How Long Do Betta Fish Live


How long do betta fish live? Bettas always catch the attention of many pet-store visitors. Swimming alone in small fish bowls, you can see and appreciate their loud and vibrant colors. The question why it is best to keep alone is always intriguing.

This fish type has established a reputation of being fierce and aggressive towards other fishes like the true fighter fish that it is. Caring for a betta is easier compared to other pets. Although they can’t really communicate their affection to you, they are considered more interactive compared to other fishes. This makes them an ideal pet for beginners and expert fish hobbyist. There will always be a betta for everyone.

Average Lifespan of a Betta Fish

How Long Do Betta Fish Live in the Wild?

When bettas are left alone in their natural habitat, you can expect them to live and thrive for two years.

There is a common misconception that these fishes would live longer in a natural environment. What most people miss is the fact that these bettas usually live and dwell in the river basins of Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam where dry season can last for months at a time.

Although they can also live in rice paddies, small streams, and even drainage ditches, these places are not constantly wet and have enough water. Bettas allocate a great deal of their live jumping from one puddle to another to find a larger body of water that they can stay in for a couple of weeks or months.

How Long Betta Fish Live in Captivity?

The bettas in captivity and considered as pets live longer than those who live in the wild.

How long do betta fish live when in a home or office? It is not unusual for them to live for three years and even reaching the prime years of four to five years.

The main reason behind this is bettas in captivity are provided with almost everything that they need. Their health and overall well-being are being cared for without any effort from their part compared to those in the natural setting where they must work for their own survival.

How to Give Your Bettas a Longer Life?

Bettas that are for sale are usually displayed in small bowls and plastic containers. In the wild, sometimes bettas as sometimes forced to stay in small puddles to survive but this doesn’t mean that they small containers are the best for them.

The reason why this is the set-up in pet stores is becomes space efficient especially that bettas can’t be kept together in a single tank. Bettas would appreciate a bigger swimming space and more.

As a betta owner, there are several things to do to give your betta a longer and happier life. Here are several ways to ensure you give a proper home to your fish:

A tank size fit for a betta – this is not a small container or a little fish bowl but the right tank size for your betta is 5-gallons. This gives your fish enough room to swim.

Feed in moderation – as a betta owner, you must know that these swimmers are prone to constipation so make sure that you only feed in moderation. Do not overfeed your feed else you want them swimming belly up the following day.

Invest in a legit betta filter – pet shops may not find this necessary but healthy water is essential so your fish can live to its full potential.

Weekly water change – you may feel this a little too much but doing regular water changes is beneficial for your fish. If you can do a full water change, the better but swapping at least 20% of your tank water weekly is also a good bargain.

Regulate water temperature – bettas like warm water like their usual rice paddies and river basins. The recommended temperature for these fishes is between 75° to 80°F. If you are challenged in reaching that temperature or maintaining the warmth, you can use a small heater. These fishes also prefer water that is slightly acidic with a pH of 6.5-7. The cold water can overwhelm their immune system and cause them to get sick.

Keep the tank clean – vacuum the bottom of your tank to rid of any uneaten food that can contaminate your aquarium’s water. You can also change the top layer of the substrate whenever you do a water change.

Stimulating decorations – bettas are naturally smart and you can keep them pre-occupied and happy by putting some tank decorations that can stimulate them. You can also add in a couple of exercise mirrors, leaf beds, plants and rocks so they can go on a little exploration.

Frequently Asked Questions


What is a Betta Fish?

Vibrantly colored, the Siamese fighting fish or more commonly known as betta is best known for going solo in delicate ornamental vases in homes and offices.

The betta gained its name from “Bettah,” an ancient clan of warriors in the 1800s. This is the time when fish combat became so popular in Thailand that the King of Siam then even regulated and tax every fight. Spectators of the fish fighting then placed bets based on the fish’s bravery and not on the damage inflicted by the winning fish.
Today, bettas are referred to as “plakkad” in Thailand. It has also earned the nickname “The Jewel of the Orient” thanks to its distinct colors. Unknown to many, bettas have many tail shapes. The common is the veil tail but other tails include the double tail, half-moon, crown tail, and short-finned fighting style tail. All these different tails contribute to that elegance of the bettas.

When it comes to meals, bettas feed on the water’s surface thanks to their upturn mouths. The recommended diet for this breed is brine shrimp, dried bloodworms, and daphnia. Commercial betta food consists of all three elements plus some vitamins and minerals.

Can a Betta fish live with other fish? 

Bettas can’t be roomies with fellow bettas especially male ones. They are not naturally a schooling fish and will just end up fighting with each. Bettas naturally like to move, swim and survive alone. They are territorial and male ones are known to be aggressive and could tail-nip like a pro.

This doesn’t mean though that other fishes can’t be tank mates with a betta. It is just a matter of finding the correct fish.

Bettas will attack in kind if they are attached by fin nippers like the red tail shark and angel fish. They will counter-attack on the gills, tails, and scales. Goldfishes are also disqualified from being a potential friend so as fishes that are bigger than your betta.

If you are keen in sharing a tank between another aquatic animal, then here are your best options:

  • Guppies
  • Cory catfish
  • Ghost shrimp
  • Neon and ember tetras
  • Kuhli loaches
  • African dwarf frogs

If you don’t want to risk it, just keep the lonesome fellow happy by leaving it alone on its tank.

How Long Can Betta Fish Live Without Food?

Without food, they can live up to 14 days. At this time, it will be just a matter of survival for them just like how they are in the wild.

This is not to encourage you to neglect feeding your bettas as you don’t want them to use up all their reserved just because you want to test their limits. This information is to make you feel less guilty if you forgot to feed them as scheduled.

How Old Is the Oldest Betta? 

There is no record on where and how old is the older of all. Unlike dogs and cats where the age is disclosed during purchase or adoption, this is not the case for bettas.

With that, there are reports that indicate that the possible oldest betta fish is roughly 10 years old. This age was determined – although these bases are not scientifically proven – by the size of the betta, length of fins, color, and activity level.


Betta fish can be great pets especially those who can’t invest additional hours of play and quality time. Provided that you secure your betta fish from a trusted breeder and you keep it healthy, you can enjoy this fish with its vibrant and strong personality for the next three to five years.

How long do betta fish live? They can have a long lifespan, while also easy to maintain. Your family will surely enjoy having them around because of their vibrant color and personality. Just ensure to take care of them properly to give them a longer life and make them healthier.

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