Bettas are curious fish and, believe it or not, they can get bored. It’s important to take time to stimulate your Betta so that they don’t become bored and lethargic. A bored Betta becomes lethargic or “depressed” looking which can have an affection on their health. They may also begin fin nipping, just out of complete boredom!
Keeping them entertained will also give them a chance to exercise. Although it may sound silly to exercise a fish, they need to be able to keep their muscles strong enough to carry their long heavy fins. Otherwise, they become really droopy and their bones and muscle structure become fragile.
Stimulating your Betta can benefit him (or her) a lot with their health. Most importantly, it lets you bond with your Betta. Bonding with your pets whether it be a cat, dog, or fish is important for you and your pet. Bettas can recognize their owners and will become less shy of you the more you interact with them. You’d be surprised at the little things they can do to make you smile.
- Best toys/decorations to make Betta fish happy
- Best plants for Betta fish
- Other ways to make your Betta happy
Best toys/decorations to make Betta fish happy
Mirrors allow your Betta to get some exercise by flaring their beards and strutting their stuff. Place a mirror in front of them and let them see their reflection. Soon they will start wiggling their bodies and flaring their beards.
A couple of warnings: Don’t exceed 5 minutes of this activity. Some fish stress out easy so you might want to avoid this activity if your fish is this way. Avoid this activity if they already have a neighboring Betta they flare at. Use your better judgment for this activity.
Floating Betta log
In my opinion, this is the best type of aquarium decor for your Betta. It looks like a hollow log with large openings on both sides. The ornament is generally made up of natural material that is not harmful to your fish and will not cause them to hurt themselves when they scrape against the sides, which they will.
Betta fish will love spending time in these floating logs and you would find them in there a lot. Because they are floating, you can still admire your fish even when they are in there, unlike other aquarium caves where the fish are hidden completely from view.
Another cool feature of the floating aquarium decor is that it actually cuts down water flow strength. If your filter is a little too strong, there may be too much water flow and this will stress out the Betta which originated from stagnant pools of water. These floating ornaments provide the Betta with pockets of calm water to escape to.
Bettas like to explore. They also love to poke their heads into things. Caves not only offer a safe hiding spot for your Betta but also a place to swim around and “play”. Some Bettas like to go under bridges, swim around caves, or play in live plants. Keeps them entertained and busy.
There are hundreds of different fish tank decorations that you could choose from to provide your Betta a cave but what you need to be extremely careful about is the openings into the cave. Make sure that they are not sharp. Your Betta will definitely brush against the edges of the openings as they go in.
Bed leaf hammock
Another thing that any Bettas love is a bed leaf hammock, which is designed to stick to an inside aquarium wall by a suction cup. This thing provides your Betta a place to rest on and easily go to the water surface to gulp air. You will soon notice that your Betta guy loves the leaf hammock very much as he spends most of the time lying on it.
Ping Pong Balls
Some Bettas like to push around floating balls. Although it might not entertain him for hours, you might find your Betta pushing it around from time to time. Just let it float around in their tank.
Best plants for Betta fish
Low demanding aquarium plants
Amazon Sword plant and Marimo moss balls
Ideal plants for Bettas are ones that are thick and lanky that allows the fish to hide between the leaves. The best to go for are some stem plants such as Cabomba and Green Rotala. These are hardy plants that are able to thrive in a low light condition provided by a common aquarium LED light.
Large leave aquarium plants such as Amazon Sword are also good choices because Bettas enjoy resting near the water surface to easily gulp air.
Marimo moss balls
Marimo moss balls are very easy to care for but bring many benefits to your Betta fish. They benefit an aquarium like other live aquarium plants. They also provide your Betta fish with a green and natural place to hide.
Bettas love to rub their bodies against Marimo moss balls.
The most important thing is that Betta fish love to play with these small cute things. You might find your Betta swimming around them most of the time. These wonderful features make Marimo moss balls an indispensable part in Betta aquariums.
Plastic aquarium plants
For artificial aquatic plants, choose the ones that have soft leaves. Some artificial plants tend to be too stiff. Betta fish have the tendency to dart into their hiding places, causing them to constantly scrape against the decor. Stiff hard leaves will eventually hurt them.
Other ways to make your Betta happy
Feed live fish food
The best way to stimulate your Betta is with food! Here’s your chance to watch your Betta use its hunting skills to catch a yummy treat. Live foods that you can give your Betta include Bloodworms, White Worms, Black Worms, Grindal Worms, and Brine Shrimp.
You can cut a piece of thread and dip it in the water. Your Betta might get curious enough and start to nip at it. You can move it around your tank and he will chase it.
You can also dip the thread in the water and then in some pellets or bloodworms. The pellets/bloodworms will stick to the thread. Then hover the food over the top of the water and your Betta will jump for his yummy treat. Warning: Make sure that your tank has a hood so he can’t jump out of his tank after play time is over.
White Board Markers
If you don’t mind writing on the outside of your tank, whiteboard markers can be a fun way to interact with your Bettas. Draw a shape in front of them on the outside of the tank. Some Bettas will flare at them, trace the shape as you draw them, or ignore them. It’s always worth a try and when you’re done you can erase it!
It isn’t too hard to decorate a Betta tank. All that you need to keep in mind is to ensure that the aquarium ornaments you choose do not hurt the fish as they scrape against them.
Make sure to stimulate your Betta at least once a week. Playing with them is a wonderful opportunity to bond and get to know your pet Betta fish.
Remember with any activity you choose to do, you avoid putting stress on your Betta. If they are already easily stressed, some activities should be avoided. Every Betta is different and may react differently with others. Always be responsible when playing with them and do not put them at risk.