Why on earth do you need betta fish toys? That’s a fair question. Most folks don’t think of fish as interactive pets but more like home decor. And with some types of fish, that’s a fair assessment.
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Other folks believe what unscrupulous pet sellers tell them and think that a Betta fish will be deliriously happy living in a tiny container like a mason jar instead of needing a proper fish tank where he can spread out his fins and SWIM!
But, you see, while Betta fish are undoubtedly ornamental fish they are also highly intelligent and interactive! In the wild your pet fish would be a very busy fellow. Bettas are naturally curious and defensive creatures. He would stake out a territory, patrol and defending it from invaders. Along the way he’d find all the best places to find food and take naps.
These natural behaviors are what make Bettas very interactive pets who do lots of interesting things for you to enjoy watching. Heck, you can even train them to do tricks on command when you give them the right kind of betta fish toys and treats.
One of the first betta fish toys most folks become aware of is a Betta fish leaf hammock. And bettas really, REALLY like them. Though we are not ichthyologists (and we don’t play one on TV either) we figure that Betta fish like to nap on these because it’s safer to be hidden and look like a yucky curled up leaf than a tasty fish snack to passing predators when you are snoozing.
In any case, here are a few of the Betta fish leaf hammocks available from Amazon.
None of these betta leaf beds appeal to you? Why not make our own DIY betta hammock? It would be simple to find an artificial leaf at your local hobby shop (just be sure it does not have a metal wire inside the stem. If it does remove it with a pair of needle nose pliers before putting itinto your tank. Rust is BAD for fish!) and attach it to a suction cup.
Or you can use some plastic canvas secured in place with zip ties. Just be sure to trim it so there are no jagged plastic edges exposed that your pet Betta can tear his fins on.
PRO TIP: If you’re worried about getting the plastic canvas trimmed smooth enough why not get one of those round a plastic canvas coaster blanks instead. No trimming needed because the edges are already smooth. Poof! Fish toys for bettas don’t get any easier than that.
BETTA FISH TOYS… MOSS BALLS
A super easy betta fish toy is a moss ball. It doesn’t matter if floats or if it sinks to the bottom of the tank your fish will enjoy it. In fact, having both is a good thing because it will encourage your Betta fish to move about his home and inspect the ball or nibble on them.
BONUS: These balls also help keep your betta tank clean because the moss actually eats nitrates (the bad stuff that builds up in aquarium water and needs a water change to get rid of).
Do not panic if your moss ball is all dried out when it arrives, that’s normal. It’s also a good thing if you want it to float for a while. The moss is just in a dormant state and will perk right up once you put it into your Betta tank.
Note: Moss balls for fish tanks, like the Fluval moss ball, will float until they become saturated with water. If you want it to go straight to the bottom of your tank, treat it like a sponge, dunk it into your betta tank and squeeze it until it’s saturated. That will help it absorb water and expel air pockets.
WARNING! Do not get a decorative moss ball like the ones they sell in the home decor section of hobby shops. These are moss covered styrofoam balls and DO NOT BELONG IN FISH TANKS!
BETTA FISH TOYS… CAVES
Betta fish like hidey holes, the more the better. They are places to explore, hangout and hide to better ambush dinner! That means aquarium cave decorations are a sure winner when it comes to betta fish toys. Luckily there are LOTS of fish tank decorations that you can use to add a cave to your aquarium.
Two of the most popular betta caves are the “Betta Coconut Cave” and the “Floating Log”. Both make excellent toys for your betta fish and are attractive in your aquarium. Using both ads variety as you’ll have one betta fish cave floating on the surface (great for nap time and bubble nests) and the other on the tank bottom.
Keep in mind that your betta fish won’t care if his “Betta Cave” is an actual cave. Any object or aquarium decoration you put in his tank that makes a hole of some kind will make him happy. It can be a glazed flower pot tipped on its side, a hunk of driftwood with a arched hollow or a crazy pineapple house!
Just be sure your betta fish cave is big enough for your fish to easily turn around in. Also make sure that it does not have sharp edges of any kind so he doesn’t cut his fins while exploring or napping inside.
BETTA FISH TOYS… TANK DECORATIONS
Just like you, your betta will thrive if he has interesting things to check out and do. That means that just about anything you put into his tank counts as “betta fish toys”. Just remember your Betta will swim all around as well as weaving over, under and thru anything you put into his tank! DO NOT put something in with him that will tear his fins.
This is so important it bears repeating! When you’re looking for betta fish tank decorations the two things you need to keep in mind are NO ROUGH EDGES and LOTS OF HIDEY HOLES! Otherwise the sky’s the limit.
Beautiful betta tanks come in all shapes and sizes. So, if you’re feeling silly, by all means get yourself a Spongebob Squarepants pineapple house if you’re a fan. Looking for something a bit more sophisticated? Put a sunken ship or Roman ruin in the bottom of your tank if that’s your thing.
Pro Tip: Set interesting objects OUTSIDE your betta tank for your pet fish to interact with on occasion. Your betta really is a curious creature and will come check it out. Give it a try and let us know how it goes.