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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What are some fish that have short lifespans? Preferably less than a year?

I was interested in challenging myself to document the life of a fish and see how long I could keep it living with very good health care. In short, see if my fish caring know-how could achieve one of the longest living healthy fish for the particular species.

I would document the care I provided, but with so many variables I won't make any claims as to what specific thing led to a prolonged life. Not trying to prove anything, but I could see how the information may be beneficial, it's just more of a personal challenge than anything.

I just wanted to try it on a short lived species so it would be easier to keep up documenting it's life, rather than have to keep a journal on a 5 year or 30 year living fish.

Not guaranteed I will give this challenge a go as I have already downsized and slowed down quite a bit on this hobby, but just thought I'd ask and find out what fish species would fit the bill.

Only short lived species I really know of are annual killifish, but even though they have a general lifespan of a year, others have already kept them alive for +3 years. And Pseudomugil rainbows are said to live maybe 1 1/2 years, but people have kept their for 5 years with good care.

So as you can see, I really want to find a species that would normally live shorter than that.

I already have fish that have lived longer than their average lifespan, but since it's not documented in a journal, it's just word of mouth and no documented proof.
 

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Many Killiefish live for less than a year. There are quite a few, but many have a life cycle similar to this:
Eggs hatch when the rains come.
Fish grow fast, and breed while the puddles are full, laying eggs in the substrate.
If rains last a long time they may have time to breed several times.
Rains quit, puddles dry out, leaving the eggs in damp mud until the rains come again.

Many live bearers are short lived (under 5 years, often a year or 2). They are so successful at reproduction that they can afford to breed just a few times. So even if 90% of the babies are eaten before they reach breeding age, the species are successful.
 

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Killie.
Some mico predators have short life spans like blue eye gertrudae, I red they're abut 18 months.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Ah, bummer, was hoping there was a shorter lived species I didn't know about, that someone else may have been aware of.

If there weren't already reports of annual killifish able to live longer than 3 years, I may have done those, but 3 years is longer than how long I wanted to document for. (I guess I could still try it and attempt to meet/match or exceed that 3 year lifespan report, but wanted to try something new/a different fish)

Was hoping there was something that typically lived only 6 months to a year or so.

How about aquatic inverts (snails, crabs, shrimp), any short lived species there?
 

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You could try some of the dwarf shrimp... While most people don't track individual shrimp life spans they're generally assumed to be around a year... Might be able to do something with them, and the space requirements are smaller so you can track multiple side by side
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
I don't know if it is available to purchase because of the short lifespan, but look up Eviota sigillata. It is a saltwater fish but Their lifespan is only 8 weeks.
Ooooh, thanks for mentioning this! It's a goby too, one of my favorite.

Though I pretty much have no knowledge on saltwater tanks, so I doubt prolonging it's lifespan would be achievable by me with my current saltwater abilities (which is none :)).

But I will definitely keep this fish in mind if I ever try my hand at saltwater aquariums!

Bump: @theatermusic87, good to know! All this time I had no idea dwarf shrimp only had a life span of 1-2 years. It's a consideration!

On the flip side, Opae Ula aka Hawaiian Volcano shrimp (Halocaridina rubra) can live up to 20 years in nature! Maybe even longer in aquariums with proper care. If you though cherry shrimp are hardy, these guys make them look like delicate shrimp. They thrive in brackish, but can adapt and survive in full freshwater or full saltwater. They can adapt to most water parameters (though they may not breed). Not to mention they can live with minimal oxygen and food (not that I recommend that, but just shows how hardy they are). Neocaridinas are great, but these guys aren't called SuperShrimp for nothing.
 

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If it is a challenge you wish for, then the German blue Ram's have relatively short lifespan (3yrs), and most that are purchased unless juvie's(babies), are already 6 month's to a year old.
Other's might be tired old breeder's closing in on their golden year's.(life expectancy)
Someone once asked me what was the most unusual fish I have seen in freshwater tank and I immediately responded ..An Adult Sailfin Molly, which can reach nearly five inches in length, but few are those able to keep them alive long enough to see them this large.
My two cent's.
 

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You could look at smaller fish, they tend to have shorter lives.
I think zebra danio normally live about a year...

It is one of the most studied fishes in science, so there will be lots of reading material available.
Maybe you can compare a few that are allowed to breed vs some separated by sex.
 

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Betta splendens often have lifespans of <2yrs but that can be doubled or even tripled if kept at 70F >few months a year. Lots of scholarly articles on the subject. Google it.
 
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You could look at smaller fish, they tend to have shorter lives.
I think zebra danio normally live about a year...

It is one of the most studied fishes in science, so there will be lots of reading material available.
Maybe you can compare a few that are allowed to breed vs some separated by sex.
I have had a zebra danio alive now for just about three years. And it has been through a lot lol started with me in my first tank, a 5 gal, and lived through me moving houses... twice. That thing is a beast. It is now in an appropriate senior living facility of 48 gals.
 
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