Do Betta Fish Sleep? [Help Your Fish Get Rest]

Do Betta Fish Sleep? [Help Your Fish Get Rest]

Surely! Betta fish do sleep. But how exactly does it happen? And what is the appearance of a sleeping betta fish? How can you tell if they are sleeping or dead? You will be wondered. So, Let’s get started. All the answers are here!

Don’t be hard on yourself if you are not sure whether your betta fish sleeps or not. Almost all new betta owners ask the same question, “Do betta fish sleep?”


Just like any other fish, betta fish also sleep. However, it can be challenging to tell if the betta is asleep or dead. That little bugger loves messing around with your mind.

You need to be observant to understand your betta’s sleeping pattern. But how are you going to do that? Well, let’s swim around a bit further in this article to find out everything you need to know about betta’s sleep.

How Do Betta Fish Sleep?

Just like their other behavior, betta fish sleep in peculiar ways. Sometimes, you will find them sleeping at the bottom of the tank, while other times, they sleep on the leaves. They sleep on sides, vertically, and even curled up like a cat.

Other times you will find the betta sleeping while hiding behind the rocks or decorations. They even sleep and float at the same time.

Now you can see that there is no fixed place or position for bettas to sleep. However, bettas sleep wherever they feel safe. So if you see them sleeping all around the tank, it means your betta fish trusts you and the fish tank environment.

What Does A Sleeping Betta Fish Look Like? How Will You Know If They Are Sleeping Or Dead?

Since fish don’t sleep like humans or animals, it is challenging to understand their sleeping patterns. Most bettas do not follow a pattern, unlike other fish. Look for the following signs to know how your betta fish sleeps and whether it is asleep or dead.

Movement Of Mouth And Gills

The easiest way to know if the fish is sleeping or dead is to take a closer look at its gills. A dead fish’s gill will not move. Bettas draw water through their mouth and release it through the gills. So, if you see the mouth and gills moving, it means the betta is alive.

Slow Breathing

Yes, mouth and gills’ movement mean your betta is alive. But what if it is breathing slowly? Don’t end up with a panic attack if you notice such a thing.

Bettas use low amounts of oxygen when they sleep. As a result, their breathing appears slow while asleep.

Sleeping Positions

A sleeping betta fish looks almost as good as dead because of the way they sleep. Yet, you will find them sleeping on their sides or floating in the tank water. Sometimes they just lay at the bottom of the tank and sleep for hours. Keep an eye on them to check if they move at some points.

Sleeping At Night

Bettas’ sleeping hours pattern is like humans. They remain playful throughout the day and sleep at night. So, please don’t scream your lungs out if you wake up in the middle of the night and find your betta motionless. Bettas are light sleepers, and your scream can startle them.

Less Vibrant Color

Betta fish’s color is what makes them more attractive. But as they sleep, the color fades a little. It is not a matter of concern because bettas do that when sleeping to avoid hungry predators.

How Do You Ensure Your Betta Fish Sleeps Well? If Not, How To Help Your Fish Get Rest?

Betta fish are aggressive by nature. Yet, these fish swim around happily when left alone in a good environment. But like every other living creature, bettas need to get a good amount of rest and sleep. But how do you ensure that?

Provide Enough Shade

During the day, betta chooses to rest in shaded areas of the tank. It is also an excellent place for it to take a nap. You can place the fish tank away from direct light. Adding plants and caves are also helpful to provide both shades and hiding places for your betta.

Turn Of The Lights

Bettas don’t have eyelids. That is why they cannot close their eyes while sleeping. Now imagine sleeping with your eyes wide open when the room or the place you are sleeping in is full of lights. That’s right! You cannot sleep like that.

Bettas are almost like humans when it comes to sleep. I said “almost” because they can sleep with the lights on. However, to let the betta get more rest and peaceful sleep, turning off the lights is a better way to ensure that. Try getting an aquarium timer to turn the lights on and off automatically at night.

Reduce Noise

Bettas are light sleepers. A sneeze can startle them easily. So keep the room as quiet as possible when the betta sleeps. Avoid tapping on the glass to prevent scarring them.

Where And How Do Betta Fish Sleep?

You can already tell that keeping up with betta’s sleep is both challenging and fun. “Do betta fish sleep” comes with a lot of answers. Let’s get to know some more about betta fish’s sleeping behavior.

Where And How Male Betta Fish Sleep?

Male betta fish are more aggressive than female ones. And they always stay alert, even when they sleep. A male betta will sleep around the tank, such as in a cave, on the gravel, on a leaf. They sleep floating, curling up like a cat and on their sides.

Where And How Female Betta Fish Sleep?

Female bettas are less aggressive yet just as alert as the male ones. They usually choose to sleep under the rocks. It’s a place that provides them with shade and safety. And female bettas also sleep vertically, sideways, or even curled up.

Do Betta Fish Sleep On Their Sides?

Bettas do sleep on their sides, especially if they are sleeping among the leaves. They also sleep like that if there is a bed or hammock. However, if the betta stays in that position for long, it could be a health issue.

Do Betta Fish Sleep On The Bottom Of The Tank?

It is not uncommon for betta fish to sleep on the bottom of the tank. But sometimes they do that if the water flow on the top area is too strong. So if your Betta-filter current is too strong, reduce it to a level that makes the betta more comfortable.

Do Betta Fish Sleep On The Leaves?

Bettas love sleeping on leaves, especially broad-leaved plants. It works as a bed or hammock for them. As long as there is anything comfortable in the fish tank, the betta will sleep on it.

How Else Do Betta Fish Sleep?

Every betta has separate sleeping behavior. Some prefer sleeping on the bottom, while others will sleep and float around the surface. Some of them even sleep vertically or in any other position that makes them feel comfortable.

Does Your Betta Need A Bed?

That depends on the betta’s choice, and it’s your job to find out. It’s not necessary to have a bed as bettas sleep anywhere they like. But since it is your pet, you can add a bed to make it happier.

How Much Do Betta Fish Sleep Each Day? Do Bettas Need Darkness To Sleep?

Betta’s sleeping time depends on various things. Yet, every betta’s sleeping pattern is different. So it is difficult to say how much they sleep each day. Nevertheless, bettas stay active during the day and sleep at night.

And they do need some shade when they sleep. It lets them relax and feel safe. So, make sure your betta gets about eight to twelve hours of light and around twelve hours of darkness.

What Does It Mean If Your Betta Is Oversleeping? Why Does It Happen?

As an owner, it is your job to identify if the betta is oversleeping. If they are oversleeping, it is not always a good sign. Bettas oversleep for various reasons. And here is how to identify them.

Temperature Shock

Bettas are sensitive to high and low temperatures. That’s why they become less active because of temperature shock. Always try maintaining a 78-degree tank temperature.

The Tank Light is Too Dim

Dim light encourages the betta to sleep more as it regulates its sleeping hour based on the light. So the longer the tank light stays too dim, the more your betta will sleep.

He’s Getting Bored

Some people overlook this fact, but bettas can get bored if there isn’t enough decoration inside the tank to keep it amused. As a result, it keeps on sleeping for longer hours.

Your Betta Might Be Sick

If your active betta suddenly starts sleeping a lot, it is a sign of illness. You need to keep an eye on the fish to find out what is wrong.

Your Betta May Be Old

So, how long has the betta been with you? Bettas have a shorter lifespan. And it is normal for it to sleep more as it starts getting old. In that case, you should let it have a good rest.

You Just Have A Lazy Betta

I know it makes you giggle, but bettas can be lazy sometimes. If you own more than one betta, you can spot the differences in their activities. Some bettas are less active than others, and they sleep a lot.

FAQ: Betta Sleep

Q. Lying on the gravel: Why Is My Betta Lying On The Gravel?

It is perfectly normal for the betta fish to rest or sleep on the gravel. But lying there for too long can also be a sign of illness. Observe your betta and see if there is a concerning issue involved.

Q. Sleep on Light: Do Betta Fish Sleep With The Light On?

Bettas can sleep with the light on, especially during the day. However, turning the light off at night is essential to let the betta sleep more comfortably.

Q. Lazy betta: Are Betta Fish Lazy?

No, not all betta fish are lazy. It isn’t surprising to have a betta that isn’t very active. That doesn’t necessarily mean that the fish is lazy.

Q. Nocturnal: Are Betta Fish Nocturnal?

Bettas are hardly nocturnal as they sleep at night and stay active during the day. They may appear to be sleeping or out of sight during the day. But that could also mean they are taking a rest or hiding.

Q. Betta sleep: Do Betta Fish Sleep Upside Down?

Yes, betta fish sleep upside-down sometimes and give their owner fright. It can also be resting in this position, and it isn’t always concerning.

Q. Lighting sensitivity: Are Betta Fish Sensitive To Light?

I wouldn’t say they are sensitive to light. But if the light is too bright, it can startle the fish. So it is better to provide enough light and keep the betta stress-free.

Learn More About Betta Fish

Did you know that female betta are chased away from male territories after they lay eggs? Because the female eats away her eggs and the males prevent her by building a nest around the eggs.

There is so much more about betta that you can learn. It allows you to provide your betta a safe and happy life. Learn more about fish’s sleep to make sure your betta gets more comfortable while it sleeps.


References:
  1. Do Fish Sleep? oceanservice.noa.gov
  2. Do Fish Sleep? sleep.org

Recap & Final Words

I know it seems like a long list of things to remember. But bettas are not very easy to keep up with. So when you ask, do betta fish sleep, you come with a long list of questions. And here’s what we have found out today:

  • Betta fish do sleep. Though it does not follow a particular pattern, it leaves a behavioral trail.
  • Bettas sleep in various places and different positions. They even float when asleep.
  • You can distinguish between a sleeping and a dead betta by looking at its mouth and gills’ movements.
  • Bettas can sleep with the lights on. However, keeping the lights off will let it sleep better. Like humans, they like to sleep in the darkness.
  • You need to keep the tank water fresh, clean, and at a specific temperature to keep the betta comfortable.

Observing your betta’s behavior for some time will give you enough idea about what keeps it happy. If you understand your betta fish, taking care of it becomes less challenging and more fun.

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