Keeping Betta Fish Happy – 7 Things That Work!

Betta fish are pretty popular amongst fish and aquarium lovers.

Just looking at their bright and whimsical fins can uplift your mood and brighten up your space.

Like various other fish, bettas can also get upset.

If you’re unable to take proper care of your betta, they will start showing signs of depression and unhappiness.

To ensure that your betta fish stays healthy, you must ensure that they are happy from inside and outside.

How to Make Your Betta Fish Happy?

Once you discover that your betta fish is going through depression, you can begin their treatment immediately.

You can take several steps and measures to make your betta fish happy and healthy again.

If you follow all these steps regularly, you can prevent your betta fish from getting depressed in the future.

Get a Bigger Tank for Your Betta Fish

One of the best ways to keep your betta fish happy is to ensure that their tank is big enough for them to swim freely.

Just one or two or even three gallon tanks are not spacious enough for betta fish. It is considered cruel to keep your betta fish in such small-sized tanks.

To guarantee your betta fish is happy, their tank size should be roughly 6-7 gallons. As a general rule, try to have at least 5 gallons per betta fish.

The more spacious your tank, the better for your fish.

This is because betta fish tend to stay happier in bigger tanks where there is more room for them to swim around.

If you keep Betta fish with other fishes (betta or non-betta), a bigger tank will ensure that Betta can live peacefully without being threatened or feeling stressed.

Decorations Make Betta Happy

Just like their colorful appearance, betta fish also prefer living in colorful and vibrant environments.

To ensure that, you must keep your tank well-decorated with various caves, pebbles, floating leaves, and ornaments.

Having a decorated environment keeps your betta fish entertained and helps keep their mood uplifted.

One expert tip is to add tunnels and caves in the tank of your betta fish so they can play around and choose the hiding spot of their choice.

Also read: Best Decorations for Betta Fish Tank (Betta Tank Decor)

Add More Plants to Your Tanks

A great way to instantly brighten up a place is to add plenty of plants and greenery to it.

Like human beings, who love plants and greenery, betta fish also prefer living in a green and vibrant environment.

Adding both natural and fake plants to your betta’s tank helps make it look more similar to its natural environment.

Your betta fish is more likely to feel at home in a tank full of plants, and it will help keep them happy and content.

Natural plants are more preferred, but you can mix and match natural and fake for practical purposes.

Some of the plants you can add to your betta fish tank include java fern and moss, anacaharis, hornwort, and anubias.

These natural plants are perfect for creating a natural environment for your betta fish.

When it comes to fake plants, please try to get silk plants instead of plastic because the plastic may be harmful to your betta.

Also read: 10 Best Plants for Betta Fish Tank

Change the Arrangement of the Tank 

Try to rearrange your betta fish tank now and then to keep things exciting for them.

When you revamp and move things around in your betta’s tank, they will feel a change of environment, and it may help revive their spirit.

Apart from revamping the insides of a tank, you can also introduce some attractions outside of it.

This will help catch the attention of your betta fish and make them feel like they are part of a brand new, exciting environment.

For example, you can add colorful sticky notes outside the betta tank. This will pique their curiosity and they will swim around it to check it out.

Bring new friends for your betta fish

Even though betta fish are supposed to be solitary, they sometimes do not prefer being alone.

You can house keep several other fish with your bettas, depending on what type of fish they are and how well aware are you of your betta fish’s temperament.

Not all bettas are aggressive in nature, and some like to keep things peaceful.

When your betta is going through depression, you can bring in new tank-mates for them in the hopes that it may cheer them up.

Catfish, corydoras, tetras, or plecos are known to complement well with bettas.

Some bettas may even be open to having other tank friends like crayfish, snails, dwarf frogs, etc.

You have to experiment and observe how your bettas respond to different fish breeds and pick the new tank mates accordingly.

Introduce high-quality food for your bettas

Like human beings, some bettas may also consider food to be their coping mechanism for dealing with depression.

If you feel that your bettas have been showing signs of unhappiness lately, try changing their food to a higher quality one or changing it altogether.

Some commercial fish food lacks the necessary nutrients that betta fish require to stay healthy and blissful.

Switching such low-nutritional food with a better quality one can significantly help improve the mood of your betta fish.

It is usually recommended that you feed your bettas a combination of live food and frozen food like mosquito larvae and shrimps.

This will allow you to maintain both, your fish’s good health and good mood.

You can also feed bloodworms to your betta fish as some Sunday-special treat.

Increase Interaction with Your Betta Fish

If betta fish are kept in complete isolation for a longer period, without any proper interaction with any other living being, they tend to get unhappy or depressed.

To avoid getting into this situation overall, you can talk to your betta fish and interact with them to get more familiar with you.

To ensure that, you must make efforts to interact with your beta regularly.

Bettas are known to be quite playful; hence they form a quick bond with their owner when they are given proper attention and care.

Signs that Your Betta Fish Is Not Happy (Depressed) 

Here are common signs and symptoms found in depressed bettas:

They will be uninterested in food

If you notice that your betta fish is not taking an interest in food, it could indicate that there is something wrong with them, and you should immediately get them checked.

If they do not have any illness or disease, then it means that your betta fish is unhappy.

They will be lethargic and sluggish

If you see a change in your betta’s swimming activity and notice that they are unusually slow or sluggish, it is a sign of depression.

They will stop interacting with you

If your betta fish has suddenly stopped interacting with you, it means that they are most likely unhappy.

Their color will start fading

When your betta is going through extreme depression, it will reflect on his health and appearance.

Betta fish start losing their color and become a little dull overall when they are depressed.

You may even notice stress-induced stripes on the sides and a visible dullness in their color.

They will show signs of aggression

Some depressed betta fish become increasingly aggressive instead of becoming lethargic and uninterested.

They will start attacking their fellow tank mates out of aggression, so keep an eye out for any such signs.

Signs that Your Betta Fish is Happy Again 

If you follow the tips mentioned earlier and keep a regular check on the health and activity of your betta fish, you can easily take care of a depressed betta and help cure them.

Once you start to feel that your betta might be snapping out of their depressive episode, keep an eye out for the following signs:

  • The swimming activity of your betta fish will drastically increase
  • Your betta fish will be back to eating their healthy feed
  • Your betta fish will start making bubble nests
  • Your betta fish will increase interaction with you
  • Your betta’s color will start reviving

Significance of Keeping Your Betta Fish Happy 

If you wish to ensure that your betta fish stays healthy, you must make efforts to keep them happy in the first place.

One major drawback of having a depressed betta fish is that depression affects the immune system of these fish.

Once the immune system is compromised, your betta fish will be at high risk for catching several diseases and infections.

To improve your betta fish’s health and well-being, keeping them happy and depression-free is highly essential.

You must pay special attention to an unhappy betta fish and get their treatment started urgently upon diagnosis.


If you do not begin treating your depressed betta fish at an early stage, they might cause harm to other tank mates or themselves.

An aggressive betta fish has the tendency to attack or even kill other fish.

Now that you are aware of the necessary steps to take to treat a depressed betta, it is time to implement them.

Feel free to leave any suggestions or recommendations that you may have related to the health and happiness of a betta fish.

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