How Long Do Glofish Live? Which Glofish Species Lives Longest?

Dec 27, 2021

How Long Do Glofish Live

Credits: Dennis Wilkinson (Creative Commons license)

For the longest time, I assumed glofish were some kind of aquarium decor. I jumped out of my skin when I figured out these were living, breathing fish. It turns out a natural fluorescence gene was added to the fish, which made them illuminate. Oh, science! It makes me question – Does this genetic modification compromise their lifespan? How long do glofish live?

Let’s find out!

How Long Do Glofish Live? 

Glofish barbs live for 4-7 years, while glofish tetras can live up to 10 years. Likewise, glofish danios live for around 5 years, and glofish sharks enjoy a pretty long lifespan of 8 years. And lastly, the latest addition, glofish bettas, live for 3-5 years. 

Glofish are regular barbs, tetras, danios, rainbow sharks, and bettas with a small genetic modification that makes them glow. So, these glofish variants live just as long as their natural cousins. 

How Long Do Glofish Barbs Live?

Glofish barbs can live for four to seven years in captivity if provided with the right care and diet. To be honest, saying they live up to 7 years in a tank can be a stretch. While it’s not entirely impossible, they usually survive for 4-5 years

These fish are available in neon green, red, purple, and orange colors. Even more, the colors are accentuated with bold black stripes. 

How Long Do Glofish Tetras Live?

Black skirt tetras in the wild can live up to ten years. However, the same can’t be said for captives. In tanks, glofish tetras can live for 3-5 years if they are brought up well. And don’t be surprised if they make it past their fifth birthday. 

Glofish tetras are found in an assortment of beautiful colors like cosmic blue, galactic purple, moonrise pink, and sunburst orange. Yes, they look as exotic as they sound. 

How Long Do Glofish Danios Live? 

Glofish danios are extremely hardy fish. They can live for more than 5 years if given the right care and fed the right food. 

These active swimmers come in an array of five beautiful colors: electric green, cosmic blue, starfire red, sunburst orange, and galactic purple. 

How Long Do Glofish Rainbow Sharks Live?

Glofish rainbow sharks enjoy a pretty long lifespan. If tended properly, they can live for around 8 years! However, although super hardy, these fish are considered quite challenging to keep due to their aggression. 

Glofish rainbow sharks come in 3 beautiful colors – blue, purple, and orange. 

How Long Do Glofish Betta Live?

A glofish betta’s average lifespan is 3-5 years. However, with proper tank setup, maintenance, and diet, they’re known to live for much longer than that. 

Glofish bettas come in unique neon green and orange shades.

Now that the main query is out of the way, let me quickly tell you how to care for these fish to ensure they live the best life possible for the longest. 

Recommended Readings!

How Many Glofish In A 10-Gallon Tank? Zero?

How Big Do Glofish Get? What Tank Size Do They Need?

How Long Can Glofish Go Without Food? Which Species Can Go The Longest?

How Many Glofish In A 20-Gallon Tank? Honest Answers!

How To Care For Glofish? 

At the end of the day, glofish are pretty much the same as their non-fluorescent cousins, just with a brighter disposition. So, they are precisely the same in terms of the care they need – from the general care and temperature preferences to the environment and nutritional needs. 

So, with just the right care and attention, your glofish will be happy and healthy for many years to come. 

How To Care For Glofish Barbs?

Glofish barbs are created from tiger barbs. So, you can expect the iconic tiger-like stripes in glofish barbs too. They’ve also acquired the OG tiger barb’s aggressive temperament. 

Glofish barbs are extremely hardy fish. Therefore, they are well suited for beginners. These are mid-dwelling schooling fish that get only around 3 inches long. 

The minimum tank size recommended for these fish is 20 gallons. However, the bigger, the better. Many knowledgeable hobbyists recommend at least a 30-gallon tank as the minimum threshold since these fish are active swimmers. 

The ideal temperature range should fall between 74-80 degrees Fahrenheit and pH should clock in between 6-7. 

Glofish barbs are curious fish. Therefore, they would appreciate a planted aquarium complete with decorations like driftwood, rocks, and ornaments to swim around and plenty of open space to swim freely as well. 

Due to their short temperament, glofish barbs are recommended to only be kept in a species-only tank. However, you can keep them with bottom-dwelling fish like cories, plecos, and red-tailed sharks without any hiccups. 

Glofish barbs are omnivores that accept a wide variety of food in the aquarium. However, their staple diet should consist of high-quality pellets or flake food. 

You can then occasionally fortify the diet with brine shrimp, blood worms, blanched veggies, and beef heart. 

How To Care For Glofish Tetras?

Credits: Robert Kamalov (Creative Commons license)

Glofish tetras are peaceful schooling fish that should be raised at least in a group of 5 to feel comfortable and safe. 

Even though these fish are often advertised as the poster child for fish suited to small tanks, this isn’t quite the case. The minimum recommended tank size for glofish tetras is 15 gallons. 

The temperature range is quite versatile – it can be maintained around 60-80 degrees Fahrenheit. However, glofish tetras are most active if the temperature is around 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit. 

The ideal pH range is between 6.5-7.5. 

Glofish tetras do not prefer bright lights. The substrate should also be dark and feature a couple of plants and hiding places, so they can feel safe. 

Black skirt tetras in the wild primarily snack on worms, insects, crustaceans, algae, and plant matter. So, glofish tetras are omnivores that accept a wide variety of food – from pellets and flakes to worms and brine shrimp.

How To Care For Glofish Danios?

Glofish danios are peaceful fish suited for most community aquariums. However, they’re also schooling fish – so you need to keep them in at least a group of 5. Oh, what a sight that would be! 

Although these fish grow up to 2 inches long, I’d still recommend keeping them in a 15-gallon tank or even bigger. That’s because these fish are extremely active and love to swim around. 

They can thrive in a wide range of temperatures ranging from 65-77 degrees Fahrenheit. And they prefer soft to medium-hard water with a pH between 6.5-7.2. 

The tank should have plenty of hiding places and a dark substrate. There should also be plenty of open space for them to swim. 

Zebra danios are omnivores and are not picky eaters at all. They will fare well on high-quality small pellets or flake food diet. Occasionally, you can give them brine shrimp, daphnia, bloodworms, and blanched veggies. 

How To Care For Glofish Rainbow Sharks?

Credits: Ccm272 (Creative Commons license)

Glofish rainbow sharks are extremely popular in the aquarium hobby due to their hardy nature. However, since these fish get as long as 6 inches, they’re not suited for all aquariums. 

On top of that, they’re notorious for their aggressive nature. 

The minimum recommended tank size for glofish rainbow sharks is a 50-gallon long tank due to their territorial nature and high energy. 

If you wish to keep more than 1, you should opt for a tank with a capacity of 125 gallons or upwards. Still, the bigger, the better. Glofish rainbow sharks are very much likely to become territorial and aggressive if they’re kept in a small enclosure. 

Their tank should ideally have plenty of hiding spaces. So, you need to place plants and decorations strategically. 

For substrate, you can use sand. 

And since they prefer fast-moving water, you should invest in a strong canister filter with high flow. 

The temperature should be maintained between 75-81 degrees Fahrenheit. And since they like soft to neutral waters, the pH should be maintained around 6.5-7.5. 

Glofish rainbow sharks are omnivores and bottom feeders. Therefore, they will quite readily accept any kind of high-quality sinking pellets. They also love algae wafers.

Sometimes, you can give bloodworms, brine shrimp, daphnia, and blanched veggies like cucumber and zucchini. 

How To Care For Glofish Bettas?

Glofish bettas are just as hardy as regular bettas and have the same Achilles heel as them. Bettas were created more than 600 years ago through selective breeding in Thailand – and glofish bettas were introduced only in 2020. 

The minimum recommended tank size for glofish bettas is 2.5 gallons. However, I’d suggest at least 5 gallons each for every single fish. 

A 2.5-gallon tank simply does not have the space to comfortably accommodate a betta’s long, flowy fins. Also, the smaller the aquarium, the more temperamental it is. 

If you get a small tank, you will end up performing water changes a lot more often than you’d want to. 

You should use a low-flow filter for glofish bettas, as they have difficulty swimming against strong currents. 

The ideal temperature would be around 78-80 degrees Fahrenheit (26-28 degrees Celsius).

The pH should be somewhere between 6.5-7.5. 

You need to perform at least 15-20% water change weekly to maintain water quality. 

A sandy or fine gravel substrate would be ideal for these fish. Also, make sure the decors don’t have protruding or sharp edges as they can hurt a betta’s delicate fins. 

And since bettas are known to jump, a tightly fitted lid would be necessary. 

You can give your glofish betta the regular betta pellets or flakes. Make sure to choose a high-quality product that doesn’t use any fillers. You can also periodically provide brine shrimp, bloodworms, and daphnia. 

Glofish bettas are prone to bloating and constipation that could result from low-quality food, overfeeding, and not soaking the pellets before feeding.

So, to prevent this from happening, you need to soak pellets in dechlorinated water for at least 30 minutes before feeding. Otherwise, the food will expand in the gut and cause complications. 

Final Words: How Long Do Glofish Live?

Glofish live just as long as their natural cousins if they’re brought up in the right environment. 

Glofish barbs live for 4-7 years, glofish tetras live for 10 years, glofish danios live for 5 years, glofish sharks live for 8 years, and glofish bettas live for 3-5 years. 

To ensure your glofish lead a long and healthy life, you must create a conducive environment and feed the right diet based on their unique needs. 

Remember, not all glofish can be treated in the same way. During my research, I found that there’s a lot of misinformation surrounding how to raise glofish. 

For instance, the largest tank size advertised for glofish is 10 gallons when a single glofish shark needs 50 gallons to lead a comfortable life. 

So, if you’re confused, just look into the care guide available for their original species and do things accordingly. 

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rohit gurung author at urbanfishkeeping

About Rohit Gurung

My never-ending love and fascination with Aquascaping started when I received a red-eared turtle for my 10th birthday.

Apart from researching and writing, I spend hours gazing at my 3 turtles. And yeah, I bask alongside them too.