Betta fish are curious creatures who love to play and explore their environment. Why not enrich your betta’s tank with some toys?
Making a betta fish toy can be as simple as adding something they can play with to their tank. You can also repurpose many household objects as betta fish toys.
What Can I Give My Betta To Play With?
If you want to add some toys to your betta fish tank, look no further than nature.
Bettas love live plants and will not hesitate to play and hide in leaves and roots. You can consider having some aquatic plants in your betta tank.
Try a leafy plant like the java fern or floating water lettuce to let your betta play among the roots.
If your betta plays too hard or gets a tummy ache, it can always nibble at the plants for a healthy snack or extra fiber.
The plants serve myriad functions, including mental stimulation, creating a safe space for the fish, and serving as hiding places.
Indian Almond Leaves
The bottom of your tank can provide your betta with hours of free entertainment if you use the right substrate.
We recommend adding leaf litter or dried Indian almond leaves to your tank setup so your betta has a natural place to hide and rest.
Your fish can also roll around in the leaves (just like you in the fall) or move them around to make a “fort.”
Betta Caves and Toy Logs
Other natural “toys” you can give your betta fish include a coconut husk that can be converted into a “betta cave,” or a piece of driftwood to encourage “hide and seek.”
You can use items you find at the grocery store or out in nature as long as you clean and disinfect them with betta-safe cleaners first. Homemade betta fish toys can also help in entertaining betta fish.
Also, if you drill holes in a log or coconut husk, ensure you file down the rough bits and don’t leave any sharp edges. Otherwise, your betta fish could hurt its fins.
To be safe, read our guide on “How To Make Your Own DIY Aquarium Driftwood.”
If you don’t want to do it yourself, you can order these items online. Also, some aquarium stores make toy logs with holes that your betta can duck in and out of.
If you watch carefully, your betta might play a game of peek-a-boo, sticking his or her face out to say hello, then retreating back into the log when you get too close.
A Moss Ball
Your betta will love investigating a soft Marimo moss ball in its tank. We have seen bettas nibble them, guard them, and even push them around the tank.
A Betta Leaf Hammock
When your betta gets too tired from playtime, there is no better place to rest than a leaf hammock.
You can buy one at the pet store or make one yourself using a suction cup and some betta-safe material.
If you want to spend some quality time with your betta, you can make any number of household items into interactive toys. You can also use fake betta fish or DIY betta and put them in the tank.
Using a Mirror To Play With Your Betta
For example, you can use a small handheld mirror to play with your betta fish, as your betta will get excited to see its own reflection and may think there is another fish in the tank.
Your betta will get some exercise by flaring its fins and swimming aggressively around the tank — just make sure to remove the mirror after a few minutes so your betta doesn’t try to attack itself through the glass.
Also, don’t use the mirror as a toy too often, or your betta will think it needs to defend its territory and get stressed out.
Do Fish Like Ping Pong Balls?
Yes. Fish like ping pong balls and betta fish especially are interested in anything at the top of their tanks because that’s where they eat.
If you place a clean ping pong ball in your fish tank, your betta will nip at it and play with the ping pong ball for quite a while.
Simply remove the ping pong ball from the water when your fish loses interest. You can always introduce it again the next time you want to play with your fish!
Getting Your Betta’s Attention With Post-It Notes
Bettas are naturally attracted to bright colors, so placing some neon post-it notes on the side of the tank can get their attention.
They will investigate and may even flare their fins!
You can also use paper cutouts or pretty much any brightly colored object to get your betta’s attention.
I used to change my betta’s “backdrop” every so often, and he would always be super interested in the new scene and colors for a day or two until he got used to it.
Will Betta Fish Chase a Laser Pointer?
Just like cats, betta fish will chase a laser pointer. However, you need to be extremely careful with the type of laser you use so you don’t accidentally hurt your fish’s eyes.
If you purchase a laser designed for pets and use it in moderation, you should be okay, but some betta keepers prefer not to risk it.
Train Your Betta Fish
Did you know you can train your betta fish? Your betta can learn to follow your finger and even jump through hoops.
That’s right; you can make your own finger into a betta fish toy. This can enhance natural betta fish behaviors.
You can also make hoops using rubber bands (as long as they do not go in the tank).
Making Betta Fish Toys Is Easy!
From holding up a handheld mirror to drilling a 3-inch hole into a disinfected coconut husk, making betta fish toys is easy.
You can even keep your betta fish from getting bored by designing a fun and interesting tank.
While there is not a ton of DIY or craftsmanship in making betta fish toys, keeping your betta entertained is a great way to bond with your fish and make the most out of pet ownership.
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