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[Important] Betta Fish Behavior Before Death

betta fish behavior before death

Betta fish, or the Siamese fighting fish, is known for its unique colors, aggressive and fighting personality. It is hard to predict one thing from its behavior when it comes to the betta. Betta fish sleep symptoms are similar to betta fish behavior before death.

Even though betta fish lifespan in the wild is short, in confinement, it can be extended up to 3 to 5 years if appropriate tank conditions are met. If one does not meet the tank requirements, water quality, and dietary needs of a betta, one might shorten its lifespan. That is, your betta fish might die. If preventions are taken beforehand, one can avoid them. Hence, it is essential to understand the indicators that your betta fish is dying. So that appropriate actions can be taken to prevent the death of your pet betta. In this post today, we will discuss more betta fish behavior before death.

What Is A Betta Fish Behavior Before Death?

Betta fish showcases the symptoms like losing colors, lethargy, inactive behavior, losing appetite, if it is stressed, sick, in shock, or is about to die. Betta fish behavior before death is similar to that of a sick, or stressed betta implies that being anxious or ill could lead to betta fish death. These are some common betta fish behavior before death:

Losing Vibrancy

Betta fish’s attractive and gaudy color indicates all about its well-being. Any change in its colors or, say, its vibrancy, the brightness of its colors might indicate its emotion, whether it’s angry, stressed, or ill. Note that a marble betta has the jumping gene and changes its colors throughout its life without explicitly indicating betta fish behavior before death.

Betta fish tend to lose their gaudiness as it ages because it becomes old and ultimately dies. Likewise, when it is stressed, which could cut short, its lifespan significantly could result in faded colors. Nitrate poisoning is when the betta tank consists of abnormal nitrate levels, and the betta fish belly may turn red.


There is a fine line of difference between a betta fish’s behavior before death and betta fish resting. It is normal. Your betta needs to sleep and relax like every other living organism for a considerable period of a day.

However, if you notice your betta resting or in their suspended state frequently, it is termed lethargy, which is a significant betta fish behavior before death. It might be because you keep the tank light off for a long time that your betta is resting more, but if you do not, then it is a matter of concern.

Loss Of Appetite

A major betta fish behavior before death is it will stop consuming. Your betta will come up to the surface level but not ingest anything. Betta fish are generally vicarious eaters. They grab on to any opportunity you give them to eat. But if they refrain from consuming nothing, one can imagine how unwell it is.


Generally, betta fish are kept alone in tanks due to their hostile personality. Nevertheless, it may so happen that you somehow manage to make your betta a part of a community tank. Observing a betta fish’s behavior before death is essential. You will observe betta fish interact less with their tank mates as a part of betta fish behavior before death.

Issues In Breathing

Betta fish are air breathers and require oxygen to survive. They have a unique set of organs called the labyrinth, which helps them breathe properly. If you notice your betta fish frequently coming to the surface level and gasping for oxygen, we would consider that as a betta fish behavior before death.

This heavy and rapid breathing is due to low oxygen concentration or high ammonia content in the tank. Therefore, it should be treated immediately. We recommend installing proper filtration and enough live plants to avoid such issues in your betta.

Clamped Fins

Well, it is not explicitly a betta fish behavior before death, but it could be an implicit warning for you. Betta fish generally clamp their fins when they are under stress. Sudden changes in water parameters anxiety due to other tank mates could lead to stress, which would eventually lead to the short lifespan of your fish.

Betta Fish Behavior Before Death: What Causes It?

Betta Fish Behavior Before Death: What Causes It?

As said earlier, if appropriate tank conditions are not met, your betta fish will not survive for long. Betta fish is susceptible when it comes to tank parameters. Any fluctuations or modifications in the tank water could affect your betta leading to symptoms of betta fish behavior before death. Here are a few causes of such betta fish behavior before death:

  • Inferior water quality will directly lead to deathof betta. Betta requires a temperature range of 75-85 degrees Fahrenhite and a pH of 6.5-7. Improper filtration, lack of heater, nitrate content, infrequent cleaning of tank can give rise to water issues in betta tank.
  • Tank size, is major concern when it comes to betta. Many pet owners believe that a bowl would suffice for betta. Neverthless, it is extremely terriotorial and requires enough space. It should be kept in a 5 gallon tank at least which is wide and shallow. If it is not provided it would stress out and eventually end up in its death.
  • Inappropriate diet given to betta fish. When you overfeed your betta, which is such a common issue among betta fish owener, your betta will become ill frequenlty due to bloating. Besides, the extre food dissovle in water and raise the nitrate content, which should be avoided at all cost.

FAQs on Betta Fish Behavior Before Death

How long do betta fish live?

Betta fish live for 2 to 5 years in confinement if you have met all the tank parameters, required water conditions, and dietary needs. However, this could reduce if your betta is stressed or ill.

Do betta fish suffer when they die?

Yes, they do. Like every other mammal, they exhibit pain stimuli and, in response, generate pain killers. They also have emotions, which is why they change colors according to their emotions.

Is my betta fish sleeping or dead?

Observe the breathing patterns of your betta. If you see your betta breathing, then obviously, it is alive. It is just resting.

Why do betta fish die suddenly?

If you bought an unhealthy betta in the first place, your betta would die within the first few weeks. However, if it were healthy, it could die due to poor tank conditions.

Final Thoughts:

Betta fish behavior before death is entirely observable, and one cannot and should not ignore it. Prevention is always better than cure. Therefore, it is always good to start the preventive measures from the first instance. Do not compromise on tank conditions if you want your betta to live a long and healthy life.