Can Betta Fish hear? This is the question that often pops up when you keep a fish as a pet. More common pets like cats and dogs are used to our voice and commands. After some time, they learn how to behave when you say something to them. But is this the case with fish and with your Betta?
Yes, Bettas have the hearing ability and they also have developed a sense of smell and sight. They can detect even the smallest water vibration. These senses allow Bettas to protect from predators and they use them to catch prey too.
Bettas are intelligent fish and have their personality. They are very talented so you can teach them tricks if you are patient enough and spend time near the tank. Your Betta pet can hear your voice and recognize it when you speak to them. It takes months before that happens so just keep trying and you will surely be satisfied with the result.
In this article:
Betta Fish Hearing Abilities
As you know Bettas do not have ears and then the question goes, how can Betta fish hear?
Even ears are not visible to human eyes, in the sides of their head, they have small holes that form a hearing structure. That is one of the ways they can hear predators approaching. Their hearing is not great because the water dampens the sound but they do hear. They are able to associate the sound with an action.
Can Betta Fish Hear Music?
We can say that Bettas hear music but we cannot say if they like it or not. The question if they like music is very debatable. Fish can’t talk so they can’t say if they like it or not but they do hear it. Since we know that they like a quiet environment then the music coming from the back can be irritating to them.
It is sure that music provokes a reaction but that is individual. You can observe your pet when you play some music and see how it reacts. Some Bettas swim faster, others become aggressive. There are cases when you see your Betta calm and still so you get the impression it is enjoyable.
With certainty we can say that they do not like loud music and types of music with high bass or strong beat and rhythm. It will cause constant stress and provoke other health problems.
Can Betta Fish Hear Your Voice?
A Betta can’t talk and they do not understand the words but they do associate sound with action and they will in time recognize the owner. So, for instance you call your fish Bob and whenever you feed it you say – Bob, here you go, food! Eventually, your Betta will associate your voice with the action and will wait for the meal at the top of the tank or stay close to the glass waiting for you to feed it or talk to it.
If you spend ten to twenty minutes every day by the tank your Betta will start to recognize your face, too. Feed it daily, talk to it and over time your pet will become familiar to you.
Are Bettas Sensitive To Noises And Vibrations?
In general, Bettas are happier if you keep them in a quiet environment. It is very important that you know that your Betta can hear especially sudden loud noises. They are very disturbing for your Betta and can cause stress. Furthermore, stress weakens the immune system and causes health conditions and illness. It is like a chain reaction.
It is extremely important to avoid sudden and loud disturbances that can scare your pet. If you decide to pour the water in, do it gently because water rushing will cause anxiety to your fish. Pressure waves inside the tank may provoke your Betta to swim erratically and may cause tail biting.
If the filter produces a strong current the sound of it and the vibrations will stress your Betta and lead to illness too.
Do not put a TV, stereo, amplifier or any noisemaker around the aquarium that produces strong sounds. They will most certainly bother your pet.
If you want to catch your Betta’s attention, use the snap of fingers above the surface, do not tap the tank. Tapping the glass will freak them out and stress them out.
To sum up, your Betta can hear through the glass and the water. Since they are intelligent it is highly probable that a Betta will recognize the owner`s voice if you spend time by the tank and talk to your pet. Repeated behavior will make your Betta memorize your face and voice. Once you make the bond with your Betta it will become a good, quiet, friend. Just keep them away from noise or they will be afraid, start feeling uncomfortable and you will provoke stress which will lead to more serious issues.