Do Betta Fish Like LED Lights? {Will They Feel Stress?}

Are you wondering do betta fish like LED lights? Do betta fish like colored LED lights?

Will LED lights cause them stress? Do bettas prefer natural light or artificial light?

In this article, we’ll focus on the topic of LED lights for betta fish tanks.

Do Betta Fish Like LED Lights?

Yes. LED lights are a part of standard aquarium tanks setups and as long as they aren’t too intense or on 24 hours a day, your betta fish will not be bothered by them.

Provide planted areas for shade from any lighting to give your Betta fish a chance to find cover when needed.

Do Betta Fish Need Light?

Yes. A betta fish is reliant on LED or artificial lighting or if the location you place the tank receives natural and indoor lighting.

Keep in mind that:

  • lights should all be turned off for 12 hours during the night
  • you should give your betta fish a restful night during its sleep cycles.
  • They can be exposed to prolonged periods of lights up to 16 hrs a day compared to many other fish.

For most fish, we would recommend a light limit at 12 hours maximum.

Do Betta Fish Need Light At Night?

No. Betta fish do not need light at night. The darkness allows your Betta fish to remain physically healthy and replenish mental functions for the new day ahead.

The night time is when your Betta fish is conserving energy. Even if your betta is not sleeping the entire night, this dark period allows for stress levels to be reduced.

Do Bettas Prefer Natural Light Or Artificial Light?

A betta would not prefer to be under direct sunlight. This could unnecessarily heat up the tank and increase excess UV exposure. You will most likely have an algae problem as well.

Aquarium lights and specifically the LED lighting is easier to manipulate and adjust to dim the lights and use timers to mimic sunlight in a controlled manner.

Artificial LED lighting can still promote vitamin D production while limiting algae growth.

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Can I Keep My Betta Under LED Lights?

Yes. Most aquariums nowadays use LED lights and your betta is one of millions that is adapting and thriving under these artificial lights.

Larger or professional setups use UVB lighting or plenty of other options, but LED lights are the most common in basic aquariums. Your aquarium plants will also benefit from LED lights as well.

Do Betta Fish Like Colored LED Lights?

Bette fish will do fine with colored LED lights. Some hobbyists feel that colored lights and substrates bring out more vibrant colors in the specific fish they keep.

Bettas are beautiful and can easily be kept under colored LED lighting.

  • Use a full-spectrum LED to produce brighter colors in your betta fish.

These types of lights emit light is all areas of the color spectrum from red to green to blue and more.

What Color LED Do Betta Fish Like?

Betta fish will enjoy white lights to blue or even reds. Look at your tank setup and colors of your fish to determine which colors will pop.

White lights may not be the best choice for your plants and may also encourage algae growth.

  • The color should have a rendering value of 63-75.
  • LED lighting for betta fish alone can reach a color rendering value of 85.

We tend to enjoy the calming effect of blue lighting more than most other colors, but your betta is flexible with your decision.

Do LED lights Affect Betta Fish?

Your betta fish are not the most important factor when it comes to aquarium lights. You should focus on your plants more and limiting algae production. You can decide on the following lights:

  • incandescent
  • fluorescent
  • LED 
  • moonlights
  • black lights

The options are plentiful, but be aware of the extra heat some of these lights produce.

If you see a rise in temperature or notice that your betta are gulping for air, swimming erratically or hiding excessively, then there may be an issue with the lighting being too strong.

What Are The Drawbacks of LED Lights for Betta Fish?

Be aware that LED lights or any artificial lighting can reflect off the glass walls. Your betta fish may see its own reflection and act out aggressively at it.

This is due to the natural territorial instinct of your betta fish. Keep the lights on the dimmer end of the spectrum to limit the reflection or position your lights and tanks accordingly with this in mind.

Do Bettas Need LED lights?

Betta only need some lights to continue their diurnal cycle of active living during the day and rest at night.

You can choose to use LED lights without a problem or simply keep your tank under indoor room lighting or near indirect sunlight.

Keep your aquarium lights under a timer and allow for it to do the work for you by shutting off and turning on at a set schedule. Your betta fish can enjoy up to 16 hours of lighting, but we recommend keeping it closer to 12-14 hours.

Do Bettas Like The Dark?

Betta fish prefer to rest at night in the dark. This is a great time to replenish energy. Provide your betta fish and tankmates with 10-12 hours a night to rest.

They follow a diurnal cycle similar to humans and need the dark at night. Light is important during the day for betta fish to resume their daily activities.

Do Bettas Like Bright Lights?

Betta fish do not wish for the lights to be too bright. If the lighting is too intense, it will encourage algae growth and excess heat. Your betta may get stressed as a result. Reduce lighting if you notice the following reactions:

  • glass surfing
  • gulping for air
  • rapid gill movement
  • darting around the tank
  • aggressive chasing
  • sulking in the corner
  • loss of appetite
  • lethargy 
  • loss of color

Do Bettas Like Blue or White light?

Both blue and white lights work fine for bettas. Avoid using bright colors or lights that beam straight into the tank since bettas prefer dim illumination.

Instead, use a softer hue light that will cast a soothing glow without being overbearing. LED lights in the colors of white or blue work nicely for many betta owners.


LED lights and betta fish are both very common in the fishkeeping hobby. You should have no major concerns with LED lights in your betta fish tank if you have a timed schedule.

Turn off the LED lights for 10-12 hours a night and do not keep the lighting too intense during the day.


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Brian Arial

Brian Arial has kept fish for leisure and worked with fish stores for most of his life. He enjoys writing and caring for aquariums and ponds.