Why Betta Fish Lay at the Bottom of the Tank? Reasons Explained!

Betta fish are one of the most popular species of aquarium fish, renowned for their vibrant colors, long fins, and spunky personalities. However, if you’re a Betta fish owner, you may have noticed your fish lying at the bottom of the tank and wondered why they do it.

These fish may lay at the bottom of the tank due to stress or illness. If you own a betta fish and have noticed it laying at the bottom of the tank, don’t panic. You need to understand the possible causes and ways to address them.

In the following article, I will explore some of the reasons why your betta fish may be laying at the bottom of the tank and what you can do to help them. Keep reading!

Common Reasons for Betta Fish Laying at The Bottom of The Tank

If you notice your betta fish spending excessive time at the bottom of the tank, it can be a cause for concern. While occasional resting near the tank bottom is normal behavior for betta fish, persistent or prolonged periods of lying down could indicate an underlying issue. Here are some common reasons why betta fish may exhibit this behavior:


This is a common cause of betta fish laying at the bottom of the tank. Stressors can include sudden changes in water temperature, poor water quality, inadequate tank size, aggressive tank mates, or improper tank decorations. Ensure that your betta fish’s environment is stable, clean, and free from potential stressors.

Poor Water Quality

Betta fish are sensitive to water conditions, and poor water quality can significantly impact their health and behavior. Ammonia, nitrite buildup, and high nitrate levels can be harmful. Regularly test the water parameters and maintain appropriate filtration and water changes to ensure optimal water quality for your betta fish.

Illness or Disease

Various illnesses and diseases can cause betta fish to lie at the bottom of the tank. Common health issues include fin rot, swim bladder disorder, parasites, bacterial or fungal infections, and internal diseases.

Look for other accompanying symptoms, such as changes in appetite, lethargy, visible physical abnormalities, or abnormal swimming patterns. Consult a veterinarian specializing in fish if you suspect your betta fish is unwell.


Overfeeding can lead to digestive problems in betta fish, causing them to feel bloated and lethargic. Excessive food consumption can also contribute to poor water quality. Follow a proper feeding schedule and provide a balanced diet suitable for betta fish to prevent overfeeding-related issues.

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Water Temperature Extremes

Drastic fluctuations in water temperature can stress betta fish and impact their behavior. Betta fish are tropical fish and require stable water temperatures between 78-82°F (25-28°C). Ensure that your aquarium heater is functioning correctly, and monitor the water temperature regularly.

Lack of Oxygen

Insufficient oxygen levels in the tank can lead to betta fish spending more time near the bottom in search of oxygen-rich areas. Proper aeration and the use of an air pump or a gentle water flow from the filter can help maintain adequate oxygen levels.


As betta fish age, they may become less active and spend more time resting at the bottom of the tank. This behavior is typically associated with natural aging processes and decreased energy levels. Ensure that your aging betta fish receives proper care, including a comfortable environment and a suitable diet.

Do Betta Fish Making Bubbles Relate to Them Laying at the Bottom of the Tank?

Betta fish bubble production explained: Betta fish making bubbles does not necessarily relate to them laying at the bottom of the tank. While bubble nests are a natural behavior for male bettas, they can create them even when not breeding. Laying at the bottom can indicate stress or illness, so it’s crucial to consider other factors like water quality and temperature.

How to Care for Betta Fish and Prevent Them from Laying at the Bottom?

Proper water maintenance is crucial for the health and well-being of betta fish. Monitoring water parameters and maintaining optimal water quality are essential steps to ensure a thriving environment for your fish.

Regular water changes

Perform partial water changes of about 25-30% every week to remove accumulated waste and replenish fresh, clean water. This helps maintain stable water conditions and prevents the buildup of harmful substances.

Use a Reliable Water Conditioner

Treat tap water with a water conditioner that removes chlorine, chloramine, and heavy metals. This ensures that the water is safe and suitable for your betta fish.

Proper filtration

Install a filter appropriate for your tank size to remove debris and maintain water clarity. Ensure that the filter is not too strong, as betta fish prefer gentle water flow.


Betta fish are tropical fish and thrive in temperatures between 78°F and 82°F (25.5°C – 27.8°C). Use a reliable aquarium heater to regulate and maintain the desired temperature range.


These fish require oxygen-rich water to breathe. Ensure proper oxygenation by providing adequate surface agitation, such as using an air stone or adjusting the filter output. Avoid stagnant water, as it can lead to oxygen depletion.

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Tank size

Betta fish should be kept in a tank that provides enough swimming space. A minimum tank size of 5 gallons (19 liters) is recommended, although larger tanks are even better. The larger the tank, the more room your betta fish will have to explore and exercise.

Tank Layout

Include hiding spots and plants in the tank to mimic the natural habitat of betta fish. Live or silk plants provide cover and resting areas. Avoid sharp or abrasive decorations that could potentially harm your betta fish.

Strategies for Minimizing Stress

Betta fish are solitary creatures and prefer to have their own space. Ensure that the tank is not overcrowded, which can lead to aggression and stress. If keeping multiple bettas, provide separate tanks or use dividers to prevent direct contact.

Consistent Feeding Routine

Establish a regular feeding schedule to reduce hunger-related stress. Feed your betta fish small portions of high-quality betta-specific food once or twice a day.

Maintain a Consistent Environment

Sudden changes in light, noise, or water conditions can stress betta fish. Minimize sudden disruptions and maintain a consistent environment to provide a sense of security.

Dim Lighting

Bright lights can cause stress to betta fish. Use soft or dim lighting in the tank, preferably with adjustable settings, to replicate their natural habitat and promote a calm environment.

Provide Hiding Spots

Incorporate caves, plants, and other suitable hiding spots in the tank. These areas allow betta fish to retreat and feel secure when they desire privacy or


Seeing a betta fish lying at the bottom of the tank can be disconcerting for any fish owner. It is, therefore, important to quickly identify and address the issue. First, check the water parameters and temperature to ensure they are within the recommended range.

Next, closely examine the fish for any visible signs of sickness or injury. If any such signs are detected, immediate action must be taken to prevent the fish from deteriorating further. Finally, ensure that the fish is receiving a healthy and well-balanced diet and keep the tank clean and well-maintained.

Following these steps can help prevent betta fish from laying at the bottom of the tank and ensure that they remain healthy and vibrant. With proper care and attention, betta fish can live a long and fulfilling life, bringing joy and color to any aquarium.

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