Do Betta Fish Sleep? How To Know It?

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How To Know If Your Betta Is Sleeping

When a hobbyist discovers their fish lying still and assumes they are dead, or when their fish never sits still, the subject of whether betta fish sleep or not generally arises.

Yes, betta fish sleep when floating because all fish need rest. Betta fish only move their gills while they sleep, remaining motionless.

Bettas are not nocturnal; thus, they sleep at the same times as people do. Therefore, for them to get a good night’s sleep, it must be dark. However, this does not imply that they don’t take a few naps during the day.

It’s critical to comprehend the activities of betta fish while maintaining them so you can promote their long, healthy lives.

You can find out more about your bettas’ sleeping habits in this post, along with advice on taking care of them so they have the greatest possible sleep in their tanks.

Let’s cheer up your fish!

Do Betta Fish Sleep?

Most animals in the animal kingdom take sleeping for a few hours as a given. Cats and dogs are napping, and even lizards and other reptiles seem to slumber occasionally.

What about Betta fish, though?

At first glance, these tenacious fish spend the entire day flaunting their exquisite fins. But betta fish also snooze! All fish require sleep, even if this fact is not widely known. It performs a crucial biological role. Your little Betta is conserving energy and slowing its metabolism at this time.

Image of two beautiful betta fish

In fact, underwater surroundings differ greatly from those on land. Fish in the wild need to be vigilant if they wish to survive. Even though your Betta is limited to the security of a decent tank, it still has the innate desire to be vigilant.

The territorial character of Bettas makes this much truer. Betta fish sleep very differently from mammals as a result. They are light sleepers.

The rapid eye movement (REM) cycle that you experience does not apply to your fish. Instead, they take a little nap while constantly monitoring their environment.

How To Know If Your Betta Is Sleeping?

It can be challenging to determine whether your fish is asleep because bettas sleep in various positions and places. Look attentively at the mouth and gills of your betta if it is lying still on a leaf to make sure they are moving. If so, they’re probably dozing off.

black betta fish

Some owners claim that their bettas’ coloration is not as vibrant when they sleep. That could be the case, given that bettas alter their color when acting aggressively or spawning.

Betta fish typically sleep upright on their bellies. But just like you, each individual fish has a preferred sleeping position!

Do betta fish turn over to sleep?

Some bettas sleep on their sides, while others wedge themselves vertically or between an inner filter box and the tank wall. The sleeping posture your fish picks is OK as long as it exhibits a typical pattern of behavior for your fish and does so frequently.

How Much Sleep Do Bettas Need?

Consider it good if you’ve never had the pleasure of finding your Betta fish dozing off. Bettas are, as I said previously, rather light sleepers. They don’t require much sleep, yet it’s still important for their health.

If you want your betta fish to be happy and healthy, you should give it a daily dose of sleep for 12-14 hours. It’s not always practical to take extended naps during the day. The majority will thus sleep at night. Actually, betta fish require a regular day or night cycle.

There’s no need to go out and buy aquarium lights, though. Betta fish need between 12 and 16 hours of total darkness each day to be healthy. Bettas will use this time to sleep if the conditions are favorable.

It’s probably while you’re snuggled in bed, too!

How Can You Tell If A Betta Fish Is Dead Or Just Sleeping?

Bettas breathe more slowly when they are asleep. This implies that even when your fish is only napping, they may appear dead. Yes, bettas can die suddenly.

However, some symptoms to look out for can let you know if your betta is alive or dead.

  • Swim bladder problems indicate swimming backward or upside down.
  • Dropsy is a condition characterized by bloated sides and scales that resemble pinecones.
  • Ich is a protozoan parasite illness that appears as little white spots all over the body.
  • Fin rot refers to the black patches and deterioration of the fin itself.

By using good tank management techniques, you can significantly lower or perhaps completely eliminate the likelihood that your betta will have these problems.

While I generally encourage you to leave your betta to sleep. If it stays in the same location for a very long time and you start to get worried, you might try to net them or give them a light touch with the net. Bettas are light sleepers like any fish; if they are healthy, they should respond.

How Do You Ensure Your Betta Fish Sleeps Well?

When keeping betta fish, you must carefully consider every aspect that affects your fish’s health and content. Making sure kids receive adequate sleep is one approach to keeping them healthy.

This entails doing periodic water tests, changing the water frequently, and ensuring the temperature is suitable for tropical fish.

Red betta fish

When your tank is in good condition, you can have more confidence that your betta is healthy and that when they are resting on their side, they are simply taking a break.

Upgrade to a bigger tank if your current one is inadequate. For a single betta, you should aim for a five-gallon tank. If you’re a novice betta owner, you may also ask the veterinarian for advice on feeding and caring for your betta.

Why Do Bettas Sleep A Lot?

Even though bettas have various sleeping patterns, excessive sleeping could be problematic. Bettas go to sleep in the absence of light. Therefore, if your aquarium has no lights or has dull lights, bettas will be less active and spend more time sleeping than usual.

Temperature shock is one of the key causes of stress on betta fish. Your bettas become chilly and inactive when the water temperature drops below 72F. The freezing conditions’ slow metabolism brings on the inactivity.

image of red and blue betta fish side by side

Your betta will remain passive and spend most of their time napping if they are ill. Diseases including Popeye, fin or tail rot, dropsy, and mouth fungus can affect your betta.

Diseases in bettas have many symptoms. Consulting a veterinarian is your greatest hope for saving a sick betta.

While some Betta is energetic, others are sluggish. The majority of the time, lazy bettas will sleep in the tank. If the aquarium doesn’t include interesting aquarium decorations like caves and tree stumps, the fish will become bored and sleep more.

Bettas typically live for two years in the wild, but with the right care, they can live for up to five years or even longer. They become less energetic as they age and sleep more.

How To Stop Betta Over Sleeping?

If your Betta sleeps more than eight hours daily, you should check the water temperature first. Remember that bettas enjoy the warm water and that their tank needs a heater.

Use an in-tank thermometer rather than stick-on thermometers. You’ll get the best temperature consistency from doing this.

If your betta’s water temperature is appropriate and all other water parameters are within normal ranges, it’s time to evaluate their diet. The vitamin C level has depleted and needs refilling if the betta food container is six months old.

image of pink and purple betta fish

With enough pellets to fit inside one of their eyes, you should feed your betta twice a day. Bettas should supplement with frozen meals if they consume pellets with a complete nutritional profile for most of their diet.

It’s time to call an aquatic veterinarian if your betta is getting enough high-quality food to eat, is in a warm tank with good water quality, but is still sleeping.

Mycobacteria, fish TB is a typical betta disease that can make your fish sluggish and more likely to slumber. Your fish will recover more quickly the sooner it receives medical care.

Do Betta Fish Need Light At Night?

Turn off the lights at night so your betta fish can relax. Understanding your betta’s natural habitat will help you understand why you should turn off the light at night. Bettas are found in South East Asian river basins and rice fields.

As you might expect, the basins are frequently much shallower than what other tropical fish are accustomed to. In fact, during the summer, rivers and basins frequently dry up, forcing bettas to leap from one little puddle to another.

The argument is that, despite living in densely forested settings, betta fish also experience day and night cycles because of their proximity to sunlight. Or, to put it another way, they prefer to sleep when the sun sets and wake up when it rises.

Therefore, as you can probably understand, leaving your betta’s light on OR off for an extended period can have negative effects.

Do Betta Fish Hibernate?

Betta fish don’t hibernate; therefore, you should check your heater if you notice that they have become less active during the colder months.

Your betta is truly experiencing temperature shock if the temperature in the tank drops below 76°F. Betta’s metabolism begins to slow down due to the chilly weather. If you observe temperature shock, you must immediately heat your tank because it is quite harmful.

Why Is My Betta Lying On The Gravel?

A Siamese fighting fish lying on the bottom of the tank is frequently doing so because it is sleeping. Betta fish frequently prefer to sleep on their sides. Even though most aquarium keepers find their behavior extremely unusual, it is comfortable for them.

A Betta may be listless and lying at the bottom of the aquarium all the time if it lives in a small aquarium and is kept in poor water conditions, especially if you are not noticing any other signs of stress.

Recommended articles:

Do fish sleep? And how do they sleep?
Do goldfish sleep? (sleeping pattern of goldfish)

Final Verdict:

Betta fish don’t sleep at night, but they do have a sleeping schedule similar to that of humans. Turning the lights out at the appropriate hour can promote sound sleep for your own Betta. In order to enjoy a healthy and happy existence, it is crucial to mimic their natural habitat.

If your fish sleeps on its side for a disproportionately long period, this could indicate a health issue. If you want to ensure your pet is alive and well, just try to rouse them up. Bettas are not difficult to awaken.

Betta should immediately begin swimming, just like they do during the day. Calling the veterinarian directly is the best action if your pet is ill and you are unsure what to do.

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  • Since 2009 I've been writing on different media portals about fishing. Here on this website, it's time to share those experiences I've witnessed in my entire life so far. Let me help you get the best stuff you need while fishing.