A Betta Fish makes a good family pet. On average, they can live roughly up to three years.

However, the life of a betta fish can depend largely on so many factors. Like, if the Betta fish live in captivity or wild, it can vary depending on it.

Other factors of a betta lifespan include – how well you care for them in captivity, such as frequent water changes to remove nitrates buildup. Or if the Betta fish is male or female. That’s because female Betta fish tend to live a few more months longer than males.

This article will discuss their life expectancy and how you can help boost the Betta fish lifespan.

To find out more about it, continue reading.

How Long Do Bettas Live In Captivity?

If you’re wondering how long does a betta live in captivity, it can depend on various factors. Like use of a filter and heater, timely water changes, etc. Under proper care, they can live up to 3 years. But in some cases, they can even live up to 5 years.

However, that’s not all of it. Even the animals’ gender can affect the longevity of their life.

So you cannot expect your store-bought pet to live for three years. A female Betta tends to live slightly longer, like a few more months than males. And you will find that the male fish you find in pet stores are usually about a year old. This is when the male has properly developed fins and is the most colorful. And people normally prefer males because they are way more colorful.

In contrast, females are usually up in the market, somewhat sooner, at about six months old.

Therefore one main thing to make sure while buying your colorful tank is the age at the time of purchase.

The younger fish you buy, the longer it will live.

How Long Do Betta Fish Live In The Wild?

It is supposed that betta fish life in their natural habitat is much shorter than those in captivity. In the wild, they typically live for about two years. They have a much more stressful life living in the wild than in the fish tank.

You will find Bettas originally in Thailand and Cambodia, and now in Malaysia and Vietnam, etc. They mostly live in shallow freshwaters like rice paddies, streams, canals, and ponds.

The water bodies they live in are not constantly wet or as balanced as a fish tank. It can dry significantly, making its habitat change substantially.

So, their whole life consists of looking for more suitable, larger water bodies to survive.

These water bodies can also get polluted, destroying the plants and their food sources, thus causing hazard in their life.

And then, there’s this Siamese fighting fish, aggressive and territorial, which, when being exposed to them, leads to fights, resulting in early death.

Another reason why Bettas in the wild tend to have a shorter life span than those in Fish Tank is their habitation loss caused mainly due to farming expansion.

How To Increase Your Bettas Lifespan?

Now that you know all about Bettas’ life expectancy when in captivity and the wild, you can do things to help maximize the lifespan of a betta fish.

Although it is typical for betta fishes to live roughly for 2 years to 3 years, it is not unusual for them to live up to 4 to 5 years. Some have even reached six years, which is very much achievable.

All you need to do is make sure to take the right decisions and do the right thing to provide the best home to allow them to live longer.

And the good news is that there is nothing much for you to do. You need to follow some very simple steps and help boost fish Bettas’ chance to have longer lives and improved life quality.

Mentioned below are some of the steps you need to follow to ensure your fish betta an increased life span.

1. Make sure you buy healthy Betta

Checking if your betta is healthy when buying them is crucial to avoid bringing in sick fish or diseases to your new tank. And to make sure that you buy healthy betta fish, you should check for signs that indicate they are healthy.

The things you need to be looking for when buying a healthy betta to make sure they live longer includes –

2. Tank size

One of the most essential factors to help your betta live longer is to keep them in decent size tanks. You will notice most betta sellers usually have them in one-gallon tanks or tiny bowls.

Generally, the males are kept in such small containers because if they have tank mates, they will start to fight.

However, just because they live in shallow water in the wild does not make it acceptable to keep them in small spaces, this is what many people tend to mistake. Because although they live in small water bodies in the wild, they still can jump and swim from puddle to puddle and find a suitable home.

Therefore, the ideal tank size to keep your Betta is a minimum of 5 gallons tank. The bigger the tank is, the happier your Betta will be and have a much longer lifespan. These smaller tanks can lead to boredom and depression.

Opposite to what you may think, bigger tanks are much easier to maintain. You will not be required to change the tank’s water as often as you would in smaller tanks.

Also, when it comes to female Bettas, they will need a much larger tank since they are usually in groups. So you will need to go much bigger than 5 gallons.

Here is our article about best betta fish aquariums.

3. Use the right Plants

Plants take an essential part in making the tank a safe and suitable home for Bettas. It helps release oxygen; that is when you use live plants, which further improve the surroundings.

It replicates their natural habitat allowing your Betta to feel at home and behave more naturally.

Using plants in their tank also gives them many hiding spots perfect for keeping a group of female Betta fish.

So, there are plenty of plants you can find to include in your Bettas Tank, but here is a list of some of the top plants for your Betta.

4. Use the right filters and heaters

The water in the betta’s tank must be warm since they are used to being exposed to warm water temperature, like 75 to 80° F. This is because they originated from hotter climates causing water bodies to naturally heat up.

Therefore, it is essential to use a heater to give them a comfortable home and potentially extended life.

Using a filter is another huge requirement because bettas cannot survive in unfiltered, dirty water. A filter will help balance the environment of the tank.

Over time, there will be buildups of nitrites and ammonia, which the filter will help reduce and create a safe space.

Also, it is okay to use tap water, that is, if you condition it. Tap water already has nutrients and minerals which your fish will like.

5. Keep male separate

Another one of the important tips is to keep male separate.

As already mentioned above, male Betta tend to be territorial and aggressive. They can never live together happily and comfortably. Whenever they come across each other, it will lead to aggressive fights.

Although they might fight for some minutes in the wild, one of them will eventually break down and move to find new territory.

Whereas, it’s a different scenario in a tank. Since there is no escaping in the small tank, the fish may probably fight on until one of them or both lose their lives.

Therefore, to increase your pet’s life expectancy, it is highly important to keep male Bettas in a separate tank.

Here is a list of best betta fish tank mates.

6. Betta fish diet

One of the key factors to consider in significantly improving the chances of a fuller increased lifespan for your betta is their diet.

Obviously, like every animal, a proper diet will naturally give the fish a faster growth rate, look even more colorful, and have a longer life.

Since Bettas are carnivores, in the wild, their foods are mostly insects. But in the tank, it can be difficult to provide them with the same food as in the wild.

So, there are plenty of other food options available for your fish.

However, it would help if you kept in mind that they need sufficient protein and fats as they are their most important nutrients.

Whether you feed them frozen or flake food or pellet, it should contain high nutritional value.

You can also even have your fish food prepared at home, as this will ensure that they get the right nutrients they need.

If you want to know more, read our betta fish care guide.


Q1. How old is the oldest Betta fish?

Ans. If you’re wondering how long the oldest betta fish ever lived. It’s on record that the oldest betta fish is ten years old, kept under strict conditions in the laboratory.

While on the subject, you must be curious how you can be certain of Betta’s age? Although there is no right way of determining the exact age, you can somehow guess it by looking into a few things. Such as their size, the longer or bigger they are, the older they are. Long, full fins indicate they are an adult. Faded colors would also mean they are aging.

Q2. How long does a betta fish live without food?

Ans. Betta fish can go without food for up to 14 days. But this does not mean you can let them go without food for that long.

Though they survive, they won’t be healthy; it will take a toll on their bodies, affecting their immune system. But by all means, avoid overfeeding, as it can even lead to swim bladder disease.

So, the maximum time you can go without feeding them is four days.

Q3. How long do betta fish live in the bowl?

Ans. Keeping this species fish in a bowl can drastically bring down their life expectancy. They might only live up to a year or less than a year.

But if the bowl is a decent size, with a proper heater and filter, they can easily go 2 years and above.

Q4. How long do betta fish live in a 1-gallon tank?

Ans. A betta fish won’t thrive in a one-gallon tank. To live a comfortable life, they should at least be kept in a minimum 5-gallon tank size.

However, in a 1-gallon tank, they will most probably live a year barely. As small and cramped up space will limit your betta fish from living a full and healthy life.


Now you know, a lot goes into Betta fish care to allow them quality and long life.

After buying your betta fish from the pet store, you can normally expect them to live for over two years. But if you give them proper care, paying attention to all their needs, then your Betta’s life can significantly increase.

Let’s have a quick recap of the needful things to remember to make sure that you give your pet fish the best possible life.

Follow all the steps correctly, and you will have the happiest betta fish with great health and prolonged their life.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *