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Can Betta Fish See in the Dark?

The short answer is no Betta Fish cannot see in the dark, however, later in this article I will explain why many people think this.

As an avid fish fan, like you, you might want to get your hands on the Betta fish. This fish is quite popular because it has bright colours and large fins. Those bred in captivity can have beautiful colours and have very unique tails.

But they are highly territorial and would not hesitate to kill another Betta fish if it feels that its space is being invaded. I am not just talking about male Betta fishes.

Putting a male and a female Betta fish in one tank is still highly discouraged unless it is for breeding purposes. You might have a lot of questions such as, can betta fish see in the dark.

If you do, then you might stay for awhile and learn more about this cute exotic fish. I am just excited to introduce you to this exotic fish that is a wonder to behold.

According to BettaFish.org, this little fish can be tough to care for. But with the right information, you may successfully tend to their needs. They will make any aquarium pop with colour as their fins and tails are as beautiful as the peacocks. Here are some things that you ought to keep in mind when taking care of them:

Why do People Think Betta Fish See In The Dark?

Unfortunately, this fish cannot see in the dark. They have monocular vision, which is the ability to see in two directions at the same time. This skill makes it hard for them to adapt to darkness or to brightness.

In this case, it is highly recommended that you install an LED light in your aquarium to assist your Betta fish. You must keep in mind that you have to mimic its natural habitat for them to thrive. So it is prudent if you put such lighting system on a timer.

Installing a light system is considerably safer than installing an aquarium heating system because it does not increase the temperature of the water. It can give the right amount of heat.

Other than that, this is also cheaper compared to the heating system because you do not need to install the two systems for your fish to live comfortably.

Having a light system for your aquarium will encourage growth of plant life, according to bettaFishCenter. This will make the aquarium attractive. To give an extra oomph to your aquarium, you may consider metal halide lights because they are not that irritating to the eyes.

Can Betta Fish Be In The Dark At Night?

In the previous paragraph, I mentioned that your Betta fish cannot see in the dark. But this does not necessarily mean that you will keep the aquarium well lit 24/7.

You must mimic the night and day cycle. This fish lives in shallow water so they are more exposed to the warmth of the sun and natural sunlight cycle compared to their deep water counterparts. So should you immediately move the aquarium to be under direct sunlight?

I highly discourage this because sunlight encourages the growth of algae. Although I have mentioned previously that it would be nice to have plant life in your aquarium, you should not overdo it. This will make the water murky and lead to bacterial infection for your Betta fish, according to itsaFishThing.

Other than that, this will increase water temperature. This phenomenon will happen quickly because the glass will work like a magnifying glass. This can be very dangerous for your favorite pet. By installing a lighting system, you can easily mimic the sunlight without any repercussions.

Do Betta Fish Sleep?

Your Betta fish sleeps. All creatures need to sleep. But the sleeping patterns differ from one animal to another. Tropical fishes like the Betta fish have the same sleeping pattern as humans.

Which is why you don't see your Betta fishes sleep because they go to sleep the same time that you do.

But their eyes remain open as they don't have eyelids. Just like humans, they sleep in the dark, according to bettaFishFacts, so it is important that you switch off your aquarium light.

This is the reason why you will notice that your fish seemed startled when you switch the light on. The light wakes them up. Keeping the light on will also increase the water temperature which will make it hard for them to sleep. Most fishes just float when they are sleeping.

On the other hand, Betta fishes prefer being hidden under or over the leaves while they sleep. They would sometimes float near the surface which will give you the impression that they are dead. But once you switch on the light, they should bounce back.

What Is Their Preferred Lighting Conditions?

We had already talked about mimicking your Betta fish natural habitat for it to thrive. But what is the best lighting condition for your pet? I highly recommend the use of fluorescent lights because it produces the least amount of heat. It is also economical on your end because you just need to replace it at least once a year.

I have also mentioned that you should provide a lighting system for your beloved pet. Most aquarium vendors offer various options. You can always go for the basic model which has a glass cover. You can easily install it by sliding it to the plastic trim of your aquarium. You can fit one or two fluorescent bulbs in this setup.

If you want to showcase your beautiful Betta fish, then you should go for the Metal Halide, according to bettaFishCenter. But if you want this, it is necessary that there is proper ventilation to prevent any overheating. You must also ask the aquarium vendor what is the best lighting setup for your aquarium type. This will prevent any issues in the future.

What Are Their Best Tank Mates?

It was mentioned earlier that you should never crowd your tank especially if you have a Betta fish. They would kill their fellow Betta fish for territory. We also saw that it is still not prudent to put a male and female Betta fish in one tank. But there are fishes that can peacefully coexist with your Betta fish as they do in the wild.

Your Betta fish can have a harmonious relationship with a Harlequin Rasbora, according to petHelpful. This kind of fish comes in groups so it is very important that you have a large tank for these two species. You should also try loaches.

They will not only live peacefully with your Betta fish. But they can also get rid of those nasty snails in your tank. You also need to make sure that your tank is very large because they can grow up to 5 inches.

Another excellent roommate for your Betta fish is the ghost shrimp. These creatures can also prove to be very useful as it keeps the bottom of the aquarium clean.

How Can You Spot A Healthy Betta Fish?

This knowledge will come in useful when you are buying a Betta fish. It would be heartbreaking if you unwittingly buy a sick one and it ends up dying in your care. So before anything else, you should check if the fish is in excellent condition. The first on your checklist should be the cleanliness of the tank.

If you can spot a leftover then there must something amiss. It might mean that the fish is sick. You must take a closer look at the Betta fish itself. If the fish has missing scales, it may mean of past illness. You should also stay away from fishes that have white marks because this means that the fish has fungal infection, according to bettaFishCenter.

Their gills and fins should be smooth. You should look for Betta fishes with clear eyes. You must also see to it that your Betta fish is active. I highly recommend moving your hand near the tank and watch how the fish reacts.

How Can You Spot A Sick Betta Fish?

As a responsible fish owner, you must catch the first signs of illness before things turn worse. We have already discussed that its vibrant color makes the Betta fish incredibly popular. If you have noticed that it is starting to fade, then that is one clear sign that your pet is sick. You should not wait for it to completely lose its color.

You should also watch out for its fins. There should be no holes or rips on it. You must also watch out if its fins are not widely fanned out. In the previous paragraph, I gave a tip on how to test the activity level of a Betta fish. If you notice that it is not as active as before, then there must be something wrong with it.

This lethargy can be caused by water that is too hot or too cold so you should also check the water temperature. You must also note its eating habits. If there are white spots on its body, it might have a parasite.

What Is The Ideal Tank Size For Them?

The Betta fish live in rice paddies. Although their natural habitat seems small, it is part of a large ecosystem. So if you think that you can just let your Betta fish live in a small tank, you are terrible wrong. The acceptable tank size for this fish is one gallon, which is 3.8 liters. But I discourage you from getting such aquarium because it is too small.

The best tank size for this should be at least 2.5 gallons. Choosing the smaller one gallon aquarium will mean that you are at risk of your water easily getting saturated with ammonia and other microbes, which is your responsibilty not to make that happen, according to nippyFish.

Choosing the smaller version, will mean that your pet will easily get sick as its environment is often dirty. Although you can keep it in that small aquarium, it will be more headache for you because you have to clean the tank often. You can add fluorite gravel and some plants.

But it is necessary that you install an aeration to encourage the growth of good bacteria. You may add some accessories. But I believe that a healthy Betta fish can make the tank beautiful.

What Are The Best Decorations To Put In The Tank?

You can take your Betta fish aquarium one level up by putting the right decorations. They must not hinder the growth of your beloved pets. They should also not stop your fish from moving around.

So if you have placed your Betta fish in a 2.5 gallon tank, I recommend skipping the accessories because the space is not enough. But if you have a 5 gallon aquarium, then you can go ahead and decorate it.

It is highly recommended that you put plants in the aquarium as this is where the Betta fish sleeps. You should get floating decorations especially the floating log as they are not obstacles to your pet, according to loveFishTank. You will notice that your Betta fish will spend a lot of time inside the floating log.

I am a great fan of floating decorations because they slow down the water flow. You can also put aquarium base accessories. This type of decoration does not take up the swimming space of your Betta fish. So this is also great for them because they are quite active swimmers.

Do They Need A Water Filter?

I believe that with the right care, your Betta fish can thrive in a tank that has a water filter or has no water filter. The Betta fish is considered as a labyrinth fish. This type of fish has the ability to gulp air and not rely solely on its gills.

This is why the Betta fish can survive in almost dry rice paddies even during the dry season. Putting a water filter in a 2.5 or smaller tank can be dangerous because the filter can make strong currents.

Although they are quite active, they are not strong swimmers. Your fish will find it hard to paddle in the strong current with their big fins, according to ​bettaFish.

So small tanks should not have water filters. This may require more work for you. But it ensures that your pet is healthy. If you are thinking of buying a filter, you must consider if you can adjust the water flow. Putting it at low speed will allow your Betta fish to swim comfortably.

I highly suggest that you ask the aquarium vendor for tanks with filters specifically designed for Betta fishes.


Hopefully you are happy you now have an answer to your question, "can Betta fish see in the dark?". But also got a whole lot more useful info from this article. 

Knowing how to responsibly care for your Betta fish is important, in fact any fish for that matter, Silver Arowana's, Bettas, any breed should have your full attention. You will find great pleasure in watching your pet gracefully swimming in its tank. However, this will only happen if you take good care of it.


Hey, thanks for passing by, welcome to the blog for Pet Fish fans. This is me, Wayne, and my son Theo. I started this journey after we bought him hist first Fish Tank of fish. Follow my site for my research and info on Pet Fish.