Why is my betta fish flaring at me?

In this post, we will answer the question “Why is my betta fish flaring at me?”. We will also discuss some general topics regarding betta fish flaring and how to reduce it.

Why is my betta fish flaring at me?

Betta fish can flare up for a variety of causes, including excitement, defence, hostility, mating, etc. Betta fish do not have the finest vision, but they can recognise colours and movement. They can also detect vibrations, which is especially true as you get closer to their tank. 

If you terrify them or if you are dressed in bright colours, they may react negatively to your presence by flaring up. If possible, avoid approaching the tank too rapidly to avoid startling your pet. 

Your pet may exhibit more flare than is deemed usual if he or she has recently moved into his or her new home. Your fish is likely to exhibit this behaviour as it grows acquainted with its new surroundings. 

When you bring a new betta home, make sure to allow it some room to get used to its new surroundings. It’s possible that within a few days, it will be swimming around happily and without any troubles at all. 

Some bettas will identify and become thrilled when they see their owners, especially if they are fed at the same time every day. If you find that your fish’s flare-ups occur in reaction to feeding or engagement, it is possible that they are delighted to see you or are looking forward to their regular meal. 

Having a betta fish as a pet may be a rewarding and enjoyable endeavour. Their long, brightly coloured ends are eye-catching and give a great amount of beauty to any tank. 

Knowing their behaviours and routines, on the other hand, is critical to providing proper care for them. You may have witnessed your fish flare up at one point or another.

What is betta flaring?

If you are considering getting a betta fish or currently own one, you should be aware of any regular behaviours, such as flaring, that the fish may exhibit. Because of their aggressive nature, Bettas are often referred to as Siamese Fighting Fish.

Is flaring harmful for a betta fish?

When a betta starts flaring in their tank, many fish keepers get concerned about the health of their fish. While behavioural shifts are not always indicative of illness, understanding what is causing your pet to puff up his or her gills will assist you in providing the best possible environment for them. 

Aggressive flaring indicates that your betta fish is experiencing stress, which can be hazardous if it occurs for an extended length of time or regularly. Small instances of flaring, on the other hand, may be okay for your pet if they are stretching or flirting with another fish to mate. 

You might try keeping track of how much time your betta spends flaring up if you are concerned about its flare-up behaviour. If the length of time is greater than 20 minutes a week or more, you should consider changing their surroundings to make it more relaxing. 

Your betta is under a lot of stress because of the flare-up. It is dangerous if used in excess. Bettas benefit with a little flare. It allows them to stretch, essentially giving them a workout of sorts and helping them to stay in good condition. Consider the situation from a human standpoint. 

It is beneficial for a human to engage in a daily one-hour workout. In a person, overexertion and weariness would result from a continuous workout regiment. The same is true for betta’s situation. 

It is most common for Bettas to flare when they feel threatened by anything in their area, and they want to get rid of the threat as quickly as they can. It might be a different betta, a tank buddy, or even their image. When they perceive a danger to their territory, they may get so nervous that they are unable to eat. 

Stress can also harm the effectiveness of their immune system. Bacteria, parasites, and fungus may all be found in your tank water, which your fish’s immune system can manage with relative ease. However, if your betta’s immune system is unable to cope with such situations, he or she will become sick and potentially die. 

Flaring brings forward some valid arguments. You may get your fish to flare up by encouraging them to do so. However, you should refrain from purchasing a second fish for this purpose. Simply bring the little mirror up to your betta’s face and look into it. Allow a few seconds for your betta to become aware of himself. Eventually, you will notice that all of the fins have been extended out.

How to control betta flaring?

As soon as you discover that your betta is flaring more than normal, you will need to make changes to the surroundings to assist calm your fish down and save them from being unwell. A fish’s immune system can be weakened as a result of excessive flaring activity, which can be harmful to its health. 

Keeping more than one male in the same tank area encourages aggressive behaviour and puts your fish under a lot of stress all of the time. Consequently, only one male should be housed in a tank at a time, although they may cohabit peacefully with females without causing problems. 

Some tank designs will have strong reflections, which will be especially noticeable in environments with a lot of light. If your betta flares up at its reflection regularly, you may want to consider moving your fish to a different tank configuration, adjusting the present lighting, or planting plants around the edge of the tank to obscure any reflections. 

If your pet fish only flares during tank water changes, this is a sign that they are experiencing a difficult moment in their lives. By progressively changing 25 per cent of the water at a time, you can reduce the frequency with which you need to clean their tank.

Do female bettas flare or only males?

Both female and male betta fish will flare at some point in their lives, although the reasons for this will be different. Females are less prone than males to experience flare-ups, although it can happen. 

In most cases, you should not be concerned about your female betta fish flaring until you find that it is occurring over a lengthy period or excessively frequently. 

Females are equally prone to erupting in anger at one another. Women are semi-aggressive, but men are more aggressive, and this is the main difference between the two species. Men will ALWAYS establish authority over one another, whereas females will either do so or will not do so. 

Your female may flare if you set a mirror next to the tank and allow her to utilise it. If she does, it is typically done with less intention than to harm others. Always remember to take the mirror away and not to let your female companion use it for more than one or two minutes at a time.


In this post, we answered the question “Why is my betta fish flaring at me?”. We also discussed some general topics regarding betta fish flaring and how to reduce it.

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

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Why is my betta fish flaring at me?

What should I do if my betta starts to lash out at me? 

Aggressive flaring indicates that your betta fish is experiencing stress, which can be hazardous if it occurs for an extended length of time or regularly. Small instances of flaring, on the other hand, may be okay for your pet if they are stretching or flirting with another fish to mate. 

What is it about the betta fish that causes him to flare his gills at me? 

Betta fish flare up most frequently when they detect an intruder entering their domain. Betta fish make themselves seem twice their actual size by blowing up their gills wide open, which can be terrifying to an intruder. Other aggressive fish in the tank, a passing human, or even a reflection in the glass might cause the flare-up to occur. 

Do bettas have a cheerful or sad disposition? 

A healthy stimulus, such as when you come into the room to play with him, might cause some betta fish to flare up involuntarily. You shouldn’t be too concerned about this because it might simply be a matter of the particular fish’s personality. 

Is betta flaring beneficial to one’s health? 

Is Flaring Beneficial or Harmful to Betta Fish? When your fish flares up, it is displaying aggressive behaviour that can be uncomfortable for it and even harmful to its health. Excessive flaring can stress your betta, impair his immune system, and make him more prone to sickness caused by parasites and bacteria, among other things. 

What can I do to keep my fish tank from being reflected in the mirror? 

Often, the simplest solution is to just alter the lighting. The angle at which the light strikes the glass is the source of the reflection on the surface of the glass. Frequently, rotating the tank or transferring it to a different place can resolve the issue. Additionally, the colour of the background outside the tank might either increase or hinder his ability to notice his reflection. 

What is the best way to detect whether your betta is stressed? 

Swimming in an Odd Place: When fish are under stress, they frequently exhibit unusual swimming patterns. If your fish is swimming wildly without making any progress, falling to the bottom of his tank, rubbing himself against gravel or rocks, or locking his fins at his side, he may be suffering from severe stress and should be sent to the veterinarian immediately. 


Betta Fish Flaring (Why They Do It And Is It Bad?) – https://www.bettacarefishguide.com/betta-fish-flaring/

BETTA FLARING: WHY DOES MY BETTA FISH FLARE AT ME?- https://www.ipetcompanion.com/betta-fish-flaring/