Do Goldfish sleep? This is the question every new Goldfish owner asks. And in this article, I am going to answer the same question.
Yes, Goldfish do sleep. they like to sleep in a quiet and dark environment so usually, they sleep at night.
But it is not necessary that they sleep at night because some Goldfish take naps during the afternoon and others don’t sleep until night.
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How Do Goldfish Sleep?
Goldfish don’t sleep like humans lying on the surface.
When Goldfish sleep they hover over the water about 1 inch from the bottom of the aquarium.
They don’t move from one place to another while sleeping they just stay in one place.
The fun fact is Goldfish don’t have eyelids so their eyes are open when they are sleeping.
Their head is a bit down when they are sleeping.
Also, you will notice a slight fade in their color when they are sleeping.
Where Do Goldfish Sleep?
Goldfish usually sleep near the bottom of the aquarium.
In their natural habitat, Goldfish usually hide behind something like a plant or stone when they are sleeping.
So in the fish tank, they usually sleep near a plant or decoration.
When Do Goldfish Sleep?
As mentioned above, Goldfish sleep at night because Goldfish like to sleep in a quiet and dark environment.
Though not all Goldfish sleep at night because some Goldfish take naps during the afternoon and others don’t sleep until night.
In their natural habitat Goldfish sleep in the night and stay active and eat during the day.
So you should emulate the same in your aquarium.
You should turn off the aquarium lights at night so that Goldfish can sleep.
Also, you should not turn on your aquarium lights for more than 12 hours.
You should also make sure that there is no sound source near the aquarium at night and even during the day so that Goldfish can take naps during the afternoon.
How many hours do Goldfish sleep every day?
Goldfish may sleep 8 to 12 hours every day. Though there are no studies done on this topic as far as I know.
So you should not keep the lights of your aquarium on for more than 12 hours so that Goldfish can sleep.
What happens when Goldfish don’t get enough sleep?
Like us, when Goldfish don’t get enough sleep they become less active.
Their metabolism also drops and they start eating less.
If Goldfish don’t get enough sleep or rest their immunity goes down which may cause bacterial infections.
What to do if your Goldfish is sleeping a lot?
Usually, there are two reasons your Goldfish is sleeping a lot.
- The first one is that it is sick.
- The second one is your aquarium doesn’t have a healthy environment for your Goldfish.
How to Make your Aquarium Environment Healthy for your Goldfish?
In case your aquarium doesn’t have a healthy environment you can do few things to make your aquarium environment optimum for your Goldfish growth and health.
Lower the water temperature
In their natural habitat, Goldfish live in cold water about 50 degrees Fahrenheit to 76-degree Fahrenheit.
If the water temperature of your aquarium is more than 50 degrees Fahrenheit to 76 degrees Fahrenheit then, first of all, it can cause severe damage to the nerves of your Goldfish.
And secondly, high-temperature water cannot hold as much oxygen as low-temperature water so high-temperature water also causes low oxygen levels in your aquarium which is bad for your Goldfish.
Because lack of oxygen can make your Goldfish less active and it may sleep for a long time.
How to lower the water temperature in your aquarium?
- First of all, you should turn off the light of your aquarium and open its lid.
- The simplest and easiest way to lower the water temperature in the aquarium is to put some ice cubes in a zip-closed bag and hang that bag into the aquarium.
- Another way is to open the lid of your aquarium and put a table fan near your aquarium in such a way that it will blow the air on the surface of the aquarium.
- If the rise in the temperature of your aquarium is caused because it is directly exposed to the sun rays then you should move the aquarium in the room where there are no sun rays.
Small fish tank
If you are using a small fish tank or bowl for your Goldfish then this could be the reason your Goldfish is sleeping a lot.
Goldfish produce a lot of waste that produces a lot of ammonia in the fish tank.
If you are using a small fish tank for your Goldfish then the ammonia level in the fish tank will get concentrated that causes stress for your Goldfish.
So you should use a bigger fish tank for your Goldfish.
20 gallons per Goldfish is a good rule of thumb to follow.
How to check ammonia levels in your aquarium?
The simplest and easiest way to keep track of ammonia levels in your aquarium is to use an ammonia alert stripe.
When is the ammonia level in my aquarium is high?
Ideally, your fish tank should not contain any ammonia but if your fish tank contains more than 0.2 mg ammonia then it is very harmful to your Goldfish.
How to reduce or get rid of ammonia in your tank?
There are several things you can do to reduce the ammonia level in your tank or get rid of it completely.
Do a partial water change
you can do a partial water change to reduce ammonia levels in your tank.
You should change about 30% of the total water of your aquarium at a time.
You should do a partial water change every 2 to 4 weeks.
How often you will need to do a partial water change depends on the condition of your tank.
The simplest way to know if you have to do water change more frequently is by simply stirring up the substrate gravel and if you found a lot of debris floating around then you should do partial water change more frequently (maybe once a week or once in two weeks).
You don’t need to remove the fish from the tank to do a partial water change.
Steps to do a partial water change in your aquarium
- The first thing you have to do is to dechlorinate the freshwater. To do that take freshwater in a bucket and let it sit for a night. Or the other way is to use a dechlorination product. Check out our recommended Dechlorinating Agent
- When the dechlorinated water is ready, switch off all the electrical equipment like filters, air pump, etc of your aquarium and also other electrical equipments near your aquarium.
- Now scrape off the algae on the fish tank walls (if there are any) using an old credit card
- Now drain out about 30% water from your fish tank using a tube into a bucket.
- Then slowly pour down freshwater into the aquarium.
Remove all unnecessary waste from the aquarium
Unnecessary waste like can eaten food, decomposed plants, dead fish etc releases ammonia in the fish tank.
So you should remove them as soon as possible using a fishnet.
Usually, uneaten food causes high ammonia levels in fish tanks.
So you should reduce the feeding frequency and feeding quantity.
You should feed two to three times per day to your Goldfish.
Also should only feed the amount of food your Goldfish can consume within 2 minutes.
This way they will be well-fed and also it will reduce the amount of uneaten food in your aquarium.
One thing to note here, when you reduce the feeding frequency and the amount of food it doesn’t actually remove the existing ammonia in the fish tank.
It will only lower the ammonia levels in the future so you should get rid of existing ammonia using the methods mentioned in this post.
Increase beneficial bacteria in your aquarium
Not all bacteria are bad for fish. There are some beneficial bacteria that help to break down the ammonia.
If your fish tank is new then your aquarium will not have a sufficient amount of beneficial bacteria which causes a rise in the ammonia levels in the aquarium.
So to cope with this problem, there are a couple of things you can do to increase beneficial bacteria in your tank.
If you have another healthy fish tank then you should get some gravels from that fish tank and introduce it into your new aquarium.
Or you can drain out one-third of the water from your healthy aquarium and introduce it into your new aquarium.
If you don’t have another aquarium then you should look for a friend who has a healthy aquarium and then does the same.
This way the beneficial bacteria from the healthy aquarium will get transferred to the new aquarium.
Increase oxygen levels in your tank
If you are aquarium don’t have a sufficient amount of oxygen then it can make your fish less active and it may sleep a lot.
how to know if your aquarium has low oxygen levels?
There are several signs that will help you to know if your aquarium has a low oxygen level or not
- If your Goldfish is coming on the surface of the tank gasping for air then it is a sign of low oxygen in the tank.
- If you noticed the fast movement of the gills of your Goldfish then it is a sign of low oxygen in the aquarium.
- If you are Goldfish is moving around less then this could be a sign of low oxygen in your tank.
- Goldfish even start eating less when there is a low oxygen level in the aquarium.
What are the reasons for the low oxygen level in the fish tank?
There are several reasons that cause low oxygen in the tank.
It is probably the most common reason for low oxygen levels in a Goldfish aquarium.
Goldfish produce a lot of waste so it requires a large fish tank to dilute the ammonia level.
20 gallons per Goldfish is a good rule of thumb to follow.
If your fish tank contains more Goldfish than its capacity then this could be a reason your fish tank has a low oxygen level.
High water temperature
If the water in your aquarium has a high water temperature then this could be the reason your aquarium has low oxygen.
High-temperature water holds low oxygen compared to cold water.
Also, high-temperature water is bad for Goldfish because Goldfish is cold-water fish and high-temperature water can cause severe nerve damage in Goldfish.
Lack of moment in the water
The movement of the water helps to aerate the water so if your aquarium has very less moment of water it can cause low oxygen in the aquarium.
It is true that live plants help to increase oxygen levels in the aquarium.
But if the live plants are not getting a sufficient amount of light then it will start producing carbon dioxide instead of oxygen that causes decreased oxygen level in the aquarium.
Chemicals and medications
If you are using any kind of chemicals or medications in your aquarium then this could be the reason for the aquarium has low oxygen levels.
What are the ways to increase oxygen in the aquarium?
there are several ways you can use to increase oxygen in your aquarium.
Pouring down water from some height
The simplest way to increase oxygen in your aquarium in an emergency is to simply pour down the water of your aquarium from some height using a jar or pitcher in your aquarium.
When you do that the water will get exposed to the air which helps to oxygenate the aquarium.
Large water change
A water change not only helps to reduce ammonia in the water but it also helps to oxygenate the aquarium.
Just do a 50% water change of your aquarium and that will instantly increase oxygen levels in your aquarium.
Because the newly introduced water will have more oxygen than the existing.
Use ice cubes
If the oxygen level in your aquarium is reduced due to the high water temperature of the water then you can simply put some ice cubes in a zip-closed bag and hang it inside the aquarium.
It will lower the water temperature of your aquarium.
As cold water can hold more oxygen than hot water, the water level in your aquarium will increase.
Use a battery-powered air pump
If you are experiencing low oxygen levels in your aquarium during power cuts then you can simply use a battery-powered air pump.
The air pump will continuously introduce fresh air into the aquarium even during power cuts and maintaining a healthy oxygen level in your aquarium.
What are the symptoms of dying or sick Goldfish
Goldfish can cause various diseases so identifying the symptoms of various diseases can save your Goldfish from dying.
The best time to check these symptoms is before feeding the Goldfish.
If your Goldfish is frequently coming on the surface of the water gasping for air and if you noticed the rapid movement of the gills of your Goldfish then it is a sign that your Goldfish is not able to breathe properly.
It also suggests you that your aquarium has low oxygen levels.
And there are several ways you can increase oxygen in your tank.
If you notice your Goldfish is not eating as much as it used to eat and it is losing weight then it is a sign that your Goldfish may have an internal parasite.
Swim bladder disease
If you noticed that your Goldfish is not swimming properly i.e. it is swimming upside down and erratically then it is a sign that your Goldfish may have swim bladder disease.
If you found your Goldfish has torn or folded fins, is bloated, the eyes are popping out or pale gills and has discolored spots then this is a symptom of a fungal disease.
Fin rot is the most common fungal disease in the Goldfish.
The signs of this Goldfish disease is milky white areas on the fence or tail and ragged appearance on the fins. (Source)
So Goldfish do sleep. But they don’t sleep like us. They don’t have eyelids so their eyes are open when they are sleeping.
Goldfish usually sleep near plants or decorations. They hover about 1 inch from the bottom of the aquarium while sleeping.
Goldfish like to sleep in a dark and quiet environment so usually, they sleep at night.