How can I play with my betta fish?

You can play with your betta fish by providing toys to play with, using mirrors, and training your betta to follow commands.

Play sessions can help betta fish prevent boredom. You should play with your betta fish every day, but do it in moderation. A 10-minute session each day should be enough.

Always monitor your betta’s behaviors during play sessions and stop immediately if your betta looks tired or distressed.

Toys

Bettas love to play with toys like ping pong balls or floating logs, which stay on the surface of the water. Your betta can push the ping pong ball around the surface, while a floating log makes a great swimming tunnel when the fish is feeling active.

Be sure to rise the toy before placing it in the tank. Don’t leave it in the tank at all times, or your betta may get bored of it.

Mirrors

Another way to play with your betta is by using small mirrors. Bettas react to their own reflections by flaring their fins and swimming actively around the tank.

Otocinclus: Oto Catfish Care Guide ...
Otocinclus: Oto Catfish Care Guide & Species Profile

However, mirrors can stress bettas out and even agitate them. Only use a mirror to play with your betta for five minutes or less. Stop the play session if the fish starts swimming erratically or charging their own reflection.

Training

Training your betta fish is also a great way to play.

Bettas can be trained just like many other pets, because they like to be rewarded with treats like live bloodworms or dried insect larvae.

Start training your betta to follow your hand by moving one finger slowly on the side of the tank or on the surface of the water. If your betta follows your finger, drop a small treat into the water.

Once your betta will reliably follow your finger, try training it to come to your hand for food by holding a treat in your fingers underwater.

Eventually, you can even train your betta to jump out of the water for a treat, swim through hoops, or push a ping pong ball to a specific part of the tank.