Why Is My Betta Not Moving? [How To Make The Best Habitat For Bettas]

Betta fish are famous for their vibrant, streaming fins and resilient species. Whenever you walk across a Betta’s aquarium, it usually swims frantically since this kind of fish is very responsive to its surroundings. 

It’s uncommon if your fish doesn’t react. Why is my Betta fish not moving?

When a Betta fish becomes inactive, it is generally sleeping, resting, or even dying. You can blame the water quality, temperature, and improper diets that lead to the inactive state of your fish. 

Today, GA Pet Sitters will explain the underlying reasons in detail. We also share some tips to provide an optimal habitat for your fish. Let’s read on to discover!

Why Is My Betta Not Moving?

Your Betta is not moving; maybe they are sleeping. If your Betta isn’t sleeping, the reasons for why it isn’t moving are various. The most major one is the water quality.

Otherwise, your fish may be suffering from improper diets or illnesses. Sometimes, the quiet and immovable fish may be the one that has died.   

Sleeping Bettas Don’t Move

The most probable reason for your Betta’s inactivity is sleeping. Fish, like many other species, sleep in the darkness.

They will most likely be awake if you switch on the light or spin the water. If your fish don’t start to run right away, there might be another cause for their inactivity.

However, if the Betta is resting on its own side, don’t worry so much. Fish sleep in a certain way, with some preferring to rest on their side. They’re healthy if they leap to life once you keep them awake.

Water quality is crucial for a fish’s life

Water quality is crucial for a fish’s life

If your Betta fish seems to be sleeping a lot throughout the day, consider placing them nearby a source of light or providing more light to their aquarium. The light will alert them that it is daylight and that your pets should be active.

Poor Water Quality Makes Your Fish Stop Moving

The quality of water in which your pet lives has a significant impact on their health and movement.

After making sure that your Betta isn’t sleeping, you should use a testing kit to examine your water quality parameters.

It would help if you looked for a few key factors of water to ensure your pet’s safety. The elements are temperature, pH, ammonia, and nitrate levels. 


Bettas require water at a temperature of around 78°F. Any temperature lower than this level will make them stop eating and close down their physiological processes. As a result, they get sleepy and vulnerable to illness.

You can place them in a warmer condition and employ a good heater for the container to fix the problem.

Ensure that the heater is still working well before putting it in the container. A good heater will indeed cause no harm to the living habitat of your fish.

pH level

The pH of the tank water must be 7.0, which is neutral. If the pH level is too high or too low, your fish will get sick.

You can adjust the pH level by purchasing several pH treatment solutions from the local pet shop.

Ammonia and nitrate level

You also need to test the water for nitrate, ammonia, and nitrate levels.

Fish are poisonous to large amounts of either, causing them to get sick and stop swimming.

You can utilize a suitable filtering system to prevent those levels from rising too high. If the concentrations are already extra high, the easiest solution is to change the water immediately.

Sleeping Betta fish don’t move

Sleeping Betta fish don’t move

Balanced Diets Encourage Your Fish To Move

Like any other creature, Bettas will have much less strength to move about if they don’t receive enough nutrition.

Bettas need high-protein diets to develop. It would be best if you gave them the Betta fish meals prepared particularly for them.

If you assume your pets lack protein, feed them more brine shrimp, daphnia, worms, and insect larvae.

Also, avoid overfeeding. Just feed your Bettas as much as they can consume in around 2 minutes.

Illnesses Make Bettas Lethargic

Your Betta must be suffering from illnesses so that they can’t move. The most common diseases for your pet are dropsy, worms, popeye disease, constipation, parasitic infections, swim bladder problems, and fungal infections.

If your inactive fish seems swollen in any area of the body or has spots on its scale, they’re probably in trouble with one of the mentioned diseases. Another sign of the disease is the worms on their tail fin.

Once you’ve figured the problem, you can come up with proper treatment. 

You may avoid most of the diseases listed above with adequate water maintenance and diets.

The most frequent illness for Betta fish is the swim bladder. It causes your fish to move sideways or not swim at all.

The swim bladder is the most common disease for Betta fish

The swim bladder is the most common disease for Betta fish

If you notice your fish has a swollen stomach, it most likely seems to have a swim bladder problem.

The swim bladder is essential for your fish’s balance. If the fish’s swim bladder is faulty, they can’t move around, float horizontally, or even upside down.

Overfeeding is the most prevalent trigger of swim bladder issues. As a result, never overfeed your fish.

Your Bettas Don’t Move Because They’re Dead

If you have tried all the above methods and your Betta still stays there without moving, we are sad to inform you that it may have died.

Betta fish have an average lifespan of around four years. If your fish is above three years old and is floating on its side with no gill movement, he must be dead.

Before announcing a fish dead, make sure that there aren’t any signs of survival.

To test whether there is any reaction, tap on the aquarium or stir the water. If your fish reacts, your pet hasn’t passed away. Maybe it’s just sick or needs some attention. 

Your fish may die

Your fish may die

How To Make My Betta Fish Swim Again?

Many of the reasons explain why Betta isn’t moving. Some of them are controllable.

Please consider all possible causes to see whether what are the fundamental factors making your fish stop moving. 

The best approach to overcome the problem is to feed them effectively and maintain the aquarium’s water quality.

Frequently Asked Questions

Betta owners show their concerns towards their inactive pets. Here are some frequently asked questions they often wonder. Let’s discuss the answers a little bit.

Does it matter when my Betta fish doesn’t move?

Betta’s tendency to stay motionless is quite common. There are a variety of causes for this. Resting and sleeping are the most prevalent causes of your Betta not swimming.

Like water quality, illness, and temperature, other factors might lead your fish to become inactive and stop swimming around.

What are the signs that my Betta is dying?

An unwell, agitated, or dying Betta may have some symptoms, including fading color, lethargy, strange motions, not feeding, or twitching. If you notice any of these symptoms, take a deeper look to determine the real problems.

What led my Betta fish to go white?

Columnaris, stress, ich, anchor worms, and fin rot are all possible causes of your Betta appearing white.

In this case, you need to keep its water quality better, feed them meals that encourage vivid colors, and don’t overload your aquarium to increase its color.

4. Is it necessary for Bettas to have a heater?

Bettas are tropical species that require water that is from 74 to 82°F to live. For every gallon of water, you should pick a heater with a voltage level of 5 watts. A heater may be necessary at each end of a big tank.


Your fish stops moving, maybe because it’s sleeping or dying. When you’ve confirmed that your fish hasn’t died or slept, you need to examine the natural causes for its lethargy.

Sometimes the poor tank setup and unbalanced diets make your fish motionless. You then can carry out steps to improve its living conditions.

Hopefully, you will find this article helpful. If you need any further information, please feel free to ask. Thank you for reading!