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Bettas, like most fish, prefer subdued lighting as it best mimic their natural environment. Fish don't live in the open; they congregate around fallen logs or docks. Bettas need at least some daily variation to give them a proper day/night cycle, but ambient light will suffice for this. The only reason you need a light in the tank is for live plants. And even then, some plants can get away with just a few hours of sunlight.
 

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+1. If you do have a light, caves, floating plants and plants with broad leaves will give a shy betta a place to go and hide. :) Tannins in the water will also reduce the brightness and make them feel more secure.
 

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my white dragonscale betta is afraid of the dark. i had to give him a nightlight. he freaks out and frantically swims around when i turn off his hood light at night
Actually I don't think this is "scared of the dark." Fish eyes function a little differently from ours in that they don't have an iris to control how much light gets in if we go from a bright room to a dark room. So when you turn off the fish's light and plunge the tank into darkness it stresses out the fish ie he darts around wildly. Try leaving the room lights on for about an hour after you turn off his light. This will allow his eyes to adjust to the darkness as it mimic the natural evening light.
 

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Actually I don't think this is "scared of the dark." Fish eyes function a little differently from ours in that they don't have an iris to control how much light gets in if we go from a bright room to a dark room. So when you turn off the fish's light and plunge the tank into darkness it stresses out the fish ie he darts around wildly. Try leaving the room lights on for about an hour after you turn off his light. This will allow his eyes to adjust to the darkness as it mimic the natural evening light.
well i got him a nightlight and now he doesnt mean-mug me. i think he just wants his light on so he can play all night. :D
 

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well i got him a nightlight and now he doesnt mean-mug me. i think he just wants his light on so he can play all night. :D
I don't think he wants to "play all night" seeing as fish need a day/night cycle. All creatures do (minus the cave-dwelling species). Not having this cycle can be rather stressful for the fish. Not to mention it will contribute to algal blooms.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
So, do you think it would be ok to have the light on during the day or at night? I have a light in Amor's tank but not Twilight's. Amor does have a little cave and plants to hide in.
 

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I was going to ask when is the optimum time to turn off the lights in a tank. I'm a night owl and really like to see my fish but I know that you will be best without it, so I usually turn them off when I got home from work around 8:30-9:00pm. Should I be turning them off earlier or is that an alright time?
 

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The time doesn't matter as much (provided there are a few hours of complete darkness) so much as the duration. I'm a night owl, too, so I like to have my lights on when I'm around the tanks the most which is after 7p. I use timers to turn the lights on and off; found them at WalMart for $5. My lights flip on at noon when I'm not there, so I can enjoy them for a few hours in the evening when I am.
 

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I don't think he wants to "play all night" seeing as fish need a day/night cycle.
yes he does.

All creatures do (minus the cave-dwelling species). Not having this cycle can be rather stressful for the fish. Not to mention it will contribute to algal blooms.
i'm pretty sure if the fish require sleep, they'll rest and sleep. mine do during the daytime when their light is on. sometimes i wake up at night and i see my fish moving around in the dark.

i think sometimes we over analyze our pets and project human emotions and tendencies on them.
 

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Circadian rhythm is not "humanizing animals." It is a scientifically established pattern that has been found in all levels of life from elephants down to plants. It's been biologically programmed over millions of years. Not having a dark period for your fish is stressing him out because it is going against what his body had been programmed to do.
 

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I don't leave my betta's light on because he sees his reflection in the glass and won't stop flaring (he is very aggressive) he would flare all night if I left the light on!
 

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So how do bettas sleep? Do they just not move and close there eyes?
They just find a comfy spot/ lay down
fish don't have eye lids, so they can't close their eyes
 

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Well fish sleep is a highly contentious topic in the scientific world as they don't go through the same brainwave changes that mammals do when they sleep (in fact it is believed that some sharks don't sleep at all). Fish sleep is believed to be a resting state in which they are no longer moving or digesting food. Darkness plays a key role in this process especially for sight-hunters like bettas.
 
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