lighting for betta fish

Do Betta Fish Like Light?

Betta fish enjoy light, just like us humans, but what is the correct lighting setup that betta fish love?

If you are decorating a betta fish tank, the lighting is probably the most important step. Betta fish look elegant with beautiful colors when you provide the right lighting to your fish tank. The beautiful fins of Betta fish can also create a relaxing atmosphere in your room.

However, providing perfect lighting in a Betta fish tank is not required, but if you can provide day & night circulating lighting in the tank, then Betta fish can enjoy the light in the morning and darkness in the night.

Why Betta Fish Like Light?

Betta fish like brightness when they are awake, but they prefer a dark ambiance when they sleep.

But, when it comes to considering all aspects of maintaining an aquarium, you should replicate the natural conditions in your aquarium that the fish live in rivers or seas. IF you can provide perfect lighting and water conditions, then your fish will be happy and they will not get stressed and prone to many diseases.

Bettas originated from Choa Phraya and Mekong River located in Thailand. The betta fish inhabited shallow water bodies like rice paddies, marshes, and floodplains.  In dry months, Betta fish live in puddles, and they eat water-bound insects and insect larvae to survive.

Betta Fish Need Light

In general, Bettas environment is dark, because of the thick aquatic vegetation that grows in the rivers, and due to this dense vegetation water gets stagnated and muddy.  However, Betta fish eat from the surface of the water and they can easily breathe air when they are on the surface as they also use their labyrinth organ along with gills to breathe.  That is why they are normally found on the surface of the water so that they can also live in bright natural sunlight. Wild Betta fish are very active during the daytime, but during the nighttime, Betta fish sleep throughout the night.

Aquarium Light In Captivity: 

However, unlike wild bettas, captive bettas are normally kept in the best fish tanks for bettas, with bright aquarium light as fish keepers like to see the beautiful colors and form of the Betta fish.  The captive betta fish can easily adjust to these lights also as they can see the offered food and they can avoid the light by hiding under the aquarium plants or caves.

Like wild bettas, captive bettas also sleep at night in their betta fish tank setup, which means you need to turn off the aquarium lights at night. During the daytime, you can turn on the lights in the fish tank and during the night turn them off when you go to sleep.

Betta fish need the proper balance of aquarium lighting to flourish.

Betta Fish Like Light

Make sure to provide a natural day/night cycle when you keep a betta in your aquarium. They need light but at the correct intervals. A perfect balance of light and dark, much like Star Wars fish tank decorations you will need balance to realize the full extent of the “force”.

Lighting for betta fish


Use timer unit when you are not at home, all that you need to do is set the timer to switch on the lights in the daytime for sunlight feel and switch off the lights at night.

Is too little or too much light dangerous for your Betta Fish?

A good balance of aquarium lighting is important. You want the aquarium light to showcase your fish, but not so much as it interrupts their natural cycle.

If you are wondering what happens to your Betta fish if you forgot to switch off the aquarium artificial light or switch on the light for a longer time.

Well, if you forgot to switch off the betta fish light and your betta is exposed to too much light, then it may have to face a few issues. If betta gets too much light, then it gets overstimulated.

This can further cause betta fish to be more active for a longer period of time. This hyper behavior causes stress and it can further lead to health issues and susceptibility to diseases.

Do Betta Fish Need Light, But Not too Much

Also, Betta fish will not eat if there is too much tank light in the aquarium leading to unhealthy fish and algae growth. Because of brightness, the betta fish gets very active in their aquarium, which causes stress, because of a poor appetite.

Betta fish follows a routine in their natural habitat; they eat during day time and have a natural sleeping pattern during the night.  If you keep your betta in a permanent natural sunlight environment, then it doesn’t know when to eat and when to sleep, and this confusion will make betta lose its appetite, and also it will stop eating completely.

Do Betta Fish Like Light When Feeding

It is important to keep your bettas in a place where the room light is not constantly on or off at high intervals. Whether you use natural light or an LED light, consistency with on/off cycles will matter to the health of your bettas.

Light Accentuates Betta Fish Tanks

If you do not provide enough natural light to the Betta fish tank, then you may not enjoy its beautiful and vibrant colors, also it can lose the charm if you keep it in a dark and dull environment.  Also, spawnings will not happen if you keep your Betta in a very dark aquarium.

You cannot put Bettas in an aquarium if you place the tank near the windowsill or the place where you will get a lot of direct sunlight or natural light.  Unfortunately, direct sunlight can cause illness to your betta, so you should avoid putting a betta aquarium in direct sunlight and use artificial light instead.

Also, direct sunlight makes the fish tank increase algae growth. throughout the water column.

Light and Algae

Though algae bloom is not harmful to your fish, but the slimy green color fungus can cover the glass quickly and make the tank and the entire environment ugly and unattractive.  The fungus also grows on the plants and decorations placed in the aquarium.

Even though algae causes havoc with its slimy substance, it still offers some benefits. The slimy algae will help to remove harmful compounds from water in your aquarium, and also removes nitrates from the water. Fish species like snails and Amano shrimp can make good tank mates for your Betta as they include algae in their diet.

How Much Light Does A Betta Tank Need?

You can use a 1-watt bulb tank light per gallon of water, and if you are using LED lights then it should be less than one watt, and for fluorescent lighting, 1.5watt of light per gallon will be perfect for the betta tank.

Are Colored Lights suitable for Betta fish tank?

Generally, most of these aquarium lights are available in color and they come with special effect options.

Colored LEDs and UV light surely make your aquarium look beautiful for you and your bettas and the best part is it doesn’t cause any difference for a betta, you just need to follow the day/night cycle when you place betta in your fish tank to mimic betta sleeping patterns.

Your fish tank lights can have an effect on water surface temperatures, algae growth and act as a beauty enhancer for bettas. Just do not overdo it, as your aquarium water will suffer some and start to smell like river basins.

Temperature Shock:

Betta fish are very susceptible to temperature changes, and they can easily go into shock if the water temperature with the tank light becomes too hot or too cold.  Controlling your artificial light is important. If you place your betta fish tank where the sunlight falls all day, then the water temperature in the tank may get too hot quickly that can stress your betta fish, and sometimes it can kill the fish.

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