Fighter fish can only live a full, healthy life in a cycled and heated aquarium. If you’d like to know more about a healthy environment for a Fighter fish. The female fighter fish will usually live a bit longer by a few months than a male fighter fish. However, most people prefer males because they are much more colorful and have longer and fancier fins.
Concerned that your fighter fish isn’t swimming too much? Well, compared to other fish, fighter fishes are very lazy. Their small bodies and long fins do not make for efficient swimming. We like to equate it to trying to swim in a ballgown. It is perfectly normal to see the resting for long periods on their favorite perch.
It is presumed that the lifespan of Fighter fish in the wild is slightly shorter than those in captivity. This is because the waters in which they live are not as regulated as a fish tank; they can become polluted, which can destroy food sources and plants and therefore reduce the lifespan of the fish.
Fighter fish Lifespan In Captivity and Wild
Provided your fighter fish is in a properly heated and filtered tank and fed a good diet, how long should you expect them to live? Most fighter fishes will live 3-5 years, but it is unknown how old they are when you adopt them from the store. Some will live longer than that, and others will die young no matter what you do. Unfortunately, no matter what species of pet you have, some are just not set up to make it to old age.
Fighter fish on average live to be 2-4 years old. The length of your fighter fish’s life is directly related to the environment you keep them in. By maintaining a clean tank and watching their diet, you can help them live a longer life.
Another factor for how long a fighter fish will live in the water temperature in the aquarium. Be sure to keep the water at between 75 and 79 degrees Fahrenheit. Choose and research a good aquarium heater and get a reliable tank thermometer to keep track of the temperature.
In the wild, Fighter fishes live in shallow freshwaters such as ponds, streams, rice paddies, and canals. They are native to Cambodia and Thailand but have spread to other regions now such as Singapore, Brazil, and Malaysia through the human introduction.
In the wild, males are also exposed to other males more frequently. They got their name ‘Siamese Fighting Fish’ because they are highly territorial and aggressive to other fish which come into their space.
Being exposed to other males more frequently increases their chances of fighting, which increases the chances of dying earlier.
Environmental Requirements for fighter fish longevity
Tank size. Avoid those 0.5 gallons “tanks”, “aquaponics Fighter fish vases” and other gimmick products at all costs. They are no better than the plastic cups Fighter fishs sit-in at pet stores. Additionally, they’re needlessly expensive when you could spend the same amount of money on large plastic tubs or secondhand glass tanks. Aim for at least 5 gallons as a minimum since it gives the Fighter fish lots of room to exercise and the water chemistry is much more forgiving.
Heating. Fighter fish are tropical fish that need warm water to thrive, so an aquarium heater is a must. The average room temperature is only 68 degrees Fahrenheit (20 °C) and these little guys need between 76 to 80 (24.5 to 26.5 °C) to be in good health.
Diet. Variety is the spice of life! Just like you would with a cat or dog, look at the ingredients on your fish food and aim for foods high in crude protein and low in fillers. Try to avoid flaked foods since they create a lot of waste. If you’re not sure what works and what doesn’t, try having a look at the article on feeding Fighter fish to clear things up.
Exercise. One of the things that are often overlooked with Fighter fish care is keeping the fish active. Nowadays, one of the silent leading causes of death in Fighter fish is the fatty degeneration of the organs. Our aquariums are simply not as large as a wild Fighter fish’s habitat and there are no bugs to chase around nor competitors to impress.
To avoid an obese Fighter fish, try making your it work a bit harder for its food (the occasional live food helps if you don’t overdo it!) and decorate the tank heavily to give it plenty of things to explore. Most importantly, don’t go for a tiny tank that has no swimming space.
Water changes and general maintenance. The hardest part about keeping Fighter fish is keeping water! Make sure you learn about the nitrogen cycle and how to establish one in your aquarium. If you don’t have that covered, chances are great that your Fighter fish will pass away within a few weeks or at least sustain permanent health damage.
Factors affecting the survival of fighter fish
Give them lots of rest spots, dragging those long, for-appearances-only-fins takes a lot of effort.
Feed a good quality diet and replace it every 6 months. We have NEVER seen a fish go through an entire container of fighter fish food. The cardboard-backed ones come in smaller amounts, but will lose nutrition faster through the water-permeable cardboard.
Make sure your filter flow does not push them around too much. Brands like this have adjustable flows to make a better fighter fish home.
Remove all pointy obstructions. Even some of those fighter fish-safe plants have point parts. Brush your hand against any potential décor and if they poke you at all, trim them back or cover them with aquarium-safe silicone.
Maintain a good environment with regular water changes. The bigger volume of tank will require fewer or smaller water changes for only one inhabitant. If you have other fish or invertebrates, you will need to clean the tank more frequently.
What to Feed Fighter fish
Fighting fish have a tendency to be picky about their food, quite often general tropical fish food just won’t cut it and they will not eat it (look like divas and act like divas). But remember, overfeeding your fighter fish can be just as bad as under feeding, a few pellets once a day (or half the amount and give once in morning once at night) will be just fine – once a week you can leave a day out, this helps to reduce the risk of constipation.