In general, the average life span of Betta fish is 2 to 4 years for both genders. Different factors, such as the environment they lived with and their food, affect their life span.
How Long Do Betta Fish Live (Captivity and Wild)?
Betta fish is one of the most popular aquarium pets. It is known for its flexibility, its look, and character. It comes in different colors and with distinct tails. There are various species of Betta fish such as veil tail, spade tail, super delta, comb tail, feather tail, half-sun, and rose tail.
In general, a Betta fish lives from 2 to 4 years. Betta fish owners claimed otherwise though and claimed differently. They said their Betta fish live for at least nine years in their aqua. Don’t expect though to raise your Betta fish for such long years – again; different factors can affect their life span.
1) In Captivity
If you have given someone a pet fish, maybe you gave a Betta fish without knowing that it was a Betta fish. It is the first choice for fish keepers, especially the novices. It is one of the reasons why Betta fish is known to have a short span. New first-timers often lack basic knowledge about Betta fish care and maintenance.
When in captivity, Betta fish can live up to three years when in captivity. However, if you know how to give your Betta fish proper maintenance and care, you can significantly extend its life span.
It is also essential to take note of the current age of the Betta fish upon captivity. Stores sell male Betta fish at least a year old when its fins and colors are fully developed. For females, they should be at least six months old.
2) In Wild
The physical appearance of Betta fishes in captivity and the wild are different. In captivity, male Betta fishes have brighter colors. In the wild, they are smaller as well.
In their natural environment, a Betta fish have a dull green color with short fins. They live for up to two years as well.
Betta fishes thrive and live in ponds, flood plains, marshes, canals, rice paddies, and streams. The fact that they live in contaminated water contributes to their shorter life span in the wild. Since it is in the wild, the water temperature also changes from time to time.
When in captivity, aquarium owners often install devices that control the water temp of their aquarium that leads to a better quality of life and longer life span.
Another factor that cuts a Betta fish lifespan in the wild is that male Betta fish fights with one another as they compete with food and territory.
How to Make Betta Fish Live Longer?
Want to give your Betta fish a longer lifespan?
1) Purchase Healthy Betta Fish
When buying fish for your aquarium, your goal is to take home the best and healthiest fish from the fish store. There are factors to consider in choosing a good fish store such as a suitable environment for the fishes (not cramped and with enough space for the fishes to swim).
You can also check the reputation of the fish store. Do fish lovers highly recommend it? Are they known for producing healthy aquarium fishes? You can also check the fishes they are selling. Some of the things you have to watch out for are the color of the fishes (how vibrant) and their feeding habit (they are active and easy to feed).
If you see the following symptoms, you might be dealing with a sick or a stressed fish. These symptoms include:
- Body injuries such as scratches
- Low energy
- Dwindling color
- Clamped fins
- It doesn’t swim around.
- Low activities
2) Healthy and Proper Diet
The lifespan of a Betta fish relies on a proper diet. A healthy diet can also improve the color of this fish. It also enhances the growth rate of Betta fish.
This type of fish is a carnivore. Its diet required fiber and protein. When in the wild, a Betta fish feeds on larvae and insects. When in a controlled environment like the aquarium, the diet of a Betta fish is the same by feeding it with a frozen, freeze-dried, and live bloodworms. It can be feed with brine shrimp and daphnia to supplement its natural carnivore diet.
With the availability of frozen and dried products used to feed Betta fish, overfeeding is one of the common causes of death of Betta fish when in captivity. To prevent such from happening, you should only feed your Betta fish for two minutes, at least twice a day.
Another adverse effect of overfeeding is the increase in food waste that stays at the bottom of the aquarium. This waste can increase the ammonia in the water that can affect the Betta fish. Overfeeding can also cause bladder disorder, constipation, and bloating.
3) Proper Tank Size
For a Betta fish, the best size of an aquarium with a tank size at least 5 gallons. With a tank size of 2.5 gallons is the minimum tank size, a Betta fish can swim easily.
Some people believe Betta fish are said to be flexible and can adjust to small spaces like in a bowl, cup, or vase. It can also live in shallow water like when it is living in a pond. However, this is exactly not true.
You have to consider, though, if there are other fishes on your tank. If there are other fishes, it is best to get a bigger tank. With a bigger tank, the water temperature doesn’t change radically as well.
One thing to remember, Betta fishes are known for their jumping abilities, so make sure to put it in a tank with lid cover.
4) Water Quality and Temperature
Another factor to consider when keeping a Betta fish in captivity is the quality of the water in your tank and the temperature. You should replace the water regularly and keep the water temperature the same (not too hot or too cold).
For a Betta fish, it requires warm water because it is a tropical fish. The water temperature must be at least 82°F or 28°C (maximum) or 75°F or 24°C at a minimum. You should maintain the pH at 6.5 to 7.5. How to ensure that your fish tank’s water temperature is within range? Get a thermostat!
Cold water can cause a Betta fish to develop a poor appetite, lethargy, and weak immune system that can lead to death.
You should keep your fish tank clean all the time. A tank with clean water is an essential part of having a healthy environment for a Betta fish. To keep it clean, use filters. There is no need to replace your tank’s water all the time. It can be stressful for aqua fishes.
A filter is also essential to reduce the amount of ammonia in your tank, as well as nitrates and nitrites.
5) Plants and Decorations
Betta fishes also love to hide not because they are afraid but rather as a part of their natural habitat. Place stones and shells on your aquarium so they can roam and hide around. It will keep them feel secure and safe.
Use decorative plants as well, tunnel, driftwood, and caves. For live plants, you can try having Java Moss or Anacharis. Marimo Moss Balls and java Fern are also excellent choices.
6) Good Tank Mates
Male Betta fishes are territorial. In the wild, they often fight with other male Betta. It is the same when they are in captivity and often fights with other fishes.
To prevent such from happening, make sure to put it in a larger tank so they can freely swim around without colliding with other fishes. You can also put it with other fishes that they get along with, such as Tetra, Ember, Pleco, Kuhli, Snail, Corydoras, Neon Tetra, Catfish, and Pleco.
If you knew your Betta fish, then you won’t have a problem raising one. The information in this guide can help you care for your Betta fishes while lengthening their lifespan. With proper care and maintenance, you can expect to have your small friend for up to three years or even longer!