Are Betta Fish Nocturnal

Are Betta Fish Nocturnal?

Are Betta Fish Nocturnal

What Are Betta Fish?

Betta, also known as the Siamese fighting fish, is a species of fish with beautiful colours that make them stand out. As a result of their vibrant colours, betta fish make very nice and beautiful pets. It is common sightseeing these beautiful creatures swimming solo in fish bowls; such as ornamental vases and brandy sniffers in both homes and offices.
Just like every pet, it is important to understand the habits of your betta fish. The sleeping habit of betta fish is one aspect of their cycle that most owners are not well informed about. This is why this article addresses all you need to know about how your betta fish sleep amongst other habits. Some very interesting facts are highlighted below.

Are Betta fish Nocturnal?

As a matter of fact, the answer to this question is no. Betta fish are not nocturnal. Rather they are diurnal which means that they sleep in the night, and are active during the daytime. In essence, their body follows the same sleep pattern as humans. Betta fish are peculiar creatures and some of their sleeping habits are discussed.

They Sleep In The Dark

Betta fish enjoy sleeping in the dark, this is because it makes them rest better. It is therefore very important to always switch off the light in your betta’s tank to create an enabling environment for it to sleep. Also, be sure to be mindful about how you control the light in their tank. Your betta fish will be startled and unsettled if you keep switching the light on abruptly.
Another reason why you should keep the light off at night is heat. Hours of lighting will cause the water to heat up and disturb the rest of your fish. Therefore, always ensure to turn the lighting off at night. Leaving the light on at all times will affect their rest and shorten their lifespan.

How Do Betta Fish Sleep?

Whereas a number of other fish species hover a single spot while sleeping, it is a different case with betta fish. They usually lay over or under leaves in their tank when sleeping. They also float on the surface of the water, simply sleeping and sometimes appearing dead. In this case, it is important to study them before turning on the light. Turning the light on abruptly unsettles them as mentioned earlier. How then do you know that your betta fish is simply sleeping and not dead or sick?

The Sleeping Posture Of Betta Fish

Most betta fish has a unique sleeping posture. They lay in an L-shaped posture, facing their head upward with the rest of their body facing sideways. Seeing your fish in this position, you can be sure it is safe and resting. Knowing the normal posture a betta fish takes when it is resting, it is important to also understand abnormal sleep patterns.

Reasons Why Betta Fish Lay At The Bottom Of The Tank

Your betta fish laying at the bottom of the tank when sleeping is not a good sign. It could mean a number of things.

Filter Current

It could mean that the filter current is too strong in the tank. Anatomically, betta fish have massive fins and this makes them inept at swimming in turbulent water. If your betta fish swims for some time, it is very likely to get tired quickly and lay at the bottom of the tank in exhaustion.
The best thing to do in this case is to reduce the filter power in the tank.

The Water Is Too Cold

Another key point, is that betta fish do not function well in cold water. This is because they are tropical creatures, which thrive in temperature between 24 to 28 Celsius. Whenever the water gets too cold, the metabolism of your betta fish is greatly reduced and you might see it at the bottom of the tank.
If you notice that the temperature of the tank is cold, ensure to raise it to around 24 to 28 Celsius.

The Water Is Hot

Also, when the water gets too hot, it affects the betta fish and might cause it to lay at the bottom of the tank. A crucial fact is that warm water increases the release of oxygen which will leave your fish gasping at the bottom of the tank.
The solution to this condition is to find a way to lower the temperature of the water.
You can lower the temperature by either blowing air in the tank using a fan or by using a filter to oxygenate.

Swim Bladder Disorder

Additionally, swim bladder disorder can cause your betta fish to lay at the bottom of the tank. Swim bladder disorders are usually caused by constipation or overfeeding. The stomach of your fish swells, causing the bladder’s functionality to be affected. This disorder makes swimming very difficult for your betta. You always find them at the bottom of the tank, in this case.

You can check this disorder by feeding your fish foods that are rich in fiber. Fasting your fish can also relieve it of excess food and correct the bladder disorder. To avoid constipation and overfeeding, feed your betta fish one pea, every week. You can also feed it bloodworm, every now and then.


Surprisingly, laying at the bottom of the pond can simply be caused by laziness. Betta fish can actually be described as lazy creatures and they may lack motivation to move around the tank. You can easily identify when laziness is the reason for your betta fish laying at the bottom of the tank. You will notice the fins attach to the front pelvic moving, should this be the case. Take note of these fins to be sure they are moving. Should you notice your fish moving around, and feeding before settling back to the bottom, you can rest assured it is laziness.

Other reasons why betta fish lay the bottom of the tanks could include; old age, disease, and high ammonia levels. In every case, it is important to study the habits of your betta in order to notice unusual behavior as soon as possible.

How Do You Care For Your Betta Fish?

In order to enable your betta fish to sleep better, you have to give it the best care. We will discuss ways to care for your betta fish to avoid any of the hindrances to sleep; highlighted above.

• Feeding

You need to have a good diet for your fish, to avoid overfeeding and constipation. A standard diet should contain daphnia, brine shrimp or bloodworm. This is because your betta needs food rich in fiber and protein to stay healthy, have a long lifespan, and have maintained their brilliant colours always. Feeding them commercial betta food is the best as it combines daphnia, brine shrimp and bloodworm with minerals and vitamins to provide a wholesome meal for your pet.

• Water

Upsetting the level and temperature of water in the tank always has a negative effect on betta fish. When cleaning, take out a third of the water per time before adding fresh water. This allows your fish to adjust to PH level and temperature of the water without any problem. If your fresh water is high in chlorine, always add dechlorinator before putting in your fish tank. A drop of dechlorinator is enough. Change the water every three to four days to have the best effect.

Make sure to never use soap or disinfectants to clean your fish tank. These chemicals are very harmful to them. You can use plain warm water to clean the tank, for the best results.

Should Your Betta Fish Have a Roommate?

Betta fish are not like other species of fish, in the sense that they are not schooling fish. This means that they will always fight with each other, no matter what. It does not matter if they are of the same or opposite genders. Betta fish always prefer to swim alone, having the freedom to move around their tank as they wish. Therefore, you should keep it in mind to always ensure your betta fish’ privacy. If you own more than one betta fish, create a separate habitat for each one of them.


In conclusion, it is necessary that you care for your fish just like every other pet. Take its safety and wellbeing as your responsibility. Do not expose the tank to harmful chemicals or substances. Make sure you feed it high quality food and avoid experimenting with food. Study your pet, and note its regular habits so you can detect irregularities early enough.
The lighting of your fish tank is also very important. Do not give your kids access to the lighting of the fish tank, as they may see it as a fun tool. Take charge of the tank’s lighting always. Keep the light off at night, and your fish will be sure to have good rest.

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