Do betta fish require tank enrichment?

In this post, we will answer the question “Do betta fish require tank enrichment”. We will also discuss some possible types of enrichment to use with your betta fish to improve its quality of life and health.

Do betta fish require tank enrichment?

Betta fish are considered pets, and as such, they require certain forms of tank enrichment. Although betta fish are fascinating creatures with exquisite fins and vibrant personalities, they frequently lead relatively inactive lifestyles in far-too-small containers. If you’ve already read our betta fish tank setup guide and equipped your betta’s aquarium with all of the essential equipment, you might be wondering what else you can do to keep your pet fish occupied and happy. 

During its time in the wild, Betta splendens spends most of its time foraging for food, protecting its territory, reproducing the next generation of young, as well as relaxing. Based on these activities, let’s talk about 5 unique enrichment ideas for your betta fish that will both cognitively and physically excite it and help it live the best life possible.

Toys and decorations for betta fish tanks

Do you want to offer your betta an underwater jungle gym to play in and explore? Find some fascinating caverns that he may swim about in or dive into, as well as several fish tank accessories. Just make sure there are no sharp edges on the decorations, and that all of the holes are large enough for your betta fish to pass through without becoming trapped in them. We prefer the floating betta log because bettas like to swim at the surface of the water to gulp air now and then. You can effortlessly swim through this natural-looking décor, take a quiet sleep within it, or even construct an entire bubble nest inside it for your pet betta to live in. There is also an additional entrance on the side through which you may feed fish food to keep his meal from being stolen by other fish or sinking too rapidly into the gravel.

Betta fish exercise mirror

Betta fish are often referred to as “Siamese fighting fish” because they are notorious for violently defending their territory against other members of their species when threatened. However, while we do not advocate keeping two bettas together, you may take advantage of your betta’s protective instinct and give your betta an excellent workout by placing him in a floating exercise mirror for a few minutes each day. When most bettas view themselves in the mirror, they respond by flaring their gills, extending out their fins, and sculpting their bodies to appear as large and tough as they possibly can. Allow him a little length of time to march back and forth in front of the “intruder,” after which you should remove the mirror and possibly offer him a small reward as a thank you for his efforts.

Live food

Given that betta fish are hunters rather than ambush predators, they devote a significant amount of their time to seeking bug larvae, small crustaceans, and other microscopic aquatic invertebrates to ingest. Since modest water current is advised for their aquariums, floating betta pellets are an excellent mainstay for daily feedings. However, “grabbing” them can be a bit of a chore because they are so little. Encourage your betta to put her hunting abilities to the test by providing her with a range of live meals. You may purchase blackworms from local fish stores, hatch your baby brine shrimp, or keep cultures of daphnia and micro worms in your home aquarium or tank. 

When bettas are forced to find their next food, their patrolling, pursuing, and pouncing talents are activated, and they are rewarded with a full tummy as a result. If you are unable to purchase live fish feeds, you may want to consider using a worm feeder cone as a substitute. Place a cube of frozen bloodworms or other fish food inside the aquarium and watch as your betta fish tries to find out how to get the yummy morsels out of the aquarium. In a communal tank, the cone also aids in slowing down the more aggressive fish.

Aquarium plants

In their natural habitat, Betta splendens may be found in shallow waters with varying degrees of thick foliage, so why not provide your little buddy with a lush and green forest to call home? Although he’ll be content with just about any live aquatic plant, our favourites are enormous anubias plants that can be used as a leafy hammock during the day and an illuminated Christmas moss bridge that he can hide behind at night. Background plants that are tall and float on the surface of the water are also highly valued because they make intriguing structures for swimmers to swim through and bubble nests to develop amid. 

If you don’t want to deal with the upkeep of live plants, you can use catappa or Indian almond leaves as an alternative. It is not only that they colour the water with tannins that have modest antibacterial and antifungal qualities, but they also serve as fallen leaves for your betta to inspect.

Betta fish tank mates

In a 10-gallon or bigger tank with enough hiding places, you might be able to accommodate some calm housemates for your betta aquarium. Other creatures in the fish tank give fascinating action to see, social hierarchies to create, and rivals to outcompete during mealtimes, in addition to providing food for the fish to consume. 

Because of the betta fish’s territorial nature towards its species, it is best to avoid other fish with bright colours and flowing ends. Additionally, keep an eye out for nippy creatures that could try to take a bite out of your betta. Nano fish that school together are frequently favoured since your betta will have a difficult time focusing on any one individual. Learn more about the 5 greatest tank mates for betta fish for more precise recommendations.

Is it possible to play with my betta fish?

Bettas are among the most popular pet fish in the world, and many betta owners feel the same way about their finny buddies as they do about more traditional pets such as dogs, cats, hamsters, and parakeets. Bettas are a type of tropical fish that is native to the tropics. Bettas are relatively clever fish in comparison to other types of fish. Because of their high degree of parental care for their young, they are regarded to be closely connected to the cichlid family of fish on the evolutionary tree, which is an extremely intelligent family of fish. 

To put it in a more human context, bettas are generally aware of their surroundings, like exploring their surroundings, claiming personal regions, and developing humorous personality “quirks.” They rapidly learn to identify their human partners, and they are alerted when it is time to feed them. They also become pleased when you go up to their tank.

How to teach tricks to my betta fish?

Betta training can be enjoyable for the entire family and is surprisingly simple to do. It’s also beneficial to your pet since it keeps them moving and prevents them from being bored (yes, even fish can become bored!). The things you can teach him to include things such as following your finger, eating from your hand, swimming through hoops, playing soccer and even jumping out of the water or coming up to you to be patted if you have patience and perseverance. 

The most effective reinforcement for desired behaviour is fish food. The only thing to remember is to avoid overfeeding your betta, which is especially important if you have a tiny tank.


In this post, we answered the question “Do betta fish require tank enrichment”. We also discussed some possible types of enrichment to use with your betta fish to improve its quality of life and health.

If you have any thoughts or doubts, feel free to drop us a comment below!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Do betta fish require tank enrichment?

What am I supposed to do to keep my betta fish entertained? 

The things you can teach him to include things such as following your finger, eating from your hand, swimming through hoops, playing soccer and even jumping out of the water or coming up to you to be patted if you have patience and perseverance. The most effective reinforcement for desired behaviour is fish food. 

Is it okay for me to play with my betta fish? 

Many fish owners are unaware that their betta fish may be played in the same way that they would with any other pet. Although your fish will not retrieve like a dog, it will still give amusement as long as you put in the effort to entertain it as well as you do for it. 

Is it necessary to provide cerebral stimulation to betta fish? 

Bettas, also known as Siamese Fighting Fish, are curious, agile-minded fish that live in the water. They are simple to train, and they also benefit from a variety of various types of mental stimulation. This is in stark contrast to the behaviour of many other fish species, who are more concerned with what happens within the tank than with what is going on outside the tank. 

Do your betta fish become delighted when they see you? 

Bettas may be a lot of pleasure to take care of since they are intelligent and can know the person who feeds them regularly. They express their greeting to their owners by swimming with joy and by refusing to hide when their owners are nearby. 

Is it possible for betta fish to become bored? 

In a small tank with no decorations, feeding him the same food every day, and providing him with no variation in his environment, your betta may get bored soon. Moreover, boredom can frequently result in despair and tension. 

Do bettas have a soft spot for ping pong balls? 

Ping pong balls are another fantastic floating toy for betta fish that can be found at any sporting goods store. This is because your betta is naturally interested and enjoys hanging out on the water’s surface, so he will undoubtedly be drawn to these. They will investigate, bump, and even assault a floating ball in their domain if it comes into their territory.


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Betta Fish Toys – 8 Bets Ideas To Entertain Them (2022).