How long do betta fishes live? – 6 tips to increase their lifespan

Are you planning to get a betta fish pet? If yes, then you probably would have thought how long do betta fish live?

After all, the duration of you and your pet being together will directly depend on the betta fish lifespan.

Betta fishes are very popular as the low maintenance requiring fish pet of freshwater. The average beta fish lifespan is considered around 3 years.

But when we buy a betta fish from any pet shop, it has already reached its maturity level. This means the average time period of your fish and you will be reduced as its initial life span has already been lived by her.

Today, we will elaborate on the key knowledge that you should know before buying a betta fish. We will also explain a few factors that can enhance the lifespan of your betta.

How long do betta fish live in captivity vs in wild?

The average betta fish lifespan as your pet [in captivity] can be around 3 years. But as we already mentioned above that usually the betta fishes are sold after maturity which means subtracting their time with you.

Mostly male fishes are sold after the age of one year till when they acquire maturity and get bright colored fins. Females are mostly sold after 6 months of their birth.

If you provide good care to your pet, then they can outlive the natural betta fish lifespan to around 4 to 5 years.

The betta lifespan is usually shorter in their natural habitat. It is around 2 years on average as the fish is exposed to more severe conditions in wild.

Betta fish has become more vulnerable to prey, lack of food, pollution, etc. in their natural habitat. All these factors deteriorated the lifespan of betta fish.

 In captivityIn wild or natural habitat
Lifespan3 years+2 years
Food availabilityNo lack of foodMay suffer from lack of food
Vulnerability towards preyZeroVery high
Effect of external climatic factorsNo effect on life cycleSevere effects
PollutionNo effectHigh probability of degrading exposure
Lifespan enhancing factorsBy taking better careNo general solution

How you can increase your betta fish lifespan?

You can increase the lifespan of your pet by 1 or 2 years by taking proper care.

There are a few keynote points that you must keep in your mind if you want to add a few more years to your betta fish. These are;

  • Water quality in the tank

The quality of water is very important for keeping your fish healthy. Normal tap water can contain toxins and pollutants so make sure to use properly filtered water.

A good filter system is also essential as the residual food, feces, etc. can develop harmful toxins. Make sure the filter system is low-flow to avoid any damage to the delicate fins of your fish.

Betta fish is a tropical species and that is why the tank temperature is maintained around 76 to 81 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • Home of the fish- tank size

The 2.5-gallon size is considered as the minimum required tank size for your betta. But if you want to keep your betta fish happy, healthy, and thriving, then you should go for a 5-gallon tank.

The bigger size provides enough space for your pet to move freely. Be mindful that the tank is in a horizontal shape instead of being taller in the vertical direction.

  • Healthy diet

Betta fishes are mostly considered carnivores. This makes protein a very essential element of their diet. So make sure that you feed your betta with protein-rich food like meat.

You can also opt for copepods and worms. These are easily available as frozen or live forms in the market.

  • Number of fishes in the tank

Your betta fish is quite a loner. So keeping it alone won’t make it unhappy. But if you want to keep more betta fishes, then keeping 4 to 6 female fishes together is possible.

Make sure that every fish gets its abundant personal space. The tank should not get crowded.

  • Compatibility of Betta with other fishes

Bettas can be accompanied by female guppies, Nerite snails, Harlequin Rasboras, etc. Ghost shrimps, cory catfish, and kuhli loaches can also live with bettas.

  • Keep male Bettas separate

The male bettas are more aggressive compared to female bettas. It is important to keep them separate otherwise they can start fighting and kill each other.

Never put two male bettas together. Also, avoid putting male and female bettas together even if you have a large size tank.

Let’s compare male vs female betta lifespan

The female bettas normally tend to live a few months more than male bettas. The difference can be around 6 months.

Also, male bettas are mostly sold at an age of 1 year due to their fully matured bright-colored fins. So when you buy your betta fish it has already lived a big part of its lifespan.

Compared to keeping female betta fish, male betta fish is preferred because of its more colorful and flowing long fins. Male betta fishes also have a flap of epidermis under the gill sheets.

It is also present in female fishes but it is not that clearly visible. If we compare the aggression level of both genders of betta fishes, a male betta is slightly on the upper hand.

How long do betta fish live without food?

Do you know that the stomach of your betta fish is the size of their eyes? This means they eat quite a little.

The betta fishes can go up to a maximum of 14 days without eating food. They start starving after 4 to 5 days.

If you are planning to go out, then the feeding regime for your betta fish must be worrying you. As a good pet owner, you should never push the boundaries and should feed your betta after 3 to 4 days.

Not feeding your fish for a day or two is also a healthy practice as it prevents overeating but be mindful of not overdoing it.

How to tell your betta fish is ill?

As a good pet owner, you should be mindful of your betta’s health. The possible illness signs that you can look for to detect a disease can be as follows:

  • Not eating properly
  • Pale fins
  • Bulged out eyes
  • Swimming around the surface
  • Acting disoriented
  • Moving upside down

Which is the oldest betta fish?

The estimate says that the oldest betta fish in the world has a lifespan of 10 years. Talking about the size, the betta fish can get upto 3 inches in length.

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