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Can Betta Fish Hear? [Answered]

can betta fish hear

Betta fish are increasingly popular aquarium fish characterized by long, vibrant colored fins and an elongated body. They are also considered a relatively intelligent breed of fish. So can betta fish hear? If yes, can they recognize their owners? What do they like to hear?

All these questions go hand in hand while answering the question can betta fish hear. To simply put things in context, betta fish do not have what we traditionally call an ear, but they do have tiny holes at the side of their heads that contain a hearing structure. Thus, betta fish can indeed hear but to what extent can they interpret the sound is the real question.

Can Betta Fish Hear? To What Extent?

Can Betta Fish Hear music

As stated earlier, betta fish do not have ears per se but have tiny holes at the sides of their heads with a hearing aid that allows them to hear sounds. So to answer the question, can betta fish hear? The answer is yes. Betta fish are indeed capable of hearing sounds, including your voice.

The hearing ability is present in a betta fish and all other fish. Besides the sense of sight and smell, betta fish also use hearing to detect nearby predators or hunt their prey. Thus, those tiny holes do have a functional purpose.

Even though betta fish can hear, you need to keep one thing in mind. Do not compare the hearing abilities of your betta fish to that of a dog or a cat. Firstly, the presence of water dampens the sound. Thus, the betta fish will not hear the sound as clearly as that of your dog or cat.

Secondly, how your betta fish interprets the sound is also quite different from that of your dog or cat. For instance, your dog may know that its name is Bruno. However, your betta fish will have no idea what Bruno means or entails. So, you should not expect the same response.

Even though your betta fish does not know what you say entails, it can indeed associate a word to an action. In other words, you can make a betta fish act by associating a comment to that particular action every time your betta fish does it.

For instance, if you give food to your betta fish every time you say its name, let us say Bruno, it will associate the word ‘Bruno’ to food. After some time, whenever you say ‘Bruno,’ your betta fish will start swimming closer to the tank surface in anticipation of being fed.

So can betta fish hear? They certainly can. However, the extent to which betta fish can hear differs from your average dog or cat. Betta fish do not have super hearing. They can listen to the sound dampened by the water, but they cannot interpret what the sound entails.

Can Betta Fish Recognize Their Owner’s Voice?

We have already answered the question can betta fish hear. Previously, we inferred that betta fish could indeed hear your voice or any other sound. We also discussed to what extent betta fish can understand your voice. To recap, a betta fish can only associate a word to one particular action and nothing more.

Answering whether betta fish recognize their owners may be a little complicated. To get a definite answer to this question we would need to ask the betta fish, which is impossible. So it can never truly be determined whether your betta fish’s response is because of your voice or some other reason.

However, this does not mean that you can totally count out the possibility that your betta fish might recognize you. It is pretty reasonable to assume that your betta fish will start to acknowledge through constant bonding and spend time together over a considerable period of time.

To familiarize yourself in front of your betta fish, it is advised that you spend about 20 minutes daily with your betta fish near the aquarium, talking to him and playing tricks with him. There is no guarantee that the betta fish will recognize your voice but it certainly does not hurt to try.

What Do Betta Fish Like To Hear?

Having answered the question can betta fish hear, you may now wonder what your betta fish likes to hear. So is there any musical preference for your betta fish? Do betta fish like soft music or hard rock? To answer this, we first need to figure out what betta fish do not like to hear.

As a matter of fact, betta fish do not like loud music. Loud music or over-amplified sounds can cause your betta fish to stress out. Betta fish generally prefer a quiet and peaceful environment. Thus, you should avoid any loud noise and remove any source of loud noise near the betta tank.

Moreover, it would help if you never tapped on the aquarium glass. It does nothing but harms your betta fish by increasing its stress level. Try snapping your fingers near the water surface if you want your betta fish’s attention. Thus, tapping on the tank glass is a strict no-no as your betta fish will feel threatened.

So, can betta fish hear? Yes, but there is no particular musical preference for a betta fish. Are betta fish affected by sound? You need to avoid any source of loud noise as it can stress out your betta fish. Moreover, never try calling your betta fish by tapping on the aquarium glass.

FAQs On Can Betta Fish Hear

Can betta fish hear you talk to them?

Betta fish can certainly hear you talk to them. However, it may not understand what you are saying. It can associate certain words with action.

How long is the memory of a betta fish?

A recent study showed that the memory of a betta fish can go up to 5 months.

Do betta fish have ears?

Betta fish have tiny holes at the side of their heads with hearing structures. This enables them to hear.

Can betta fish hear the filter?

YES. Some water filters also make sounds that will be audible to your betta fish. Therefore, it is recommended that you get a quiet filter for your tank.

Final Thoughts

Can betta fish hear? Yes. Betta fish most certainly can listen to. However, the way they interpret the sounds is quite different. They can associate certain sounds with certain actions. There is no guarantee that betta fish recognize their owners, but you can undoubtedly try by spending some time with your betta fish.