I’ve had betta fish for many years, and whenever I watch them, I feel like these beautiful freshwater fish are watching me right back.
If your betta fish is staring at you, you may wonder why. Is your fishy friend looking at you with love in their eyes? Or are they just waiting for a meal?
Fish Don’t Blink
You may find your betta fish staring at you because bettas, like other fish, do not blink. When humans blink, they do so to add moisture to their eyes, but fish live underwater, so they don’t need to.
In other words, if you feel like having a staring contest with your fish, think again – you will definitely lose!
Do Betta Fish Sleep With Their Eyes Open?
Yep! Betta fish sleep with their eyes open, so your fish might even seem to be staring at you while sleeping.
Learn all about betta sleeping habits with our blog, “Do Betta Fish Sleep?”
Fish Think You’re Interesting, Too.
Betta fish are naturally curious about their environment inside and outside their tanks. Just like you like to watch your betta fish, your betta fish likes to watch you. They especially like bright colors.
My betta fish can entertain me for hours, so it’s nice to know the same is true for F. Scott Fishgerald, too!
Does My Betta Fish Love Me?
Yes, your betta fish loves you in their own special way. Betta fish may not be as cuddly as cats or dogs, but PETA suggests they can recognize their human companions, and your fish may even swim around their fish tank for joy when you enter the room.
Is My Betta Fish Excited to See Me?
You bet! Your betta fish knows when it’s feeding time, and they know who their food source is. Betta fish are always excited to eat, so they’re always happy to see you.
They’re probably hoping you’ll drop in a mealworm or two as a treat. Their sweet stare might be tempting, but don’t overfeed your fish.
Your Fish Wants to Make Sure You’re Not a Predator
In addition to being curious about you, your fish may be watching you to ensure they are safe.
Betta fish have predators in the wild, so they may be staring at you to verify you’re not a turtle, snake, frog, cat, or some other animal they need to escape from.
Your Fish Is Protecting Its Territory
Betta fish are also called “Siamese fighting fish” for a reason! If your fishy friend is staring at you and flashing his fins, he is likely displaying his dominance and telling you whose tank it is.
Not that you’d want to get into his tank, anyway…
Your Betta Fish Might Be Looking for a Mate
If your betta fish is staring at you and flashing his fins, he may instead be looking for a mate.
Don’t worry; your fish is not lonely, and the fact that he’s displaying mating behaviors means all his other needs are met, and he’s very happy.
Another common mating behavior is building a bubble nest – a sure sign your betta is happy and healthy, and its life is good!
Your Betta Fish Is Telling You Something Is Wrong
A perfectly healthy betta fish could be staring at you for many reasons, but your betta may also be staring because something is wrong.
If your fish is staring at you listlessly or staying in one place, it might be for one of the following reasons:
- Your betta fish is tired. Fish can get tired if they’re not eating enough or their water temperature is too low.
- Your betta fish is bored. This could indicate that your fish does not have a big enough tank and needs a less confined environment.
- Your betta fish is sick or injured, call your vet!
Betta Fish Fin Rot
Keep an eye out for betta fish fin rot and other common problems. And remember, if your fish is staring at you and swimming around, they’re probably fine, but if they seem sad or lethargic, look into it further.
Enjoy Your Betta Fish’s Attention
Keeping a betta fish is great fun, and if they are staring at you, they are probably waiting for dinner, watching your movements, or just enjoying staring at you the same way you enjoy staring at them.
Your fish may also be exhibiting behaviors they have in the wild, such as watching for predators or protecting their territory.
As long as your fish seems happy and healthy, there’s no reason to worry – enjoy the attention!
However, consider calling the vet if your fish appears sick, injured, or otherwise unhappy.
Now that you’ve learned why your betta fish stares at you, you may also like: