Do Betta Fish Need Sunlight or Artificial Light?

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In the wild, betta fish live in heavily planted waters across tropical areas. They usually stick to the top surface, as they mostly feed on collecting insects and their larvae, but they also need to gasp for air occasionally as such waters are usually muddy.

These amazing fish feed according to their sight, and they tend to rest or sleep during nighttime. If you have just adopted such pet, you are probably wondering, among other things: do betta fish need sunlight or artificial light? Well, the short answer is basically that they do not care.

Indeed, betta fish do require light, but they do not necessarily prefer one above the other. The important for them is having a healthy cycle of daylight followed by a full cycle of darkness.

Betta Fish Light Requirements

Betta fish which are kept in captivity do not really need a 12-hour cycle of day and night, but they are rather fine with approximately 8 to 10 hours of daylight followed by darkness.

This is vitally important for your pets, as they would otherwise not be able of distinguishing active times from sleeping hours.

Additionally, your bettas rely on their sight to detect food and to perform basic activities like playtime, so they certainly require a healthy dose of light each day to do that.

– Sunlight

If you are keeping your betta tank inside a bright room, that is perfectly fine, as long as there is no chance of the tank getting into contact with direct sunlight.

There are several pros when applying sunlight to your betta fish. The first and most obvious one is certainly the naturality of such light. Indeed, this is what resembles most to their natural habitats, offering them a super-healthy base.

Additionally, natural lights mean there is no need for you to purchase or install any artificial lights, saving you both money and time. And even to decrease your electricity bills.

Oppositely, the main concerns with natural lightning are getting either not enough or too much. Indeed, if there are several highly cloudy days in your area, your pet may simply not receive its daily dose of sunshine.

On the other side, if there is any risk of direct sunlight penetrating into your betta tank, there may be serious consequences to face. These include dangerous amounts of algae blooming across the tank and your betta having to suffer from temperature shocks.

– Artificial Light

The main purpose of artificial light is also its main advantage: providing a stable and reliable source of daylight to your pets. Therefore, with placing quality bulbs or LEDs, you never have to worry about rainy or cloudy days.

You can keep your betta tank basically anywhere around your home, as long as there is a power socket nearby. Nowadays, such lightning systems are not that expensive, but they are pretty durable. However, you need to be really careful with providing enough leafy plants and hiding spots to your fish pets.

Indeed, the biggest cons of applying artificial lights are those related to there being too much light. This can bring to overstimulation and to consequentially weaken your betta’s immune system.

Additionally, if you accidentally forget to turn the lights off during nighttime, your fish may quickly become highly confused, not knowing when to eat or to sleep. Also, a similar situation can happen if you happen to use a too weak light for the size of your tank.

How Much Light and Darkness do Bettas Need?

Following general guidance for betta fish that are kept in captivity, the ideal cycle they require is 8 or 10 hours of daylight followed by 14 or 16 hours of darkness. Betta fish feed during the daytime and they mostly rely on their vision when doing so.

More importantly, they require dark hours to sleep. Otherwise, your pets may be risking of becoming extremely confused and of completely mixing their schedules up.

Providing a stable environment for your betta fish is vitally important, and this is how you maintain them healthy and unstressed.

Best Artificial Light for Bettas

If you have decided on installing an artificial lighting system to your betta tank, there are a few things to keep in mind while choosing the best solution.

First of all, you should be extremely careful with the strength of the bulbs. If you wish to set LED lights, a general rule of thumb is getting 1 watt per tank gallon. Alternatively, if you decide to go with fluorescent lighting, you should get 3 watts per tank gallon.

Next, we highly recommend choosing a dimmable type of light, so that you can adjust its brightness based on your tank vegetation and the general brightness of the room. Therefore, LED options are our top choice.

And one of such amazingly handy products is the MingDak Clamp Aquarium Light. It is super-affordable and extremely easy to install. Indeed, all you need to do is to attach it to your tank glass thanks to a clip, and to plug it into the nearest socket.

It has three types of light, to adjust it to daily or night (for observation) or even to mid values. On top of that, brightness is adjustable, and it comes with a functional in-built timer. There is nothing more which your betta tank would need.

If you already have another lightning system, we suggest installing a simple timer to it, to avoid any stress or excessive light. The BN-LINK Mechanical Times is an amazing solution.

Do Bettas Need Light at Night?

Bettas do not need light at night. On the opposite, they require darkness to get their beauty sleep.

Although betta fish cannot see in the dark, they are perfectly capable of sensing the tank objects and moving around them with no issue.

Wrapping Up

Heading back to our original question from the intro, the answer is pretty clear: betta fish do require their daily dose of light to thrive, but they certainly do not care whether it is natural or artificial.

As long as you provide them with needed environmental conditions, your pets will thrive with either.

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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