Do Betta Fish Have Feelings? 7 Ways They Say “I Love You”

Betta fish are beautiful, fascinating little creatures. They like to be around their owners and will do anything they can to get your attention! 

But, do betta fish have feelings? Can they feel the love? How do you know if your betta is happy? Do they like when you talk to them or sing for them? What about sadness – can betta fish feel sad too? 

This article answers all of these questions and more!

In case you are in hurry and don’t have time to read this complete article. We have an on-point answer for you.

Do betta fish have feelings? Yes, betta fish do have feelings! Just like any other living being, they do feel pain and emotions. However, the extent of their feelings might not be as deep as a human’s. They do feel though.

Do Betta Fish Have Feelings?

Yes, like humans, betta fish have feelings. They are just as capable of experiencing emotions, stress, and pain. You can tell betta fish have feelings by looking at their behavior.

Betta fish are social creatures. They are happiest when they have friends to play with or at least a few plants and decorations near their tank for them to explore.  

Betta fish can become lonely if you don’t keep pets of their own in the same aquarium as them. This is because betta fish need other buddies to interact with.  

People also enjoy keeping betta fish as pets because they can show their owners affection. 

Just like humans, a betta fish will seek out the attention and company of another living creature if it is deprived of this emotional need for too long.

Can Betta Fish Feel Love?

Yes, betta fish can feel the love! 

Betta fishes do not have the same type of brain as we humans do, but they experience feelings and emotions. Just like us, bettas will begin to show signs that they are falling in love with you through their behavior just before mating begins.

The male betta is showing his “love” for the female betta by building a bubble nest to house their eggs which is no easy task. 

But how can you tell if your betta fish loves you? Discussed in the next section! Read on.

7 Ways Betta Fish Says You “I Love You”

These are the 7 signs a betta fish will show you when they say “I love you”

They Do The “Wiggle Dance”

The first sign of love you can get from your betta fish is called the do the wiggle dance. This is when they flare up their gills and do a little happy dance for you. It’s usually accompanied by some cute popping sounds too!

They Do The “Startle Jump”

If you do something that’s a bit “startling”, your betta fish will do a sudden jump out of the water to give you its little startle. I’m sure if someone did this in front of us, we would do the same thing!

They Do “The Pump”

This is where the betta fish will do a little swim to one side, then do a 180-degree turn and do a little swim back. It’s as if they’re doing a little swimming exercise.

They Do “The Bubble Nest Dance”

It’s as the name says, the betta fish do a little dance to do their version of making a bubble nest. It’s so cute watching them do this dance around the water!

They Do “The Bubble Tower”

It looks as if the betta fish do their version of building a sandcastle underwater. They do this by blowing out some bubbles to create an underwater tower!

They Do “Tail Biting”

This is when they do that little nibble on your finger or any part of your body they can do to show their affection for you.

They Do “The Quiver Dance”

The last sign is when they do a little dance where their fins and tail do a little shimmy. It looks like there’s an earthquake in the fish tank, but it’s your betta fish saying “I love you”!

Do Betta Fish Show Love To Each Other? How?

When it comes to each other, betta fish do show love. 

Betta fish are social animals that love to be in groups. When betta fish meet each other for the first time, they greet one another by nipping at their fins and tails. 

They will swim together, showing off their beautiful colors against each other as well as do little dances with one another too!

A betta fish will flare out his fins, showing off to the other betas in a loving way. 

How Do I Know If My Betta Fish Is Happy? 

There are many ways to know. Firstly, look at the color of their skin and fins. Betta fish will be bright colors when they’re healthy and happy with clean water conditions. 

Look at your betta fish and see if they seem to be hiding under plants or rocks. If you find them like this, then they may not be feeling well as it’s a sign of stress. 

Also, look for changes in behavior such as lethargy. Staying by the surface instead of swimming around their tank or spending the most time with his head down. 

If your betta fish is acting this way, you should check the water temperature and make sure it’s at a steady 78°F for them to feel comfortable in their environment. 

If you want to keep your betta fish genuinely happy. Then first, it is important to know the signs they show whether they are happy or not. Below is two mentioned article that will help you to do so.

Read this next: How to tell if a betta fish is happy? (5 Signs To Know)

Do Betta Fish Like When You Talk To Them? Do

Betta fish love their owners. Betta fish do feel love, this is why it feels good to them when their owner shows them some affection and talks gently while caring for the aquatic pet. 

An interesting fact that many may not know about bettas is that they, like humans, can recognize their owner’s voice. 

This is why it can be soothing for them to hear your voice while you’re taking care of the betta fish. 

They also seem to recognize that person as someone who feeds and tends well to them, which means they love that person or thing because he/she makes them feel safe.

Bettas are very social creatures. They love it when their owners speak or whistle to them. It makes them feel loved and wanted.

Read this next:

Do betta fish recognize their owners?

Do Fish Have Thoughts? [7 Funny Things They Think Of Us]

Can Betta Fish Be Happy To See You?

Yes,  bettas can be happy to see you. They love it when their owners show up! 

How do I know if my betta fish is happy? Look for the following signs:

  • Your betta may turn towards your hand or body as you approach his tank.
  • He might flare out his fins and gills in excitement.
  • He might swim to the top of his tank, eager for your attention.
  • He might do a little dance where he kind of jumps in place.

Want to know more signs? Read this detailed article.

Also, check out: Can betta fish hear you talking to them? Do they understand?

Can Betta Fish Feel Sadness?

Sadness is a part of emotion. If you own a pet, such as a betta fish, and want to know if it can feel sadness. Well, there is no definite answer here but we will try our best to explain this emotion in detail. 

There are many reasons that betta fish might feel sadness. 

Sometimes, they can get sad if their owner neglects them or does not provide them with love and care. 

If you have an aquarium at home then it is important to clean the tank regularly so your pet stays healthy and happy for a long time! 

Betta fish also gets stressed out if you do not give them enough space to swim around the tank. 

Keep in mind that bettas are very sensitive and they can get stressed out easily. 

If your fish is feeling sad, it might lay still at the bottom of the tank or swim in an odd pattern. 

You should not ignore these signs! Try to cheer up your betta fish by being more caring and loving towards them.

Do Betta Fish Feel Pain?

Yes, betta fish will feel pain when they get hurt. But, do betta fish feel pain the same way we do?

We know that when humans get hurt our brains release natural opiates and hormones to reduce our feelings of discomfort. 

When your pet is in pain they’re able to react much like a human would: by vocalizing their distress (moaning or crying) and becoming more aggressive.

Do betta fish have the same pain response? 

Yes, their brains release opiates and natural hormones to reduce discomfort just like humans do while in pain. And they’re able to vocalize when they feel bad too! 

However, it has been observed that bettas will not show aggression during times of stress. This is because bettas do not generally like to fight. 

This is why you should never keep more than one male in the same tank! 

Be careful about placing any sharp or rough decorations into their tanks too; this can cause serious injuries that will sting long after they’re healed.

Also, read: Why do betta fish fight?

Do Betta Fish Have Memories?

Like humans, fish have memories. They can remember things for as long as three months! 

They form bonds with other bettas and different types of pets based on their experiences. 

Whether good or bad, a fish’s memory is very much alive in its brain which makes it possible to recall the past at any given moment.

Do Betta Fish Get Angry?

Yes! Betta fish can feel anger and they do get angry at times due to many reasons such as if you take them away from the tank or disturb their routine. 

If your betta is not in its happy mood it will show signs of aggression. If you see your betta fish is acting strange then it might be angry or stressed. 

It will flare its gills, give warning signs of biting and show darkening on the body color. If this happens leave them to settle down for some time. 

Betta fish can also get angry when you keep on doing the same activity all day long such as playing with them. They may start ignoring your presence and show signs of stress. 

It is important to give proper time for your betta to do their activities otherwise it will become aggressive and attack other fishes or pets in the tank.

Does Betta Get Lonely?

Loneliness is difficult to dissect and analyze, especially in fish. 

Whether or not a betta gets lonely comes down to the individual fish and how it’s cared for.

If you’re able to spend lots of time with your pet, then they will most likely get along just fine without another companion around.

On the other hand, if you work long hours, don’t have time to interact with your fish frequently, or are gone for days at a time, then you should consider getting them another betta.

How Can I Tell If My Betta Is Stressed?

Betta fish are used to living alone in their little world, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t get stressed out. 

Stress is caused by an uncomfortable situation or bad from stress just like you would. 

If your betta has become overstressed it will show many different signs of stress.

Signs of stress in betta fish: – hiding, gasping at the surface for air, clamped fins, and sometimes even scratching themselves on tank decor or gravel.

Read this next: How to calm down a stress betta fish?


Betta Fish are very intelligent and social creatures, they have memories, they feel pain, are happy to see you if it is not because of something that happened in the tank, sad if it’s because you’re leaving the house for a long time, or mad when something has happened that is not normal in their tank. 

Bettas do like their owners but sometimes there might be some things that drive them crazy. 

It is very important to understand that betta fish are living creatures, not objects. They do have feelings and emotions just like us humans.

Have you ever seen any sign of bettas showing love to you? Comment your answer below in the comment section.

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