Wondering why you see your Betta fish laying on the bottom of the tank?
It’s not uncommon for Betta fish to spend a significant amount of time resting on the bottom of their tank. In fact, it’s perfectly normal behavior for a Betta to sleep on the bottom or sides of the tank. However, if your Betta is spending more time than usual at the bottom of the tank, it could be a more serious problem.
In this article, we’ll discuss the common reasons for this phenomenon, when you should be concerned, and how to prevent it from happening!
Common Reasons Why Betta Fish Lay On The Bottom Of The Tank
There are many possible causes for why your Betta is laying on the bottom of the tank. Some are more serious than others, so we’ll separate them into two sections.
The most common reason is simply that your Betta is tired. Bettas are very active fish, and they need a lot of rest. If you notice that your Betta is swimming less and resting more, it’s probably just because he’s fatigued.
Another common reason is that your Betta is sleeping. Bettas are known to sleep a lot, up to 14 hours a day! When they sleep, they often float near the surface of the water or sink to the bottom.
If you see your Betta floating upside down at the surface of the water, he’s probably not sick. Sleeping Betta fish will sometimes take on this pose because it’s more comfortable for them.
Lack Of Food
One reason why your Betta may be lying on the bottom of the tank is that he’s hungry. If you’re not feeding your Betta enough food, he’ll start to get weak and will spend more time resting.
If your Betta fish lays on the bottom of the tank because he’s hungry, try feeding him a little more food. If he still doesn’t seem to be eating well, consult a veterinarian.
As Bettas get older, they tend to slow down and spend more time resting. Just like humans, older Betta fish get tired more easily. They also have a weaker immune system and are more prone to getting sick or over-fatigued.
If your Betta is over two years old, it’s not uncommon for him to spend most of his time at the bottom of the tank. If you have a younger fish though, there could be another reason.
Inactivity can also be a sign of poor water quality. If your Betta is living in water that’s dirty or of poor quality, he may become lethargic and spend more time resting at the bottom of the tank.
If you think dirty water might be the problem, check your tank and make sure it’s clean. If it is, then try changing the water to see if that makes a difference.
Another water quality issue that can cause inactivity is cold water. Bettas are tropical fish, and they prefer warm water. If the water in your tank is too cold, your Betta may become sluggish and spend more time at the bottom of the tank.
On the other hand, water that’s too hot can also cause inactivity. If the water in your tank is too warm, your Betta may become overheated and seek refuge at the bottom of the tank.
If you think the water temperature might be the problem, check the thermometer and make sure the water is within the ideal range.
Insufficient Tank Size
One of the most common problems Bettas face is living in a tank that’s too small. If your Betta’s tank is too small, he may become stressed and inactive. Since they’re very curious and love to explore, boredom is a big problem for Bettas.
If you think your Betta tank might be too small, consider upgrading to a larger one. We recommend upgrading to at least a 5 gallon tank, and preferably a 10 gallon. Your healthy Betta will thank you for it!
Another common issue that can cause inactivity is a strong water current.
Bettas are not built for swimming long distances, and they can get tired quickly if there’s a strong water flow inside the tank. If your Betta is struggling to swim against the current, he may just give up and sink to the bottom.
If you think the water current might be the problem, check your filter and make sure it’s not too strong. You can also try using a baffle to redirect the flow of water.
Concerning Reasons Why Your Betta Fish May Lay On The Bottom Of The Tank
While the vast majority of the time, there’s nothing to worry about if you find your Betta fish laying on the bottom of the tank, there are a few exceptions. If you notice any of the following symptoms, it’s best to consult a veterinarian.
Injuries can also cause inactivity. When a Betta gets cuts or scrapes, they may seek refuge at the bottom of the tank due to the pain. If you have any hiding places, you may also find them isolating in there.
If you think your Betta might be injured, check him for any wounds. If you find any, you can transfer them to a quarantine tank and apply medication like API Fin and Body Cure.
Ammonia poisoning is one of the most common Betta fish diseases, and it’s also one of the most dangerous.
Ammonia is a toxic chemical that’s produced when fish excrete waste. In small amounts, they’re absolutely normal and are not typically dangerous. However, if it takes you too long to clean your tank, the ammonia can start to build up and become poisonous.
Too much ammonia in the water can cause respiratory problems, organ damage, and even death.
One of the most common symptoms of ammonia poisoning is inactivity. If your Betta is laying at the bottom of the tank and not moving, it’s a sign that he might be suffering from ammonia poisoning.
Other symptoms of ammonia poisoning include gasping at the surface, lethargy, clamped fins, and loss of appetite.
If you think your Betta might have ammonia poisoning, the first thing you should do is check the water parameters of your tank using API Freshwater Master Test Kit. If they’re high, you’ll need to do a water change immediately.
As a temporary measure, you can also add Seachem Prime to your tank, which binds ammonia and makes it non-toxic to fish for 48 hours.
If you notice any of the following symptoms in your Betta, it’s best to consult a veterinarian.
Similar to ammonia, nitrate is perfectly normal in small amounts. It also builds up over time if you don’t clean your tank often enough. However, although it’s less toxic than nitrite or ammonia, if the nitrate levels get too high, it can become poisonous.
Nitrate poisoning is not as common as ammonia poisoning, but it can still be dangerous. Too much nitrate in the water causes the same symptoms as ammonia poisoning: organ damage, respiratory problems, and, when left untreated, death.
A common symptom of nitrate poisoning is inactivity. A Betta fish that’s laying at the bottom of the tank and not moving could be suffering from nitrate poisoning.
If you suspect nitrate poisoning, immediately replace your tank water to lessen the nitrate levels. There is no treatment that can automatically remove nitrates from your tank – nor one as effective as simply changing the water. That said, you can use something like API Nitra-Zorb, a filter media that can remove nitrites, nitrates, and ammonia from the water.
Swim Bladder Issues
Of course, there are some illnesses that can cause a Betta to rest at the bottom of the tank. The most common of these is swim bladder disease or swim bladder disorder. This is a condition that affects the swim bladder, which is a sac that helps fish float. If the swim bladder is damaged, the fish can’t swim properly, and they may sink to the bottom of the tank.
There are a few different things that can cause swim bladder disease. One is an infection, which is usually caused by bacteria. Another is a physical injury, such as getting hit by a rock or piece of gravel. Swim bladder disease can also be caused by a growth or tumor.
The most common symptom of swim bladder disease is unusual swimming. For instance, maybe your Betta is swimming sideways, or maybe it’s swimming upside down. Laying at the bottom of the tank and barely moving is another symptom.
Unfortunately, depending on the exact causes of their swim bladder problem, this could be a simple or complex condition to treat. If your Betta has swim bladder disease, the best thing you can do is take them to a veterinarian.
While the vast majority of Bettas that lay at the bottom of the tank have a relatively minor ailment, there are some serious diseases that can cause this symptom.
For instance, if your Betta is laying at the bottom of the tank and has difficulty breathing, it could be a sign of a bacterial infection. This is a serious condition that can quickly become life-threatening.
If your Betta is also showing other symptoms, such as fin rot, extreme lethargy, clamped fins, and excessive mucus, it’s a good idea to take them to a veterinarian. These are all signs of a potentially serious disease, and the sooner you get your Betta treated, the better.
How To Prevent Betta Fish From Laying On The Bottom Of The Tank
As we always say in this blog, the best way to deal with sick fish is to prevent them from getting sick in the first place. And while there’s no guaranteed way to do that, there are a few things aquarium keepers can do to minimize the risk.
Regular Water Changes
First and foremost, make sure you’re doing regular water changes. As we mentioned earlier, one of the most common reasons Bettas lay at the bottom of the tank is because of poor water quality. If you’re not changing your water regularly, the ammonia and nitrate levels can quickly get out of control, leading to all sorts of health problems.
As a general rule of thumb, you should be doing a water change at least once a week. If you have a larger tank, you may be able to get away with doing a water change every other week. But if you have a smaller tank, or if you have a lot of fish in your tank, you may need to do a water change more often.
Keep An Eye On Your Water Quality
In addition to doing regular water changes, you should also be monitoring your aquarium water quality. This means testing your water regularly to make sure the ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels are all within a safe range.
If you see any of these levels start to climb, it’s a good idea to do a water change. This will help keep your fish healthy and minimize the risk of them getting sick.
Adjust The Temperature
Bettas have an ideal temperature range of 75 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. As mentioned above, if the water is too cold, they can get sick. If the water is too hot, they can also get sick. So it’s important to adjust the temperature of your tank to make sure it’s within this range.
That said, keep in mind that if you need to make a big change to the temperature of your tank, do it gradually.
A sudden change in temperature can be stressful for your fish and lead to all sorts of health problems. It can even lead to something called cold or hot temperature shock, which happens when fish are suddenly exposed to water that’s too cold or too hot.
Don’t Overcrowd Your Tank
One of the most common mistakes people make when setting up their fish tank is overcrowding their tank. This is a bad idea for a number of reasons, especially if you own a Betta fish.
First, an overstocked tank can lead to poor water quality. Second, it can make it difficult for your fish to get the oxygen they need. Third, it can be very stressful for your Betta, who needs plenty of space to move around without immediately bumping into another fish species.
Although Bettas can handle some tankmates, do keep in mind that they are territorial fish. So even if you do add other fish to your tank, make sure you give them plenty of space to spread out.
If you’re not sure whether or not a certain fish is compatible with your Betta, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and not add them to your tank.
Ensure That Their Tank Is Safe
One important thing you can do to prevent your Betta from getting sick is to make sure their tank is safe.
This means removing any potential hazards, such as sharp objects or rocks that could injure your fish. Even plastic plants are a huge no-no in a Betta tank as they can easily tear your fish’s fragile fins. If you want to have plants in, opt for live plants or silk plants.
It’s also important to make sure the tank is the right size for your Betta. Bettas need at least a 5 gallon tank, and they prefer a larger tank if possible. If your Betta is in a too-small tank, they’re much more likely to get sick.
Keep Them Stress-Free
Finally, it’s important to do everything you can to keep your Betta stress-free. Stress is a huge factor in Betta health, and it can lead to all sorts of problems, including diseases.
There are a few things you can do to minimize stress in your Betta. First, make sure the Betta tanks have plenty of hiding places. This will give them a place to go when they feel overwhelmed.
Second, try to keep the tank as quiet and peaceful as possible. Avoid putting their tank in a busy area of your house, and don’t put it near a TV or speakers.
Third, don’t turn on their fish tank lights all the time. Bettas need a dark period to rest, and if their tank is constantly lit up, it can be very stressful.
Provide A Healthy Diet
Another important thing you can do to prevent your Betta from getting sick is to provide them with a healthy diet. Bettas are primarily carnivores, so they need a diet that’s high in protein.
You can find Betta-specific food at most pet stores, or you can give them live or frozen foods, such as brine shrimp, bloodworms, or daphnia.
You should be feeding your Betta small amounts 2-3 times a day. But it’s important not to overfeed them, as this can lead to health problems.
How To Tell If A Betta Is Sick Or Dying
Now that you know how to prevent your Betta from anything that may cause it to lay on the bottom of the tank, you might be wondering how to tell if your Betta is sick or dying.
We already discussed this in a previous blog post, but here are a few quick signs to look for:
- Loss of appetite. If your Betta stops eating for more than a day, this is a sign that something is wrong.
- Less energy. Bettas are typically quite energetic creatures. If they become listless and don’t seem to have the same energy as before, this could be a sign of illness.
- Change in color. If your Betta’s colors start to fade or they develop new spots, this could be a sign of disease.
- Hiding all the time or darting around the tank erratically could be a sign of illness
- Clamped fins. If your Betta’s fins are held close to their body or they seem shorter than usual, this could be a sign of stress or disease.
- Visible tumor. Sometimes, you may even see a lump on your Betta’s body. This could be a tumor.
- Respiratory issues. If you see your Betta breathing heavily or gasping for air at the surface of the water or their gills seem to be moving more quickly than usual, this could be a sign of respiratory disease.
If you notice any of these signs, it’s important to take action quickly. The sooner you catch an illness, the easier it will be to is
Should I be worried about my Betta laying at the bottom of the tank?
If your Betta is laying at the bottom of the tank and showing no other signs of illness, there’s no need to worry. However, if they’re also displaying other symptoms of illness, such as lethargy or loss of appetite, it’s important to take them to the vet as soon as possible.
How do I keep my Betta fish from getting sick?
There are a few things you can do to prevent your Betta fish from getting sick. First, make sure their tank is safe and hazard-free. Second, provide them with a healthy diet. Third, try to keep their tank as stress-free as possible. Finally, don’t overfeed them.
What are some signs that my Betta fish is sick or dying?
Some signs that your Betta fish is seriously sick include lethargy, loss of appetite, change in color, hiding, clamped fins, and visible tumors. If you notice any of these signs, it’s important to take action quickly.
If you notice your Betta fish laying on the bottom of the tank, you need to check the causes first. As mentioned above, there are plenty of reasons why your Betta may be laying on the bottom, with some more serious than others.
Luckily, there are a few things you can do to prevent your Betta from getting sick, such as making sure their tank is safe and hazard-free, providing them with a healthy diet, and keeping their tank as stress-free as possible. With these tips, you can keep your Betta healthy and happy for years to come.
- Do Bettas Sleep? How, When, Where, And Why They Rest
- Common Reasons Why Your Betta Fish Is Not Moving (With Solutions)
- Why Your Betta May Be Swimming Sideways – Swim Bladder Disease Symptoms
- Do Bettas Require Light To Thrive?
- Reasons Why Your Betta Fish May Not Be Eating