I don’t know why, but many beginner betta keepers have asked my if betta can listen to music. They also wonder if loud music can cause any problem to betta. Frankly, I wasn’t so sure about this myself. So, I did some research and here is what I found:
There is no evidence that betta fish likes music. Betta has the ability to hear and recognize certain words. But that doesn’t mean they enjoy music.
I also have some interesting information to share with you. Do you know betta has ears and they can sense vibration just as we hear sound? I’ll explain these in the rest of the article.
How Can Betta Fish Hear Sounds?
Bettas have ears. We can’t see them because the ears are covered with a thin layer of skin. The ears are on both sides of their head. The skin protects the ears from water. However, water plays the main role in Betta’s hearing.
Sound generates from vibration. If there is no vibration, there will be no sound. When someone plays a guitar, the strings vibrate. This vibration causes the nearby air atoms to vibrate too. The vibration reaches our ears through the air atoms and we hear the sound.
Same goes for fish. However, in case of fish, the vibration is conveyed through water molecules. When you tap on the glass of the aquarium, it causes the nearby water molecules to vibrate. This vibration reaches the fish’s ears through the water and the fish can understand there is someone nearby.
This is the basic difference between how humans and fish hear sound.
It Is Difficult To Hear Underwater
It is not easy to make sound underwater. You can try screaming, but you’ll surely face some difficulties. Same is the case for hearing. We can’t hear sounds as much as we can when we are underwater.
Suppose you are under a pool and your friend is above on the sideways. Now, if your friend screams your name, you won’t be able to hear the scream as clearly as you could above water. This is because water is not a very good medium to bear sounds like air.
Same goes for fish. Even if you talk continuously to your betta, it is more likely that it will only understand a few words. With time & training, some bettas can start to recognize a few words too. But that’s not a normal case.
That’s why, even if you play music all day long, it is less likely that the betta will feel anything. However, if you are playing very high beat song with speaker and if the speaker is directed towards the aquarium, then it can cause potential problems to your betta.
Why Sudden Vibration Or Loud Sound Is Bad For Betta?
Not only betta, this is true for almost all of the fish. Like humans have 5 senses, fish also have sensor points. These points are called pressure sensitive receptors. These receptors are located along a line on the fish’s body. This line is called the Lateral Line.
The receptors located on the Lateral Line are highly sensitive to vibration and any change in the nearby environment. These receptors work like both eyes and ears for the betta. These lets the Bettas avoid each other or any decoration when you turn off the light.
If there is a constant source of vibration nearby the tank, then the receptors won’t be able to do their job. As a result, the betta will become blind in the dark, can run into another fish or decoration and harm itself.
For similar reason, sudden loud noise is bad for betta. The sudden vibration will interfere with the receptors and can make Betta stressed.
As a result, in order to get away from the vibration, the Betta might try to jump out of the tank.
What Type Of Sound Is Bad For Betta?
I have already mentioned fish hear sound by the vibration of the water molecules. Now, if the water molecules are vibrated too excessively, then it can cause problem to the fish. This might make the fish uncomfortable and can even cause harm.
So, even if your betta can’t enjoy or react to music, it is not a good idea to continuously play High-Beat music at full volume all day long. If you are using speakers, make sure they are not directed towards the aquarium.
If the betta tank is in your room, try listening to high-beat songs with your headphone. Also, it will be safer to keep the volume in check.