Are your Bettas bored? Do they have nothing to do but fight with other fish?
Then get them toys!
In this article, we will list some great toys for Betta fish that will keep them happy and occupied so they get along with your other fish.
Why Your Bettas Need Stimulation
It might seem natural to make your Betta the star of its own show in a tank by itself, with no plants, no decorations, and no other fish.
After all, Bettas are solitary fish in nature.
They don’t naturally pal around with other fish of their own kind.
But the difference between a solitary Betta in nature and a solitary Betta in a fish tank is that the Betta in nature has lots of stimulation.
Bettas are intelligent fish that navigate by landmarks like rocks, submerged plants, and driftwood to find the tiny insect and crustaceans they eat.
They are constantly fending off their own predators and from the time they will use their considerable intelligence to find a mate.
Best Toys Your Bettas Will Love
Here are some great selections that will make your Betta’s aquarium almost an amusement park for your fish.
Coconut Shell Cave
Half a coconut shell makes a great cave for your Betta to hide in.
In the wild, Bettas use overhangs and caves as places to rest, spawn, and hide from predators.
If you have male and female Bettas, they may use a coconut shell cave as their spawning ground.
But if you have just one Betta, they will use it for rest during the day and sleeping at night.
Driftwood isn’t just decorative. It is also a great place for your Betta to explore and hide.
Be sure to incorporate driftwood into your aquarium decor for double duty as decoration and toy.
Fish Training Kit
We weren’t kidding when we said Bettas are intelligent fish.
Betta fish are competitive, and they love to learn new things. A fish training kit is a perfect way to encourage movement in your Betta fish to keep it happy and healthy at the same time.
A Betta fish training kit comes with several small components such as hoops and tiny balls through which you can teach your Betta fish how to dance and even play fetch.
You can teach them to jump, swim through hoops, and play the fishy equivalent of Foosball.
Your friends will be amazed by the intelligence of your fish.
Each fish training kit also comes with a DVD that guides you on assembling the components and training your fish so that both of you can have a great time!
Your Betta doesn’t want to be in the spotlight all the time.
A floating log gives your Betta a place to hide, to enjoy contrasting bright and dim light, and a location for taking short naps.
A floating log can be an entertaining addition to your Betta fish tank. This is because the log might help your Betta spend time on the surface of the deck.
It can also use the center of the log as a hiding space or swim through it playfully whenever it’s in the mood.
Like the floating hammock, a Betta fish log mimics the natural wildlife atmosphere that helps the Betta fish stay entertained.
Besides entertainment and play, Betta fish can also use this log to build their bubble nest or even feed.
Be sure your floating log has no sharp edges. You don’t want collisions with the log to harm your Betta’s beautiful fins.
A sinking log isn’t really just another piece of driftwood used to decorate your aquarium.
Unlike the floating log, a sinking log is made of ceramic because it is meant to sit at the bottom of the tank.
Betta fish can use the sinking log to explore and find a new hiding spot to satiate their instincts.
This ceramic log looks just like a natural wooden log giving your tank a natural feel minus any bacteria or rotting.
It isn’t a good idea to use a natural wooden log because it will start to decompose underwater, which will pollute the whole Betta fish tank.
Betta fish generally like to swim through the logs during their playtime or use it to find some shelter when it wants to rest.
As with floating logs, it is important to choose units that are free from sharp edges that could damage your Betta’s fins.
Hammock (Leaf Pad)
Humans like to take naps. Bettas also occasionally snooze during the day and sleep when their lights are off at night.
A hammock gives your Betta a safe and secure place to sleep closer to the surface of the tank, where it can be sure it won’t miss feeding time.
When a Betta fish lives in the wild, they try to find hiding places in shallow waters to rest.
Similarly, a Betta fish hammock comes with a suction pad that can be adjusted on the side of the fish tank so that the hammock can float on the water surface.
Usually, a Betta fish hammock comes in a leaf shape to mimic the wildlife leaf pads that Betta fish like to rest or hide under.
Do you use a laser pointer to play with your cat? You can also use a laser pointer to get the attention of your Betta.
Just as you would not shine a laser pointer directly into the eyes of your cat, you shouldn’t shine a laser pointer directly into the eyes of your Betta.
Remember, fish don’t have eyelids they can close to protect their eyes from too-bright light.
But your Betta can have a great time chasing a laser light around the tank.
Male Bettas are energized by mirrors. They will put on a display of aggression to ward off the male Betta they think they see in the mirror.
It’s important not to make a mirror a permanent fixture in your Betta tank.
Using the mirror from the side of the tank for up to five minutes at a time, no more often than once a day, will definitely wake up a male Betta.
Moss balls can easily entertain your Betta fish for a long time, so it is one of the best toys you can purchase.
A moss ball is a ball of live moss that floats in your aquarium.
It is soft enough that it won’t damage your Betta but sturdy enough that it stands up to poking, probing, and investigation.
Since the moss ball is around and airy, it can easily float on the surface of the water tank, making it interesting for the Betta fish.
Once again, this floating moss ball highlights a Betta fish’s natural habitat. They swim close to the water surface to find food among floating plants and moss.
By nature, Betta fish are fond of investigating their environment. Hence, these moss balls work perfectly to give them just that.
As a living thing, the moss ball is constantly changing and can capture your Betta’s attention.
Moss balls also provide oxygen to the tank and improve water quality.
Ping Pong Ball
A ping-pong ball can be a fun addition to your Betta fish tank because it will float on the water tank’s surface and move around for your Betta fish’s entertainment.
Bettas hunt for food at the surface of the water.
Ping pong balls float, so Bettas will instinctively swim up to the surface of their tank to check ping pong balls out.
This particular toy will make your Betta fish very inquisitive because a ping-pong ball would float around the water tank just like fish food does.
This will develop your Betta fish hunting instincts as well as keep it happy and satisfied.
Dip the ping pong ball in boiling hot water before you place it in the tank to sterilize it. Don’t use soap or antiseptic to sterilize the ball.
Plants give your Bettas a place to hide, play, and explore.
Even though plants aren’t particularly toys, adding fun plants to the tank can be incredibly entertaining for your pet.
Live plants are especially useful because they provide oxygen and take up nitrates and ammonia, improving water quality.
But you can create an attractive aquascape with silk plants, too.
However, if you choose to purchase plants, make sure they do not have sharp edges that could injure your Betta fish’s body or fins.
Shipwrecks are beautiful ship structures that often look like a sunken Titanic.
Not only do they create a great aquarium aesthetic, but they also give your Betta fish plenty of places to hide.
The shipwreck structure can be nestled into any corner of the tank.
Adding plants and rocks in its surroundings makes it even more interesting for the Betta. This is because they can hide or play in the nooks and crannies.
The empty spaces inside can also be used as a time-out zone for your Betta fish whenever it wants to rest or hide away from the world.
Clamshells make an ideal hiding place for Bettas.
If you place the fake clamshell on its side, your Betta has a protective hideout with a great view of its surroundings.
But don’t use real clamshells you find on the beach. Always use resin or fake clamshells in your Betta tank.
Real clamshells can leach calcium that raises the pH of the water in your aquarium to unhealthy levels.
Teaching Your Betta to Jump
Jumping comes naturally to Bettas.
They can jump from puddle to puddle to survive during the dry season, and they can jump away from predators.
You can teach your Betta to jump by feeding them from your finger.
Take the cover off your aquarium, place a piece of frozen Betta food on your finger tip, and hold your finger just above the water at the beginning of feeding time.
If you do this often enough, eventually your Bettas will jump whenever the cover is off their tank and you give them their cue by holding your finger (with or without food) above their tank.
Bettas have tiny teeth that can’t injure you. (Don’t try this trick if you have other residents in your aquarium with larger teeth.)
The only precaution you need to keep in mind when you are teaching your Betta to jump is to keep the cover on their aquarium when you are not there.
You wouldn’t want your Betta to spot a housefly and jump out of the tank. Don’t give your Betta a chance to go solo with this trick.
Terracotta pots are a great way to protect aquarium plants from bottom-dwelling fish like catfish.
You can also choose terracotta pots with features your Bettas will enjoy exploring higher in the water.
Betta leaves are particular brown leaves that can add minerals to the water when placed in the tank.
These leaves also provide shelter for your Betta fish and can be a safe space for a male Betta fish to build a bubble nest.
Apart from releasing minerals in the water, they also create a natural-looking habitat for your Betta fish which makes them feel secure.
The minerals found in these leaves also heal your Betta fish, so it is a great addition to any Betta fish tank.
The nature of these leaves promotes reproduction in Betta fish, and some even love to nibble on them. Hence, Betta leaves are more than just a toy!
Why Are Toys for Betta Fish is a Good Idea?
Adding toys to your Betta fish tank can make your Betta fish right at home.
Most toys in our list mimic a Betta’s natural environment. This helps the Betta fish exercise their instincts, such as hunting, hiding, investigating, and playing, which they are meant to do.
If you’ve owned Betta fish before, you know how easy it is to stress them out.
Adding toys and fun little things to the fish tank environment can decrease their stress levels and keep their mood uplifted.
Sometimes a large empty tank can also be a reason for your Betta’s stress, which is why a little sprucing up is always recommended.
Think of your Betta fish as a little baby who needs toys to play just like we need our gadgets and activities to keep ourselves entertained.
Exercise Caution While Adding Things to the Tank
Whenever you are adding toys or anything else to your Betta fish tank, you should always be very careful not to hurt your Betta fish.
Like any other aquarium fish, they are incredibly delicate, and even a little scrape can be harmful to their health.
While lowering things into the tank, always keep a watch on your Betta fish so that it doesn’t come in the way.
Moreover, it is not safe to add any betta toy to the fish tank.
It is important to understand that only fish toys that are meant to stay underwater are safe enough to be added to your Betta fish tank.
General plastic toys or décor pieces may be harmful when submerged underwater – their paint or coating could be toxic, they could rot or decompose.
Either way, you’d be polluting the tank water.
How You Can Tell Your Betta Is Bored
If you enjoy your Bettas, you will observe them just about every day. Some Bettas are naturally lethargic.
Other Bettas are always hyper. It’s when your Betta buddy’s behavior changes that there is a problem.
Symptoms of Betta boredom include:
- Poor appetite. Bettas tend to be involuntary eaters. If they detect food, they will eat it. In the wild, this instinct protects them from frustration. Loss of appetite means your Betta is sick, or is in serious need of stimulation.
- Lethargy. Lethargy and poor appetite tend to go together. When your Betta is sick and doesn’t want to eat, lethargy naturally follows. But sometimes the problem is a lack of stimulation in your Betta’s environment.
- Tail biting. Bettas use their tiny upturned teeth to grab insects floating on the surface of the water above them. Biting to feed is a natural behavior for Bettas. When they don’t have anything else to do, sometimes they will bite at their own tails. Tail bites not only affect the beauty of your fish, they leave it susceptible to parasites and bacterial infection.
Basic Steps for Preventing Betta Boredom
Even before you buy toys for your Betta, there are some basic steps you can take to provide your Betta with a healthy environment.
One of the most basic steps in setting up a Betta’s aquarium is to add live plants. They oxygenate the water.
They use fish waste as fertilizer, lowering nitrite and ammonia level and improving water quality.
They beautify the tank. And they give your Betta places to explore.
Another step in setting up your Betta’s aquarium is adding hideouts.
Chances are that you aren’t going to put your Betta in a tank with other fish that could actually do it harm.
With Bettas, the threat to tank mates is usually the other way around. But Bettas instinctively seek hiding places.
Your Betta will be happier with a place to hide that it doesn’t have to share with other fish.
You can make feeding a frenzy by giving your Bettas occasional treats of live mealworms, water fleas (Daphnia), or mosquito larvae.
You can even play with your Bettas and teach them tricks.
But for all those times you aren’t there, the best antidote for Betta boredom is a collection of Betta toys.
The Bottom Line
Decorations and toys are a crucial part of a Betta fish tank to maintain their overall well-being. Since they are aggressive compared to other small fish, Bettas are usually kept in isolation.
To conquer their boredom, it is essential to provide them with different ways of entertainment such as the toys that we have mentioned above.
Most of these toys are natural and inexpensive. They are designed to keep Betta fish happy and improve their quality of life.
It is important to keep these toys in mind even though they do not require much attention.
As a Betta fish owner, it is important to think about your Betta fish’s happiness and safety, especially when you can do it without spending a lot of money.
Decorations and toys in your Betta fish tank do not only make your Betta fish happy, but they also add to your living space.
Hence, balls, leaves, hammocks, and shipwrecks are excellent toys to make your Betta fish happy and stimulate its well-being.
Other articles you may also like:
- Best Decorations for Betta Fish Tank (Betta Tank Decor)
- How to Tell if Your Aquarium Fish Are Stressed?
- What Is the Best Thing to Put in an Aquarium for Fish to Play on?
- What Fish Can Live With Betta Fish in an Aquarium?
- Why is Betta Fish Swimming Sideways (Swim Bladder Disease)?
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- How Long Can a Betta Fish Live In a Fishbowl?
- How Much Does a Betta Fish Cost? Detailed Breakdown!