Keeping betta fish as a pet is a great option as they are naturally playful, intriguing, and intelligent.
Like most pets, you can train your betta to do some tricks (but remember, it’s a fish, not a dog).
Let’s take a look at a few ways you can teach your betta, strengthening your bond with it!
Make Friends with Your Betta Fish
Before you start training your betta fish, you first need to ensure that they are comfortable with you.
A new betta fish will take time to get acquainted with its new owner.
Generally, this can take a couple of weeks. Once betta fish form a friendly bond with their owners, it will become easier to train them.
You can tell that your betta fish is comfortable with you by how they interact with you.
For instance, if your betta fish swims close to the close upon seeing you, this means that they are friends with you now and will enjoy having your attention.
The key is to interact with them regularly and keep them entertained.
Factors to Consider for Training a Betta Fish
Before you begin training your bettas, there are a few key factors that need to be considered to make the training process easier and more effective for you.
You must always take care of hygiene. Wash your hands before and after you interact with your betta. Wash your hands with water.
Don’t use soap before touching your betta as it might be harmful.
Moreover, you should also wash your hands afterward to maintain the same level of hygiene.
Maintain a Peaceful Environment
Betta fish prefer a peaceful and quiet environment for training exercises.
If there is a lot of movement or distraction in the surroundings, bettas may get stressed and intimidated and might not respond the same way.
Make sure that you are alone in the room and it is quiet and peaceful when you are preparing to train them.
Be Nice to Your Betta Fish
As a pet owner, it is your fundamental duty to treat them with respect and patience.
You need to be mindful and respectful of your betta fish’s limits and ensure that you are not aggressive with them.
Your betta will take some time to fully grasp what you are expecting from it, so make sure that you are extra-patient throughout the whole process.
Betta fish tend to respond better when they know that their owner is appreciating and acknowledging their efforts.
Giving regular treats to your betta is a great way to make them understand your motives better.
This will make your betta fish respond more positively when you are trying to train them.
Tricks & Tips for Your Betta
Let’s take a look some exciting tricks and tips that you can teach your betta fish and make playtime more interactive and entertaining for them.
Trick Number 1 – Making a Betta Fish Follow Your Finger
Betta fish are curious and intriguing by nature.
Any flurry of activity outside the tank is bound to catch their attention. If they are already familiar with their owner, betta fish will feel safer to learn and perform this trick.
If your betta fish sees you outside the tank and swims closer to the glass, it is a positive sign indicating that they are ready for training now.
Please make sure that you tap on the glass lightly to catch your betta fish’s attention and make them swim towards you.
Be very careful with this step because if you are not gentle enough, you may frighten your betta fish, and it will hideaway.
Once you have your betta’s attention, start moving your finger across the front panel and wait to see if your betta fish follows.
Reward them instantly with a small treat if they follow, so they start getting accustomed to this gesture.
Repeat this training exercise a couple of times every day until the betta masters the act.
Trick Number 2 – Making a Betta Fish Jump
Once your betta fish is friendly with you and familiar with their feeding schedule, start training them to jump out the water to catch their food.
Betta fish are naturally intelligent pets, and they keep track of their feeding routine, which makes it easier for you to teach them the jumping trick.
Make sure that your betta fish is not full when you are training them to jump. Food works as the best form of bribe to lure your betta fish into performing tricks.
Betta fish is bound to respond when they know they will be rewarded with food treats.
Start by putting a piece of food on the tip of your finger and place it near the water surface. The plan is to catch your betta’s attention and make them aim for your finger.
You can also use a straw or stick instead of your finger. Just ensure that your betta fish can peck at it without sustaining an injury.
Stay completely still and silent while holding the food, as any sudden movement may scare your betta fish away.
Keep trying this training exercise until you are able to make your betta jump to catch the food. This trick is easy to train as bettas carry out this action as a natural reflex.
It will take you a few weeks to train your betta fish to master this trick. Do not forget to reward your betta after each jump.
As a safety precaution, you must keep your aquarium covered while training your betta fish this trick.
This is to ensure that your betta stays safe if it ever tries to perform this trick in your absence.
Trick Number 3 – Making a Betta Fish Swim Through a Hoop
Teaching your betta fish how to swim through a hole can be tricky.
You have to be extra patient and kinder with your betta fish while making them learn this tricky as it may take a while.
You can make a hoop with a pipe cleaner or buy one made with safe materials. Place this loop inside your betta’s tank and ensure it’s near the glass.
Now move your fingers across the glass just like you did in trick 1. The trick is to make your betta swim through the hoop as it follows your finger.
Remember to reward your betta with a special food treat every time it swims through the hoop. To make it more exciting, you can try changing the hoop’s position or size.
Trick Number 4 – Making a Betta Fish Flare
Male betta fish can be quite aggressive and territorial in nature.
This is the reason why it is recommended to keep them in a separate tank as they do not enjoy the company of other make bettas.
Male bettas feel extremely threatened by the presence of their fellow male partners, and their natural instinct is to fight with them.
When male bettas flare their gills and fins, it means that they are trying to intimidate their opponent by making themselves appear bigger in size.
To teach your betta how to flare their fins, pick a mirror and a pen with a colored cap. Now place the mirror in front of your betta’s tank with the pen right beside it.
The key is to make your betta fish catch its own reflection in the mirror.
Your betta fish will flare after seeing the reflection; that’s when you move the pen forward and reward your betta with a treat.
Repeat this training exercise for the next several weeks until your betta fish is trained enough to perform this trick without the mirror by just looking at the colorful cap.
Remember to use the same pen every time so your betta fish can get more familiar with it.
Trick Number 5 – Petting a Betta Fish
Once your betta fish starts recognizing you and gets playful and excited when you are around, you may start to pet it.
Just ensure that you are extremely careful while petting your betta fish and not applying too much pressure as it might scare them off.
If you are attempting to pet your betta fish and you see them stressing out or trying to look for a spot to hide, you should stop.
It is extremely essential for you as a pet owner to be able to read the body language of your betta fish and make them feel safe and secure in your presence.
Once you have achieved that level of comfort with them, your betta will get used to your touch.
Please be extra gentle while petting your betta as they are extremely sensitive creatures, and any exposure to germs or bacteria may be harmful to them.
Make playtime with your betta fish more fun and exciting by teaching the above-mentioned tricks to them.
The end goal is to ensure that both pet owners and betta fish are comfortable with each other and share a high level of trust and bond.
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