Betta fish are naturally an aggressive and highly territorial breed of fish. They prefer to be alone and are indeed solitary creatures. For this reason, they are generally kept alone in a tank. However, a captive environment, where there is no natural stimulation, may prove to be monotonous for your betta fish. So, do betta fish get bored?
To answer the question, do betta fish get bored? The answer is yes. The nature of boredom may differ from what we, as humans, experience. Nonetheless, in the absence of sufficient natural stimulation, betta fish may get bored. Boredom may stress your fish out in the long run. Adding tank decors like floating logs and live plants, betta fish mirror exercise, and generally interacting with your betta are some ways to kill betta fish’s boredom.
Do Betta Fish Get Bored: Signs Of Boredom
To answer the main question here, do betta fish get bored? The answer is yes. Even though the nature of boredom may differ from that of a human being, it can still classify as boredom. Now, you may wonder how to tell whether or not a betta fish is bored.
There may be various signs hinting towards a bored betta fish. However, it would help to keep in mind that some of these symptoms overlap with some symptoms of various diseases that may affect your betta fish. Thus, it is recommended to first check whether or not your betta is safe from such diseases.
Here are some signs that may hint that your betta fish is bored.
Lethargy is perhaps the most common symptom of boredom in bettas. However, it should be kept in mind that lethargy can also be caused due to specific ailments your betta fish might be suffering from. Therefore, if you see your betta fish swimming in a lethargic manner, do not presume that your betta fish is only bored as there might be other serious issues with your betta.
There are various signs of lethargy in betta fish. For instance, betta fish may start swimming slowly for the most part, unlike the swift swimming nature they possess. Another sign of lethargy may be that you notice your betta fish staying at the lower level of the tank most of the time.
Lethargy may also be caused due to sleep deprivation, lack of nutrition, and various fungal and bacterial diseases. Therefore, boredom may not be the only reason behind the lethargic behavior of your betta fish. Keep an eye out for other causes as well.
Another common behavior noticed in a bored betta fish is unnecessary tail biting. Thus, if you notice your betta fish suddenly biting his tail fins, then there is a high chance that your betta fish is bored. It may sound absurd, but this kind of behavior is extremely common among bettas who are bored and have nothing else to do but release their frustration.
Like lethargy, tail biting can also be caused due to various factors other than boredom. Therefore, you should not presume that your betta fish might be bored if you see him biting his tail. This is a severe symptom and should be resolved as soon as possible because the damaged tail may get further infected.
Lack Of General Excitement
Other than the above-mentioned factors, there might be other signs as well that signify that your betta fish is bored. For instance, it is a known fact that betta fish are aggressive eaters and are very active during the time of feeding. A bored betta fish, on the other hand, may not show such a level of excitement on receiving its food.
It may be due to the similar nature of food that is being fed repeatedly each day. In some cases, your betta fish may ignore the food altogether. However, it should be kept in mind that such a loss of appetite may hint at other serious betta ailments as well.
Do Betta Fish Get Bored: Solutions
Having already established that betta fish are capable of getting bored by answering the do betta fish get the boring question, we can now move on to the various ways in which you can entertain your betta and help kill some of the boredom.
Here are some ways in which you can keep your betta fish from getting bored.
Addition Of Tank Decor
Betta fish love to hide under various tank objects and decors. Thus, by adding a sufficient number of such tank decors, one can be assured that their betta fish will be connected to its natural side and help take some of the boredom out of the betta’s life.
Tank decors like live aquatic plants, floating logs, and caves might be added to the tank to provide your betta fish with a considerable amount of space to hide within the tank. Adding such tank decorations may also add to the beauty of the tank and the betta fish.
The only thing to remember while adding these objects to the betta tank is that they should not possess any sharp edges and harsh surfaces. The reason behind this is that the betta fins are extremely delicate, and if the betta swims against such hard surfaces, then it may damage the sophisticated fins.
Betta Fish Mirror Exercise
As the name clearly suggests, this method involves the use of a mirror. You have to introduce a tentative mirror in your tank such that your betta fish sees its own reflection in the mirror. Betta fish are particularly towards other bettas. Thus, it may assume its reflection to be another betta fish altogether.
Generally before a fight, betta fish start to flare at their opponent. Flaring is an important aspect of a betta fish and is considered quite healthy if done moderately. It is the human equivalent of a stretch. Flaring promotes the natural instincts of the betta and helps relieve some of the stress and boredom. However, this exercise should be done in moderation (about 20 minutes every week is feasible).
Bond With Your Betta
You can also try bonding with your betta fish by teaching it a number of tricks. The most common one is ‘follow the finger’. Once you have taught your betta fish how to follow your finger you can train the betta to do other tricks as well, like jumping through the hoop.
You can also consider adding another fish with your betta fish. However, this totally depends on the general compatibility and individual temperament of the betta fish. Additionally, you may also try diversifying the diet of your betta fish by feeding live foods like daphnia or bloodworms every once in a while.
FAQs On Do Betta Fish Get Bored
Do betta fish get bored?
YES. Even though the nature of boredom may be different, betta fish are still capable of getting bored. One of the main reasons for this is a general lack of natural stimulation.
How do I know if my betta is happy?
Vibrant and brightly colored body, widespread fins, active swimming, and aggressive eating are some signs that signify that your betta fish is happy and healthy.
Do betta fish hear you talk them?
YES. Betta fish are capable of hearing sounds and voices. Thus, if you talk to them then they can very much hear you even though they may not understand what you mean.
So, do betta fish get bored? Yes. Betta fish are capable of getting bored. A general lack of natural stimulation can cause your betta fish to get bored. Boredom can cause stress in the long run. You can prevent this by adding various tank decors, interacting with your betta, and diversifying the betta diet.