The 10 Best Betta Fish Toys You Can Safely Put in Their Tank

Written by Micky Moran
Published: February 25, 2024
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One of the most important parts of taking care of any pet is mental stimulation, but the betta fish is unique. Also known as the Siamese fighting fish, this pet is smart, curious, and energetic, which is why their tank needs to offer a way to express all of these qualities. With the right betta fish toys, you create the variation that they ordinarily want from their natural environment.

When you purchase toys for your betta, you create a welcomed imitation of their natural environment. Just like their owners, betta fish need to get exercise, relieve stress, and stay healthy for a long and happy life. Choosing toys that allow them to participate in the same activities as they do in the wild – like weaving through small spaces or engaging in social interactions – stimulates their mind. With all of these factors to consider, here are a few of the toys that match the needs of your betta fish.


Mirrors are one of the easiest ways to engage your betta fish, even if they are only interacting with their reflection.

©Malzees / CC BY-SA 3.0 – License

Almost every betta fish owner starts with this toy – a mirror. Mirrors allow betta fish to get a look at themselves, but they don’t recognize the reflection. Instead, the fish believes that another betta fish is in the tank, which is why he flares his gills and makes himself seem bigger.

While some betta fish become stressed when the mirror is left for hours, a few minutes at a time is enough to give them mental stimulation. It also helps them to relax and release their bowels, making this mirror a helpful solution for constipation. For a hands-free option, use a mirror with suction cups to hold it in place.

Leaf Hammock

Once your betta fish emerges victorious from this “fight,” they may want a moment to relax, which is what leaf hammocks are for. Keeping a balanced space allows them to both engage physically and recharge.

Indian-almond betta fish leaf hammocks are popular because of the tannins they release in the water. While your fish swims and relaxes, the tannins reduce the risk of fin rot and bacteria growth.

Ping Pong Ball

These floating ping pong balls offer hours of fun to betta fish as they nudge them from under the water’s surface.

©Dean Hochman / CC BY 2.0 – License

For some entertainment that doesn’t require any attack, a floating ping pong ball offers a playful way to reengage mentally. Betta fish enjoy chasing these balls around their tank, but make sure that this ball stays far away if your betta fish has a bubble nest. Many people avoid adding free-floating toys entirely with a bubble nest present. If anything destroys this nest, your betta fish can suffer psychological trauma.


To show off their agility and the beauty of their fins in motions, some betta fish owners add hoops as a new toy. These hoops are easy to swim through, and you can arrange them in different patterns in their tank. Some people alternate with tunnels, giving the fish another place to relax. Adding a floating tank to this setup expands the space they can enjoy.

Live Plants

Three gallon betta or siamese fighting fish aquarium with live aquatic plants ghost shrimp snails rocks heater filtration sand substrate and led lights

©Sandra Burm/

If the purpose of your betta fish’s toys is to recreate their natural environment, why not include live plants? This type of décor requires regular upkeep, but they keep the chemistry of your tank balanced. They help to bring in more oxygen and reduce carbon dioxide, and they reduce the buildup of algae. For your betta fish, they are the perfect toy to swim around, hide behind, and rest in.

If you can’t support the health of live plants, opt for silk plants, not plastic. Plastic plants are very toxic. With silk pants, your fish gets all the softness that a life plant provides without toxins.

Floating Logs

Many pet stores sell floating logs as a fun addition to your betta fish’s toy collection. While some use this toy to circle or rest, others use it as the central location of their bubble nest. Some models have features like a feeding hole or other designs that can entice your fish’s mind.

Moss Balls

Many animals enjoy growing moss balls in their tank to support their environment and hide around.

©Rob Cruickshank / CC BY 2.0 – License

Having a ball of moss for your betta fish to play with gives them another toy to push around, circle, and explore. While they are available in many pet stores, you can also make one at home by adding moss to a round holder. As the moss grows at the bottom of the tank, it controls algae and limits toxins.

Air Bubblers

By introducing more oxygen to the tank, your fish stays healthy, and the tank stays clean for longer.

©Debbie Kates Castanares / CC BY-ND 2.0 – License

Including an air bubbler offers an easy way to offer entertainment for your betta fish and filter the water in their tank. Pet stores offer many different designs and shapes, depending on the size of your tank. Seek out products with non-toxic ingredients to keep your fish safe.

Live Food

Even with the best diet, having live prey in the tank helps betta fish keep their fighting skills strong.

©Carlos Eduardo Joos / CC BY 2.0 – License

Nothing offers the same challenge that a betta fish experiences in nature, like live prey. Adding their live meal to the tank gives them a chance to truly stimulate their mind and improve their hunting skills. Consider adding brine, shrimp, larvae, fruit flies, and other invertebrates that betta fish enjoy.

Homemade Toys

When you decide what toys to add to your betta fish tank, you don’t have to break the bank or go to a specialty store for everything. Instead, using non-toxic materials at home lets you explore the different textures that your betta fish may like. Avoid any sharp corners, and make sure to scale the toys to the size of your fish. Use your creativity to help with mental stimulation and creating a safe space.

Best Betta Fish Toys You Can Safely Put in Their Tank

MirrorMental stimulation. Reduces constipation/loss of bowels.
Leaf hammockOffers a place to relax or hide. Reduces the risk of fin rot and bacterial growth
Ping pong ballMental stimulation. Reduces constipation/looses bowels.
HoopsOffers a way to practice agility. Offers physical stimulation while engaging their problem-solving skills. Entertainment.
Live plantsOxygenates water while purging carbon dioxide. Recreates natural environment safely. Offers a place to hide or relax.
Floating logStimulates the mind. Offers a physical challenge. Provides a place to build a bubble nest.
Moss ballCan play, swim around, or push it. Reduces algae and bacterial buildup.
Air bubblersEntertainment. Oxygenation of water.
Live foodFeeds the betta fish while creating a challenge that they experience in nature.
Homemade toysProduces a low-cost option for playtime.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Animals

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About the Author

Micky Moran is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering mammals, travel, marine life, and geography. He has been writing and researching animals and nature for over 5 years. A resident of Arizona, he enjoys spending time with family, going on adventures across the United States with his wife and kids by his side.

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