Can Betta Fish Live In Saltwater? Will Salt Water Kill Betta Fish?

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  • Post last modified:October 6, 2023
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Close Up Photo of a Light Pink Betta Fish

Can betta fish live in saltwater?

One of the saddest sights for a fish tank owner is to see a betta ill, or even worse, dead in the water. 

These small fish generally don’t grow more than three inches. However, any aquarium owner would say they are beautiful with their bright-colored fins. 

Isn’t that the reason why you care so much about your betta? If not, you wouldn’t be here asking, ‘Can betta fish live in saltwater?’

You are on the right page, so let’s read on to find the answer. This way, you know what to do and how to care for your fish better. 

Can Betta Fish Live In Saltwater?

No. If a betta fish could talk, it would tell you that it doesn’t like salt. 

These are tropical fish whose native waters do not contain any sodium chloride or salt. This means betta fish need a pristine environment to survive. 

In other words, they belong to the category of freshwater fish. They need warm, clean, and fresh water at all times. 

But this does not mean they will die immediately when you put them in salt water. 

Nevertheless, read on, and by the end of the article, you, too, will decide that it is a bad idea to place your betta in salt water. 

What Happens When Betta Fish Comes in Contact With Salt?

Fish on a Fish Tank

Betta fish can, to some extent, tolerate salt water. It’s not that they will die within minutes of being placed in it. But 

For one, they will suffer and go through a lot of stress. You love your fish so much to see them like this, right? 

And then, there is the fact that your betta fish will not live long when you place it in salt water. 

Some opinions and statistics say that just one out of 10,000 bettas tend to survive in saltwater. 

However, if you accidentally got your betta fish into a bowl of salt water (which should be unlikely if you are careful;) Here’s what you can do. Extract the betta immediately and put it in a bowl of clean water. 

You can now add some Indian almond extract and wait for a while. You will soon see your betta fish recovering in the water. 

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Will Salt Water Kill Betta Fish?

This need not be true, but salt can prove harmful to your betta fish, but here’s a deeper understanding of it. 

Okay, now some say these fish are tough enough to handle salt water. 

And sometimes you can add salt to the water if your fish is ill and needs a bit of it. 

But even then, this should be only a pinch, which means the ratio of salt must be extremely low compared to the amount of water. 

Also, make sure that you are using aquarium salt that is pure and without any harmful additives, as it is taken straight out of the evaporated water. 

Anything apart from this could harm your betta that you love to see swimming in the water. 

How Long Can Betta Fish Live In Saltwater?

Close Up Photo of Whhite Siamese Fighting Fish

The average span of a betta fish is two to five years, but this could be much less if you neglect it and place it in the wrong water. 

The fact is that a betta, when correctly cared for, could survive for even seven years, but this is highly unlikely if you take the risk of placing it in saltwater. 

So, don’t go by the many online forums that claim that a betta can live happily ever after in saltwater. 

Okay, now that you are concerned about the lifespan of your betta fish, here are a few more things to consider. 

For one, make sure that you place it in an appropriate tank. Size matters. See that the aquarium is spacious enough to let him move about freely in the water.

And then, make sure that you fill the tank with enough water. Betta fish generally need at least five gallons of water. 

For some more tips, read on so you will know what else your betta fish needs besides the right kind of water. 

Healthy Betta Home: Best Tank Conditions for Betta Fish

There needs to be more than the proper water to keep your betta fish healthy and happy in the water. You also have a couple of factors to look into. Let us now consider each of them. 

1. Food

Bettas are carnivorous and need a protein-rich diet to survive. So, ensure that shrimps and bloodworms are a part of their diet.

Algae and flakes alone are not enough. Also, make sure that you only throw in a little food. They can overeat and bloat; sometimes, the uneaten can dirty your aquarium environment. 

2. Water Temperature

Make sure that the water temperature is suitable for tropical fish. See that it does not go below 72 degrees F and does not exceed 82 degrees F. In other words, a temperature between 23 to 27 degrees C is best for your betta fish. 

Besides, clean water is also essential for betta fish. So, make sure that you change the water in your aquarium periodically. 

3. Light

While this may not be one of the most critical factors for your betta’s survival, taking care of the light in your aquarium would give them a good concept of day and night. 

4. Decor

Finally, make the aquarium pretty. Putting in some plants and a few ornaments only costs a little. Your fish like them, and let’s be honest, so do you. 

These fish like to hide around plants. However, if all you have is a betta bowl, you can place some stones in it. However, make sure that these stones are clean. 

Do these things, and you will have a pretty aquarium and happy fish gleefully going about in the water. 

Can Betta Fish Live In Tap Water?

A Siamese Fighting Fish in a Fish Bowl

Yes, tap water mostly comes with a pH level that varies from 6.5 to 8.5, which makes it ideal for betta fish to swim in. But make sure that you treat the water well. This is because tap water can come with many contaminants and toxins, making your fish seriously sick. 

Also, tap water can contain many harmful chemicals like copper, lead, and nitrate, which are not the best things to introduce to your fish. 

So, don’t be lazy, and don’t assume that your poor betta can live on surface air. Make sure that you give these beautiful creatures the proper love and care. 

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Can Betta Fish Live In Distilled Water?

This may not always be a good choice because distilled water does not contain the minerals and nutrients needed to stay healthy. 

So, even if you choose to place your betta in a tank with distilled water, make sure to put in some minerals. In addition to that, make sure that you test the water on a regular basis to see that it has a healthy share of compounds.

However, this can be expensive, and so is distilled water. It would be enough to place your betta fish in ordinary water that comes clean of chlorine and other harmful chemicals.

Give them this, and your betta will live. 

Frequently Asked Questions

So, now you know all about your betta and the kind of water it needs for its home. But wait, here are a few more answers you would want to know before you go. 

Q1. Which PH Level Is Best for the Sustenance of Betta Fish in Tank Water?

Ans: Anything between 6.8 and 7.5 makes the ideal pH level for the sustenance of betta fish in the tank water. Peat moss, driftwood, and Capella leaves are some things you can add to provide this amount of pH to your betta fish’s water.

Q2. Can Betta Fish Survive in Bottled Mineral Water?

Ans: Yes, that would be a good choice, as bottled water generally comes with the nutrients and minerals your betta needs. And it is free of chlorine, too. Bottled water is not very expensive. All this makes it a convenient option when you think of water for your betta to swim. 

Q3. Can We Put Betta Fish in Groundwater?

Ans: Yes, that would be a good idea, but make sure that you consider the water parameters. This means you must ensure the water is treated well and safe enough for your betta fish. 

Q4. Does Betta Fish Survive Well in Dirty Pond Water?

Ans: Now, why would you want to give them dirty pond water? If you do, they can survive, but only temporarily. So, if you want to be a careless owner, you must also be aware of this. 

Wrapping Up

In the end, know that betta fish don’t need saltwater, and their lifespan decreases if you put them in saltwater. 

All this means putting your betta fish in saltwater would not be a good idea. Because, admit it. 

How often have you looked at your beautiful betta and said, I want to see this colorful fish always swimming in this water? 

So, can betta fish live in saltwater? This little article gave you the answer.