How long do betta fish live?
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 do 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, well 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.
So read this guide and make the changes needed to keep your Betta alive for years to come.
Let’s move on.
How Long Do Betta Fish Live In Captivity?
If kept in optimum conditions, the average Betta Fish can live for three years.
But some owners who take good care have seen their Betta fish live for up to 5 years.
How Long Can A Betta Fish Live In The Wild?
In the wild, the Betta species, live in slow-moving streams, canals, as well as rice paddies, and their life span is typically less than three years.
There are a few reasons for this;
The first being 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 Bettas natural habitat from pollution and loss of habitat due to increased farming development all play a huge role in decreasing their lives.
This shortened lifespan has resulted in the Betta fish being declared a threatened species by the IUCN.
How To Make Your Average Betta Fish Live Long
The lifespan of a Betta fish can be significantly be increased by doing a few simple things; they are as follows;
- Tank Size
- Maintain the Ideal Tank Temperature
- Water Changes & Water Quality
- Include a Lid and Space at the Top
- Use An Aquarium Filter
- Include Plenty of Places to Hide
- 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 that 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 really 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 in 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.
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. That said if you would like 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 the streams and rice paddies of Southeast Asia, so they naturally prefer warmer temperatures.
Your betta fish water should be the right temperature, around 76-82 degrees F (24-27 degrees C).
Too cold, and they can become sluggish and prone to disease. To high or low of a PH, and they will die a slow, painful death.
What’s the best temperature for betta fish? Maintaining the right temperature in your aquarium is crucial for your betta fish’s well-being. Check out our in-depth guide to ensure your betta fish thrives in the perfect environment.
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 at a consistent level.
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 make sure you keep the temperature in this range so your fish won’t be too stressed out from sudden temperature changes.
Note: If using tap water for your tank be sure to 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. Pellets, frozen or live bloodworms, daphnia, and brine shrimp are best.
Read our post What do Betta Fish Eat 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 of 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.
- Shop at a local fish store. Often big chain stores neglect their fish and this is well documented. Bettas sold in tiny cups is a dead giveaway of poor fish practices.
- Are the tank conditions they are kept in, is the water clean, or is it dirty and cloudy?
- Is the fish active and not laying still on the bottom of the tank.
- Find fish that have bright colors and avoid fish that are pale, have torn fins, scratches, or cloudy eyes.
6. 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.
Small algae can settle on the plant leaves and clean the water. Additionally, the plant can help to keep the tank clean by reducing the toxins in your tank produced from the waste of your fish requiring fewer water changes to be needed.
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 fish that are calm and stress-free.
Here is a cool video about raising your Betta fry from a few months old up one year old.
Betta Fish Care & Health Problems
Betta fish are prone to several health problems, but following the advice we present can help you prevent many of the health problems Betta fish experience.
Here are just a few common problems
1. Fin & Tail Rot
5. 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;
- Watch out for faded coloring.
- Keep an eye on your Betta’s fins.
- Look for lethargy.
- Watch your Betta’s eating habits.
- Check for spots.
- Look for breathing problems.
- Watch for your Betta to rub or scratch.
- 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 the ideal situation, 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, 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 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 tank this small and likely won’t live much longer than six months.
One gallon is not enough water for a Betta, and 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.