Can Betta Fish Hear Music?

Betta fish can listen to music, the sound of voices, and other noises. However, the water muffles the noise unless it’s very powerful.

How do betta fish hear?

Fish don’t have visible ears on the outside of their bodies. Instead, the vibrations in the water hit the fish’s body, and their bones and other internal organs help the fish interpret the sound. Sounds in water sound different than they do outside of water. A fish swimming a deeper depth may not hear loud noises made on the surface.

Can my betta hear my music?

Your betta can hear the music you are playing as long as the sound can be heard well by a human. The water around the betta muffles the sound and will mute some of the tonalities, so the music won’t sound the same to your betta as it does to you. If the volume is low or very quiet, there is a chance the vibrations won’t reach your betta.

Do fish like listening to music?

There’s no definitive study that claims that fish like listening to music. Yet, some scientists have learned that some fish species prefer one composer or artist based on their swimming patterns, sleep habits, and feeding routines.

What kind of sound can irritate them?

Intense, sharp, or sudden sounds can scare your betta. It’s best to keep your betta fish away from shrill or loud musical instruments that may be in use; speakers, amplifiers, orchestras, and other similar scenarios.

Loud arguments or animated celebrations may also cause your betta fish to try and suddenly swim away. If you have a festive party, consider putting the betta in a different room.

Keep in mind that sound traveling outside of the water is different than sound traveling underwater. If a sound originates at the water level or starts in the water, the sound vibrations will be amplified and extremely loud. If the loud noise begins on the opposite end of the home, there’s far less chance of your betta becoming irritated.

Can music stress out your betta?

In some cases, if the music is too loud or played for extended periods, it can cause your betta to become stressed out. Watch their behavior. If they are agitated, stop playing the music or turn it down until they appear calm again. Do not play anything too loud at night.

What about the vibrations?

Some loud vibrations can harm your betta. Studies have shown that deafening noises starting at the edge of the water or under the water can vibrate the fish’s internal organs to the point of damage. If enough damage occurs, the fish could die. Because of this, people should avoid tapping on fish tanks.

Can your betta die from loud noise?

Yes, if the source of the noise was closer to your betta or if the sound was loud enough.

For example, a tornado ripping through a house next door might be loud enough to cause your betta enough internal damage to cause death. Thunder outside during a regular storm, however, won’t be enough to harm your betta.

Loud music originating across the room, such as temporarily turning up the stereo, may irritate your betta. In contrast, placing the betta’s tank right up against the speaker and then turning it up all the way will most likely result in death within a week or less.

What kind of music would you play to your betta?

Each betta has a unique personality. Some betta owners report that playing specific genres of music over another will cause the betta to react differently. For example, some betta owners say that playing country music can make the fish more active, while playing classical can mellow them.

Others report playing only acoustic instruments or classical music seems to cause the fish to react positively, while heavy metal or rap may cause them to hide.

You’ll want to experiment with different music types, volumes, and tones until you find one that seems to bring your betta closer to you or where you can see them swimming in harmony with the tune. Always play music at low levels.

Does music calm betta fish?

Yes, it can, depending on the kind of music you play. Each betta is different in how it will react to certain music. You’ll notice swimming action in tune with the beat of the music about a half-second after you hear the music, as it takes longer for the vibration to get through the tank to the fish’s body.

Should you talk to your betta fish?

It would help if you talked to your betta. Studies have shown that bettas can show signs of depression if ignored on a long-term basis. Over time, the betta will recognize your face, remember where certain decorations were in the tank, and more.

Can you train your betta fish to recognize your voice?

The more time you spend with your betta, feeding it, talking with it, and spending time near the fish tank, the easier your betta will naturally recognize your voice and face. Instituting a particular feeding routine will help.

How do I entertain my betta fish?

There are many ways of mentally and emotionally entertaining your betta. Gently place a finger against the tank and wait for your friend to come near. Slowly move the finger in different directions or swirly motions with the intention that your betta following.

You can also place your finger at the top of the water’s surface and wait for your betta to touch it. Putting a bit of floating food near the finger may encourage the betta.

Bettas love bright colors and shiny things when these things are outside of their tank. Place different shaped colored objects near the tank in other places and move them after a few days. Use mirrors with caution as it can leave the betta feeling possibly threatened by the presence of another betta.

Some fish retailers also sell trick-training kits specially used for training fish to jump through hoops or maneuver around objects.

Do bettas enjoy singing?

Some bettas do, and others do not. It also depends on the type of singing done and whether the vibrations the betta is feeling or hearing through the water are pleasant to the betta. Try singing to see how the betta reacts. Also, try playing someone singing off a video or playlist to see how they react.


Betta fish can hear music. Playing music, singing, and talking to your betta can help you bond with it. Always use lower levels of music to avoid any potential harm from loud and sharp noises. Never tap on the tank. Consider training your betta if you’re so inclined, and make sure you spend regular time near your betta, so they don’t feel lonely.

If you want to learn more about Betta’s behavior, advice, and tips, please visit our collection of Betta Tips Articles.

About the author

Hi, I am Alex.
My passion is aquariums. I am especially drawn to betta fish. I love experimenting, learning, researching, and writing about them.

You can find the articles I wrote here

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