How Long Do Betta Fish Live? What Factors Help

Question: I bought my Betta fish yesterday and as geeky as it may sound.. I really like owning him. My main question is how long do Betta fish live for when they are very healthy inside of a clean tank. I take pride in making sure my fish are fed nicely and do daily water changes.

I have been wondering how long the fighter fish live for because they are actually pretty small and smaller animals usually don’t live that long. Anyone know?

*Voted Best Answer
Posted by Danny E:
betta-bowlA Betta lifespan is commonly 2-3 years but can also be 10 years if everything goes right. There are lots of breeders that tell stories of owning certain Bettas for 8 plus years. Im a big believer in their nutrition being the leading factor to their health.

When you buy these fish at the pet store, your advised to give them “Betta pellets” and that’s it. First of all, they hate these stupid pellets and rarely eat them due to my experience. Once I researched their actual feeding tendencies, I started feeding them frozen brine shrimp and bloodworms here. My fish are a lot happier already.

Posted by Grant K:
I agree that these fish are commonly malnourished of nutrition because of what beginners are feeding them. People think if you just give them flake food everyday of the year YOUR GOOD TO GO. That’s not the case though. These fish are carnivores and if they don’t get enough protein and meat in their diet…they will die. I think the lifespan of them would be an average of 4 years if people properly fed them. But it’s such a problem that its even affecting the average of all pet bettas.

Posted by Sara V:
I often wonder if the small environment is reason for these fish not being happy to the fullest. Although I’m a lost on what tank size these fish should have. People preach that beta fish don’t like small tanks but yet if you see the breeder’s setups.. they are using small pickle jars to house these fish. It’s not like they need hundreds of gallons of fish tank.. but they do need enough space to swim around. They will preach how the fish need to be happy but then you are them put huge amounts of these fish in small jars. So what is the right way to go about their tank size? Do they like small containers and jars or do they like them..

Posted by Rachelle U:
When I was going to college I had a male beta fish in a 5 gallon aquarium. I swear to God to you that that fish lived for five years because my college career lasted for that long. I didn’t do anything special besides feed him the flake food and pellets that I was given and he lived that long. So when you guys preach that they don’t like that type of food I have to disagree and maybe it’s just how picky of an eater the fish breed you get. Because I seem to have no issues and my fish lived for five years so maybe there are some other factors involved.

Posted by Mason H:
angry bettaI have been owning days fish for on and off for 10 years now and I can honestly say that I have never owned one that has lived for longer than three years. I’m not sure what differences and what I’m doing but I have gone through a lot of these fish and I just cannot get want to live longer than that and it kind of makes me sad. By then the perfect food and give them actually live food for their hunting with their instinct and I still cannot get them to live that long. I’m becoming somewhat of a believer in water parameters how healthy they aren’t certain types of waters.

Posted by Steve Z:
I think it’s somewhat of a matter of lock and what type of breed to get to as well for instance if you’re buying your fish from Walmart versus a pet store you might have a different type of fish of a breed. They might be mass produced through Walmart whereas the fish has some shortcuts in the jeans and it just won’t live as long somewhere viewed in buying your fish?

Reply from Mason H:
I had actually thought of that and decided to start buying them from different places and I did directly contact one of the best breeders within my area and I paid around $20 just for one fish and he still didn’t make it. He lived for around a year and a half but that’s still is not passed the average of what I’m trying to get out here and it’s kind of bugging me and I’m taking it personal now. I have literally looked into all aspects of these fish and I consider myself to be a guru on them and I just can’t figure it out. Chances are if you think you can figure my issue that I am probably ahead of you and already thinking about it because I’ve been in contact with other breeders and chatting with them about this issue. I just think that average for the lifespan is pretty accurate actually because these fish is it’s kind of just pure luck if they live for longer than this.

Posted by Tony K:
I’m gonna have to disagree with you on this one because if you’re trying to tell me that it’s pure luck and how long my fish lived for for and I’m have to call you crazy. All of these parameters and different scenarios of all the fish live are all going to take effect until lifespan of this fish. You also have to remember that it is a pretty small fish oh it’s really not going to live for that long of time because it’s heartbeat. The smaller the fish or animal usually means that the shorter life span or amount of time that it has to live for.

Posted by Tasha J:
I think the best set up for a male beta fish is a 5 gallon set up or a maximum of just the 10 gallon setup. Even though people will tell you that bigger is better I think that beta fish get anxiety over that much space and the more simple their life is the better for them. Every single Betta fish I have on that list past two years was in just a small 5 gallon aquarium. And all of the ones that I thought were Lockean I put in 10 gallon aquarium they just couldn’t handle it. I know people will disagree with that but that’s just from my personal experience working with these fish.

Posted on Shane K:
There are a lot of personal opinion is going on here regarding the Japanese fighting fish and how long they live and different factors that play a role in their lifespan. It seems that right now the argument is what size tank they prefer to live in to have the fullest life. I would argue that though and say that the most important factors going to be water quality so that the water is safe for them to breathe so they don’t have as much anxiety on their organs. And secondly nutrition because a lot of people fail to give them the proper nutrition that these carnivores need.

Posted by Tony E:
I think the community of aquarium owners are misled on the beta fish and the fact that the mail cannot be a community fish. If you have a male with a bunch of other fish that also hold their own aggression they are each going to keep to themselves because that’s just all natural habitat works. Mother nature has its own way of working things out and that’s just how it works and they don’t bug each other and they leave each other alone. Once in a great while you’re going to find that the fish just don’t get along but for the most part if you have a big enough tank and enough Aqua scape to hide around your Male beta fish is going to do just fine as long as other bigger fish don’t eat him.

-Reply to Comment from Steve:
Finally someone with a brain in their head spoke up on this because I’m so sick of people stressing that you never put male beta fish with any other fish. Like he said if you have enough weeds and stuff for the fish to go hide in so that they don’t get brutally attacked your fish are going to be fine and if you make sure the aggression levels are spread out equally between fish your tank will thrive.

Posted by Cassie:
I’m gonna have to disagree because this is more or less an experienced level fish keeping task. I think it’s just safest to tell beginners because most beginners start with beta fish that they can’t have community fish and their idea of a large tank is actually not large because they’re new to the fish keeping hobby itself. Because if you’re telling them they can put them with other fish it’s just not a good idea because it’s almost always going to and with the dead fish at the end of the day. So just for the fishes safety I would advise that people as a beginner stage just don’t even mess around with these fish being community fish. And in my honest opinion I don’t think they are meant to be community fish besides the fact of their own kind once in a great while and natural habitat.

-Reply to Comment from Chris:
I agree with Cassie. This is turning into quite an argument but I’m just going to say that she stated what I believe in. The only luck that I have had with these fish being community fish is having a community tank with only females. If you want to put a couple of them together you can happily just get the females and even though they are not as pretty and beautiful they are still quite a cool fish to have.

Posted by Xinu B:
When I was a younger teenager I owned a beta fish for seven years and it was the coolest thing ever. I was younger in my age and I guess time flew by but I just kept up with feeding him and just always playing with him once in a while and I just think he was so relaxed and his atmosphere. I’m not a specialist on these fish bio in the meetings but I just kept up with him and I think that people just left their tanks get dirty and I never did that. His name was Zeus and we had some great memories together now that I think about it. I had him in a little 5 gallon tank that was like a hexagon I’ll shape and I didn’t have any gravel and I think that was part of the reason why he did so well. Gravel just has a tendency to get so dirty so quickly and I think a lot of the illnesses are route from dirty gravel that people don’t know how to clean properly.

-Reply to Comment from Chris
It takes a lot of work to keep up with gravel and I honestly wouldn’t advise anybody in the new hobby as a fish keeper to use gravel in your single tank or aquarium with a new fish. That’s good you bring that up because there’s just so much bacteria that gets formed and that gravel and a lot of new beginners in the hobby don’t even know what a gravel vacuum is so that’s an issue when it comes to keeping your tank clean. Anti-is a gravel vacuum in a little 5 gallon tank just seems a little silly but I think that it probably is a necessity for any tank with gravel in the long run.