Do Bettas Get Lonely? (Plus How to Prevent a Bored Fish)

do betta fish get lonely
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Last Updated: July 28, 2022 by Flora Gibbins

Do betta fish get lonely? It’s a question many owners wonder when they see their little guy swimming by himself.

You should know that bettas can be quite aggressive, which makes placing them in a community tank a challenge. Understanding your own betta fish’s particular temperament and aquarium needs can help you determine whether your fish is happy, healthy, lonely, or bored.

Loneliness or Boredom in Betta Fish

Betta fish are highly territorial, and in the wild, they live solitary lives. Due to this fact, you can see that betta fish don’t truly get ‘lonely’.

Do Betta Fish Get Lonely? -

Instead of becoming lonely, they may become bored. Signs of boredom, such as frequently hiding, lack of energy, or lack of appetite, can indicate deeper health issues.

However, signs of boredom do not mean the betta fish is lonely and should be given tank mates. Instead, a more stimulating environment, cleaner water, or more exciting foods will all help.

Some people keep their betta from becoming ‘lonely’ or bored with betta fish toys (yes, you read that correctly, you should check them out). Options include entertainment in the form of an obstacle course or a small exercise mirror.

You could also try teaching your betta fish some tricks! They really do enjoy having a good play around, so why not check out this video we found and start teaching your betta to play with a ball or go through a hoop today!?

Territorial Behavior

Bettas are naturally territorial fish. They defend their territory by fighting off any other fish they see as a threat, and this is why they are nearly always kept by themselves.

Betta fish can severely injure other fish or can be injured themselves during a fight. Plus, just the presence of other tankmates continually swimming in the betta’s territory can cause a betta to become stressed, which can lead to health problems.

A betta would far prefer to be living in a 5-gallon tank alone than an overstocked tank or in a tank with bad tank mate choices.

How territorial a betta is will depend largely on the personality of the fish.

The above was all written about male betta fish, which are generally much more aggressive than females, although female bettas may also defend their territory by fighting.

Bettas and Other Tankmates

When the betta fish has a calm and gentle temperament, it can sometimes be kept in a community tank. However, it’s crucial to offer a large amount of space and plenty of hiding places in order to make all of the aquarium inhabitants feel safe.

We have a guide for selecting the best betta fish tank mates, which offers some great examples and helps stop common mistakes.

Betta Tank Mate - Algae Eater Catfish

When housing bettas with other tankmates, it’s essential to observe the community aquarium carefully. If a betta becomes aggressive, it may need to be moved to a separate tank to prevent injuries.

Some betta fish may do well in a community aquarium, but generally, housing them with tankmates always carries at least a small risk, so take as much care as possible to keep all the fish safe.

Stop your Betta Becoming Lonely

When considering the answer to “Do betta fish get lonely?” first consider the fish’s natural behavior. Bettas are territorial, aggressive, and solitary, so they don’t get lonely the way other community fish might. With the proper care, betta fish are happy to live alone their entire lives, and this is almost always the best option when keeping betta fish.

  • Know that in the wild bettas are solitary and territorial fish – they do just fine on their own!
  • If your betta seems lonely or bored, try creating a more stimulating environment or more interesting foods
  • You could talk to them and even try teaching them some simple tricks
  • Get them some toys

Do you have a question about whether betta fish can become lonely? Leave us a comment below.

Do Betta Fish Get Lonely? -

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