How Long Do Betta Fish Live? (How To Increase Their Lifespan)

Betta fish are the most popular fish every aquarist loves to keep as their pets.

The query for the lifespan of bettas comes to our mind in two situations: when we are planning to add betta fish to our tank and when our betta fish is dying or passing away. So, How long do betta fish live? Let us find out.

4-5 years is the lifespan of a betta fish in the wild and captivity. However, keeping them in a tank with inadequate living conditions can shorter their lifespan. So, provide your betta with adequate water conditions and parameters, and feed them high-quality food to ensure their longer lifespan.

This article will also discuss how to increase the lifespan of betta fish and how to know if betta fish is dying. So, let us get into it.

How long do betta fish live as a pet?

Betta fish live up to 2-5 years in captivity, which is the same as they live in the wild.

However, in captivity, you must take care of your betta fish to increase their lifespan.

Providing your betta with their ideal living conditions and environment will make them live longer.

And, if you keep them in an environment with inadequate living conditions, poor feeding, and aggressive tankmates, they will only live for a short time.

Bettas are hardy fish that can live in a wide range of water conditions, and this is why they are best for beginners.

Provide your betta fish with ideal living conditions and parameters, and they will thrive.

How to know if my betta fish is dying?

All these signs will indicate that your betta fish is not well and is dying:

  1. Your betta will lose its appetite and will not be interested in eating.
  2. You will see your betta fish hiding most of the time.
  3. Your betta fish will look pale and weak.
  4. Your betta fish will become lethargic and stay in one spot most of the time.
  5. Your betta fish will gasp for air at the water’s surface.
  6. You will notice the strange behaviour of your betta fish which they normally don’t do.

All these are the symptoms that indicate that your betta fish is sick and dying.

The most common reason for these issues is poor water conditions, inadequate water parameters, and poor feeding.

How to increase the lifespan of my betta fish?

When we keep betta as a pet in captivity, we are responsible for providing them with ideal living conditions and ensuring their long lifespan.

Ensure all these things to increase the lifespan of your betta fish:

  1. Provide clean water conditions to your betta.
  2. Ensure adequate water parameters and stable water temperature.
  3. Feed your betta fish with high-quality nutritional food regularly.
  4. Provide your betta fish with enough space to live and swim comfortably.
  5. Ensure a stress-free environment for your betta fish.

Clean water conditions

Betta fish are tropical freshwater fish and require clean water conditions to thrive.

Providing them with good water conditions will ensure their longer lifespan.

To provide your betta with clean water conditions, perform a weekly water change of 30-35%. 

Performing a water change will help you keep the water clean from excessive waste and leftovers and maintain the water chemistry.

We must treat the fresh water with a water conditioner to dechlorinate it whenever we perform a water change.

We recommend using the API tap water conditioner to treat the fresh water, as it will help you eliminate chlorine, chloramine, ammonia, nitrite, and heavy metals from the water.

Bettas are very sensitive when it comes to water conditions, so make sure to regularly check water’s ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels and maintain ammonia and nitrite at 0 ppm, whereas nitrate should be below 20 ppm.

We recommend using the API freshwater master kit to help you accurately check ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and pH levels.

A filtration system will help you prevent your betta tank from excessive waste and protect your betta water from ammonia and nitrite.

Adequate water parameters and stable water temperature.

Providing your betta fish with adequate water parameters will ensure their good health and longer lifespan.

Betta fish prefer to live in a well-heated tank and thrive in warm water temperatures.

Provide your betta fish with a water temperature between 78-82 °F.

Fluctuating water temperatures can stress your betta fish, and they will become vulnerable to various diseases and parasites.

So, consider adding a heater to your betta fish tank to ensure stable water temperature.

We recommend using the Fluval M200 Submersible heater for your tank.

Your betta fish will thrive between a water pH level of 6.5 and 8.

Also read: How Often To Change Betta Fish Water?

Feed high-quality nutritional food regularly.

Food plays a very important role in keeping your betta fish healthy.

Feeding your betta fish adequately with high-quality food is necessary to protect them from various issues and strengthen them.

Bettas are carnivore fish and require meat-based food in their daily diet.

You can feed them with various foods like betta pellets, earthworms, bloodworms, brine shrimp, mosquito larvae, blackworms, daphnia, and tubifex worms.

Pellets should be the staple part of your betta fish daily diet.

You can consider feeding your betta fish with Tetra Betta Small Pellets as it is protein-rich and high-quality food.

You can feed live, frozen, and freeze-dried food to your bettas, but it should be only served as a treat to them once a week.

Also read: How often To Feed Betta Fish?

Provide ample space

Betta fish live in shallow places like canals, rice paddies, and floodplains, making us think that they don’t require big space to live in captivity.

However, this is incorrect; your betta fish require ample space to live and swim comfortably.

Keeping your betta fish in a small-size tank, like 2-3 gallons, will not be enough for them.

You should provide a minimum size of a 5-gallon tank to your betta fish, and the space increases according to the number of fish you will keep adding to their tank.

The small-size tank will get dirty faster than usual, and it will be challenging for you to maintain the water chemistry.

Also read: How Many Betta Fish In a 5-Gallon Tank?

Provide stress-free environment

All the above points will help you provide a stress-free environment for your betta fish. 

However, you should also ensure all these things to provide your betta fish with a stress-free environment:

  1. Avoid overcrowding your betta fish tank.
  2. Don’t house two male betta fish together in the same tank.
  3. Avoid overfeeding your betta fish by feeding them only two to three pellets twice a day.
  4. Don’t add fish that is bigger and more colourful than your betta fish in your betta tank.
  5. Create plenty of hiding spots in your betta tank by adding decors like caves, sunken ships, and terra cotta pots.
  6. Adding plenty of live aquatic plants will provide them with good hiding spots and ensure enough oxygen in the tank for your betta fish.


Betta fish can live for 4-5 years in their lifetime.

If you keep betta fish as a pet, then how you keep them will decide their lifespan.

Providing your betta fish with their ideal living conditions and environment will make them live longer.

They can pass away soon if you don’t provide them with their ideal living requirements.

So, make sure to provide your betta fish with their ideal water parameters and conditions, feed them regularly with high-quality food, and provide them with a stress-free environment to ensure their long life.

Reference: Wikipedia, ResearchGate, University of Florida

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