Skip to content Skip to sidebar Skip to footer

Do Betta Fish Like Light? Here’s the Answer that Every Pet Fish Parent Needs

Do Betta Fish Like Light? Here’s the Answer that Every Pet Fish Parent Needs

One of many important things to look for when caring for betta fish is their requirement of light. Incorrect amount of light, either not enough or too much might provide the opposite of the benefits. If you wonder questions related to this topic such as do betta fish like light, why proper lighting is important, and more, you can find out the answers below.

Do Betta Fish Need Light?

Before getting into the answer of do betta fish like light, let’s get familiar first with this fish species. Also known as the Siamese fighting fish, betta fish or Betta splendens is a South East Asian native that originally mostly lives in the streams and rivers of Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia. Initially, this fish is bred as fighting fish, hence the name. It is one of the members of the Osphronemidae family. The species itself has quite a lot of varieties, such as halfmoon, double tail, and veil tail.

So, do betta fish like light? Well, similar to a lot of other animals, it does need light to survive. Light helps betta fish to regulate their living schedule such as eating habits, sleeping patterns, and more.

However, it needs to be addressed that wild betta fish typically live in types of murky water such as canals and rice paddies, places that don’t provide an ample of natural light as the sunlight isn’t able to optimally penetrate the water. Other elements such as falling leaves and debris also contribute to create blockade of sun, so it can’t reach the fish as easily. Due to these circumstances, as you might have already guessed, betta fish have adapted well to living conditions with low amount of light.

Now you may think that the answer to the question do betta fish like light is that they don’t. It is true, but the fact that they still require some lights to survive cannot be overlooked. Light helps the fish to find food as well as to identify predators and avoid them, such as birds that are the natural predators of betta fish. The fish is able to spot coming predators by making use of the reflecting on the surface of the water then get enough time to hide itself. Aquarium betta fish, however, do not need to worry of predators. That said, light is still required to help them discover food, especially the floating ones at the surface of the water.

On the other hand, light can help the fish to remains active as well. There is a scientific study that suggests fish that have enough exposure of light possess lower melatonin level that makes them more active.

What Are the Benefits of Using Light for Betta Fish

Now that you’ve find out the answer of do betta fish like light, it’s time to understand what benefits can be provided by aquarium lighting, which are listed in the following:

  • Allow the fish to find food: An adequate lighting will help the fish inside the aquarium tank to be able to see the food, which mimics the function of natural light for wild betta fish.
  • Make the fish remains active and healthy: As it has been explained, enough light exposure lead to lower melatonin level that affect the fish sleeping pattern and stress level.

How to Determine If the Amount of Light for Your Betta Fish is Right

Regardless of the answer of do betta fish like light, it has been established that the fish need it. However, your aquarium setup might be lacking in this department. Here are some signs that your fish isn’t getting enough amount of light:

It is lethargic: 

The most common sign of a fish lacking light is how it becomes visibly lethargic. A lethargic fish is not very active and mostly lying at the bottom area of the tank without moving around a lot.

It lacks appetite: 

The next sign that your fish is lacking light is how it doesn’t show enough appetite. As mentioned before, wild betta fishes depend on natural light to search for food on the water surface. Not having enough light will lead it to not be able to have enough food.

It shows fading skin color: Betta fish is known for looking bright and colorful. However, if you spot that your betta fish has dull or fading color, lacking light might be playing role in this.

Do betta fish like light? Not really, but they need it. What about the chance of it getting too much amount of light? Here’s how you can tell:

  • It is hiding most of the time: In case you find the betta fish is hiding constantly, you may think that the answer to do betta fish like light is absolutely no. However, this isn’t always the case. There’s a chance that the fish is actually feel overexposed by light and instinctively want to hide all the time to avoid predators as they would in the wild.
  • It shows bleached skin color: A sign of getting too much light is the fish skin color that looks bleached, as light too bright will make its color fades over time.
  • It doesn’t swim as smoothly: Betta fish might also feel difficulty in swimming if it gets exposed to too much light. It is due to the fact that it orients itself based on the amount of light in different areas, and having the surrounding is all bright can cause it to become disoriented.

So, if you wonder do betta fish like light or do they want less light and find the amount of light for your own betta fish pet at home is not quite the right amount, here’s some tips to fix it:

  • Move the location: It is generally harder to control how much light a fish get if the aquarium tank is located near the window. You can try to move it to a new location that’s away from window and see if it can help you to keep the amount of light under control.
  • Use a timer for lighting: The next tip that can help you to control how much light that your betta fish get is by installing light timer. You’d be notified when the time to switch the light on and off comes on daily basis.
  • Get another type of light: There are plenty of lighting types for fish out there such as LED or fluorescent light. You can choose one according to the condition and preference of your betta fish.
  • Determine the right amount of light wattage: Depending on the light of the room, your betta fish might need lower or higher light wattage.
  • Put plants into the aquarium: If it can’t be helped that the fish has to receive too many light during certain times of the day, you can fix this by adding some plants into the aquarium. They can serve as hiding places for the fish if it needs to escape from bright light at times.
  • Cover the aquarium tank: Last but not least tip to control the amount of light for your betta fish is by using a cover, which may come in a simple paper towel or a piece of fabric.

Do Betta Fish Need Light at Night?

Do Betta Fish Need Light at Night?

Time is a big determining factor on how to answer the question of do betta fish like light. At night, betta fish tend to need low amount of light. Some might even prefer to be in a total dark for a certain period of time so they can rest properly.

So, if you wonder do betta fish like light at night, then the answer is likely to be no. If you want to enjoy the view of aquarium even at night, it is recommended to use the type of lighting that doesn’t emit too harsh of a light such as black light. Black light provides some brightness but it won’t disturb the sleeping time and cycle of betta fish.

How to Schedule Light for Betta Fish Light Correctly?

After you have the answer of do betta fish like light and be able to control the amount of light that your pet fish receives, you may need to build a proper schedule to make sure the fish gets enough amount of light at the right time.

In one of the discussions about do betta fish like light above, it is mentioned that wild betta fish are adapted to living in environment with low amount of light, but in general it still need it to remain healthy. The best way to ensure this is by mimicking how wild betta gets its daily dose of natural light.

Ideally, a betta fish should receive light in varying amount for about 8 to 12 hours. For the next 12-hour period, it is best to leave them with low to none amount of light. It is similar to how the sunlight is received by wild betta fish in natural environment.

Betta fish will require bright light for several hours during the day as they find food and remains active. When it comes to relaxing and resting time, they will also need light but at dimmer level. As one of the tips above said, you can use a timer to tell whether it’s time to switch on/off the light or change the amount of light.

When it comes to sleeping time, obviously it is recommended to give complete darkness for the betta fish. Make sure that the light is turned off so it won’t disturb its natural sleeping cycle.

How to Choose the Best Lighting for Betta Fish

As a great and responsible fish pet owner, it isn’t enough to know do betta fish like light. Setting the aquarium light correctly to create the best living environment is also important. There are a few things you need to know when it comes to creating the right light setting for an aquarium. Find out what color light do betta fish like to what light design is suitable for your aquarium below.

Lighting type

You can find many types of lighting for aquarium, such as fluorescent light or LED light. In general, LED is more recommended, due to the fact that it produces low heat and is energy efficient. However, do betta fish like LED lights? As it is originally a tropical fish, there’s a high chance that it prefers LED light more for the low-heat factor. Moreover, LED lights are usually water-resistant and possess lower risk to leak into the water inside the tank.

Intensity of the light

Do betta fish like light? Yes, but not so much to the point of harsh lighting. In fact, getting overexposed to light is harmful for a fish. So, it’s better to look for light with dimmer intensity or adjustable settings.

Light color

It is believed that betta fish do not have vision of color, so it actually not really matters of what color that you choose. However, some fish pet owners may have certain preference that will visually work better with the color of the fish. For example, you may wonder do betta fish like blue light if you think it is going to complement their color beautifully. Other times, you may ask do betta fish like color changing lights? In the end, the answer is you are free to select what color of light is compatible with your betta fish aquarium.


The design of the light is more related to decoration aspect than functional aspect. As you may have known, there are so many sizes and shapes available of aquarium lights, such as mounted or clipped strip light. You can pick one with the design that goes well with your aquarium.


At this point, you have learned so much about the answer of the question do betta fish like light. Getting the aquarium lighting right is a major part of taking care of fish pet regardless of their species, because it can affect their health directly. However, chance is, you have figured out what and how to set the correct lighting for your aquarium. Happy pet fish parenting!

Post a Comment for "Do Betta Fish Like Light? Here’s the Answer that Every Pet Fish Parent Needs"