Wild Betta Fish Facts: Natural Habitats, Types, Price & More

Are you looking to add an exotic and beautiful creature to your aquarium? Wild betta fish might be the perfect addition!

Not only do these vibrant creatures make a great conversation starters, but they are also exciting and low-maintenance.

In this blog post, we will dive into all things betta: natural habitats of wild bettas, betta fish in the wild types of species available for purchase, and maintenance tips, with price range information.

betta fish in the wild

So, Read on to explore the fascinating betta fish wild world!

Can Betta Fish Be Found in the Wild?

Do betta fish live in the wild? Yes! Although they have been bred in captivity for generations, wild betta fish exist in their natural habitats throughout Southeast Asia.

They can be found in still, shallow bodies of water, including rice paddies, puddles, and creeks with slow-moving currents.

Wild betta fish typically grow to be larger than their captive-bred counterparts.

They also tend to have more vibrant colors as they remain in their natural environment and have access to a broader array of food sources.

Are Wild Bettas Rare?

Due to Betta’s popularity in the aquarium hobby, wild betta fish numbers have decreased significantly.

In many cases, populations of domestic bettas have been completely wiped out in certain areas.

As a result, it is becoming increasingly harsh to find and purchase wild betta specimens for aquariums.

What Types of Wild Betta Fish Are There?

Wild bettas come in various shapes, sizes, and colors. There are three main species of bettas found in the wild – Betta splendens, Betta imbellis, and Betta smaragdina.

Betta Splendens

Siamese fighting fish (Betta splendens complex), Also known as the Siamese fighting fish, is the most commonly-known species of betta fish.

This species is often sold in pet stores and is characterized by its long flowing fins and vibrant colors.

Betta imbellis

Or the peace-loving Betta is a less common species characterized by its shorter fins and brown-gray colors.

Betta Smaragdina or the Emerald Betta

It is a third species of wild Betta that has been recently discovered. This species is characterized by its short fins and deep green colors.

Types of Betta Fish in Wild (List)

Here is a list of the three main species of domestic betta fish that you may find in the wild:

  • Betta splendens (Siamese Fighting Fish)
  • Betta imbellis (Peace-loving betta)
  • Betta smaragdina (Emerald betta)

How Many Betta Fish Are in the Wild?

Bettas inhabit a wide range of freshwater habitats in South and Southeast Asia. In the wild, they live in slow-moving streams, marshes, canals, ditches, and rice paddies.

There is no short answer to this question, as no one has conducted a comprehensive study on how many bettas are in the wild.

However, anecdotal evidence suggests that millions of bettas may live in the wild.

For instance, a 2014 post on the Betta Fish Hobbyist blog cites an estimate from Thailand’s Department of Fisheries that there may be as many as 100 million bettas living in the country’s waterways.

Within the genus Betta, there are over 73 wild betta species of these vibrant and mesmerizing fish.

Amongst them is one very familiar to us-the Siamese Fighting Fish (Betta splendens). Its remarkable bright red coloration and captivating beauty are a sight to behold!

Where Do Betta Fish Live in the Wild?

Where to find wild betta fish? Wild betta fish live in shallow, freshwater areas such as rice paddies, stagnant ponds, marshes, and canals.

They tend to prefer calm water with dense vegetation to provide cover. They will often congregate around submerged roots or floating plants.

Wild Betta Fish in Florida

In the United States, domestic betta can be found in the warm waters of South Florida.

These bettas are not native to the area and are likely a result of aquarium releases.

Wild Betta fish in Florida can be found in various habitats, including swamps, marshes, ponds, lakes, and rivers.

These aquarium hobby fish are famous for hobbyists due to their vibrant colors and exciting behaviors.

Due to this prized fish’s popularity in the aquarium trade, these wild populations have slowly increased in size over time.

However, they can be challenging to care for and require much attention if you want them to thrive.

It is crucial to provide a habitat that mimics their natural environment as closely as possible if you decide to keep these fish.

Please ensure the water is clean and the temperature is consistent with what they are using.

What Does a Wild Betta Look Like?

Domestic bettas come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. The most common color is a deep green, but they can also be found in blues, reds, yellows, and oranges.

They have long fins that can reach up to 6 inches in length. Some wild males even have unique patterns on their fins or bodies.

A wild Betta usually has a dull greyish-green color with short fins. They can be found in ponds and rice paddies in Southeast Asia.

Labyrinth organ Bettas evolved to live in stagnant water, so they don’t do well in tanks with filters and regular water changes.

How Much Does Betta Fish Cost?

Wild betta fish for sale can range from $10 to around $50. Prices for pet store bettas can vary widely, but most will cost between $5 and $20.

It is important to remember that when purchasing a wild betta fish, you are essentially buying a wild animal, and there is no guarantee of health or longevity.

In addition to purchasing a wild betta fish, you should also factor in the costs associated with setting up a suitable habitat and providing them with proper care.

This includes tanks, filtration systems, food, heaters, and other supplies that can add up quickly.

Overall, buying a prized fish like wild betta fish is only for some, as it can be challenging to care for and is not suitable for beginners.

However, if you are up for the task and want to support their conservation efforts in the wild, owning a domestic betta fish can be a rewarding experience.

Betta fish have a rich and storied history, believed to originate from Thailand. These wild betta males were first captured for their fiercely competitive nature – bred and developed into the beloved Betta of today!

Betta Fish in the Wild Species List

  • Mahachai
  • betta mahachaiensis
  • Betta Smaragdina
  • Betta Imbellis
  • betta macrostoma
  • Betta Rubra betta fish wild
  • betta pugnax
  • betta picta
  • betta albimarginata
  • betta hendra

Wild Betta Fish Natural Habitat

Wild betta fish inhabit many habitats in Southeast Asia, ranging from shallow waters to deeper ponds.

They generally prefer areas with lots of vegetation, such as rice paddies and marshes, where they can find food and hide from predators.

They also enjoy slowly moving water with plenty of places to hide.

Brightly colored Wild betta fish can be found in various colors, depending on the betta species and their environment.

While that tropical fish prefer to spend most of their time in shallow areas, they will also venture into deeper waters to find food or protect themselves from predators.

It is important to note that wild betta fish are threatened by habitat loss, pollution, and overfishing, so it is essential to be mindful of these issues when considering owning one.

How Long Do Betta Fish Live in the Wild?

Betta fish can live in the wild for about two years. However, predators or environmental dangers, such as polluted water, can shorten their lifespan.

They may also succumb to disease or parasites. In general, domesticated betta fish have a longer lifespan than wild ones.

What Do Betta Fish Eat in the Wild?

What do bettas eat? Betta fish are carnivores and eat a variety of small insects and insect larvae in the wild.

Their natural diet consists of food items such as mosquitoes, water beetles, mayflies, dragonflies, and other small invertebrates.

Some betta owners also feed their bettas commercial fish food pellets or flakes, but it is best to mix these with live or frozen bloodworms, brine shrimp, or mosquito larvae to provide a more natural diet.

How Big Can Betta Fish Get in the Wild? (Wild Betta Fish Size)

Wide betta fish range in size from around 2-3 inches (5-7 cm), and the larger varieties can reach up to 4 inches (10 cm).

The size of the fish will also depend on the wild betta species and the environment they live in.

For example, wild betta fish living in slow-moving or stagnant water tend to be smaller than those living in fast-moving rivers.

It is important to note that the size of a betta fish does not necessarily indicate its health or age.

Some wild bettas can reach larger sizes even when not in excellent health, while some smaller domestic fish can be perfectly healthy.

Overall, the size of wild betta fish can vary greatly depending on their environment and species.

When Are Betta Fish Dying?

Wild betta fish usually show signs of illness or distress before dying. These include changes in behavior, such as lethargy or loss of appetite, and physical symptoms, such as cloudy eyes or discolored scales.

If you notice any of these signs, it is vital to take action immediately by providing the fish with a clean and healthy environment and removing any potential sources of stress or illness.

How Do You Take Care of a Wild Betta Fish?

Bettas, also known as Siamese fighting fish, are popular for home aquariums. However, many people do not know how to properly care for them, which can lead to health problems and even death. 

If you’re one of the millions who own a Betta, you must know how to take care of them. Improper care can lead to health problems and even death.

In this video, we’ll teach you everything you need to know about How Do You Take Care of a Betta Fish? We’ll cover diet, wild betta habitat, betta tank size, and more. So sit back, relax, and let us teach you how to take care of your beloved fish!

Do Betta Fish Like Light or Dark?

Betta fish prefer dim lighting, as bright light can be stressful. The best type of light for fish is a low-wattage LED or fluorescent light, as these lights are less intense and do not produce much heat.

A good practice is to keep the light on for 8-12 hours daily. It is also essential to ensure the light is not too close to the tank, as this could stress the fish.

Additionally, providing shade for your Betta-fighting fish is essential, as too much light can also be stressful and lead to health problems.

What Fish Live with Bettas in the Wild?

In the wild, bettas live alongside several different betta species. These include small colorful fish like rasboras and danios and larger species such as barbs and gouramis.

Bettas are typically peaceful and do not show aggression towards other fish, although some Bettas may become territorial when spawning.

Choosing a betta fish mate compatible with bettas is essential, and one can tolerate their aggressive behavior.

Additionally, bettas should be kept in a betta tank of at least 10 gallons, giving them enough space to swim and explore.

Wild Betta Vs Betta Fish

Wild bettas and domesticated betta fish have some similarities but also some crucial differences. Wild bettas are typically more significant than domesticated Betta, reaching up to 4 inches in size.

Domestic bettas also have longer fins, brighter colors than their domesticated counterparts, and a more aggressive temperament.

Wild bettas live in different environments than domesticated bettas, typically in shallow ponds or streams.

Domesticated betta fish are smaller than wild bettas and have a more docile temperament. They come in various colors and are bred for their beauty rather than aggression or size.

Commonly Asked Questions about Siamese fighting fish Betta Fish (FAQ)

Are Betta Fish Wild?

Yes, bettas are wild animals found in Southeast Asia’s shallow ponds and streams.

Why Can’t Betta Fish Be with Other Fish?

Bettas fish can be territorial and may become aggressive toward other fish in the tank. It is best to keep them in a tank by themselves To ensure the health and safety of your peaceful Betta.

Can Wild Bettas Live Together?

To have a healthy and safe environment for your fish, experts recommend having one male Betta and two or more female bettas in each tank. This way, the community atmosphere is balanced naturally without any danger of aggression from too many male bettas!

Are Wild Bettas Harder to Keep?

Are wild bettas hard to keep? Wild betta fish females can be more challenging to control because of their wild nature and aggressive behavior.


Wild Betta fish is a beautiful and popular type of freshwater aquarium fish. Bettas are easy to care for, but there are still some essential things to know about Betta’s natural habitat, diet, and behavior. By understanding more about betta fish in the wild, you can provide them with the best possible care and create a thriving environment in your home aquarium.

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About Me

I am the founder of, a devoted wife and mother, and an avid fish enthusiast. My aim is to assist fellow fish lovers worldwide in understanding how to properly care for and breed their pet fish.

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