• Some fish can survive for very long periods out of water for example in China there is a catfish called the walking catfish in times of drought when the water level falls in the lake or pond that these fish live in the fish will actualy walk out of their lake or pond and walk great distances to find another lake or pond with more water than their home pond had . and then there is the fish called the GOBI this fish spends more time out of water than it does in the water they use their fins like feet to walk around the mud flats during low tides looking for prey and then there is the champion of all fish the lung fish of Africa during the dry season these fish will bury themselves in the mud at the bottom of a river and they will stay buried through the entire dry season even if the river completly dries up they have been known to stay buried for over a year without water and when the rains come and the river fills with water the Lung fish emerges from the mud and lives as if nothing ever happened
  • It depends on the type of fish. If it is a fish with a labryinth organ (breathes air) it could probably survive out of water for a slightly longer time than a goldfish, for example. Overall, it could probably survive out of water for as long as you or I could hold our breath.
  • LAst night I came home and there was not an ounce of water in my tank, the fish werent moving for the time i was on the phone to tell someone about it, then all of a sudden the fish moved- they are now alive in a bucket. When I filled the tank a little it took hours for the water to completely drain. I figure the fish would have been without water for a long long time. Yet, they live. They are just common goldfish. Can anyone elaborate?
  • One time when we were cleaning our tank we pulled all of the (fake, hollow) rocks etc out, drained the water, and put all of the fish in a bucket, but we were missing one (an upside-down catfish). Anyway we cleaned the tank, refilled it, put the fish back in, then a couple days (I think) later put one of the rocks back in, and the catfish came swimming out.
  • i found my fish floating at the top of the bowl, and as he was dead trew him in the bin ( i didn't have the energy to go upstairs and flush him), went out for a few hours, came home, started peeling potatoes for dinner, opened the bin, and he was moving, he lived for ages after that!!
  • i have a goldfish that somehow jumped out of the his fish bowl and i didi not know but when my mom said where was my fish it was in my open drawer and i put it back in the water and it is still living so i was wondering how long cand goldfihses survive without water.
  • Well, I just had a feeder fish (for my turtle) last for about 30 minutes out of water. He was trapped in the fish net, and once I put him back into the water .. There he was .. Swiming around like nobodies business .. Of course he was slower than usual and my turt killed him off quick, lol.
  • That depends on the type of fish..some for hours..some for days and then there are some that can survive for months. :)
  • I was ice fishing and caught a Northern Pike, I left the fish in the back of my truck for 3-4 hours, I noticed a slimy substance leaking from the back tailgate , took a closer look and realized the pike was still alive. I returned the fish to the water and it swam away. Temperature was + 5 C in the shade.
  • Depends on the type of fish and the weather/temperature. Some could be a few minutes in extreme cold and some could be days.
  • the answer depends on the species of fish
  • Depends on the fish. In general, not very. I know I've picked up fish that lept out of my tank and I was sure were dead, waved them in the water on a whim and had them squirm away, but... I have no idea how long they were there. Probably not very long, when you consider that their teeny lungs (or whatever attaches to gills) can't possibly hold very much.
  • We tried holding our breaths and were able to hold it for about 30-40 seconds. This is probably about how long your average pet fish can survive out of water.
  • our black goldfish jumped out of his bowl and by the time Daniel found him he was already sticking to the tiles a bit. He's swimming around really slowly, his eyes look like they dried out and he looks a bit uncoordinated when he swims but he's surviving it seems? Tough little soul.
  • I was just cleaning my tank out, and had my betta fish in a holding container. I had put fresh water in the tank and was letting it become room temperature. I was 50 minutes into a movie when I got up and couldnt see fishface in the container. He'd jumped out, I dont know when but when I put him back in the water he started moving around. He seems odd, he is moving really slowly and his front fins arnt moving. He hasn't eaten yet either.
  • It certainly does depend on the species, the environment and also the temperature. I keep Shubunkins(basically a goldfish but with markings not unlike Koi Carp.) At this time of year their metabolism slows right down, you do not feed them, and they remain at the bottom of the pond, where the water doesn't drop below 4 degrees centigrade even when the surface freezes. My garden ponds were recently flooded with muddy run-off from a neighbouring farm, overflowing onto a patio. Everything had dried out by the morning, and I took a photo from an upstairs window at about nine o'clock. It was a very cold day. About four in the afternoon I went outside and noticed one of my fish lying on the patio. I picked it up to dispose of it...and it moved weakly. I immediately placed it back in the pond. The shock of the near freezing water made it react violently (after buying them you normally introduce them into your pond in their polythene bag, allowing the water temperature to equalise with that of the pond before releasing them from the bag - not an option in this case). After a few frantic seconds it appeared close to death - on is side, fins and gills barely moving. But after a while it appeared to recover and swam down into the muddy water. When I checked the photo I could see the fish lying exactly where I had found it on the patio - which was how long it had been there I don't know, but it could have been anywhere between seven and maybe twelve hours or more.
  • My baby Koi jumped out today. I didn't notice. He was probably on the floor a good half hour before I realized he wasn't in his tank. I poured a bottle of water on him then quickly got a bowl to put him in. He floated around for awhile then eventually started swimming. He's doing fine now. May have injured his fin in the fall but it doesn't seem to bother him much. A long string of sticky stuff peeled off of him as well.
  • Not very long if you fry them lol. Just fooling. I have tropical fish and an in tank filter. I cleaned it one day and left the top tank glass plates off while I did this. Afterwards I replaced the lids firmley. About an hour later I saw My sucker loach fliping on the floor next to the tank. I put him back in quickly and he still survives today.
  • My 6" koi jumped of from 2 feet outdoor 40 gallons holding tank and survived I went to the Neighbor about 1/2 hours to 45 mins. When I came back I saw Dior, my koi was laying down on the tile floor, and he was not moving. I thought I had to bury him then he started to move a little bit. I then put him back in his holding tank; he was on side way for 2 mins. He then later started swimming again. Thanks God. I then put on the net, duh.
  • Less than 2 minutes. Please don't experiment on a real fish.
  • Many fish will survive outside water about as long as you would survive inside water: just a few minutes. Some particular fish has developed the capacity to breathe air and can survive in air for a longer time, some of them even for months. 1) "Many fish can breathe air. The mechanisms for doing so are varied. The skin of anguillid eels may be used to absorb oxygen. The buccal cavity of the electric eel may be used to breathe air. Catfishes of the families Loricariidae, Callichthyidae, and Scoloplacidae are able to absorb air through their digestive tracts. Lungfish and bichirs have paired lungs similar to those of tetrapods and must rise to the surface of the water to gulp fresh air in through the mouth and pass spent air out through the gills. Gar and bowfin have a vascularised swim bladder that is used in the same way. Loaches, trahiras, and many catfish breathe by passing air through the gut. Mudskippers breathe by absorbing oxygen across the skin (similar to what frogs do). A number of fishes have evolved so-called accessory breathing organs that are used to extract oxygen from the air. Labyrinth fish (such as gouramis and bettas) have a labyrinth organ above the gills that performs this function. A few other fish have structures more or less resembling labyrinth organs in form and function, most notably snakeheads, pikeheads, and the Clariidae family of catfish. Being able to breathe air is primarily of use to fish that inhabit shallow, seasonally variable waters where the oxygen concentration in the water may decline at certain times of the year. At such times, fishes dependent solely on the oxygen in the water, such as perch and cichlids, will quickly suffocate, but air-breathing fish can survive for much longer, in some cases in water that is little more than wet mud. At the most extreme, some of these air-breathing fish are able to survive in damp burrows for weeks after the water has otherwise completely dried up, entering a state of aestivation until the water returns. Fish can be divided into obligate air breathers and facultative air breathers. Obligate air breathers, such as the African lungfish, must breathe air periodically or they will suffocate. Facultative air breathers, such as the catfish Hypostomus plecostomus, will only breathe air if they need to and will otherwise rely solely on their gills for oxygen if conditions are favourable. Most air breathing fish are not obligate air breathers, as there is an energetic cost in rising to the surface and a fitness cost of being exposed to surface predators." Source and further information: "A tropical fish that lives in mangrove swamps across the Americas can survive out of water for months at a time, similar to how animals adapted to land millions of years ago, a new study shows. The Mangrove Rivulus, a type of small tropical killifish, seeks refuge in shallow pools of water in crab burrows, coconut shells or even old beer cans in the tropical mangrove swamps of Belize, the United States and Brazil. When their habitat dries up, they live on the land in logs, said Scott Taylor, a researcher at the Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program in central Florida. The fish, whose scientific name is Rivulus marmoratus, can grow as large as three inches." Source and further information: 2) "Fish gills are remarkable things, but the conditions under which they function are pretty specific. For one thing, they are rather delicate, and their tremendous surface area (the main thing that makes them work so well) is dependent on being immersed in water to support their weight. Out of water, the gills collapse like wet tissue paper, and very little surface area is left exposed for gas exchange. Most fish, therefore, can only survive a short time out of water before oxygen deficiency catches up with them and they asphyxiate. If it were possible to keep the gills supported and moist without being submerged, a fish could survive quite a bit longer, but that isn't physically possible - even in a humid air-filled chamber at zero gravity, the gill filaments will simply adhere to one another. Water needs to completely fill the gill chamber to keep all of the filaments in operation. For that matter, the water has to be flowing in the mouth and out the gills in order for oxygen extraction to work properly. If you force water to go in the opposite direction, in the gills and out the mouth, the system only works at about 50% efficiency, since the water flow needs to go counter to the flow of blood for maximum oxygen uptake." Source and further information: 3) "I wouldn't recommend testing it, but bettas and gouramis can apparently live for hours, sometimes even a day, out of water if they jump or something. They can breathe the air using their labyrinth organ so the thing that kills them is usually drying out. As I said though, it wouldn't be a good idea to test it. I will never do anything so cruel. Its like taking you and putting u in water and seeing how you do. Not quite the same thing, but its still cruel." Source and further information:
  • As long as it is still breathing, that's how long.
  • At 2am, after a works christmas do, one of my cats brought one of my goldfish into the kitchen from the outside pond. Placed it on the underfloor heated kitchen floor with some of it's tail next to it. I smacked the cats bum, picked up the fish to dispose of it and it wriggled in my hand. So I quickly fumbled my drunken way across the dark garden and put it back in the pond. Three days later it has been seen happily swimming with the other fish. How many lives do fish have????
  • 2 minutes maximum.

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