Betta Fish Lifespan In Wild: How Long Do Betta Fish Live?

If you are an aquarist, chances are you have heard of betta fish before. Due to their vibrant colors and low maintenance, betta fish are among the most favorite in home tanks.

If you intend to keep a betta, it is important that you learn about their livelihoods. Anything from betta fish lifespan in wild to suggestions on their diets and water conditions is worth knowing. Keep scrolling down to read everything!

How Long Do Betta Fish Live In The Wild?

betta fish types

In their natural habitat, betta fish tend not to survive longer than 2 years.

There are various reasons associated with this limited lifespan. Firstly, these fish do not have anyone to feed them constantly. Hunting for food in the wild can be stressful, not to mention useless. Certain seasons see a decrease in the number of animals residing in the water, leading to starving bettas.

Furthermore, fighting and conflicts occur more frequently when bettas do not get to live with ideal tank mates. Since bettas come from the tropical water of Southeast Asia, they encounter aggressive Siamese fish rather frequently. Such collisions are no doubt a toll on their longevity.

Last but not least, the environment for bettas is not ideal either. In the past, water conditions used to be much better. But now, most bodies of water are contaminated and littered. Living in murky, dirty water is detrimental to their healthy growth.

How Long Do Betta Fish Live In A Tank?

If kept in captivity, bettas usually live longer than being left to their own in the wild. When they are taken care of by aquarists, bettas can live up to 5 years.

However, this only occurs when all the needs and wants of bettas are met. If you keep them in a tank but do not care about how they live, bettas sure cannot survive for long.

How To Make Betta Fish Live Longer? (5 Common Methods)

The lifespan of bettas is not predetermined. With enough measures, you can still extend their livelihood as follows.

Prepare a suitable tank

Like all fish, bettas need enough space to move around comfortably. A tank with a capacity of around 5 gallons is recommended for 2-3 small bettas.

In case you want a larger school of bettas, consider buying a 20-gallon tank. The bigger the tank is, the more freedom your fish get to enjoy.

Buy healthy bettas

You cannot expect your bettas to live for years if they are ill from the start. When purchasing bettas to put in a new tank, do not forget to examine them closely. Check for any wounds and physical signs showing that they are in trouble.

For example, dull eyes with little activeness are a no. Another element to look out for is the color of the fish. If they are too pale, they might be underfed or infected.

Ensure the tank’s conditions

Your tanks need to be clean and clear for bettas to thrive. Waste buildup, high levels of nitrate and ammonia, as well as other pollutants can pose a threat to your bettas.

Remember to change the water frequently and get rid of anything toxic. You should also put in disinfectants to remove potential bacteria and diseases to minimize the chances of your bettas getting ill.

Invest in suitable appliances

Having a mere tank will not suffice should you want your bettas to live long and have fun. Some tools and devices hasten their growth and ensure their daily activities, including a heater, water filters, and tank decor.

A heater is needed to control the stability of your tank’s temperature. If forced to live outside the normal range of 77 to 81 degrees, bettas are likely to experience a spike in their stress level.

Another thing to consider is the water filters. They help keep the water fresh, as well as reduce the level of toxins.

Finally, put in some mesh dividers, driftwood, or rocks to keep your bettas entertained. They do not do well if they remain idle and lazy. Providing them with a playground is the fastest way for bettas to get enough exercise.

Control the diet

Bettas are not picky eaters. They actually consume everything. That is what makes feeding bettas tricky. If you keep providing them with low-quality food, bettas will not be able to reach their full size.

Moreover, a lack of diversity in their diets also prevents bettas from feeling full and energetic. Maintaining a protein-based diet with a mixture of plant matter is highly recommended. And, of course, do not forget to put lots of different things to eat together!


1. Can betta fish live in the wild?

Yes. Betta fish originate from the wild, so they sure can survive. However, being able to live in their natural habitat does not necessarily mean that bettas live comfortably.

Due to external factors such as aggressive encounters with other fish, a lack of resources, and pollution, bettas struggle to achieve their average lifespan of 2 years if left on their own.

2. What type of betta lives the longest?

couple of bettas

Most experts agree that red and blue veil tail bettas are the sturdiest strand of betta. Due to their rarity, these fish can live up to 5 years and beyond. They are also easy to take care of and do not require much maintenance, thus making them beginner-friendly.

That said, as long as you give them the right conditions, bettas can still make it to the 5-year threshold.


Learning about betta fish lifespan in wild is easy enough. Now that you understand what suits these fish, it is time to build your betta tank at home and take care of them properly.

And make sure to spread the word around if you find this article helpful!