What is the average lifespan of a betta fish?

In this blog, we will discuss the average lifespan of a betta fish. This blog will help betta lovers learn the factors that affect their lifespan.


In this blog

  • What is the average lifespan of a betta fish?
  • What is the age of bettas sold in pet stores?
  • How long is it possible for a betta fish to live in a fish bowl?
  • Is it possible for betta fish to live for ten years?
  • How to increase the lifespan of bettas?
  • How long can a betta fish live in the cup? 
  • Which betta fish has the longest lifespan? 
  • What are the signs of  old age in betta fish? 
  • Summary 
  • Frequently asked question
  • Reference 

What is the average lifespan of a betta fish?

Betta or fighting fish live up to 2-4 years on average.The lifespan of a betta directly depends on the environment in which you keep it.

By keeping the aquarium clean and keeping an eye on their diet, you can help them live longer lives.

What is the age of bettas sold in pet stores?

Betta fish purchased at pet stores are often already one year old. Male bettas are specially fully matured to develop their beautiful fins and colors well. Female bettas may be sold at a young age, but are usually 6 months or older,when put up for sale.

Breeders tend to sell clearly modified betta fish with terrible genes. Genetics plays an important role in bettas lifespan. Buying betta fish from a breeder who knows their genetics is very important.

How long is it possible for a betta fish to live in a fish bowl? 

Betta fish can live for up to five years in an ideal 2.5 gallon tank with a filter and heater.

But in fish bowls,they live less than half the average lifespan, sometimes less than a year.

Is it possible for betta fish to live for ten years? 

Most bettas can live between 3-5 years, but their age is not known when adopted from the store.

Some bettas will live longer, some bettas will die young no matter what you do,or how you care for them. 

Unfortunately, no matter what kind of pet you have, some just don’t survive for a longer time.

How to increase the lifespan of bettas?

Keeping bettas in right tank size

As per some betta fish keepers,bettas can be kept in bowls or vases, but unfortunately this is not the case. If you don’t house them in a proper tank, the betta will die quickly.

  • Minimum tank size- Three gallons per betta fish.
  • The ideal tank size for single male or female betta is five gallons.
  • An additional aquarium size for each fully grown bettas is one gallons.
  • Avoid keeping betta fish in an overcrowded tank.Overcrowding causes a stress response, impedes growth, weakens immunity and makes fish more susceptible to disease.Such stress can shorten their lifespan.To avoid this, keep them in bigger tanks.

Keeping bettas in ideal water parameters

Ideal water parameters for good lifespan for betta fish:

  • Water temperature: 75°-81°F /23.8-27.2C
  • Ammonia and Nitrite: zero ppm.
  • Nitrate: <20 ppm.
  • GH: 3-4 dGH/50-66.7 ppm
  • KH: 3-5 dKH/53.6- 89.4 ppm
  • Water pH: 6.5-7.5.

Installing good heater in bettas tank

To maintain a constant ideal water temperature, it is a good idea to install a heater in the betta’s tank. Bettas need warm water to stay healthy, but bettas are usually kept in small bowls or tanks. Using a mini heater is the perfect solution.

Installing efficient filter system in bettas tank

An aquarium filtration system is an important component of a healthy betta fish tank.Nice output filters that can be installed in small betta tanks in order for the nitrogen cycle to function properly & effectively, you will need a filtration system.

Great care must be taken when choosing a filter for a betta fish. Sponge or foam filters are a great choice for bettas as flow can be adjusted in such filters.

Feeding bettas proteinaceous and betta specific food

One can choose from high quality pellets,frozen foods and flake foods, but the best option is to choose one that is specially formulated for betta fish.

  • Freeze-dried tubifex worms.
  • Mosquito larvae.
  • Bloodworms.
  • Brine shrimp.
  • Make sure you are providing them a healthy and balanced diet.

Avoid overfeeding your bettas,as it is not good for their gut health & can even make the tank environment dirtier by increasing the ammonia levels in their tanks.

Avoid feeding them expired food, as it can deteriorate their health.It is very important to check the food labels before buying them from pet stores.

Feed juveniles 3-4 times a day and adult bettas only twice.If possible get betta specific food from pet stores to feed them.

Exercise bettas to increase their lifespan

Exercise has been shown to prolong the life of bettas, so a gentle flow of water through the tank that provides resistance while swimming can keep the fish healthy, but the flow should not be so great that it blows the fish around the tank.Even so, bettas rarely live longer than five years.

  • Place the ping-pong ball in the aquarium. 
  • Observe bettas flares using a mirror. 
  • Introducing floating decorations in bettas tank.

Bettas tank maintenance

You need to clean a 5 gallon betta tank every week, but a larger 15 gallon or a 20 gallon tank only needs to be cleaned once or twice a month.

In most cases, a bettas container only needs a partial water change. However, if the entire container becomes dirty, conduct a complete water replacement.

Remove uneaten food from the tank to avoid ammonia and nitrite accumulation in the tank.

Make sure all the equipments are in working conditions.Replace if not working properly

Stress free environment in bettas tank

Covers are vital for betta relaxation. Such spaces provide them with places where the betta can rest without fear of being attacked, and also allow him to feel safe if he starts to get stressed. Some good hiding places are plants and caves, as well as various decorations.

Aquatic caves or densely planted nooks are great for keeping bettas safe.

It’s important that you check the trimmings for any spots where your betta’s delicate fins could snag or tear.

Compatible tank mates plays a great role in keeping aquariums environment stress free.Suitable tank mates for bettas are:

  • Some tetras
  • Some loaches
  • Trumpet snails
  • Corydoras
  • Harlequins 

How long can a betta fish live in the cup? 

Betta is a tropical fish, so a proper heating system is also a good idea. Keeping in a cup for more than 48 hours can be harmful as it can cause illness due to poor water quality, low temperatures and stress.

Which betta fish has the longest lifespan? 

When you see older bettas, it is interesting that they tend to be of the veil tail breed.

It has been speculated that the red & blue veiltail bettas are the strongest and longest-lived simply because they are not widely selectively bred and have been forged less than some betta designer varieties.

What are the signs of old age in betta fish?

  • Old bettas start losing their finnage colors and scales.
  • Old male bettas stop making bubble nests.
  • Old bettas take naps frequently.
  • Old bettas have ragged and curled fins.
  • Old age betas have white dots which keep on appearing and disappearing on them.
  • They tend to skip their meals or show no interest in eating.


  • Betta’s are low maintenance fish,but there are a few basic things you must do to keep them healthy.
  • Keeping the water clean with frequent water changes can help, especially if your betta is being kept in a non-aerated tank.
  • Avoid feeding expired food products to betta fish.This could dwindle their lifespan.
  • Avoid overfeeding bettas,as it can cause various health problems in bettas.
  • Feed bettas a healthy and balanced diet, containing protein and vitamins.
  • Betta can lead a complete and healthy life only in a circulating and heated aquarium.
  • Bettas live stress free with suitable tank companions,and a stress free environment is good for bettas lifespan.
  • Many people think they can bring a betta fish home, throw it in a bowl, and forget about it.If you want your bettas to live longer, then provide them all the above mentioned things.
  • Always perform water changes in bettas tanks to keep the levels of ammonia and other organic pollutants in check,as bettas are very sensitive to ammonia spikes.
  • Aquarium water should be monitored everyday with suitable water testing kits to maintain pristine water conditions in bettas tanks.
  • Never overcrowd bettas tanks,as it is responsible for various infections in bettas and also kills them quickly.
  • The average lifespan of betta fish is about 2-3 years. However, most of the betta fish you buy at pet shops are at least 6 months old, so if you’re very lucky, you can keep them for 2 years by maintaining them properly.

Frequently asked questions

How long did the oldest betta fish last?

The oldest betta fish is rumored to have lived to be ten years old and was lab bred, although there is no evidence to support this.

Do overfeeding shorten the lifespan of betta fish?

Overfeeding too much food to bettas can cause fatty liver disease ,hepatic lipidosis, which can shorten the lifespan of your betta fish.