Yes. Betta fish do make noise. In fact, they make lots of different noises. They click, pop, blow bubbles, and even make crunching noises. This is all perfectly normal and healthy.
No, you aren’t going crazy if you’ve begun to hear your betta fish make noise.
A lot of folks – especially first-time betta fish owners – are surprised to discover that their fishy little family members are a whole lot more “chatty” than they would have expected. Especially from underwater creatures!
A betta fish definitely makes noise though, different kinds of noises that mean different things, and breaking down these noises are a big piece of the puzzle to keeping them happy and healthy.
Let’s take right in!
Do Betta Fish Make Noise?
Betta fish aren’t going to talk your ear off anytime soon – but you are definitely going to hear noises from your betta fish tank from time to time, noises that can only be caused by the fish themselves.
If you have a betta in with a whole bunch of other fish you might not even pick up on these noises. But if you’re betta is living life solo the odds are pretty good that you’re going to hear them every now and again, making different noises and “chatting” with you.
Sometimes these noises sound a little bit like clicking. Sometimes it sounds like popping, and sometimes it even sounds like your betta fish is crunching away on a bag of chips.
It’s also not at all unusual for your betta fish to sound like they sigh (almost as though they are exasperated), like they have “broken wind”, or a like they are a little bit raspy from a real long night.
One of the coolest parts of owning a betta fish is getting to hear your fish talk every now and again!
Why is My Betta Clicking?
Maybe you have started to hear a real quiet, real low sort of clicking noise coming from your betta fish every once in a while.
A lot of people immediately dismiss this as crazy – how is a fish going to click? – but that’s not a mistake you want to make.
You see, there is a lot of anecdotal evidence out there pointing to the fact that betta fish can in fact begin to click when they are a little on the hungry side of things.
Some people say that this clicking sound is generated from their teeth (these fish do have teeth, even if they are tiny) sort of grinding together. Other people say it’s caused by a clicking in their jaw as they open and close their mounts to tell you that they are hungry.
At the end of the day, the root cause of the clicking (or whether or not your specific betta will click at all) is a bit of a mystery.
Just know that you aren’t crazy if it’s something that you’ve started to hear!
Why is My Betta Popping?
It’s not at all unusual for betta fish owners to hear their fishy friend make a popping noise, especially when they get close to the surface of the water – or when they breach, even.
Betta fish have pretty active jaws as a general rule, pumping their mouths up and down even when they aren’t chewing on anything.
Sometimes these fish pop their lips when they get close to the surface of the water, too. It’s just something that they do.
If this happens while your betta is completely under the surface of the water, though, the odds are pretty good that it’s going to sound really muted.
When it happens just as your betta gets to the surface and cuts through the water surface tension you might hear a much louder pop. It might even sound like your betta is in there blowing bubbles and popping bubblegum!
There are even a couple of betta fish owners that have snails in the tank that mention this sound coming from their fish when they bump against the snail shells. People have heard this popping sound when the lips of bettas get pressed up against the glass of a tank, too.
What’s the Crunching Noise Coming from My Betta Tank?
Anytime you hear crunching noises coming from your fish tank it’s easy to get worked up and think that there’s a crack or a breach that’s about to become a major emergency.
Every now and again, though, it’s just the noise of your betta fish either grinding their teeth together – yes, they do have teeth – or chewing on a bit of structure (or the shells of snails as a snack) and that’s what’s causing the sound.
Obviously, it’s always a good idea to have a closer look at what’s happening under the water of your tank anytime you hear crunching coming from that direction.
You’ll want to make sure that the structure of the tank is safe and secure (that has to be priority one). But then you’ll want to quickly figure out what’s making the crunching noise from your fish.
If you have snails or loose bits of structure that you know your fish like to grind on every now and again, that’s probably the source.
If not, though, something might have dropped into the tank that needs to be fished out ASAP – or there may be something else that needs your attention.
Always (ALWAYS) have a look at the tank when you hear crunching.
Can Betta Fish Hear Other Noises?
Yes, betta fish can “hear” noises generated by other fish as well as noises from outside the tank – even though they aren’t really hearing the sound the same way that we do.
No, instead fish are going to pick up on the vibrations of the sound as soon as it hits the glass of their tank and then begin to ripple through the water.
Female betta fish in particular are a lot more into sounds coming from outside the tank when they are particularly stressed out. Unfortunately, this amplified ability to pick up on outside sounds only compounds their feelings of stress. That causes the release of histamines into the water.
These histamines can turn the water more acidic if the water isn’t swapped out on a regular basis. That will throw the pH of the water off completely – the point where it actually poses a health risk to your fish.
This is why it’s such a good idea to minimize the amount of sound being pumped directly into the tank.
You don’t want to tank near speakers, sound equipment, TVs, radios, or anything else that is especially noisy. That’s a surefire way to stress your tank to the max and cause potentially dangerous situations because of it.