Since they have the reputation of being the Siamese fighting fish, it’s only natural to ask, “Do betta fish have teeth?”
Although you may not see them at first, or at all, betta fish do have tiny white teeth. To observe these teeth, try using a magnifying glass during feeding time. Or better yet, take a picture with your smartphone when they are feeding and then use the zoom feature to locate the teeth.
These teeth are very tiny and used for mainly the same reasons humans use teeth. To better understand betta fish teeth, keep on reading till the end.
How Do Betta Fish Chew Their Food: Exploring the Myth of Betta Fish Teeth
Do Betta Fish Bite?
Betta fish are known to be very aggressive, and yes, they do bite.
But when does it happen?
They bite the prey during feeding time to chew and break down their food. They bite the food pallets to fractionate them to be easily digested.
They might also bite you when you put your finger or hand inside their fish tank, especially when your betta fish is new and uncomfortable with you. They might mistake your hand for a predator and try to protect themselves by being aggressive. But their bites are not harmful to human skin.
Even when they are biting hard, it will only result in them getting stuck to your finger. You won’t feel any prick, and your skin will be safe.
So, if you want to experience a betta fish bite, wash your hand thoroughly so as not to introduce any bacteria in the fish tank and insert your finger inside the tank. Swirl your finger around a bit with food smeared over it for good measure.
Bettas also bite other fish, which can be quite dangerous. Tiny betta fish teeth may not harm humans, but they can be detrimental to other fish’s fins, tails, and scales. So, choose your betta fish tank mates very carefully.
Don’t introduce fish with vibrant colors or large fins into the tank. Also, don’t put betta males together in one fish tank. They have a habit of fighting and tearing each other’s fins.
What Type of Organism is Betta Fish?
Betta fish are carnivores. In the wilderness, they eat insects, larvae, worms, etc. So, this is one of the main reasons betta fish have teeth. They eat meat in their natural habitat, so it’s a good idea to incorporate live food and dried worms into their diet, as well as food pallets and betta flakes.
When they are born, betta fish don’t have any teeth. They grow their first set of teeth, milk teeth, in the first few weeks of their lives. These teeth are smaller and tinier than the second, aka the final set of teeth. The milk teeth fall out and are replaced by the final set of teeth. This whole process is completed during the first 3 to 4 months. The final teeth don’t usually fall out. They only fall out as a result of a fighting injury or sickness.
What are the Functions of Betta fish Teeth?
Betta fish teeth serve multiple purposes:
- Eating: The primary use of betta fish teeth is to feed. As mentioned before, betta fish use their teeth to break down their food into tiny particles that are easier to digest.
- Protection: Bettas are extremely territorial and attack the predator or other trespassing fish when they sense a threat. They use their teeth to tear the fins, tails, and scales of other fish. Betta males are extremely sensitive about protecting their bubble nests, and they use their teeth to fight any threat, sometimes to the death.
- Mating: Bettas also use their teeth to bite their breeding partner during spawning.
Like any other creature, betta fish do have teeth, but they are very tiny and not easily seen. They use these teeth for feeding, protecting themselves, and attacking other fish. They also use teeth to bite their breeding partner during spawning as well.
They bite humans as well, but their teeth don’t penetrate the skin, and you will feel a small tingle. But betta fish bites can harm other fish’s scales, fins, and tails. So, choose your betta fish tank mates wisely.