Can Betta Fish See in The Dark?

Most of the fish species that stay in dark waters have an incredible 6th sense. This means they sense pressure changes and vibrations in the water much easier than the other marine. This article will explain if a Betta needs lighting, can see in the dark, and ways to mimic the natural lighting habitat.

Betta fish can see in the dark because they are site-based marine species and rely more on sight than the other senses to survive. Additionally, their vision is much better than humans in dark or areas with poor lighting.

Do Betta fish need light at night?

Yes, they do because as much as they can see in the dark, their vision is not that good when there is no light.

Can Betta Fish See in The Dark?
Can Betta Fish See in The Dark?

We will discuss the problems of having an extremely bright lighting system around the aquarium and why sunlight is not ideal. Besides, this section will help know how long to leave the lighting setup on.

When you turn off the light at night, the Betta fish better understand their natural environment. This is because they normally live in river basins and rice paddies around Southeast Asia. The basins are more shallow than most tropical fish areas which have warm temperatures.

In the summer months, the basins and rivers can evaporate completely, leading the Betta fish to jump from one tiny puddle to another. The point is that the Betta trawl lives in places with vegetation and reside close to sunny setups because of their day/night time cycle.

How far can a Betta fish see?

It can see roughly up to 60cm, but the farther the distance, the blurrier the vision. If you notice your fish is playful and active in the daytime, that means there’s enough light. When they are inactive during the night, that means they are asleep.

Moreover, these fish follow flickers and light changes from a short distance. Their near-sightedness allows them to follow lit devices around the home like a television. Note that this type of fish has incredible pressure sensors at their sides to feel water pressure quickly. At the same time, they can figure out something close to them.

What happens if your Betta fish gets too much light?

The most common effect of excess lighting is overstimulation making your fish confused about the right time to rest, leaving it active. In addition, it can lead to too much stress and agitations.

Another problem of too much light source is poor feeding cycle. Your fish can start spitting out foods or not eating at all due to stress and overstimulation.

What happens if Betta fish doesn’t get enough light?

They lose their bright and beautiful coloring like bright reds, turquoise, orange, and even deepest blacks. If they are vibrant and healthy, their profile turns to a dull, weak finish. However, other factors like PH level, temperature changes, and poor eating can cause a Betta fish to appear dull.

Is it better to use natural light for your Betta fish?

No, because you don’t have total control over sunny changes. Excessive sunlight can have extreme consequences, such as algae bloom causing visibility issues in the fish tank. When a bloom bursts, the algae decrease amounts of oxygen in the fishbowl’s water which might lead to fish suffocation.

You should keep your aquarium away from a glass door or window to avoid direct sunlight. Plus, leaving lights on for more than 8 hours is not ideal for the fish’s environment.

Another problem when using natural light is the effect of fishbowl and water temperature. The heat levels should be under 85 degrees to create a conducive environment for your trawl. Also, when the temperature is too high, it can lead to Betta fish shock, stress, and death.

Remember that hot water inside the aquarium increases the fish’s metabolism. That means it can swim too fast; thus, an artificial lighting system works better for a fish tank.

What’s the ideal lighting for a Betta fishbowl?

Remember, these fishes don’t need overly bright and powerful light. Usually, just 1 watt LED light for each gallon and 1.5 watts per gallon for russet lights.

However, if the Betta fish is going to a local pet store, it’s safe to ask for some professional advice.

When installing artificial light, check on its brightness levels. Sometimes the fishbowl can reflect itself, making the fish more aggressive because of the changes. It will think the territory is threatened, so you must buy a less powerful lighting system.

Do this by:

  1. Turning on the tank’s light when the room’s light is also on.
  2.  Introducing the new artificial light slowly to your fish. Just switch it on for a few hours per day and gradually increase the timing to 8-12 hours.
  3. Placing an aquarium background to darken the bowl while hiding any hanging cables and tubing. This backdrop helps prevent too much light to eliminate the formation of algae. Also, the background influences your Betta fish color and behavior by reducing light reflections.

Can a Betta fish see color?

This section will explain if a Betta fish can see color in both bright and dark places. This fish doesn’t have great vision in general in terms of distance or depth, but their ability is good. That’s why they have diurnal retinas, meaning their eyes have more cones than rods.

The advantages of this type of retina include improved vision in well-illuminated conditions and ease of adapting to light changes. Bettas with cloudy eyes can also have vision problems in the dark.


A shark has excellent senses, like seeing the volume of water when the object is moving. Not only to prevent predators and hunters from seeing them but also to improve their safety. This makes them stand out from Betta fishes with poor eye-sight in low-lit places.

Always try to mimic a Betta’s natural habitat as best as possible. Water temperature, reflections, and light setup affect the tank’s atmosphere. Check the fish bowl’s background installation to prevent excessive light from seeping in and the amount of time you leave the light on.

Remember, the efficient light a Betta fish needs is roughly 8-12 hours, and darkness is 12-16 hours. This will give your Betta an ideal setup to see things around much more comfortably.

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