How Long Do Betta Fish Live?

Betta fish, also known as Siamese Fighting Fish, are a very popular fish due to their pretty colors and typically they are cheap to purchase. You will usually see these at pet stores in small containers. If you’re considering getting yourself a Betta fish or already have one, understanding their lifespan will help you keep them healthy and care for them properly so they can live longer because you’ll know what to expect.

First and foremost, where are you sourcing your betta fish? If you can find a pet shop that internally breeds betta, that is the best place to get a fish from. Not that there is anything inherently wrong with the 3rd party pet store betta in small containers.

Most of them become stressed from travel and being cooped up in a small container for a long time. It’s during this stressful process that they can develop health issues that can potentially  shorten their lifespan. Needless to say a lot of 3rd party sourced betta are not happy betta fish, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t need homes either! 

The average lifespan of a Betta fish is 2-4 years. Having them live longer is absolutely feasible. The length of their lives is directly related to the quality of their life and the environment they live in. If you watch their diets and regularly clean their tanks, they are more likely to live longer.

How to Keep a Betta Fish Healthy

Betta fish have the same general needs as other species of fish, but since they are unique, they also have more specific care that is needed. Betta are more aggressive and territorial in nature, so it is best to keep Betta in separate tanks from other fish.

Betta Fish Swimming In A Clean, Well Sized Tank With lots of Plants.

Betty Splendens is your online source for Betta fish information. We know all about Betta fish, so if there is information you’re looking for, be sure to visit our website.

Proper Tank Care for Betta Fish

Betta fish require a tank that is at least 2 cubic feet of space in order to live in a healthy environment. The bigger the tank, the better. 

Betta fish are tropical fish, so they need warm water to thrive. An aquarium heater is a must for your Betta to live a long, comfortable life. The water should be around 76 to 80 degrees fahrenheit for a healthy Betta fish.

The tank a Betta fish lives in should be clean, but not entirely sterile. They do make water conditioners for betta to balance the ammonia levels and other aspects of the tank. 

Please make sure to do your homework before introducing a conditioner to your fish’s environment. 

Make sure the water’s clean, some pet stores will even provide specific betta fish water. This way you can get gallons of water at a time to change your betta’s tank with ease. 

They do need some healthy bacteria to grow in their tanks for their health. When you add new water into their tanks, only do 15% or so at a time so you don’t shock them with the change in water. Live plants also play a role in higher water quality. They also let the betta feel safe and secure, with a nice plant to hide in.

Nutritional Needs for Betta Fish | Betta Fish Care

Betta fish need more than your typical flakes of fish food. In their natural habitat, they hunt insects for food, so there are special betta pellets of food for Betta fish to eat and get the nutrients they need. You want to make sure to avoid overfeeding as this can cause negative results. Betta can also have treats such as:

  • Bloodworms
  • Brine Shrimp
  • Mosquito Larvae
  • Freeze-dried Tubifex Worms

Tips to Care for Your Betta Fish

  • Find a fish veterinarian
  • Maintain a low-stress environment
  • Research which breeds can share a tank
  • Provide gentle water flow for exercise 

Check for signs of illness regularly. Remember, if you have concerns about the health and safety of your fish, consult your veterinarian. Please always do your research before bringing a new pet, such as a Betta fish into your home. With careful planning, you can make sure that your betta lives a long life.


You’ve gotten a new betta fish. Aside from the new tank, fish accessories and food, you’re probably wondering what you need to know about betta fish water to make your new beta comfortable.

How To Acclimate Betta Fish | Filling Your Tank For The First Time

Most people think that betta fish can be kept in small containers with a very small amount of water. While this is possible, it is uncomfortable for the betta fish and it makes the cleaning process much more difficult.

Make sure that your new betta tank is fairly spacious. It doesn’t need to be huge, but you’ll want to give them some room to move about. Betta fish like to have a place to hide, so including a nook or cave is recommended. You will also want to make sure that the bottom of the tank has gravel as well.

To get your tank saturated you will want to fill it with tap water. Do not use purified or distilled water. Tap water contains a variety of important minerals that are beneficial to your betta.

Some pet stores will actually offer “Betta Water” stations where you are able to fill a container with ready to use betta fish water. This takes a lot of the guesswork out of the equation. 

Fill the tank, leaving a good amount of space on the top of the tank. Betta fish need oxygen to breathe, they do not breathe underwater unlike the vast majority of fish species. So by leaving a gap at the top, your new betta will be able to grab a few gulps of air when they need it.

Make sure to pick up a water conditioner that will remove harmful chlorine and impurities from the water. Every time the water is changed, the conditioner needs to be added.  There are specific water conditioners for betta fish that you can pick up at your local pet store to make things easier. 

Question : How Often Should Betta Fish Water Be Changed?

Answer: Most betta owners will change the water at least once a week, however this can depend on the size of the container.

Before getting your betta fish in the tank you will want to make sure that the water in the aquarium is PH’d between 6.8 and 7.5. Once the water is situated, you can plop your bagged betta into the water letting it float at the top of the tank. 

Make sure that the bag your betta is in has adequate space at the top for your betta to take a breath when they need it. Leaving them in the bag allows the water temperature in the bag to match the temperature of the water in the bag. This lowers the amount of stress that the betta will have to endure upon entering their new home.

What Temp Should Betta Fish Water Be?

High End Aquarium

Betta fish are tropical fish that are used to a tropical climate. They prefer the water temperature to be kept anywhere from 76 to 85 degrees fahrenheit. They are able to tolerate cooler temperatures but your betta will start to show signs of stress if this is a common/ long term arrangement.  

Do Betta Fish Need Water Heaters?

If you live somewhere where it is cold most of the time it may be a good idea to pick up a betta aquarium heater as betta fish love warm water. If water temperatures drop or other stressors are present, your betta will start to change color/loose color. This tends to be common among betta fish that are stressed out and worried. 

Keep an eye out for pale or lightning colors of your betta to know if your betta fish is comfortable in their aquarium or not. Sometimes they will even hang out at the bottom of the tank and look sluggish if they are stressed or unhappy. So if you see any of these traits, it’s time to do some investigating. 

Do Betta Fish Need A Filter In Their Aquarium?

It’s common to see betta fish housed in fish bowls. In that scenario there is usually no heaters and no filters for those betta. While this is a common practice and most betta do “survive”, it is a huge downgrade to their standard of living and will ultimately cause stress or other maladies like fin rot or inflamed gills. 

Aquarium filters are a great way to oxygenate the water for your betta. They filter out waste and contaminants while keeping the tank much cleaner.  Make sure the water flow is slow and not disruptive to your bettas habitat.

Dirty water and cold temperatures are the main contributors of stress when it comes to betta fish. A non-filtered and non-heated betta tank requires a lot of work contrary to what most might think. 

When betta fish in non filtered bowls have problems, they happen fast. Without a filter it’s hard for the tank to become its own micro ecosystem. There is nothing filtering out the hefty part of the waste and pollutants. That means that these require the owner to change water and provide upkeep much more frequently.

When To Change Betta Fish Water?

Betta Fish Swimming In Water

If your betta fish is going to be put into a filtered tank, there are colonies of microorganisms that break down old food and waste naturally. Changing the water in a filtered tank is much easier. 

How to Change Betta Fish Water

Firstly, make sure to carefully remove your betta fish and set them in a container of their tank water in a warm shaded area while you are cleaning the tank. The cleaning process often stresses out the betta so we have found it beneficial to just remove the betta from the tank beforehand.

Because you don’t want to disrupt the natural microorganisms, you will want to perform a 30% weekly water change. While doing this, it’s important to vacuum the gravel, clean the walls of any algae that may have built up and any tank decorations that look discolored or gross.

Water Changes Without A Filter

As we mentioned before, betta fish can be housed in a bowl with no filtration. Owners will need to stay on top of weekly water changes and continuously check the temperature of the water in the bowl. You can pick up tank thermometers for an affordable price at your local pet store. 

Because there is no filter, by missing just one or two tank cleanings/water changes, you could be putting your betta in a situation to develop major complications. 

In the long run, and in our opinion, if you don’t have the time to clean the tank weekly/continuously, a filtration system with a sponge filter and a heater will inevitably create less work for you. You don’t need anything huge, maybe a 5 or 10 gallon tank will do.

Why Is My Betta Fish Water Bubbly?

If you’re checking out your tank before cleaning and see a cluster of bubbles, don’t worry, those are actually made by your betta. Betta fish like to make bubble nests. 

This is completely natural and is a good sign that your betta is happy and in good health. Usually bubble nests are a male trait. In the wild, male betta fish build the bubble nest to secure the eggs collected from the female. It is an exciting process to behold.

While males are usually responsible for bubble nest building, we have seen a few of our female bettas build bubble nests. It is very rare to see a female betta build a bubble nest but it does happen occasionally.

Spawning Betta Fish | Betta Breeding Tips And Tricks

Are you interested in how to breed betta fish? There are a variety of ways to go about spawning bettas. Whether you’re looking to create your own beautiful betta fish creations or are creating betta fish to sell. Betta fish breeding needs to be carried out carefully so that these territorial fish don’t hurt or injure each other.

Stained glass betta fish

Betta Conditioning

When you are planning on breeding your betta fish, conditioning is important. Betta fish conditioning is when breeders provide the best living environment and diet in order to prepare their betta fish for breeding.

Conditioning allows the male betta fish to store energy for the breeding process and it encourages female betta to produce eggs. The breeder will want to introduce a lot of high protein foods during this stage. Most breeders recommend providing live food like worms, crustaceans and insect larvae that they would eat in the wild.

Betta Breeding Tank Setup

Betta Fish Dropped In The Water

You can breed in a variety of tank sizes (10 Gallons to 20 Gallons) but we recommend using a 10 gallon tank. During the breeding process the eggs will fall to the floor of the tank. In order for the male betta to find the eggs it is recommended to remove the gravel from the container as it could trap some of the eggs.

You will want to add about 4 to 6 inches of clean treated water. Some breeders recommend adding salt (½ tsp) to the water to prevent itch and velvet in the young fry. Make sure the water is heated to a perfect 80 degrees fahrenheit. 

Include a sponge filter with a very slow bubble rate. This is easily achieved by using an air pump with a control valve. The sponge filter will offer filtration and keep the water moving so no biofilm builds in the tank. 

Add plenty of live plants. Plants cause microorganism growth, this becomes the first food for the hatched betta fry. Plants also double as a great place for the female betta to hide.

How To Breed Betta Fish Successfully

The male and female betta need to be introduced separately before breeding occurs. To do this you will want to put the female in a jar or bag and put the jar or bag into the tank with the male. You want them to be able to see each other but not be able to touch each other. Some breeders swear by doing this during bad weather or a full moon.

Betta Fish Introduced For Breeding

Let them get acquainted for about an hour and then turn off the lights. This encourages the male to build a bubble nest. The female should also start to get rounded with eggs. 

Watch for active flaring. This will consist of the male betta working on the bubble nest and then scurrying back over to the female to display themselves to the female. The female will be rounder and possibly have vertical stripes. She should also be interested and flaring at the male  betta. 

Make sure to watch both and make sure neither is disinterested, sometimes this will display in horizontal stripes, known as fear stripes. If this is the case you may want to re jar them and try again after a week or two.

If there are no signs of distress or fear, they should be ready to breed and you’re good to release the female. Make sure to keep an eye on them as sometimes the breeding process can get violent. If that happens don’t remove the male (who will be more aggressive), but remove the female.

Building A Bubble Nest
Close up male red Siamese fighting fish and bubble nest on the surface of the water.

Betta spawn in the early morning so keep an eye out. Remove the female betta fish once the male is busy tending to the eggs in the bubble nest.

The male will continue to devote his time to guardian and caring for the eggs. While this happens, cover the tank to make sure the male betta is in complete darkness. This makes sure that he does not get distracted with things happening outside or around the tank. 

In about three days you will see lots of tails poking out of the bubble nest. This means you have fry. After they have started to free swim you can remove the male from the tank when he has given up trying to herd them. Newly hatched fry are hard to see, so don’t worry if it looks like they all disappeared, they’re there, trust us.

Metallic & Full Mask Betta | Betta Hybrids

There are lots of different types of betta fish varieties available to the betta fish community. Everything from marbled betta fish, black betta fish and crown tailed betta to double tail bettas, halfmoon bettas, combtail betta and more. Recently we were asked about metallic betta fish and masked betta fish.

What Are Metallic Betta Fish?

Metallic Betta Fish

Metallic Betta Splendens come in all different shapes and sizes. To understand metallic betta fish first you will want to understand how the color and scale patterns are related. 

Metallic betta are said to be a hybrid between betta splendens and wild betta which have a higher degree of iridescence to their scales.

Fish also have cells called iridocytes. These are what give fish scales their shiny, iridescent look. Now dependent on the depth of these cells is where you will find the determining factor for a metallic betta.

tail siamese fighting fish

The depth of the cells will make the scales appear metallic, striped or even white in appearance. The more pronounced that the scale is, the more like armor or “metallic” their scales will look. 

Aside from the color & scale patterns of a betta fish belonging to their genetics, diet and environment play factor as well. Fish cannot naturally produce pigments, they are derived from their diet. A healthy diet will allow your betta a pronounced variety of colors.

To keep your bettas’ colors prominent, make sure that you keep their tank clean, keep them on a highly nutritious diet and make sure that their tank temperature stays between 75 degrees and 86 degrees fahrenheit. 

Half & Full Mask Betta Fish

Super red halfmoon type of betta splendens

Half and full mask betta fish are betta varieties that have essentially the same color head as their body. Most betta fish have a different colored head than their body. When you find masked betta fish, the face and body will flow together seamlessly. 

If you are looking at a half mask betta, only half of their face will be the same color as the rest of their body. 

Masked Betta & Metallic Betta

Lots of times betta fish heads tend to be black and the iridescent scales do not cover the top of the head. In these betta variations the head is usually black. Betta breeders are trying to breed more color or iridescence into this area.  

The way that they go about doing this is to introduce the copper betta genes into their betta breeding program. This is because most metallic betta often have the same colored head and bodies (full mask). By introducing the copper gene the resulting bettas usually develop a full color covering of the head that matches the body.