When I started analyzing the behavior of goldfish, I was looking at the time that goldfish slept. You may probably wonder if the goldfish will sleep and how they sleep without closing their eyes.

Goldfish will sleep for 12 hours a day, They are not sleeping, they are resting with opened eyes, They will rest for gaining immunity and health. So they will be staying calm at the bottom or hide somewhere in the small caves or near the thich plants.

According to the Research NOAA found that fish do not sleep but at the same time, they will rest like land mammals sleep. The Fish will reduce their activity and metabolism while remaining alert to danger. During the resting period, the investigated team observed that fish reduce activity, increase immobility and reduce responsiveness and it was considered as the sleeping pattern of the goldfish.

In this comprehensive article, you will learn more about goldfish sleep habits and to improve their health.

What are the Reasons For Goldfish Sleeping

Goldfish Sleep:

Here are some of the reasons for goldfish sleep and These reasons will be explained below.

  • Digestion
  • Less Active
  • Loss of Balance
  • Stress Reduction
  • Avoiding Predators (Aggressive tankmates)
  • Oxygen Consumption
  • Changes In Water Parameters


For digestion, the goldfish will be resting 12 hours a day. Resting will help to optimize nutrient utilization, The research has found that fish metabolism changes and their behavior of resting after feeding. It was commonly referred to as postprandial rest.

The fish will be resting for nutrient utilization that helps to gain immunity and maintain proper health conditions for goldfish. It was their behavior for resting after feeding for gaining immunity and optimize the nutrients and energy in their body.

Less Active

Goldfish Sleep:

During the sleeping period, the goldfish will show fewer movements or will be less active. They are resting without showing any swimming or movements. As a beginner, you will worry about less active fish.

It was the sleeping pattern of the fish and they will stay near thick plants or under the caves area as a shelter. The goldfish were worried about the aggressive tankmates because they will attack them while resting. The research study found that goldfish will reduce activity and movement while resting. 

Loss of Balance

The goldfish will be sleeping for regaining balance and immunity. There are certain factors that affect the loss of balance such as environmental factors, health problems, and aging. The goldfish are sensitive to sudden changes in the water parameters such as quality of water, pH Level, temperature, etc.

Without a goldfish care and water conditioning, the goldfish lose balance and will be resting at the bottom of the tank for regaining balance and for boosting immunity power. The health problems will reason for loss of balance such as swim bladder disorder, infections, etc. If your goldfish have aged between 9 to 12 years, they will have a loss of balance problems.

Stress Reduction

The goldfish will sleep or rest for reducing stress. The goldfish will be less active and stay in one place for a long time. Goldfish stress can be due to various reasons such as changes in the water parameters, health problems, infection, and social interaction.

Stress will negatively impact the health and reduce the immunity power of the goldfish and It will be hard for them to survive and recover from it. The various sign of stressed fish is staying at the bottom of the tank without any movements, goldfish gasping at the water surface, Fins turning black or colorless, Abnormal swimming patterns, etc.

Avoiding Predators (Aggressive tankmates)

Aggressive tankmates can be reasons for goldfish resting because the aggressive tankmates will start chasing the goldfish and make them tired. The goldfish may lose their immunity power and health due to aggressive tankmates.

So the goldfish will be hiding in the same place for a long time without any movements.

Oxygen Consumption

Oxygen consumption can be the reason for goldfish resting. If the oxygen level in the aquarium starts decreasing then goldfish will be struggling to survive at the bottom of the tank because it was hard to breathe oxygen at the bottom of the tank. 

The goldfish will show some erratic movements or stay at the bottom of the tank without any movements because their health condition was low. It was hard to survive in the low oxygen level tank and you need to provide an air pump or filter.

Changes In Water Parameters

Sudden changes in water parameters will affect the health and immunity system of the goldfish and they will be staying at the bottom of the tank or show some erratic movements.  The fish need resting to regain health and energy to boost the immunity system.

If you find changes in the water parameters then change the water or separate fish to water conditioned tank. If the pH Level or temperature becomes too high or too low then fish start to struggle for breathing.

How do goldfish sleep?

Goldfish Sleep:

The goldfish will not sleep, they become less active and resting. Goldfish can rest for 10 to 12 hours a day. There are some sleeping patterns that goldfish such as they need a dark and quiet environment for resting. So they will be active during day time and fall asleep at sunset.

They are afraid of sudden action from the aggressive tankmates and they are resting without closing their eye. So you need to quietly interact with goldfish because quick action will result in goldfish stress problems.

You need to turn off the light aquarium light at night and keep the aquarium near a calm environment.

How long do goldfish sleep?

The Research found that goldfish will not sleep, they will rest for 12 hours. If the health condition is poor then goldfish will be resting 15 hours to regain energy and health.

If the health and immunity power is low then you provide high-quality food for goldfish and a suitable aquarium with water condition and peaceful tankmates.

Do goldfish sleep at night?

Goldfish will be resting when you turn off the aquarium lights or when they feel tired. To regain their health and immunity the goldfish will be resting. So you need to provide suitable places for resting such as thick plants, caves, etc.

do goldfish need darkness to sleep?

Sometimes the goldfish may need darkness for sleeping. Not only darkness, they need a quiet environment for resting. So you need to keep the aquarium in a quiet place.

Do goldfish sleep at the top of the tank?

Goldfish will not sleep or rest at the top of the tank because while resting they will not be active. If the goldfish stays at the top of the aquarium then check the health of the fish and water parameters.

These are the reasons for goldfish stay at the top.

  • Poor quality water
  • Improper water temperature
  • Infections
  • Low Oxygen Level

Do goldfish sleep at the bottom of the tank

The goldfish laying at the bottom of the tank may be resting or else they have health problems. If the fish stay in one place and move slowly then the goldfish was resting, if they show erratic movements or laying upside down then it will be due to swim bladder disorder.

What Happens When Your Fish Doesn’t Sleep

Goldfish need rest and reduce their activity to maintain their health. If the fish don’t sleep then changes in resting behavior can affect their health and increase their stress and reduce goldfish lifespan.

Without sleeping or resting the goldfish may lose balance and reduce their immunity. So you need to check the goldfish’s health and behavior every day.

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