How Long Do Betta Fish Live? Complete Lifespan Info

You’d be blown away if you knew how many times we’re asked, “how long do betta fish live?”

It’s a lot.

And really, that makes perfect 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’s not as simple as that.

Of course, you can just find the average betta fish lifespan below and be on your way. However, we strongly encourage you to take a second to learn more about the factors that can influence their lifespan.

You want your fish to be there for as long as possible, and knowing that will help you get there.

How long do betta fish live in aquariums?

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

A one year old purple betta swimming

Here is the capture

When many people research the lifespan of betta fish, they assume that they will have their fish their entire lives. This is not the case.

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

We felt this was an important thing to point out just to help manage the expectations of any new owner. We’ve heard of new aquarists who think their betta died young when in reality it had an average lifespan.

How long do betta fish live in the wild?

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

For example, there is no guarantee that they will live in water conditions conducive to maximizing their lifespan. Additionally, there is a high chance that males will injure themselves due to their aggressive territorial nature.

Ways to help them live longer

Like any animal, the lifespan of a betta fish can be greatly impacted by the quality of its living conditions. Here’s what you need to know from a high level. If you want the serious stuff, you can read our betta fish care guide.

How long do betta fish live featured

Start with healthy fish

It’s no surprise that buying healthy fish from a reputable supplier has a huge impact on the lifespan of your betta fish. A fish that grew up in poor living conditions and is not healthy simply will not live as long.

Look for any worrying signs before buying your fish. Bulging eyes, pale 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 means poor health.

We’re not going to go into the exact settings you need to be aware of in this article. If you want to see them, click on this link to be redirected to this section of our other guide.

Give them enough space

Another great way to increase the number of years a betta fish will live is to keep it in a proper aquarium. It’s their home, and if they don’t have enough space, it will cause stress and negatively impact their health.

Lifespan of Betta Fish in an Aquarium

The average lifespan of betta fish can vary by 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. It will also help them sleep, which has a huge impact on lifespan.

Make sure there’s no fighting

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

This means that you should never have them share an aquarium with fish that are not compatible. Males should never be in the same tank with other males, and other aggressive fish should be avoided (here’s a closer look).

This will lead to stress and potential injury which can all 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” as well as the various factors that can impact 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 allows them to thrive.

Like any other animal, the average lifespan of betta fish can change drastically depending on the level of care you provide. Get them right, and they’ll be there for you to enjoy for quite a while!

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