How Many Hours Do Guppies Sleep? {In A Day}

Guppies like us require regular sleep in order to conserve energy, but how many hours do guppies sleep?

It is important that you don’t leave the lights on 24 hours a day because guppies will not fall asleep in a light aquarium.

So, how much do they need?

How Many Hours Do Guppies Sleep?

Guppies require 6 – 8 hours of sleep every day in order to stay healthy.  If they get less sleep they are likely to become stressed and tired and this can possibly lead to illness and eventually death.

Guppies can be called diurnal just like humans; they enjoy their sleep at night but very active during the day.

Their diurnal nature is the reason experienced aquarists recommend switching off lights at night so that they can sleep.

It is very important not to leave the aquarium lights on 24/7 because guppies require complete darkness in order to get a good sleep.

Guppies Sleep Bottom of Tank

How Do You Know When  Guppy Is Sleeping?

The most obvious signs that your guppy is sleeping include, remaining motionless for a long period of time, They usually lay on the bottom of the tanks floor or on object, They don’t react to anything.

Guppies will also only sleep at night time when the lights are off, if you see them sleeping during the day there could be an issue such as suffering from a disease or possibly pregnant.

If your guppies are sleeping during the day it is important to look for signs of disease and treat it as soon as you can.

How Do Guppies Sleep?

Guppies sleep similar to us as when they are in darkness they get sleepy and will naturally try to sleep.  Guppies also like to rest on something when they are sleeping like the aquarium floor or objects in the tank like plants.

As with us, the guppy will remain completely still whilst it is asleep, at this time they can be mistaken for being dead because they are completely motionless and they also slow their breathing down.

They will also become a bit discoloured due to getting less oxygen in to their bodies.

Do Guppies Sleep At The Bottom of the Tank?

Guppies will sleep at the bottom of the tank floor. When guppies sleep they typically float and will be completely still, most guppies prefer to sleep at the bottom of the tank because they are less likely to be pushed around by any currents in the aquarium and will get a better nights sleep like this.

They will also sleep on objects in your aquarium such as plants and ornaments.

Go Guppies Sleep Upside Down?

Guppies do not sleep upside down, If your guppy is upside down this is usually a sign they are suffering with a disease called swim bladder which causes the guppy to lose buoyancy and movement control.

Take a look at this article that I wrote on swim bladder disease in guppies.

To sumarize you will need to keep the tanks temperature between 78f and 80f, make sure the water is clean and add aquarium salt (Available on amazon) to the aquarium.

Is My Guppy Sleeping or Dead

Healthy fish don’t hide in the aquarium or become motionless during the day. If you witness things like these during the day, then something is wrong. Well-fed and healthy guppies are not usually static or hide under live plants for hours during the day.

Fear not, especially in the night when you turn off the light at night, and they suddenly become static, de-colored, and slowly breath. However, if you did not notice any bloating, infection, whitish spot, loss of appetite, or illness but only static during the night period, then your fish are doing well, and they are only sleeping. You need to check any guppy exhibiting motionless or sleeping behavioural traits during the day.

When guppy sleep they will appear dead as they will be completely still and will float in the water.  There are a few signs that will tell us if the guppy is sleeping or dead.

  • Floating Motionless During The Day : The most obvious check is to look at your guppy during the day when it is light.  If they are still completely motionless they are most likely dead.  If this is happening try feeding your fish, if it does not react this should be a clear sign
  • Guppy Is Pregnant : It is common for pregnant guppies to float motionless, even during the day.  You can check if your fish is pregnant by looking at there belly.  If you can see a dark spot it means they are pregnant.
  • Floating Upside Down : If your guppy is floating upside down this is a clear sign the fish is either dead or very unwell.  If this is the case I recommend you to change 25% of your aquariums water.

Sleeping Patterns in Guppies

Guppies like us require about 6 – 8 hours of sleep every night. Guppies also need a dark place to sleep, so do not leave any lights on in the tank 24 hours a day.  If you leave lights on 24 hours a day the guppies will not be able to sleep and will die after a few days.

Most guppies will stop swimming and fall asleep almost instantly when the lights have been turned off.  When sleeping the guppies will float and will not move and will appear to be dead.

All guppies are different when it comes to sleeping positions.  Some prefer to float in the middle of the tank, some sleep at the bottom of the tank and some like to sleep next to tank ornaments like plants or rocks.

Sleep Patterns In Guppy Fry

Guppy fry (Baby Guppies) require the same amount of sleep as adult guppies which is 6 – 8 hours a night.

You might want to keep aquarium lights on for longer when you have guppy fry as this will help them to grow faster and healthier. Just make sure the lights are turned off for at least 10 hours a day. Again with guppy fry they will die if they do not get enough sleep.

Sleep Patterns In Guppy Fry

If you have guppy fry in your aquarium I recommend that you fill your tank with ornaments, this will help the guppy fry to hide when they are sleeping.


I hope I have covered everything you need to know about why guppies sleep at the bottom of tank.  If you have any questions about this article please post them in a comment below.

Thanks for reading



Hello, I'm Jason. I'm the guy behind I volunteer at my local fish shop and I created this site to offer tips and advice on the fish I care for.