How to calm a stressed betta fish?

In this post, we will answer the question “How to calm a stressed betta fish?”.  We will also explain what is stress and how to help your betta fish to calm down.

How to calm a stressed betta fish?

To calm down a stressed betta fish it is necessary to check and test the water parameter, use water conditioner drops, create plenty of hiding spots, and use tannins if necessary. 

If you are treating your betta properly and giving it the care he requires, the odds of it being stressed are slim to none. If you observe that your betta appears stressed, you should take action right away to resolve the situation as soon as possible. Your betta will have a long life if you follow these instructions. 

What Is Stress? 

Stress in fish is quite similar to stress in people, according to research. The situation in which your betta releases cortisol (a stress hormone) and adrenaline into your betta’s system is known as the stress response. 

According to what you already know, these two hormones are detrimental to animals and will gradually begin to harm your betta in a variety of various ways over time.

Low/long-term stress 

Low or long-term stress is stress that is modest in intensity but occurs regularly. In a low-stress, long-term stress situation, your betta will be continually attempting to adjust to the new surroundings. This will harm its immune system and health, which will gradually worsen. 

High/short-term stress 

High short-term stress is another sort of stress to be aware of. There will be a significant amount of stress that occurs very quickly, but it will not be continual. The effects of significant short-term stress will only linger for a few days at the most, if at all. 

However, repeated exposure to this form of stress is still detrimental to your betta’s health and wellbeing. 

How to help your Betta fish to calm down

Fortunately, the vast majority of stress behaviours in fish are caused by something physical that can be changed. Consider the following five suggestions for assisting your fish friend: 

Check the specifications of your water 

Fish that are exposed to high quantities of ammonia, nitrate, or nitrite in their environment can soon become ill. The first indicator of water quality problems is a stressed-out state of mind. If in doubt, swap it out – but keep in mind that regular partial water changes of approximately 20% are preferable to rare large water changes of approximately 50%. 

Alternatively, you can take a sample to your local pet store and have them examine it for you. If you choose to complete the task yourself. It will also allow you to monitor the pH levels of your water, which should be around 7.0 for a healthy betta. 

Drops of water conditioner should be used

It is not recommended to utilize untreated tap water in your tank. It contains trace amounts of chlorine and other minerals, which might cause your fish to become stressed and die. Inexpensive and widely available, water conditioners can be purchased at your local fish store or online. Some solutions contain aloe vera, which can assist to strengthen the natural slime covering your fish possesses and reduce stress by allowing it to breathe easier. 

Check the temperature of your water

Many individuals purchase betta fish under the incorrect notion that they do not require any particular equipment to keep them alive. Because Bettas are tropical fish, regular room temperature water is not suitable for them. They will grow stressed. In an ideal world, your betta’s water temperature would be between 76 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. When the water is excessively cold, your betta will become anxious, and he or she will be more susceptible to illness. 

Make fortifications to hide in

As opposed to the ordinary fish tank, the betta’s natural environment is far darker and contains significantly more vegetation. Adding some plants or ornaments with hiding places will help your betta fish to feel more secure in its environment. If you want to create an inexpensive and effective cave, try turning a tiny unglazed terra cotta pot on its side. 

Make use of tannins

Tanning the water is another technique for making your betta feel more secure. Tannins are a naturally occurring chemical that contributes to the brown colour of tea. Because both Indian almond leaves and aquarium safe woods naturally emit tannins, you can use them in your tank or on your aquarium decorations. It is believed that this darkness of the water will simulate your betta’s native surroundings, causing it to feel less exposed and agitated. 

We understand that you want the best for your stressed Betta fish, and that involves ensuring that it is in the greatest possible health. Fish that are stressed are more susceptible to diseases such as fin rot, Ich, and swim bladder disease. The higher the quality of his water and the greater the degree to which you can replicate his natural surroundings, the healthier and happy it will be. It will take only a modest bit of effort, but the increase in colours, personality, and activity that you will notice will be well worth it in the long run.


In this post, we answered the question “How to calm a stressed betta fish?”.  We also explained what is stress and how to help your betta fish to calm down.

If you have any thoughts or doubts, feel free to drop us in a comment below!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): How to calm a stressed betta fish?

How do I stop my betta fish from being stressed?

To keep your betta calm and relaxed, it is essential to provide it with hiding places. These individuals give it safe havens where it can relax without the danger of being attacked, as well as locations where it can feel secure if it is feeling worried. Plants, caves, and varied décor, among other things, make excellent hiding spots.

Can a stressed fish recover?

Once the panic has subsided, the fish must likewise return to its natural state of well-being and equilibrium. Even after a brief period of stress, this can take hours or even days to complete. Long-term changes, such as being in a poor or unsuitable environment, are dealt with in the same way — by sending an alarm message to get out of the situation.

Why is my betta fish acting scared?

Betta fish that are apprehensive or easily spooked are referred to as skittish Betta fish. Betta fish can get easily agitated as a result of environmental influences, such as the addition of tankmates or the changing of the aquarium environment. For some Bettas, moving to a new tank can be a traumatic experience. Bettas are also attracted to flora and caverns.

What is normal behaviour for a betta fish?

Betta fish are energetic, cheerful little fish who are not shy about displaying their happiness to you. Betta fish will aggressively consume food without any difficulty and will swim up to you if they believe you might be interested in a snack. When it comes to personality, these beautiful fish may be highly expressive, so don’t expect anything less when you own one.

What does a stressed betta look like?

If your betta is regularly subjected to stressors, its vivid colours may fade and “stress stripes” may emerge on its body. These are horizontal stripes of dark and bright colours that run horizontally across the fabric. Bettas who are stressed frequently have low appetites and can be seen swimming right past new food sources.


How to Hel a Stressed Betta Fish. 2020.

Song, M. (2006). Caring for Betta Fish. Lulu. com.

Young, T., & Bone, J. (2021). A better life for betta fish. Every Child, 27(2), 8-10.