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The Best Lighting for Your Betta Aquarium

Front view of a betta

Many Betta lovers do not realize how important correct lighting is for the health of their fish. Not only do Bettas need a consistent water temperature, but they also need the proper lighting to set and keep their biological clock in a natural state. This environment keeps Bettas happy and also determines their patterns for spawning and feeding.

TIP: Remember, your Betta will need to live in an environment that closely resembles their natural habitat. Like humans, they need a cycle of light (day) and darkness (night). This is best done through a timer that is connected to the lights in your aquarium, which will ensure that this all-important cycle is not disturbed even if you are not around.

What type of lighting will your Betta prefer?

Although there are many types from which to choose, fluorescent has always been the best lighting choice for your aquarium and that still holds true today.

There are three reasons this lighting is ideal:

  • It does not produce a lot of heat; therefore it doesn’t increase the temperature of the aquarium water.
  • The lamp has a long life, which lessens your maintenance duties. Make sure, even if the bulbs are still providing light, that you replace it at least once a year because they do grow dimmer over that period of time.
  • It encourages plant growth. If you have live plants in your aquarium, it is beneficial to have two fluorescent lights. If not, one will suffice.

Of course there are other types of lighting you could consider. If you are looking for your live plants to grow quickly, then Metal Halide lights are probably your best choice. They also provide a pleasing lighting effect in the aquarium. But, unfortunately, there is a down side. They cost much more than their fluorescent counterparts and they produce a lot of heat, which could raise the temperature of the water. But, if you have a large tank with live plants, this would be a good choice.

Betta Fish Tank Lighting Arrangements

Blue-green betta

Lastly, choose which lighting arrangement suits you best. Vendors that sell aquariums usually offer two types of lighting arrangements. If you want to stay simple, the best one to choose is the glass cover that fits perfectly into the plastic trim at the top of your tank. This setup is great because it can hold either one or two fluorescent bulbs, depending on your needs.

A more elaborate lighting arrangement is a hood, which completely covers the top of your aquarium. This works well, but it is important to understand that when using Metal Halide units and larger lights, there has to be some type of ventilation fan or the unit will overheat and cause all kinds of unwanted issues. Aquarium dealers or pet stores will offer the best hood for the specific fish tank you choose.

When choosing lighting and a hood, it’s important to create the best ensemble to accent your Betta as well as offer enjoyment for those who are looking at your aquarium. Working with your aquarium supplier in regards to lighting and all aspects of your betta tank setup will ensure health for your Betta as well as many years of enjoyment for you and your family.

What is your story of purchasing your betta?

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Adam Short

Adam Short has been been a lifelong betta fish lover and has been teaching others how to take the very best care of their bettas for over 10 years.

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