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How Much Does a Betta Fish Cost? 2024 Update

Sarah Psaradelis

By Sarah Psaradelis

betta fish

Betta fish are a popular freshwater fish that comes in a variety of colors and patterns. Betta fishes are one of the easiest fish to care for and are great pets for new fish keepers. They are affordable in terms of care and equipment and most of the costs are once-off buys. They have a reputation for being easy-going and undemanding which makes them a popular choice of pet fish. That being said, a lot of time and effort goes into keeping a betta fish healthy and maintaining the appropriate tank conditions.

Betta fish have quirky personalities and easily bond with their owners. Overall, caring for a betta fish is a fun learning experience and makes an excellent choice of companion for children and adults alike. This article will inform you of everything you need to know before purchasing your betta fish.

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Bringing Home a New Betta Fish: One-Time Costs



Aside from purchasing a betta fish from a pet store, there are a variety of betta fish rescues where you can adopt a betta fish that was previously rescued from bad conditions or given up to the rescue. It is recommended to look at local fish rescues in your area to see if they have betta fish up for adoption. The adoption fee is inexpensive and is provided to ensure the fish goes to a good home. Many adoption fees pay towards helping other animals at the rescue and providing support to keep the shelter up and running.

betta fish tank
Image Credit: Kosit Pajuthai, Shutterstock



If you are looking for a high-quality betta fish that has been bred for health and color reasons, a breeder is a good option. Breeders will typically sell bettas with rare colors that beat the bettas seen in pet stores, which means they will cost more. The price is generally worth it as you are guaranteed to take home a quality bred fish that will live a healthy and long life.

Initial Setup and Supplies


Purchasing the correct equipment and tank size is going to be the main cost factor when it comes to setting up a betta tank. The tank should be set up a few weeks before you purchase your betta, this is because the tank would need to be cycled first (the establishment of nitrifying bacteria). The initial supplies will be the tank, filter, aeration systems, and decorations. After everything has been placed in the tank, you should add water dechlorinate and a source of bacteria to kick-start the cycling process.

Betta fish food can range in price, but high-quality foods will cost more. You want to ensure the tank meets the minimum size for a betta fish which is 5 gallons. A 10-gallon is best if you are new to keeping fish as a larger water column allows more room for error when you are starting. Betta fish should have both a filter and heater, but an air stone may be needed if the filter produces poor surface movement for proper gas exchange.

blue betta fish in aquarium
Image Credit: Lapis2380, Shutterstock

List of Betta Fish Care Supplies and Costs

Decorations $20
Air pump $10
Aeration system $15
Tank $40
Water Supplements $10
Substrate $20
Filter $25
Food $10

How Much Does a Betta Fish Cost Per Month?

$20–$60 per month

Betta fish are relatively inexpensive to care for long-term. The main purchases will be made before you get your betta. Food, water conditioners, and medication will create the bulk of your monthly spending. You can also buy supplies in bulk if you are looking to save every month. Purchasing bulk packs of food and water conditioners will save you from having to buy new ones every month. Unlike with other animals, you do not have to purchase external supplies every month, which is why fish are great for people who do not have the time to care for a more demanding pet.

crowntail betta
Image Credit: Arvilla, Shutterstock

Health Care

$25–$40 per month

Bettas require a water conditioner that removes traces of chlorine. Some brands will also dilute ammonia or nitrate, and even remove heavy metals found in older plumbing systems. A water conditioner is an essential item and can be bought from nearly every pet store at a variety of prices. Cheaper versions have been known to change the color of the water for a few days after a water change. Investing in a more expensive water conditioner will be more cost-effective in the long term.


$10–$20 per month

Betta fish food ranges from flakes to pellets, and even live foods. A high-quality pellet is recommended as a good staple commercial diet and live foods like brine shrimp, blood worms, tubifex worms, and other insect cultures make a good weekly protein supplement. Keep in mind that bettas cannot eat plant-based foods like algae as they are unable to properly digest these foods.

betta fish in aquarium
Image Credit: Arunee Rodloy, Shutterstock


$15–$50 per month

If your betta fish is kept in appropriate conditions, then they should rarely fall ill. If your betta does seem to be doing poorly, then you should treat them immediately. There is a wide variety of fish medications available on the market which target specific symptoms your fish is showing. They can range from expensive to cheap depending on the type of illness your betta has. When you use medications in the tank, make sure the medication does not kill off your beneficial bacteria and remove any carbon from the filter. Carbon will make the medicine unusable for the fish because it absorbs medications from the water column.

Environment Maintenance

$10–$40 per month

A betta fish tank should be cleaned weekly. This can include water changes, cleaning algae off decorations, and gravel vacuuming the substrate. Most cleaning supplies will be once-off, but if you have live plants or a cartridge filter that uses filter media, you will have to make additional purchases. You can purchase filter media for good prices at your local fish store. Filter media should gradually be replaced every few months when it gets clogged up or if the carbon no longer absorbs any contaminants in the water. Live plants may require artificial lights, fertilizers, or CO2 supplements.

Water conditioner $5/month
Medications $30/month
Food $10/month
2 betta fish in tank_panpilai paipa_Shutterstock
Image Credit: panpilai paipa, Shutterstock


$5–$20 per month

Betta fish are quite low maintenance, and you will not need to spend additional money on toys. However, betta fish do need a form of enrichment to be entertained and to prevent boredom. A common favorite for betta fish is a small handheld mirror from the bird section at a pet store. This will encourage them to flare and stretch their muscles when they see their reflection in the mirror. This activity should take no longer than 10 minutes and should only be placed in the tank three times a week.

Betta leaves are a classic favorite and come with a suction cup to attach to the tank’s walls near the surface. This creates a resting place for your betta when they get tired of swimming. In the wild bettas will lay on leaves close to the surface so they can easily fill their labyrinth organ with oxygen. A heavily planted tank also provides enrichment for your betta and makes them feel closer to their natural environment.

crowntail betta_Lyudamilla_Shutterstock
Image Credit: Lyudamilla, Shutterstock

Total Monthly Cost of Owning a Betta Fish

$20–$60 per month

There is no way of knowing when your betta fish may fall ill, which is why it is important to save up for medications so that you can be prepared. Keeping your betta healthy is important but keeping their tank clean and correct is essential for their health and well-being. When compared to a dog or cat, or even a hamster, betta fish cost significantly less monthly. Food and supplements will rarely have to be purchased every month because the size of the containers sold can last a good few months before it runs out since bettas do not eat a lot in comparison to furry pets.


Additional Costs to Consider

If you find you are going to be away from your betta fish for more than 2 days, you will need someone to feed your betta every day and do the necessary maintenance. The vacation food blocks sold for fish are full of fillers and unsuitable ingredients that betta fish struggle to digest. You are also unable to predict when the aquarium equipment breaks or fails. Heaters break easily and it is always a good idea to have a cheap replacement if your main heater breaks. A sudden temperature change can harm your betta fish.

It is not uncommon for tanks to leak, and you will need a spare tank until you can purchase a new tank of the same size. If you are renting a place, always speak to your landlord about potential leaks as they can damage furniture and flooring. Many landlords will not allow tanks in the place and will charge a hefty fee if any damage occurs from your fish tank.

betta fish_Grigorii Pisotsckii_Shutterstock
Image Credit: Grigorii Pisotsckii, Shutterstock

Owning a Betta Fish on a Budget

It is simple to own a betta fish on a budget and there are a lot of options to get cheaper equipment and food on various platforms. Secondhand tanks and equipment can be found online. If you have local fish breeders in your area, they can usually sell you plants, substrate, food, and water care supplies for a cheaper price.

Saving Money on Betta Fish Care

Many pet stores will have annual sales where you can get tanks for a dollar per gallon, or they will make most tank equipment like air pumps, filters, and heaters for a certain percentage off. If you want to budget keep bettas from the beginning, ask your local pet stores when their sales are on. Then you can make the once-off purchases at a low price. You can save a lot when you purchase from second-hand selling sites or only buy supplies that are on sale.aquarium plant divider


Bettas are easy pets to keep and care for and you should expect to pay a minimum of $200 for the main purchase. It is good to start with the tank first and purchase a 5 to 15-gallon tank before you buy the equipment. You then want to purchase a heater that fits the size of the tank, which will generally be a 25W to 50W heater. The filter should be small so that it does not take up too much swim space for the betta fish. The next item will be an air system which consists of an air pump, airline tubing, and an air stone. This is usually cheap, and you will need a low-wattage air pump to power the air stone since the betta tanks are small. Overall, bettas will be anywhere between $100 to $200 for once-off purchases and $10 to $60 monthly. The betta fish itself will cost between $2 to $20 depending on where you get them from.

Related Read: How Much Does a Fish Tank Cost to Buy and Maintain?

Featured Image Credit: panpilai paipa, Shutterstock

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