Hey Pet Parents & Pet Lovers,
It’s always important to know what the life expectancy of your pet is before adopting them. This is important for two main reasons:
So you know where your pet is in the ageing process
This is important, especially for animals that need diet changes, or need to be checked for specific diseases or problems that arise with age.
So you know whether or not to adopt the pet
This is super important! I have had a number of experiences where older seniors will adopt kittens who end up outliving them and end up having to put the cats into the shelter/foster system. Unfortunately, it’s rarer for an adult cat/elder cat to be adopted, and being separated from their owner causes a lot of trauma. (This is true of a lot of animals, I only mention cats since they are the ones I have the most experiences with.)
When there is a question of not being able to keep a pet, it might be best to bite the bullet and adopt an older animal who you definitely know you’ll be able to keep for its lifespan, adopt a different type of pet, or choose not to adopt until you know that you will be able to take care of them for sure.
So, let’s get back on topic! What’s the life expectancy of Betta Fish? I was actually told by a number of pet stores that the life expectancy is only 1-year, but with Blub reaching about 2 1/2, this is definitely false!
The average life of a Betta fish can range between 3-5 years when in a home tank, although most Bettas will only live until they are about 3, always remember the better you take care of them the longer they live! There are a number of fish owners who have got their Bettas to live to the age of 7 or 8, but this is rarer, especially for store-bought Bettas.
Oldest Betta Fish to Live in Captivity
There are a lot of amazing stories of owners who bond with their pets to the point of them living much longer than they were expected to. The oldest Betta on record was 15 years old! Imagine that!
Factors of a shorter life expectancy
Improper Pet Store Care
It’s a bit odd to hear, but where you buy your Betta has a huge factor in how long they will live. It’s important that your Betta was treated well from when it was born, or its life expectancy can drop pretty drastically. Make sure you’re taking a good look at your Betta, checking for signs of parasites, disease, and proper feeding.
Since your Betta is going to be spending all of its time in the water, water care is the absolute most important thing to focus on. If you’re interested in learning more about Betta Care, I actually have a pretty step by step guide you can find here.
Improper Tank Size
It actually makes me quite sick that Betta Cubes are still being sold. Bettas do not thrive in tanks that are small. I don’t understand why stores push them as great tanks for Bettas. I personally recommend tanks that are 2.5 gallons (if kept very clean) or more. Again, there’s a lot of information out there, but the best advice I can give is… the bigger the better! Think about it like this: your fish needs exercise, needs to stay clean by swimming and in general the more water the easier it is to keep down nitrate and ammonia levels.
Bettas fins are actually quite delicate, can actually tear easy. It’s one of the main reason you want to be very careful what kind of toys you put inside of the tank. Make sure there are no sharp edges for your Betta’s fins to get caught onto, or else your Betta Fish is going to be susceptible to harm.
Other Ways to Extend your Bettas Life
Quality Food / Live Feed
While pellets and flakes are a great way to feed your Betta, they actually thrive on when fed live critters such as brine shrimp, daphnia, and smaller feeder fish. Now, unfortunately, this isn’t always possible for owners, so if you’re not able to… don’t sweat it! It’s actually very difficult for me to find live feed in my area, and without easy transport, I’ve had to resort to Betta specific pellets.