How Long Do Betta Fish Live? Complete Lifespan Info

You would be blown away if you knew how many times we get asked: “how long do betta fish live?”

It’s a lot.

And really, it makes total 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.

Sure, you can simply find the average betta fish lifespan below and be on your way. However, we highly encourage you to take a second to learn about the factors that can influence how long they live.

You want your fish to be around as long as possible, and knowing this will help you make that happen.

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How Long Do Betta Fish Live In Aquariums?

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

A purple one year old betta swimming

Here’s The Catch

When a lot of people research how long betta fish live they’re under the assumption that they’ll have their fish for their entire life. This is not the case.

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

We felt that this was an important thing to point out just to help manage expectations for any new owners. We’re heard from new aquarists who have thought 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 betta fish lifespan won’t be quite as long as in an aquarium. There are a number of reasons for this but they all have to do with the additional stressors and difficulties that they will face.

For example, there’s no guarantee that they will be living in water conditions that are suitable for maximizing their lifespan. Also, there’s a good chance that males will injure each other due to their aggressive territorial nature.

Ways To Help Them Live Longer

Like any animal, the lifespan of a betta fish can be drastically impacted by the quality of its living conditions. Here’s what to be aware of from a high-level. If you want the nitty-gritty you can read our betta fish care guide.

How long do betta fish live featured pic

Start With A Healthy Fish

It should come as no surprise that purchasing a healthy fish from a reputable supplier will make a huge impact on the lifespan of your betta fish. A fish that has grown up in subpar living conditions and isn’t healthy simply won’t live as long.

Look for any concerning signs before you buy your fish. Bulging eyes, faint colors, and any other external red flags will help give you a good idea.

Focus On The 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 equals poor health.

We’re not going to get into the exact parameters you need to be aware of in this post. If you want to see them click this link to be taken to that section in our other guide.

Give Them Enough Space

Another great way to increase the number of years a betta fish lives is by keeping them in a proper tank. This is their home, and if they don’t have an adequate amount of space it will cause stress and negatively impact their health.

Betta fish lifespan in a tank

The average betta fish lifespan can swing by at least a year depending on if they have a suitable home or not. Take this seriously and do what it takes to give them the space they need. This will also help them sleep, which impacts lifespan quite a bit.

Make Sure There Aren’t Any Scuffles

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

This means you should never have them share a tank with fish that aren’t a good match. Males should never be in the same tank with other males, and other aggressive fish are to be avoided (here’s a more in-depth look).

This will cause stress and potential injuries which all can shorten the average betta fish lifespan significantly. 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” along with the various factors that can impact their lifespan.

If you want them to live as long as possible, make sure you give them the best possible environment and habitat that allows them to thrive.

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

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