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Do Betta Fish Like Music? You’re About to Find Out!

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Do betta fish like music? Do they bob their heads to the rhythm or just sit there looking bored? Do they dance and sing along, or are they simply uninterested in the sounds we humans find so enjoyable? Do betta fish like music at all?

Although there is no evidence that betta fish do like music, even though some bettas appear to dance when they hear it. Betta fish can hear sound underwater as vibrations that are created by sound waves. The sound gets amplified through aquarium glass, so loud music can unsettle them.

Betta fish are considered quite intelligent, so the question is not as odd as it may seem. Many betta fish owners will notice their fish behaving differently when music is played to them, so don’t be surprised that your betta fish likes music.

Do Betta Fish Like Music

Make sure to check out our Betta Fish Care Guide And Species Overview.

Can Betta Fish Hear Music?

As I have mentioned above, betta fish can hear sound but not the same as humans do, so they will not hear music as we do. That said, they can hear sounds within the water even though they don’t have ears like us.

Do Betta Fish Have Ears?

A betta’s ears are small holes located on both sides of the head and covered with a thin layer of skin that protects them from water and are used to interpret vibrations made by sounds and pressure.

Sound travels in waves, and the waves that carry sound are called compressions and rarefactions, which is when the pressure of the wave increases or decreases to make it easier for other particles of sound to move around as they bounce off objects in their surroundings.

Sound waves are created when particles in the air vibrate and collide. As these particles move through the air in a wave, they cause more particles to collide.

Sound travels the same way through the water, making particles vibrate, collide, and pass the vibration on to other particles.

Are Bettas Sensitive To Sound?

Like other fish, betta fish have many pressure-sensitive receptors along their body, which pick up tiny changes in the pressure around them. These sensors are lined up along a lateral line and act as a fish’s sight and hearing, helping to navigate them around objects and sense predators when it is dark.

Can Betta Fish Hear Music
Betta Fish Don’t Hear Sound Like Humans

Bettas are very sensitive to sound, so if a source of sound creates strong vibrations from outside a bettas tank, this can cause difficulty with your betta’s hearing (navigation) if it is dark.

Can Betta Fish Listen To Music?

So can betta fish listen to music? Based on the above, betta fish can certainly hear music through the vibrations, although they can’t listen to music as we do. The music won’t sound the same to a betta as it does to us.

A betta fish listening to music will likely only feel a unique set of vibrations, each corresponding to a certain note played at a given volume.

Because betta fish are very intelligent fish species, it has been said that they can recognize certain words and commands. Bettas won’t actually hear the words that are spoken, but when repeated over and over, will create the same pattern of vibrations, which will become familiar to the betta.

So… Do Betta Fish Like Music?

Although there isn’t any scientific evidence to suggest that bettas like music, they are intelligent and will enjoy stimulation. Betta fish can be taught to recognize certain shapes, colors, or patterns, and creatures showing this intelligence will undoubtedly enjoy interpreting the vibrations caused by the music.

Other pets, like cats and dogs, will listen to music as a way to relax. My dog hates traveling in the car but loves listening to music in the car as it relaxes her and makes her feel safe.

Many betta fish owners have reported changes in behavior when they play music around their betta aquarium, and sound waves are likely to be more amplified through the aquarium glass. As fish tanks have many glass sides, vibrations will enter the tank in surround sound and will definitely be picked up by the fish.

It is often reported that betta fish enjoy music and may appear to dance
Betta Fish Enjoy Music And May Appear To Dance

A loud sound will obviously cause loud vibrations through the tank and will most likely be distressing rather than soothing to your betta, so playing your stereo at full volume is not advised.

What Kind Of Music Do Betta Fish Like?

All betta fish will have different personalities, so you may wonder what kind of music betta fish like. Some bettas respond well to soft music, while others enjoy listening to music with a heavier bass beat. The best music for bettas will be down to their own personal taste.

Some betta owners have reported that their fish will swim up to the surface of the betta tank and start swaying or dancing in sync with the music. Other owners have said they respond by swimming around excitedly and are stimulated into darting around their tank.

Humans like to feel the vibration of heavy bass pumping through our bodies, so imagine the underwater world where everything vibrates; that would be a fun dance party.

The only way to know what kind of music betta fish like, or more importantly, which is the best music for your betta fish, is to experiment with various genres and monitor your betta’s behavior.

YouTube is a great place to find some betta fish music for free. Below is an example of some relaxing music for your betta, and it is worth trying something more upbeat.

Relaxing Betta Fish Music

Is Loud Music Bad For Betta Fish?

As betta fish are so sensitive to sound, loud music may cause them to become stressed. The vibrations of loud noise can affect their pressure-sensitive receptors, causing hearing and navigation problems and making the fish feel less safe in its environment, which is not good for any pet.

Stressed or angry betta fish are known to jump out of their aquarium, so it is important to always use a lid.


Can betta fish hear music or not? It’s a question that remains disputable, with many betta owners reporting their own interesting experiences. Can betta fish hear at all, or do they just hear differently from how we hear sounds and music?

By experimenting and using some common sense, it appears that many betta fish do enjoy listening to music and will most likely hear sound through vibrations and pressure waves.

Next time you listen to some music, watch and see if your betta suddenly starts to swim around playing happily. You can find your betta’s favorite music to play when it gets sad.

Frequently Asked Questions

Loud noises are definitely bad as betta fish are very sensitive to noise and can become stressed from anything over 80 decibels. The glass sides of a tank and the water itself will amplify any sound nearby, and if you look at the water’s surface, you will see it vibrating.

Surprisingly, there are many places where you can find music for betta fish, including youtube. A quick search online for betta fish music will find multiple sources and albums from relaxing music to upbeat music.

Yes, betta can hear the filter in their tank. They pick up sound vibrations carried through the water, so feel the sound rather than hear it. Most filters make a low hum and shouldn’t bother a betta fish too much, instead, they enjoy the gentle current created by the filter.

Betta fish have been known to make a clicking noise. It is sometimes heard when a betta is eating and sometimes when they build their bubble nest. Whether it is the sound of gravel clicking together in their mouth is uncertain, but it is not very common.

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