How Long Do Goldfish Sleep?

If you’re looking for answers to the question, “how long do goldfish sleep?” you’ve come to the right spot to find all the information you need regarding your new pet.

Without further ado, let’s get straight to the topic of the hour.

How Long Do Goldfish Sleep?

On average, goldfish sleep for about 8 to 12 hours a day.

However, their sleep cycles can be affected by the tank they’re kept in and their surroundings.

Goldfish only rest when there’s low activity, not only in their tanks but also in their surroundings.

For your goldfish to get the preferred 12 hours of sleep, you’ll need to turn off the tank lights as well as the lighting fixtures in the room where you’ve kept the tank.

You will also need to ensure that the tank is not in a busy room of the house, where lights are switched on, and there’s commotion during the entire day.

It will also be helpful to sync your pet goldfish’s sleep routine to yours and switch off the room and tank lights for 4 to 5 hours before you go to bed.

With the main question answered, we can move on to some of the other pressing concerns that most goldfish owners have.

Do Goldfish Sleep with Their Eyes Closed?

Goldfish, unlike mammals, don’t have to close their eyes to rest or sleep for long stretches to refresh themselves.

Since goldfish are small aquatic creatures, it’s no secret that they’ve evolved to keep up with their surroundings and look out for themselves.

Like other aquatic animals, goldfish don’t need long hours of rest or unconsciousness to restore their energy levels.

Goldfish tend to take smaller cat naps ranging from 10 to 30 minutes, depending on their surrounding atmosphere and activity levels, and they do so while remaining aware of their surroundings.

Naturally, this means that they are conscious of their surroundings even while resting and even keep their eyes open during this time.

Why Do They Need to Sleep?

Like all other mammals and aquatic creatures, goldfish need to get their daily beauty sleep to rejuvenate their energy and live a healthy life.

Getting sufficient rest during the day helps keep their immune system strong, which plays an essential role in fighting off illnesses and diseases.

What Happens If Goldfish Don’t Get Sufficient Rest?

Since resting helps goldfish make their immune system relatively stronger, a lack of sleep attacks their immune system almost immediately.

This means that your goldfish will be vulnerable to diseases and may even succumb to infections, either bacterial or fungal.

In addition to compromising the goldfish’s immune system, lack of rest can also negatively impact their metabolism, compromising their appetites.

My Goldfish Is Upside Down: Is It Resting?

Goldfish remain upright during their sleep, so if your goldfish is upside down, you should check on it immediately.

If your pet is upside down, it may be sick, so it’s best to take it to the vet if you find it in this position.

How to Tell If a Goldfish Is Resting?

Although goldfish don’t close their eyes while resting or sleeping, there are several signs that can tell you when your goldfish is in rest mode.

Look for the following clues if you’re trying to figure out your pet’s sleep cycle:

  • Their head typically hands lower than their tail when they’re resting.
  • Goldfish will swim to the bottom or hide between decorations while resting.
  • Their color also seems duller or appears as if it’s fading when they’re asleep.
  • They make minimal movements to stay stable and upright when sleeping.
  • They are startled when they hear or notice abrupt sounds or movements but respond relatively more slowly to other regular stimuli.

Is Your Goldfish Sleeping More Than 12 Hours?

If your goldfish is sleeping for more than 12 hours, this can be a cause for concern.

In addition to sleeping more, your goldfish may also be showing signs of aggression toward its other tank mates, constantly yawning, eating less, or losing its color even when awake.

All of these explain sickness and not tiredness. The following are some other reasons why your goldfish might be sleeping more than its usual 12 hours:

Worrisome Ammonia Levels

A goldfish yawning doesn’t necessarily mean it’s sleepy or tired. This could also mean that your pet is cleaning out its gills.

However, if it’s constantly yawning, gasping for air above the tank, or eating less than usual, it could mean that the ammonia levels of the tank have reached a toxic point for the fish.

Simply put, this means it’s getting more challenging for it to get oxygen.

One of the most significant reasons that this happens is due to the tank’s cleanliness.

Since goldfish eat a lot, the waste that they produce is also great.

If you’ve skipped several days of cleaning the tank, the chances of increased ammonia levels are higher. It’s best to clean the tank regularly to avoid such circumstances.

Incorrect or Fluctuating Tank Temperatures

Most goldfish, except for the fancy ones, are not highly sensitive to temperatures.

However, their immune systems and appetites negatively react to constant fluctuations in tank temperatures.

This means that even a slight change in the temperature every few hours could make them lethargic and sleepy.

A Tank That’s Cramped

Goldfish are used to swimming freely in relatively larger areas than the tanks they’re kept in by their owners.

This means that your goldfish needs sufficient room, free of décor and other fish, to be able to remain stress-free.

Cramped spaces can lead to injury or even make them aggressive and ultimately cause them to fall sick.

What Can Goldfish Do While Sleeping?

A goldfish that’s resting, unlike other species, can still perform many regular bodily movements and functions.

We’ve already mentioned an example of this earlier; they remain peripherally aware of their surroundings even when resting and keep their eyes open at all times.

They can also sense environmental changes and even pass waste in their sleep.

In addition to heightened senses, their bodies also appear dimmer while they’re resting to keep their hunters at bay.

You might also notice slight movements as they swim in their sleep to remain upright.

However, catching them in the act is extremely difficult because if you approach the tank while your pet is asleep, it will instantly wake them up.

Do Goldfish Sleep During the Day or Night?

Typically, an average goldfish will take short bursts of cat naps during the day.

However, if they are kept as pets, they adapt to their owners’ sleeping patterns and get rest when the lights are turned off in the room and the tank.

Your goldfish will most likely get more time to rest when you’re not interacting with them, and there’s less commotion in the room.

To ensure that your goldfish is getting sufficient rest, you should switch off the lights for at least 12 hours a day.

Like humans, these fish also get better sleep and rest in the dark than in daylight. For this reason, it’s essential to be mindful of the goldfish’s surroundings every day.

Also read: Can Aquarium Fish See At Night/Dark?

Concluding Thoughts

We hope this article has helped answer your question, “how long do goldfish sleep” and gain a better understanding of their needs and requirements.

In conclusion, your goldfish needs approximately 8 to 12 hours of sleep or rest.

They usually don’t sleep during the day and only take short cat naps to restore their energy levels.

However, when the lights are switched off and the sun has set, your goldfish may rest for more extended periods.

If you notice that your goldfish sleeping for more than 12 hours, you might need to speak to a vet to evaluate its health.

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