How Long Do Betta Fish Live?

How Long Do Betta Fish Live

How Long Do Betta Fish Live

How long do Betta fish live? The answer depends on their habitat. A wild betta will not live as long as a betta in captivity. And a betta in a 1 gallon tank will not live as long as a betta in a 20 gallon tank.

Wondering how long they have to live, what mistakes are they often made, and how to keep them alive to old are things that must be learned when caring for a long-lived Betta fish.

Keep reading to find out how long do betta live and more importantly, how to give your Betta the happiest life possible!

How Long Do Betta Fish Live In a Captivity

How Long Do Betta Fish Live In a Captivity

Some people like the idea of ​​keeping a betta in a bowl like the old ‘goldfish in bowl‘ routine, but nowadays it’s not even recommended that goldfish be sold without a filtered aquarium. In most cases, this is unwise to bettas (and goldfish) and, if done inappropriately, is cruelty to animals.

Betta fish are considered to be tough fish, and they can endure, in relative terms, the harsh conditions, but that does not make them pleasant. In the same sense that you can survive in a room that has no windows and only enough space for one bed, it will not be comfortable in the long run.

As a captive fish, Betta can live about three years in captivity. However, there are reports that some lucky bettas have a lifespan of around seven to ten years. But these fish have undergone incredible care and effort for ages unthinkable.

it is known that, in many cases, they were raised in an environment that was detrimental to their health. especially if you get one from a store that stores it in plastic cups. This can adversely affect their health and life.

How Long Do Betta Fish Live in a wild

In the wild, bettas live in shallow freshwater areas such as ponds, rice fields, canals and rivers. Betta fish originate from Southeast Asia such as Thailand, Cambodia, Singapore, Malaysia, and Brazil, Betta fish has been spread and introduced to several countries around the world.

Betta fish have a longer life expectancy in captivity than in the wild. The waters in which they live are not well conditioned and, on the contrary, are often polluted. This can destroy important food and crop sources and reduce the life expectancy of fish.

Additionally, in the wild, betta fish are more frequently exposed to other males, leading to acts of territorial aggression. This act of aggression makes it more likely that your betta fish will die early.

Unfortunately, due to the high level of pollution in their habitat, their life expectancy has also decreased. In fact, they are considered vulnerable fish, now on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Betta fish habitats are diminishing at an alarming rate, subject to agricultural expansion and development in Thailand.

In the wild, rice fields are the place most often occupied by Betta fish. As a result, many people believe that it is possible to keep Betta fish in captivity. However, in the wild, betta fish have unique habits. Rice fields are usually contained in much larger waters. In the dry season, most of the water evaporates and Betta fish are trapped in shallow puddles

How Long Do Betta Fish Live Without Food

How Long Do Betta Fish Live Without Food

The duration of the betta fish can survive without food is not all the same, some are 1 week to 2 weeks. Basically, betta fish are tough ornamental fish, unlike the others, so they can live without eating for days.

A week is a very common time for Betta fish to survive without eating, and this is evidenced by the many betta fish breeders who sell their fish overseas. Before the betta fish are sent abroad, they will usually be fasted on purpose for about a day. This is so that the Betta fish does not carry food in the stomach and excrete dirt during the trip. Because, little water and exposure to betta fish feces itself will make them sick and even die on the trip.

“How Long Do Betta Fish Live without food?” The maximum duration a Betta fish can live without food is around 14 days or 2 weeks. A Betta Fish’s belly is the size of its eye. They don’t need that much food, so they can survive a long time without eating.

Although Betta fish can survive without food for 14 days, they will start to stop growing after a few days without eating. Even if Betta fish survive without eating for 2 weeks, their immune system will become very weak due to lack of nutrition and stress.

Worse, if you start feeding when your betta has not been fed for so long, there is still a high chance that they will develop some disease.

The longest time to leave a hickey without feeding it is 4 days. More than that, then you will be risking his health. After 4-5 days of not eating, a Betta fish will feel hungry, so if it is allowed to continue for up to 2 weeks is very risky

How Long Do Betta Fish Live Without Water

How Long Do Betta Fish Live Without Water

How long can a Betta fish live outside the water?

A betta fish can hypothetically live out of water forever if you wash it with water because it can breathe in the surrounding air unlike non-anabantoid fish. But then there is still the act of feeding that you should watch out for. But if the fish jumps out of the tank or the tank falls over and the fish begins to dry up, it could die if it dried to a crisp or if it returned to the water right away, the fish might be fine.

A fish, when returned to the water after falling for either one minute or an hour, will then shed its mucus layer and sometimes lose its fins if it starts to dry out. After about a week of good water parameters, the mucus layer of the fish will heal and the new ones regenerate with the old ones shedding and disappearing. The fins can take longer to heal depending on the damage, sometimes taking months to fully regenerate the tail. A fish can also lose its eye if it dries out on carpet.

It’s also about how high your betta falls. Some die from impact if they fall too high, usually six feet or higher can be dangerous. Lower, they will only bounce on impact and then fail to find a water source. Or, if the tank is made of glass and it falls and breaks, the fish may die if some of the shards get on the fish.

As for how long do betta fish live without any water around it, it could be 1-2 hours maybe depending on where they land. If it’s a carpet, it will likely take less time because the carpet will absorb water. If it’s tile or some kind of laminate floor, they might outlast if they remain in a small puddle.

How Long Do Betta Fish Live Without A Filter

The quick answer to “how long do a betta fish live without a filter?” is: It depends entirely on your Betta Fish Aquarium setup and the environment in which you live. One of the obstacles in providing straightforward answers to all of these questions is that, in general, the Betta Fish enthusiast community is only on one side of the fence, or on the other.

Many experienced betta fish owners maintain that yes, you really need to have a filter or not, it simply isn’t necessary.

In these shallow waters, the movement of fish causes the water to circulate so that it can take more oxygen from the surface of the water. Fish can survive under these shallow water conditions for more than two days, maybe even a week or more, unless they are completely overcrowded or not in maksimum health.

The Most Common Reasons Betta Fish Die


One of the most common causes of death for Betta fish is overfeeding. Betta fish love to eat, and offering them a variety of foods, such as betta pellets and freeze-dried bloodworm, can please both you and your fish. However, it is important to know when adequate food has been given.

You don’t have to worry that your Betta fish will starve to death from being fed too late, but it is actually more dangerous to overfeed your fish. Overeating is a common problem and can be dangerous even if you feel guilty about it.

Leftover food will build up at the bottom and gradually rot, increasing the amount of ammonia in the tank. One way to absorb all of the uneaten food is to include a fed bottom fish such as catfish to make fun of leftovers.

It is recommended to feed betta fish twice a day and should only be fed small portions. Generally, 5-6 pellets per feed is sufficient; However, there are many different sizes of pellets. Know that a betta’s belly is only the size of an eye ball, and eat that much.

Overeating can not only cause gastrointestinal problems, but can also lead to a buildup of waste in the tank. To reduce the effect of overfeeding is to change the water regularly. But prevention is better than cure, so it’s best not to overfeed. You Can Read More About How Much Betta Fish Food

Poor Water Conditions

Dirty water is one of the quickest ways to cause fish to die, it doesn’t even have to look dirty. This is because chemicals from rotting fish excrement and uneaten food can contaminate the tank and make this water toxic.

Betta fish are naturally able to survive in harsh environments where most fish cannot survive. This is because they are anabantidae. They have developed the ability to breathe air from above water when the water itself is polluted and low in oxygen. Unfortunately, this is also what makes people think that keeping bettas in small bowls and tanks is okay.

Low Water Temperatures

Some people think that bettas are like goldfish, and will do just fine in an unheated bowl or tank. But what you should know is that Betta fish are tropical fish that require temperatures between 75 and 80 degrees Celsius.

Cold water will cause disease and premature death for Betta fish. Even if the temperature of your home is warmer, at night the temperature will drop further and this will cause the floating air to cool down quickly.


An over-stocked tank will not only lead to poor water conditions. This can contribute to your betta’s demise in many ways.

First of all, some bettas have a temperament which means they need to be independent. They will be constantly attacking and aggressive towards other tank mates. This will cause all the fish in the aquarium to die due to stress, including your betta

Secondly, an overstocked tank will not have enough room for your Betta to swim. In this case it will stress your Betta fish which can cause the fish to die suddenly.

Another problem is that your Betta will have difficulty breathing. Luckily, thanks to the labyrinth organ that a Betta fish has, it can breathe on surfaces. However, they also breathe underwater.

When the tank becomes overstocked there won’t be enough oxygen in it. This not only kills other fish, but also stresses your betta.

Incompatible Tank mates

Betta fish are territorial animals that cannot be housed with other fish, even if they are both Betta fish.

If the male betta fish is combined with other fish, they will feel threatened, stressed, then fight and injure each other.

They are not the type to feel lonely in the aquarium when alone. Betta fish will get bored and die quickly if placed in a small container. The limited space for swimming is the cause of sudden death of Betta fish. 


Betta fish can die from bad air conditions, overeating, cold temperatures, and dangerous living situations. Apart from physical damage, stress can also cause your Betta to die.

There are several causes of stress for your Betta fish, including other currents from the filter that can encourage your Betta to spin, or the fish seeing his reflection in his glasses and causing him to want to stress him over and over again.

Disease or Parasites

Although you can recognize many diseases and parasites before they become fatal, some are more difficult to identify. Tuberculosis, for example, doesn’t show any physical symptoms until it’s too late to save your Betta.

Even if you keep the tank clean, disease and parasites can still enter the tank in other ways. For example, if you add new plants or fish to your tank, betta fish are carriers, they can infect your betta.

That is why it is so important that you buy fish and plants from a reputable seller. You should make sure to quarantine any new additions to your Betta fish tank for at least 3 weeks before introducing them.

Read Also: Why Does My Betta Fish Stay At The Top Of The Tank?

Poor Diet

It’s not just overfeeding that can kill your Betta fish. Unbalanced diet, in general, can be serious.

Betta fish are carnivores by nature. Even if you watch your Betta fish eat plant matter, they won’t get the nutrients they need.  

You have to feed your Betta a mix of live food, frozen food, high quality pellets and freeze dried food.

Water fleas are a great way to feed your Betta fish. However, shrimp and mosquito larvae are also good choices.

You can feed them bloodworms occasionally but this should be limited.

And to be sure, don’t believe that a betta can survive by eating plant roots. It’s just a lie, and even if it looks good, your bettafish will suffer a lot.

How To Make Betta Fish Live Longer

Choosing A Healthy Fish

It is always unclear how they care when they come from unknown suppliers and breeders. This means they may have been exposed to a cramped environment, disease, and parasites which can shorten their life expectancy.

Having healthy bettas from the start is a key factor in how long they will live. Buying young bettas is essential if you want to have them for most or all of their life as well. A healthy Betta will have a bright (male) color, have no scales or fin damage, and be active and vibrant when you are present.

Choosing The Right Sized Tank

It is not recommended to keep Betta fish in a 1 or 2 gallon tank. Place your betta in a tank of at least 5 gallons to make it live longer. the bigger the aquarium size the better.

if the tank is smaller than that, they can start to get depressed and bored. Not to mention the fact that conditions will fluctuate much more wildly in the smaller tank.

Keep The Water Tank Clean

Smaller tanks also need to be cleaned more frequently due to their size, that’s a simple calculation! A gallon will require a daily water change while maintaining a constant temperature which is very difficult to do and causes constant stress.

Ammonia builds up when Betta fish excrete waste into the water and when uneaten food and plant life is damaged. This condition can cause disease that can harm your Betta fish and often causes death due to poor water quality. To reduce ammonia and nitrites, use a filter that will help keep the tank clean for longer..

Keep Males Separate

Male betta fish will have a lower life expectancy if kept in the presence of other males. Betta fish have been known to have aggressive behavior, which is why Betta fish are now known as the Siamese fighting fish. They were used as entertainment, fighting to the death in tanks in a way no different from cockfighting.

Although this practice has been banned (except in some places where it is not prohibited, such as Thailand), the Betta still has an aggressive and territorial nature, especially when the male is pinned to the male. This behavior is common in the wild, where males will fight over space for a few minutes before the others retreat. Unfortunately, in a small tank, the fish will combat to the death because they have nowhere to run anywhere for extra space.

Females are less aggressive and can stay together, as long as they have plenty of space. However, males must be separated at all costs. Keep them alone in the tank, or you can sometimes escape by housing them with fish like Rasboras. Betta and rasboras can live together in the wild, so they are a safe alternative if you want to keep more than one species of fish in your tank. You can also include a neon tetra, snail, loach, or even a bristlenose pleco        

Use a Filter and a Heater

It is known that in the wild Betta fish live in rice fields, they can survive in dirty water that is not heated.

The waters in Thailand are naturally heated due to the climate, so it’s important to use a heater in your tank. Set your tank temperature between 75-80 ° F.

It’s also important to use filters. Betta fish growth will be hampered in dirty, unfiltered water. The filter will clean the water, turn the ammonia and nitrite buildup into less harmful compounds, and also keep the water aerated.

Even with filters, it is still important to carry out regular water changes to remove nitrate build-up.

Give Them a Balanced Diet

Are you giving your Betta a high-quality, balanced diet? If not, then you will affect its age.

When feeding your Betta fish, make sure you don’t give him the same food every day. You must feed him a mixture of live food, and high quality Betta pellets.

When feeding your Betta fish, try to avoid foods that are high in plant and fat. Daphnia is a great choice for them, however, bloodworm should only be given to them as a snack

Use Living Plants

The final tip for creating the best habitat for your Betta, and therefore keeping your Betta fish alive for longer, is to incorporate plants into your setup.

The benefits of having plants in your aquarium are not based on diet as they are for other fish. These fish are carnivores so every bite they make on plants will be like that; snack!

Using live plants provides several benefits to Betta fish. Live plants provide oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide and ammonia in tanks. It will also make up for their natural environment so that you are more likely to see their natural behavior.

Live plants also provide them with plenty of hiding places; this is ideal if you are keeping a group of females.

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