Do Betta Fish Get Lonely and Bored?

Do Betta Fish get lonely and bored? This is the question many people are thinking about when they see their Betta alone in the tank. There are different opinions and beliefs connected to this issue. We will present what we think based on our research, opinion and experience. 

From our point of view, we can say that Bettas hardly ever get lonely. Why is that? It is because it is in their nature. In the wild they live a solitary life and due to that, they do not get lonely. 

The other thing is that they are aggressive by nature and therefore it is difficult for them to live in a community. They tend to attack every fish that comes across. 

The third thing is that they are territorial and they fight for their territory when anyone jeopardizes it. 

So, the most probable answer to a question if Bettas ever get lonely is – no, but there are cases where it depends on your Betta’s temperament. Maybe your Betta is not lonely but just bored. So, what you need to do is to provide a stimulating environment for your pet. 

Is Your Betta Fish Lonely?

Sometimes you see your Betta wandering around the tank all by itself, showing a lack of energy and appetite and you think perhaps it is lonely. Be sure that is not the case. 

If you think that they need a tank mate then you should know better. Male Bettas won’t tolerate another male Betta in their tank. They will fight to the death for territory and they will also become stressed which will cause other health problems.  

You should try to understand your Betta and distinguish whether your pet is lonely, which is probably not the case, but rather bored, stressed or depressed. As long as you provide good water conditions and a lot of stimuli your Betta will be happy. 

If you notice that something is wrong with your pet and you classify it as some of these signs – bored, stressed or depressed, you should take some steps to change the mood of your fish until bigger health problems come up. 

Our Favorite Ideas to Entertain Your Betta Fish

Here are a few ideas about what you can do:

  • Make sure your tank is big enough. A five-gallon tank will be OK if you keep only a Betta, but if you are considering introducing a tank mate then you need a bigger tank. 
  • It is very important to have many hiding places. Bettas adore hiding and that way they feel safe. The more hiding places you provide, your Betta will swim more and explore them. It won’t get bored and stressed and you will have a happy fish
  • Add a lot of live plants, they are very useful for your Betta and the tank, too. They provide oxygen, shades and hiding places and your Betta will love it. 
  • If you decide to introduce a tank mate, do it carefully. Be well informed about the options and choose the best possible or much harm can be brought. We will tell you later about the best options to choose from. 
  • One more thing that can help out in producing a stimulating environment is a mirror. Your Betta will most surely think that it is not alone and will start patrolling the tank more frequently. 
  • You can also present some interesting food. Introduce live food that is similar to their natural habitat. It will start chasing and hunting and the boredom will disappear. 
  • And in the end, if these things do not help you can always get your Betta a toy. There are plenty offered at the market to choose from.

Our Top 5 Betta Toys:

  1. Aquarium plants that form a jungle provide hiding places and come in vibrant colors. 
  2. Betta leaf hammocks can offer good fun and can be placed at the side glass near the surface. It reminds them of shallow waters.
  3. Floating exercise mirror is another great toy which creates an illusion of the presence of another fish. There are no victims and injuries and you can take it out from a tank and bring it in depending on the need. 
  4. Floating log is a great ornament for curing boredom and it is perfect for sleeping, playing or making a bubble nest. It has a hole for feeding too and represents a collection of all-natural instincts that a Betta has.
  5. Sinking log placed at the bottom will make your Betta explore hiding places and shelters. It can be a great solution for your bored Betta. 

Do Betta Fish Prefer Being Alone?

betta fish like hiding

Although they are solitary fish that doesn’t necessarily mean that they enjoy being alone. That depends on your Betta`s temperament. There are cases when Bettas become aggressive and territorial if you have even a snail in the aquarium. 

One thing is extremely important to keep in mind. Never keep two male Bettas in the same aquarium. This is the worst scenario you can present and by all means, one will end up dead. 

There are cases when the company of other fish can be good for your Betta and there are some good choices to make your Betta happier with a tank mate. Just be sure you choose the right one.

Can Betta Fish Live With Other Fish? TOP 5 Betta Fish Tank Mates 

If you go with the idea of introducing a tank mate and prevent your Betta from being lonely, bored, stressed or depressed, choose carefully. Have these things in mind before choosing a tank mate for your Betta. 

  • You need to choose a tank of good size, at least 10 gallons or bigger. 
  • Provide a lot of different hiding places.
  • Keep an eye on the tank, maybe your Betta will start bullying the new mate. 

Now we will present five top Betta tank mates that can be great for your Betta. 

  1. The top of our list is reserved for Kuhli loaches. They tend to be very sociable and it is best to keep them in a group of at least three with one male Betta. Of course, like with other mates you need to provide a lot of hiding places, good water conditions and at least a 10 gallons tank. 
  2. Corydoras catfish or Cory can be a great tank mate with a Betta. Cory catfish is a peaceful kind by nature and most of the time stays at the bottom of the tank. Bettas tend to occupy the surface of the tank. Since they occupy different territories, they probably won’t bother each other. Corydoras catfish go in groups of about 6. 
  3. The third place goes for Ember Tetras which make a great addition to any tank just to rest your eyes and admire. The size of the tank needs to be at least 10 gallons. They go in schools of six or more, swim around the middle of the aquarium and need almost the same conditions as Betta fish, plus they eat the same food. 
  4. Malaysian Trumpet Snails are nocturnal creatures which means that they are most active at night while Bettas rest and sleep. That way they do not meet and attract unnecessary attention. They are hardworking and clean the tank from algae and organic waste from the bottom so they are very useful, too. 
  5. The last on our list is Harlequin Rasboras is a friendly fish that stands out for their unique pattern, an orange body with a triangular patch that is black and distinctive at the end of their body towards the tail. They are very fast and peaceful and they come in schools of six and more. Even if your Betta starts chasing them, it will hardly catch them. That will just provide a good exercise for your Betta.  

Final Thoughts

In the end, if you are considering that your Betta might be lonely, let’s recap what are the things you can do to improve the situation:

  • Bettas are solitary fish, aggressive and territorial and they do fine on their own. This may be treated as normal behavior. 
  • If your Betta shows signs of loneliness or boredom, create a stimulating environment, rearrange the tank and introduce something new and different.
  • Spend time with your pet and try teaching it some new tricks, they are intelligent fish.
  • Introduce new toys, we have made a list of most recommended ones ABOVE.
  • Introduce a tank mate, choose carefully from the top five that we have presented.

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