HomeFreshwater FishFreshwater Aquarium BasicsDo Betta Fish Need Light At Night and Do They Like It?

Do Betta Fish Need Light At Night and Do They Like It?

Do betta fish need light, and do they enjoy it? These seemingly simple questions are actually quite crucial in betta fish care.

Both insufficient and excessive light can have side effects, so adjusting the light appropriately is very important. In this article, National Park Aquarium will help you understand how much light your betta should receive, the best type of light, why they need light, and more!

Do Betta Fish Like Light?

Betta fish do like light, but they prefer dimly lit areas over bright ones, as they have evolved to live in dark water regions. They require light to maintain their sleep patterns and to perceive the colors around them. Excessive light can cause them to become stressed or hide.

Betta fish are diurnal, meaning they are most active during the day. Your pet needs a clear day/night cycle for its body to know when to eat, be active, and when to rest. However, leaving the lights on at night can harm your betta fish, so you should always turn off the lights when going to bed.

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

Do Betta Fish Need Light?

While the lighting in the fish tank is not crucial for betta fish, it’s important that your betta fish is not in complete darkness 24/7.

Like most species on this planet, light is very important for physical and mental health. Like any other animal, it expects nightfall, so the light should be turned off when you go to bed.

Betta fish should be exposed to light for about 14 – 16 hours (minimum) in a 24-hour period each day. You can purchase a timer for your fish tank light to ensure this is well controlled. Some fish tanks come with a timer installed, but if not, you can always set up a timer on the socket controlling the light.

how long do betta fish sleep
How Much Light Do Betta Fish Need?

Do Betta Fish Need Light at Night?

No, Betta fish do not need light at night. In fact, they require periods of complete darkness to properly transition into the rest state that their brain and body need.

If you want to observe your fish at night, you could use a black light in your Betta fish tank. This type of light does not disturb your Betta’s sleep and can make your Betta fish glow, providing an interesting way to watch your fish at night without disrupting their natural sleep cycle.

do betta fish need light at night
do betta fish need light at night
See more: can betta fish see in the dark (explanation of betta fish vision at night)

Do Bettas Prefer Natural Light Or Artificial Light?

While both natural and artificial light can support the growth and well-being of Betta fish, they don’t show a particular preference for either. They adapt well to artificial light and LEDs, much like they would to natural sunlight. The advantage of artificial light is that it offers better control and consistency in the fish tank environment.

Natural sunlight can be beneficial for Betta fish and any plants in the tank. However, if the light is too direct, it can cause problems. Betta fish are more comfortable in dimmer lights compared to brighter ones in their aquarium.

If you’re housing a Betta fish in a tank, it’s advisable to use artificial light. Quality artificial light can offer all the benefits of natural light and can also support the growth of most plants in the tank. Fluorescent lights are a recommended choice as they emit light without generating excessive heat, and they can also promote plant growth.

Explore: 13 fish species betta compatible fish to create the perfect your aquarium!

What Color Light Is Best for Betta Fish?

Choosing the right lighting for your Betta fish tank involves considering a few factors. Betta fish, being tropical, prefer warm water and lights that highlight their vibrant colors. Cool colored lights like purple, blue, red, and green are ideal as they mimic their natural habitat and keep them calm.

The type of light depends on your fish’s needs. If you have a community tank, go for lights that aid plant growth, creating a natural environment. For a closed tank, a light mimicking sunlight keeps your fish active and healthy. The best colored light for Betta fish can respond to each specific color.

Source: zappa DIY


Lighting is a crucial part of your Betta fish tank. It not only allows us to better admire our pets but also plays a significant role in the Betta’s biological rhythm. If you want your Betta fish to thrive, you need to provide them with the appropriate amount of light, which we have discussed here.

By the end of this article, you should understand “do Betta fish need light” and what type of light is best for your Betta fish.

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Kevin Mills, the founder of Nationalparkaquarium.org


-- Founder --

I'm Kevin Mills, the founder of Nationalparkaquarium.org, where I share my deep passion for aquariums and aquatic life. With over 20 years of experience in fishkeeping, covering everything from tending to saltwater and freshwater tanks.

Kathleen Wood


-- Interrogator --

Kathleen Wood, a seasoned marine biologist, possesses a wealth of knowledge and experience in her field. Her research on tropical fish biodiversity spans over three decades, and she has contributed numerous scientific papers on aquatic life.