grouchy, grouchy. That's what bettas are: GROUCHY. ;)
Or is it: Hungry, hungry, hungry. That's what bettas are: HUNGRY. ;)
Grouchy? Hungry? or Hungry Grouches? Or... (Agh my head! It hurts! Make it stop!!!!!)... Oh, who the heck knows. One thing for sure though: Bettas will be bettas. And yes, many do bite. :)
I once saw a man come out of my fishroom with 4 bettas latched on to his jugular. He was in a total panic: Yelling, kicking, screaming, running, trying to pry them off but OH NO they would not let go, like a bunch mini bulldogs hanging from his neck line HAHA! Blood skirting everywhere and stuff... I told him not to go in. "Dangerous" I said. Of course the big tough fellah' wouldn't listen. "Well, how dangerous can a little fish be?" he said.
Well now he had found out. Cause see, we are not just talking about ANY little fish here. We are talking about Siamese FIGHTING Fish hehehe.
OK. SO, maybe I am exaggerating a little... OK, a LOT. I was just pulling your leg about the bettas latched on to his jugular and stuff (but I had you going there for a moment, didn't I? :) ). WHY? Because bettas look convincingly intimidating hehe. So it wasn't a big stretch of your imagination to actually visualize 4 bettas taking on a mere mortal human.
Now let's comment on the real truth. Do some bettas bite? Yes. Do all bettas bite? No. Do bettas bite because they are mean? No. (At least I don't think so). So why do they bite?
There are two reasons why a betta may bite a finger or any foreign object that enters his little aquatic kingdom:
In short you could try an experiment. Pull up a chair, make yourself comfortable (a newspaper to read and also a First Aid kit LOL might be advisable), and stick your (clean) finger in his tank. Then simply sit and wait. See what he does after a while. Does he simply swim away and show no more interest after a few bites? Then he was mistaking your finger for food. Does he keep attacking it, does he flare, does he display for it over and over again? Then he is mistaking it for a rival.
AS A MATTER OF FACT LET US ALL DO THAT EXPERIMENT. I want you all to pick one betta and slowly put your entire index finger (but not your hand) in your betta's tank or bowl. Keep it there for 5 whole min if you can. I want you guys to share your result with us by taking the first poll below:
One hour later, let us all repeat the SAME experiment with the SAME betta. Let us see if the behavior changes the second time around (aka: do betta learn?). Share your results by taking the second poll below.
I am curious to see what we will find out :))). And together, we can answer your question "Is biting a normal behavior for bettas" with much accuracy :). Ooooo, fun fun fun! This is going to be exciting! And remember, before your stick your finger in there (just the finger please, not the whole hand) make sure it is clean and very well rinsed. And once you are done, wash your hands kiddos!
Enjoying this column and all the free info? Please consider donating something to help me with the high costs of keeping this website going and the ever so huge storage space and bandwidth needed to store/provide all the data, photos, videos and especially livecam this site offers you, free of any membership or subscription fees. Thank you!
support this website!