Betta, or Siamese fighting fish, are remarkably beautiful, curious, and sociable fish that are native to SE Asia. Because Betta can live in extremely small spaces, living in rice paddies and drainage ditches in the wild, they have been bred to live alone in small tanks or bowls as pets. Although they can live in small spaces, and males need to live separately to avoid conflict, Betta can get bored and lonely if left without stimulation. If you have a Betta fish you can give it some much needed attention by learning how to play with it and teach it tricks.
Playing with Your Betta
Run your finger back and forth across your Betta’s tank.
See if your fish will follow your finger as you move it across the tank. In many cases, the Betta will follow along if it knows its caretaker (you).
Try to get your Betta to follow different patterns you make with your fingers. Can you get it to do a flip?
Train the Betta to eat out of your fingers for competition.
When you feed your Betta, make sure that it comes up and sees that it’s you feeding it. Once your Betta is used to you being near when it feeds, try keeping your hand above the water while it eats. Gradually you can transition to holding the food slightly under water between your thumb and forefinger.
Try feeding your Betta a food they really like while training them. Betta may even jump if you hold blood worms or insects above the water level just a bit!
Train your Betta to swim, and maybe even jump, through a hoop.
Make a hoop out of a pipe cleaner or a piece of plastic. Figure out what your Betta likes to eat most, and use that as bait. Hang the hoop in the tank so that the Betta can swim through it. Move the bait to encourage the betta to swim through the hoop.
As your Betta becomes more and more comfortable swimming through the hoop, raise it up little by little, until the bottom of the hoop is just touching the water’s surface. With enough practice, your Betta may jump out of the water and through the hoop to get a food reward.
Remember not to overfeed your Betta fish. A few treats for training are just fine but don’t overfeed the fish or it could cause illness or death.
Get your Betta to “flare” its fins by showing its reflection in a mirror.
Show the Betta its reflection for a few seconds. When it sees its reflection in the mirror the Betta will think there is another fish in the tank. Male Betta are very territorial, so when they see this imaginary other fish, they flare out their fins.
There is some debate about whether or not this is a good practice for Betta fish.
Hope you enjoy and happy with your bettas