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Old 04-18-2008, 10:39 AM   #1
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sleep swimming

LIke sleep walking...do fish swim while they sleep/rest/zone out?

Just curious. I came into the room and my betta seemed to be awake, swimming around, but it seemed like he was blind or disoriented. He was swimming really slow; he kept bumping into things and was not responsive to normal visual stimuli, or even a mirror. Then he seemed to come out of it suddenly and he became his usual responsive self.

I usually associate rest/sleep with the times he is completely motionless for a bit and then 'wakes up' and starts swimming around.

At first I thought it might be associated with the illness he is being treated for at the moment (fungus/finrot). I panicked, thinking he had gone blind or something...but his eyes looked totally normal and then he sorta snapped out of it!

So I figured, here is yet another thing I have to learn about fish. I better ask my new aquarium friends!

PS. My husband thinks I worry too much about my fish. Is this a normal phase for new hobbyist?
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Old 04-18-2008, 12:00 PM   #2
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It sounds fairly normal. My guppy sleeps at the very top of the tank, with his mouth almost out of the water. He does laps when he sleeps (or I assume he is). He just moves his tail constantly and floats around the edge of the tank all night long. I thought he was dead, and so did some of my tetras, the one night but sure enough he woke up and went back to swimming happily. When he does his laps he bounces off the heater, plants, and other fish without waking up.

As far as worrying about the fish... I've had my tank for almost 2 years and my girlfriend still thinks I'm crazy about my fish. It's an addiction that we all have to deal with
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Old 04-20-2008, 05:30 PM   #3
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That's interesting, most of my fish tend to just hover around near the bottom and hide in my plants and whatnot.
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Old 04-21-2008, 11:42 AM   #4
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My neons like to hide in bushy plants towards the bottom. My guppy is 'special' I think. I don't think its a bad thing if they don't sit on the bottom though. My gourami would rest behind the heater, sitting on the suction cup.
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Old 04-21-2008, 11:49 AM   #5
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How is he doing now? I wouldn't say that it's abnormal but I've never seen my bettas do that.
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Old 04-21-2008, 11:54 AM   #6
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well, my betta seems to have a variety of sleeping/resting habits.

In addition to the 'sleep swimming,' he also likes to rest behind the heater on the suction cup, rest on the sponge filter, swim frantic loops behind his ceramic shell and then come to a dead halt for a few minutes, hide in the terra cotta pot for a while, or hover around the bottom.

It seems that every day I discover something new about him I guess I'm like most newbies; with everything I observe, I want to know if it's 'normal' or something to worry about!
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Old 04-21-2008, 12:12 PM   #7
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Fish can have different personalities; that's for sure! My bettas have rested on the sponge filter too, and also rested on the top suction cup of the heater. I do have one betta now that seems to "pace" (swim in the same circle repeatedly for 5 or so minutes) more than the other one. The bettas I have now sleep mostly in their moss beds.

Bettas and other fish all have their quirks, so don't worry too much! One betta I had before spend time "rearranging" his moss so that there was a hole in it. He would go down in that hole and one time only the tip of his tail was sticking out! That was a bit surprising to me but that's the way he was. He would actually get the moss in his mouth and move his head/body back and forth until he moved the moss to his liking.

You'll be able to tell if something is wrong with your betta. His behavior doesn't seem like anything too out of the ordinary!
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Old 04-21-2008, 12:41 PM   #8
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Sounds normal enough to me. I haven't seen my Betta doing it much, probably because he has a tank mate he doesn't like, so he picks a spot to settle down instead.

The weird one for me was finding out my angels sleep at an angle. About 30 degrees to the right and upwards at about 45 degrees. And they're just as groggy as I am first thing in the morning.
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