Do Betta Fish Like Music? You’re About to Find Out!

Do Bettas Like Music

Do betta fish like music? Do they bob their heads to the beat, or do they just sit there looking bored? Do they dance and sing along, or are they simply uninterested in what we humans find so enjoyable? Do betta fish like music at all?

There is no evidence that betta fish like music although some appear to dance when they hear it. These beautiful fish can hear sound underwater as the vibrations created by sound waves. Sound is amplified through the aquarium glass, so loud music will likely unsettle them.

Betta fish are considered quite an intelligent species, so the question is not as odd as it may seem. Many betta fish owners will notice their fish behaving differently when music is played to them, so don’t be surprised that your fish likes music.

Make sure to check out our Betta Fish Care Guide And Species Overview.

Can Betta Fish Hear Music

As I have mentioned above, betta fish can hear sound but not the same as humans do, so they will not hear music as we do. That said, they can hear sounds within the water even though they don’t have ears as we do.

Can Betta Fish Hear Music
Betta Fish Don’t Hear Sound Like Humans

A betta’s ears are small holes located on both sides of the head and covered with a thin layer of skin that protects them from water and are used to interpret vibrations made by sounds and pressure.

Sound travels in waves, and the waves that carry sound are called compressions and rarefactions, which is when the pressure of the wave increases or decreases to make it easier for other particles of sound to move around as they bounce off objects in their surroundings.

Sound waves are created when particles in the air vibrate and collide, and as these particles move through the air in a wave, they cause more particles to collide.

Sound travels the same way through the water, making particles vibrate, collide, and pass the vibration on to other particles.

Like other fish, betta fish have many pressure-sensitive receptors along their body which pick up tiny changes in the pressure around them. These sensors are lined up along a lateral line and act as a fish’s sight and hearing, helping to navigate them around objects and sense predators when it is dark.

If there is a source of sound creating strong vibrations from outside a bettas tank, this can cause difficulty with your betta’s hearing (navigation) if it is dark.

Can Betta Fish Listen To Music

So can betta fish listen to music? Based on the above, certainly betta fish can hear music through the vibrations given off, although they can’t listen to music as we do. Music just won’t sound the same to a betta as it does to us.

A betta fish listening to music will most likely only feel a unique set of vibrations, each one corresponding to a certain note played at a given volume.

Because betta fish are a very intelligent fish species, it has been said that they can recognize certain words and commands. Bettas won’t actually hear the words that are spoken, but the words, when repeated over and over, will create the same pattern of vibrations, which will become familiar to the betta.

So Do Bettas Like Music

Although there isn’t any scientific evidence to suggest that bettas like music, they are intelligent and will enjoy stimulation. Betta fish can be taught to recognize certain shapes, colors, or patterns, and creatures showing this kind of intelligence will undoubtedly enjoy interpreting the vibrations caused by music.

Other pets like cats and dogs will listen to music as a way to relax. My dog Tilly hates traveling in the car but loves listening to music in the car as it relaxes her, making her feel safe.

Many betta fish owners have reported changes in behavior when they play music around their betta aquarium, and soundwaves are likely to be more amplified through the aquarium glass. As fish tanks have many glass sides, vibrations will enter the fish tank in surround sound and will definitely be picked up by the fish.

Betta Fish Enjoy Music And May Appear To Dance
Betta Fish Enjoy Music And May Appear To Dance

A loud sound will obviously cause loud vibrations through the tank and will most likely be distressing rather than soothing to your betta, so playing your stereo at full volume is not advised.

Best Music For Betta Fish

All betta fish will have different personalities, so you may be wondering what music so betta fish like? The best music for bettas will be down to their own personal taste. They will undoubtedly enjoy different types and genres of music. Some betta may respond well to soft music, while others may enjoy listening to music with a heavier bass beat.

Some betta owners have reported that their fish will swim up to the surface of the betta tank and start swaying or dancing in sync with the music. Other owners have said they respond by swimming around excitedly and are stimulated into darting around their tank.

Humans like to feel the vibration of heavy bass pumping through our body, so imagine the underwater world where everything is vibrating; that would be a fun dance party.

The only way to know what kind of music do betta fish like, or more importantly, which is the best music for your betta fish is to experiment with a wide variety of genres and monitor your betta’s behavior.

YouTube is a great place to find some betta fish music for free. Below is an example of some relaxing music for your betta and it is worth trying something more upbeat.

Relaxing Betta Fish Music

Is Loud Music Bad For Betta Fish

As betta fish are so sensitive to sound, loud music may cause them to become stressed. The vibrations of loud noise can affect their pressure-sensitive receptors, causing hearing and navigation problems, making the fish feel less safe in its environment, which is not good for any pet.

Betta fish are known to jump out of their aquarium when stressed, so it is important to always use a lid.


Can betta fish hear music or not? It’s a question that remains disputable, with many betta owners reporting their own interesting experiences. Can betta fish hear at all, or do they just hear differently from how we hear sounds and music?

By experimenting and using some common sense, it appears that many betta fish do enjoy listening to music, and will most likely hear sound through vibrations and pressure waves.

Next time you listen to some music, watch and see if your betta suddenly starts to swim around playing happily. You can find your betta’s favorite music to play when it gets sad.

Frequently Asked Questions

Jon O'Connell

I have kept both marine and freshwater fish and set up almost 100 aquariums. Happy to share my knowledge and experience to help others enjoy keeping healthy and happy fish.

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