guppy-sleeping-dying

Guppy Fish Sleeping or Dying?

Guppies are vibrant and fancy species of fish to include in your home aquarium. The presence of these wonderful fish will make your tank look active and lively most of the time. If you are a fish enthusiast you must be aware of all the facts pertaining to the existence of guppies.

So, how can you tell if your guppy is sleeping or dead? Do they really fall asleep? How do you differentiate when they are sleeping or dead? These are some of the questions that many people ask whenever they want to know more about guppies. And this article will help you answer them in the best way possible.

Guppies do sleep when the conditions are right to do so. Guppies will be seen freezing in their respective places while sleeping. In fact, you will see them floating or just resting motionless in the tank with their eyes wide open.

To an inexperienced person, they might look dead while sleeping but that is not always the case. Here is everything you need to know about the sleeping nature of guppies while in the tank environment.

Do Guppies Fall Asleep?

The truth of the matter is that guppies do fall asleep just like human beings. But their sleeping pattern is somehow different from ours. As a matter of fact, guppies are more alert all the time they are taking a nap. Up to now, scientists have been unable to come up with a valid reason why guppies sleep although many of them believe in a theory suggesting that guppies sleep just to conserve their energy. Maybe there is some element of truth in that theory but only time will tell.

At What Time Do Guppies Fall Asleep?

Guppies are diurnal fish. This means they only sleep at night and stay active across the day. In other words, guppies prefer sleeping when it is dark, especially in their tank environment. This should tell you that guppies fall asleep at any time provided that their surrounding is dark. It could be day time or night time provided that the conditions around them are favorable to do so. It is no wonder you may have found them asleep during the day when the room is dark.

If your aquarium has its own light, you may turn it off especially at night to make your fish fall asleep. Sleeping plays a crucial role in all animals because of its a way of converting energy in a bid to have enough of it to carry out other tasks in the future. So when turning out the aquarium lights make sure that you do the same for the room’s lights as well to enable your fish to catch some sleep. If not, they may become lethargic and consequently affect their well-being.

In most cases, guppies are just like humans, to say the least. They prefer sleeping at night in the same way human beings do but they do not have eyelids to cover their eyes when sleeping. This strange phenomenon among almost all fish makes it extremely difficult to know if they are asleep or not. To the experienced aquarium hobbyists, this is not a challenge anymore.

You can easily tell if your guppies are sleeping when you see them taking a rest at the bottom of the tank and on the gravel. On the other hand, you may know that they are sleeping when you spot them floating on the surface of their tank. But should you see them floating during the day, don’t just assume that they are sleeping. Maybe there could be some problems that need to be addressed. Consult your pet or fish specialist to find out why your fish is floating during the day.

How do you Tell if Your Guppies are Sleeping?

As mentioned above, you can easily tell if your guppies are sleeping by seeing them floating on the surface, above the gravel or just resting on the tank surface. During this period, your guppies will remain inactive while floating in one place rather than swimming around. When you see them in this state, don’t panic but leave them to take their rest until they get enough of it.

A close look will show them twitching from time to time or simply flicking their fins a bit as a way of reminding you that they are only asleep and not dead as many people would assume. Also, these strange twitching and flicking off the fins ensure that your fish stays stable in the water despite being asleep. More often than not, your guppies will choose to spend their resting time at the bottom of their tank, just near the substrate at the base.

For How Long Should the Guppies Sleep?

As stated earlier, guppies are diurnal and would stay awake in the course of the day and take a nap during the night. Darkness signals these fish to sleep but in the presence of too much light, they can hardly fall asleep. If you have been observing your guppies for long, you must have realized that they spend most of their time swimming up and down the aquarium until they get the right time to sleep.

It is not easy to tell the exact amount of time guppies need to sleep. This is due to the fact that the time each guppy spends while asleep varies depending on the tank conditions as well as light conditions. But scientists explain that these fish fall asleep at sunset or when lights are put out and could go on that way until sunrise or when lights are turned on. Interestingly, the same scientists say that guppies spend almost the average time of about 7-8 hours of sleep just like human beings.

Guppies sleep a total of 12 hours provided that they are in the dark. Most importantly, all types of fish require about 9 to 10 hours of sleep in order to function well in the morning.

Where Do Guppies Sleep While in the Tank?

Guppies are known to prefer sleeping at the bottom of the tank. Apart from that, they have another option which involves floating on the surface of their tank. Every time you find your guppies motionless or inactive, just know they are sleeping and nothing else.

When sleeping, guppies’ respiratory activities go down drastically. In fact, they aren’t stimulated by anything especially the noise while they are sleeping. A number of guppies are likely to fall asleep immediately their tank conditions are right for them to do so.

How can you Tell if Your Guppy is Sleeping or Dead?

The most dreaded incident by every aquarium hobbyist is to realize that their fish is dead. That being said, how can you tell if your guppy is sleeping or dead? How do you draw a line between the two incidents? Here is how to go about it:

The moment you spot your guppy fish floating motionlessly at any time of the day or find it frozen in its territory, there are chances of it being sick. If that is the case, then you should take drastic measures in time to save it.

Also, you can tell if your fish is not behaving normally when feeding it. You may realize that your guppy is not responding as usual despite providing it with food and this could be an indication of something more serious. Therefore, start taking action before things get out of hand.

There are cases where female guppies freeze in their living spaces because they are either pregnant or sick. You can distinguish the two case scenarios by looking out for white spots on their scales. These spots indicate that your guppies are sick and not pregnant, thus the need to reach out for your pet specialist.

In summary, you can know when your guppy is dead and not sleeping by checking its vital signs. The signs include lack of struggle when handling it, movement of gills, sunken eyes, cloudy pupils and the condition of the scales on your fish. All these could be tell-tale signs that your guppy is not sleeping, but dead. This is indeed a sad reality that no one should encounter.

However, it’s never normal to come across your guppy sleeping in a manner that seems awkward. The moment you realize that your fish is not sleeping normally, check its tank conditions, especially the water parameters. Go ahead and check the levels of ammonia in the tank water because too much of it can kill any fish including guppies. Ensure that all the conditions in the tank are suitable and accurate for the survival of your fish.

Final Thought

Guppies are fascinating tank fish that should be taken good care of. These fish are classified as diurnal because they prefer sleeping during the night or whenever there is no light and staying active across the day or in the presence of light. When they are sleeping you will see your guppies floating near the base of the tank or floating on the surface.

To know if they are sleeping and not dead, you will see them twitching occasionally and eventually waking up to resume their swimming activities when the lights are turned on. Anything short of these signs could mean something more serious that may require you to take immediate action. Otherwise, guppies need to sleep in order to stay healthy and active throughout.

Written by Fabian

Hey, I'm Fabian, chief editor at Aquarium Nexus. I really enjoy the aquarium hobby and love sharing my experience with others. If you have any questions feel free to contact me or leave a comment below.

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