When Do Aquarium Fish Sleep?

Starting up aquarium fish, many owners ask themselves – are their pets sleeping? Of course, fish, like all living things on Earth, need sleep. However, this process proceeds in a special way for them.

Sleep Features Of Aquarium Fish

Fish sleep is significantly different from human sleep at the physiological level. The main features include:

  • brain activity before and after falling asleep does not differ;
  • the fish have no eyelids, which is why their eyes are always open;
  • fish do not disconnect from reality, this helps them to prevent the attack of predatory species;
  • during sleep, they are able to perceive changes in temperature and movements of other representatives nearby.

It turns out that the fish are not able to fall into a deep sleep, which allows them, as it were, to follow what is happening around. The time and duration of sleep depends on the type of individual.

Fish sleep

How To Recognize A Sleeping Fish

It is quite difficult to understand that an aquarium fish is in a state of sleep, since their eyes are always open. In general, this process looks as if the individual is just swaying slightly in the water. But there are other characteristics by which you can determine that the fish is sleeping:

  1. The individual does not move for a long time and is closer to the bottom of the aquarium.
  2. Floats with the flow, touching plants.
  3. It is located separately from the rest of the representatives.
  4. Lies sideways or abdomen on the ground.

Different subspecies of individuals play an important role in choosing a sleeping position, since species with an air bubble can sleep as if “hanging in the air”. But subspecies of cartilaginous, such as bots and catfish, prefer to sleep sideways or at the bottom of the aquarium. In addition, there are two types of inhabitants: light-loving and crepuscular. Experts advise against keeping both species in the same aquarium, as this can negatively affect their development and sleep.

Read Also: How Long Do Fish Live

Favorite Places For Fish To Sleep

The bottom of the aquarium is considered to be a favorite place for fish to relax. However, this is not entirely true. During the day of sleep, different individuals choose places suitable for their species. These include:

  • the water column in which the inhabitant can hang;
  • near the ground so that you can lie down sideways or belly;
  • among algae;
  • In special small houses, if any.
  • It is also worth noting that for falling asleep, fish like to choose secluded places where no one will disturb them. In order to see how an individual sleeps, you can suddenly turn on the light at night and observe where and in what position it is.

The sleep process in fish is quite an interesting phenomenon. To study their behavior, it is enough to understand their physiological characteristics and observe a little. The main thing is to create comfortable conditions for the aquarium inhabitants, thanks to which they can live longer.


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