Q: A wrote,

Hi. I was wondering if I need a light for my betta tank. Will it hurt my betta if I don’t provide a lamp?

A: Bettas do have a natural cycle that revolves around day and night. Many of us replicate that cycle by providing a light hood or lamp. When darkness falls he will sleep, which is important for all animals to remain healthy. Ambient light from the room should be sufficient enough but if you are keeping him in an unusually dark location you may want to consider turning on a light or providing a light hood for 8 – 12 hours a day.

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Reader Interactions


  1. packetspyke says:

    Lights are a good idea anyhow, they also will help show off the betta’s natural colors.

  2. Lorena says:

    I was wondering if I can feed oatmeal to my betta?

  3. Christie says:

    I’m afraid not. Sure it’s economical and it taste’s good but oatmeal isn’t for fish.

  4. Anonymous says:


  5. Anonymous says:

    I found that my betta seems stressed after being in a pitch black room. Well, I think it’s the fact that she becomes shocked when light in my room suddenly appears. So, I keep a small night light for her.

  6. Anonymous says:

    What if I use black light for my betta aquarium…would that be ok? The aquarium still gets natural light.

  7. Anonymous says:

    My little guy gets freaked out when the tank light is on and the room around him is dark. I think it’s because he’s in a hex tank and having the outside dark increases the reflectivity of the tank walls. Suddenly the master of the kingdom is being challenged by clones all around him. LOL. It is a pretty good way to get him to show off his flare though.

  8. ? says:

    Hi i just got my beta today for my birthday its my first beta and i don’t know whats good and bad for it tips??

    • ruby says:

      bettas are great pets they should have a light on at least half the day dont worry if your betta seems to get lonley dont worry if you put two together they will fight. for food i recomend pellets they are less messy. feed them two pelletes 3 times a week. have SILK plants in your tank not plastic the plastic plants will catch on your bettas tails and rip them. they also sleep on the silk plants its good to have a bubbler it helps them breathe. have rocks in the bottom of your tank. make sure to buy betta conditioner tap water is bad for them. make sure the water is room temp. when you clean your tanks take the betta out empty half the water out of you tank then refill it with room temp water put a bit of fish conditioner in the tank. the good bacteria from the old water wil eat the bad bacteria from the new water. have fun with your fish.

  9. Pablothebetta says:

    If my bettas tank is in front of a window (but on the opposite side of the room) in a well-lit room, would he be alright without a light? I prefer them myself, but thinking about having a custom tank made where I am unsure of how I’d fit lights.

  10. Emma says:

    I just got my female betta from a white elephant party. is it true that your tank should be big? do i need to put plants in it? anything i should know or not do?

    • ruby says:

      always have plants!!!!! make sure their silk plants though if their plastic the bettas tails will get caught and rip their tails

  11. Cynical GUY says:

    My question is; Is there such a thing as too much light? My tank came with a 7 watt bulb. When it is on my fish looks baby blue and purple, and the red really stands out. When it is off, the fish looks stunningly blue, with dark and light blue and a deep crimson red. The red ludwigia provides shade and probalbly enjoys the light; the java fern, not so much. I have a few unknown, soon to sprout bulbs. 2 are “Betta Bulbs” the other is a Hybrid Apog-awhathaveyou (common aquatic plant-forgot the whole name). The bulbs are an Apog-awhathaveyou, or some type of lily most likely.
    Is there such a thing as too much light? 7 watts for 1 US gal. too much light? I do have plants, and the fish does use them for cover. I took out his cave rock so I could increase my ground surface area (needed by the plants). He used the plastic plant more any way. I figured he’d use the plants like he did with his plastic one, when he had it. I removed the plastic plant do to what I percieved as possible cause for tearing of the betta’s fins. The fish liked to swim through the plastic plant. I much prefer the betta swimming through the soft natural plants.
    Do I need to turn the 7 watt bulb off at night? If I fail to turn the light off is it detrimental to the health of my betta? How long do 5 ghost shrimp have before being consumed by a hungry fish??? My guess is when the first shrimp molts…

  12. Cynical GUY says:

    Bettas learn habits… Kinda like cats. My betta associated his light being turned on as FOOD TIME- He got excited and hungry. Other than that he’d just watch for any action in the room. If and when I entered, he assumed I was going to feed him. For a while the odds were in his favor…… He is now on a diet to lose a 16th/gram or two….

  13. KC says:

    Should I turn the lights off at night so he can sleep or is pitch black to much and just leave a lamp on

  14. Stacy says:

    My new beta is in my office where the fluorescent lights never get turned off. I don’t have a tank light. I was considering covering the bowl at night with a vented cardboard box to give him a sense of night and day. Do you think this would stress him more or reduce the stress of the lights always being on? Any thoughts?

    • Amy says:

      Bettas can jump out of the tank when they get bigger, so you should have a cover for the tank all day long.

  15. ? says:

    I just got my betta and i am clue less. HELP!

  16. ayeasha says:

    my daughter just got her first betta and i was wondering about light at night when should i really have it on dont wanna stress her fish out but dont want it being to dark also any tips about taking care of a betta would be helpful also i got betta fick flakes for it’s food is that good or should i get peltes thank u so much

  17. Madison says:

    so I got a Betta fish today & I don’t know if I should turn his light off in his tank at night. because I can’t sleep good with it turned on & I don’t know if it is good for him to sleep without any light. help?

  18. FishNoob says:

    Check out bettafish.com. They have a ton of information about bettas and a lot of people respond to the forums.

  19. lizzy says:

    Should i have a light pointed at my little fish tank? (if it can still get some light from outside)

  20. ? says:

    I was wondering if I should turn my night off for my betta so she can sleep.

  21. Somebody says:

    Do bettas need light and I Just got my son a betta and he doesnt know either

  22. Jessie says:

    Do Bettas need the light turned off to sleep?

  23. Liz says:

    I have had The Back to the Roots Water Garden tank and this betta for maybe a year now. My Batta is eating normal however he is looking/acting sad. I recently got a 10-gallon tank to breed guppies (for the babies for his snacks) and realized how bright the 10 gallon is vs the back to the roots tank. Could he be sad because of not getting light? or would there be another problem?

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