Do Betta Fish Have Teeth and Bite?

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Betta is a very popular aquarium fish due to its colors, beauty, and fins. Its traditional name is Siamese or Japanese fighting fish. But it is commonly referred to as “Bettas,” named after the ancient Betta warrior tribe. It belongs to the family of Gourami. They are available in different colors such as red, white, black and orange. Some rare colors include copper and metallic. There are some Betta fish that come in rainbow colors. Wild Betta fish comes in dull grayish-green color and its fins are quite short as compared to the other fish. Their beautiful tails are multi-colored. This makes them different yet beautiful and attractive from the other fish. In this article, we will learn more about betta fish and find out if betta fish have teeth and bite. So let’s get started.


Where are Betta fish Found?

Betta fish is commonly found in far East Asia in countries such as Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand. In Thailand it goes by the name  “Plakat,” which means “biting fish.” It is also among the most popular pet fish in Far East Asia due to its ultimate beauty of fins and tails.


Average Lifespan of Betta Fish

Betta fish can live up to three to five years depending on how much care one gives to it. There are almost 73 types of Betta fish found in the world. Found particularly in warm waters of Southeast Asian countries. These beautiful fish live in shallow waters. They don’t find it difficult to live in small-sized aquariums. However, the aquarium should be a minimum of 2 gallons or above. However, a small bowl of water can be life-threatening.


Do Betta Fish Have Teeth and Bite?

Betta fish are aggressive in nature and have small white teeth which are mostly present in its bottom jaws. Its teeth are so tiny that they are visible through a magnifying glass or with a zoomed camera lens. Betta uses its teeth to break its food into tiny parts so that it can digest it properly.

Another reason for having these small and sharp teeth is for self-defense. Since Betta is a territorial fish who needs to defend its territory from predators. Aggression exists in its DNA and it doesn’t allow other creatures especially fish to come near it.


Do Betta Fish Bite?

The short answer to this question is YES. Whether a Betta fish that you have kept as your pet bites you or not depends on its mood and temperament. Some Bettas do not bite even if you put your hand near their mouth. While some are very aggressive and may attack it, seeing it as a threat. It’s not just a finger that a Betta can attack, as Bettas tend to bite anything they see as a danger to their life.


Is a Betta Bite Powerful?

When you compare Bettas’ powerful jaws with other animals, its bite is quite strong for its size. However, this doesn’t mean that if it bites your hand or your finger, you would get hurt. Since the mouth and teeth of Betta are very small, you won’t feel hurt for the betta fish bite. in fact, the bite is not strong enough to break into your skin. You can ask pet owners to know what the bite feels like.

Some say that it feels like a little sensation without any pain. Others say that it feels like a small pinch which is different from all the other pinch types. Whatever the case may be, one thing is for sure – that its bite won’t cause you any hurt or pain.

You can also experiment by putting Betta’s food on your fingertip. Get near Betta to feel what their bite feels like. Betta may bite your fingers for food. However, don’t do this action repeatedly


When Bettas Bite And Not Let Go the Bite?

Sometimes, it happens that your Bettas bites you and doesn’t let go. If this happens then know that that’s not because they are attacking you. But only because Bettas jaw may have gotten stuck into your hand.  This is why you should not play around teasing Betta with food through your finger to come and bite you. The fish can get his jaw stuck in your hand which can cause him damage. On the other hand, the bite won’t hurt you.


Why Do Bettas Bite Human Beings?

Many reasons cause Betta fish to bite you. However, don’t make a game out of it, since it can stress your Betta and damage its health.

Curiosity Behind Bettas Bite

Bettas have a curious nature and this may well be the first reason why they would consider biting you. Whenever Betta sees something entering its tank including your hand, it becomes curious. This results in Betta coming after that particular entity that entered the aquarium. By biting it, Bettas want to know what it is.

Bite As a Self Defense

Self-defense is the second important reason why Bettas bite humans. You can also relate to it by putting yourself in such a situation. If you would have seen a giant hand coming after you, you too would bite in self-defense. However, this can stress out Betta.

Bite by By Mistake/Accident

If you want to lure him into biting your finger through food, know that the Bettas bite only by accident. The bite would be precise and won’t hurt at all, however, if the Betta is hungry, it may get a bit more aggressive.

Prepare Yourself for a Bite

Well, if you are always sticking your hand and fingers in Bettas tank, it is not a surprise if you get bitten. The bite may not hurt but it can certainly cause you to jump. However, be careful when moving your hand out of the tank. If you recoil quickly, the Betta stuck with your hand may end up flying into the air outside the tank. This would scare and terrify him and in case it doesn’t get back into the water, he would seriously damage himself.


Betta Fish Can Bite During Spawn Time!

Bettas are not romantic by nature. this means that you may find them being aggressive to each other especially when they are mating. However, the bite is either good or bad depending on its type.

A Good Sign

Bettas bite is a good sign depending on how hard its bite is. If you Betta back aways then do know that it is not ready or sure enough to mate. However, they are not opposed to mating. Make sure the bite doesn’t cause any pain or damage. it must feel like a small nip instead of a full-fledged bite.

A Bad Sign

Bettas start biting out of their aggressive nature. In case you notice Betta tail and fins then you would need to separate the Bettas. It is best to put them alone in separate tanks. This sign means that Bettas wouldn’t become good mates. Male and Female Bettas are both aggressive by nature.

Differentiate between different bites

Good thing is that you can always differentiate between an aggressive bite or a mild one. in case the fish steps back and avoids the perpetrator, then understand that this bite is not that strong. you can also wait a little time to try and breed your beta when aggressive biting increases.


Do Bettas Bite Themselves?

Bettas also bite themselves and are sometimes self-destructive by nature. Bettas mostly bite their fins and tails. However, the reason behind biting off their tails is unknown. many pet owners say its due to hunger, boredom or stress. Others say that bite occurs due to the aggressive nature present in its heritage. Bettas mostly bite their tails and you can prevent this by:

– Reducing the aquarium lights

– Changing your aquarium water clean by changing it at least once or twice a month.

– Try to add water tank mates


So Do Betta Fish Have Teeth And Do They Bite?

The answer to this question is a big Yes. Yes, they bite and they have teeth. But it’s not like what you may think. Betta fish bite is just a tickle for some people while a weird pinch for others because of its small teeth. Though its small teeth although powerful and sharp, cannot penetrate through your hand’s skin. This means that the bite won’t cause any hurt. Other than food on your finger, Bettas may bite to satisfy their curiosity. Other reasons can be to attack the enemy in self-defense or by mistake. Prepare yourself to get bitten by Betta whenever you put your hand inside the tank. However, be careful when doing so since you can damage your lovely Betta.

Their behavior comes from different reasons. If it’s being overly aggressive then that may be due to poor water conditions. Change your aquarium’s water properly after a certain time. Adjust it’s the temperature to be neither too hot nor too cold. They belong to the SouthEast Asian part of the world. The temperature throughout the year is almost the same due to the equator and the other reasons. You can also tame it a little by adding a partner in the aquarium.

Betta fish are not very romantic. They only mate with their females and after that, they can hurt them by biting. They bite for different reasons from aggression to a sense of fear. Betta fish also bite themselves for no apparent reason. Some Betta pet owners say that they self bite when hungry. While some others say, it’s because of their aggressive nature.



Betta fish is a wonderful pet to keep in your home. They require little maintenance and are also not very costly. Learn everything related to Betta fish including their teeth and biting habits. Prepare yourself with their mood and temperament. This will help you become one of the best pet owners a Betta fish may have!

If you are a fish lover and love keeping fish as pets, you will love everything that a Betta Fish brings to the table. From its physical attraction to friendly behavior, Betta fish is a treat! Don’t worry about the sharp and small Betta teeth. The only reasons they bite are already shared above. None includes any hurt and pain to human hands and fingers. Keep Bettas as pets!

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