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How Long do Betta Fish Live?

An ornamental pet fish! With mesmerizing coloration and splendid fin displays — Betta Fish. Betta fish is one of the most popular pet fish due to its wide variety of attractive colors and lower price. Are you a Betta fish pet lover? Or looking for authentic and reliable information about betta fish longevity? Here is a complete guideline about the healthy lifespan of betta fish.

Betta fish — also called “Siamese fighting fish”. A unique pet fish with 70 varieties, and fighters in captivity, especially males. The average life span of Bettas is 3-years with proper care and attention. Better the Betta diet and captivity environment, longer will be life span. However, it’s surprising to know that the oldest Betta lives 9-10 years in captivity.

Principal Attributes of a Healthy Betta

A general recommendations is that you should buy Betta fish from a local breeder instead of a fish pet store. Betta already has almost one year of age in pet stores that defiantly will reduce its life span. Additionally, always follow particular critical instructions to buy a healthy Betta.


This is the most prominent feature to evaluate either Betta is healthy or not. You must choose Betta with bright and shiny colors, particularly in males. A pale color is a sign of poorly fed or unhealthy Betta.


Clear and active eyes are another good criteria that can help you to select the healthy Betta fish. If you notice bulging or cloudy eyes, it shows that Betta has bacterial infection health issues.

Active Movement

This is the tricky point, as most of the time, if you try to point your hand on the aquarium, Betta doesn’t respond. Yet, in the normal situation, they become active and approach to see what it is. That’s another sign of their health status.

Signs of Unhealthy Betta Fish

  • Pale Betta fish
  • Torn/ ragged fins
  • Bulging eyes
  • Swelling/sore of body
  • Injury/ wound

Betta Fish Health Prolonging Elements

Balanced Diet and Nutrition

Betta is a predator, and insects are their most favorite diet. You must provide a Betta diet with nearly 35% proteins. Certain species of Betta are so meticulous, they will not even touch the feed if they feel it is inappropriate.

You can easily purchase protein-enriched supplements specially designed for Betta from a pet shop. Vet experts advise avoiding commercial feed for Betta. Instead, there are specially designed supplements for Betta-

  • Freeze-dried tubifex worms
  • Mosquito larvae
  • Bloodworms
  • Brine shrimp

A research study indicates that Blood worms are the most effective diet for Betta quick propagation instead of other diets.


You usually think your Betta is active inside the aquarium as they continuously swim. But it’s not enough to keep them healthy and active. In this regard, experts suggest particular exercises that tremendously improve betta exercise.

One of the great and straightforward ways is to add live food inside the aquarium. This will significantly enhance your betta movement to catch the food with ultimate positive health impacts.

Another good strategy is to change the flow rate of the betta filter. If you adjust a slow flow rate, you will see Betta’s active movement as a high flow rate decrease their floating capacity.

Many people also use a mirror to grab Betta’s attention as they like mirrors and start flaring. The exact reason behind this still unknown.

Males Separation

Keep your males Betta separate from each other as they fight and injure each other. Some aquariums have separate compartments with opaque intersections. However, experts don’t recommend this strategy instead of the single tank for each male.

Even you have to keep spate males from female Betta except during mating. In the case of females Beta, they can live together, but they also fight rarely.

Aquarium vs. Vase

It is the most common requirement of Betta to choose an aquarium or tank with high water capacity. An ideal aquarium or tank for Betta captivity is 20 liter’s volume. Large aquarium ort tank prevents Betta from depression and boring with maximum space to swim and relax.

Many people use small vases or bowls that hinder regular swimming and hiding. It is the primary reason for Betta’s short lifespan.

Your Betta needs hiding spaces to feel more comfortable and safe. This is done by adding plants or suitable decorations. Also, make sure your aquarium has a lid. As Betta is an air-breathing fish. Betta needs access to the surface air at the top of the water to breathe with their upturned mouths and labyrinth breathing organs.

Water Quality

Regular cleaning of aquarium water guarantees better health for your Betta. If you add some live plants or grow, they improve water quality. Never use distilled water as it’s already deprived of essential minerals and nutrients required by Betta. You can use tap water, but make sure its pH should be around 7.0.

One of the most important things you should consider during the change the water doesn’t change more than 10%-15%. The higher water change will exert immediate shock on your Betta with various adverse effects.


Betta requires an adequate water temperature of about 78 – 80° F. It is crucial to avoid sudden temperature changes, particularly sudden cold temperature. If your aquarium or tank shows intensive temperature fluctuation, it’s better to use an aquarium heater. Otherwise, your Betta will be lethargic, immune-sensitive, and may refuse to feed appropriately.

Water temperature plays an essential role during Betta breeding, as temperature must be above 80° F, otherwise they will be tired and unable to breed.

Betta Lifespan Reducing Agents

Stressful Environment

It is highly recommended that keep males Betta separate in the aquarium or tank. As they are fighter fish, they have a fear of fight and injury. This will create a stressful environment for Betta, ultimately reduce their life span. It’s wise to keep them apart to provide them a stress-free environment.


Betta has a tiny stomach, and it is necessary to eat within two minutes to avoid contaminating the aquarium. You can feed Betta once or twice a day and fasting a day per week.

The most significant Battle problem is overfeeding, as too much food can cause fatty liver disease (hepatic lipidosis), a real-life threat to your Betta.

Bacterial Infections

Big belly syndrome and skin nodule syndrome are the two most lethal diseases in Betta. According to a study, about 1% of all Betta commercial farms suffer from substantial loss.

In 2018, researchers from Thailand identified that the main causative agents behind these two diseases are bacterial infections. You must maintain tank water quality to avoid this problem.

Geriatric Betta Fish

If your Betta is more than 2 years old, an aquatic vet calls it “Geriatric.” Now an optimum environment is indispensable for its survival. Here, I will mention essential tips by the aquatic vet for geriatric.

  • Maintain the high quality of aquarium by frequent water change
  • Use an easily adjustable flow rate filter to facilitate their proper movement.
  • Ensure a high-quality diet included all essential nutrients.
  • Remove all the obstacles inside the aquarium to give more resting spots.

Bottom Line

Betta fish is one of the most common ornamental pet fish. The average lifespan of Betta fish highly depends upon its diet and captivity environment. However, with good take care, you can expect 2-5 years of Betta fish’s lifespan. Aquatic Vet experts advise buying from breeders instead of pet shops as a more healthy Betta option. A protein-rich diet, spacious tank or aquarium, clean water with proper temperature, and adequate exercise activities guarantee to prolong the Betta life span. When your Betta is more than two years, it must need special care.



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