Can betta fish hear music?

In this blog, we will discuss whether a betta fish can hear music or not. Some people believe that bettas can hear music, while others believe that they cannot. We will look into the matter and come to a conclusion.f you are someone who is curious to know the same, then this blog is for you.


In this blog

  • Can betta fish hear music?
  • How do bettas react to music?
  • Does sudden loud music stress your betta fish?
  • Can you teach a betta fish to understand music?
  • ​​Do betta fish get afraid of music?
  • What are the side effects of loud music on bettas?
  • Summary 
  • Frequently asked questions
  • Reference

Can betta fish hear music?

Betta fish has ears and a good sense of hearing. Although they don’t have the extraordinary hearing abilities of humans and the water limits the effectiveness of their sense of hearing, they can hear reasonably well.

Aquatic pets are completely different from your fur babies and have different lifestyles and reactions to their surroundings. Some pet animals, like cats and dogs, can hear and respond to music. We will discuss if bettas too react to the music or not in this blog.

One thing is clear, bettas do know whatever is happening outside the tank be it music, someone passing by or any kind of sound.

It is advised to keep bettas in quiet places and to avoid loud noises, as these animals are prone to stress from loud sounds and water vibrations caused by them.

How do bettas react to music?

Every betta has a unique personality and they have different reactions to different environmental conditions. We will discuss this topic again in this section.

Suppose you have two or three bettas in a similar tank or a community tank of 3 bettas with other fish species and you have played some music in the room, you must observe their reactions, I am sure you will be surprised to see every fish will react differently because they all are unique.

One betta will start flaring gills when they hear some music, although they won’t hear it clearly, because water will reduce the effectiveness of sound.

Your second betta will start swimming and will keep swimming till the time you are playing the music.

Your third betta might act aggressively and will try to chase other betta fish or may indulge in some sort of fight with other betta fish or other tank mates.

Some bettas don’t react to any music, they stay calm and mind their own business. While some bettas hate music completely.

Your betta will hear the music but they may not be able to understand what kind of music you are playing or the lyrics of the music.

Does sudden loud music stress your betta fish?

Betta fish can tolerate a certain level of noise, but anything above this can stress your betta fish. The same thing goes for other fish, too. If you play loud music near your betta tank or in the room where the tank is located, your fish may become scared or experience extreme stress from the loud sounds.

Loud sounds can cause hearing and other problems in betta fish, which can make them less secure in their tanks. They might hide under cover because of such loud music and stay hidden until the music doesn’t stop.

Sudden loud music can shock your betta fish. Every loud music can stress your betta fish. Stress is not good for your betta fish, because if you keep them under constant stress they may not survive because of stress.

It is best to avoid playing loud music near a betta’s tank. Keep the tank in a quiet place that is not interfered with high-volume music or noise.

Can you teach a betta fish to understand music?

Betta fish are known for their intelligence and curiosity, which makes them among the most intelligent fish because they can learn anything quickly.

If you’re not sure whether or not your betta fish can hear music, you can teach them or train them to do so. They have been trained to be hand-fed in aquarium settings, so it is possible to train them to hear music.

I have read that you can train your betta fish with vocal commands, by repeating them several times with hand gestures in front of your betta fish. By doing this every day, they will learn this too.

Do betta fish get afraid of music?

Betta fish don’t get afraid of music, they get scared of loud music because loud music stresses them and they display abnormal behavioral changes due to such loud sounds.

Bettas are very sensitive to loud music, they swim to other areas in the tank to feel safe.

If you love music and want to enjoy the music with your betta fish then play some good music at low volume. Water can indeed reduce the effectiveness of sound, but from your end, you need to be careful.

Betta fish are very intelligent and have a very sharp memory. They can recognize their owners very well. If your betta is close to you, it will come to welcome you when you come near the tank. 

Once they get used to the music you are playing for them, they might understand it and might wait for you to come and play music for them. 

Although I am not sure about this, you can try doing this with your betta fish. There is no harm in doing trial and error, but please do not put loud music on during this experiment.

I am sure your betta fish will understand if you do it repeatedly and they will also respond accordingly. But if your betta fish is moody or aggressive then they might not respond much to your gestures.

As a betta fish owner, you will see different personality traits in your fish over three years. If you play some good music to your betta fish, they will entertain you for three years.

What are the side effects of loud music on bettas?

There are several potential side effects of listening to loud music on fish. If you have a playful or active betta fish, they may enjoy the music and dance around. If you have a more laid-back or passive betta fish, they may be more subdued and hide away.

  • Betta fish will experience extreme stress due to loud music.
  • Bettas will become anxious and will hide under plant covers, behind the filter, or in other hideouts. It is therefore very essential to add lots of hiding spots for each betta in the tank.
  • They will swim abnormally due to such a loud music sound.
  • They will flare gills continually which could stress them. Gill flaring is fine to some extent, anything beyond a certain limit can physically affect your betta fish.
  • Very high music can damage their ear permanently.


Betta fish have ears and can hear well. Although they don’t have the hearing abilities of humans and the water limits the effectiveness of their sense of hearing, they can still usually hear reasonably well.

It is advised to keep bettas in calm and quiet places and to avoid making too much noise, as they can be stressed by loud sounds and water vibrations.

If you want to train your betta fish to understand music, you can do so. They are very smart and able to catch things quickly. Betta fish can be easily trained if they are trained correctly.

I have even heard from some betta keepers that they love to play rock and country music to their bettas. Some play violins and other instruments too.

In my opinion, you should play any type of music to your bettas, as long as it’s not overly loud. This can cause hearing issues and stress.

Betta fish can hear music, but i dont whether they like music or not. There are no supporting documents to prove this. I’m not sure if research has been done on this yet. I don’t want to share inaccurate information on this, as what I know from my end has been reflected in my blog.

Frequently asked questions

Does a betta fish have ears?

Yes, betta fish do have ears. Some bettas are famous too for their elephant ears.

Do betta fish react to music?

Yes, different betta fish react to music in different manners, because they all have different personalities.

Do betta fish get scared of loud music?

Yes, betta fish can be scared of loud noises. They don’t like loud sounds and can become stressed because of the high sound frequency.

Can you keep a betta tank near a device that produces loud sounds, like a television or music system?

No, never keep a betta tank near a device that produces loud sounds like a television or music system. It can put them under stress.

Do bettas get hearing impairment due to loud music?

Yes, a betta fish will get hearing impairment due to loud music near the tank or in the room where their tank is placed.