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  1. #1

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    Default How much sleep do fish need?


    0 Not allowed!
    How much sleep do fish need?
    Asking because family likes to stay up late watching TV, and then ppl get hungry, so turn on the lights to fix something to eat.
    The room lights are really bright.

  2. #2

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    0 Not allowed!
    The turning on of lights randomly threw the night might stress out your fish. Ideally they only need a few hrs of full light and abient light there after. If the tank is in an area like you describe, you might want to think of making a tank shade.
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  3. #3

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    0 Not allowed!
    I don't know the answer to your question and I doubt anyone really does. I do know that fish do need night time and day time, but how much of each is anyone's guess. As long as your fish are not acting stressed out I wouldn't worry about it.
    When I go fishing I just throw sharp rocks in the water and wait for the dead fish to float to the top... Kingfisher
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    I think my fish is adjusting well to the four gallon, He's laying on his side attempting to go to sleep on the bottom of the gravel.
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  4. #4

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    0 Not allowed!
    I'd have to say around 8 hours.. At least that's what I've noticed with mine. Their lights go out at 10 pm and almost immediately everyone calms down and finds a place to sleep. For my Apistos that's their caves, for my Platys they sleep in a nest of floating Water Sprite, for my Pencilfish its at the very top of the tank just sort of floating in place. They'll all be come incredibly inactive the entire night and rarely do you see any movement. Around 6 or 7 am they start to wake up. They remain active, in the dark, until their lights come on at 12 pm.
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  5. #5

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    0 Not allowed!
    I've kept my lights on by accident overnight more than once and my fish didn't seem to really care - if they need to rest, they find a place. I don't do that routinely but I agree with honeybadger - I don't think it's something you can put into a timeframe.

  6. #6

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    0 Not allowed!
    Now you mention it it's quite interesting the behavior of my fish when lights are out. The tetra's are typically really calm and stay at the bottom of the tank, where as the platy's are at the very top corner of the water also calm and staying in one place. At first I thought I had dead fish on my hands. During the day their all over the place. Recently got Silver Hatchet fish, have not noticed any difference in their behavior when lights are on or off, they typically always stay up on top of tank.
    Last edited by ijankrom; 08-05-2013 at 05:26 PM.
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  7. #7

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    0 Not allowed!
    A good question, and good responses. This issue is something I did considerable research on a couple years back for an article on how light affects fish. In a nutshell, fish, just like us, must have a period of complete darkness during each 24-hour period. In the tropics there are 10 hours of daylight and 10 hours of total darkness every day of the year. Daylight might decrease during the rainy season, or at least be "less" than otherwise. But it is the darkness that is crucial. As many have noticed, fish are fine in subdued daylight; we use tank lights solely to see the fish, and grow plants.

    Some have suggested that "darkness" involves moonlight so it is not really complete darkness, but this is not accurate. Most fish occur in heavily-shaded streams, and moonlight never gets to the water. Neither does dire ct sunlight in many cases. So "darkness" means complete blackout, no tank lights, no room lights. I came across one report suggesting that car lights shining through the window will disorient fish and plants, and there was scientific data behind this.

    I would suggest no less than six hours of total blackout darkness.

    For those interested in the "why" this is so important, here from my research article are two excerpts that address these specifics:

    Fish are affected by light in many ways. There are several well-documented studies on spawning in some species being triggered by changes in the day/night cycle, and the hatching of eggs and the growth rate of fry can be impacted significantly depending upon the presence and intensity of light. The health of fish is closely connected to the intensity of the overhead light, various types of light, and sudden changes from dark to light or light to dark. To understand this, we must know something about the fish’s physiology. The primary receptor of light is the eye, but other body cells are also sensitive to light.

    Fish eyes are not much different from those of other vertebrates including humans. Our eyes share a cornea, an iris, a lens, a pupil, and a retina. The latter contains rods which allow us to see in dim light and cones which perceive colours; while mammals (like us) have two types of cones, fish have three—one for each of the colours red, green and blue. These connect to nerve cells which transmit images to the brain, and the optic lobe is the largest part of the fish’s brain.

    These cells are very delicate; humans have pupils that expand or contract to alter the amount of light entering the eye and eyelids, both of which help to prevent damage occurring due to bright light. Fish (with very few exceptions such as some shark species) do not have eyelids, and in most species their pupils are fixed and cannot alter. In bright light, the rods retract into the retina and the cones approach the surface; in dim light the opposite occurs. But unlike our pupils that change very quickly, this process in fish takes time. Scientific studies on salmon have shown that it takes half an hour for the eye to adjust to bright light, and an hour to adjust to dim light. This is why the aquarist should wait at least 30 minutes after the tank lights come on before feeding or performing a water change or other tank maintenance; this allows the fish to adjust to the light difference.

    The Day/Night Cycle

    Most animals have an internal body clock, called a circadian rhythm, which is modified by the light/dark cycle every 24 hours. This is the explanation for jet-lag in humans when time zones are crossed—our circadian rhythm is unbalanced and has to reset itself, which it does according to periods of light and dark. Our eyes play a primary role in this, but many of our body cells have some reaction to light levels. In fish this light sensitivity in their cells is very high.

    Previously I mentioned that the rods and cones in the eye shift according to the changes in light. This process is also anticipated according to the time of day; the fish “expects” dawn and dusk, and the eyes will automatically begin to adjust accordingly. This is due to the circadian rhythm.

    This is one reason why during each 24 hours a regular period of light/dark—ensuring there are several hours of complete darkness—is essential for the fish. In the tropics, day and night is equal for all 365 days a year, with approximately ten to twelve hours each of daylight and complete darkness, separated by fairly brief periods of dawn or dusk. The period of daylight produced by direct tank lighting can be shorter; and the period of total darkness can be somewhat shorter or longer—but there must be several hours of complete darkness in the aquarium. The dusk and dawn periods will appear to be stretched out, but that causes no problems for the fish. It is the bright overhead light that is the concern, along with having a suitable period of total darkness.

  8. #8

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    0 Not allowed!
    There would be no one answer to this - that would be like asking how much sleep mammals need. It will depend on the species.

    I would be very surprised if fish slept for eight hours.

    I would imagine (although I have no idea really) that fish might sleep by shutting down one half of their brain in intervals.
    "Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known." Carl Sagan

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  9. #9

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    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by ~firefly~ View Post
    There would be no one answer to this - that would be like asking how much sleep mammals need. It will depend on the species
    Exactly, all we can say with any certainty is they need a night and a day, the rest is purely supposition.
    When I go fishing I just throw sharp rocks in the water and wait for the dead fish to float to the top... Kingfisher
    Everything happens for a reason. Sometimes that reason is you are stupid and make bad decisions.

    I think my fish is adjusting well to the four gallon, He's laying on his side attempting to go to sleep on the bottom of the gravel.
    Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
    Dear naps, sorry I hated you so much when I was a child... Love me

  10. #10

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    0 Not allowed!
    Blind cave fish would probably be ok without a period of darkness.

    Actually on a subject related to my previous comment, I had some frozen, breaded fish for dinner the other night at the box said "100% fish" (it was generic, none specific, white fish). I thought that'd be like buying burgers that said "100% mammal". Worrying.
    "Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known." Carl Sagan

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