense joy, and I take great pleasure in sharing my experiences with others.

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