How Do Goldfish Sleep?

Last Updated on September 18, 2021 by cmoarz

Goldfish are a common type of pet. They may be kept in a fish tank indoors or a pond outside on the property, and they’re quite popular. But there’s one question that goldfish owners frequently ask: how do goldfish sleep?

Sleep is a highly debated topic among fishkeepers, but it’s clear that goldfish do not possess eyelids and are unable to close their eyes. However, while they do sleep, it isn’t in the same manner as we do.

When Do Goldfish Sleep? What Look Like When they Sleep?

When they are unconscious, their colors may fade somewhat and return to normal when they wake up. When they’re asleep, they camouflage themselves to hide from predators by changing color. Finally, goldfishes’ brainwaves do not alter when they sleep, and they do not experience deep, REM sleep as humans. You can read more about that here.

Goldfish do not rest in the manner that people do. Rather, they become less active and remain stationary to keep themselves upright. They appear to be floating near the bottom of the tank or pond, a bit below the surface, with their heads lowered slightly.

Do goldfish sleep at night or during the day?

Unlike humans, goldfish do not sleep at night by nature. When it’s dark and quiet, many fish will fall asleep.

If you make a lot of noise around a sleeping fish, it will be alarmed. As a result, when your fish wishes to sleep, keep the noise level down. For some fish, Startling in this manner could be deadly. An example of this would be corydoras who release poison into the water when startled, which kills them and everything in the tank.

With proper light scheduling, and relying on a timer, You can train your fish to sleep during the night when the light is off, and be awake during the day while the light is on. This way you can enjoy them when you are awake.

Goldfish will typically follow the same sleep routine if you turn on and switch off the light at the same time every day. I try to turn the lights off at 8pm when it starts to get dark out, Sometimes ill end up being a bit late and turn them off at 9pm. However, that’s because i was too lazy to get a timer, Don’t be like me!

It’s also critical to ensure that the light isn’t on for more than 12 hours each day, or the fish won’t get enough rest. If it isn’t dark enough for them to sleep, they may seek out the darkness in order to attempt to fall asleep.

What Are the Symptoms of a Sleep-Deprived Fish?

Sleep is required for both humans and fish to restore their bodily structures and immune systems. They can’t fight infections effectively if they don’t get enough sleep, and their metabolism slows down.

The quantity of slumber they need varies with the fish. Some goldfish take a rest during the day, while others can sleep for days. It is critical for fish to get sufficient rest and remain in good health that they are subjected to daily routines as well as bright light cycles.

As for other fish, their sleep patterns all vary. While not a fish, The apple snail for example can sleep for 2 days or more at a time. And if the water isn’t right too cold or bad parameters, they can sleep for up to 3 years at a time!

“But I can see my fish yawning! is it tired?”

Fish do not yawn as a sign of tiredness; instead, it’s simply them flushing their gills with water.

How Can You Tell the Difference Between a Sleeping Fish and One That Is Sick?

Sleeping fish stay in one place but are upright; they do not turn sideways or upside down. A sick or injured fish that is leaning, inverted, or on the bottom is not resting but rather dying. Other types of fish, on the other hand, may do so. Using corydoras again as an example, are known to sleep on their sides, or even their back sometimes.

If you have a disease of the swim bladder—the organ that allows them to stay buoyant—your fish will often float sideways or upside down and be unable to swim.

Lying on one side might be a symptom of bacterial infection or high nitrite and ammonia levels in the water. If a fish owner sees his fish floating sideways or upside down, he should seek medical help as soon as possible.

We know it’s not always possible when it comes to fish – So to render aid, Clean the water, And add some melafix by following the directions on the bottle. There are different medications for different issues. Melafix is good for bacterial infections, but be sure your fish can handle whatever medication you use.

So, if you notice that your fish has risen above the tank floor and appears pale, switch off the light, lower the volume, and allow him to take a power nap. He will be healthier and happier as a result of this.

My goldfish sleeping upside down?

Do Goldfish Sleep Upside Down? When goldfish sleep, they generally remain upright. While it isn’t unusual for a goldfish to rest with its head lower than its tail, or even fall asleep at the bottom of the tank, it is uncommon for them to turn upside down or sideways when sleeping.

If your goldfish is lying upside down, it is probably not sleeping. It may have a disease or ailment that prevents it from being able to keep itself upright, or the water in its tank may be too cold for it to swim normally. If your goldfish is lying on its side, it could be suffering from dropsy. For information on diagnosing and treating these conditions, please see our article on sick goldfish.

Do goldfish sleep with their eyes open?

Yes they do! Goldfish sleep with their eyes open because they do not have eyelids. When goldfish rest or sleep, their eyes generally remain in the same position, though sometimes they turn slightly to one side. Resting in this position helps prevent eye damage and allows them quick access to look around when they need to.

How long do goldfish sleep for?

Goldfish can stick with a schedule of sleeping at night when it becomes dark and awakening when the lights come on again in the morning. However, if you don’t keep your tank lit at night, there is nothing stopping your fish from changing its schedule so that it sleeps during the day and stays awake all night. Goldfish have been known to adapt even faster than a few days to any change in flight schedules. Some goldfish owners believe their fish experience “jet lag” and take up to a month to reset their internal clocks.

How much do goldfish sleep?

Goldfish typically get their needed amount of sleep by sleeping very lightly for short periods throughout the day and night. Goldfish will shut down when they need to rest, sinking to the bottom of the tank and closing their eyes before reopening them once they’re refreshed. It is unclear how much sleep an individual fish actually needs each day, but it’s likely that it varies depending on size and age. Smaller goldfish generally require less sleep while older or larger ones may need more in order to remain healthy and active.

Is your fish able to swim normally if it sleeps vertically?

Absolutely! While some owners believe sleeping like this can be harmful to a goldfish, this is not the case. Goldfish are actually able to move their swim bladders up and down in order to control where they’re floating in the water column. It’s likely that your fish falls asleep at the bottom of the tank simply because it feels safer there.


Owner of and also owner of actual Aquarium Gravel believe it or not! ;). Setting up beautiful aquarium sceneries and habitats since I was very young. Enjoy!