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Old 04-10-2006, 08:08 PM   #1
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Fish Sleep?

I'm sure this has been asked here before but I havn't seen it.

The scenrio:I wake for work.Get ready and head down stairs.Just on the way out I turn the tank lights on,open the lid and drop in some breakfast flakes (no milk).

What I saw made me late.
The most lathargic,pitiful,disoriented group of fish imaginable.This is a very active tank for the most part,but this morning I started to wonder if someone had dosed the tank with LSD.

Territories crossed without the usual fan fare,guppy's bumping into rocks...heck,the neons just appeared out of no where,but they may as well have stayed hidden,because the didn't have a clue as to where they were....After having spent many an hour observing the personalities in this tank the scene was surreal.

So...without ever having given it much thought...I'm guessing they sleep?Or is it called something else?

If they do sleep the sailfin Platy must be an insomniac...Most of the food made it to the bottom of the tank (this never happens) but the Platy did her best to catch it all.Smart girl....and she was lovin it lol.

I'm thinking I need to change how this happens..how long does it take them to "wake up"?

Ideas,thoughts?

Fatz
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Old 04-10-2006, 08:18 PM   #2
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Yes fish sleep. That is why some people will wait until they first turn the tank lights on when they have to catch one of their fish for whatever reason.

I turn on room lights and after about 15 minutes turn on the tank lights. Acclimates them a bit better.
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Old 04-10-2006, 08:40 PM   #3
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Back when my angels were babies, my wife inadvertently turned on the tank lights in the early morning hours. She came running into the room screaming that one of the angels is either sick or dying. What she saw was the angel had managed to sort of lean against the tank glass at the bottom of the tank and "sleeping" peacefully. I had to prove this and when I did, she was amazed. Fish do "sleep", but not the way we do.
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Old 04-10-2006, 08:43 PM   #4
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" Most all fish spend time in an energy-saving state that can be called
"rest", and we might even call their behavior "sleep", though it is probably
different than "sleep" in most land
animals. Many fish, like Bass and perch, rest on or under logs at
night. Coral reef fish active in the day, hide and rest in crevices
and cracks in the reef to avoid being eaten at night.
The resting behavior of fish is very different from their behavior the
rest of the day. Many minnows, for example, which are very active in
schools during the day, scatter and remain motionless in shallow
water at night. Many fish "rest" or "sleep" during the day and are
active at night instead, but almost all fish sleep.
There are some animals that never stop swimming, like many species of
shark, however, they HAVE to keep moving to push water through their mouths
in order to breathe, and they may still sleep while moving,
we just don't know yet."

quoted by Tom F Ihde
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Old 04-10-2006, 08:47 PM   #5
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Yeah my fish do that too. I usually wait a little wile before clicking the light on. They look pretty funny though...almost like they are drunk! Poor fish don't like to get up in the morning any more than I do!
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Old 04-10-2006, 09:48 PM   #6
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one of my tiger barbs sleeps with his mouth open and facing down lol
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Old 04-10-2006, 09:50 PM   #7
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thats how i sleep when im in class...lol
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Old 04-10-2006, 10:27 PM   #8
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For our 55 gal tank I have one set of lights turn on and 15 minutes later the other set does. It gives them time to adjust. When we lived in our old apt and had a piece of a broken ship in the Cichlid tank they used to all sleep in the ship. It was cute.
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Old 04-10-2006, 11:21 PM   #9
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My neon tetras enter a ghastly pale, near colorless state when "sleeping." They look just aweful. But come back after the lights have been on for 15 minutes, and they are thier usual colorful and active selves. I have observed this when I turn on room lights after the tank light is out. They seem to be somewhat aware during this state, in that they will gradually and slowly move away from the front of the glass as I peer in, a very slow and gradual drift towards a place of better concealment. But they do not swim or dart around.
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Old 04-10-2006, 11:27 PM   #10
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That is why some people will wait until they first turn the tank lights on when they have to catch one of their fish for whatever reason.
Now why didn't I think of that !!!
no more stripping the tank bare to catch holding females.
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Old 04-11-2006, 12:12 AM   #11
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What about Bettas, Gouramis, and others that need to come to the surface for air - how do they sleep?
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Old 04-11-2006, 10:34 AM   #12
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all of my fish lose color and kinda hover while sleeing... with the exception of my featherfin catfish, he sleeps upside down under a driftwood that is elevated during the day...
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Old 04-11-2006, 10:45 AM   #13
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Bettas sleep hovering randomly or dropped onto something. My blue girl used to hover face down against the side of the tank. My white one drops onto a leaf or in a cave. My boy sleeps in between a rock. My little purple girl sleeps at the surface. They are dead still when they sleep. They can sleep for a while without oxygen but as soon as they wake up they need to head straight to the surface.
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Old 04-11-2006, 11:07 AM   #14
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From the limited time I've watched the "sleep state" of fish (my barbs mainly), I'd equate it to the sleep of cats (I have 2). I don't believe they ever reach a true state of unawareness like us, but they do go into a lower energy state where normal functions stop. I have watched my cats sleep and you can tell they are resting peacefully, but their wiskers and ears will still react to stimuli (air currents, sounds, etc).

This is probably a behavioral mechanism to avoid being surprized and eaten. If you've ever seen a cat get startled from sleep they will act extremely wierd (you can tell the natural insticts of fight or flight are ready, but they are wide-eyed, and much less agile).

Pretty cool. Oh and some of my tiger barbs sleep in the nose down position as well.

justin
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Old 04-11-2006, 12:15 PM   #15
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My wife freaked out once at the same thing ... It was after Daylight Savings Time and my lights were all messed up on the timer and popped on in the middle of her morning breakfast.

All i heard was laughter as the wife saw 5 fish go flying into the side of the tank straight at her.

Since then, I have upgraded my lights so that i can do more of a "natural" scenario with lights and fish. Infact i have 3 seperate timers so that i can make a 24 hour cycle for my fish to enjoy. Really simulates dawn, morning, afternoon, etc very well and it seems that the fish enjoy a more natural light regulated tank
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