Do Betta Fish Like Music? Music Types and Loudness

Most human beings love music. It’s life, and comes in different genres. However, it’s not easy to tell if a betta fish likes music. These fish are unique and are known to be intelligent and aggressive. But do they find the music interesting?  

There is no evidence to show that beta fish like music. However, they recognize sounds and certain words and may thus respond to certain types of music. If you decide to play them music, play soothing music such as jazz, soul and RnB which won’t startle them. Don’t play them hard rock or loud music.

Do Betta Fish Like Music?

Can Betta Fish Hear?

For one to hear, they must have ears. Do betta fish have ears? Yes, they do. Their ears are in the form of tiny holes located on each side of their head. A thick layer of skin, however, hides them. Meaning they have a sense of vibration hence the ability to detect sounds.  

Sound travels four times faster in water than in air. Thus, the sound vibration travels through the air, then travels through the water. This gives the fish the ability to hear.

Humans and fish have different hearing levels. An average human being can detect sound in a frequency range of around 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz. However, infants can hear frequencies that are slightly higher than 20,000Hz. 

Lots of fish species can detect sounds from 40 Hz to 1000 Hz through to 1500 Hz. However, some like herring and goldfish can detect sounds of over 3000 Hz.

Betta fish can hear both sound itself and its vibrations through the water. Besides their ears, they also have a lateral line on either side of their bodies to detect vibrations through the water. This line also helps them ‘see’ better in the dark as it helps them avoid obstacles in low light conditions.

Do Betta Fish Like Music?

There is no evidence that betta fish like music. More so, water limits how sound travels. However, betta fish can hear and recognize the sounds. Nonetheless, hearing doesn’t mean they enjoy it. Nor does it mean they hate music. 

They all react differently to the sound of music. Others would stay calm, and others would swim aggressively.

Playing Loud Music for Betta Fish

Playing loud music could be harmful to your betta. They can’t detect beats or rhythm. However, the sudden loud and constant music may interfere with the fish’s ability to use their hearing sense. 

Fish have receptors that are located on the lateral line of the fish body. The receptors are highly sensitive to vibrations and other changes in the environment. They act like both ears and eyes to the fish.

Therefore, excess vibration of the water molecules makes the fish uncomfortable. They get scared and even stressed. Such noise may force them to jump away from the tank. Hard rock and loud music, therefore, may harm them. 

How Do You Entertain a Betta Fish?

Fish also get bored. You can’t accustom your fish to the same environment or same activities daily and expect it to be okay. Unfortunately, it can be hard to know if your fish is bored.

Here are a few ways you can notice a betta is bored:

  • Tail biting: A betta fish biting its tail could signify they might be bored and frustrated.
  • Loss of interest in food: If you feed your betta fish the same food every day, it gets used to it. Since they are naturally aggressive, they find chasing food fun. Unfortunately, the familiarity makes them react slowly to food.
  • Lethargy: A fish showing withdrawal sign means it’s bored although sometimes it might be because of illness. This is a sign they are giving up. Moving around the aquarium stops being interesting to them.

Several other signs can show your betta is bored. To know, you have to be observant of its behavior. When their behavior drastically changes, there might be a problem.

How to entertain a betta fish

The following are ways you can entertain your fish besides music:

Give It Space

Betta fish are wild, curious, and adventurous creatures. They don’t like sharing spaces. The male species in one space will fight each other, even to death. They will also fight their female counterparts when the breeding season is over.

Thus, they need a larger space to engage in different activities. For instance, hunting, swimming, hiking, playing, and resting. Keeping it in a small tank may limit their movement. The minimum aquarium tank size should be at least 5 gallons.

To give it the natural feeling of its habitat, you can add live plants like java moss, java fern, and other midground aquarium plants. Also, you can add floating logs, caves, and tunnel-like structures. Examples include ceramic jars, tree-trunk log caves, and coconut shell huts.

These items act like visual barriers. Apart from making it feel safe, they give it new environment vibes. The smudgy smell and the different obstacles it encounters when navigating the waters make its life exciting.

A bigger tank also gives you an easier time to clean and change the water. Ideally, you need at most 5 female bettas or less in a 20-gallon tank to avoid territorial issues.

Change their Diet

Changing the diet of the betta fish keeps their synapses firing. Don’t stick to one kind of food.  Incorporate different foods like bloodworm, pellets, daphnia, brine shrimp, feeder fish, and larvae insects. Strive to feed it live food.

Changing the diet keeps the fish entertained. It doesn’t know what it’s always going to eat. Thus, it’s always looking forward to the feeding time.

Always consider the nutritional needs of the fish. Before changing the diet, ensure you consult a veterinary doctor.

Play with Your Fish

Betta fish are intelligent animals. They can recognize their owner’s voice. There are different ways to play with your betta fish to keep it entertained. For instance, you can run your finger along the tank. Let it follow the fingers to the end of the tank and back. Alternatively, use keys for the same process.

You can also shine a laser pointer on the surface of the aquarium. Just ensure you don’t point it directly into its eyes as it could interfere with its vision. 

Teach it different types of tricks such as: 

  • Swimming through a hoop
  • Playing fetch
  • Dancing the limbo 
  • Shooting hoops

With time, it gets the hang of it.

You can also incorporate a small mirror into the tank. Since they are territorial, this would give it an illusion there’s another fish in the tank. Thus, it may be infuriated and get in a fight without getting injured.

Ensure to place the mirror a few minutes daily to avoid it flaring too much.

Expose the Fish to Bright Colors

Betta fish are stimulated with bright colors. You could place their tank near your television.  Every time the TV changes colors, it provides them with the entertainment it needs. Also, you can put colorful toys or candles outside the tank. 

Incorporate Ping Pong Balls in their Tank

A ping pong ball is a perfect toy for your betta fish. They help betta fish practice their hunting skills as they look like surface prey. The balls keep it entertained and offer it a form of exercise that is good for its well-being.

It’s difficult to determine whether beta fish like music or not. Nonetheless, they react differently to the sound of music. Loud music can harm their existence. Thus, it is necessary to play it in moderation. Apart from music, there are tons of other ways to entertain your pet. Just get creative in the process.


Umass Dartmouth. Betta Fish Care.

University of Montana. Risk-Sensitivity in Male Siamese Fighting Fish (Betta Splendens).

Liberty University. Bettas ’Fin’ish’ First in Popularity.

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