Do Fish Get Bored?

Some pets such as dogs or cats are a bit easier to read because they let us know how they are feeling using body language. A popular question often asked by fish keeping hobbyists is do fish get bored?

As fish just swim around, pretty straight faced and emotionless, it’s very hard, if not impossible to know just how they are feeling or if they are bored.

Fish do get bored, but not in the same way as a human does. In this article we are going to answer the question of do fish get bored in more depth, as well as well as the signs of a board fish and how to prevent a fish from getting bored.

Do Fish Get Bored?

Do Fish Get Bored

Us humans can easily become bored when we are stuck in the same surroundings with nothing new to see, and no new experiences. When it comes to fish getting bored, this subject has been very debatable.

Although not in the same way as a human, fish can get bored if they do not have enough social needs or an empty aquarium with lack of decorations or stimulation. This can result in them behaving abnormally.

This can differ from species to species.

How do you know if your fish is bored?

In this section we are going to cover a number of different points to allow you to spot the signs of a bored fish.

Very Little Activity

If you think of a human who has no fun, does nothing all day and has nothing to look forward to. This can make them become very stagnant as there life is so dull that there activity is virtually non-existent.

The same can happen to a fish in a tank that is dull with no decorations. The boredom can drain the life and activity out of them. Although this kind of behavior can also indicate sickness, such just be aware.

Habits and Behavior

If there is little stimulation and decorations in the tank, fish will get used to the surroundings quickly and they will have nothing left to do or see. A single fish in a small tank can also get very bored and lonely.


It’s possible that a fish will begin hurting themselves when there is nothing left to do and little stimulation in the tank. This is especially true and very typical behavior with betta fishes.

It’s not uncommon for them bang against the glass of the aquarium, and even eat their own fins.

How do I keep my fish from getting bored?

Here are some tips you can use to prevent your fish from getting bored.

  • Floating Balls: Floating balls such as ping pong balls on the surface of the water will amuse your fish and provide plenty of stimulation.
  • Stones and Shells: Shells and stones have the same effect as pin pong balls.
  • Decorations: Aquarium decorations come in many forms such as castles, rocks, plants and various other things not only look great, but they also provide great stimulation for your fish.
  • Mirrors: Mirrors are a great option, especially if you have a fish that lives alone. The reason for this is because the fish will be very curious about their reflection. Mirrors also add to a smaller tank by giving the illusion of a larger tank.
  • Diet: Could you imagine how bored you would get if you were to have the exact same food day in day out. When it comes to your fish, it’s always a great idea to mix up their diet and provide variety.

Related Questions

How Do I Know If My Fish Are Happy

Here are some of the signs that your fish is happy:

  • Actively swimming around in the tank.
  • Eating properly.
  • Looks healthy with no visible white spots.
  • Regularly opening gills and breathing properly.

Do Fish Get Lonely?

Fish can get lonely but not in the same sense as a human, and this only applies to certain species. Some species actually prefer being alone.


Do fish get bored? Although fish do not get bored in the same way as a human does, they still can get bored and their behavior can change if there is nothing to stimulate them.

Remember to add plenty of decorations and plants to you aquarium to create a thriving environment. Not only will your fish love you for it, but your aquarium will also look visually fantastic.