Do Betta Fish Need Light?

Lighting for your betta isn’t necessarily a critical feature as they can survive without an overhead aquarium light.

That being said, they won’t live happily in complete darkness or a dim room. An aquarium light is critical if you plan to keep live plants in with your betta.

Live plants do make betta fish very happy. Some live plants can also help manage the quality of the water, so they are a worthwhile consideration.

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Do Betta Fish like Light?

Yes, they won’t like anything too intense, but a standard aquarium light is perfect. Bettas also love aquarium plants, which need an aquarium light to grow and survive.

Do Betta Fish Need Light?

As mentioned above, aquarium lighting isn’t critical for a betta, but it’s important that your betta isn’t in complete darkness 24/7.

Like most animals on this planet, light is important to physical and mental health. Like any other animal, it expects the night time to come, so the lights can go out when you go to bed.

A betta should be exposed to about 14 – 16 hours of light (minimum) in a 24-hour day. You can buy timers for the aquarium light to ensure that this is well controlled. Some aquariums already have timers installed, but if not you can always install a timer on the plug socket that controls the light.

Do Betta Fish Need Light at Night?

No. In fact, it’s not healthy to do this. Bettas, like most other animals, need light and darkness to stay physically and mentally well. Fish don’t necessarily ‘sleep’. They rest and conserve their energy when the night hits, but they still prefer it to be dark.

Do Bettas Prefer Natural Light or Artificial Light?

Assuming that you’re keeping a betta in an aquarium (which is the best option), it’s a bad idea to expose your betta aquarium to direct sunlight.

Sunlight is not unhealthy for the fish at all, in fact, UV light is good for your fish or any given aquarium plants.

What direct sunlight can do, though, is heat up the temperature of the aquarium and stimulate algae growth. This is why most aquarium lights are designed to mimic sunlight.

Artificial light encourages nutritional benefits such as Vitamin D, but doesn’t create temperature fluctuation or algae overgrowth.

You may find most aquarium lights are LED; these work great. Some large or professional aquariums use UVB or others , but if you’re planning to keep your betta in a basic aquarium with standard aquarium plants, LED will do fine.

Examples of Good Aquarium Lights:

Before you buy a light, make sure you check it's the correct size and style for your tank.

If you want a small light that screws on to the size of your tank

DaToo Aquarium Light (view it here on Amazon)

An inexpensive easy-to-attach aquarium light that's good for any beginner looking to keep hardy aquarium plants.
Lights that can stretch over the top of your tank

These are useful if you've got plants spread out across your aquarium.

ClassicLED Aquarium Light by NICREW (view it here on Amazon)

We currently use this one from NICREW in our 50L Aquarium.

Auto On Off 18-24 Inch LED Aquarium Light by Hygger (view it here on Amazon)

If your budget can stretch, this one from Hygger with a built-in timer is a good choice, although you can also use a simple socket timer with the other choices.

See a video of an aquarium light in action

Our Bettaboxx Premium membership includes a video course where we show you how to set up a betta tank from start to finish. 

The course includes a video on adding live plants and lighting.

You can find out more about our premium membership here.