Betta Fish at Bottom of Tank and Not Moving

Betta Fish at Bottom of Tank and Not Moving- 5 Common Causes

Are you doing a regular check-up on your Betta Fish and suddenly wondering “why is my betta fish at bottom of tank and not moving?” You are also probably wondering whether it’s normal behavior or if something is seriously wrong.

When you see this happening, the good news is you should not enter panic mode just yet. This is because there are several reasons why this might be happening and while some are a cause of concern, others aren’t. 

In this writing, we have highlighted all the reasons why you may have made the betta fish at bottom of tank and not moving observation and if there is a cause of alarm. We also give you some ideas on how to handle different situations.

Let’s check them out.

Causes of Betta Fish at Bottom of Tank and Not Moving

1. Temperature shock

This is a situation where the water is either too cold or too warm. Temperature shock is commonly seen in Betta tanks lacking a heater.

If the water temperature drops too much below the recommended, the Betta fish become lethargic and are seen to be laying at the bottom of the tank.

Sometimes, you may have a heater that has broken without you being aware. In this case, immediately check the water temperature and make sure it’s just fine. If it has dropped, make all efforts to raise it to optimal levels for the fish.

2. Swim Bladder Disease

As you may already be aware, Bettas are gutty fish. They tend to eat more than the recommended amount. This overeating could potentially result in him getting a swim bladder disease

A silver lining in this isn’t that dangerous. If you have been overfeeding your betta and as a result causing swim bladder disease, all you need to do is to starve him for three days and feed him blanched peas. He will be just fine. 

If he does not recover, then it is possible that he has an infection of some kind or sustains an injury.

3. A Dead Betta

Albeit betta fish have a relatively long life, sudden deaths are not exactly uncommon.

You can confirm this for sure by placing a stick in the water and swishing the water around him. If he doesn’t respond, then this is probably the case. 

The right thing to do here is to remove him from the water as quickly as possible to prevent him from contaminating the water for his other fish tank mates

4. Resting or Sleeping

betta fish sleeping

Your betta may just be resting or sleeping. If you have ensured the water temperature and condition are just perfect, he has not been sick or he isn’t dead, then sleeping is just a possibility. 

An external stimulus should make him move if this is the case. You can suddenly brighten the light in the room or any other non-harmful stimulus will get him moving. 

5. Laziness or Old Age

If you notice your betta fish at bottom of the tank and not moving, perhaps he is just being lazy or has become old.

You could also try stimulating him by putting in some food or a bright light to thrill him. If he feeds well and moves well afterwards, then there is nothing to worry about. 

Betta fish at bottom of tank and not moving: does your betta tank have a filter?

Well if your tank doesn’t have a filter and you have not been changing the water frequently enough, then there is a possibility that your water tank may be contaminated with ammonia and other pollutants.

It is always a good idea to have a filter installed in your betta’s tank and we highly recommend you get a canister filter due to their reliability and superior performance.

These are not all the answers and there is a raft of other reasons, but the above are the most common.



Avian and Exotic Veterinary Care: Betta

ScienceDirect: Swim Bladder

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