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Why Does My Betta Fish Stare At Me?

Keeping betta fish as pets has seen a huge increase in popularity over the last five years or so with a large number of people new to keeping bettas as pets quickly growing collections of multiple bettas.

Although betta fish are generally a low maintenance breed that are very beginner-friendly, we have noticed more and more people reaching out to ask questions about offering their pet betta fish the best possible care and this is great to see.

We have noticed that the number of people specifically asking about why their betta fish stares at them is steadily increasing with each month that passes.

Due to seeing more and more people asking about their betta fish staring at them, we have decided to publish this dedicated article going over why your betta fish will often stare at you as well as how it’s nothing to worry about.

Please keep in mind that there are a wide range of personality traits common to betta fish and not all of them will stare at you.

It usually doesn’t matter if your betta fish does or doesn’t stare at you either as it is not due to a health problem so there is nothing to worry about either way but we will go into more detail throughout our article below.

Why Does My Betta Fish Stare At Me?

Betta fish are fairly intelligent by fish standards and can quickly make the link between seeing you and food being added to their aquarium.

This is why some betta fish will start to stare at you when you enter the room as they are waiting for you to magically make food appear.

As we touched on earlier in the article, not all betta fish will stare and the hunger levels of your pet betta will also come into play for the amount of staring that they do too.

If you purchase a rare colored betta fish from a specialist breeder, they do tend to have a higher chance of staring at you as the specialist breeders spend more time with their fish helping to build up the link between seeing a human and getting food.

Although most of our readers will probably be using a high-quality betta food for their fish, adding a tasty betta fish treat product can help to encourage your betta fish to stare.

Betta fish treat products work in a similar way to high value treats for dogs where it is something special that they are not usually fed.

If you really want to take your betta fish treats to the next level and you are ok with live feeding then getting some live daphnia can be a great choice as betta fish love them.

Is My Betta Fish Watching Me?

It can be common for betta fish to watch you from their tank when you are in the same room as them with your fish swimming along the length of its tank so it is able to keep its eyes on you.

This is usually due to your betta being hungry and wanting food so it will stare at you due to having formed a link between you coming in the room and it getting fed.

In some situations, a betta fish can even differentiate you from other members of the family and may only stare at the person who feeds it.

This can lead to sibling rivalry of one child claiming the betta fish likes them the most as it always stares at them but in actual fact, the betta fish is just trying to let you know that it wants feeding.

Some betta fish do seem to be attracted to bright colored clothing too so your betta fish may stare at people who have bright clothes on rather than the person who feeds them.

Orange, red, yellow, and bright blue tend to be the colors that are linked to this behavior but it is rare that this occurs in most betta fish.

Do Betta Fish Get Excited To See You?

Although it is controversial, some people do believe that betta fish have a strong sense of the circadian clock and will get used to expecting food at certain times of the day if you try to keep your betta fish feeding to similar times each day.

This can result in your betta fish getting excited to see you when you enter a room at feeding time while also staring at you if you stay in the room without feeding your betta.

More and more people are starting to keep an algae eater with their betta fish these days as there are a number of suitable algae eaters that your betta can live with to help improve tank health and reduce the amount of maintenance required.

That said, many people do still keep their betta fish in its tank alone and although this does tend to be fine and not cause any problems with the betta, they can get excited to see you when you come into the room as they get a little social interaction.

Some people also misinterpret their betta fish rapidly swimming around its aquarium to burn off energy with their betta fish getting excited.

If you do notice this behavior on a regular basis then it could mean that you are overfeeding your betta fish or it is stressed or anxious.

Stress and anxiety in betta fish is usually due to it having unsuitable tank mates or it being in an aquarium that is too small and although a 3 gallon tank can work, we would recommend that you use a decent 5 gallon tank as a minimum for your betta fish.

What Does It Mean When A Betta Fish Stares At You?

That majority of the time that a betta fish stares at you, it is simply expecting to be fed due to forming a bond between you coming into the room and it getting fed. If you have bright clothes on then your betta fish may be staring at the colors that you are wearing too.

As we touched on above, some people do confuse a betta fish burning off energy by swimming around their tank quickly after looking at them as the betta fish getting excited but this is usually not the case.

Burning off energy by swimming around its tank quickly is very common for betta fish, especially if they are overfed, stressed or anxious.

Sometimes your pet betta fish may just be relaxing in its tank and looking in a general direction too with you being sat in that general direction. That does not mean that your pet betta fish is intentionally looking towards you but it is simply


That brings our article going over why your pet betta fish stare at you to an end. We hope that you have found it helpful and that you now understand that if your pet betta fish is staring at you when you enter a room, it may be hungry. Try to always take steps to ensure that you are not overfeeding your betta fish though as their intelligence levels are high enough to workout that it can get easy food by pulling this trick that may lead to overfeeding.