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Do Betta Fish Recognize Their Owners? [Answered]

do betta fish recognize their owners

Betta fish are, no doubt, extraordinary creatures. They have a showy appearance with vibrant colored fins and bodies, but they are also considered very intelligent. This begs questions like do betta fish recognize their owners?

A recent study has shown that betta fish can recognize its owner. Thus, they are capable of showing interest around their owners. However, it should be kept in mind that betta fish do not show you the same kind of affection that a dog or a cat may show you. For instance, the betta fish may start swimming more erratically if you are around the tank. It may be because it is anticipating food or just excited to see you.

Do Betta Fish Recognize Their Owners?

Betta fish are indeed capable of recognizing their owners. They might exhibit this by swimming closer to the tank’s glass or any other eccentric behavior you may notice your betta fish do. A betta fish may remember its owner just because of the feeding schedule or the general excitement.

As stated earlier, betta fish are pretty intelligent creatures that are capable of recognizing different people even if they do not show their faces for several weeks. One can use this memory capacity of a betta fish to bond with him.

Unlike popular opinion, betta fish are capable of getting bored. If the betta fish is not connected to its natural side for a long time, it can stress out your betta fish and affect its quality of life. Thus, it is of utmost importance to give sufficient stimuli to your betta fish from time to time.

Your betta fish will eventually know you as his owner if you connect with him regularly. As you move your finger around the outside of the betta tank, it is sometimes seen that it begins to follow your finger. Thus, we have answered whether betta fish recognize their owners question.

Some owners claim that their bettas can even recognize their voices. When your betta fish behaves in this way, it means that it trusts you and that you may teach it more advanced skills. Interacting with your betta fish is necessary as it keeps the betta attached to its intuitive, natural part.

So, do betta fish recognize their owners? Yes. They do. Therefore, we have already inferred that betta fish can identify their owners. Keeping that in mind, we will now discuss the various ways you can interact and bond with your betta fish.

How To Interact With A Betta Fish?

How To Interact With A Betta Fish

Betta fish are smart enough to learn a few simple tricks. Not only does this show how intelligent bettas are, but it also shows that they require and enjoy physical and cerebral stimulation to be happy and stress-free.

In addition to providing your betta with a well-decorated tank with plenty of hiding spots, caves, and plants to explore, you must connect with him daily. Hand-feeding and hoop-jumping are two tricks you may teach your betta fish.

Here are some ways in which you can interact with your betta fish.

Mirror Exercise

The mirror exercise is simple. As the name suggests, it would involve a mirror. Betta fish are naturally aggressive, especially towards other bettas. Thus, by introducing a mirror in front of the betta fish, you can provoke it as it would think that its reflection is nothing but another betta fish.

Thus, a mirror exercise can promote the natural instincts of the betta fish. However, this should be done in moderation as the resulting flaring on seeing its reflection. A betta fish can get stressed out. It is not advised to conduct this exercise for more than 20 minutes every week.

Finger Following

As the name suggests, this form of interaction involves placing your finger on top of the glass surface of the tank. After putting the finger on it, it may be noticed that the betta fish starts swimming towards it. Now, you can move your finger in any pattern you like, and you would notice that your betta fish tries to keep up with your moving finger by swimming in the same pattern.

If you notice that your betta fish is not following your finger, then you can train him to do so. The process is simple. You need to hold some food near the water surface for your betta fish to catch. After doing this regularly, your betta fish will associate your fingers with food, thereby training them to follow your finger.


Hand feeding and hoop-jumping will become second nature once your betta has become accustomed to following your finger. So, do betta fish recognize their owners? Yes. They do. Thus, keeping this in mind, you can train your betta fish to do some amazing tricks.

You can also add a floating ball to your tank to play with your betta fish. Once you have placed the floating ball on the water surface, you will notice the betta fish either swim around it or try to move it around by swimming towards it.

FAQs On Do Betta Fish Recognize Their Owners

Can betta fish recognize their owners names?

NO. Betta fish are not that smart to know their names. However, you can associate any word with the feeding time of your betta fish. After some time, you will notice your betta fish responding to that particular word in anticipation of food.

Can betta fish recognize their owners voice?

YES. Betta fish are capable of hearing sounds. However, it is highly unlikely that they understand what you are saying. However, you can always associate different words to a particular action you want your betta fish to perform.

Why does my betta stare at me?

Your betta fish may stare at you if you come near the tank. This is mainly because the betta fish is anticipating a meal. As you feed it regularly, it associates your presence with feeding.

Do bettas get attached to their owners?

Betta fish can undoubtedly recognize their owners due to their memory capacity. You can use this to bond with your betta fish. However, do betta miss their owners? Bettas are incapable of showing you that kind of affection.

Final Thoughts

So, do betta fish recognize their owners? Yes. Betta fish can remember what their owners look like. You may notice this when your betta fish starts swimming more actively when you are around its tank. Essential interaction now and then is necessary for the well-being of your betta fish.