How long do betta fish live is a common question among the betta fish enthusiasts. The average betta fish life span is 3 to 5 years. There are instances of a betta surviving for 9 years. But those are very exceptional instances. Bettas should do well for over 3 years. They are extremely hardy fish and will survive conditions that would kill other specie. However, the fact is that they wont thrive in those conditions.
Bettas are aggressive territorials. Obviously they are Siamese fighting fish. The male bettas are known to be very aggressive towards other bettas and will fight each other, to defend their territory, until the opponent gets seriously injured or killed. This aggressive nature is the reason for keeping the bettas single. Interestingly, bettas are generally not aggressive to other specie. They are found to be aggressive to fish with long, flashy fins and bright colors, mistaking them to be their betta competitors.
Fish like cories make good tank mates. They stay at the bottom of the tank and scavenge every bit of food that the betta misses. In doing so, they help to keep the tank clean. Do not feed the bettas often. It is sufficient to feed them once a day. Bettas are obligate carnivores. They love live food such as blood worms and brine shrimp. Fish pellets and flakes are better as they are much more balanced diet. Flakes are easier on the digestive system and can increase the betta fish life span.
Bettas must have access to the surface to breathe. They have a special organ called labyrinthe, which helps them to take oxygen directly from the atmosphere. The tanks should not be very deep as that would mean the bettas would have to waste their energy in swimming to the water surface to breathe. The water in the tank must be treated for presence of chlorine.
Bettas are tropical fish. They like water to be between 75 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. At such temperatures,they are active and exhibit intense colors. Cold water can put a betta into shock and kill the fish. Bettas are used to slow moving currents. Presence of strong currents might stress them. Clean water and warm temperature can extend betta fish life span.
Ammonia levels are generally high in new tanks. This will kill or make the bettas sick. Wash the tanks regularly and at least once a week. The chemicals in soaps or detergents can harm the bettas. Instead, use warm water and wash cloth to get rid of the dirt and algae in the tanks. Bettas are beautiful hardy fish. They have tolerated bad environments and survived. But these unfriendly conditions have shortened the betta fish life span
The answer to the question, how long do the betta fish live, very much depends on us. By presenting a clean tank, warm clean water, we can extend the betta fish life span.