Why Is My Glofish Staying In One Spot? {Is It Dying?}

Are you concerned because your glofish is staying in one spot?

Do you think it’s dying or sleeping? In this article, we’ll find out why your glofish is motionless.

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Why Is My Glofish Staying In One Spot?

Glofish are temperamental in cooler waters. If the water is too cold, lacks enough oxygen, the current is too strong or they’re spooked out by tankmates, it could lead to stress that causes them to remain in one spot. They may also be asleep. 

Why Is My Glofish Not Moving?

There are plenty of reasons why your glofish is not moving. We’ll list some of them below:

  • They are asleep
  • The water is too cold
  • The current is too strong
  • Not enough oxygen
  • They are scared
  • They are ill 

Sleeping Glofish

Glofish will lie motionless at random points throughout the day in a dimly lit tank to get some rest. Most glofish keepers like to keep a black light on to promote the fluorescent colors on their glofish from popping out with vibrancy.

Glofish enjoy darker conditions and will rest in one spot for longer periods if they are comfortable. Continue to monitor this pattern of lying motionless.

If your tank is clean and healthy, you might not have anything else to be concerned about. Make sure their gills are moving slightly. If there is no movement, then you may have a problem.

Cold Water

Glofish enjoy temperatures between 72°-82°F. Anything less that and you’ll find your glofish seeking out the warmest spots in your tank and trying to remain there until something changes.

Make sure that your thermometer and heater are not malfunctioning. Changes of seasons cause your water to suddenly change and your heater is trying to keep up.

Strong Current

If you’re running a current in the tank, it could be too strong of a flow and it’s stressing out your glofish. They want to find a spot that is not pushing them and causing them to fight through currents.

More Oxygen Please

A lack of oxygen may cause your glofish to be stay in one spot near the top of your tank. They could be coming up for air more often than usual. An air pump and air stone would help to aerate the tank better to prevent this from occurring. You can also add more plants to help increase oxygen levels to keep your glofish comfortable.

Spooked Glofish

If your glofish are smaller than their tankmates, they will be sensitive to their surroundings even more. They can easily spooked by bullies who are chasing them. Some males glofish will chase their counterparts during the mating process and possibly nip and each other’s fins. The loser in this mating battle may retreat and lie motionless out of fear.

Sick Glofish

Your glofish may be revealing a symptom of illness by staying in one spot. Look for any skin irritations, cloudy or bulging eyes, lack of appetite and check closely around the gills for Ich or white spots. A quarantine tank may help this sick glofish recover or you can start performing larger water changes each day until you notice a difference.

Medications are your last resort and you should follow the dosages and duration of each treatment carefully to not overmedicate the tank or the glofish.

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Are My Glofish Sleeping?

Glofish follow a diurnal cycle, meaning they will be more active and lively during the day and slow down later at night. Make sure the lights are off for 8 hours a night to allow them the opportunity to rest. Once you turn the lights on, you may have startled your glofish from its slumber.

If it’s morning time and you want them to wake up, then we hope they got a good chance to rest through the night. Otherwise, you may notice your glofish not moving around a lot because it’s trying to catch quick naps throughout the day.

What Happens When A Glofish Is Cold?

Glofish are tropical freshwater fish. They prefer warmer waters  between 72-82°F. If they are too cold they could experience the following symptoms:

  • metabolism slows down
  • immune system weakens
  • stress
  • less movement
  • loss of appetite

Consider a stronger heater if the temperature continues to fluctuate. You should try to provide 5 watts of power per gallon of tank water.

  • 10 gallon tank: 50 watts
  • 20 gallon tank: 100 watts
  • 50 gallon tank: 250 watts

What Should I Do If My Glofish Is Scared?

If your glofish is spooked out, it may stay in one spot until something changes. This is a good time to perform a 25% water change and reduce feedings. Lower the lights or turn them off completely for a couple of days if you can.

It’s also a good idea to introduce glofish to a new tank when the lights are off. The dim lighting will allow your glofish to be more comfortable when arriving instead of showing when there’s lots of light and activity. Wait for a day before turning the lights back on.

Glofish like to be in groups. Consider adding more glofish until you have 6 or more. They will school together and feel less scared in a tank with other fish.

Why Is My Glofish At the Bottom Of The Tank?

If your glofish is spending too much time at the bottom of your tank and not moving much, then there is a problem with your tank’s water quality. Check the filter and clean it or replace it. The pH levels could be reading something outside of the healthy parameters of 6-0-7.5.

If the water is too warm on top, they could be hiding down below. A sick glofish would also remain motionless at the bottom of the tank. A weak glofish with possible bladder or digestive issues will find it harder to swim to the top.

If they are refusing food as well or any protrusions, irritations or discolorations appear on their bodies, then it’s time to suggest that your glofish is sick.


Your glofish could be uncomfortable in your tank for many reasons including the temperature, water quality, the tank size or the tankmates giving it a hard time.

This glofish who is doing nothing in the same spot for too long could be tired, weak, stressed or sleeping. Monitor this behavior to see how long it persists before diagnosing any illness. Water changes help a lot in these times.


We hope your glofish regain its strength and comfort to continue enjoying your tank for months and years to come.

Brian Arial

Brian Arial has kept fish for leisure and worked with fish stores for most of his life. He enjoys writing and caring for aquariums and ponds.