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Do Goldfish Sleep

How Do Goldfish Sleep?

So the big question we always wonder is, how do Goldfish sleep? This is interesting as you’ll notice that your Goldfish always seem to be active when you’re observing them.

However in this article I will go into detail on their sleep, sleeping patterns and how you can help them with sleeping

Do Fish Sleep?

To put it bluntly, yes fish do sleep. However it is not the same as you’d imagine it and in addition to that they don’t all sleep in the same manner.

All fish species have some manner of sleep or alternatively a ‘rest mode’, this isn’t similar to humans, cat or dogs though. This is because they do not have eyelids but instead they will become inactive.

Do Fish Sleep

A fish’s ‘inactive’ state can vary from species to species. Some fish species may just hover or they may be still and their gills may slow in movement. You’ll also learn that a lot of fish may stay partially awake, as its in their natural instincts to be alert for any danger.

So in aquarium, with Goldfish you should be able to tell if a fish is ‘sleeping’ or ‘inactive’ as it would have slowed down in movement or hovering and they’ve stopped moving at all.

How Do Goldfish Fall Asleep?

Unlike ourselves, fish do not rely on their bed and duvet at night to sleep. But alternatively they do show behaviours of inactivity, which include:

  • Sleeping Posture – This refers to fishes lying on the bottom of the aquarium in a plant of hovering motionless.
  • Unresponsive – Fish may appear to not react to yourself viewing the tank or food being put into it.
  • Dormancy –  This is when a fish will stop eating, swimming or even swim at the slightest.

If your fishes show any of these signs, then there is a high chance that they’ll be ‘inactive’ or asleep as we refer to their state.

Why Do Fish Sleep?

Fish, similar to ourselves, need rest. Fish seem to go into a low energy mode so they can rest, recuperate injuries and grow. Moreover they bide time to conserve energy for when they need it.

How Do Goldfish Fall Asleep?

A large portion of fish species are much more active in they day(also known as Diurnal). This means that when nighttime arrives, or lights go off they cannot see as well which means they cannot find food. This leads to them resting during these times, in order to not waste energy.

Can you wake up a fish from its sleep?

Yes, you can wake a fish up from sleeping. This can be done through light or sound(noise), this will alert them and they’ll start moving again.

How Long Do Fish Sleep For?

Some studies have found that some species of fishes such as Sharks or Tuna barely seem to rest at all. Although with your typical freshwater Goldfish, they seem to rest for different lengths dependant on the season. For instance they could rest for an hour a day in the summer but, in the winter they’ll be doubling that rest period to two hours.

Do All Fish Sleep In A Similar Way?

Not all fish species sleep in a similar way, they’re all different. This means some will alternative patterns and habits to others. For instance Betta fishes will tend to lay inside a floating log or on leaves to sleep.

Do All Fishes Sleep With Their Eyes Open?

On the other hand, Goldfish sink to the bottom of the tank during the night, with little movement taking place. So ultimately the answer is no, all fishes sleep in different ways.

Do All Fishes Sleep With Their Eyes Open?

The answer to this is simple, yes, all fishes do sleep with their eyes open. This is down to the fact that they do not have eyelids. Moreover this is a good as even if they need rest to regain their energy, they still need to have weariness of their environment.

Do Goldfish Sleep In The Day Or Night?

Again, as mentioned previously, this is all relative to the species. But most likely than not, Goldfishes tend to be diurnal and will sleep more often in the night time. Other species such as Bettas will also tend to sleep during the night also.

How Can I Tell If My GoldFish Is Asleep?

There are many different methods of understanding if your Goldfish is asleep or not. Again, these are all relative to the fish species but, with Goldfishes there are some key signs to show that they’re sleeping:

  • Sinking To The Bottom – Not just Goldfishes, but Bettas, Guppies and Tetras will rest on the bottom of the tank to rest.
  • Inactivity – Your Goldfish will slow down in movement.
  • Unresponsive – Goldfish will not respond to you admiring or interacting with your tank.
  • Resting Posture – If you notice the Goldfishes floating with their heads up with little movement.

Conclusion : Fish Sleep

Overall, after reading this article you’ll now understand that fish do ‘sleep’, but not like we do. Alternatively they have an strange ‘inactive’ state, which helps them to rest and recuperate.

One thing you can do to assist your fishes sleeping pattern is to involve a cycle of light and darkness into their lives. By doing this it helps them to regulate their sleep, which in return leads to less stress and a happier fish!

Please leave your comments below on any helpful tips on this topic that have worked for you!

About The Author

the aqua guru author

Jon is an aquarium keeper of over 15 years and the owner of Guppy's, Betta's and other marine life. He always likes to make changes to his aquarium for the benefit of his marine life's well-being and health using the best aquatic products on the market. You can read more about us here.