More than when, I captured my Betta fish hovering at the upper sections of the tank. That obtained me curious since these fish generally swim in the middle. Admittedly, I wanted to understand if that behavior can suggest an issue. That was once I began to research study the topic a small deeper.

You are watching: Why does my betta fish stay at the top of the tank

Betta fish tfinish to sit at the top sections of the tank and also gasp for air as a result of oxygen deficiencies, largely additional to inadequate water temperature. However, upward swimming might additionally be a result of a shortage of food, crowded problems, and also bladder concerns.

As we move forward in this write-up, I will certainly show you just how to proccasion your Betta fish from enduring, and also as a consequence, swimming upwards. Furthermore, I will certainly share with you a few indications that might indicate your Bettas are in lousy form and also possibly dying.

What Makes Bettas Sit at the Top?

People tend to store Betta fish bereason they are beautiful and energetic. However, prefer a lot of fish, they carry out not constantly act as predicted. For circumstances, the average Betta spends a lot of of its time in the middle of the tank.

The species will occasionally swim with the upper and lower sections. However before, it spends a lot of of its time in the middle. Because of this, if your Bettas are sitting at the optimal of your aquarium for lengthy durations, you should ask yourself why.

That is by no means normal habits. A few of the a lot of widespread reasons of such actions in Bettas include:

1. Low Oxygen Concentrations

Bettas differ a little from various other fish. Many fish usage their gills to extract oxygen from water. They cannot breathe with their mouths like human beings. Bettas have gills that permit them to breathe underwater. However, they likewise have a so-referred to as labyrinth body organ that functions prefer a lung.<1>

This specific structure enables them to breathe air oxygen, simply like a huguy. In other words, Bettas deserve to make it through external water, however just for a brief time. Also, they have to remajor moist in the time of this period.

If your Betta fish is spending many time at the height, your tank is most likely suffering from an oxygen deficiency. Bettas that are escaping the lack of oxygenation can stick their mouth out of the water eincredibly so often.

Even if it is just swimming within the top area of the tank, this area has even more dissolved oxygen than the bottom. You shouldn’t ascendancy out an oxygen deficiency simply bereason your Bettas perform not breathe air directly.

2. Inenough Water Parameters

Bettas call for certain parameters to endure. You must save their water at a temperature ranging between 75 and also 80 degrees F.<2> The pH have to range in between 6 and 8. You are likewise expected to save the nitrites and ammonia levels at zero, not to point out maintaining the nitprice levels below 20.

Poor water high quality have the right to threaten the health of your fish. Bettas are hardy creatures, however if they are exposed to unhealthy concentrations of toxins like ammonia, not to point out the wrong pH, the resulting discomfort will weaken their health.

That will certainly cause ditension and also drive them in the direction of the height in an attempt to escape the punishment listed below. Some fish have been well-known to jump out of their tanks to escape the less tha suitable parameters in the aquarium.

There are 2 considerations to make where the temperature is came to. If the water is as well cold, your Bettas will certainly run to the optimal wright here conditions are nearly constantly warmer. That primarily happens in big tanks during the summer.

On the other hand also, if the water is also warmth, oxygen levels in the middle and also at the bottom will plummet in response. This will certainly additionally drive the Betta to the optimal wright here oxygen is even more abundant. That is why sticking to the required temperature variety is essential.

3. Crowded Conditions

If your tank is as well tiny or if you have too many kind of fish, your Bettas can swim to the top bereason they execute not have actually the area to maneuver in the middle. Also, keep in mind that crowding have the right to bring about conflict in between fish.

If you have bigger, even more aggressive fish in the tank, the Betta might additionally flee to the optimal in response to the tension of being exposed to danger. That is even more most likely to happen if you haven’t presented plants, rocks, and decorations to your tank.

Regarding population, the rule of thumb would certainly be one gallon of water per inch of an adult fish.<3> Hence, the average Betta fish, which is 2-3 inches in size, requires 2-3 gallons of water. Two Bettas, for that issue, would need at leastern 4-6 gallons and also so on.

4. Lack of Food

Bettas are pretty intelligent fish. They understand that they are typically fed from the optimal. If you have actually allowed them to go hungry for any type of reason, they will start swimming near the height in the hopes of ultimately being fed.<4>

They will likewise swim to the optimal in search of food, particularly if they have checked anywhere else. You might suspect that problems if your Bettas revolve to the middle sections after feeding times. That can indicate that they have actually swum upwards looking for food.

5. Swim Bladder Issues

When a Betta has actually a swim bladder trouble, it will certainly have actually trouble swimming right. After a while, it will turn on its side and also float to the peak. Swim bladder problems deserve to manifest as an outcome of overfeeding, which can result in constipation.

Besides swimming upwards, a constipated Betta will certainly additionally start to swell. You will certainly also notification that its feces becomes stringy, hanging from its ago. That is in contrast to healthy fish, in which the feces automatically autumn to the substrate.<5>

How to Keep Your Bettas From Swimming at the Top?

If your Betta is being compelresulted in swim at the peak by external determinants, the just way to draw the fish ago to the middle is to deal with them. Some valuable actions that you can take in such instances include:

1. Elevate Oxygen Concentrations

If your Bettas are gasping at the surchallenge, your tank doesn’t have actually sufficient oxygen. However before, you can quickly solve this problem by including an air rock.<6> It will certainly rise surchallenge agitation, permitting more oxygen to dissettle right into the water (while likewise encouraging CO2 to escape).

Luckily, air stones are rather cheap. Here is the Aqua Fizzzz 1 inch Cylinder Air Stone (connect to Marine Depot), which is offered under $2. It will properly obtain the project done if your aquarium is fairly little (approximately 15 gallons).

You have the right to also procure more powerful powerheads that will produce stronger curleas in the water, making sure that the oxygen is evenly dispersed throughout the tank. That is the even more helpful solution in high-volume tanks.

2. Adsimply the Temperature

Whether high temperatures are to blame for the oxygen deficiency or low temperatures are forcing your Bettregarding escape to the surface, you probably require a thermometer and a heater. You need to strive to the preferred array of 75 to 80 levels F.

Regarding that, I highly recommend analysis my recommendation for an aquarium heater. In tbelow, I reregarded the particular gadget that I usage. That is the just heater that doesn’t produce severe temperature fluctuations, allowing me to prosper the most delicate species of fish.

Lastly, endeavor to meacertain the temperature regularly to encertain that it is within the essential parameters. Do not rely on the ambient temperature to maintain the problems in your aquarium. Get one or more heaters that are powerful sufficient to save the heat in the tank within the correct range.

3. Maintain High Water Quality

Test your water routinely to ensure that the nitrate, nitrite, and ammonia levels are within the wanted variety. For that, I highly recommend checking the API Reef Master Test Kit (attach to Marine Depot). A five-minutes work through that bundle can save you plenty of dead fish.

Moreover, attempt obtaining a reliable filter that will certainly store the water clean. Following that, percreate continuous water alters to remove waste and toxins. The ascendancy of thumb is replacing a 3rd of your tank when a week.

Lastly, make certain to rerelocate dead plants. If you have actually decorations, take them out eextremely so often and also wash them. Soak them in bleach, and also use a brush to remove algae and rinse thoabout. If you don’t have one, get a vacuum siphon pump.

You have the right to use it to clean the gravel, removing unconsumed food and waste. You need to recognize that Bettas cannot live in dirty, cloudy water (at leastern not for long). The only method to prevent them from escaping to the optimal is to save the tank clean.

4. Get the Right Tank Size

Bettas require approximately ten gallons of water. However, the more fish you have actually, the larger the tank you’ll call for. Try to complement the dimension of your aquarium to the needs of your fish. Regarding that, make certain to check my aquarium kits buyer’s guide. I made certain to review tright here the specific 20-gallons tank that I use (through great success).

If you cannot afford to buy a brand-new tank to accommodate all your fish, at least reduce their numbers. Give your Bettas as much room as they need. That will encourage them to swim openly in the middle sections of the tank.

5. Provide Hiding Places

Try not to store Bettas in a bare tank. Add plants, rocks, and various other decorations that Bettas deserve to usage to hide. This is particularly crucial for aquariums through bigger and also more aggressive fish than Bettas.

If you have the right to give your fish a location to hide as soon as they are stressed, they are less most likely to sit at the optimal. However, stop decorations through sharp edges. They will certainly conveniently rip your Betta’s fins, exposing them to parasites and also conditions.

6. Feed Your Bettas Properly

If your fish are going hungry bereason your schedule does not allow you to feed them on time and also in the correct quantities, gain an automatic feeder. It will certainly ensure that your Bettas are supplied at the appropriate time in the best quantities. This will combat constipation and swim bladder illness.

A wise pick would certainly be the Eheim Feed Air Automatic Feeder (attach to Naval Depot). That device will encertain that your Bettas remajor satiated by giving them the exact quantities you’ve previously identified.

However before, if your fish are already constipated, don’t feed them for two or three days. Once their meals resume, offer them boiled (and peeled) peas. This is a sensibly reliable implies of forcing the waste out of their bodies.

If you don’t have actually an automatic feeder, limit your Bettregarding two meals a day to stop overfeeding. If you keep noticing uneaten leftovers in the tank, you are probably offering them also a lot food.

How do I Know if my Betta is Dying?

All fish inevitably die. Some of them perish from old age. Others are killed by diseases. But Bettas hardly ever die abruptly. They normally manifest indicators and symptoms that will certainly warn you that the worst is around to occur.

Your Betta’s decision to linger at the height isn’t always a reason for problem. Fish have various individualities, and some Bettas might sindicate choose to remain at the top. You need to just take activity if your Betta’s decision to do so is accompanied by additional symptoms. For instance:

Lack of appetite – Sick Bettas will certainly shed their appetite. The same is valid for dying Bettas. If your Bettas show no interemainder in food, they are either constipated or experiencing from a potentially fatal condition.Weight loss – If your Betta is shedding weight and also its stomach has become skinny, it can have actually contracted parasites that can kill it if they are left untreated.Scratching – Healthy Bettas swim approximately the rocks and decorations in their tanks. If a Betta keeps scratching versus the objects in the tank, it has contracted a condition that requires your prompt attention.Air gasping – If your Bettas are generally gasping for air at the optimal, or if its gills present you that the creature’s breapoint is labored, it is more than likely suffocating.


Betta fish may sit at the higher sections of the tank just bereason they choose to, and also it doesn’t necessarily indicate an concern. However before, warning indications such as lack of appetite, lethargy, and also faded colors might suppose that something is wrong.

See more: Definition Of Sign On The Line That Is Dotted Line, Sign On The Dotted Line

In that instance, upward swimming might be a symptom of an underlying concern. That is wright here you need to check your water problems and make sure they are adequate. Start via the water temperature, which is generally the case.