sleeping betta fish on leaves

How Do Betta Fish Sleep: It’s Not The Way You Think

Have you ever wondered how do betta fish sleep? This is a question that many people are asking because of the popularity of betta fish as pets and everyone wants to know about them. People often say that betta fish sleep in the top corner of their tank, is this true?

In this blog post, I’ll teach you everything there is to know about your betta fish’s sleeping habits and patterns. How do bettas sleep? So let’s get started.

Do Betta Fish Sleep?

Yes, they do! betta is a lighter sleeper than you and they don’t sleep as humans do. But for sure, like all other living beings, they need sleep to regain their energy and reduce their stress.

What Does A Sleeping Betta Fish Look Like?

how do betta fish sleep

You will see your bettas fish fall into a trance-like state that is similar to sleep where they just sit still, barely moving their fins, near the surface of their tank or bowl during day or night. Betta fish don’t close their eyes while sleeping because they don’t have eyelids.

How Do Betta Fish Sleep?

A sleeping betta fish is one that appears to be resting at the bottom or surface of the tank hiding in the plants. You might feel as if your betta fish is dead but a sleeping betta fish isn’t necessarily dead, but it can be difficult to tell the difference.

The signs of a sleeping betta fish are:

1- The betta floats near the top of the aquarium or sinks to the bottom of it. Sometimes hiding in the plants or caves if they are available

2- A sleeping fish does not move much, if at all. You might see some fin movements but generally, they are still and don’t move a lot.

3- The betta’s gills are closed, which means it is not breathing as much as usual.

4- The body is still and relaxed and may appear bloated or swollen due to less water pressure pushing against its body while resting.

5- Sometimes you will see your betta fish is lying on its side at the bottom of the tank.

6- Bettas don’t close their eye while sleeping because they don’t have eyelids on them.

7- The eyes might look duller than they usually do when awake and alert, which means there is less light reflecting off them.

8- Sometimes you will see that the mouth of your betta fish is open while sleeping but it is not necessarily the case every time.

9- Bettas don’t sleep upside down, if you see your betta fish upside down then this is due to a sickness called “Swim Bladder”.

Where Do Betta Fish Sleep?

where do betta fish sleep

The most typical location for a betta to sleep is at the bottom of the tank. This is because it makes them feel a little bit safer while they are at the bottom of the tank. But sometimes you will see your betta swim near the surface of the tank and start taking a nap. Bettas also enjoy hanging out near plants and caves, which they use as hiding spots when they feel threatened or when they are sleeping.

If your betta has been in an aquarium for some time, he/she may have already created his/her own sleeping area under some plants or behind a stone. If not, you can help him out by giving him something like an old piece of driftwood or a stone to sleep behind.

How Long Do Betta Fish Sleep?

Bettas tend to sleep a lot as compared to other fish. Generally speaking, you will see your betta fish sleeping during half of his/her lifespan. But Exactly how many hours do betta fish sleep? and the answer is 12 to 14 hours each day. That’s why I said earlier, you will see your betta fish sleeping half of his/her lifespan.

How Do You Ensure That Your Betta Fish Sleeps Well?

Every pet owner wants his/her pet to be healthy. The same is the case with betta fish. If you want your betta fish to be healthy then you don’t want to disturb your betta while sleeping. There are things that you should always avoid to make sure you don’t accidentally disturb your betta.

1- Don’t Tap On The Tank Glass

It’s tempting to tap on the glass or even gently shake it to see if your betta is awake, but don’t do it! You could startle your betta and cause him to jump out of the water. This will not only scare him but he/she will also be unable to breathe air. If you do accidentally bump into his/her tank and he/she gets scared, immediately cover the tank with a towel or paper towel until he/she gets relaxed.

2- Don’t Turn On The Lights

Although bettas sleep during the day as well but they like to sleep during the night. So if you want your betta fish to sleep, do not turn on the light during the night. If your tank is well-lit, your betta fish may not be able to fall asleep, or even worse, it might get stressed out and hide under some plants in its tank.

3- Don’t Lift The Lid Of The Tank

When your betta fish goes into hiding, it’s best that you leave it alone and don’t try to catch it. Doing so may cause stress for your pet as well as harm it in some way or another. As long as you leave it alone, it will come out from hiding when it’s ready and then you can feed him/her some food or sometimes just observe them swimming around in their tanks.

4- Don’t Try To Touch Your Betta

Don’t ever touch your betta when he’s sleeping because this could stress him out and cause him to become aggressive towards you. Just like humans, there are times when he/she needs his/her “me” time!

5- Don’t Use A Net To Scoop Up Your Betta

A net can be very stressful for a betta fish because they are so used to swimming in open water. When they are netted, they feel like they can’t escape and they panic easily.

6- Do Not Feed Your Betta While Sleeping

If you want to feed your betta properly, it’s best to wait until he/she wakes up before doing so. Feeding him while he’s asleep could cause him to choke or regurgitate his/her food which could lead to serious health issues later down the line!

What Does It Mean If Your Betta Fish Sleeps Too Much?

There can be a number of reasons why your betta sleeps too much in its tank.

1- Environment Is Too Boring

A bored betta will sleep more than usual. A betta that has nothing to do will sleep all day long, even when it’s not supposed to be sleeping. This happens because the fish is bored, and wants to escape from its boring environment. You can solve this problem by adding more decorations or hiding places in your tank. You should also change up the tank’s layout every once in a while so that your betta can explore new areas on his/her own and see what’s available in his/her tank.

2- Betta Is Getting Old

Bettas are very long-lived fish, but they can still get old just like any other animal in the world. When you have a pet that lives so long (up to 5 years), it’s easy to forget that they’re aging too! One of the signs of old age for bettas is sleeping too much during the day and being more active at night time. This is because when bettas get older, their metabolism slows down which means they need less oxygen per minute than when they were younger. This causes them to sleep more during the daytime when there isn’t as much oxygen around, but become more active at night time when there is more oxygen in the water from photosynthesis during the daytime hours.

3- Tank Is Too Dark

Betta fish like to sleep in during nigh, meaning they sleep at night and are active during the day. If your tank is too dark, your betta may not want to come out from hiding. It’s important to have some sort of light source for your fish so that it can see where it’s going and what’s around it. For example, if you have an aquarium with plants or live plants in it, make sure you have a light source on those plants because they will not thrive without proper lighting.

4- Your Tank Is Too Hot or Cold

Betta fish prefer temperatures between 76 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit (24 to 28 Celsius). Outside of these temperatures, your betta can become lethargic and sleepy. Therefore, If you live in a cooler climate, you may need a heater to keep your tank warm enough for them.

If you live in a warmer climate, you may need an air conditioner or heat pad to keep it warm enough for them as well as other tropical fish that require warmer water than what comes out of your tap at home. You also want to make sure that there are no large temperature fluctuations within one day or night because that can stress out and kill your pet fish quickly!

5- Your Betta Is Sick

If your betta fish sleeps more than usual, it could mean that he’s sick. If you notice that he/she’s resting too often on the bottom of his/her tank, he/she might be suffering from a bacterial infection or parasites. He/she may also develop respiratory infections if his/her water quality is poor. In that case, it’s best to take him/her to a vet for the proper treatment.

6- The Owner’s Schedule

Bettas are nocturnal fish and usually sleep during the day when you’re away at work or school. They also tend to be less active at night when everyone else is asleep too. So if your betta sleeps all day long and becomes active when you’re asleep and vice versa, this could be due to your lifestyle and schedule instead of an illness.

What Does It Mean If Your Betta Fish Doesn’t Sleep Well?

There can be a number of reasons why your betta doesn’t sleep in its tank.

1- Aggressive Tank Mates

Some betta fish are more aggressive than others and will attack other fish in the tank. Even if your betta doesn’t have an aggressive personality, it’s still important to make sure that your tank mates aren’t too aggressive or territorial themselves. This can cause a lot of stress for your betta, so it’s better not to mix them with aggressive species like guppies or swordtails.

2- Tank Is Too Bright

betta fish tank lights

Betta fish love dark places where they can hide away from bright lights and other sources of light pollution in the room where their tank is located. If your room has a lot of lights on at night and there isn’t anywhere else for your betta to hide, he/she might not sleep at all because he/she doesn’t feel safe enough to do so!

3- Not Enough Space In The Tank

Bettas are known for being active fish that don’t like being confined in small spaces for long periods of time. A smaller tank means less space for your betta to swim around in and sleep, which can make him feel stressed out and uncomfortable over time. In addition to this, if there are other fish in your tank with him then they’ll compete over food and territory which will cause stress among them all leading to aggressive behavior between them as well as hiding away from other fish in the tank rather than swimming around with them happily as they normally would do if they had enough room.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Do Betta Fish Sleep On Their Sides?

Sometimes they like to sleep on their sides or float motionless, but it’s not necessarily a sign that something is wrong. While this behavior may look unusual, it’s perfectly normal for bettas. In fact, many hobbyists believe it’s a good thing if their bettas occasionally sleep on their sides because this behavior indicates that their water quality is high enough for them to relax in such a way.

Do Betta Fish Sleep At The Bottom Of The Tank?

betta fish sleeping at the bottom of tank

This is one of those questions that will be answered with a lot of different answers. But In my opinion, Betta Fish do like to sleep at the bottom of their tank near gravel or rocks.

Do Betta Fish Sleep On The Top Of The Tank?

betta fish near tank surface

Sometimes bettas do sleep on the top of the tank. This is because they are good surface sleepers and it is easier for them to sleep on top. Bettas are also known to sleep on plants or decorations within their tanks.

Do Betta Fish Sleep On Leaves?

betta fish near leaves

Betta fish have been known to sleep on plant leaves, which makes sense given their natural habitat. Betta fish are native to Thailand and Cambodia, where they are often found in rice paddies and slow-moving water sources. In fact, In the market, there are artificial leaves available for bettas to sleep. You can find many of them in online pet stores.

How Much Sleep Do Betta Fish Need?

Betta fish need at least 12 to 14 hours each day of sleep. Maybe it’s too much for you but that’s what bettas like to do.

How Often Do Betta Fish Sleep?

Betta fish tend to sleep a lot as I have mentioned earlier. It is not uncommon that you will see your betta fish resting several times during the day as well. But generally, they like to sleep at night and swim around during the day.

One other thing to keep in mind is that the betta fish with long fins or old age tends to sleep more as compared to other bettas. Because they get tired soon.


So, how do betta fish sleep? Well, in a surprising turn of events, it’s not at all the way most people think. There are many misconceptions about how fish sleep in general. And since betta fish are quite common and loved by many, it shouldn’t be a surprise that there’s some confusion about their sleeping patterns. Hopefully, this article was able to answer the question “How Do Betta Fish Sleep?”, and soothe your troubled mind. If you’re still unsure about anything please feel free to reach us through the comment section.