You have just about everything your betta needs to be happy. You bought a perfect tank, which is at least ten gallons. You have a filter, a variety of live and other foods, and more. What else are you going to need? That is where toys and decorations become interesting.
To be clear, your betta doesn’t “play” with things the way your dog or cat might. They are territorial freshwater fish who generally like to be left alone. However, keeping these factors in mind doesn’t mean they don’t also like to do things. Believe it or not, but it is in fact very easy for your betta to become bored with the proper stimulation in place.
What Does A Betta Need To Be Happy?
Bettas have a pretty straightforward life. At the same time, we are talking about deeply intelligent, marvelously curious fish. In order to be truly happy, your betta needs the right temperature and pH, lots of healthy, yummy food, plenty of space, and toys and decorations that will appeal to their traits.
What Are The Benefits Of Toys And Decorations For My Bettas?
Bettas in particular love to explore. There are a number of live plant options which can meet this need beautifully. There are also toys that your betta will likely enjoy exploring. The right toys and decorations for your betta can go a long way towards keeping them stimulated, active, and content. Remember that bettas are not the most social fish around. In fact, to reiterate, they generally prefer to be on their own.
So, while bettas can live in harmony with other fish, you should make arrangements for your betta to be able to stay curious and engaged on its own. For example, bettas love to hide, as we mentioned. In doing so, you also give them the ability to get used to their surroundings more quickly. This also contributes to their wellbeing. In addition to hiding, bettas also like swimming in and out of those spots.
Bettas love to rest on plants, and you can actually use betta toys to train them to do fun tricks. This is a degree of stimulation they are also going to enjoy a great deal.
What Should I Keep In Mind When Shopping For Bettas?
Thankfully, there are lots of toys and decorations out there. We’re going to cover some of our favorites here, so keep them in mind, if you want to start with products that have a fantastic overall reputation for keeping bettas happy and excited.
In terms of shopping for the best betta toys and decorations, there are a few things you will want to keep in mind. Start with making sure anything you buy is a well-reviewed product from a reliable vendor.
As you will see from our list of the top betta decorations and toys, there is a nice variety of products to be found out there. Having said that, you should avoid anything with sharp edges. Bettas like to rub against surfaces sometimes, and sharp edges can naturally be problematic. You should also quarantine anything you purchase. Even two or three days of isolation for a new toy or plant can ensure it is stripped of anything harmful that can be transmitted to your betta.
In general, live plants are considered to be preferable to plastic plants. While plastic is perfectly fine, live plants tend to be more appealing to bettas. They also provide oxygen.
Which Toys Provide The Best Benefits?
Finishing up the basics of betta decorations and toys, let’s dive a little deeper into the concept of benefits to your betta. As we said, the right toys and decorations can provide your betta with a long list of benefits. Just remember that different toys are going to provide your betta with different benefits.
For example, both plastic and live plants provide exercise and hiding places. A laser pointer can be a thrilling toy for a betta, as it stimulates the kind of exercise they love. A plastic log can give your bettas a good hiding space, while also giving them something that can be used as a bubble nest later on for breeding.
Keep this in mind, as we run through our list of the best decorations and toys for betta fish. Your best bet will probably be to buy one or two toys and a couple of different decorations. Variety is always a surefire way to prevent boredom.
Let’s get to our list!
Best Toys & Decorations To Keep Your Betta Entertained Reviewed
Zoo Med Betta Leaf Hammock
One of the most affordable options on our list, the Zoo Med Betta Hammock provides many of the benefits we have discussed thus far. At its core, this product will give your betta a nice place in which to relax. Take a look at the hammock for yourself. You will see that it can also give your betta an excellent hiding spot.
Another nice thing about these is that they are fairly small. This means you can add one, or even several, and still have plenty of room to do more with the decorations and toys. They are extremely easy to connect to the tank. You also won’t have to worry about any sharp edges or dangerous materials. However, keep an eye on the metal ring, attached to the leaf. Also, since this is plastic, you aren’t going to be adding any additional oxygen to the aquarium.
Luffy Betta Balls
Bright and colorful, these live marimo plant balls are another affordable way to not only add some aesthetic charm to the tank, but also as a means of giving your betta the exercise and attention they are truly going to enjoy. Simply set these balls along the bottom of the tank. They will float there without bothering anyone or anything. Your betta may even ignore them at first.
However, eventually, your betta is going to start to explore. Bettas love to explore Luffy Betta Balls. Furthermore, they are going to particularly love the fact that they can push them back and forth. This is a behavior your bettas enjoy in their natural state. These balls provide seemingly endless potential for enjoyment and stimulation.
Made from living moss, this is also a rare example of a live plant for bettas that does not require any maintenance whatsoever.
PetSafe Bolt – Automatic, Interactive Laser Cat Toy
As the name above tells you, this is a toy that is marketed towards dogs and cats. Fair enough, but why should they have all the fun? As it turns out, this automatic laser toy can be enormously beneficial to your bettas. A betta fish will absolutely notice the presence of a red dot on the glass, and in their line of vision. They will chase the red dot around. This is a good way to appeal to their curiosity, while also doing something that will give them lots of fun exercise.
While there are several different laser pointers on the market that can give you the kind of experience we are talking about, we are pretty partial to this specific product from PetSafe. Beyond the fact that it is incredibly affordable, this laser pointer is also easy to use and charge. It carries that charge for quite a long time, as well.
Just remember to keep it out of their eyes! You will also want to note that these laser pointers are generally not waterproof. Record some fun videos of your betta chasing the red dot around. They can make for a popular social media share!
- SAFE FOR PETS: The Bolt features a Class IIIa laser with a 5mW max power output for a safe play experience; requires 4 AA batteries (sold separately); for best performance, use only alkaline batteries
R2 Fish School Complete Fish Training Kit
One of the words we have mentioned over and over again in this article is stimulation. Your betta needs this stimulation to maintain its metabolism, stay healthy, and by association, happy. There are lots of different ways to achieve this. The most important thing comes down to making sure your bettas have a variety to some degree.
The R2 Fish School Complete Fish Training Kit is a great example of just how many different toys are available to you. The training kit works on two levels. It gives your bettas something in the way of physical exercise. At the same time, it fully takes advantage of the ability of the betta to solve problems. Bettas love to figure things out, and this product will allow them to do that in no uncertain terms.
As the name implies, this kit features several different activities. Your betta will be able to practice and play at fetching, shooting hoops, and even diving under and over bars. The versatility of this kit is quite frankly stunning to us. This can literally provide your betta with hours upon hours of entertainment. Over twenty-five different toys can be found on this single kit. You yourself will also find it easy to use this toy.
Some even say this is the only toy you’re going to need for your betta fish. We personally wouldn’t go that far. At the end of the day, you still want to meet the needs of your betta to have a good variety of toys to keep them entertained and engaged.
Zoo Med Cermaic Betta Log
As we mentioned earlier, bettas love logs for several reasons. It gives them a nice place to hide, but it also provides them with the space to hide and even explore the log. We mentioned Zoo Med earlier, and this is definitely one of the best companies making decorations and toys for betta fish.
This Zoo Med Ceramic Betta Log will sink right to the bottom of the aquarium. It isn’t going to take your betta very long to start exploring! Don’t be surprised either if you start to see your betta sleeping in the log. This is a simple product, but it really does come with the potential to serve so many viable uses. This is also yet another toy that isn’t going to take up too much space. The example we are providing is considered to be a small. You can find larger ones, but remember you don’t want to clutter up the tank too much. Overwhelming the aquarium with plants and toys can actually start to stress out your poor betta.
Your betta may even start to use the log to build bubble nests. If this happens, then you can be sure your betta is truly happy!
Make sure the edges of this ceramic log are not too sharp.
Indian Almond Leaves
If you’ve done enough research on how to take care of bettas, it stands to reason that you have come across references to Indian almond leaves somewhere in all of that information. Many would consider them to be essential components to any successful or thriving betta fish environment. When you consider the benefits of Indian almond leaves for betta in full, it is difficult to disagree with that opinion.
In the first place, Indian almond leaves offer the shelter component that your bettas absolutely love and absolutely need. They also like to explore and swim around the leaves. This gives them that benefit of exercise that we have been talking about.
All of this amounts to reducing their overall stress levels, as well. This need should be at the heart of many of the decisions you make about your betta. Are they making your betta happy? Do they help them to achieve a consistent state of calm?
The final benefit of Indian almond leaves worth mentioning? They provide unique minerals and other nutrients while floating around in the tank. These leaves can contribute something very significant indeed to the overall health and comfort of the bettas.
Your bettas will use these leaves to relax. They may also use them for light nibbling, or even as a place to lay their eggs. Neither of these behaviors are unusual. This is just more fuel for the opinion that Indian almond leaves should be somewhere on your shopping list.
- ✔ INDUCE BREEDING --- SunGrow Betta Leaves are a must-have for taking care of Betta fish. They act as a shelter to betta, release minerals for their healing, and assist Betta in spawning. They also...
Ping Pong Balls
Yes, you read that correctly. Something as simple as a set of ping pong balls can in fact give your bettas hours and hours of pleasure. You don’t need to purchase a sixty pack, as we’ve mentioned. All the same, ping pong balls are a blast for bettas for one specific reason.
How do betta fish hunt in the wild? They tend to hunt from the surface of the tank. The ping pong balls floating along the surface are going to connect your bettas to their natural hunting instincts. They will almost certainly feel compelled to stalk and attack the balls. It isn’t hard to see how these ping pong balls can be a great way to ensure your bettas are getting as much exercise as possible.
One of the keys to making your betta happy is to give them a home that gets as close to their natural environment. This isn’t just something you can approach with the toys you buy, or the live plants you add to different parts of the tank. This also applies to eliciting instinctive responses from them. Believe it or not, but few things you can buy are going to be as successful on this front as ping pong balls.
Plastic And Live Plants
We’ve touched on plastic and live plants in not only different parts of this article, but in some of our actual suggestions. Let’s wrap things with an overview of the different live and plastic plants that can be added to your aquarium. The plants themselves can lend loads of atmosphere to the aquarium. At the same time, they can give your betta hiding places, spots to build nests, areas for sleeping, and areas for exploring/playing. It is important to that end to make sure you’re choosing plants that will benefit your bettas in the most appealing fashion possible.
Live plants provide a number of unique benefits that plastic plants do not. Weigh the pros and cons of each carefully. For instance, live plants also require considerably more in the way of maintenance. There is a case to be made for either choice. As long as you can meet the basic needs of your bettas as we have outlined them throughout, you can really choose just about anything you please.
Here are a few different live plants and plastic plants that are worth researching further:
- Java moss
- Java fern
- Amazon Sword
Clearly, as we mentioned earlier, you are not going to be lost for options for ways to keep your bettas entertained and content. While you don’t have to purchase every single thing on this list, you can achieve a lot by picking 2-3 items you really like. Remember that if you haven’t bought your betta yet, you may want to quarantine the toys and decorations themselves, whenever possible.
At the very least, remember that your betta will almost definitely need some time to acclimate themselves with their new space. Give them some time to get used to things, before you make any replacements.