How Long Do Betta Fish Sleep?

Betta owners often wonder whether their betta fish need sleep or not, and if it does, then how long does Betta sleep.

In short, bettas need to sleep for at least 12 to 16 hours. This means you should provide your fish with 12 hours of daylight and 16 hours of darkness.

It is worth noting that their sleep patterns are a bit different than humans. For starters, betta fish are very light sleepers. They’re always vigilant and on-guard from would-be predators.

Moreover, bettas are also worried about losing their territory to another fish.

These are just some of the reasons why betta fish get spooked so easily. In modern days, most bettas live in captivity in a safe and healthy aquarium.

This doesn’t mean they’re heavy sleepers. Bettas still prefer to sleep light.

Why Is My Betta Fish Oversleeping?

Betta fish are full of personality and love to explore their surroundings. They are especially active during the day and often interact with their tank mates.

With that said, it’s not usual for bettas to sleep during the day. If you notice this happening too often, something might be disrupting their sleep patterns.

Here are a few reasons why your betta fish may be oversleeping.

Temperature Changes

Bettas require a very specific temperature range for survivability. If the water is too cold, they’ll go into temperature shock. In some cases, their metabolism may slow down.

This means they are much less active than they should be.

So how can you tell if your water’s temperature is too low? Check to see if the temp is under 70 degrees. This means your betta is too cold and needs warmer water.

Start by increasing the temperature gradually. Do not suddenly heat up the tank because it will only make things worse.

Slowly increase the temperature in small increments over an hour. This will create the perfect conditions for your betta to regain its lost energy.

Pro tip: Use a heater to regulate the temperature at a constant 77 degrees. Use a thermometer to monitor the temperature of the tank.

Low Light Conditions in the Tank

Bettas use light intensity as a cue for when to wake up and sleep. They prefer to sleep in darker environments and become more active in the morning.

This explains why your betta is oversleeping: you’re keeping the lights dim for too long.

Therefore, your betta assumes it’s time to sleep.

Your Betta Fish is Bored

Betta fish are extremely intelligent creatures and have their own personality. In fact, they can recognize their owners and become responsive in close proximity to them.

This means that bettas require plenty of physical and mental stimulation – just like humans. Otherwise, they’ll simply get bored. What do most humans do when they get bored? They often turn to sleep.

Therefore, if you want your betta to be more active, provide them with more stimulants. Include plenty of decorations in your betta fish tank. Include lots of plants and toys for them to explore.

Pro tip #1: Don’t use mirrors for bettas because they get spooked. Unfortunately, Bettas aren’t smart enough to tell the difference between a rival male and reflections. This will cause your betta to flare their fins to intimidate the ‘rival male’. While this may look really impressive, doing so stresses out your betta. Stress is one of the leading causes of health problems in betta fish.

Pro tip #2: You shouldn’t keep two betta males in the same tank. But you can introduce peaceful tank mates to keep your betta company. Start with small Gouramis and Corydoras catfish.

Your Betta is Sick

Oversleeping may be an indication of illness. If everything in your tank is fine but your betta sleeps a lot, it’s sick. The same applies to hiding out for several days without resurfacing.

Combine this behavior with an erratic swimming pattern, and you know your betta is ill. This may be a sign that your betta is near death.

Now would be the perfect time to look for any obvious indicators of illness, Look for white spots, white growths, lumps, and bumps on the skin. Any of these could indicate the presence of infections and disease.

Bettas often get constipated if you overfeed them. They’re not very responsible with their eating habits and will easily overeat.

This means it’s up to you to provide them with a balanced diet. Constipated bettas often rest on the tank bottom or on their keel. If this happens, do not feed them for 24 hours.

Then offer them bloodworms to restore their energy levels.

Is Your Betta Getting Too Old?

If your Betta is reaching the end of its life, it will sleep more often.

Older fish need to have their rest as and when they need it. The average life span of betta fish is around 4 years.

This process is gradual and doesn’t happen overnight. In most cases, you’ll probably not even notice.

Your Betta is Too Lazy

It isn’t uncommon for bettas to sleep out of sheer laziness.

Your best bet is to provide them with entertainment and hope they’ll become more active. If nothing else, at least make sure your betta fish exercises more often.

This is because betta fish are prone to obesity, a precursor to various illnesses.

The Sleep Pattern of Betta Fish

Their sleep patterns are very similar to humans. They are active during the day and sleep at night. This is part of the reason why bettas are so popular.

Pro tip: Just like humans, lazy bettas like to sleep during the day.

This unusual sleeping pattern may become a cause of concern for beginners. Why isn’t your betta moving? Is it usual for bettas to sleep this long?

How is it possible for bettas to sleep without making a single movement? All logical reason points out the obvious: it’s dead, right?

In our defense, the lack of eyelids makes it harder to tell if they’re alive. This brings us to the next point…

How to Tell if Bettas Asleep?

You can tell that your betta is alive and sleeping by looking at their face. Like humans, bettas need to breathe in their sleep. They don’t just stop breathing when sleeping.

So if your betta doesn’t appear to breathe, it’s probably dead. Take another close look at its mouth and gills.

You’ll notice that your betta is actively drawing in water through its mouth. In the same vein, the betta is drawing water out through its gills.

It is normal for the mouth and gill movement of sleeping bettas to be slow. This is normal because bettas consume less oxygen when they’re asleep.

Also, you might notice a slight color change when your betta is asleep. This isn’t an indication of illness – your betta is just sleeping.

Most fish, including bettas, are known to lose their vibrant patterns when asleep. This is a self-defense mechanism that makes the betta less visible to predators.

Everything has to be about survival and self-preservation – these are fragile creatures after all!

It is worth noting that healthy bettas should recover their colors after waking up. If your betta’s color does not darken and become richer, it’s probably unhealthy.

Another clue that your betta is asleep is its position.

Bettas often sleep vertically with their head pointing toward the bottom of the tank. Their fins may or may not be open during.

The sight of a vertical betta – still and motionless – is a scary sight indeed. But it’s nothing to worry about. Take a step back, compose yourself, and look for signs that it’s still breathing. Do not turn the lights on, tap on the glass, or poke the betta.

No one likes being poked at when they’re asleep!

If you’re still clueless about your betta’s sleeping patterns, check-in during feeding time. If there’s one that that bettas love, it’s their feeding frenzy. Most bettas almost never skip mealtime.

Where Do Betta Fish Sleep?

Bettas don’t have any preference for a specific sleeping spot. They’ll sleep just about anywhere. Whether it’s wedged between rocks or uncomfortably close to the filter – bettas don’t mind.

In most cases, a floating betta is probably a dead betta. Some bettas occasionally float while asleep, but this is behavior is uncommon.

Another strange sleeping position is under leaves. If your plant’s leaves stick out of the water, your betta is probably sleeping there. In fact, bettas can sleep out of water.

This is because they can draw oxygen from the tank surface. They can breathe just like humans!

Wrapping Up

Bettas that get a good night’s sleep are healthier and happier. You can improve their sleep pattern by doing a few things. Start by providing them with more darkness at night.

Ensure that the lights are turned off come nighttime.

Use an aquarium time to turn the lights on and off without requiring any input!

And always remember, do not wake your sleeping betta.

So how long does your betta sleep?

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