Fish Care

Do Betta Fish Sleep? Find out all you need to know about betta fish sleeping patterns

do betta fish sleep

Do Betta Fish Sleep? Yes, today you will learn all about betta sleeping habits and how you can encourage them to sleep well at night. In fact, the answer about betta fish sleep may surprise you.

All Fish Need Sleep, Yes, bettas fish too. They also need to rest. Like all living things, sleep is a must. They cannot survive without sleep. But they do not sleep exactly as humans do.

The very different sleep pattern of bettas is that they sleep less and the reason for this is betta fish are bred in captivity. And even if your aquarium is completely safe, the natural instinct of your betta is to sleep lightly.

Bettas, which are very active during the day, do most of their sleep at night. However this also is why it is ideal to light up the betta tank. Just like with humans, the cycle of day and night helps the fish relax. This makes your betta a good sleeping companion, as it does not need light at night.

However, like humans, some lazy betta also like to sleep during the day. Especially in an aquarium where they don’t need to fight for territorial domination and get natural foods.

How does Bettas sleep?

Some species of fish are nocturnal, spend the day hiding and resting, and then go out at night to eat. Betta fish are very active during the day, especially at night.

How do you know when a betta fish is asleep:

  • An easy way to tell when a betta is asleep is by looking at their mouths. Bettas slow down their breathing while they sleep. So the fish may seem dead while sleeping, so how can one tell the difference between a betta relaxing and a betta panic. You will notice that the betta takes in oxygen by mouth and releases water through holes, which is a sign that the betta is asleep and not dead. However, the movement of the mouth and gill of the betta is slower than when it is awake. As a result, this fish also requires minimal movement of the gills that are linked directly with the breath.
  • Bettas don’t have eyelids, so they cannot close their eyes. They find a comfortable spot and sleep with their eyes open. They are motionless for a while until something frightens them.
  • These fish can sleep in very funny places. Some bettas lie upright, some sleep between things, some like to hide, and some like to lie across leaves. No matter what your betta does, most of the time it is completely normal.
  • Another noticeable changes may be in their color patterns. Some fish change color during sleep, and betta is one of them. According to fish experts, betta loses color during sleep as part of their natural defenses because it makes them much harder to find. However, as soon as it wakes up, the color will turn into a clear, healthy color pattern of what the betta is popular for. If not then it is a sign of a sick betta.

Whenever you find a sleeping betta don’t do the following:

  1. Turn on the light
  2. Touching the aquarium glass
  3. Poking the betta

Imagine, someone, waking you up unnecessarily in the middle of the night, how would you feel?

You’re disgusted, aren’t you? Your betta feels the same way.

While it is okay to not disturb your betta fish, endeavor to not let them stay in a position for a long time, you can try to touch it lightly with a net. Like most species of betta, the bettas do not sleep much and do respond to stimuli when in good health.

Is your Betta sleeping or dead? How to Tell the Difference

Since sleeping bettas can lay at the bottom or float at the tank, it is easy to mistake a sleeping fish for a dead fish. There are a few clear indications that your fish is on the verge of death, or that he is now dead if you have seen these signs and he doesn’t move on his own anymore.

  • If he recently seems tired, staying still at the bottom of the tank, or in a hiding place, for days.
  • Seeing him swimming as if he has no balance.
  • His color seems dull than usual.
  • Its fins look rough and unhealthy, or pressed against their bodies rather than spreading and flowing.
  • His fins appear to have white spots on his body.
  • When his scales seem to be raised and pointed away from her body, and his stomach is swollen or look like a pine convex from above.
  • If he does not show interest in food.

If you have seen any of these signs in the last few days or weeks, and your betta is not moving, you can tell he has died from all of these signs together.

How do you make sure your betta fish are sleeping well?

If you are a betta owner, you should know that a well-rested betta is likely to live longer and happier. Therefore, you will be eager to ensure a proper sleeping position inside the betta tank.

  • Proper Lighting

Betas sleep with their eyes open. Therefore, any outdoor lighting disrupts their sleep. Therefore, you should make sure that the fish tank is away from light at night. It will improve the sleep time of the fish.

Ideally, you should give your fish between eight to 12 hours of daylight and 12 to 16 hours of night time each day. You should never leave a light on your betta tank at night.

  • Proper Temperature

Bettas prefer when the water temperature is around 78-82 ° F. Use a thermometer to measure the water temperature and keep it in good condition. Use a heater if necessary.

  • Creates Shades

During the day, bettas will sleep when they get the right shade. You can achieve shade in many other ways:

  1. Place the fish tank in a shady or dark place.
  2. Use tall living plants for decorative purposes and make shades.
  3. You can also select small tunnels and caves inside the tank to provide additional shading.

Betta fish sleep in various places and positions

Some can nestle into the gravels, some find a place to hide inside the aquarium decoration, some can squeeze between the filter and the tank and some will just float at the top.

Why Do My Betta Fish Sleep on The Bottom of The Tank?

As well as lying on his side, you may also notice that your betta is sleeping at the bottom of your tank. However, while your betta sleeping at the bottom of the tank is not a problem in itself, it can be an indication of a problem. In their natural habitat, betta fish live in very slow-moving waters in rice paddies, swamps, and canals.

One reason that your betta may be sleeping there is if your filter current is too strong. You may notice your betta gets pushed around and always avoid the top of the tank where you may need to reduce the flow rate.

Another common reason is that the water is very hot or cold. If this happens then your betta may be going to areas in the tanks with better temperatures. While in most cases, this often leads to a change in the top of the tank, sometimes the bottom can be the right temperature.

Do Betta Fish sleep on Leaves?

Many betta fish prefer to sleep on leaves. They provide good support for them and help them to stay comfortable.

When does Betta Fish sleep?

Bettas are active during the day, sleeping at night. They usually fall asleep when the lights are turned off. Therefore, you may not be able to see them asleep. And, they sleep less. They can feel the movement around them even when they are asleep.

So, if you want to watch them sleep, turn off the lights, and watch them calmly and carefully. The bettas maybe observed taking some breaks during the day for some naps, and sleep more at night, just provide the tanks with adequate lights and they will rest well enough.

Especially withe lights being turned off and on properly. Just in the same manner that humans like to be treated, some sleep using lights, while others do not.

Check also on how to care for your betta fish

Why is my Betta sleeping too much?

Bettas are usually efficient, socially active fish, which come to the surface when you approach the tank or interact with tank mates.

So, now let’s see why the betta sleeps so much in a fish tank or aquarium;

  • Dark Tank

Betta likes to sleep in a dark place. Therefore, their excessive sleep is an indication that the tank is very dark. You should adjust the lighting to avoid such situations.

  • Tiny and undecorated tank

Boredom can also cause excessive snoring. It happens when the tank is too small or does not have betta decorations to play with. You should seriously consider adding decorations to your tank and increasing the size of the tanks to make the fish active.

  • Improper temperature

When the tank temperature exceeds the range, it produces a lethargic betta that causes excessive sleepiness. Be sure to check your aquarium water temperature regularly with an accurate thermometer to make sure everything is as it should.

  • Sick betta

The most common reason a betta sleeps beyond its normal duration is illness. Just as you want to be in bed when you are not feeling well, bettas do the same. Examine your fish for signs of ulcers, clear white spots, white spots, or obvious lumps and bumps on the skin that may indicate a disease or a bacterial infection.

  • Your Betta is old

Bettas usually have a life expectancy of up to four years, sometimes less. As they grow older, they will need more sleep. If you think this is the case, do not wake him up. Just let him sleep.

You may have have a lazy betta! Yes, like most people, you can find bettas just being lazy!

Why is my Betta not sleeping?

While excess sleeping of the betta is a typical attitude of them, the opposite is rare. It means that most bettas have little or no sleep at all.

Here are a few reasons why your betta may not sleep as long as it should.

  1. Tank mates

Bettas hates tank mates due to them being territorial in nature. This, for some bettas, they feel insecure and reduce sleep time to protect their environment.

Unwanted tank partners can stress your betta to the point where they fail to sleep.

  1. Your tank is too bright

If the tank inside is too bright and continuously comes under direct light or If you leave your aquarium lights up to 24 hours a day, bettas will be less likely to fall asleep. Bettas sleep at night, when it is dark. They need complete darkness throughout the night for proper sleep.


All betta fish sleep. They might not show it. Understanding your betta fish sleep patterns and habits is important if you are to keep your pet healthy to grow. And remember, try not to wake up your sleeping betta, it is not necessarily a good thing to do, allow the betta fish retire when it should, and you can also get good lights that can help the species of fish sleep and equally help you watch them.

Apart from not disturbing them, apart from being able to tell a sick on from a sleeping one, apart from getting them the right lights that they needs, and making sure that the light is available when it is needed, also provide the tank for the bettas with proper temperatures. Like you and me, bettas need their good sleep.