How Long Do Betta Fish Live In A Fish Tank

Estimated read time 10 min read

The average Betta Fish can live for three years if kept in optimum conditions. But some owners who take good care have seen their Betta fish live for up to 5 years.

In the wild, the Betta species live in slow-moving streams, canals, and rice paddies, and their life span is typically less than three years.

There are a few reasons for this;

The first is that, in their natural environment, Betta fish are more likely to encounter and engage with other male Bettas, which can increase their chances of becoming injured or killed.

Second, The increasing pressures on the Betta’s natural habitat from pollution and loss of habitat due to increased farming development all significantly decrease their lives.

This shortened lifespan has resulted in the Betta fish being declared a threatened species by the IUCN. 

Further Reading: Want to know how to keep your Betta happy and healthy? Check out our complete guide, How To Care For A Betta Fish For Beginners.

Lifespan Of The Betta Fish

In this guide, you will learn what the lifespan of a betta fish is. As well as some great tips on how you can increase their lifespan and ensure your Betta is happy.

New Betta (siamese fighting fish) owners usually wonder: How long do bettas live?

With the information you find below, I have no doubt you can keep your Betta alive for at least 3-4 years.

Here’s What You’ll Learn:

  • How long does male betta fish live
  • How long do female betta fish live
  • How long do betta fish live in captivity
  • How long does a betta fish live in the wild
  • What is the average life expectancy of a betta fish
  • How to make betta fish live longer

And much more.

But first, you need to know what can hurt your fish.

When you see those fish in the pet store, in a tiny cup, this is not what you want to do!

If this is your idea of a beautiful home for your Betta, you couldn’t be more wrong.

Just think what it would be like living in a tiny room with no fresh air or food.

Not pleasant!

So read this guide and make the changes needed to keep your Betta alive for years.

Let’s move on.

How To Make Your Average Betta Fish Live Long

The lifespan of a Betta fish can be significantly increased by doing a few simple things; they are as follows;

  1. Tank Size
  2. Maintain the Ideal Tank Temperature
  3. Water Changes & Water Quality
  4. Include a Lid and Space at the Top
  5. Use An Aquarium Filter
  6. Include Plenty of Places to Hide
  7. Select the Right Tank Companions

Each of the items noted above is covered in detail in our post, The 7 Fundamentals of the Ideal Betta Fish Tank.

Let’s review the top 5 most important factors that impact Betta fish health.

1. The Right Tank Size: The Bigger, the Better

Many people believe it’s perfectly okay to keep them in a small fishbowl or vase, which is hardly enough room for swimming, let alone the other benefits of a healthy aquarium.

That’s often how they’re sold in pet stores, and those stores can sell you a fish more easily if they tell you that you won’t have to buy a large tank and other equipment for your beautiful Betta fish.

But even though Bettas can survive in little tanks, it’s not ideal for the fish. If you want a happy, healthy, and long-living Betta fish, you shouldn’t have a tank smaller than a 5-gallon, and 10 gallons or more is best.

A 5-gallon tank will give your Betta more room to swim and get exercise, and there will also be more space to add plants and other hiding places that will make your Betta more comfortable.

It’s also easier to maintain a larger tank because you won’t have to change the water a lot, and you can add a filter to help manage your water chemistry and filter out debris.

Limited space? No problem! Click here to explore our selection of small betta tanks perfect for compact living spaces. Create a cozy and stylish home for your betta fish without sacrificing their comfort. Discover the perfect small betta tank that fits your needs and gives your fish a happy home.

2. The Right Tank Mates

Betta fish are also known as the Siamese Fighting Fish.

And for a good reason.

When kept with other male Betta fish, they have an aggressive side and can be very territorial, which can cause them to nip the fins of other males or, worse, fighting, which can often lead to injury or death.

Female Bettas, on the other hand, can be in the same tank without too many problems. If you want to keep them with other fish, make sure you try out some of these great Betta tank mates.

3. Water Quality And Water Temperature

Betta fish originated in Southeast Asia’s streams and rice paddies, so they naturally prefer warmer temperatures.

Your betta fish water should be at the right temperature, around 76-82 degrees F (24-27 degrees C).

Too cold, and they can become sluggish and prone to disease. Too high or low a PH, they will die a slow, painful death.

Our post about Betta Fish Tank Temperature shows you exactly how to maintain the ideal water conditions for your Betta fish.

To create the ideal Betta fish tank environment, you’ll also need a heater and thermometer set up to monitor your tank temperature and keep it consistent.

If the temperature is too low, your Bettas immune system will suffer, and he’ll be more prone to disease.

Too high a temperature and your Bettas metabolism could accelerate, causing him to age too quickly.

Adding a heater to your tank will ensure you keep the temperature in this range so your fish won’t be too stressed from sudden temperature changes.

Note: If using tap water for your tank, use a tap water conditioner to ensure any harmful chemicals are removed before adding your Betta to its tank.

Completing regular water changes and maintaining the right temperature will go a long way towards keeping an energetic Betta fish.

4. Maintain A Healthy Diet

Using the right betta fish food is critical in adding years to your Betta life span.

A Betta’s diet should be protein-rich and meaty. The best is for pellets, frozen or live bloodworms, daphnia, and brine shrimp.

Read our post What do Betta Fish Eat? Then, we’ll show you all the different types of food that a Betta fish should eat and which ones are the best.

Make sure you provide the proper diet, don’t feed them too much, and you can add several years to your Betta fish.

5. Buy a Healthy Betta

When you head out to buy your Betta, there are a few things you should look for when selecting a healthy fish.

  1. Shop at a local fish store. Often big chain stores neglect their fish, and this is well documented. Bettas sold in tiny cups are a dead giveaway of poor fish practices.
  2. Are the tank conditions they are kept in, is the water clean, or is it dirty and cloudy?
  3. Is the fish active and not laying still on the bottom of the tank.
  4. Find fish that have bright colors and avoid fish that are pale, have torn fins, scratches, or have cloudy eyes.
  5. Use Plants to Provide Oxygen

Plants in your aquarium produce oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide from fish during the day. At night, the reverse happens, which is also vital to having a well-maintained tank.

Tiny algae can settle on the plant leaves and clean the water. Additionally, the plant can help keep the tank clean by reducing the toxins in your tank produced from the waste of your fish, requiring fewer water changes.

Lastly, when plants are healthy, they give off small amounts of oxygen through their root systems, which will prevent your substrate from decaying.

All of these items make your entire tank healthier for fish and plants. Without plants in your aquarium, the processes above cannot occur.

Plants are a vital part of an aquarium when you’re looking to keep a balanced fish tank.

They also allow for proper shelter and security for fish and make your tank feel more natural, leading to calm and stress-free fish.

Here is an excellent video about raising your Betta fry from a few months to one year old.

Betta Fry Development: From Day 1 to Show size!

Betta Fish Care & Health Problems

Betta fish are prone to several health problems, but following our present advice can help you prevent many of the health problems Betta fish experience.

Here are just a few common problems

  • Fin & Tail Rot
  • Columnaris
  • Hemorrhagic
  • Dropsy
  • Pop Eye

How To Tell If Your Betta Fish Is Sick

The good news is that most Betta fish diseases can be prevented, treated, and easily identified.

Some typical things to look for would be;

  1. Watch out for faded coloring.
  2. Keep an eye on your Betta’s fins.
  3. Look for lethargy.
  4. Watch your Betta’s eating habits.
  5. Check for spots.
  6. Look for breathing problems.
  7. Watch for your Betta to rub or scratch.
  8. Look for other physical symptoms.


How Long Do Betta Fish Live Without Food?

Most fish, including the Betta, can live up to two weeks without food.

However, this is not ideal, and you should never put your pet through something like this.

If you plan on heading away for an extended period, then take a quick read through our post on how to feed fish while on vacation.

The Lifespan Of Betta Fish In A Bowl?

Bowls are great for tiny critters like Snails & Shrimp, but are they great for Betta Fish?

Most bowls are too small, get dirty too fast, and are challenging to scape, and most people don’t take the time to research bowls before jumping in.

That said, if done right, it’s possible to increase the betta fish’s lifespan and live a long healthy life.

For more information, read our post about what fish can live in a bowl.

How Long Do Betta Fish Live In A 1 Gallon Tank?

A Betta can only live for a short time in a small tank, and likely won’t live much longer than six months.

One gallon is not enough water for a Betta; I wouldn’t recommend doing this.

Final Thoughts About The Betta Fish Lifespan

Bettas are hardy and easy to care for, provided you know what you’re doing. With the information in this guide, there is no reason your Betta fish can’t live longer for at least four years.

If you do only two things on this list, the things that make the most significant difference to the lifespan of a Betta would be water quality and diet.

Take care.

Can Betta Fish Eat Goldfish Food? Find Out the Surprising Truth! Dive into our guide and uncover the compatibility of goldfish food with betta fish.

You May Also Like

More From Author