Skip to Content

How Long Can a Betta Fish Go Without a Water Change?

How Long Can a Betta Fish Go Without a Water Change?

Share this post:

The purpose of this blog is to share general information and is written to the author's best knowledge. It is not intended to be used in place of veterinary advice. For health concerns, please seek proper veterinary care. In addition, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Betta fishes can be expensive, and you cannot just throw them in a fishbowl; they need to live lavishly. With an average life span of only three years, we want to keep them for as long as possible, right?

If you take care of your betta fish (e.g., clean water, big fish aquarium) and their tank, you will not have to worry. How long can a betta fish go without water change?

A betta fish can survive a few weeks without water change if they live in a large tank, are surrounded by heavy plants, and have appropriate filtration. It is recommended that your betta fish live alone in their tank. Although they can go so long without a water change, it does not mean they should

Betta fish are very intelligent, and you can even teach them a few tricks. These colorful aquarium fish make excellent pets, so if you fulfill their basic needs, they can live a long and joyous life.

Read on to know more about how often you should change betta fish water and ways to properly change the water in a betta fish tank.

How Long Can a Betta Fish Go Without Water Change?

Even if betta fish can go weeks without a water change, it does not mean you do not have to prioritize it. Due to excretion and rotting food, high ammonia and nitrate levels gather that can be toxic; therefore, regularly changing the water in your betta fish’s tank is crucial.

The water in a filtration tank can be changed every seven days, and you should change at least 10% to 15% of its water. Betta fish that live in large tanks can survive two to three weeks without a water change, but only if you have a good filtering system in place.

If your betta fish lives in an unfiltered tank, you need to replace 30% to 50% of the tank’s water every week.

These energetic fish need all the space they can get. So, if you are planning to get your betta fish a roommate, make sure that you choose the right fish to live with them.

This will also mean that you have to change the water more often as more than one fish uses the water, which equals even higher nitrate and ammonia levels.

Keep in mind that the smaller the water tank is, the more often you need to change it. Although we might think it is cleaner to change all the water in the tank or change the water every other day, it is not.

It can meddle with the crucial conditions the betta fish needs to survive. This can mess up the water pH level, temperature, and biological and microbial elements important for survival.

Factors: How Long Betta Fish Can Go Without Water Changes

Here are a few factors that influence how long a betta fish can go without water change:

  • Is it a filtered or unfiltered tank?
  • Do other fish live with your betta fish?
  • How much has your betta fish been eating? (rotting food and excretion at the bottom of the tank will impact the quality of the water)
  • What size is the fish tank?

How to Change Betta Fish Water

We have already established how often you should change a betta fish’s water now; we have to make sure to properly change the water in their tank. There are two ways you can do a water change; a partial water change or a complete water change.

Partial Water Change in a Betta Fish Tank

A partial water change is recommended as the preferred method when changing the water in the betta fish tank. This is the best method to use:

Get the New Water Ready for the Betta Fish’s Tank

Prepare a large, clean container with water and add a water conditioner. A water conditioner is very important because it removes hazardous substances and chlorine from the new water.

You can purchase water conditioners at pet stores. Make sure that you follow the instructions on how much water conditioner you need to add to your container.

Warm Up the Water for the Betta Fish’s Tank

Allow the freshwater to reach room temperature; otherwise, the temperature difference can cause the fish distress and harm them. If you let it rest for more than an hour, the water will be the perfect temperature for your betta fish.

Another way of ensuring that the water is at the perfect temperature is to mix hot and cold tap water until it reaches the appropriate temperature.

It is best to use an aquarium thermometer to check the water temperature. Once you are done, you can pour the instructed amount of water conditioner into the container.

Take Out a Bit of the Water from the Betta Fish’s Tank

Before you fill the tank with the new water, you have to remove some water from your betta fish’s tank.

If you are ready to replace some water, use a clean bowl or scoop to remove 25% of the fish’s tank water. Make use of measuring tools to ensure that you do not remove too little or too much water.

Keep your betta in their tank while you change the water.

Refill the Water in the Betta Fish’s Tank

Pour the treated water from your container into your betta’s fish tank so the water level can be the same as it was before you remove some of the water.

Gently pour in the water so you do not unsettle the fish. Use a scoop or bowl to add the water if the container you used is too heavy.

Repeat the process regularly, and if your betta’s container becomes really dirty, you can change the water more often.

Complete Water Change in a Betta Fish Tank

A complete water change is not the recommended method as the betta fish can go into a state of shock when placed into completely clean water.

If you have no choice and you have to change the water in the tank completely, this is how to do it:

Firstly, follow the first two steps above on “Get The New Water Ready For The Betta Fish’s Tank” and “Warm Up The Water For The Betta Fish’s Tank.”

Then proceed to the below steps.

Remove and Transfer Your Betta Fish from Their Tank

Use a fishnet to remove your betta fish from their tank into a container full of freshwater. When moving your fish, be careful and gentle because you can easily injure their fins.

Clean Your Betta Fish’s Tank

Remove the water from their fish tank and gently wash it with water and a clean, soft sponge. Do not use soap or cleaning products because they can be harmful to the fish.

Thoroughly clean the fish tank until the waste and dirt are gone.

Fill the Betta’s Fish Tank

Pour some fresh water you prepared that your betta is in right now into the fish tank. Add enough water so the betta fish can move around freely and comfortably in their tank.

Put Your Betta Fish Back in Their Fish Tank

Move your betta fish back into their fish tank partially filled with water. Once again, use a fishnet and be careful while you move them.

Fill the Betta’s Tank with the Remainder of the Water

Steadily pour the remainder of the water in the container into the fish tank.

If the container is too heavy to lift, you can fill the fish tank using a clean bowl or scoop. When you pour in the water, do it slowly so you will not startle your fish.

If needed, perform the process again, but partial water changes are usually good enough to keep your betta fish comfortable and healthy.

Final Thoughts

After reading this piece of information, you should have gained enough understanding of the importance of keeping your betta fish in clean and fresh water. Frequently cleaning their tank and changing the water will protect them from illnesses and harmful elements.

Cleaning your betta fish’s tank every week or two is all they need to survive unless other circumstances impact how many times you need to do a water change for your fish to stay in good health. Betta fish are fascinating, and they need all the love and care you can give. So make their stay as pleasant as possible!

Share this post: