Is it possible for betta fish to identify their owners?

In this article, we will understand if betta fish can recognize their owner. Also, we will outline if you can interact with your betta fish and play with them.

Is it possible for betta fish to identify their owners?

Yes, fish can recognize their owner’s face, even if the person is standing by the tank with other people, according to scientists. It is possible for fish to form a connection between something they enjoy (feeding) and the person who provides it. betta fish are more likely to identify you the more you engage with them. When the owner approaches the tank, the betta fish will often swim to the front of the tank. They may do this in anticipation of food, but they may also do it because they’re curious about what’s going to happen next.

Betta fish and their keepers form a special bond.

Even though betta fish may not “love” their owners in the same way a dog or a cat would display affection, they will nevertheless show a strong interest in and loyalty to their human companions. Despite the fact that they haven’t seen one another in weeks or months, bettas are reported to have excellent recall abilities. 

Also, they can recall the layout of their tank, and they will remember where plants and decorations were before you relocated them. It’s because of their reminiscence that they develop a strong emotional attachment to their owners. Since the more time you spend with your fish, the more probable it is that you will build your relationship with it. It’s also good for your fish since they can become depressed and stressed if they don’t get enough stimulation.

Can Betta differentiate people?

Betta fish can indeed distinguish between various humans. It’s also one of the simplest methods to form a relationship with your betta fish since they always identify the person who feeds them.

As a result, betta fish may flee or hide if they feel threatened or don’t know the source of the threat. In time, your betta should get comfortable with your presence.

Does Betta fish have a memory? 

Bettas are known to have remarkable memory recall and will recollect persons they’ve met weeks or months earlier with little to no effort on their part.

A technique known as “featured cues” helps Bettas identify changes in their tanks and remember where things have been put. Owners can also learn how to do this, although it often takes them till the age of six to do so.

Is it important to spend time with the betta fish?

Betta fish like the companionship of their humans, as do the majority of other living things.

Even though you won’t be snuggling your betta fish, they are highly playful. Bettas prefer being in settings where there is a lot of movement, but I wouldn’t put them in an area that is too exciting. Bettas may thrive in locations like workplaces, living rooms, and bedrooms.

Bettas, like goldfish, are also reported to perform better when spoken to.

So, if you prefer chatting with your fish to unwind, don’t feel bad about it. Fish adore it!

Bettas that are left unattended and aren’t provided with adequate stimulation may get bored and sluggish as a result. Aside from that, you should provide your pet with plenty of hiding places, places to sleep, and toys. To avoid harming your betta, always use fish-safe plastic accessories. Some of the paints used in children’s toys might injure your betta.

Betta Fish: How Do I Play With Them?

Owners of Betta fish have the same sentiments about their finny friends that owners of more traditional pets like dogs, cats, hamsters, and parakeets do about their finny friends. Bettas, as far as fish go, have a reasonable level of intelligence. A tight evolutionary relationship between them and the cichlid family, a highly intelligent fish species, is theorized based on the degree of parental care they exhibit toward their young.

It is fair to say that betrayal in the form of personality “quirks” is common amongst bettas, 

who are known to be highly perceptive and curious creatures. In a short period, they learn to identify and respond to their human friends, and they get delighted when you approach their tank.

Playing with your betta fish is a great method to keep him mentally stimulated and in a healthy environment.

  • Fingers movement
  • Play ball
  • Mirror
  • The decor on the tank’s exterior
  • Target fingers

Fingers movement

To play, all you have to do is press your fingertip on the aquarium’s glass. Slowly slide your finger over the glass once your betta fish has come over to where your fingertip is. Basically, you want to get the betta to follow your finger. If your betta fish is following, you may challenge him to keep up by moving your finger in various directions, circles, and zigzags. The fish can become agitated if you tap on the glass, so be careful not to do this.

Play ball

Ping pong balls or little plastic cat toys can be used as floating balls in the aquarium.

Your betta fish will swim up and play with the toy if you give it a good wiggle. Some bettas may swim around it, while others will try to brush against it or push it. You may play with your betta by gently squeezing the ball and encouraging him to chase it around the room.


Toys with a floating ball and a mirror attached to the bottom are available in pet supply stores.

As they swim up to the mirror, the fish will “flare” up their fins when they perceive themselves in the reflection. Fish might become stressed out by these toys because they view their reflection as another fish in the aquarium that is a danger. Choose toys that won’t stress your fish instead of those that should be used rarely or not at all.

The decor on the tank’s exterior

If you want to keep your betta fish happy and stimulated, you may choose to decorate the outside of the tank with some brightly colored ornaments. A pack of colorful construction paper or Post-It notes may be used to cut out shapes and stick them to the tank’s outside glass. As your fish shows an interest in them, rotate them around them. To pique your fish’s attention, try putting glittering things in the tank, such as metallic or glittery ornamental papers or even little colorful glass decorations.

Target fingers

You may also teach your betta to contact your finger when you put it in the water for another enjoyable activity. By gently laying your finger on the water and sprinkling some food around it, you may do this. Floating food is required for this, and you may want to temporarily turn off the tank’s filter to keep the food from spreading throughout the tank. Your fish should eventually contact your finger as he tries to get the meal. In time, he may start touching your finger before his food to avoid having his hands dirty.

You can teach your fish a new trick

It’s possible to educate a fish using the same methods that animal trainers do when utilizing the clicker. Fish training kits are available for purchase, or you may train your fish from scratch. There are a variety of tricks that people have taught their betta fish, such as swimming through hoops or jumping out of the water. How fast your fish can pick up new skills will astonish you, and this is a fantastic way to bond with your fish as well as keep them happy and healthy.


We discovered in this article that betta fish can identify their owner. We also discussed the possibility of interacting with and even playing with your betta fish.

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

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Is it possible for betta fish to identify their owners?

How do betta fish know who you are?

Betta fish are capable of learning to identify their human companions. Their intelligence allows them to be trained to recognize the person who feeds them the most. When they see you regularly, they’ll become familiar with your approach and excited about it.

Is it okay if I pet my betta?

If you touch a betta, it may get frightened and attack you, reversing any progress you’ve made in getting it habituated to your presence. In addition to eliminating the fish’s protective slime covering, any physical contact with the fish might make it a target for illness.

Do Betta Fish Get Bored?

Your betta may get bored if you keep him in a tiny tank with no decorations and give him the same food every day. Depression and stress are common side effects of boredom.

Do betta fish experience pain?

Pain signals can be received by fish because they have the necessary anatomy to receive them, they manufacture the same natural painkillers as humans do, and they opt to avoid painful stimuli intentionally.


Clements et al., 2019 The effects of interacting with fish in aquariums on human health and well-being: A systematic review

Salib, 2019. Do Betta Fish Recognize Their Owners? Can You Play with Your Betta?

How Can I Play With My Betta Fish?

Do Betta Fish Recognize and Interact With Their Owners?