Do Betta Fish Need Light?

Do Betta Fish Need Light? What do you think?

Light has a big effect on all living things. Even plants need sunlight, and it’s beneficial for all fish. Betta fish are particularly sensitive to light, as they’re often kept in small bowls, so understanding the basics of their light needs can help you get the most out of your fish.

While some bettas can adapt to the dimmer light, others may require specific lighting levels. Some bettas prefer indirect light, while others prefer natural light.

You should also avoid placing your Betta in direct light for long periods. And be sure to clean and change the substrate regularly to ensure a healthy environment.

If you’re considering adding betta fish to your aquarium, it’s best to do some research before bringing them home.

Do Betta Fish Need Light?
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Here are some important facts about how to care for betta fish.

What sort of light does a Betta Fish need?

There are no strict guidelines regarding how much sunshine a Betta Fish requires each day. But I prefer to keep them on around 9-10 hours daily. My Bettas have the best results with this exposure, so it may not be right for everyone.

You can set the timer to turn on for 1 hour or 2 hours if you need the plants to do a bit longer. This will let the plants do their photosynthesis and grow while reducing the amount of stress they’re experiencing. 

Then turn the timer, so the light comes back on before you leave for home, and you can enjoy a second, 6-hour cycle of Betta light in the evening.

Many people make the mistake of their Betta light coming on at 9 am, then off again at 7 pm, meaning they spend much of the day in a dark environment.

How long should a Betta tank light on each day?

Betta fish require a lot of light and heat to thrive, and how long you leave it on your Bettas varies based on the size of your tank. For example, I recommend leaving a 25-gallon tank with Bettas on it for about 8 to 10 hours, but for tanks under 20 gallons, I recommend keeping them on for only six to eight hours.

You can also start the plants off by putting them outside for a couple of hours in the morning before you go to work, switching the timer off, and bringing them inside for the rest of the day.

Ensure your Betta light comes on before leaving the house in the morning and keep the tank well-lit during the day. If you do this, you’ll enjoy the full light cycle all day.

Is it better for Bettas to be exposed to natural or artificial light?

You’ll want to decide whether to use artificial or natural light. Natural light is the best type of light for your Bettas. It helps the plants grow and photosynthesize, which is essential for your Bettas’ health.

Bettas are nocturnal fish, so they do best when the lights are turned off. You can use a timer to turn the lights off for a few hours each night or set up an automatic timer.

When you put the timer on, you’ll want to turn the lights on again before leaving for work in the morning. This way, you can enjoy a full light cycle for the entire day. And then switch the timer off, and enjoy a second light cycle for the evening.

If you’d rather use artificial light, you can buy a compact fluorescent bulb (CFL) or LED bulb to put in your tank. These bulbs are better for your Bettas than regular incandescent bulbs because they produce less heat and don’t create harmful UV rays.

artificial light
Gold- and Silverfish in an Aquarium (1890–1922) painting in high resolution by Gerrit Willem Dijsselhof. Original from the Rijksmuseum. Digitally enhanced by rawpixel.

What About Colored Lights?

Aquariums usually come with a range of built-in colors and effects. These can be used greatly when designing your Betta’s tank look and vibe. Colored lights don’t affect your Betta any differently than white lights if you stick to the day/night cycle.

How Long Should a Bettas Light Cycle Last?

Bettas are active fish that require a lot of light and heat to thrive. That means you’ll need to turn the lights on for a long time each day.

For a 25-gallon tank, I recommend turning the lights on for about 10 to 12 hours per day. 

However, if you’re keeping your Bettas in a smaller tank, you may need to limit the light cycle to just 6 to 8 hours.

I recommend leaving the lights on for 16 to 18 hours each day, but you can experiment to see what works best for your Bettas.

What Happened If Your Betta Is Overexposed to Light?

Providing your Bettas with a regular light cycle is the greatest thing you can do to keep them healthy. The problem is that too much light can cause many problems algae growth, stress and sometimes damage its eyes called Monocular vision Betta fish.

The first thing to know is that Bettas are nocturnal fish. That means they prefer to be in a dark environment and don’t like being exposed to direct sunlight.

The easiest approach to prevent these issues is to supply your Bettas with the ideal light cycle. You’ll want to give them enough light to keep them happy, but not so much that they get stressed.

The next thing to know is that Bettas are sensitive to blue light. This means they’re more likely to develop a skin condition called “cyanosis” when exposed to blue light.

To avoid this, you’ll want to choose a timer that uses a color other than blue, such as red or yellow.

An important thing to know is that Bettas have difficulty regulating their body temperature.  Naturally, you’ll want to ensure that you provide your Bettas with a comfortable temperature. They can become overheated when exposed to too much heat, which can lead to various problems.

If you’re using a timer, you’ll need to ensure that it provides a range of temperatures. For example, if you’re using a timer that provides a 10-hour light cycle, you’ll want to make sure that the timer provides at least two different temperatures.

The first temperature should be warm enough for your Bettas to feel comfortable, but not so hot that they get stressed. The second temperature should be cool enough to feel comfortable but not so cold that they get sick.

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How To Keep Your Bettas Healthy

Bettas are very easy to care for. All you have to do is keep their water clean and give them a decent light cycle. A good water filter will remove all impurities from your water, including chlorine. You should also use a filter that has a high carbon filter, such as the one that comes with a reverse osmosis system.

You can use a timer to regulate the light cycle, or you can use an automatic timer. The next thing to know is that Bettas are sensitive to blue light. They’re sensitive to red light as well. This means that you should never put your Bettas in direct sunlight. You can also use red light bulbs to simulate the sun.

When it comes to food, Bettas eat a wide variety of foods. Some Bettas prefer to eat fish, while others prefer to eat vegetables. Undeniably, Bettas love to eat live food.

If you have a Bettas tank, you can feed your Bettas live foods such as koi, goldfish, and brine shrimp. Bettas also love to eat crickets, worms, and even bloodworms. Bettas also enjoy eating algae and lettuce.

A Bettas tank should be at least 2 gallons in size. You can get a Bettas aquarium if you don’t have a large enough tank.

It would be best if you also considered getting a Bettas heater. Bettas are cold-blooded animals, so they need a heater to maintain a constant temperature. Bettas also require a high level of humidity.

You should also get a Bettas filter. Bettas filters are necessary because Bettas can breathe through their gills. Bettas also need a filter to remove any debris into their tank.

Can Betta Fish See in The Dark?

Betta fish are active throughout the night, but the light conditions can impact how well they see. Betta fish have a cone-shaped retina, which can detect bright lights and dark spaces better than humans.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Do Betta Fish Need Light at Night?

Aquarium fish don’t usually need light at night. Their natural circadian rhythms regulate their sleeping patterns, and they only sleep during the day. However, if you give them a fluorescent lamp, this can be harmful. It will only disrupt the natural lighting cycle and cause them to wake up at night.

Is sunlight good for your Betta?

Sunlight can help regulate your Betta’s internal body temperatures, but this should only be done in small amounts. Instead, ensure you are giving them adequate amounts of filtered water and healthy, nutritious foods.

How many watts do you need for your betta tank’s size?

A standard-size betta tank uses 20 watts. You need 20 watts of power to light the tank every hour. If you don’t have a fluorescent lighting system, you can use a compact fluorescent bulb.

Why is my betta fish not eating?

You probably didn’t give the fish enough food. If the fish doesn’t eat anything for more than 24 hours, you should increase its food intake. If you already feed the fish twice a day, then increase the feeding frequency by about 20%.

Do Bettas need darkness to sleep?

No, Bettas do not require darkness to sleep. They do require enough light to see by. But they do not need absolute darkness.

Can Betta Fish Survive Outdoors?

They could, but most betta fish prefer to stay indoors, as they’re highly sensitive to natural sunlight, and thus if you take them outdoors in the summertime, you risk sunburn. They’ll likely suffer from various diseases, such as ring-spotted disease, and their survival chances would diminish drastically.

You may keep your Betta inside if you live in an area with no mosquitos or can manage them. Please don’t leave them outside in direct sunlight; instead, keep them in a large tank with filtered water.

How do beta fish eyes work?

They use a type of vision called electro-chromic. They are the first fish species to do this. This type of vision can also find in some reptiles and birds. Electro-chromic vision is a type of photoreception that uses electric signals to control what part of the retina is sensitive to light.

Is it necessary to clean my betta fish tank regularly?

It is very important to keep your tropical fish tank clean. Many harmful bacteria can infect the bettas. To avoid this, you need to clean the tank frequently and regularly. You should use a power filter to filter out any debris that accumulates on the top of the tank and change the water frequently to keep the bettas happy.

Which water is best for betta fish?

Several types of water can be used for keeping betta fish, and each has different benefits. Water-testing kits can also determine which type of water is best for your fish.

Can I touch my betta fish?

A betta fish is usually kept in a tank, and should not be touched by humans at all. While you can still see a betta fish in a small aquarium, touching it could cause infection.


Do Betta fish need light? It’s important to ensure your aquarium’s lighting is suitable for your pet. Ensure that your Betta fish receives enough light but not too much at once. 

Betta fish require between a 14 to 15-hour day, meaning they need bright light for approximately 16 hours, but not anymore. They do best with a dimmer or soft blue spectrum light to provide natural colors and the correct balance of light and darkness. 

Does your Betta fish like the soft blue spectrum light we recommend? Share in the comments what light your Betta likes!

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