Goldfish is the most widely kept aquarium fish.
Owing to their flashy colors and beautiful swimming pattern, pet owners love to keep the goldfish.
Leaving behind the misconception that fishes don’t require much care, questions related to fish sleep are common queries of pet owners.
How do goldfish sleep, and why they need rest?
In this post, you will get satisfactory answers to your questions.
Do Goldfish Sleep?
Goldfish have circadian rhythms like human beings. It means goldfish have a natural sleeping cycle, and they sleep. As the goldfish don’t have eyelids, so they nap with their open eyes.
Some pet owners may wonder that if goldfish dreams while sleeping. Well, that’s just a fun fact.
Goldfish don’t enter the stage of Rapid Eye Movement (REM) because of the absence of eyelids. That’s why you can say that goldfish do nap but don’t dream.
How Do Goldfish Sleep
Goldfish have a unique sleeping style. In fact, goldfish are not completely diurnal species.
Their sleeping is not dependent on day and night timing. They prefer to sleep in the dark. They don’t close their eyes and are not completely motionless during sleeping. You can observe the following points during the sleep of fish.
- Goldfish don’t nap completely, yet they are in a state of inactivity.
- They don’t lie down to the substrate of the tank, but they hover an inch or above from the bottom of the tank.
- They float above the bottom with the head slightly pointed to the upside.
- Their color fades slightly, which is recovered when the goldfish awakes or becomes active.
What Factors Affect the Sleep of Goldfish
The fish sleep is very sensitive. It can be disturbed by various stimuli, including light and sound.
Light: The major factor that affects the sleep of fish is light. They need dark to sleep. At least six or a maximum of eight hours of dark must be provided to goldfish. If the goldfish don’t get dark, they can’t nap leading to diseases.
Sound: The sleep of fish can easily be hindered by sound. Whenever you observe goldfish is sleeping, turn off the light and keep calm and silent in the room.
Water: Besides light and sound, the water in the tank also affects sleep. Goldfish need optimum conditions for their better survival and wellbeing. If the water is dirty or full of wastes, they may be yawning constantly. That’s not a good sign. It reveals their effort to take a breath and they cannot sleep in that condition. Change the water when you observe these conditions.
Do Goldfish Sleep Only at Night
To some extent, goldfish sleep at night. But fish can also sleep in the afternoon. It generally depends upon the goldfish species and the type of environment they are provided.
Fish sleep is totally dependent on light and dark periods. You should keep the lights off for six to eight hours. As the fish prefer to eat during light hours or day and sleep at night during the dark.
If you want to know the effect of dark on the sleep of fish, do a little experiment. Place the bowl or tank in the dark. After some time you will observe the fish is calm and motionless, mean napping.
Why do Goldfish Sleep or Need Rest?
Like humans, goldfish also need rest after a tiring day. It is a common phenomenon for every living being to have rest and sleep. Goldfish take rest to restore their energy. The immune system of fish gets strengthened during sleep. Fish need regular sleep for their better wellbeing. In addition to that, yawning is not a symbol of tiredness or fish need for sleep. But the goldfish yawning is a regular measure they take to clean their gills.
How Does Sleep Affect goldfish health: benefit or harm?
Definitely, sleep is necessary and beneficial for fish health. If the fish don’t get enough sleep, they can develop serious health issues.
Their metabolism slows down and they can lose their voracious appetite. Lack of proper sleep weakens the immune system of fish. Ultimately, goldfish lose their ability to fight against diseases or bacteria.
How to Distinguish Between Sleeping and Sick Fish
As I explained, the normal sleeping fish is in an upright position with hovering on the bottom. The fish moves slightly to stable in sleep. But if you observe goldfish is lying on one side or downside, she is probably sick.
The normal position of sleeping goldfish is head slightly lower than tail while the sick fish is mostly upside or at downside position.
The sickness may be due to constipation or swim bladder disease.
The swim bladder is the organ that is responsible for the buoyancy of goldfish. If the swim bladder is affected, goldfish cannot sleep and perform the activity in a normal manner. You must see a doctor when you observe the different motions or positions of goldfish.
How Long Do Goldfish Sleep
How long do fish sleep depend on the fish itself and the surroundings.
Each fish has its own sleeping time. Some may sleep at night or others take a nap in the afternoon. Whatever the time is, goldfish needs at least six hours for a normal nap. After the 12 hours of light and tedious day, fish can sleep a long of six to eight hours to function normally.
Now you know how do goldfish sleep. Goldfish can nap for eight hours in the upright position at the slight bottom of the tank. They become still and inactive at the time of sleep but don’t enjoy a complete sleep like humans. They don’t undergo REM sleep as they have no eyelids. Don’t get confused about the sleeping fish with sick fish.