Do Betta Fish Know Their Owners?

Bettas are very popular among pets. Due to their magnificent appearance many people decide to keep them as pets. However, when we decide to take a new pet, the first thing we start thinking about is can we take good care of it and will we be able to make a connection with the pet. Normally, one of the questions in this case would be – do betta fish know and recognize their owners?

There is a myth that fish are not capable of keeping memory but science has proven that it is wrong. How come? Scientists have proven, after many debates, that fish do have a neocortex. That is a part of the brain that controls cognitive functions, visual processing, thinking and problem solving. It is also proven that a fish can recognize and therefore distinguish its owner among 44 other faces. 

Do betta fish know their owners
Do betta fish know their owners

How Do Betta Fish Recognize Their Owners?

It is proven that bettas do not see well but even though they have a poor vision they can recognize their owner. How is this possible? They have developed a strong sense of vibration and because of that, recognition appears. They process the vibes of your words when you talk and walk around and even recognize the steps when you approach the tank. 

More importantly, since they are intelligent fish, they will learn in time who you are. Patience is crucial but also spending time by the tank. It is best if you stick to a pattern, in the morning and in the evening. Spend 10 minutes of your time by the tank feeding your pet, playing or just talking. That is how you interact and the connection is being built. 

Do Betta Fish Know Their Owners? How to find out

An important part when forming a connection with your betta pet is recognition. You need to be sure that your pet recognizes you. But how to check that? Here are some points to help you out.

  • When you come near the tank your betta will show up 
  • It will stand still or move around the top just to let you know that it is aware of your presence
  • It will not show signs of stress, freak out or hide if you put your finger on the glass or in the water

If you notice these signs, you can be sure that your pet knows you and likes having you around. 

How To Make Your Betta Fish Recognize You?

There are many tricks you can do to teach your betta how to recognize you. Even though they can not show feelings and affection like many other pets they can show interest. Since we are talking about fish, that is more than enough. 

Bettas are very intelligent fish in general and they learn fast, it takes time to bond but, in the end, you will be satisfied with the result. 

Here are some things you can do to develop a relationship with your betta pet:

  • You can make your betta follow your finger. To draw its attention, put a fingertip against the tank where your betta is and slowly move it along the glass. Be patient and let your betta understand what you are asking of it. It may take some time but as soon as it understands it will be fun for both. Later you can try moving your fingertip in different directions and your betta will most surely follow. 
  • Use a ping pong ball or plastic ball that floats at the surface. Give some time to betta to explore it and make sure that it is not harmful. Try to roll it around as the fish plays and interact with it.
  • Also, in some cases, you can introduce a toy. There are plenty at the market, you just need to find the right one. Be careful when choosing a toy because some of them can scare off your betta and even freak it out. You do not want to provoke stress with your pet. If your betta doesn’t like it try one more time. If the same stressful reaction appears do not use it. Provoking stress with your pet is harmful to both, your betta`s health and the connection you are building with your pet. Most surely you do not want your betta to be scared of you.
  • As well as decorating the tank inside you can do it from the outside too. Use vibrant colors, shiny objects and different shapes to stick outside the tank. They will work stimulating and your betta will love it. An interesting thing you can do is make your finger a target. Place some food on the tip of your finger or just touch food while floating and keep your finger on it. After some time of exploring and understanding your pet will touch your finger and see that nothing is going to hurt it. Repeating the action eventually will start eating off your finger and even touch it where there is no food around. 
  • The market offers a number of training kits especially made for bettas. You could be surprised how well this works. You could train your betta pet in no time. It could learn to swim through hoops, push a ball around or jump out. They are easy to purchase and not that expensive. 

If you want to speed up the process of memorizing things you are teaching your pet, you can introduce a well-known method of reward. Whenever your pet does something, you want, offer a really small piece of food as a reward.  You will see a miraculous result very soon. Rewards are very stimulating with people and with animals too. Just keep in mind not to overfeed your pet while serving rewards, overfeeding can do a lot of damage to your betta`s health.

Final thoughts

Many people think that having a fish is not the same as having a cat or a dog and that they are unemotional and even boring.  For some, this may be the case but most certainly it is not the rule. Those who own a betta as a pet know for sure that this is not true and they claim quite the opposite.

If you build up a connection with your betta it can be an entertaining experience for both the owner and the fish. The thing is that this kind of bond reflects in a different way. A betta will also respond to its owner, swimming in front of him and showing off, it can be trained and you can play with it. There are many tricks you have read about in the text but the simplest game with no toys and equipment is with your finger. A betta will recognize its owner’s presence and will know the difference between who feeds it or if it is a mere stranger. While they won’t show affection like common pets such as dogs and cats, you will recognize different ways of bond throughout affiliation and interest. 

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