Hey Pet Parents & Pet Lovers,
Sometimes it’s a bit confusing to tell when fish sleep, especially because they have no eyelids! So, do Betta Fish sleep and if so, how do you know they’re taking a nap?
So Do Betta Fish Sleep?
Absolutely, Bettas, as well as all other fish, definitely need sleep!
When do Bettas sleep and when are they most active?
Unlike a number of other pets, Bettas are actually most awake during the day and do the majority of their sleeping at night. Keeping this in mind, it would be beneficial for you to keep your Betta on the same sleep cycle to make sure they don’t get stressed. I would recommend grabbing yourself an outlet timer so you don’t have to keep turning your fish tank on and off manually. We’ve been using one for the past year and let me tell you, it makes life so much easier (especially since Blub is now in a room that doesn’t get too much natural light.)
How Do I Tell if My Betta is asleep?
It’s important to be able to tell whether your fish is sick, dying or asleep. So, how do we tell if our Bettas are asleep? As mentioned, Bettas do most of their sleeping at night, although they do like to take short naps during the day. They will most commonly do this by lying on the bottom of their tank. If your Betta likes to chill at the bottom of their tank, you may want to grab them a Betta Hammock to sleep on. Some Bettas prefer to be up higher while they sleep, for these fish it might be better to get them a Floating Betta Log to sleep in. Bettas may appear to be lifeless while they are sleeping, even if you tap on your tank a bit. Make sure to let them sleep as waking them up abruptly isn’t great for their well-being.
A great way to tell if your fish is sleeping is by checking their gills/mouth. Even sleeping Bettas move a little bit. If your Betta has passed over the rainbow bridge, absolutely nothing will be moving on their body. This may be hard to spot since Bettas take much more shallow breaths while they are sleeping, however, they do also lose a bit of their colour as they sleep. Weird, eh? I haven’t actually noticed Blub’s colour changing as he sleeps, however that might just be down to me not being super observant when it comes to colours! As soon as your Betta wakes up, it should change back to its normal vibrant colour.
I think my Betta is dead, should I tap the tank to check?
As mentioned before, you’re going to want to make sure you don’t disrupt a sleeping Betta. While tapping once or twice when you’re really scared won’t cause them any harm, you don’t want to do it all of the time. Chances are, everything is fine with your fish, and they will be back to their routine in no time!
Bettas will sleep virtually anywhere. There are Bettas who like to dig their faces behind pebbles, some that love sleeping in tight places, some that absolutely love sleeping on top of scenery or thermometers. Bettas are a little bit… weird in this way! Funny enough, some Bettas like to sleep outside of water. This is possible because Bettas can breathe from their gills or their mouths and in the wild will sometimes live under mud when the water is low. Note: Bettas cannot indefinitely live outside of water, so don’t be getting any ideas!
Are Bettas Heavy Sleepers?
No, they are not. Bettas are very light sleepers as they have to be up and ready to run away if danger comes near. For this reason, it is very easy to startle them and stress them out.
How Long Should I Leave the Lights On?
I usually keep my lights on for 8-hours. The maximum a Betta should get light a day is 12-hours, so make sure you’re not going over this time frame. As is with most things, your Bettas need will depend on your specific Betta. Some Bettas like to sleep for short amounts of times, and others like to oversleep. Learn what your Bettas habits are and try to set up your timer to that! That way you can make sure that they get the much-needed sleep they deserve!
Do Bettas Sleep More as they get Older?
Absolutely! Just like you and me, Bettas get more tired as they get older. The things they could do while they were younger seem to be harder. Bettas live for a good amount of time, so you may be dealing with a “senior fish” if they are sleeping a lot.
Hope that answers all of your questions about sleeping Bettas! If you have any others don’t hesitate to send us an e-mail or comment below!