Do Betta Fish Need Sunlight?

There’s no doubt that you’ve seen fish tanks topped with lights. Just like most animals, bettas need a day-night cycle, so light is important.

But, does it matter what kind of light? Can you use artificial lighting, or do betta fish need sunlight?

Do Betta Fish Need Sunlight?

Although betta fish need light, it’s not recommended to provide them with sunlight. In fact, you should keep your betta fish tank as far away from any windows as possible.

Why is this? In short, you can’t control natural sunlight.

Sunlight Encourages Algae Growth

If your fish tank is next to a window, it’s going to get too much sunlight. Ideally, you only want your tank to get about 4-6 hours of direct light a day. If it gets more than that, the light will encourage algae growth.

A little bit of algae in your tank is normal. But, too much algae can be annoying and difficult to clean. Plus, it will make your tank look gross.

For the rest of the day, the tank should get indirect light from windows or lights in the room.

Sunlight Causes Temperature Fluctuations

Too much sunlight can even be dangerous. The amount of sunlight coming into your windows isn’t constant. It fluctuates throughout the day. So, sunlight can cause the water temperature in your tank to rise too quickly.

Bettas are tropical fish that like warm water. But, the water temperature needs to be constant. If the water temperature changes too quickly, your fish can go into shock and die.

Choose Artificial Light

Artificial light is the better option because you can control it. You can choose the color of the light, how strong the light is, and how often it stays on throughout the day. Artificial lights can provide your fish with a healthy routine, and they won’t put their health in danger.

Why Is Artificial Light Good?

It’s good to use artificial lights for your betta’s tank because it mimics their natural environment.

Bettas Don’t See Well In The Dark

Bettas can’t see well in the dark, so if you never provide them with light, they may become stressed.

This doesn’t mean that you should expose them to light 24/7, though. Doing so will mess up their day-night cycle which will stress them out and make them sick.

Lack Of Light Can Dull Colors

Since you want to keep your fish tank away from windows, natural light likely won’t be enough. When bettas receive less light, their colors may fade and become dull.

Most people choose bettas because of their beautiful, vibrant coloration. So, you’ll probably want to avoid doing anything that may cause them to lose that color.

Which Color Light Is Best?

Although any light is good for bettas, blue and green light seems to be best. They don’t like super bright lights, so soft blue or green lights are the better option. These colors also seem to keep them calm and stress-free which makes for a healthier betta.

LED Bulbs Are Best

Using LED bulbs is better than using incandescent bulbs as well. They consume less energy, so they’ll save you money. More importantly, they don’t produce much heat. So, they won’t affect the temperature of the water or encourage algae growth.

Incandescent bulbs produce considerable heat. This can warm the water and encourage algae growth.


It is essential for betta fish to receive light every day. They enjoy sunlight; it makes them happy and keeps them healthy.

Still, you should choose artificial lighting over natural sunlight. Keeping your betta’s tank too close to a window will encourage algae growth. It may also cause the water to warm up to dangerous temperatures.

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