How Long Does Parrot Fish Live? [Solved!]

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I’ll admit it — I’ve always kind of wondered how long parrot fish live. It’s not that I don’t trust the ocean’s most enduring inhabitants, as I’ve had the pleasure of observing them in person, but I just didn’t know how long they actually spent in their natural habitat.

So, when my friend Julie recently asked me how long parrot fish live, I was a bit surprised to hear her inquire about something I knew very little about. After all, my friends usually know me well enough that they know I’ll have some sort of familiarity with the subject they’re inquiring about.

“I’m just curious how long they live in general, not how long they live in your tank,” she clarified. “I have a huge tank at home, and I think it would be neat to know how long they live in there.”

As a certified marine biologist (and someone who has spent a decent amount of time around aquariums and pet stores), I was a bit thrown off guard by this question. Luckily, I remembered a study I had read a while back that investigated the lifespan of a parrot fish in order to determine an average lifespan for this particular species.

And as it turns out, average lifespan for a parrot fish is pretty impressive. According to the study, which was published in the peer-reviewed journal Marine Biology in 2012, male parrot fish live for an average of 12.6 years and female parrot fish live for an average of 11.8 years.

To put that into perspective, that’s nearly three times as long as the average human lifespan (4.5 years).

So how does one go about caring for a parrot fish over the course of its entire life? It’s not as easy as just keeping the tank clean and providing it with ample food and water, as you would with any other fish. You’ll have to make some significant changes to the way you relate to this intriguing creature.

The Need For A Specialized Diet

It doesn’t take a scientist to know that fish are made out of meat, and they need to eat in order to stay healthy. Like other aquatic creatures, parrot fish are no different and need to eat meat in order to stay alive.

This is why your average supermarket will sell you fish food in order to keep your pet fish alive. Even people who have quite a bit of experience keeping fish as pets will often go the route of buying pre-made foods for their finned friends because it’s easier than making them live off of foods like chicken skin or hotdog pieces.

While these are all perfectly adequate foods for fish, they’re not necessarily the best choices for your pet parrot fish. What happens is that, since most people have never encountered a parrot fish in person before, they don’t know how much food they should be feeding it. So they tend to over-feed it, causing it to gain more weight than it should and become sluggish.

Instead of feeding your pet parrot fish typical fish foods, you should be looking for foods specific to parrot fish. This way, you’ll be able to keep your pet healthy without having to worry about whether or not it’s getting enough to eat.

Raising A Healthy Parrot Fish

Just like with any other pet, you’ll have to make sure that your parrot fish is healthy first and foremost. For this reason, you’ll have to spend some time observing it carefully in order to determine its physical condition, both inside and out. You can also take this opportunity to gently feel its belly for any tumors or lumps that may be present. There are a few tumors that are commonly found in Parrot’s fish, especially near their kidneys. These can be very dangerous if not removed by a veterinarian. So it’s important to get them checked out before you begin feeding your pet fish.

Once you’ve taken the time to examine your parrot fish, you can begin planning its food intake. Just like with any other animal, you’ll have to establish a feeding schedule for it. This is going to depend on how much available food there is in your tank, but also how much your pet prefers to eat each week. Some fish prefer to feast on meat while others will eat just about anything.

So, in general, establishing a regular feeding schedule for your pet is a good idea. Try to stick to a feeding schedule as closely as possible to ensure the health of your fish. However, be aware that different fish prefer to eat at different times. Some like to eat once a day while others may only eat once every two weeks. So, try to plan when you’re going to feed your pet and make sure that what you’re giving it is what it needs at the time.

Socializing Your Pet Fish

Just like with any other animal, you’ll have to consider the social aspects of your pet fish’s life as well. This is especially important with parrot fish because of their curious nature and the fact that they get easily bored if kept isolated from other fish. So make sure that you’re including some sort of stimulus in your tank in order to keep their minds active. Some types of fish even enjoy swimming with their eyes closed or looking at brightly lit objects from time to time.

You can also give your pet parrot fish some special attention by teaching it tricks. Many fish can be taught tricks like bouncing on the surface of the water or performing flips. This is a great way to keep your pet entertained for hours on end and ensure that it has a good time.

Monitoring And Testing For Metabolic Disorders

As already mentioned, fish are made out of meat and, as such, they need to have a certain amount of energy in order to stay alive. The same goes for your pet parrot fish. This is why it’s important to monitor and test for metabolic disorders. These are conditions in which the body doesn’t produce enough energy or the energy produced is not utilized properly.

Certain types of fish, like those belonging to the scorpion family, are equipped with venomous stings that they use to subdue their prey. These stings can cause extremely painful abscesses if they’re not treated quickly enough. It’s also quite common for fish to become obese due to a lack of activity, resulting in a number of health problems. This is why it’s important to keep track of your pet’s weight regularly and make sure that it does not exceed what the vet considers to be a healthy weight for its species.

It’s also crucial to regularly test for pH levels in the tank as well. The pH of the water is important in terms of how clean it is for the fish. Too many chemicals, especially nitrates and phosphates, will result in a lower pH level and unhealthy water. This, in turn, will affect the physical condition of your pet fish, making it more susceptible to disease and parasites.

Making Sure Your Pet Fish Is Relaxing

Your pet fish should be comfortable in its surroundings and feel relaxed all the time. This is why it’s important to make sure that it has access to a suitable environment and enough room for movement. If it’s too confined, it may become restless and aggressive.

It’s also important to allow enough time for your pet fish to fully recover after any sort of stressful event. This could be anything from adjusting to a new home to a nasty virus or bacterial infection. Sometimes, it just takes a few days for the body’s systems to return to a calm equilibrium.

In order to keep your pet fish healthy and content, it’s essential to watch its behaviors and make sure that it is not breeding too much or too often. This is something that most people will not consider until their fish has already shown signs of being sick. So, by that point, it’s usually too late to save it. This is why it’s important to have a regular vet checkup at least once a year, getting rid of any parasitic worms or infections that may be present in the tank.

Taking Care Of Your Pet Fish After It Becomes Weaned

When your pet fish has grown old enough, the only things left to worry about are its health and well-being. This is when you’ll have to start making preparations to eventually get rid of it. If you’ve been taking good care of it so far, this should be a simple process.

Just remember to regularly clean out its tank and make sure that any debris at the bottom has been removed. Also, it’s important to change the water and clean out the tank if there’s any sort of odor present (which could be a sign that something is not right with the tank water). If all these things are taken care of, there’s no reason for your pet fish to not enjoy a long and healthy life.

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