Why Does My Betta Fish Stare at Me? 5 Reasons Why (2024)

Are you one of those fish parents that like to stare at their fish while they are in the tank? Of course, you aren’t likely the only person. But have you ever realized why your betta fish is blankly staring back at you from the tank?

Sometimes, it could be a fluke, but what if it’s not? For example, you have gone around the house and cleaned, and the betta is still staring back at you. Strange, right?

Betta fish staring back at you could be due to movement-related sensitivity or when the fish builds a connection with its owner.

Noticing fish behavior can be tricky. But, what you think is a matter of concern is likely nothing more than a fun episode for your betta fish. This article will explore “Why Does My Betta Fish Stare at Me?” with valid reasoning.

Why Does My Betta Fish Stare at Me?

Why Does My Betta Fish Stare at Me?

There could be several reasons why your betta fish is staring at you. It could be because you bonded well with the fish, it could be for entertainment, etc.

Do you think they are staring at you because they are uncomfortable? Are the water parameters not ideal?

Let us take a look at some of the probable reasons.

1. Your Betta is Waiting for their Food

Your Betta is Waiting for their Food

Like humans, even fish associate positive triggers in their minds. So, when a betta fish sees their owner around the tank, it tells them that they are about to be fed.

Despite what you think, fish are extremely smart. They associate things very quickly and have a sharp memory. So, not just a betta, any fish in the tank will look at you for food sources. It is quite common and happens every so often.

Since bettas are often hungry, they associate their owner’s presence with food. So, they will maintain eye contact anytime they see food around until you feed them.

Sometimes, the gruesome eye contact might be because they want you to feed them immediately.

2. Bettas are Near-Sighted Fish

Bettas are Near-Sighted Fish

Another possible reason your betta seems to stare at you is their vision. They are near-sighted, making them squint and focus their vision on one figure. And, nine out of ten times, it will be you.

Bettas also have monocular vision because they have eyes on either side of their head. However, they lack depth perception, making it difficult for them to focus on items farther away.

Bettas are also very susceptible to vibrations. So, you will often notice advanced aquarists instructing not to tap on the tank’s glass. However, coming back to the subject, the near-sightedness often makes it seem like your betta is staring at you. It is harmless and nothing to be worried about.

3. Your Betta is Finding it Entertaining

Being a fish isn’t the most exciting job. Especially bettas like to live alone and keep to themselves. So, now and then, you will find the betta staring at you just for some fun and entertainment.

Unlike most fish species, bettas are easily fascinated by the outside world. So, your presence outside the tank is quite fascinating for them.

Not just humans, if you have a TV or laptop running near the fish tank, you will find the betta drawn to it. So, don’t be surprised if you find your betta holding a staring contest with you.

4. Your Betta is Following its Instinct

Like humans, even fish have instinctual feelings. They are very alert to their surroundings, and sudden movements irk them a lot.

So, when they detect motion in the form of you, they will try to look at the source. Of course, it doesn’t mean anything, but it enables you to bond with your betta.

Also, since bettas are quite aggressive and love living alone, they find it difficult to mesh in a community tank. Having access to the outside world is an instinct for them to follow the motion and respond to it.

5. Your Betta Doesn’t have Eyelids

Your Betta Doesn’t have Eyelids

Unlike humans, bettas don’t have eyelids, so you won’t find them blinking. So, the strong staring contest you are both having is due to that.

Not just blinking, but bettas don’t sleep due to a lack of eyelids. So, that further contributes to the staring match that you both are having.

Do Betta Fish Get Excited to See You?

Although it’s difficult to tell if a fish is excited, let’s just say that your betta is enthusiastic about food.

Since fish associate their owner’s presence with feeding, seeing them around tells their brain it’s time for food. And, no one is ever not happy about getting their food.

It is a good sign if you find your betta zooming in the tank, being overactive. It indicates that they are happy to receive their food.

Do Betta Fish Recognize Their Owner?

When it comes to answering why your betta is staring at you, an accessory question pops up too.

“Is my betta reactive to any human or just me because I am its owner?”

If you had this question, you aren’t the only one. Like most fish species, bettas have a good memory and are smart. So, over time, they recognize their owners and bond with them, especially during their feeding time.

However, it doesn’t happen in quick progression. Instead, you have to be persistent and spend more time with them to bond with the fish.

Over time, your betta will recognize its owner’s face and positively connect with it. Having a fish as a pet is very different but rewarding at the same time.

Do Bettas Like Attention?

Every creature on this planet loves attention, bettas included. If you have one in your tank, they will get bored very easily since they are territorial. They don’t live in shoals or schools, so they are often alone in the tank.

In such cases, as an owner, you can sit with them besides the tank and interact with them. Feeding using tweezers is a great way to bond with a betta too.

Bettas won’t bond with their owners like a dog or cat, but they will show their appreciation if they like their owner.

However, one thing worth mentioning with a betta is that they are very sensitive to vibration. So, if you want to catch their attention, don’t knock on the glass. It scares and pushes them away. Instead, wait for a few minutes and gently place your hand against the tank to get their attention.

Can Betta Fish Hear Me?

Betta fish don’t have a very profound hearing. But they do hear your voice when you converse with them from outside the tank.

The density of the water will dampen the sound to an extent, but they do respond to the sound that travels through the tank.

However, don’t expect them to respond to you when you call them by their name. Unlike cats and dogs, a betta doesn’t know anything about names and their significance.

Over time, if your betta creates a strong bond with you, it might recognize its owner’s voice and interact with them. Don’t take it for most bettas, though, because every fish is different.

What To Do When Your Betta Is Staring at You?

Now that you have a fair idea about why your betta is staring at you let us focus on what you should do. Bettas are highly observant, smart, and funny as well. So, them staring at their owners can be a way of expression.

Here’s what you can do if that happens:

1. Feed Your Betta

Feed Your Betta

If your betta is consistently staring at you, the chances are that they are hungry and waiting to be fed. So, try with a flake or two. Then, if you find the betta devouring their food, give them a few more.

However, if you offer some food to them and the betta isn’t eating, it means they aren’t hungry. Most commonly, it is because they are just curious about their surroundings.

2. Entertain Your Betta

When the first try fails, your next choice is to entertain your betta. You can sit in front of the tank and stare back at them. You can also place your finger against the tank and wait for them to come and interact.

Sometimes, if you have a good bond with your betta, you can put your finger inside the water to play around. Bettas are often very lonely in the tank, so having someone entertain them is a good way to keep your betta happy and healthy.

3. Spruce up the Tank Interior

Lacking tank decorations could be a reason why your betta is so curious. Sometimes, they don’t enjoy the bland appearance with just the substrate at the bottom. So what you can do instead is spruce up the tank’s appearance.

Add aquarium decorations, caves, stones, and live plants too. These add color and brightness to the tank and keep your betta engaged.

If your betta is still intently staring at you after all these, just let them be. Bettas are very curious and like to explore the outside world now and then.

Why Does My Betta Fish Flare at Me?

Why Does My Betta Fish Flare at Me?

Surprisingly enough, bettas are very aggressive when they feel territorial or threatened. So, the only reason your betta is flaring at you is that they feel territorial.

However, these instances are often short-lived. It could be due to another tankmate or even when they see their reflection on the glass.

There’s nothing you have to worry about. Let the betta explore the obstacles on their own and overcome the shortcomings on their own.

Why My Betta Blows Bubbles at Me?

If you didn’t know, bettas are partial air breathers. This means they often come up to the surface to gulp air before going back in.

It is quite common. But why is it blowing bubbles?

Betta males are the ones who blow the bubbles, especially during mating season. It forms a love nest for their prospective mates. And, since the bubbles don’t linger in the water for long, you will find the male bettas doing it quite often.

So, don’t mistake your betta blowing bubbles with something for you. It is for their mating practices.

How Can I Make My Betta Fish Happy?

Betta fish don’t get lonely often, but they can become bored easily, especially if they are in smaller tanks.

However, since they are very territorial, they won’t entertain another betta in their tank. So, the easiest way to keep them happy is by interacting with them daily.

Feed them on time and also decorate their tank, so they have enough space to explore around. Sometimes, all you have to do is ensure your betta has a comfortable living conditions to keep them happy.

Also Read: Betta fish tricks and training

Wrapping Up

The next time you notice your betta staring at you, this article should give you a better idea of why. Just ensure that their staring match isn’t paired with other symptoms. If you find them not eating or showing signs of diseases, getting them the help they need is crucial. Besides that, you can leave your betta alone and feed and entertain them from time to time.

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