Goldfish Is 24 Years Old and Still Going Strong

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One little goldfish is well into the second decade of his life, and we're not talking about fish years. According to the (U.K.) Evening Chronicle, Paul Palmer won Sharky the goldfish at a carnival 24 years ago, and today the fish is still swimming.


Palmer picked up his finned friend at the Hoppings Fair in New Castle when he was just a four-year-old boy. The kid earned Sharky by successfully hooking a plastic duck at one of the game booths. Like any good parent, Palmer's mum delicately explained to the boy that his new aquatic pet might not live very long.

1,248 weeks later, Sharky is still passing water through his gills and proving Palmer's mother wrong. If Sharky were a human instead of a goldfish, his age would be equivalent to a whopping 120 years old.

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Just because Sharky has astounded everyone with his longevity, it doesn't mean the aquatic path to the ripe old age of 24 was easy. The fish had an extremely close call when Palmer's mother attempted to flush him down the toilet after finding him belly up in his bowl. Luckily, Sharky survived his run-in with the porcelain throne, swimming back up the pipe after being flushed. Palmer explained to the Evening Chronicle that his fish obviously has a charmed life.

Not wanting to throw Sharky's magic longevity off balance, Palmer has followed a strict fish-keeping routine. The owner has been using the same food and two fishbowls since bringing Sharky home so many years ago.

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Surprisingly, Sharky still has a ways to go to earn the title of longest-living goldfish. The record currently belongs to Tish, a fish that lived to see 43. Sharky's owner is uncertain if his fish will reach middle age. Palmer admitted the fish isn't looking as gold as he used to be. Regardless of whether Sharky breaks the record or not, Palmer sees the goldfish as a dear friend and family member, and is happy his carnival prize has decided to stick around for so long.

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Paul Bergerot

My daughter won 2 goldfish at a fair 14 years ago. We named them Billy and Bob. Bob died after about a year. Billy is still hangin in there He's missing one eye, and we think he's blind in the other, but he lives in a ten gallon tank by himself and we change his water with "Crystal Geyser" mountain spring water regularly. Amazing

January 28 2013 at 5:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
torisvoodo

My goldfish I won at a school fair just turned 9 years old! Geaux Quicksilver! He is in a tank with a filter and we clean him properly and i give him food once a day. He is also a Katrina survivor!

June 17 2012 at 11:46 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ralph Sabin

well for starters the the pipe runs vertical and does not hold water just air. must be a climbing gold fish.

June 16 2012 at 3:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ralph Sabin

how did it swim up a pipe that is filled with air, and get past the flap

June 16 2012 at 2:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
waagtod

My kid had a fish that "lived" for over 5 years. Of course that doesn't count his "clones" lives. Sometimes a sick fish just gets better overnight. LOL

June 16 2012 at 1:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
miranda

What an idiot. If the poor thing did live this long, he'll surely be gone soon if he is still kept in a bowl!!! Wow, a strict fish keeping routine is using the same food and two bowls.... What about us good fancy goldfish keepers who give our carnival prizes proper homes: Cycled tanks that are at least 20 gallons with a FILTER! You can't use bowls and change out all of the water each time or it insanely stresses the fish. I'm sure flushing him did too! To do water changes you're supposed to siphon waste out of the substrate so you get the same clean but only take a small amount of water and don't interrupt the functioning of the beneficial bacteria that keep toxic ammonia out of the tank. It really is a miracle that he has made it this long in such imperfect conditions. If mommy were really a good parent, she wouldn't have told her kid it wouldn't live long, she would have made sure he did research before getting a new pet!

June 16 2012 at 12:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Gloverboy6

Yeah, Mommy probably replaced him once or twice. Sorry dude

June 16 2012 at 10:12 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tom

I was OK with the story until I read it got flushed and swam back up the pipes ......

June 16 2012 at 8:46 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tom

The fish was flushed and it swam back up the pipes ?????

June 16 2012 at 8:45 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jamestaylorm

I've had my male and female fantails for18 years and the lady I got them from had them 5 or 6.

June 16 2012 at 8:00 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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