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How do fish sleep?

7562 Views 10 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  James From Cali
Just curious as to know how do they sleep? I know they don't close their eyes and tuck in bed but I always read "when my fish go to sleep" or something related to that. Do they just stay still at night? I always see mine swiming like crazy way after midnight.
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I can say from experience, that they tend to hover. Not sure what species fish you are talking about in particular...but my cichlids used to stay in the same spots (like it was there own space) everynight. Even in the mornings...when the lights would come on for feeding they would sssslllllloooowwwwllllyyyyy come out of their caves and spaces and creep to the surface...almost like I do when I stumble to my pot of coffee in the morning.
If you look at my siggy you will see the types of fish I have but only the betta seems to sleep. All of them are everywhere even the snail.
Even if a fish is swiming it may be resting. For example, sharks need to constantly move to have water pass through their gills. Therefore, even when a sharking is resting, it will be moving.
When I turn the light on sometime early in themorninig the fish are still at the bottom. THey just stay at one spot. I try to take some of the snails out. As I reach in I even caught a cardinal tetra lol. I think it was still trying to wake up. As I let it go it began swimming again.
Wow I have never seen my fish do that. They are constantly zigzaging here and there. The only one that stays at one place at night is the betta. He usually stays by the heater up that way he has his bubble nest. The other fish however don't stay still.
Even if a fish is swiming it may be resting. For example, sharks need to constantly move to have water pass through their gills. Therefore, even when a sharking is resting, it will be moving.

I had the experience to travel to the Newport, KY Aquarium several months ago and saw a shark sleeping on the top of the glass tunnel. He eventually moved but he was up their for over an hour just sitting on the top of the tunnel. I'm not saying you are wrong all I'm saying is it's possible that some sleep on the bottom and others do not.

Sowilu some fish are nocturnal and will sleep during the day and move quite frequently at night. My Goldfish will nap during the day sometimes.

For example my Goldfish all have their own spot on the bottom of my tank. I am not allowed to place any plants or anything else their or they will tear up the tank until I remove whatever is in their way. Basically the goldfish lay on the bottom and even if I walk by and bump the tank they won't move. But I bang into the tank or hit the lights and they come to the top for food. I don't know exactly how to say it but you can tell when they sleep.

As for my tetras they tend to hover in some plants. I have caught one laying on a stem but that has happened only once and only one tetra.

Getting back to my point about being nocturnal my 2 upside down catfish only come out at night to feed and just hang during the day.

I think everyone should read the book "Fancy Goldfish" as it gives so much insight into fish. One of my most favorite suggestions is "Your final obligation in the husbandry of your collection is careful observation. Of course, we all look at our fish - that's why we keep them! But you should examine your fish regularly. You should notice as you walk into the room if any fish in your collection is isolated or lethargic." Stop and take time and make sure you spend extra time just to examine your collection. They deserve nothing less than your full attention as they are a live animal and can be neglected as with any animal. Set aside at least 1 hour to really watch your fish per day. WHAT? Hey, they can't protect themselves.

I spend at least 3 hours per day watching my fish and keep track of any issues and any problems they may have. I love my fish and learn something new each day.

I wish you only the best of luck with your fish and your tank.

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At night after about an hour of my fish tank lights go out my fish will find their spot, hover and sleep like that. Oh and they tend to go pale at this time. Ive had some fish that like to sleep on the bottom of the tank on their sides just like they are dead but they are not. But with all of them i have noticed that they all go pale when its bedtime.
My Green Cory sleeps on top of a moss covered rock during the day and at night is really active. I use a black light to watch him at night.

My shrimp are more active at night but are constantly napping at night as in the day.

My Danio's would sleep in a group and hover over the Hygro.

My Gourami had taken over the Swords for his sleep area. All fish were Diurnal.
Is it possible that they don't rest at the bottom but at the top? Last night after 1am I went to see them an all of them were hoovering on the top of the water none where at the bottom. Only the cories stay at the bottom.
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