How Much Light Do Betta Fish Need?

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One of the more pressing concerns that beginners have is whether betta fish need lighting or not. In this article, we will address the question.

Of course, betta fish need light. Bettas require a mixture of light and darkness to imitate the daily cycle, and if you are not able to provide them, it can mess with the betta in many ways.

If it doesn’t get enough light, the fish can become stressed. On the other hand, if it is exposed to too much light, it can also get stressed.

Getting the balance between light and dark is very important. Sometimes, if you are not able to provide natural light, you might also need to buy a lighting system.

We will talk more about the lighting later on. Lighting systems have some advantages over natural light, and some are built in such a way that they mimic the daily cycle perfectly.

Providing enough light is very important for your betta to live normally. Let’s talk more about lighting.

Importance of Good Light for Betta Fish

Light is very important for bettas to survive, and for many reasons. The most important reason is that bettas need to live in daylight and nighttime cycles, which is essential for any living being out there. Generally, 10-14 hours of daylight and 8-10 hours of nighttime is the best combination.

What you need to know is that bettas live in a natural environment with plenty of sunlight; in the tropical areas that they come from, light is quite strong and they can go longer periods with plenty of light. That is why it is so important to provide enough light for the bettas, as it can help them establish a good life cycle, but also it can help keep them healthier.

Artificial vs. Natural Light

The question that some people are asking themselves is whether bettas prefer artificial or natural light. The answer is that both are fine, as long as there is enough light for your betta.

Some owners prefer to keep their bettas in natural light, while others are more inclined to buy lights in order to provide enough lighting.

Natural light is perfectly fine for bettas. If you can find a spot where a betta will get enough sunlight, that is great. But you do have to know that this comes with its own downsides.

The biggest downside to natural light is that it encourages the growth of algae in your tank. Also, if the sunlight is strong enough, it can severely heat up the tank, especially in the summer, when it might not be the best idea to keep them in the sun.

The good thing about artificial lights is that you can always control when or how much light your betta receives. It won’t mind if the light is artificial. The downside of artificial lights is that these lights use electricity, and you can see an increase in your electricity bill.

What Artificial Light to Use for Betta Aquarium?

For your betta aquarium, you can opt to use any source of artificial light you want. Many owners opt to buy LED lights that also offer the capability to change them at your will, and you will be able to control the day/night cycles as well. Some even offer that option automatically.

Generally, any light source that allows you to control the cycle is good. You can even use an ordinary lamp for this, as long as you try to create the best possible lighting for your fish. Try to give them 8-14 hours of light no matter what, and you can use various types of lighting systems.

Luckily, there are many aquarium packages that come with everything needed to start up the tank right away, including the lighting. Even though these lighting systems might not be the most powerful, they are very useful for starting your aquarium right away.

There are also some LED systems that offer different shades or colors of lighting, so the chances for customization are almost endless.

Should You Keep Lights on at Night for Bettas?

That depends on your current aquarium set up. If your aquarium is placed in a spot where there is no sunlight, then you can keep the lights on at night to create a day cycle for the fish. But in general, it is not often that betta tank owners keep lights on at night.

In any case, you should make sure that the betta gets enough light, and that might include keeping the lights on at night. If the fish are exposed to sunlight during the day, then it is not the best idea to keep the lights on during the night. If they don’t get enough sunlight, then it is recommended to keep lights on during the night to provide them with enough light.

How Much do Bettas Sleep?

Bettas will sleep during the nighttime, or when there is no light in their tanks. So, the approximate number of hours they sleep is 8-10 hours, or maybe even more if they decide to take naps during the day. The number of hours they sleep can vary, although it is more prevalent to see them sleep during the night.

Can Bettas See in the Dark?

Bettas don’t have the best-developed vision, but they can adapt and see in the dark to some extent. The precise information about how well they can see in the dark is not known, but it is believed that they can see in the dark, but only to a certain extent.

During the dark, all of their sensory systems adapt to the darkness, so it would not be surprising if they could see quite well in the dark.


Providing enough sunlight for your bettas is crucial for keeping them healthy.

Then again, providing the balance between light and darkness is absolutely necessary, and you should try to provide a day/night cycle. The day cycle should be 10-14 hours long, while the darkness cycle should last for 8-10 hours.

Author Image Fabian
I’m Fabian, aquarium fish breeder and founder of this website. I’ve been keeping fish, since I was a kid. On this blog, I share a lot of information about the aquarium hobby and various fish species that I like. Please leave a comment if you have any question.
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