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Can I Leave My Betta Fish for a Week?- Safe or Unsafe?

Can I Leave My Betta Fish for a Week

It is the responsibility of a Betta owner to make sure the Betta is taken care of at all times. To answer the question “Can I leave my Betta fish for a week?” there are a few things to take note of before that question can be answered.

While a betta can go up to two weeks without food, it is not recommended to do that. Various health issues will come to the Betta fish if they are left for long durations without feeding. 

If a condition comes that one has to leave their Betta for a week, then some things have to be taken care of before you leave, so the Betta is not affected by their owner’s absence. 

One thing to be noted before leaving your Betta is to note how many days you will be gone for. If the absence is just for two to four days, then the Bettas should be able to manage without any issues; however, if it is more than that, it is better to get a Betta sitter to ensure nothing serious happens to the fish.

Another thing to be noted is the size of the tank. The size of the tank gives us an idea of how the water conditions will stay. If it is a bigger tank, then the tank will not get unclean very fast as it would do with a smaller tank. 

Other components of the tank such as the filtration system and heating system. Every betta tank needs these components fixed in them. These are even more important when you are living the Betta alone. 

Feeding and Vacations

Betta fish alone

Betta fish can go up to 14 fourteen days without eating food for an adult. However, this is not recommended as that could affect the health of the fish very badly. If the vacation or the owner’s absence is just for two to four days, they can be allowed to fast for the time. The maximum amount of time one should let a Betta fish go without food is four to seven days, even though that is still risky.

All bettas are different, and the effect of leaving a Betta fish unattended for a week or more will be different from fish to fish as their age, personality, metabolism, health all differ. However, no matter how healthy a Betta fish is, they should not be starved for more than four to seven days. 

The best option to be followed while being away for a vacation is to get a Betta sitter who would take care of your Betta while you are absent. A betta sitter can be a close friend or a family member you can trust to take care of your little finned friend. 

Another option is to take the Betta with you where you go. While not always practical, it is a good alternative if you are scared to leave your betta alone for a week. 

There are automated feeding machines that feed the fish periodically. However, one needs to ensure they buy high-quality automated feeding machines as low-quality products could adversely affect your fish instead of helping them. 

What happens when the Betta fish is not fed for more than a week?

When a fish is starved for five to six days, they start tapping into the reserves and go into starvation mode. Starving a betta fish could increase their stress, and the increased stress levels could lead to organ failures and contracting diseases that could even be fatal. It is not recommended to let the fish starve for more duration than this. 

Temperature of the Water Tank to Leave Betta Fish for a Week

Bettas need a stable water temperature to thrive. Even if you’re away or nearby, you need to keep the water temperature stable. And getting a heater is the best way to ensure this. Another thing to be kept in mind is even if one owns a heater, they need to be careful that the heater does not shut off once it reaches the desired temperature. 

If the Betta is starved, they use less metabolism and acts lethargic, so they consume less food. For a short duration, this can be helpful and can be taken to your advantage. 

Quality of Water

One needs to change 50 to 100% of the water on the day you leave and water change on the day you come back, depending on the size of the tank your Betta lives in. This method is only applicable if you are leaving the Betta alone for up to four days. 

Smaller tanks which are 2 gallons or smaller, require 80% water change on the day you leave and immediately upon return. Even though it is not recommended to leave your Betta in such a small tank unsupervised for a long time. One-gallon tanks need water change every day, and it is better not to leave them alone.

To know the best water condition for your betta fish read: Betta Water Parameters: Best Conditions for Your Betta

The larger the tank, the better it is for your Betta to be alone for some time. Filters can help keep the water clean and safe for longer, and it is advised to get one even if you are not going on a vacation. Lids should be put on the tanks to ensure the Bettas don’t jump out and hurt themselves, which may happen as Bettas are good jumpers. 

Light Cycle

Just like humans, Bettas also need a proper day and night cycle. If you are going somewhere, avoid placing the Betta tank under direct sunlight or in a completely dark room as Bettas need to have light for half of the day. The tank should be placed in a room that has indirect sunlight in which the light would eventually go off automatically. 

If you are using artificial light, remember not to keep them on at all times, and the light needs to have a timer, so they switch on and off automatically. 

How long can you leave a Betta fish?

A betta fish can be left alone for four days alone with proper care and preparation. However, up to a week, they can be kept without any issues. Longer than a week could seriously affect the health of the fish and even be fatal to them. While it is not recommended to leave your fish alone for a week, some people still do it, and that is borderline cruelty and should not be practiced by anyone.

A betta fish can survive up to a week without food, while they can survive up to two weeks. As mentioned before, this could have serious effects on the fish. 

Commonly Asked Questions Related to Can I Leave My Betta Fish for a Week?

Can you leave a betta fish alone for a week?

While they can live up to two weeks without any food, it is not always recommended to do this, and experts recommend getting a betta sitter to ensure the safety of the Betta. A betta can live alone for a week, but they will get stressed after 4 days and get affected by the neglect. 

How long can a betta go without being fed?

Bettas can go up to 10 days without food, maybe even a few more days. However, this is not good for your fish as it can affect its health and get stressed easily. This would not be ideal as 10 days without food will slowly starving your fish to death. 

Can I leave my fish alone for a week?

Adult healthy Betta fish can go for up to two weeks without food even though it is not recommended. Experts say they should be left with a Betta fish to ensure the Betta is taken care of well and does not get any stress. They can go for up to four days without food which will not have any issues on the fish.


Leaving the Betta alone is not something recommended by most experts. They can be kept alone for up to four days and a maximum of only up to a week. Anything more than that could affect the health of the fish and even prove fatal to them. If you decide to go away for a week, it is better to leave them with a  betta sitter who will take care of your fish when you are not there.

If you follow the points mentioned in this article, the betta should be safe and comfortable for up to a week. I hope it was useful!