How Much do Betta Fish Cost?

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The decision of bringing a new pet inside our homes always requires some prior planning, especially when it comes to tropical species.

One of the main factors which involve planning is certainly the costs- not just those of buying a pet and its enclosure, but also the upkeeping costs that one will have to face for several years.

If you are preparing yourself of providing a home to an amazing betta fish, you certainly want to know how much do betta fish cost, and we are sharing all the main rates in one place.

To begin, your betta fish can cost anywhere between $5 and $20. Prices vary depending on the breed and its particular features, with the rarest ones having obviously higher value. If you are looking for a super-rare betta fish, you are facing one-time purchasing costs of even thousands of dollars.

Out of curiosity, there are specimens with two tails that are sold at surprisingly high rates such as $10,000 for a pair! If you wish to know how such pricey fish look, you can check this cool video from Aquapros.

Setup Cost

Once you decide on your favorite betta specimen, you will first need to setup a home for it.

– Aquarium

If you choose to start with a decently sized tank from the very beginning instead of going with super-small options that will need an upgrade soon enough, you can invest your money wisely and save some for later.

For a single betta fish, we highly recommend purchasing a 10-gallon tank as this will be much easier for maintaining stable water parameters. Such tanks can cost anywhere between $40 and $100, depending on the type you choose.

There are also modern versions of aquarium kits, which go from $150, but they already include lights and other additions.

Keep in mind that a high-quality type of tank will in most cases present a one-time cost only.

– Heater

Your tropical betta needs a heater in order to thrive. These are not much of an investment but will last for several years before you need to replace them, depending on their quality.

If we use a 10-gallon tank as a point of reference, good heaters can be found starting from $15. If you decide to setup a larger tank for your new pet, you will consequentially need a stronger and more expensive heater.

When purchasing the heater, please allow a couple of extra dollars for a thermometer. This will ensure that your water temperature levels are always ideal and under control.

– Light

Similar to heaters, lightning solutions for your 10-gallon tank is not going to be a big investment but will surely last for a long time. Simple LED options with both day and night lights can cost between $10 and $25 and are super-easy to install.

Oppositely, if you have purchased a tank with an in-built lighting system, you may simply cross this out from your shopping list.

– Substrate

Your betta pet will be happiest with sand or fine gravel substrate. Their fins and tails are extremely gentle, so they require a somehow smoother option when compared to more resistant fish.

Therefore, prices of such products usually vary between $15 and $40 for a standard packaging of 5 pounds. If we take a 10-gallon tank once again as a point of reference, you will probably need around 15 to 20 pounds of substrate.

Allow yourself at least 2 inches of depth, to have the best opportunity of planting nice greenery for your betta to thrive.

– Plants

Betta fish simply love having plenty of plants around. You can choose plastic and durable options, but live plants certainly make a better solution for your pet.

And, on top of that, they will add a naturally amazing look to your aquarium. Prices here can vary a lot, depending on the type of plants you decide to choose, but some general rates go from $10 to $30.

To conclude, a high-quality home setup for your colorful pet can end up costing you anywhere between $100 and $250.

Upkeep Cost

Now that you have your betta aquarium all setup and nicely decorated, you should be aware of some upkeep costs which will be happening on a frequent basis.

– Food

These little carnivorous require a basic meal plan consisting of high-quality pellets or flakes. These are available for a couple of dollars already and, with bettas being such tiny creatures, each package can last for a while.

However, they also require regular meaty treats of brine shrimp or bloodworms or similar, and these can cost slightly more if they are live instead of frozen (with your pet, obviously, voting for live options).

Therefore, you can prepare yourself for spending either around $5 or $10 each week.

– Water Changes

Partial water changes need to occur regularly every 2 or 3 weeks. Mini substrate vacuums are totally fine for smaller tanks as 10-gallon ones cost around $5, but the largest cost here will be the water itself.

This depends entirely on the water supplier costs across your country. Finally, a good water conditioner for treating tap water before adding it to your betta tank costs around $10 and lasts for some time.

– Medication

Occasionally, you will need to provide medication to your fish if it happens to get sick or infected. The cost ranges are various and depend on the certain type you will need, but we can state they mostly cost around $15.

Wrapping Up

Betta fish are not even as closely expensive to keep as dogs are. However, they are not either as cheap as some sources suggest.

Indeed, purchasing a $10 betta fish and placing it into a bowl of similar costs with no heater or light is simply wrong. And, furthermore, it can be classified as animal cruelty.

Having in mind what your approximate costs can be is greatly helpful and will bring less stress once the whole process begins. And remember, once you setup the initial home for your betta pet, maintenance costs are really not high at all.

avatar I’m Fabian, aquarium fish breeder and founder of this website. I’ve been keeping fish, since I was a kid. On this blog, I share a lot of information about the aquarium hobby and various fish species that I like. Please leave a comment if you have any question.

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