How Long Do Pet Stores Keep Betta Fish?

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Do you ever get curious about how long your betta fish stayed in the pet store and in what condition they were kept? Well, this is not an unusual question popping into the minds of tank fish owners. After all, when you buy your fish from the pet store, they are kept in tiny containers that do not seem to meet their survival requirement at all.

For your information, usually, popular pet stores such as PetSmart, restock their fish collection every day. Because fish can live up to 8 to 9 hours in those small storage containers. However, many pet stores add additional oxygen in those containers, for which, the fish stay alive for about 48 hours sometimes.

If you are curious to know more about how long do pet stores keep betta fish and whether they ensure their proper care, explore this article. We promise you won’t be disappointed.

How Long Is a Betta Fish Kept in a Pet Store?

Pet stores can keep betta fish in stock for a maximum of 48 hours. As you probably know, betta fish requires certain water conditions to thrive. But since they are comparatively hardy as a fish species, they survive up to many hours in poor water conditions and environments.

So, the betta fish are restocked in the stores regularly with receiving shipments at least three times a week. A betta fish usually gets to stay within the store display for about 7 to 8 hours and then they get restocked.

When the betta fish are stocked in the stores, they are already at least a year older, especially the males, as their main attraction, the fins, start to grow and form vibrant colors after the age of 1. However, the females are sometimes stocked a couple of months earlier before they’re 1, but not less than 6 months.

How Long Do Betta Fish from PetSmart Live?

The average lifespan of a betta fish is 2 to 4 years. If you consider your fish to be at least a year during the time of its purchase, it might survive inside your tank for up to 3 years. But it is highly dependent on the environment of your tank, the water condition, and proper maintenance for its better health.

The adaptability of your fish is also a factor here. The ability to adapt to a particular environment varies from one fish to another. Not all of them have the same capability. So, you might get an idea by observing whether your fish is happy inside the tank or not. A happy and active lives longer.

How to Know if the Betta Fish is Old or Young?

There are a few signs that can easily distinguish a young betta from an old one. One of the most predictable among them is the color of the fish. The color of the fish skin is much brighter and more vibrant in the younger ones. While on the other hand, the color of the old betta fish skins is dull and pale.

Another sign that can help you recognize an older fish is its thin body. Betta fish gets thinner after time when they are aged. No matter how much you feed them there will hardly be any noticeable improvements in their figure. Besides, old betta fish seem to have a bit of an arched back. It is quite similar to the signs of old age in humans. Isn’t it?

Do Pet Stores Take Proper Care of Betta Fish?

Not really, as a betta fish owner, you might know well that taking care of a betta fish is a matter of quite an expenditure. Even though they are hardy and are advertised as easy to care for, they are still sensitive to poor environmental conditions.

Also, they are not good for sharing the tank with other fish or even their own type. So, taking care of betta fish would cost a lot for the pet store owner. Rather, stocking new betta fish costs less. And so, they choose the cost-efficient way to run their pet store business.

How Often Do Pet Stores Change Betta Water?

As said before, popular pet stores restock betta fish every day. And so, they don’t necessarily need to change their water. However, the way of caring for a betta fish largely varies from one store to another.

Many small retail pet stores, store the betta at the end of the day in a partitioned tank instead of restocking them. And they change the water as per their preference and routine. There are many unreliable shops, not necessarily cheap, that unfortunately change the betta water even just once a week.

Why Do Pet Stores Keep Betta Fish in Small Containers?

You think about it. Is it easy to place a betta fish in a tank with other fish as you can do for all other fish types? No, right. Your betta fish will soon turn your tank into a war zone. They can’t be even kept together with their own kinds, let alone other fishes.

So, it is required to keep them in isolated tanks. However, it is not economical for pet stores to own an entire tank for just one betta fish. And so, they choose to keep them in small containers instead, to both keep them isolated and save valuable storage space.

Can I Keep My Betta Fish in the Pet Store Container After Buying?

The first thing you should do after getting a betta fish is to remove it from the small pet store container and place it in a tank. Keeping the betta fish in the pet store container would be the worst thing you can do.

A pet store container does not fulfill any necessary requirements needed for the betta fish to survive. And so, the betta fish can survive up to only 7 to 9 hours inside a pet store container. 

Because the small store container, does not have enough space for the fish to swim around that betta are really fond of, does not have any options for adjusting temperature and pH.

And so, it naturally reduces the lifespan of the bettas to a few hours only. So, if you choose to keep your betta in the pet store container after buying, you might find it dead just the next day of purchasing.


We hope we were able to help you get a complete idea of how long pet stores keep betta fish and much more. Thanks for reading till the end!

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