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Do Betta Fish Need Light and Do They Like it at Night?

Navigating the world of fish care can be a maze of questions and uncertainties, especially when it comes to creating the perfect environment for your aquatic friend. Dive into our comprehensive guide, where we demystify the mystery “Do betta fish need light“, ensuring your fish not only survives but thrives.

Let’s dive in and find answers that shine a light on the best care for your betta.

Do Betta Fish Like Light?

Yes, betta fish like light, and no, they like darkness too. It might initially sound puzzling, but Betta fish both enjoy and need periods without light. Here’s a simple breakdown:

Betta fish are native to the tropical regions of Thailand. Naturally, they’re accustomed to the abundant sunlight in their habitats. Light not only helps them distinguish between day and night but also sets their internal clock. When exposed to light, they know it’s their active time, and they swim, feed, and play.

However, just like us, Bettas need their rest. A darker environment signals bedtime to these fish, allowing them to relax and rejuvenate. This rest is essential for their well-being, just as it is for ours.

do betta fish need light at night
do betta fish need light at night

If you have an aquarium light, it’s beneficial to mirror a natural day-night cycle for your Betta. Consider turning on the light when you start your day and switching it off around your bedtime.

By doing this, you create a routine that’s not only good for the fish but also aligns with your own schedule, promoting a harmonious environment for both.

It’s also essential to keep our finned friends comfortable and stress-free. Providing a consistent light source mimics their natural habitat and supports their mental well-being.

If you’re looking for an easy way to maintain this schedule, many aquarium lights come equipped with timers. This allows for automatic adjustments, ensuring your Betta experiences the light and dark they need without any manual intervention from you.

Source: zappa DIY

How Much Light Do Betta Fish Need?

In a 24-hour period, a Betta should ideally experience approximately 14-16 hours of light. This doesn’t just benefit their physical well-being but also caters to their mental health, ensuring they remain active and engaged during the day.

how long do betta fish sleep
how long do betta fish sleep

Do Betta Fish Need Light at Night?

Nighttime is a moment of rest, and for Bettas, it’s essential for their overall health. These vibrant aquatic pets require intervals of complete darkness. This absence of light allows their brains and bodies to enter a vital resting phase.

If you’re someone who loves observing your Betta fish even during nighttime, there’s a considerate and fascinating way to do so: blacklight.

Using blacklight in your Betta fish tank ensures that your fish isn’t exposed to any disturbing illumination. Instead, the blacklight makes your Betta subtly “glow” in the dark, giving you a unique and mesmerizing viewing experience without hampering betta fish sleep rhythm.

do betta fish need light at night
do betta fish need light at night

What Color Light Do Betta Fish Like?

Selecting the right lighting for your Betta fish tank is more than just aesthetics; it’s about creating a comfortable environment that allows your fish to thrive. When considering the appropriate lighting, remember that Bettas are tropical fish with specific requirements. Here are some pointers to guide you:

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Understanding Betta Preferences

Bettas hail from warm waters and are renowned for their striking, vibrant colors. When you’re picking a light, think about not only what will display their hues best but also what will resonate with their natural preferences. Cool-colored lights like blue, purple, red, and green are excellent choices. These colors simulate the feeling of their natural habitat and also have a calming effect on the fish.

Purpose of the Tank

The nature of your Betta tank plays a role in your lighting choice.

Community Tanks: If you have a community tank with other fish and plants cohabiting with your Betta, opt for lights that foster plant growth. This will not only benefit the plants but also create a more organic, lush environment for all the tank inhabitants.

Isolated Tanks: For Bettas in a solitary setup, a light that mimics natural sunlight can be beneficial. It encourages activity, ensuring your fish stays active and healthy.

In essence, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to lighting for Betta tanks. It’s about balancing aesthetics with the fish’s well-being. The best light for your Betta fish will cater to their specific needs and the environment you’ve set up for them. Always prioritize their comfort and health, and you’ll find the perfect light to complement your aquatic setup.

Best Light For Betta Fish

When setting up a Betta fish tank, lighting plays an essential role in making your aquatic pet feel at home. Optimal lighting not only showcases your Betta’s vibrant colors but also replicates its natural environment, ensuring your fish is comfortable and relaxed. Here’s a breakdown of the various aquarium lights available:

LED Lights

  • Why Choose LED: LED lights are hailed as one of the top commercial lighting options for aquariums. They are energy-efficient, produce minimal heat, and some even come with programmable settings.
  • Top Picks: Consider the Aqueon Clip-On LED Light or the Fluval Plant 3.0 LED Planted Aquarium Lighting for their superior performance and reliability.

Metal Halide Lights

  • Why Choose Metal Halide: These are high-intensity lights that can generate substantial heat. They’re best reserved for larger tanks, especially reef tanks.
  • Top Pick: The Phoenix Electric Company Metal Halide HQI is a popular choice in this category.

Fluorescent Strip Lights

  • Why Choose Fluorescent Strip: These are widely accessible and straightforward to install. They’re especially suited for smaller tanks. Do note they might consume more energy than LED options.
  • Top Pick: The Aqueon Fluorescent Strip Light stands out as a reliable choice in this segment.

T5 Fluorescent Lights

  • Why Choose T5: T5 lights are sleek, energy-efficient, and generate less heat compared to metal halide lights. They’re perfect for larger freshwater tanks and reef setups.
  • Top Pick: The Fluval T5 Double Lamp Aquarium Light is well-received for its performance and suitability for various tank sizes.

Basically, when selecting a light for your Betta tank, consider factors like the size of your aquarium, energy efficiency, and heat production.


Are led lights bad for betta fish?

No, LED lights are not bad for betta fish. In fact, most aquarium lights are LED, and they are perfectly suited for bettas. Especially if you’re keeping your betta in a standard aquarium with regular aquatic plants, LED lights are an excellent choice.

Do betta fish need sunlight?

While sunlight isn’t harmful for betta fish and can even provide beneficial UV light, it’s not recommended to expose a betta aquarium to direct sunlight. This is because direct sunlight can increase the water temperature and promote excessive algae growth. Instead, most aquarium lights are designed to emulate sunlight without the downsides, providing the necessary benefits without causing temperature spikes or algae problems.

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Do betta fish like color changing lights?

Bettas generally prefer subdued lighting. While some light variations can be acceptable, it’s best to steer clear of rapid color-changing lights or those that are too intense. Many betta enthusiasts find that white or blue LED lights are ideal. They offer clear visibility without being overly stimulating and highlight the betta’s natural colors beautifully.

Do Betta Fish Like UV Light?

While UV light has benefits for many aquarium plants and some fish, bettas don’t specifically need it. They can’t detect ultraviolet light. Unless you’re using a UV sterilizer in your tank, introducing UV light won’t benefit your betta. For a betta’s well-being, it’s best to provide low to moderate levels of natural daylight spectrum.


In wrapping up, understanding whether “do betta fish need light” and what kind is paramount for the well-being of your aquatic companion.

As we’ve discussed, the right lighting not only showcases the beauty of your betta but also ensures its comfort and health.

We hope this guide illuminated your path in betta care. For more insightful tips and guides, don’t forget to dive deeper into our other blogs at National Park Aquarium. Your fish deserve the best, and we’re here to guide you every step of the way!

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