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Old 04-05-2013, 01:10 AM   #1 
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Do Betta fish sleep?

So i was wondering if my betta should be on a sleep schedule because i wasn't sure if they sleep or not, then i just looked on Google and it said that their sleeping schedule is similar to how we sleep. I have been turning his tank light off at 8 PM but i don't go to bed until 11:00 Pm sometimes and our bedroom light is always on and i was wondering if the light would bother him and if maybe we should put him in a darker place so the light wont bother him.
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Old 04-05-2013, 01:15 AM   #2 
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yup! bettas sleep! :)

They sleep using a light schedule, so dark = bedtime and day = awake time.
However, it is possible to stress them out by not having a consistent schdule. I usually have lights out anywhere from 11- 1am.
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Old 04-05-2013, 01:26 AM   #3 
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Bettas do sleep and prefer darkness to sleep but a dim night light might be ok. Something you might want to know about them sleeping so you don't have a heart attack like I did the other morning thinking your fish died.

They can change color during the night and get very, very limp if they don't wake up right away when you turn lights on. I thought my female had died she had turned almost black (she is normally partly light brown) and was not moving at all even after the lights had been on at least 8 minutes or so. She didn't rouse until I touched the tank. I scared her. I noticed one of my other fish in the same room had not completely woke up either he is blue and was mostly bronze in color on his body. My husband normally leaves the light on in the morining and they are awake when I see them. This was the first time I'd seen them looking like this. Fish take a little while to wake up and become responsive just like us. They normally are on the spot with getting their food they let it sink. I came back 20 minutes later and everyone was awake and ready to eat and was their normal color.

One other thing they also like to have some soft leaves floating on top to rest on while they sleep. An extra tall silk plant is good or I also like the Large Marina begonia plant which has long thin stems and round variagated leaves. I leave most of the top to float and I take some leaves off to float on the top in other areas of the tank. I have a five gallon if you have a smaller tank floating the leaves attached to the plant should be fine.

Last edited by jadaBlu; 04-05-2013 at 01:41 AM.
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Old 04-05-2013, 01:34 AM   #4 
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Yes, and they do not have eyelids! So yes, they need darkness since they cannot close their eyes. I don't worry about my blind boy getting light in his tank from my room at night or my male VT or my brothers fish (my three "foster" fish, not bettas though). His fish hide either in the gravel or decor and my VT hides behind his filter when he sleeps, so sometimes I turn the room lights on after the tank lights go out, but I do cover the front of my sorority tank at night so that it stays dark when I have the room lights on or when the sun rises in the morning and makes my room a tiny bit lighter.

I have all my fish tanks on a light timer. They need a consistent schedule of 8-12 hours of light per day. If they get too much light, they can get stresses because of lack of sleep, but I have noticed that dim lighting usually does not wake them.

I'm actually very adamant about putting my fish to bed. I've yelled at my mom before for coming into my room in the morning and turning on the light because I didn't want her to wake my fish from their rest!! Lol.

Edit: I agree with the above poster about them acting strange when you wake them up! When I first upgraded my VT to his five gallon, I started to realize that he slept behind the filter, but there were a few times I checked on him in the morning and he had himself so well hidden that I freaked out and turned on his lights and I "startled" him awake and he was almost acting drunk (you know that disoriented feeling you get in the morning when someone suddenly turns on a bright light?) I thought he was sick, but later realized that I just woke him up from a deep sleep, lol.

Last edited by AyalaCookiejar; 04-05-2013 at 01:38 AM.
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Old 04-05-2013, 10:45 AM   #5 
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All fish sleep but in different ways e.g. Sharks need to keep moving to breathe so they shut down half their brain at a time to maintain some level of motion. Other fish sleep for only 30 seconds at a time followed by a few seconds of alertness to check for predators, a little movement then 30 seconds of sleep again. I have noticed that my Betta seems to properly pass out behind a rock for long periods of time at night, which worried me at first until I realised he was sleeping, during the day he is quite active. I even tested how asleep he was by putting a mirror up close to that side of the tank and dropping in a little food, both of which would normally get an instant response but he just stayed sleeping! In the morning he is back to his usual self. I have kept loads of different types of fish over the years and I have never seen this level sleep in a fish before.
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Old 04-05-2013, 10:53 AM   #6 
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I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who has panicked in the morning! My office Betta, Murray, doesn't really rise and shine until I turn his tank light on in the morning, and then by the time I turn my computer on and get situated, he is awake and at the front of the tank begging for breakfast!
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Old 04-05-2013, 11:44 AM   #7 
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Bettas seem to sleep almost like we do. They seem to have different levels of sleep too. Also they are all different in their patterns. My fish all go to bed when I do and get up in the morning when my husband does but some of them like to nap during the day. Galileo is like a teenager. He takes cat naps through out the day and night and goes to bed late. Then he is out like a rock the whole night. Nothing wakes him til its after 8 am. Esmeralda only goes to sleep when the lights are out. she ever ever takes naps and the slightest thing will wake her. My new guy, I don't know his sleep pattern yet.
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Old 04-06-2013, 08:03 AM   #8 
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Yes I often see my little ones having a cat-nap during the day up on their leaf hammock or in a hideout.I like to have their tank area dark for them by 10pm at the latest so they can have a good nights kip.They are little early birds & are up and awake way before me.
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Old 04-06-2013, 08:27 AM   #9 
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My boy never sleeps when I am awake, this is worrying for me because I am a uni student and insomniac. I tried turning off his tank light and he barely notices, wrapping a black pillowcase around the tank only made him spy at me from a tiny open hole.
Just last night I went through my go to bed routine, turned off my computer's screen and folded the blanket down..and when I looked over at him before turning off the lights I noticed that he had positioned himself on his leaf hammock and was watching me!
Seems he can't handle sleeping unless I sleep too.
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Old 04-06-2013, 08:43 AM   #10 
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Originally Posted by Taeanna View Post
wrapping a black pillowcase around the tank only made him spy at me from a tiny open hole.

..and when I looked over at him before turning off the lights I noticed that he had positioned himself on his leaf hammock and was watching me!

He sounds classic!
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