I feel kinda dumb asking this question..

Richard

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..How can you tell if a fish has simply died of old age?..Assuming you've done everything right in the lifetime of the fish,and he/she lives to a ripe old age(In fish years) and expires,and factoring in the natural paranoia fish-keepers suffer whenever any of their fish die..how do you know it's old age and not some other reason to go into panic mode over the other fish in the tank?
 

chickadee

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Richard -

I think that you have to take into consideration the type of fish and where the fish was purchased. The fish purchased at the local fish stores tend to be older than those bought from breeders/dealers directly. Some fish have a lifespan of as little as 2 years and others can live in excess of 5 years.

Also did the fish exhibit any other symptoms. Did he lay around on the bottom of the tank? Fail to eat as he did regularly? Did he swim with a "shimmy"? Did he have any bloating? Was his coloring off? Did he have any spots or markings or swelling on his body? All of these things can be symptoms of disease or conditions that while not being contagiour may have contributed to his death.

Rose
 

Marc

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Was it sick? Is the water showing any signs of ammonia, nitrites, etc? Has there been a massive pH change? Is there anything that could have killed it?

If you can say no to all of those, ask yourself this:

How long have you had it? How old/big was it when you got it?

Like Rose said, some fish live a few years while others live for quite some time. It depends on the kind of fish and how well it has been kept over it's lifespan.
 
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Richard

Richard

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Unless you've raised fry,it's generally difficult to estimate the age of your fish when purchased from a dealer..yes?..to add to the confusion,sometimes you may lose a fish who seems perfectly healthy..no signs of ich,fungus,fin-rot or any other fish diseases,and passive tank mates in a well kept tank..and yet one day he/she's dead..I guess my question then would be for those of you who've had the same fish for years..how would you be able to tell that your fish had passed away from old age,and not worry that it was something more sinister and unseen that could be threatening his/her tankmates.
 

Marc

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It's hard to tell. Don't know if it's really possible unless you really knew anything and everything about the fish, it's tankmates, and the water quality.
 

ncje

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Id guess you would have a fair idea if the death was some bodily failure from old age or other. I mean you know your tank, what its subject to day in day out etc. Keep in mind also often old fish do succumb to disease they don't simply just pass away even in great water conditions.
 

Gunnie

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You don't really know Richard. If you gave that fish the best conditions to live in while you had it, then don't beat yourself up about it. So many fish don't live near their life expectancies because of ignorant fishkeepers. You are not in that category, and your fish had a great life. It still hurts though.
 

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