Betta Fish Toys to Entertain and Stimulate Your Fish



Sharing is caring!

You might be wondering if your betta fish ever gets bored. These beautiful fish are regularly kept in small tanks all alone due to their aggression and territorial nature toward other fish.

The truth is that yes, betta fish can get bored. These fish need proper exercise and enrichment through aquarium decorations, different fish foods, and even betta fish toys.

How To Know Your Betta Fish Is Bored

A happy and healthy betta fish is vibrant in color and personality. Betta fish aren’t the most active fish, but they can be very inquisitive and interactive.

So much so that some hobbyists have been able to train their betta fish to jump out of the water for food!

A bored betta fish won’t meet you when you approach the tank. They might even lose color and lay on the bottom of the tank. Other bored and stressed betta fish might be overreactive and attack anything that enters their aquarium.

In their natural environment, betta fish are introduced to new stimuli every day. Although they come from very shallow waters and stay within their own territories, they’re constantly interacting with other fish and their surroundings.

Betta Fish Natural Habitat

Betta fish originate from Southeast Asia, mainly from Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia. They live in shallow floodplains that are greatly influenced by the wet and dry seasons.

Because of this, their natural environment is always changing in shape, size, and biodiversity.

This is the same reason why betta fish developed a labyrinth organ that allows them to breathe atmospheric air. When dissolved oxygen in the water is limited due to low water volume or deteriorating conditions, betta fish can use this specialized organ to breathe at the surface of the water.

As conditions change, betta fish also interact with other betta fish and other species. Wild bettas, though much less aggressive than their selectively-bred relatives, are still territorial in their natural habitat. Defending, maintaining, and extending their territory helps keep these fish enriched.

Lastly, betta fish stay entertained by hunting for food. Betta fish are active predators that appreciate a mixed diet of plant- and meat-based foods. This means they can forage in the leaf litter for plant roots and stems or dig for worms and other microorganisms in the substrate.

Betta fish also love to catch insects on the surface of the water, which makes this behavior difficult to replicate in a tank environment.

How To Entertain Your Betta Fish

Just because betta fish live in small betta tank systems doesn’t mean that they can’t get excited every once in a while. These are very playful and curious fish that respond to their owners!

Here are a few ways to entertain betta fish:

  1. Provide toys and enrichment items
  2. Create a more natural environment
  3. Feed live foods
  4. Encourage natural behaviors

Do Betta Fish Like Toys?

Yes! Betta fish love to play with toys! So much so that aquarium companies have started manufacturing betta toys that are safe for your fish to use.

The most important factor to consider when choosing betta fish toys is the safety of your fish. Unfortunately, not all betta toys are fully safe for fish to use, especially if you’re not using one that’s aquarium-certified. Sharp edges and unsafe materials can cause harm to your betta.

Another factor to consider is if your fish will like the toy or not! While any object that enters your betta tank will spark interest, some will do so for longer than others and some might even cause your fish to become stressed.

Other alternatives to betta fish toys include natural plants and decorations as well as a change in diet that recreates their natural environment while adding enrichment.

The Best Betta Fish Toys

The best betta fish toys will be those that entertain your fish while keeping them safe. This toy should bring excitement every time it enters the tank or else it just becomes something else that can injure and take away valuable swimming space from your fish.

Here are some of the best toys for bettas available!

Zoo Med Floating Betta Log

Zoo Med Floating Aquarium Log

Zoo Med Floating Aquarium Log

  • Naturalistic floating log for all types of aquarium fish, newts, frogs, or mudskippers
  • Provides security, comfort and stress reduction for your aquarium animals
  • “Bottom weighted” allowing newts, frogs, or mudskippers to climb on top without the log rolling over
  • Watch your aquarium animals sleep, play, feed, and spawn inside of log

Check Price

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

A long-time favorite toy for bettas is the floating log. The Zoo Med Floating Betta Log (X-Small) is the perfect mix of a practical yet natural addition to your betta tank.

This log is a bottom-weighted floating piece of aquarium-safe plastic that is hollowed out and painted to resemble natural foliage. This enables betta fish to swim through and rest in the center of the log without having to worry that it will flip over from movement or water current. There is also a hole on the top to allow for feedings.

Most bettas use the Floating Betta Log to explore, hide, or rest. Some hobbyists use the feeding hole to change up feeding routines from time to time.

What we like:

  • Compact and natural enrichment
  • Often used by other fish

What could be better:

  • Oily residue
  • Chipped paint

Zoo Med Betta Bed Leaf Hammock

Zoo Med Betta Bed Leaf Hammock

Zoo Med Betta Bed Leaf Hammock

  • A naturalistic leaf hammock for your betta to rest on
  • Allows your betta to rest near the surface of the water like they do in nature
  • Attaches easily with suction cup (included)
  • Made in the USA

Check Price

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

If you’re looking for betta toys that are a little more inconspicuous than a floating log, then a Zoo Med Betta Bed Leaf Hammock might satisfy your curious fish.

Simple in design, the Betta Bed Leaf Hammock is a soft-edged, natural-green fake leaf that attaches to the side of the aquarium with a suction cup. When placed near the top of the aquarium water, bettas can use this leaf to rest and hide.

This leaf hammock is a great option for a betta owner keeping live or fake plants with their fish. Just make sure that the suction cup has a tight seal and that the leaf stays leveled when your betta uses it.

There are many other options for betta hammocks, too.

What we like:

  • Simple and natural design
  • Perfect size for a resting betta fish

What could be better:

  • Loose suction cup
  • Leaf easily rotates and detaches

Zoo Med Betta Exercise Mirror

Zoo Med Betta Exercise Mirror

Zoo Med Betta Exercise Mirror

  • Reduces boredom from captivity.
  • When your Betta sees his reflection he will “exercise” his fins.
  • A exercise mirror that promotes natural territorial behaviors and provides enrichment for your Betta.

Check Price

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

Betta fish are aggressive fish that chase after other betta fish and tank mates, especially those that share a similar appearance. Every now and then, your betta fish might catch a glimpse of its own reflection on the side of the aquarium.

As a result, it might start to flare its gills and flash its body as it would with another fish in the tank. If this happens often, it can stress out the betta. However, infrequent exposure can actually help keep your betta fish engaged and interested.

The Zoo Med Betta Exercise Mirror is a great floating toy for betta fish, but usage needs to be monitored. Similar to when betta fish flare in response to other fish, a mirror will cause your fish to become aggressive and flare.

Overuse of betta fish toy mirrors can cause your fish to become stressed and even cause physical damage in extreme cases.

What we like:

  • Floats and is easy to install
  • Easy to remove for controlled use

What could be better:

  • Can have sharp edges around the sides
  • Often comes scratched
  • Can be too large/small

Multipet International Komodo Ping Pong Balls Turtle Toy, Medium, Pack of 6

Multipet Komodo Ping Pong Balls Turtle Toy

Multipet Komodo Ping Pong Balls Turtle Toy

  • Colorful Toy promotes exercise
  • This toy encourages exploration
  • These toys come in three colors; green, yellow and blue
  • Add some fun to your turtle’s day!

Check Price

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

While not specifically a toy for bettas, aquarium-safe plastic Komodo Ping Pong Balls will satisfy your betta’s inquisitive nature.

These colorful and simple ping pong balls float on the surface of the aquarium water. Betta fish love to investigate any object that enters their aquarium, especially one that stays at the top.

Betta fish will happily pick at and push floating ping pong balls for entertainment. These toy balls can be kept in the aquarium indefinitely as long as they are aquarium-safe, though they might start to grow algae.

What we like:

  • Safe and easy-to-use
  • Inexpensive

What could be better:

  • Bright colors that stand out in the aquarium
  • Grow algae over time
  • Might be oversized for your betta fish

Air Pump and Air Stone

Tetra Whisper Aquarium Air Pump for 10 gallon Aquariums

If you want to provide betta toys while also improving their livelihood and water quality, then an air stone powered by an air pump might be better for your fish tank.

Air stones are a popular addition to freshwater aquariums to gently increase and improve oxygenation and circulation. Air stones do much more than just improve water quality, though.

Many fish, including betta fish, intentionally interact with and play in the bubbles created by air stones. Every now and then, you may find your fish staring at the stream of bubbles or even swimming through them.

For a small betta fish tank, the Tetra Whisper Aquarium Air Pump for 10 gallon Aquariums is recommended.

What we like:

  • Reliable and simple to use
  • Powers fish tanks as small as 5 gallons

What could be better:

  • Does not include airline tubing or air stone
  • Can be loud from vibrations

Aquarium Plants

One of the best ways to enrich any fish tank is by adding natural elements that mimic the species’ natural habitat. The main way for freshwater aquariums to do this is through the addition of live plants.

Betta fish come from shallow waterways that are subject to changes in the seasons. This means that there are few long-term plant species that live side by side with betta fish. Instead, vegetation is often in the form of submerged grass and fallen palm fronds from the jungle canopy above.

Because most betta fish have been bred in the aquarium setting and there aren’t many native species of plant that can be added, bettas do well with most aquarium plants.

Some of the best live plant species include:

  • Anubias spp.
  • Cryptocoryne spp.
  • Hornwort (Ceratophyllum demersum)
  • Java fern (Leptochilus pteropus)
  • Amazon sword (Echinodorus grisebachii)

Other options include:

  • Marimo moss balls
  • Floating plants
  • Indian almond leaves

If you do not have the lighting needed to keep live plants, then silk plants may be added to provide your fish with protection and additional places to rest. Make sure that the fake plants you choose do not have any sharp edges or rough surfaces that could injure your fish.

Marimo Moss Balls

Marimo moss balls (Aegagropila linnaei) are one of the best aquatic plant options for hobbyists of all levels and are often sold together with betta fish.

These small, rounded, deep-green moss balls aren’t actually plants though! Instead, they’re a type of semi-rare algae that originates from Japan and Iceland. They stay round due to gentle currents that roll them back and forth on the substrate.

In the aquarium, marimo moss balls require little to no additional care and can be grown under minimal light. The only maintenance they might require is occasional rinsing out and re-rerolling. Moss balls tend to get covered in debris and start to brown if kept on one side for too long.

Betta fish will love marimo moss balls as they can safely rest on them and pick at algae and organisms that they collect.

Floating Plants

Floating plants are greatly preferred by betta fish for the same reason they appreciate a plastic leaf near the top of their tank: to hide under and rest on. Not only that, but plants on the water surface also give the aquarium a natural look and can be used to shade specific areas of the fish tank.

Another great reason to get floating plants is that they are very effective at uptaking nutrients. This can help keep water clean and lessen the need for water changes.

Some popular floating plants that will keep your betta happy are:

Indian Almond Leaves

If you don’t want to deal with the maintenance that comes along with keeping live algae or plants, then dried Indian almond leaves might be a better choice for you. This is also true if you’re looking to keep a natural betta habitat setup with stained tank water.

Indian almond leaves are a great addition to a betta aquarium due to their medicinal value. These plant leaves release tannins which aid in and bolster fish’s immune systems. Tannins also naturally lower pH which can be helpful as bettas prefer more acidic conditions.

Indian almond leaves also provide hiding spot options and some additional food as the plant leaves deteriorate. If you don’t want to deal with messy leaves, then you can make concentrated Indian almond leaf extract.

Aquarium Decorations

Betta toys can be practical. Betta fish love to explore and see what they can fit their bodies into. Aquarium cave decorations especially give your fish additional hiding spot options while adding dynamic to the aquarium setup.

There are many betta habitat accessories to choose from. It’s important to pick non-toxic items that won’t leak out harmful chemicals into the aquarium water over time, don’t have sharp edges, and make your fish tank feel alive.

Here are some of the best aquarium decorations, both natural and artificial.

Imagitarium Aquatic Driftwood, Medium

Imagitarium Aquatic Driftwood

Imagitarium Aquatic Driftwood

  • Driftwood from Imagitarium
  • Adds depth and design to your aquarium
  • Durable, long-lasting in underwater environments
  • Ideal surface for growing moss, algae, and biofilm

Check Price

Driftwood is one of the best ways to provide structure in the aquarium. Imagitarium Aquatic Driftwood offers natural, safe shelter for inquisitive betta fish.

This driftwood is categorized as medium, which means that it will likely fill up an aquarium under 5 gallons. However, it can be difficult to know exactly how big and what shape this driftwood will come in.

What we like:

  • Natural shelter for betta fish
  • Made from non-toxic materials

What could be better:

  • Expensive
  • Exact shape and size of the driftwood piece are unknown

Imagitarium Swim Through Stones Decor

Imagitarium Swim Through Stones Decor

Imagitarium Swim Through Stones Decor

  • Swim Through Stones Decor from Imagitarium
  • Enhances aquarium while providing shelter to reduce fish stress
  • Safe for freshwater and saltwater environments
  • Adds depth and design to your aquarium
  • 7.5″ Length X 4.75″ Width X 5″ Height

Check Price

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

Imagitarium Swim Through Stones Decor is great for tanks that feature rock structures.

This stone-textured decor features several openings and caves for tropical fish to explore. The openings and exteriors have been smoothed down to ensure that rough surfaces can’t hurt bettas.

This structure measures 7.50 L x 4.75 W x 5.00 H inches, so it might be better placed in a slightly larger tank.

What we like:

  • Natural stone texture
  • Multiple entrances and exits
  • Hiding space within the structure

What could be better:

  • Paint peels off when scrubbed
  • Breaks easily

Imagitarium Aquatic Decor Diver Helmet, Small

Imagitarium Aquatic Decor Diver Helmet

Imagitarium Aquatic Decor Diver Helmet

  • Add texture and color to any aquarium
  • Provides a hiding spot for your fish which alleviates stress
  • Constructed of high quality plastic for a realistic look

Check Price

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

If you’re looking to set up a more playful aquarium display, then the Imagitarium Aquatic Decor Diver Helmet, Small might help complete your underwater scene.

This aquarium decor is in the shape of a scuba diver’s helmet, with an opening on the top and in the front to allow your betta fish multiple ways of entering and exiting. This helmet measures 3.0 L x 2.0 W x 2.0 H, which is ideal for smaller betta fish tanks.

The Imagitarium Aquatic Decor Diver Helmet is especially preferred by bettas due to its rounded bottom that allows betta fish to rest while still getting a good lookout in front of them.

What we like:

  • Small, fun appearance
  • Multiple entrances/exits
  • Rounded cavity

What could be better:

Live Foods

One of the best toys for betta fish that most hobbyists forget about is live food. Live fish foods encourage betta fish to display and increase their hunting skills and natural instincts while also providing good nutrition.

Unfortunately, a beginner betta fish keeper might not even be aware that live foods are available for purchase. Others may not be able to afford live foods or might not be able to go to their local pet stores often.

Live foods can definitely become expensive over time, so it’s strongly recommended to use a high-quality betta fish food pellet or flake as the staple of your fish’s diet. If possible, provide live food 2 to 3 times a week.

Some of the best live food options include mosquito larvae, bloodworms, brine shrimp, and daphnia. Bettas may also be given blanched vegetables, like lettuce, cucumber, and zucchini from time to time.

Make sure to remove any food left over as rotting food can cause water quality issues. Otherwise, feed your betta fish live food in moderation to ensure they get plenty of exercise and some much-needed protein.


A beautiful betta doesn’t happen automatically. These are inquisitive fish that need to be set up for success. This means a large enough tank and plenty of enrichment in the form of toys for betta fish. Toy options include a betta log, a betta hammock, and a betta mirror.

But what if you want a natural betta tank that still keeps your betta fish interested?

Luckily, there are other options for hobbyists who want a more natural betta setup, but these might not immediately seem like betta toys. These include air stones, aquarium plants, aquarium decorations, and live foods.

If you have any questions about betta enrichment and the best toys for betta fish, or if you have other methods of keeping your tropical fish entertained, don’t hesitate to leave a comment below!

Sharing is caring!


Source by [author_name]

Related Posts