Could too much light kill my betta?

CSM

Small Fish
Mar 10, 2003
43
0
0
39
Golden, CO
Visit site
#1
I have a 5 gallon tank with a red male betta. I originally had a 15W bulb for lighting, but I noticed that the bulb was not nearly as bright as it use to be (only had the bulb for 2 months) so I had a spare 25W bulb. I decided to try this bulb and it made the aquarium light up beautifully. I kept an eye on the betta that evening and everything seemed wonderful. At night I put a cover (fabric) over the tank like i've been doing since i got him b/c it is in my bedroom and I usually stay up later. Well, this morning I woke up and found him dead.

My theory was that the cover caused the light inside the tank to reflect his image and he got stressed to death. I wake up an hour or so after the light turns on. I feel really bad now. Could this have been the cause?

While we are at it. Can anyone recommend a 15W bulb that will not lose intensity after only a month?

Jason
 

Orion

Ultimate Fish
Moderator
Feb 10, 2003
5,803
3
38
Kentucky
www.thefishcave.net
#2
I guess it is a possibility that he could have stressed himself to death by doing that, but it would normaly take more than just one hour for this to happen I would think. What about the heat from the 25w light? Could it have raised the temp of the water more so than what he was used to?
 

Feb 16, 2003
15
0
0
Visit site
#3
I have always read never to use a bulb over 15 watts. I am sorry you didn't know this earlier :(. The fabric (let alone being a fire hazard) probably trapped in the heat and humidity. Next time I suggest going back to a 15 watt, unless you ditch the light all together (you only absolutely need one if you have live plants) and decide to get a 25-50watt heater (bettas need to be kept at 72-85* F). You should also get a real cover for your tank instead of the fabric. I used to do the same thing, but realized how much better it was to have a real aquarium hood.
 

CSM

Small Fish
Mar 10, 2003
43
0
0
39
Golden, CO
Visit site
#4
My tank came with a fixed hood on it. Only access to the water is through a few small holes and if you remove the light and clear shield.

I've been monitoring the temperature. With the 25W bulb and it never gets above 82* I've been doing lots of searching and I found that some people are using fluorescent bulbs in there small tanks. They say the bulbs use 10 or 13 W but put out the equivalent of about 50W of light. This should be good for fish, but will it blind the the fish??

I was thinking of keeping 2 male and female Dwarf Gouramis and some ghost shrimp in the tank. And I've been looking for a nice live plant.
 

Mar 11, 2003
713
0
0
#5
Live plants, unless you are sure you know what you are doing, can bring you loads of trouble. When the plant dies it starts to rott, and releases toxins in the water. So make sure you catch that early on to preven problems. If you have enough hiding spots and plants (fake or real) the light should not bother your fish.

I have another suggestion about your bettas death. Was this the first time you have used the fabric as a cover? It might have suffocated him. Bettas primary source of oxygen is not in the water, but air. This is because of its special organ called a lambrynth. If you keep all the air out, your fish will run out of oxygen and die :(. Just a thought

Alexa
 

CSM

Small Fish
Mar 10, 2003
43
0
0
39
Golden, CO
Visit site
#6
This wasn't the first time the tank was covered. I've been covering it for over a month now.

It's looks like a pillow case is draped over the tank. It's not really tight fitting.

As far as the plants go. I've been doing a lot of research. (more than I should be. i should be studying) I do about a 30% water change weekly on the tank and I do keep a good eye on the fish. I am really leaning toward a floating plant (java moss or najas).

Jason
 

Mar 11, 2003
713
0
0
#7
Sounds like you have everything down! Maybe he just died of old age... Most bettas are well over a year before being put on the shelves. Pet stores won't accept them until they get full finage and "look like bettas." Personally, I'd like a young one.
 

CSM

Small Fish
Mar 10, 2003
43
0
0
39
Golden, CO
Visit site
#8
I've been doing even more research and something I found said that fish you buy should have any bulges on there body.

My betta had a bulge towards his rear. And I remember that area was white/pale when i found him dead. Could it have been a parasite or someother disease I didn't pick up on. He was very active; almost too active I thought. he would swim from side to side and up and down a lot.
 

peteg

New Fish
Aug 29, 2013
1
0
0
#11
Light

I have a 5 gallon tank with a red male betta. I originally had a 15W bulb for lighting, but I noticed that the bulb was not nearly as bright as it use to be (only had the bulb for 2 months) so I had a spare 25W bulb. I decided to try this bulb and it made the aquarium light up beautifully. I kept an eye on the betta that evening and everything seemed wonderful. At night I put a cover (fabric) over the tank like i've been doing since i got him b/c it is in my bedroom and I usually stay up later. Well, this morning I woke up and found him dead.

My theory was that the cover caused the light inside the tank to reflect his image and he got stressed to death. I wake up an hour or so after the light turns on. I feel really bad now. Could this have been the cause?

While we are at it. Can anyone recommend a 15W bulb that will not lose intensity after only a month?

Jason
I'm wondering if the light in my tank is making the water too warm. I thought (and I am brand new at this) that Bettas didn't like temps much over 75F, and although I made sure my tank was at 71F when I put the new guy in, it is now at 76, so I'm adding ice chips. My last Betta died last night, and although I suspect it was from over feeding, I'm wondering if it could have been heat from the light.
 

Thyra

Superstar Fish
Jun 2, 2010
1,891
0
0
Yelm, WA
#12
In their natural in habitat the temps can get well over 80. I realize that the bettas we buy are man made and so are no longer acclimated to those temps. You don't say how large your tank is but it doesn't take much for a desk lamp to get a small tank too warm. I think you may have other problems but we would need more details.
 

Aug 28, 2013
15
0
0
32
Dayton, OH
www.CritFest.com
#13
You should also be turning off the tank light at night, there's no reason to keep it on... they too need rest. How would you like to be in constant light 24/7? I mean, sure, you could get used to it, but there is nothing like sleeping in a dark room... having the light on constantly may also cause algae problems.