Hepper is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

How Much Do Fish Cost At PetSmart? (2024 Update)

Sarah Psaradelis

By Sarah Psaradelis

koi fish in aquarium

If you are looking to purchase a new fish, what better place to look than at a quality pet store? PetSmart sells a variety of different fish species, some better suited for beginners, while other species can be rare and suitable for experienced fish keepers. Their fish stock is endless, from the cold or temperate water goldfish to the tropical betta fish. PetSmart not only sells live fish, but they also sell supplies and tanks you will need to keep your fish happy and healthy.

PetSmart functions as an all-in-one place to purchase fish for as little as $2 to as high as $30. We have put together this price guide to help you with purchasing some of PetSmart’s fish.



Before You Buy Fish

There are many different species of fish that are sold through pet stores, and each species have their special care requirements. All fish will need a suitably sized tank with a filter, and tropical fish will need a heater. Certain fish species are better suited for beginners and PetSmart employees will usually be able to direct you to the species within your experience range.

Before purchasing fish, make sure you find a reputable store like PetSmart that quarantine their fish before selling them to customers. This is important if you want to skip this step before placing new fish in an aquarium, although it is advised to quarantine new fish if you are adding them to an existing aquarium.

Aside from looking after the fish, you will need to do a lot of maintenance to keep their aquarium healthy. You will need to cycle your fish’s aquarium for up to 3 months before you place any livestock inside. This cycling process allows for beneficial bacteria to establish themselves in the water column, filter, and substrate of an aquarium to make sure the water parameters (ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate) are within the ideal range for fish. High levels of ammonia are one of the top killers of aquarium fish, and even the healthiest fish will not survive if the ammonia levels are not controlled.

cute goldfish in tank
Image Credit: epicioci, Pixabay

How Much Do Fish Cost at PetSmart?

PetSmart sells their live fish for a relatively cheap price, depending on the species of fish you are looking to purchase. Beginner fish such as goldfish and bettas are usually the cheapest option, followed by shoaling fish such as guppies and other live-bearing fish.

Aside from the solitary betta fish, goldfish and shoaling fish need to be kept together which means you will need to purchase more than one of these fish—which is more expensive. PetSmart seems to sell more beginner and intermediate fish than advanced fish with prices ranging from as little as $2 to as high as $30.

Beginner Fish ($2–$23)

Beginner-friendly fish are usually the cheapest option at PetSmart and sell from $2 to $23 per fish.

Goldfish can range from $2 to $5, with feeder goldfish being the cheapest. Betta fish can cost anywhere from $2 to $25 depending on the type of betta fish. Shoaling fish like guppies, mollies, or platys typically sell from $1 to $3 per fish.

Intermediate Fish ($5–$28)

If you have the right experience in fish keeping and aquarium maintenance, you might want to move to more difficult fish species such as plecos, catfish, koi, gouramis, and angel fish. These fish can range in price from $5 to $30 per fish.

The size and coloration will affect the price of the fish, as some fish such as Plecostomus’s can be sold for $9.99, whereas the price of angel fish will vary from $4.99 to $9.99 per fish.

Advanced Fish ($7–$30)

If you have the experience, then you can venture into more advanced fish species that require large tanks, careful pairing, and special diets. Although PetSmart does not sell many advanced fish species, they do stock a variety of cichlids. Their cichlids can range in price from $7 to $30.

Other more advanced fish such as the rainbow shark or silver dollar fish vary from $5.49 to $6.99 at PetSmart.

comet goldfish
Image Credit: kaori, Pixabay

aquarium plant divider


Does PetSmart Sell Fish Tanks and Accessories?

PetSmart not only sells live fish, but they sell all the supplies you will need to start and maintain your aquarium, from tanks of various sizes to heaters, filters, water treatments, decorations, and fish food. PetSmart also sells the filter cartridges required if you purchase a branded filter from their store and need a replacement. They sell a variety of different fish tanks from as small as 2 gallons, to as large as 125 gallons.

The bigger the tank is, the more it is going to cost. You can also save money by purchasing an aquarium that comes with a heater, filter, or light added to the cost of the tank rather than purchasing these items separately. This will work out cheaper and it is great for people on budgets.

PetSmart also sells fish food, water treatments, and aquarium decorations such as plants and substrates.

Additional Costs to Anticipate Checklist

Fish keepers will spend the majority of the costs on the supplies they need to care for the fish, rather than the fish themselves. This is a price guide checklist to see the approximate starting cost of your fish-keeping journey if you were to purchase these supplies from PetSmart.

Tank: $35–$800
Filter: $15–$100
Heater: $10–$44
Light: $9–$140
Substrate: $6–$25
Plants: $3–$10
Fish Food: $3–$40
Medication: $4–$18
Water Treatments: $5

The price will vary depending on the size, brand, or volume of the product. The fish-keeping hobby is known to be expensive, especially if you are looking to keep large, advanced species of fish that will need a large and expensive aquarium.

The average fish keeper will spend between $150 to $1,200 as a starting cost, but additional monthly costs can be as low as $30 for food, water treatments, and medication.

goldfish in aquarium
Image Credit: panpilai paipa, Shutterstock

aquarium plant divider


Can You Return Fish To PetSmart? – Policy Guidelines

PetSmart tries their best to make sure that the fish they sell to you are healthy and undergo a quarantine time, however it is common for fish to fall ill fairly quickly or die. PetSmart’s fish return policy allows customers to swap or return their fish within 14 days with the original receipt.

If your fish has died within 2 weeks of purchasing the fish from PetSmart, they may want to test your water quality first which should be brought into the store to rule out poor water quality as the reason the fish died. Any sick fish can also be swapped for another fish within the 14-day exchange period.

What Supplies Do You Need For Fish?

All fish require a suitably sized tank that is large enough for their species. This means making sure that the tank you purchase is ideally the minimum recommended tank size for your type of fish. A betta fish will be in a much smaller aquarium in comparison to a larger fish like a cichlid, but both fish will need a heater and filter because they are tropical fish.

Cold or temperate water fish like koi or goldfish do not need a heater, however, they need a large tank with good filtration because they are large, messy fish. The tank, filter, and heater will be the main once-off purchases. Recurring purchases include supplies such as fish food which will be species-dependent, along with water treatments to detoxify chlorine and chloramine found in tap water that is harmful to fish.

You may also need to purchase medications if your fish get sick, and there are many broad-spectrum medications that you can keep on hand in case your fish fall ill. Substrates such as gravel or sand are a personal preference in the aquarium, however, substrates are beneficial to bottom-dwelling fish species or if you choose to grow live plants in the aquarium as they need a rooting substrate to grow.

If you choose to purchase live plants to make your aquarium look more realistic, then you will need to purchase planting tools and fertilizers to keep your plants growing beautifully. The fish-keeping hobby can be quite expensive to maintain and start up, and fish are usually the lowest cost out of all the supplies you need to buy as well.

Goldfish Ryukin
Image Credit: Moo teaforthree, Shutterstock




PetSmart sells their fish for a much more reasonable price than other competitors, and they have a return policy if your fish was to die or get sick within 2 weeks of the purchase. This can make it easier for fish owners to purchase fish on a budget, however, the main costs will be the fish tank and supplies which can be purchased at PetSmart if you are willing to pay a bit more for higher-quality supplies.

See Also:

Featured Image Credit: TigerStocks, Shutterstock

Related Articles

Further Reading

Vet Articles

Latest Vet Answers

The latest veterinarians' answers to questions from our database