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Do Beta Fish Need Light? Uncovering the Care Requirements for this Unique Aquarium Fish

Do you have a beta fish in your aquarium? Are you wondering if they need light to thrive? Beta fish are a popular choice for aquariums due to their bright colors and hardy nature. But …

Do you have a beta fish in your aquarium? Are you wondering if they need light to thrive? Beta fish are a popular choice for aquariums due to their bright colors and hardy nature. But do beta fish need light? The answer is yes, they do need light to survive and to keep their tanks looking attractive. In this article, we’ll explain how to properly care for beta fish and their aquarium decorations, including how much light is needed for a healthy tank.

What Do Beta Fish Need?

What Do Beta Fish Need?

Tank Size

Beta fish need a minimum of 2.5 gallons of water to live in, but it is best to give them more space. A tank size of 5 gallons or larger is recommended.


Beta fish cannot tolerate temperatures outside their ideal range of 76-80°F (24-27°C). They should never be kept in water that is below 72°F (22°C) or above 84°F (29°C).


Beta fish need clean water with a pH of 6.5-7.5 and a hardness of 5-19 dGH. They should have a water change of at least 10-15% a week.


Beta fish should be fed a variety of foods, such as freeze-dried bloodworms, brine shrimp, and other high-quality foods. They should be fed small amounts twice a day.


Beta fish do not need direct light, but they do benefit from some indirect light. This can be provided by a small desk lamp or other light source. The light should be on for 8-10 hours a day.

How to Set Up a Beta Tank

How To Set Up A Beta Tank

Tank Setup

A tank for betas should be at least 5 gallons in size with a secure lid to prevent escape. Choose a tank made of glass or acrylic, as plastic tanks can be easily scratched and can harbor bacteria. Make sure the tank is cleaned and rinsed thoroughly before adding water and decorations.


A good filtration system is essential for healthy betas. Choose a filter that is appropriate for the size of the tank and that is easy to clean and maintain. Consider adding a small air pump with an airstone to help oxygenate the water.


Decorations can be used to give your beta tank a natural feel and to provide places to hide. Rocks, plants, and driftwood are great choices. Use live plants to help keep the water clean and to add oxygen to the tank. Artificial decorations are also available, but should be checked regularly for sharp edges that can injure your fish.

How to Care for Your Beta Fish

Cleaning the Tank

Regularly cleaning the tank is essential to the health of your beta fish. It is recommended to do a full water change of 10-25% weekly, depending on the size of your tank. To ensure your fish’s safety, use a siphon to remove the water and gently vacuum the gravel. This will help remove any excess waste, decaying food, and debris. To maintain a healthy tank environment, use a dechlorinator and make sure that the temperature is between 74-82°F. Do not use soap or other cleaning agents that could be toxic to your fish.


Your beta fish should be fed a variety of foods, such as flakes, frozen or live foods, and pellets. Feed only what your fish will consume within a few minutes, as overfeeding can cause water quality issues and can lead to health problems for your fish. Make sure to remove any uneaten food from the tank after feeding.

Monitoring Water Quality

It is important to monitor the water quality of your tank in order to ensure that your fish is living in a healthy environment. Test the water for ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates on a regular basis. If levels are too high, it is important to take steps to reduce them. Ammonia can be reduced by doing more frequent water changes, while nitrite and nitrate levels can be reduced by adding plants or using a filter. It is also important to maintain a stable pH level, which should be between 7.0-7.5.

Frequently Asked Questions

How often should I feed my betta fish?

Betta fish should be fed a small amount of food once a day. A betta’s stomach is about the size of its eye, so it does not need much food. Overfeeding can lead to poor water quality, which can be harmful to your betta. Feed betta pellets, freeze-dried bloodworms, or brine shrimp. Make sure to remove any uneaten food after a few minutes to keep the water clean.

What type of fish tank should I use for my betta fish?

For betta fish, an aquarium of at least 5 gallons is recommended. The tank should also have a filter and heater to maintain the water temperature for optimal health. A hood is also recommended to keep the fish from jumping out and to keep the water from evaporating quickly. When selecting decorations for the tank, avoid sharp or rough surfaces that can injure the betta fish. Silk or plastic plants are a better choice.

What other types of decorations can I use in my betta fish tank?

In addition to live plants, you can decorate your betta fish tank with items such as driftwood, rocks, and aquarium-safe decorations. Driftwood provides shelter and hiding spots for your fish. Rocks can be used to create a natural look and to provide hiding spots. Aquarium-safe decorations come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors and can be used to create a visually appealing environment. When selecting decorations, be sure to only use items that are aquarium-safe and won’t release any harmful compounds into the water.

How often should I change the water in my betta fish tank?

Water should be changed every two weeks or as needed, depending on the quality of the tank water. To maintain a healthy tank, 25-50 percent of the water should be changed every two weeks and the tank should be thoroughly cleaned during this process. When changing the water, always use dechlorinated or aged tap water and avoid drastic temperature fluctuations. Additionally, water should be tested regularly for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels to ensure the water is safe for the fish.

What Type of Lighting is Best for My Betta Fish Tank?

For betta fish tanks, it is best to use low-wattage fluorescent bulbs that provide a range of light intensities, as this helps create an environment closer to their natural habitat. High-wattage bulbs should be avoided, as they can overheat the tank and cause stress to the fish. Aquarium lights should be kept on for 10-12 hours per day to mimic a natural day/night cycle, and should remain off for the remainder of the day.


Beta fish need light to maintain their natural circadian rhythm and to stay healthy. However, too much light can be damaging to their eyes and skin. Proper lighting should be provided in the form of natural sunlight or aquarium lights. When setting up a tank, be sure to add the appropriate decorations and plants to provide shade and cover for the fish. Following these tips will help keep your beta fish healthy and happy.


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