How Long Can A Betta Fish Go Without Food?

Betta fish or Siamese fighting fish are one of the most popular aquarium fish. They are a member of the gourami family and are known for being highly territorial.

Betta fish that live in the wild are naturally carnivorous, they eat shrimp, insect larvae, carrion, and small worms.  Domestic Betta will eat flakes if they need to, but much prefer live foods.

Are you planning to leave your home on a vacation and worried about your Betta fish? It is something to worry about as most fish need to be fed on a near-daily basis. However, when it comes to Betta fish, things are quite different.

So, how long can Beta fish go without food? Beta can survive for a maximum of 14 days without any food. But, we wouldn’t necessarily recommend taking off for two weeks and leaving your Beta to fend for itself. 

What To Feed Beta Fish

Betta fishes are those that have upturned mouths. They primarily feed on the water’s surface. A good diet of betta fish consists of dried blood worms, brine shrimp, and daphnia.

A betta fish can be a picky eater too and it tends to prefer eating food on the surface of the water than on the substrate of a tank. As these fish are carnivorous, they need a well-balanced diet that must be rich in protein. There is a myth that betta fish can live on only plant roots. Do not rely on such myths. Betta will never eat such things.

Many Betta keepers decide to feed the fish with pellets. That is because pellets are simple and effective. It creates less mess and they contain protein. Live dried food, frozen food can also be added as treat into their daily feeding routine.

How To Keep Betta Healthy While You’re Away

In the following section, you will be offered a couple of tips as to how you can keep your Betta fish in a healthy condition while you are away.

  • Fish are cold-blooded animals. When it comes to their metabolism, it primarily depends on the environment they thrive in. For example, the fish which are kept in warm water needs to be fed more than the ones thriving in cold water. When it comes to Betta, they are tropical fish and will not be able to survive in cold water. Therefore make sure that you took care of the water prior to leaving your fish on its own
  • If you want to keep your betta fish healthy, you must keep the fish in stable tropical water temperature. If you keep the temperature of the water within 76-81 degrees Fahrenheit, that is best for them. Water that is too hot or too cold can lead to stress or even death to the fish. Water temperature can also be used as an advantage in case of feeding if you are concerned with the starvation of the fish. If the temperature is low, it can change the fish into a lethargic one. In this way, you can decrease their activity level and metabolism. As a result, they will not burn food or store fat quickly. You can adjust the temperature of the surroundings within 71-73 degrees Fahrenheit in order to reduce caloric consumption.  
  • If you go on a vacation that is longer than 4 days, you will require a 50-100% change in water before the day you leave and once you get back. But this formula depends on the size of the tank. If your tank can hold 2 gallons or below, that will definitely need an 80% water change before the day you leave and once you get back. As the betta fish breathes, it naturally expels ammonia into the water, along with food waste that contains s toxins. They are very harmful to the fish.
  • The chances of a healthy Betta fish of good size in a proper aquarium with perfect conditions of living more is higher than the ones with health issues and living in unfiltered water. Therefore, before you leave to make sure to make proper arrangements for your fish to survive.
  • If your tank is larger, then you are safer for an extended period without care. Make sure of the fact that you have a lid with holes in it. It will help in the supply of oxygen.   
  • It is best to keep the fish in normal day and night circle just like human beings. If you are away from home, make sure of the fact that the tank must not be in touch with direct sunlight or in a completely dark room in order to ensure the normalness. You can kee[p the tank in a position with indirect sunlight. Most of the tank have canopy light above the water. Don’t leave them on while you are away.
  • These days, there are automatic fish feeders which are available. Try not using them. They have the tendency of overfeeding and at times they do not work at all. If you, however, wish to resort to an automatic fish feeder then make sure to try it at least a week before you left, in order to see if it is working properly
  • Usually betta fish can survive without food for two weeks, but it should not be recommended. That is because after 5 or 6 days the fish begins to tap into its reserves and can enter starvation. This can cause an increase in stress level and may lead to organ failure and disease contraction. The maximum time you can leave your fish alone in 4-5 days.

Betta fish is one of the rarest species that can survive without food for a long period of time. However, you need to make sure that the genetics of the fish is good and it is in proper health. If your fish is affected by a disease, in that case, it might not be able to sustain 14 long days without food. You also need to make sure that the condition of the water is perfect for the fish to thrive. Keep the aquarium clean and there should be ample space for it to maneuver around. Betta fish have a relatively longer life span

How To Keep A Betta Strong & Healthy

In order to ensure optimum health, it is essential to retain a stable water temperature ranging from 76-81 degrees Fahrenheit. However, chances of stress and death are higher if the water is extremely cold or hot. If the water tank appears to be cold, then it is suggested to shift the tank to another safer and warmer location. The fish might become sluggish if it is placed under lower temperatures, which would ultimately reduce the metabolism and their level of activity. In order to bring down the consumption of calorie, regulate the temperature to around 71-73 degrees.

The Five Best Ways To Extend The Life Of A Beta Fish

Betta is one of the prevailing freshwater species found in the marine world. There are wide varieties of betta fish with diverse shapes and color patterns. The expected longevity of a betta fish is about three years. Some of the major factors behind the life expectancy of a betta fish are as follows:

  • If the betta fish is properly taken care of and placed in a large water tank containing clean water, it could easily survive for a period of three years.
  • A male betta fish are distributed from pet stores once they reach one year of age. It is during this period of time, their fins and colors are clearly visible. However, the female ones are sold immediately while they are six months old. The life expectancy of a female betta fish is slightly higher than the male. The fact is that people prefer to keep the male due to their beauty and attractive colors.
  • Pay close attention especially while procuring a betta fish. Pick the ones that are more healthy and strong. It should be bought from a reliable pet store. Try to avoid purchasing the ones displaying the following characteristics.
  1. Skin discoloration
  2. Ripped fins
  3. Protruding eyes
  4. Injured body
  • Grab the ones that appear to be colorful and have a crystal clear eye.
  • The response time of the betta fish should be remarkable.

What Size Of Tank To Keep A Betta Happy

Betta fish should be placed in a minimum of a five-gallon tank. If it is purchased directly from a pet store, they are supplied in a small gallon tank.

How Long Do Betta Live In The Wild?

Betta fish thrive successfully in shallow freshwater lakes, ponds, and canals. These species are indigenous to countries like Thailand, Cambodia. At present, they are also found in Brazil, Malaysia, and Singapore. The life expectancy of a betta fish kept in a water tank is higher than the ones found in the wild. The contaminated water would hamper the ecosystem thereby bringing down the longevity of the fish.

Betta fish found in the wild is categorized in the endangered species list. It is primarily due to the fact that excess volume of polluted air leads to the depletion of their habitat. Another factor that contributes towards their extinction is the development in the field of agriculture.

How To Extend The Life Of Your Betta Fish

In order to increase the longevity of a male betta fish, transfer them safely to another tank. In Thailand, there is a tradition of using betta fishes for fighting in tanks which is quite similar to cockfighting prevalent elsewhere. In their natural habitat, betta fishes compete for the female aggressively for a few minutes. The less dominant one then backs out and seek a different territory.

But in a fish tank, owing to limited space and no chance of escaping, they fight until death. The female of the species is not that aggressive. So if you happen to keep betta fishes at home, it is better to have the male of the species in a separate tank or with other community of fishes like Rasboras, loaches etc. because they are known to co-exist in their natural habitat.

The Advantages Of Use A Filter And Heater

It is imperative to install a heater within the water tank owing to extreme temperature especially in countries like Thailand. A standard temperature of 75-80 degrees Fahrenheit should be maintained. In addition, a filter has to be used as it is difficult for a betta fish to survive in dirty and contaminated water. One of the benefits of using a filter is that it absorbs the debris and harmful chemicals like ammonia and nitrites. It also makes sure that the water is aerated. You should ensure that the water is replaced at regular intervals despite the availability of a filter.

What Are The Advantages Of Placing A Plant In Your Betta Tank

It is essential to create a fresh and positive environment exclusively for the betta fishes. Placing plants inside the tank enhances the oxygen supply while augmenting the environment. They are more likely to replicate the natural environment and you can witness a few changes in their behavioral patterns as well. It is also a source of hideout for the female ones. Now let us discuss some of the best plants to be placed inside a water tank.

  • Java Fern: – It grows at a height of about eight inches; as a result, it does not grow over the tank.
  • Anacharis: – It is a type of plant which is capable of thriving in harsh climatic conditions and which grows at a rapid pace.
  • Java Moss: – This plant is extremely easy to be taken care of.

How Long Will Betta Fish Live In A Bowl

It is not recommended to place a betta fish in a bowl as it would significantly reduce the lifespan of it. If it is executed, betta fish might live only for a period of about one year or less.


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