Why is my betta fish always sleeping

In this post, we will understand the reasons why your Betta is sleeping a lot and how to reduce it. 

Fish sleep in a state of low metabolism. Many betta owners are aware of their fish’s activity level. However, in comparison to other fish, your betta may seem more sluggish or prefer to sleep more. How can you determine if your fish is resting properly or if anything is wrong? We will discuss several reasons in this article.

What is Bettas Doing While They Sleep?

Bettas, like all fish, sleep. They do not need a soft bed or even eyelids, and the majority of fish do not sleep in the manner in which you or your fluffy pets do. Rather than that, fish sleep in a state of reduced metabolism. Although they have lost the majority of their brain function, they retain the ability to react to any imminent danger. The lateral line1, a fish’s specialized organ for detecting water movement and vibration, is a quick-reacting organ that may warn a sleeping fish of impending danger.

Because your fish will sleep in the dark, all indoor tanks must have an adequate photoperiod with light and dark cycles. Typically, tropical fish need 10-14 hours of light each day. If you are unable to manually switch on and off lights in the morning and at night, an automated light timer is a critical component of your system. Certain lights even have a dawn and evening interval during which the light gradually transitions from dark to bright and vice versa. Unless you reside at a very high latitude, your light period should match your local light and dark cycles.

When your fish is sleeping, they are unable to shut their eyes since fish lack eyelids. Eyelids are critical in lubricating the eyeballs of many terrestrial species, and when you dwell underwater, lubrication is all around you. Resting fish may congregate in crevices or caves, or, if they are bettas, they may seek out a quiet, flat sleeping location, such as a leaf or décor item. Bettas like sleeping on huge flat leaves, such as the stick-on betta leaf hammocks found in most pet shops. 

Why Are Bettas So Sleepy?

Bettas are a more laid-back kind of fish, needing longer periods of relaxation than many other types of pet fish. Their long, ornate fins need a great deal of energy to propel them through the water, a characteristic that much other pet fish lack.

Certain exotic types of goldfish may also have long fins, and these fish take substantially more energy to swim than their short-finned counterparts, particularly if they have thick, compact bodies.

Consider swimming in a pool while dressed in a ball gown. It may be a very tough method to swim, since you are dragging a lot of things around with you. This is extremely reminiscent of a betta fish dragging its long, ornate tail. They need longer rest intervals between meals in order to thrive.

Temperature is crucial for normal fish metabolism, development, and immunological function.

Fish of many species have an ideal temperature range in which they thrive. This is a tropical temperature of roughly 78º-82ºF for bettas (25º-28ºC). A heater will be required in your betta tank to maintain the optimal water temperature for their activities. If your water is excessively cold, your betta will rest longer than normal simply because their metabolism will be slowed.

What Does It Mean If Your Betta Is Constantly Slumbering?

If you believe your betta is always resting, you should check to ensure there is nothing wrong with him. Simply remember that although daytime naps are ok, if they occur often, check for any of the following problems:

The tank is uncomfortably cold

One of the most frequent reasons your betta seems to be asleep is because his tank is too cool. When he has a temperature shock or his metabolism slows, he becomes much less active. Because his metabolism has slowed down, he will have less energy and will end up sleeping more.

If you do not already have a heater for your tank, you should get one.

The lights are off for an excessive period

Your betta will sleep and remain awake depending on the amount of light in the tank.

If you leave your lights out for an extended period, he will believe he should sleep more.

Additionally, if you’re using insufficiently strong lighting, he may believe it’s time to sleep.

It is important to locate another source of light that will allow you to maintain the tank nice and bright for him.

The Betta fish is Bored

Everyone believes fish are stupid, yet if there is little stimulus in your tank, bettas may get bored. There are several possible explanations for your betta’s boredom. If his tank is insufficiently large, if there are insufficient decorations, or if you give him the same food every day.

You must ensure that your betta has enough stimulation daily.

One method to do this is to utilize a mirror to cause him to flare, but adding tank mates will also keep him entertained.

The Betta fish Could Be Sick

If your betta is experiencing other symptoms in addition to excessive napping, he may be ill.

It’s a good idea to monitor your bettas for any changes you see, such as spots, swelling, sores, or ulcers. If you see this, you should determine the cause and treat your betta appropriately!

The Betta Fish Could Be Elderly

If you’ve had your betta for a while, it’s quite natural for him to sleep more. As he ages, he will need far more sleep than he did when he was young and healthy. If this is the case, do not awaken him. Allow him to sleep and regain his strength.

The betta fish is just lazy

Finally, some bettas are just slothful. If nothing is wrong with your betta or the tank, he may just be slothful. While you should allow him to sleep longer, you should also ensure that he gets adequate exercise.

Bettas Show Signs of Increased Sleeping

Even within a typical range, your betta’s activity level might fluctuate significantly. You mustn’t compare your betta to any prior fish you have had or to any fish you have seen online. Your betta may be active just at feeding times, or they may zoom about the tank at all times. There is no “normal” ratio of swimming to sleeping time for all bettas.

It is vital to monitor your betta’s swimming vs. sleeping behavior over time. All fresh fish will almost certainly hide or rest more often than fish that have been in their tanks for an extended period. A few days or a few weeks of typical activity adjustment may be required for a new fish to settle in.

If you’re worried that your fish is sleeping more than normal, keep a journal and record videos to compare different periods. Keep a careful eye on mealtimes and how your betta reacts to food additions to their tank. These notes will be very helpful in finding the reason for your betta’s extended sleeping time. Monitor your fish’s bodily health to see whether it is gaining weight, which might be contributing to its decreased activity.

How to Avoid Excessive Sleeping

If your betta’s sleeping time has increased, the first thing to check is the water temperature.

Bear in mind that bettas demand warm water, which means their tank will require a heater. Avoid using stick-on thermometers and instead use an in-tank thermometer. This will provide the most accurate temperature reading. While digital thermometers are handier, they lack the lifespan of traditional glass thermometers.

If the water temperature of your betta is acceptable and all other water parameters are within normal limits, it is time to check their nutrition. If their betta food container is more than six months old, the vitamin C level has degraded significantly and will need replacement. You should feed your betta twice a day and provide enough pellets to fit inside one of their eyes. Supplementing with frozen foods is acceptable for bettas, as long as the majority of their diet consists of pellets with a balanced nutritional profile.

If your betta is receiving an adequate amount of high-quality food and is kept in a warm tank with acceptable water quality, but is still sleeping excessively, it is time to contact an aquatic veterinarian. Common betta infections, such as mycobacteria, more generally referred to as fish, may be causing your fish to become more sluggish and sleepy. The sooner your fish is seen by a veterinarian, the more quickly it will recover.


In this post, we outlined the reasons why your Betta is sleeping a lot and how to stop it. 

If you have any thoughts or doubts, feel free to drop us a comment below!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Why is my betta fish always sleeping?

How often do bettas sleep?

If you find your fish immobile, do not panic: “If your betta sleeps between 12 and 14 hours every day, including their daily naps, this is normal and sufficient for their health.”

Is my betta fish just sleeping or dead?

Observe your betta after the water temperature has reached a comfortable level for him. If he remains afloat and does not move, he is most likely dead. If he looks to be regaining his color and ultimately moves, he may have suffered from shock and is now healing in warmer water.

Do bettas pretend to be dead?

Yes, betta fish pretend to be dead. Indeed, betta fish often slumber in postures that give the appearance of death. When you notice your betta fish floating upside down, do not be alarmed; it is most likely asleep.


Reasons Why Your Betta is Sleeping a Lot and How to Stop It  https://www.thesprucepets.com/reasons-why-your-betta-is-sleeping-a-lot-and-how-to-stop-it-5204616

Do Betta Fish Sleep? (EVERYTHING You Need To Know) https://www.bettacarefishguide.com/do-betta-fish-sleep/