How long do Betta fish live?

Last updated on December 24th, 2022 at 11:05 am

How long do Betta fish live? The answer really depends on it. A wild betta will not live as long as a captive betta. And a betta in a 1-gallon tank doesn’t live as long as a betta in a 10-gallon tank.         

Read on to find out how long bettas live, and more importantly, how to give your Betta the happiest life!

How long do betta fish live in captivity?      

Betta fish live in captivity for 3 to 5 years. However, they will live on average about 3 years.   

In many cases, they have grown up in an environment that is very harmful to their health. Especially if you bought them from a store that keeps them in plastic cups. It can have a drastic impact on your health and life.      

And if you’re wondering how long female bettas can live, they are usually a few months longer than males.

How long do betta fish live in the wild?      

Betta will live in its natural environment for approximately 2 years. Or that’s the consensus anyway.   

A beta fish in the wild is much more stressful than a beta fish in your aquarium. You will have to search for food every day, sometimes days without it. They will also have to fight other Siamese fighting fish they find and will ultimately be looking for a mate.        

It is undeniable that they lead a freer life , but at the cost of their life.            

Unfortunately, due to the heavy pollution of their habitats, their lifespan is also shortened. In fact, they are now on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.                

How long can a Betta fish live without food?

Betta Fish

The maximum time a betta fish can live without food is around 14 days. However, you should NEVER leave them without eating for so long.   

Even if they survive, their immune systems will be extremely weak due to a lack of nutrition and stress. Even if you start feeding them, it is very likely that they have some disease.   

Most of the time, you can leave your Betta without feeding for 4 days. More than that and you will put your health at risk.   

How Can You Help Your Betta Fish Live Longer?

Fortunately, there are things you can do to help your Betta live longer. And if you follow all the ideas below, you will give your Betta the best chance of survival.   

Make sure you buy a healthy beta fish

If you already have your Betta, you can skip this one (unless you plan to buy more). However, if you are still looking for a betta fish, this is where you can look for healthy fish.   

The signs of a healthy beta fish are as follows.

Bright color

Unless you choose a betta that is white, your Betta should be light in color. If a beta fish is pale, it is an indication that it is not very healthy. It also shows that they are not being fed properly.      

Without injuries

Also, make sure your Betta is injury-free. If you notice that a betta fish’s fins are torn or broken, this is usually a sign of fin rot. And if it’s not fin rot, they might bite their tail.            

Although it is not one of those things, wounds on your Betta can quickly become infected. Especially when your betta fish is stressed. And when you take them home, you increase their stress levels.            

Bright Eyes

Care Guide for Betta Fish

Make sure your Betta’s eyes are clear and not cloudy or bulging. If they are cloudy or plump, it is a sign of eye problems, as well as a bacterial infection. So make sure the Betta you select has nice clear eyes.              

They don’t hide

Your Betta should not hide from other fish. This is often a sign that your Betta is sick. Knowing that they are weak, they try to stay away from other fish when they feel threatened.      

They will respond to you      

Although not all Bettas do this, it is an excellent sign when a Betta responds when you put your hand near their armor. If they manage to do this or find out what it is, it is usually a sign that they are healthy.   

Avoid bettas in the cups      

Finally, be sure to avoid bettas in the glasses. Although many places keep them that way, it is ferocious. When you’re ready to be so open about your bettas, imagine what else you could do.      

Instead, buy a beta fish that is in an aquarium with other fish and make sure all the fish in the aquarium look healthy.

Store them in a large tank      

Contrary to what you may have heard, Bettas cannot fit into a 1 or 2 gallon tank. You need at least 5 gallons to live a happy and healthy life. And more is always better.      

If you want your Betta to live as long as possible, be sure to add it to a tank of at least 5 gallons.

Anything smaller can become depressed and boring. Not to mention the fact that conditions will vary much more in smaller tanks.                  

And women will need more. If you have a sorority of female bettas that you want to keep, you will need at least 20 gallons.                   

You may have heard that Bettas are used to living in shallow water in the wild. However, it is true, although the water is shallow, it continues for miles.   

Make sure you have a radiator

fish tank filter

A heater is essential for almost all tanks. Bettas have very strict requirements regarding their tank temperature. Ideally, you should keep the tank between 78 and 80 degrees F. However, they can survive between 76 and 82 degrees F.        

If it is not too hot or too cold, your Betta will experience a heat shock that will overload the immune system.

Make sure you have a filter

In addition to keeping your tank warm, you need to keep it filtered. A filter helps remove ammonia and other toxins from the water. It will also help remove floating debris and clean the tank.      

If you don’t have a filter, you will need to do water changes much more frequently. This will put pressure on your betta fish, which in turn could shorten their lifespan.         

Keep the tank clean      

In addition to filtering the tank, you need to keep it clean. A clean tank will reduce the likelihood of disease and bacteria growing. Diseases such as fin rot and dropsy are much more common in a dirty tank.            

To keep the tank clean, be sure to vacuum the gravel and change the water weekly. When the water changes, the amount that changes depends on the tank. However, 10-15% per week is usually sufficient.      

You should also regularly monitor your ammonia levels to make sure they are not too high.

If your Betta fish hasn’t eaten its food after a few minutes, remove it from the tank. It’s an easy way to keep your tank clean.   

Make sure they get enough exercise

Like all animals, your Betta needs exercise. Even if they swim, sometimes that is not enough. How often do you see your beta fish floating around doing nothing?      

There are some great ways to exercise your betta fish. One way is to add live food to your aquarium. Any activity you do will do wonders for your health.      

Second, you can also try showing him a mirror. If you allow him to see a mirror, he will start to blink and act aggressively. However, make sure you don’t do this for too long.      

A more passive approach is to change the flow rate of your Bettas filter. It shouldn’t be too strong as they hate strong currents. However, a small river gives them something to swim in.      

Keep the tank entertained      

One way to keep your Betta alive longer is to reduce the risk of boredom and depression. Any of these can make your beta fish bite its tail.   

To do this, make sure there are plenty of things in your tank to keep you entertained. Plants and decorations are way more simple to do this. You must turn parts of your tank into an underwater jungle.           

One of the BEST ways I know of to make sure your Betta fish never gets bored or depressed is to add other fish to your fish. (If you didn’t know that Bettas can live with other fish, you should too!   

Make sure they eat a balanced diet.

Are you providing your betta fish with high-quality food and a balanced diet? Otherwise, it will affect its service life.   

When feeding your beta fish, make sure you are not feeding it the same food every day. You should give him a mix of live food and high-quality Betta pellets.   

When feeding your beta fish, avoid anything that is high in plants and fat. Daphnia is a good option for them, but bloodworms should only give them a reward (contrary to what you may have heard).    


Avoid gathering men

This is one of the most obvious. Make sure you never join two bettas.   

Although people have done this in the past, it is extremely rare for this to work, and you will need a huge tank to do it effectively (150 gallons or more).

And yet the temperaments of the two Bettas must remain extremely peaceful.

Not only do you not want to keep them together, but you also want to make sure they cannot be seen. Only when they can see another male betta will they become extremely aggressive and attempt to attack.   

By following all of these , give your Betta the best chance at living a long and happy life.           

Other related matters

Betta Fish

These are some of the most frequently asked questions to help a beta fish live long.

How long do betta fish live in a container?      

In a normal container (3 gallons or less) unheated and unfiltered, a betta will likely only live for about a year.

However, if you keep your betta fish in a good size container that is filtered and heated, it can potentially live for 5 years.

How long do betta fish live in a 1 gallon tank?

Most Bettas will make this a 1-gallon tank for no more than a year. Although there are always exceptions to the rule in a large number of cases, the chances of a long life are extremely slim.            

And even if they live a long time, it will be an extremely miserable life.

Other ways to extend its life      

Finally, some tips to stay alive for a long time.

  • Make sure you have a cover over your tank, as they are known to jump and in many cases have people’s tanks jumped. They dry extremely quickly and even if you reset them in time, damage from falls is often fatal.  
  • Always use a water conditioner when adding new water to the tank. Chlorine and other chemicals in tap water are deadly to Bettas.  
  • If you have floating plants, make sure your Betta has access to the surface. The main way they get oxygen is by breathing air. To do this, they must be able to rise to the surface.    

To sum up

As you can see, great care is taken to keep your Betta alive for a long time. But it’s definitely worth it!   

Now you know that Bettas can live an average of 3 years, but it is not uncommon for them to live up to 5 years!

Here’s a quick rundown of all the things you need to remember.

  • You can help your betta fish live longer by keeping them in a large tank, making sure they are warm and filtered, keeping the tank clean, getting enough exercise, keeping the tank fun, giving them a balanced diet without males.
  • Keeping your betta fish in a small bowl or 1-gallon tank will not last long.
  • To further extend their life, be sure to put a lid on their tank, use a water purifier, and make sure they have enough room to breathe.           
  • Betta can go 14 days without food, but it is incredibly cruel and dangerous and should never last more than 4 days.

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