Last update: July 24, 2022

Do Betta Fish Have Teeth and Can They Bite You?

Betta fish do have teeth and are capable of biting. That’s why, if you become an owner of a Betta, you have to understand their behavior, the environment they require, and what’s the perfect tank mate for a Betta. Doing so will prevent accidents, especially in homes with children or other pets.

Betta fish, commonly known as Siamese Fighting Fish, are notorious for their aggression and territoriality. So, it’s understandable why you came to our page. Let’s discuss their biting and whether it’s dangerous to people.

Do Betta Fish Have Teeth?

Do Betta Fish Have Teeth?

The bottom of the Betta fish’s jaws is covered in a white row of teeth. However, their teeth are so small that they can’t be seen from a distance, and you’ll need to get up close and personal to have a good idea of how they look. You can use the camera or magnifying lens to look closer at their teeth. 

The teeth of betta fish play an essential role in eating. They chew the food until it is broken down into small pieces they can swallow. Meat is their staple diet, although they also consume plants from time to time. 

By stopping its victims from escaping and devouring them, betta fish teeth’s primary purpose is to kill. When it comes to meeting their dietary requirements, betta fish consume a large number of larvae. Because insects like mosquitoes and bloodworms lay their eggs in the water, betta fish can get an endless supply of larvae to feed their voracious appetite. 

A wide variety of animal species use teeth as weapons and defense systems in addition to eating, and Bettas are one of them. They are known for their violent fighting styles, and when fighting a male, they will not hesitate to use their razor-sharp teeth to remove their opponent’s fin or tail to win their side.

Can Betta Fish Bite You?

Putting your hand in a Betta fish tank will not likely result in them biting you. But don’t, for a second, think that they are not vicious little predators.

Depending on the circumstances, your hand might also seem like another species invading their region, so they might attack you. Still, chances are not as high as you might think. Be extra careful, always. 

Why Do Betta Fish Bite People?

betta attack finger

If you happen to be bitten by a Betta fish, that means it saw you as a threat to its well-being.

Its brain concluded you were invading its territory, so it proceeded to attack you. Get your hand out of the tank as quickly as possible if you see them coming to you with full strength.

 A fish would often bite a person just to see whether the dangling palm is edible since they are curious. To gather information and judge their surroundings, animals without hands rely heavily on their mouths.

In truth, human infants and toddlers are the same. They have a predisposition to put everything in their mouths since they are not yet aware of the total capacity of their hands and eyes. 

Self-defense is another typical motivation for betta fish to bite. Betta fish are known to be territorial. Therefore it is reasonable to assume that they will defend their home if they detect a potential threat. Due to the dangers of agitating the fish, you should avoid placing your hand in the aquarium.

If you catch a fish and it bites you, it’s unlikely it intends to do so. The fish may accidentally bite your finger if it still has food on it while attempting to remove it from your hand.

Is Betta Fish Bite Dangerous?

feeding betta

Betta fish are not sharks or piranhas, and there is no reason to fear their bites. Their teeth are too tiny and unable to exert enough force to pierce human skin, which is too thick for them to handle.

If bitten by a betta fish, a person will typically only experience a minor tingling or prickly sensation rather than pain. The bite of a betta fish will more often than not take you by surprise than it will cause you any physical discomfort. 

Because their lips are too small and weak to get through human skin, biting a human would cause the fish to experience great agony. There are instances when the fish will bite, and then they won’t let go of your hand quickly.

This delay is not because it is trying to attack you; instead, its mouth is entangled in your skin, and the fish cannot pull it out because it is stuck there. The fish may sustain injury to its jaw if the issue is not resolved as fast as possible.

Even if the bite from the fish is painless, humans shouldn’t allow the fish to bite them multiple times because it could cause the fish’s jaw to become permanently damaged.

Closing Thoughts

Although a Betta fish biting you won’t cause any damage to your skin, we highly recommend not putting your hand in the tank.

It will not only stress them out and make them feel threatened but biting your skin might cause trauma to their jaw.

Their little teeth are for biting small insects and plants. A Betta biting a human’s hand is like you trying to bite a stone – it won’t end well. 

Ian Sterling

Ian Sterling, founder of, began his aquarium journey over 30 years ago, driven by a deep fascination for fish and their diverse personalities. His website,, is dedicated to making fishkeeping accessible and enjoyable, offering beginner-friendly guidance, expert insights, and a community for aquarists to connect and share experiences.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *