Freshwater Fish

How Long Do Betta Fish Live?

You’d be surprised how many times we get asked, «How long do betta fish live?»

Its alot.

And really, it makes a lot of sense. Betta fish are extremely popular, so it’s only natural that new and potential owners want to know how long their fish will be around.

But it is not as simple as that.

Sure, you can simply find the average betta fish lifespan below and be on your way. However, we strongly recommend that you take a second to learn about the factors that can influence how long it will last.

You want your fish to be around as long as possible, and knowing this will help you make that happen.

How long do betta fish live in aquariums?

The average lifespan of betta fish when kept in aquariums is about three years. While this is the average number, you can sometimes extend it by a year or two if you give them the best possible care.

here’s the catch

When many people research how long betta fish live, they assume that they will have their fish for their entire lives. This is not the case.

Actually, most fish stores sell bettas after six months to a year. This means that if your male betta lives for three years, you’ll probably have him for around two (males sell later than females).

We felt this was an important thing to point out just to help manage the expectations of the new owners. We’ve heard from new aquarists who have thought their betta died young when in fact it had an average lifespan.

How long do betta fish live in the wild?

In the wild, the average betta fish lifespan will not be as long as it is in an aquarium. There are several reasons for this, but they all have to do with the additional stressors and difficulties they will face.

For example, there is no guarantee that they will live in water conditions that are adequate to maximize their lifespan. Also, there is a good chance that the males will hurt each other due to their aggressive territorial nature.

Ways to help them live longer

Like any animal, the lifespan of a betta fish can be drastically affected by the quality of its living conditions. This is what you need to be aware of from a high level. If you want the essentials, you can read our guide to betta fish care.

Start with a healthy fish

It should come as no surprise that buying a healthy fish from a reputable supplier will have a huge impact on the lifespan of your betta fish. A fish that has been raised in unsatisfactory living conditions and is not healthy simply will not live as long.

Look for any signs of concern before you buy your fish. Googly eyes, subdued colors, and any other external red flags will help you get a good idea.

Focus on water quality

This is the second most important piece of the puzzle if you want to maximize the lifespan of a betta fish. For any fish, poor water quality equals poor health.

We are not going to go into the exact parameters you need to know about in this post. If you want to see them, click on this link to access that section of our other guide.

Give them enough space

Another great way to increase the number of years a betta fish lives is by keeping it in a proper tank. This is their home, and if they don’t have an adequate amount of space, it will cause them stress and negatively impact their health.

The average lifespan of betta fish can range from at least a year depending on whether or not they have a suitable home. Take this seriously and do whatever it takes to give them the space they need. This will also help them sleep, which greatly affects life expectancy.

Make sure there are no fights

Betta fish can be feisty and territorial, which can obviously cause problems if you’re trying to maximize their lifespan.

This means that you should never have them share a tank with fish that are not a good match. Males should never be in the same tank with other males, and other aggressive fish should be avoided (a more detailed look here).

This will cause stress and possible injury that can significantly shorten the average lifespan of betta fish. You want your fish to be happy and healthy so they can live as long as possible.

Now you know

You now know the answer to the question “how long do betta fish live” along with the various factors that can affect their lifespan.

If you want them to live as long as possible, make sure you provide them with the best possible environment and habitat that will allow them to thrive.

Like any other animal, the average lifespan of betta fish can change dramatically depending on the level of care it provides. Do the right thing for them, and they’ll be around for you to enjoy for quite some time!

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