Why does my betta fish keep opening his mouth?

In this blog, I will explain about the mouth of a betta fish. This blog covers everything related to mouth structure and function.

Overview

In this blog

  • Why does my betta fish keep opening his mouth?
  • Why do bettas have upturned mouths?
  • Why is my betta opening its mouth frequently?
  • How do male bettas use their mouth during mating?
  • How strong is the bite force of a betta fish?
  • Is it possible to see bettas’ teeth?
  • Why does a betta fish spit food out of its mouth?
  • What is a betta mouth disease?
  • Summary 
  • Frequently asked questions
  • Reference 

Why does my betta fish keep opening his mouth?

A betta fish’s mouth is upturned, allowing it to catch prey such as mosquito larvae and other small insects at the water’s surface.

Betta fish have a pretty moody face.This helps them to inhale air and feed on the surface of the water because the mouth is facing up. It also allows them to build nests or foam bubbles, which is how their offspring can be fertilized.

Bettas are carnivores and in the wild they feed on the debris left by different insects,larvae and larger animals.Their teeth help break down food before eating.The jaws of betta fish are more powerful.Their jaws are full of tiny sharp teeth that do not harm humans.

Why do bettas have upturned mouths?

Betta’s upward mouth, also known as the upper mouth position, allows efficient feeding on the surface of the water. 

Betta catches small insects and mosquito larvae from plants floating in ponds and paddy fields. They also greedily scoop up flakes at the top of the tank.

Why is my betta opening its mouth frequently? 

Bettas open its mouth to breath

When the levels of oxygen in the aquarium are very low, bettas may gulp at the surface, trying to suck air into their labyrinthine organs. This swallowing action can occur when a betta keeps opening its mouth.

Bettas open its mouth to clean its gills

The betta fish opens its mouth like a bass, sucking in the water for a few seconds. This flushes their gills with clean water and draws more oxygen through them. If you see this often, you should test the water and consider replacing it.

Betta open its mouth to display of aggression/ dominance

Sometimes a betta can see another betta from its tank or perhaps its own reflection in the glass and that is enough to make it aggressive and territorial.

If your betta is opening its mouth wide, gills open, and flapping its fins, it may be a sign of dominance or aggression.

Bettas open its mouth when aquarium water is too hot/too cold

Betta is a tropical fish and has evolved to live in warm water.They are often stored in small aquariums without aquarium heaters. 

Small amounts of water without an aquarium heater may suffer from severe temperature fluctuations.

A Betta can show that it is having trouble because the water is either too hot or too cold by constantly opening and closing its mouth.

Bettas open its mouth when ammonia levels are too high

When bettas are kept in unfiltered tanks, there are very few beneficial bacteria that can convert ammonia to the safer nitrate.

Ammonia accumulates to the point where it actually burns bettas gills and often turns black and the betta may have difficulty breathing and may open and close its mouth in an attempt to allow more water to pass through the gills.

Bettas open its mouth when chlorine or chloramine in the water

Both chlorine and chloramines are toxic to betta fish. These chemicals burn the gills and affect the scales and the layer of slime. 

Betta opens and closes its mouth in an attempt to push more water over its gills. Unfortunately, the more water passes through their gills, the worse the chlorine or chloramine burn becomes.

Bettas open its mouth when hungry

Betta fish are true carnivores that require a lot of protein in their diet. You can train them to consume commercially available pellets in an aquarium environment. 

Bettas are greedy eaters, are always hungry, and because they are hungry, they always keep their mouth open.

Bettas open its mouth when there is a contaminate in the aquarium water

If the water in a betta aquarium is contaminated for external reasons, the betta will certainly have difficulty breathing in such an environment and will keep its mouth open.

If none of the options on the list work for your betta, it’s possible that the constant opening and closing of his mouth is just his personality.

How do male bettas use their mouth during mating?

Male bettas do a unique job during mating, sucking female eggs from the bottom of the aquarium into the mouth and keeping them safe and warm in a small area just a few millimeters from the teeth.

Male bettas use their labyrinth organ to inhale air and blow out air bubbles and then, use their saliva to make a coating that prevents the bubbles from popping while making these bubble nests. Saliva also strengthens the nests, preventing them from bursting. 

He then carries them to the surface of the water, spits them out into a nest of bubbles, where they are hung and fertilized.

How strong is the bite force of a betta fish?

Bettas have a stronger bite than a great white shark, but are not capable of damaging human skin.

Some people think it doesn’t hurt when bitten and tickles, while others say it feels like a strange pinch. If your betta bites and doesn’t let go, it’s because his teeth are clogged.

Betta fish have teeth, but they are not intended to do any harm. They use them to protect themselves from enemies, explore the surface and eat food.

Is it possible to see bettas’ teeth?

Betta fish have very small white teeth. To see these teeth, you will need to look very closely at the open mouth of the betta fish. 

Sometimes it is so small even in this close up you may not see it but a magnifying glass may help you.

Why does a betta fish spit food out of its mouth?

The most common reason why a betta fish will spit out food from its mouth is because it is too big. 

A betta fish’s stomach is about the size of its eyeball, and some pellets are even larger for them.

So in many cases, a betta will spit out the food multiple times because it literally can’t swallow.

What is a betta mouth disease?

Columnaris disease is a bacterial infection, also known as a mouth disease. 

Columnaris disease can invade bettas in a variety of ways, including mouth, gills, and open pores.

Betta’s mouth area starts to become covered with mucous.Bettas also have swollen lips, and if left on too long, they can start to rot.

To treat columnaris disease, reduce the temperature of the aquarium to 75 degrees Fahrenheit and use medications such as Furan 2.

To prevent columnar disease in your aquarium, monitor the water quality, feed your bettas properly, clean your aquarium regularly, and isolate new fish.

Summary

  • Betta has its mouth facing up that helps in surface feeding.
  • The inside of bettas mouth is lined with small pointed teeth. These teeth,in combination with a strong jaw, can tear the prey very easily.
  • Betta fish have stronger jaws. Their jaws are covered with tiny, sharp teeth that won’t harm humans. 
  • The bettas mouth is perfectly designed and is arranged to not only devour bubbles,but also to blow them away. 
  • Bettas open its mouth to breathe, clean its gills, to display aggression or dominance.
  • If the water in an aquarium with bettas is polluted for external reasons, then in such an environment the betta will most likely have difficulty breathing and will keep its mouth open.
  • Chlorine and chloramines are toxic to betta fish. These chemicals will keep your betta’s mouth open due to inflamed nostrils.
  • A betta can indicate that it is in trouble by constantly opening its mouth because the water is too hot or too cold. 
  • Columnaris is a bacterial infection, also known as oral/mouth disease. It can invade in a number of ways, including the mouth, nostrils, and opening of the pores.

Frequently asked questions

Do betta fish have teeth?

Yes, bettas have tiny teeth in their mouths.

What kind of mouth do bettas have?

Bettas have upturned mouths.

Are bettas surface feeders or bottom feeders?

Bettas have upturned mouths specially designed for surface feeding.

Do bettas bite hurt humans?

Bettas have teeth, but they don’t do any harm. They use them to protect themselves, explore the surface, and for eating.

Can you see bettas’ teeth with naked eyes?

You can use a magnifying glass to see bettas teeth.

Reference

http://bettadata.weebly.com/betta-anatomy.html

https://fishkeepinganswers.com/why-is-my-betta-fish-opening-his-mouth/

http://bettafishguides.blogspot.com/2011/05/betta-fish-mouth-structure.html

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