How Much Are Betta Fish? (A Full-On Buyer’s Guide)

how much are betta fish
Japanese Fighting Fish is reader-supported. When you purchase through one of our links we may earn an affiliate commission (at no extra cost to you).

Last Updated: October 10, 2023 by Dave Gibbins

Many people have a popular misconception about owning a Betta fish as a pet; they think it’s a budget-friendly process.

However, it’s time to debunk that myth.

While keeping Betta fish isn’t exceedingly expensive, it’s a financial commitment that ought to stay with you for two years or more.

And we aren’t only talking about buying the fish. After that, you’ll need to buy a tank, live plants or fake plants, fish toys, food, etc.

But how much are Betta fish? We’ll answer your question in detail in this article. So read on to get all the information you need.

The Short Answer

The general Betta fish cost ranges from $2 to $30.

Some rare Betta breeds might cost more than this. But the price mainly depends on the pet store you’re purchasing from, the Betta fish breed, age, and color.

Some pet stores also sell male Betta fish for a higher price because they often have larger bodies and more intense colors.

Either way, females are more budget-friendly to keep because they don’t fight. Accordingly, you can keep them in one Betta fish tank. As for expectant Betta parents, many pet stores sell them at higher prices.

In general, Betta fish are among the pricier fish to keep. Their lifespan ranges from two to five years, with the latter being most optimistic. So, if you buy a Betta fish, you’ll need to keep a budget aside for at least two years.

Betta Fish Prices: The Hall of Fame

We’ve rounded up many Betta fish varieties and their prices to help you get informed. So jump in!

Elephant Ear Betta

elephant ear betta

Elephant ear Betta fish are beautiful fish with huge fins that resemble an elephant’s ear; hence, the name.

At most pet stores, you can get this Betta variety for $10-20.

You might also find this fish under the name Dumbo Betta.

The reason it’s one of the priciest types is its mesmerizing appearance and challenging breeding process with low success rates.

Since elephant ear Betta fish have large fins, they like swimming freely without crowds. So you’ll need a large Betta aquarium for them.

Crowntail Betta

crowntail betta

Male Crowntail Betta fish cost about $3.5-$4.5, while females cost around $3-$5.

Crowntail females are smaller than males and sport shorter fins. Meanwhile, males of this variety flaunt fascinating, flowy fins. Overall, it’s one of the most beautiful varieties.

That said, Crowntail Bettas are among the more aggressive Bettas, so you should expect conflicts now and then if you purchase them.

Delta Tail Betta

blue delta tail male betta fish

Delta tail Betta fish are slightly pricier than Crowntail Bettas at $6-8 each.

However, the males of this variety are larger with longer fins and prefer solidarity. Meanwhile, the females can live together in one Betta tank happily.

Veiltail Betta

super gold veilbetta fish

Veiltail Betta fish are the most common type you can find in any pet store, and they have reasonable prices. That’s why many Betta fish owners prefer them.

You can buy Veiltail Bettas for about $2-4 each, with females costing less.

Veiltail Betta fish are most known for their flowy fins, and they add to the aesthetic of any Betta tank they get put in. What makes them even more cost-efficient is that you can place many Veiltails in one fish tank, but you should preferably do this with females only.

Halfmoon Betta

halfmoon betta fish

Halfmoon Bettas are an elegant variety known for their graceful swimming movements and their moon-shaped large fins.

You can buy Halfmoon Bettas for about $7-13 each.

Generally, Halfmoon Bettas resemble Delta tail Bettas greatly, with the latter costing more. To keep Halfmoon Betta fish happy, you’ll need to buy a large tank because they love space.

Koi Betta

koi betta fish

Koi Bettas have distinctive marble-like patterns that give them their uniqueness and charm.

Unfortunately, they’re a pricey variety. Each fish costing about $13-20 because of their challenging breeding.

Male Bettas in this variety have larger and more flowing fins than their female counterparts.

Plakat Betta

plakat betta fish

While Plakat Bettas don’t sport flashy fins as their Betta friends do.

They have attractive colors and cost less than many types at $5-7 per fish.

It’s worth mentioning that Plakat Betta fish ownership isn’t ideal for many people because they’re more aggressive than most varieties. So naturally, they require a bigger Betta fish tank and more monitoring.

Fun Fact: Know more about this particular betta species by reading our article on Plakat Betta: A Look Into The Betta’s Other Fighter Sibling.

Butterfly Betta

butterfly betta fish

Butterfly Betta fish are trendy among Betta owners because of their mesmerizing colors and flowing fins. Each fish can sport more than one color, and their males often have more beautiful fins.

Each butterfly Betta fish costs about $12-15, making them on the pricey side of the market.

Dragonscale Betta

dragonscale betta fish

Dragonscale Bettas are gorgeous fish with metallic scaly bodies and vibrant colors. They often look stunning as they swim because of the light reflections on their scales.

Each Dragonscale Betta costs about $10-13.

If you purchase male Dragonscales, you have to keep them in a separate tank because they often fight with other fish, especially those with metallic bodies. Females can stay in one tank, but they aren’t as friendly as other Bettas.

Feathertail Betta

feathertail betta fish

Although Feathertail Bettas are named after feathers, their tails look more like roses. The ones that look like feathers show in a rare variety.

Feathertail Bettas are pricey, with each fish costing about $15-20.

In addition, their females sport more humble fins, while males flaunt dramatic and colorful fins.

Many Betta owners don’t prefer this variety because it’s aggressive and often practices tail biting on other fish. If you want to keep them in your Betta tank, you should look for suitable, peaceful tank mates.

Costs of Keeping Bettas as Pet Fish

After discussing the different Betta fish prices of common varieties, it’s time to estimate how much keeping them will cost you.

Aquarium Costs

Here are the aquarium costs you should expect if you purchase Betta fish.

Fish Aquarium and Lights

Bettas love freedom while swimming with their large fins, so they need big tanks to live happily. If you plan on raising a pair of Bettas, you’ll need a 5-10 gallons tank. But if you want to keep more than that, you’ll need an even more giant aquarium.

Naturally, the larger your Betta tank is, the pricier it’ll be. The manufacturing materials also contribute to the price as some tanks have insulated glass. As a result, a high-quality tank might cost you anywhere from $50-100, and the lower-quality models can cost you $15-50.

Bettas can’t stay in the same light all day. Ideally, they should spend half of the day in the dark and the other half in the light. If you don’t have a space in your house where the aquarium can get natural light, you’ll need to purchase artificial lighting.

Some aquariums come with built-in lights, but you can purchase white LEDs if you don’t own one.

LEDs don’t increase the water temperature and will keep your Betta fish healthy. Purchasing tank lighting might cost you about $10 if you own a minimum tank size. But the bigger your tank is, the more you’ll pay for lighting.

Tank Decorations and Gravel

While not all Bettas are equally aggressive, they all like having hidden spots in the aquarium so that they can take a break from their swimming colleagues.

Accordingly, you’ll need to set up decorations like clay pots, live plants, fake plants, and glass marbles. You’ll most likely find them at your local pet store.

Live plants are better than fake ones because they resemble a fish’s natural habitat and pose fewer risks on Bettas’ flowing fins.

Luckily, not all decorations are expensive.

Some simple pieces might cost you as low as $5 each. However, larger pieces can cost you up to $50-100.

As for gravel, it’s an essential part of the aquarium because it holds plastic plants and completes the Bettas’ ecosystem.

You can buy sand, stones, glass marbles, or artificial gravel. These types all range from $10 to $50.

Aquarium Heater and Thermometer

male holding aquarium heater

Betta fish are tropical, and they love living in temperatures ranging from 78°F to 82°F. To get the optimal Betta fish temperature, you’ll need to purchase an aquarium heater. A thermometer will also come in handy to monitor the temperature closely.

An effective heater might cost you up to $40, but a lower-quality one can cost you around $10-20.

The price might vary according to the heater’s size. Luckily, thermometers come at reasonable prices ranging from $5-10.

Aquarium Filter

aquarium filter with pump

To keep your new Betta fish healthy, you’ll need to supply their tank with a filter. Bettas live in freshwater forest streams, and their natural habitats are often clean. Accordingly, they won’t like it if pollutants build up in their tank.

Like heaters and lighting, the price of the filter will depend mainly on the size of your Betta’s tank.

If you own a small tank, you might pay around $30. But if you own a large aquarium, you might spend up to $80 on a filter.

Filters have relatively high prices, but they’re essential for keeping your tank clean.

Care Costs

Although it’s somewhat low-maintenance, owning a Betta fish comes with a package of care costs. Here’s a brief roundup of the most important ones.

Food

Bettas feed on tiny invertebrates in the wild, like brine shrimp, insects, insect larvae, and daphnia.

On the other hand, they feed on dried foods like pellets and flakes in aquariums. To maintain a healthy Betta fish diet, you’ll need to vary between frozen, live, and dried foods.

Lucky for you, Betta fish food doesn’t cost as much as the other aspects. You’ll only have to spend about $5 per week.

Water Conditioner

Fish simply need to live in water that resembles their natural habitat as close as possible, and tap water doesn’t offer this privilege.

If you plan on filling your Betta’s tank with tap water, you’ll need to condition it beforehand to remove harmful chemicals.

You can find tank conditioner bottles at any pet store near your place, and they won’t cost you more than $10 each. One bottle can last with you for more than a year.

Electricity

While the difference might not be huge, owning a Betta fish can take your electricity bill up a notch. This is because of the aquarium light, filter, and heater.

As a result, you should keep this slight increase in your calculations to make sure you set aside a suitable budget.

Fun Fact: Another important factor to consider in buying an aquarium tank is the size of the fish you are going to take care of. Bettas are quite popular with beginners! We strongly suggest you read our article, How Big Do Betta Fish Get (When They Grow To Full Size) to learn more.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are suitable Betta tankmates?

The most suitable Betta tankmates are peaceful and small fish that don’t start fights. Here’s a list of ones you can easily get.

  • Cory catfish
  • Kuhli loaches
  • Platies
  • Tetras
  • Malaysian trumpet snails

Do Betta fish require medications?

Your Betta fish might fall ill and require medications, whether because of a viral, bacterial, or fungal infection. Luckily, common diseases don’t need expensive drugs; you can get away with spending about $5. But if your fish gets a rare disease, the medications might cost up to $100.

How much does the most expensive Betta fish cost?

The most expensive Betta fish in the world is called the Kachen Worachie, and it got sold in an auction for nearly $1500. The fish is named after its owner, and it sports the colors of the Thai flag on its body.

Conclusion

Bettas are amazing fish to keep in your house, but they’re on the pricey side of the market. Ranging from the aquarium itself to the decorations, filter, and heater, the initial cost of buying a Betta fish is about $100 to $300.

As for care costs like food, electricity, and medications, they probably won’t cost you more than $100 per month.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *