Can I Pet My Betta Fish?

Betta fish are a type of tropical freshwater fish that live in small bowls and aquariums. Betta fish can be fun to watch, but they also offer certain challenges for pet owners.

One of the most common questions about betta fish is whether or not it’s okay to touch them. In this blog post, we will answer that question and talk about other things you should know before getting a pet betta!

Can I Pet My Betta Fish?

No, it is advisable to not touch your betta fish. Touching a betta fish is dangerous as it can remove its slime coating, which leaves your fish vulnerable to disease.

Furthermore, frequently putting your hands into the water can spread bacteria and make it harder for your fish to stay healthy. Betta fish are generally a very docile species, but can become aggressive if they feel threatened or stressed!

The only time your hand should be in the tank is for maintenance purposes and to feed your betta fish. This will allow you to avoid contact with your betta fish and help keep them happy.

Why Does My Betta Fish Swim up to My Hand?

Some betta fish owners worry that their pet likes them too much. While it is true that your betta may swim up to you when you approach the tank, it doesn’t mean they like being touched!

Rather than swimming towards people because they want attention, this behavior is more likely due to stress or curiosity. Your betta might be wondering why you are putting your hand in the water, or they might be trying to get more food!

Betta fish are intelligent creatures that can quickly become bored. Bored betta fish will often swim up to investigate anything new – even if it’s just a person with their hand in the tank!

If You Have To…

If you really have to touch your betta fish, then make sure to do so with thoroughly wet hands. This reduces the chance of your hand removing any of the fish’s protective slime.

In addition, try to avoid grabbing or squeezing your betta fish, as this can be extremely stressful for the fish.

If you are sick with a cold or another illness that is causing symptoms like congestion and coughing, then it’s best not to interact with your pet betta until you have recovered! This will prevent any bacteria from being transferred between you and your fish.

Frequently Asked Questions

Betta fish are fascinating fish. As such, I will now address some of the most common questions I receive about touching betta fish.

Do bettas like being pet?

Bettas are not pets that enjoy being petted or touched by their owners. Instead, bettas are fish that will swim towards your hand simply because they’re curious about what you’re doing in front of them!

Do betta fish like to be rubbed on the head?

No – Bettas do not enjoy being rubbed on the head. Instead of enjoying this activity, your betta might think you are trying to attack them!

Can I let my kids play with their pet betta?

No – You should not allow children or anyone else in your family to interact with a betta fish unless they have been trained how to properly care for these fish.

Do bettas like to be held?

No – Bettas do not enjoy being handled or picked up. In fact, if you pick them up they can become stressed very easily! This stress makes it harder for your fish to fight off diseases and infections in the future. You should always avoid handling a betta when you can.

Can betta fish be friendly to humans?

Bettas are friendly fish when they are in good health. However, if your betta is sick they can become less social and may even try to attack you! If this happens, the problem usually lies with how you care for them – not because your betta doesn’t like humans or isn’t friendly.

How can I make my betta fish less shy around me?

Bettas can become shy around you when they’re not feeling well. As such, it is important to make sure your betta fish is in good health before expecting them to be friendly or social with you!

If your betta isn’t acting like their usual self and doesn’t seem interested in food, then something might be wrong. Call the vet if this happens and take your betta in for a checkup.


In conclusion, it’s important to remember that betta fish are unique, intelligent creatures. It’s advisable not to touch your betta fish, as you may accidentally remove their protective coating.

So make sure to give your pet plenty of space and don’t put your hand in the tank unless it’s for maintenance or feeding purposes!​

I hope this blog post answered some of your questions about touching betta fish. If you have any additional concerns, please do reach out to me.