How Much Do Bettas Cost?

Betta fish start at about $5 and can cost upwards of $1,500. In general, expect to spend between $10 and $40 for a healthy and attractive betta.

Of course, if you are serious about keeping your betta fish happy and healthy you can’t just spring for just the fish itself.

You’ll need the tank. You’ll need plants and structure in the tank. You’ll need a filter and water conditioning equipment. You’ll need heating and lighting elements.

And sometimes that’s just the tip of the iceberg!

In the rest of this detailed guide we go over all things you need to think about when it comes to breaking down just how much a betta fish is going to cost you, not just to buy at the pet store but to keep from here on out.

Let’s get into it.

How Much Do Bettas Cost?

A big part of the popularity of betta fish is that they are so affordable and easy to find, while being some of the most strikingly beautiful fish in a home aquarium.

The chances are pretty good that if you have even a halfway decent sized pet supply shop in your area they’ll have a whole run of betta fish, every color imaginable, available in tiny little Tupperware containers for next to nothing.


It’s often possible to pick up a betta fish – a young, healthy, happy betta fish – for less than it would cost you to buy an iced coffee or a cheeseburger.

These fish aren’t very expensive at all.

Your run-of-the-mill pet store betta fish is going to set you back about five dollars, like we mentioned a moment ago.

If, though, you wanted a rarer betta fish – maybe a unique color, one with particularly hardy genetics, etc. – you could end up spending a whole lot more than five dollars.

$50 “specialty” betta fish from legitimate breeders are pretty easy to track down online, and sometimes these fish go for a whole lot more than that as well.

In fact, somewhat recently the most expensive betta fish in history was sold – a betta fish that cost $1500 all on its own.

Now, that was a pretty unique fish. It had a colorway that was almost identical to the Thai flag and made it a one-of-a-kind sort of purchase – but there can be big money in the betta fish if you’re looking for something really specific.

For the rest of us, though, expect to spend between $5 and $40.

Colorful Betta

Other Expenses to Consider

Now that you have purchased a betta fish, though, you need to be sure that you have everything else necessary to give them a solid home.

Tank Setup

A full-blown tank set up (a 5 gallon aquarium is fine for a single betta fish, at least for right now) can start anywhere around $25 or so and get up to between $100 and $150.

You don’t have to go crazy (at least not yet) but you do want to get yourself something solid, something reliable, and something that you aren’t going to want to replace right away.

Used tanks that have been cleaned and sanitized properly can be a solid value as well. You might be able to pick one of them up at a discount if you’re willing to be patient.

Make sure the tank has a filter system and a bubbler as well.

Environmental Additions

Gravel (to add a substrate to your tank), plants, and decorations are all good purchases to fully kit out your betta fish set up.

Gravel runs for about a dollar a pound, but you might only be able to find 5 pound bags (or larger) depending on where you are doing your shopping.

Plants can run the gamut, from a dollar per plant to $10 or more per plant – and sometimes even more than that. With a 5 gallon tank, though, you don’t have to go crazy.

As far as decorations are concerned, prices here are sort of all over the place. Expect to spend anywhere between five dollars and $50 for different decorations.

Proper Heating and Lightings

Heating and lighting tech are hugely important when you are raising tropical fish like bettas.

You want to maintain warm water temperatures (between 73°F and 85°F) and you also want to make sure that they have plenty of quality light during the day as well.

Simple heaters and LED lights aren’t going to break the bank.

Ongoing Costs of Betta Ownership

After that, all that’s really left to consider is the amount of money you spend on food regularly, the electricity costs of running your tank (your heater, your lights, and your filter), as well as tank maintenance costs, medication, and other add-ons or upgrades.

A lot of that, though, can be spread out over time – especially since betta fish aren’t all that fussy.

Remember, these fish naturally live in very shallow water and in less than picture-perfect conditions.

They’ve grown and have been adapted to thrive in warm water for sure, but they don’t need a giant aquarium to be happy – and they don’t need a lot of friends, either. These fish like to be left alone, left to their own devices, and aren’t going to set you back a small fortune feeding them, either.

As long as you keep the water in the tank nice and clean (with at least weekly refreshes), and as long as you keep the temperature controlled, you won’t have a whole lot to worry about as far as medications or treatments are concerned.

If things do get away from you a little bit, and your fish starts to show signs of stress and illness, you might have to spring for antibiotics or other treatments. Those will usually run about $15 or so (and you’ll have plenty of treatment left over for any future betta fish you decide to keep going forward).

So there you have it, a total breakdown of how much betta fish will cost (about five dollars out-of-pocket) as well as a good idea of the kind of money you’ll have to spend on everything else necessary to keep them.