Many betta fish keepers often ignore the underlying value of correct lighting and the role it plays in their fish health. Apart from consistent water temperature, bettas also need proper lighting to maintain their biological clock and keep it natural.
A properly lightened environment keeps bettas lively and determines their feeding and spawning pattern.
Therefore, bettas are used to living in a typical day/night cycle- and you should keep that in mind.
Sunlight Vs Artificial light- Which is better for a betta tank
Artificial light for a betta aquariums
Sunlight for a betta aquariums
If your aim is to mimic the natural environment of bettas, then sunlight might be the perfect option, right? Well, it can be difficult to argue this, but if you’re choosing natural sunlight, just know that it also has its downsides.
The Downsides of sunlight on aquariums
Sunlight can make algae in your aquarium water to grow, altering the cleanliness of the water and potentially resulting in a bacterial infection on your fish.
So if you want to expose your betta to sunlight, always check for algae growth and prevent it from fouling your water.
Another factor you need to consider when using the sunlight lighting method is the temperature of the water.
Smaller tanks may function as magnifying glasses and accelerate the water temperature, making it uncomfortable and harmful for your betta. Even with natural sunlight, some larger tanks still experience temperature fluctuation.
Use Artificial lighting instead
When it comes to buying an artificial light, the first thing is to be sure you don’t choose the brand that won’t affect your tank’s water temperature. Remember, bettas need a temperature range of 74-78°F- go higher and your fish run the risk of overheating and might kill them.
We don’t recommend incandescent bulbs because of their high inefficiency, almost producing heat higher than lights and works like a mini sun! Worse for smaller aquariums that heats up faster.
LED lights are a great choice. They mimic your natural sunlight, discourage algae growth, more energy-efficient, and clearly display your betta’s beautiful color.
While these lightings come in many types, fluorescent remains the best choice for your tank, even till today. There are some reasons fluorescent remains the best:
It produces less heat; hence it does not speed up your aquarium water temperature.
The lamp lasts for long, which reduces your maintenance hassles. Be sure, even if the bulb still produces light, to replace it at least once every year because they may become dim within that period.
Fluorescents support plant growth
If your aquarium has live plants, we recommend having two fluorescent lights. Once you can install your light, make sure to turn it off at night. Too little or too much light is bad for them.
Why bettas need light and why they don’t, sometimes
Your fish need light for the same reasons we do. In other words, the day and night cycle is also crucial for bettas as it is for human beings.
You are diurnal if you
Remember, the goal is to make sure that your betta lives a life that resembles their natural environment.
Like humans, these beautiful fish also need a cycle of daytime light and nighttime darkness. This cycle can be perfected by using a timer that connects to the aquarium lights, which maintains the proper flow of the cycle even when you’re not around.
What is the most preferred kind of lighting for bettas?
When it comes to choosing the best aquarium lighting for your betta, always keep in mind that the more you can mimic their natural habitat, the healthier and happier your betta will be. Betta fish live in shallow standing waters like floodplains, rice paddies, and canals.
wake up during daylight and ready to sleep when it’s dark. Bettas are the same too- and would also love to know when it’s daytime and when it’s time to sleep. That’s why you need to always turn off the lights at night.
How many hours should light and darkness do bettas need daily?
Bettas generally need between 8-12 hours of daylight, and 12-16 hours of the night time, so always turn off your aquarium light.
Too much light can make your betta fish stressed and stimulated. The stress will be noticed in their feeding habit: some won’t even eat when the stress is too much. The stress could also cause severe illness because it weakens their immune system, to make them more prone to sickness.
Excess darkness is not suitable for their health either
Bettas usually tend to fade in color when they aren’t exposed to light. Still, other factors may also contribute to the color loss, so be sure to confirm the water’s PH level, temperature, and level of algae in the tank.
Excess light and lack of enough darkness- can also stress them because your fish cannot differential between day and night when to sleep and wake. So as regular light is important, so is regular darkness.
The best arrangement for betta fish tank lighting
Lastly, you need to select the lighting arrangements that suit you. Aquarium vendors often provide two kinds of arrangements. If you’re planning to stay simple, we recommend choosing the glass cover that correctly covers the trim at the top of your aquarium. This is a good setup because it is capable of holding up to 6 fluorescent bulbs, based on your preferences.
A bit more sophisticated lighting arrangement is the inclusion of hoods, which perfectly fits into the top of your tank. It works excellently, but you need to understand that when you use certain fluorescent bulbs, there must be a kind of ventilation fan, or else the bulb may overheat and result in some kind of harmful issues.
Aquarium vendor will have the best hood for the kind of tank you buy. When selecting lighting and the hood, you need to create a perfect ensemble to accent your fish and deliver an eye-appealing experience for anyone who looks at your tank. Work with your aquarium vendor in terms of lighting and other sections of the betta tank set up. This will ensure better health for your betta and several years of fun for you.