How Many Hours do Guppies Sleep?

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Like most fish, guppies don’t have eyelids, so you might believe that they don’t sleep. Actually, guppies sleep at night, when it’s dark. Their sleep cycle is not known, but it is obvious that the rest when lights are off.

If you have a planted guppy tank, most likely you have lights on your aquarium, which have to be turned on and off every day. If you don’t use artificial light, probably you should not worry about guppies getting enough sleep.

How Much Sleep do Guppies Need?

Leaving the lights on 24/7 is a bad idea. Guppies need darkness to be able to rest. Having the lights always on might eventually result in dead fish. Guppies need at least 6-8 hours of sleep a day. Now, this does not mean you need to keep the lights on 16-18 hours a day. Excessive light might not harm your fish, but will encourage algae to grow.

Keeping the lights on for 8-10 hours is sufficient to keep your fish healthy, grow your aquarium plants and avoid algae growth.

If you forget to turn the lights on and off, I recommend getting a programmable timer.

How Do Guppies Sleep?

Guppies do not sleep like humans. When lights are turned off, the fish will stop swimming and becomes inactive. Guppies may choose to rest on the substrate at the bottom of your tank, on plant leaves, decoration or at the surface of the water.

In resting mode, guppies might appear dead and discolored. Their breathing rate is also decreased and they may become less sensitive to sound. Once the light is turned on, they regain their colors and become active again.

What Lights To Use for Guppy Tank?

When choosing lights to your aquarium, you want to imitate nature as much as possible. Guppy fish are not really sensitive to what light you are using on your tank.

If you keep plants with your guppies, you should choose a light that provides your plants the light spectrum they need to photosynthesize, other way they will eventually die.

Imitating Natural Light

If you want to imitate sunrise and sunset in your aquarium, you can get a LED aquarium light that will just do that. For this purpose, you will need a special dimmable and programmable waterproof LED light, which allows you to set time for sunrise and sunset.

Guppies are stressed every time you turn on and off the lights.

Having the sunrise and sunset feature in your fish tank, the fish will transition slowly from sleep to awake and vice versa, which is stress-free.

Light for Guppy Fry

Just like adults, guppy fry also need 8 hours of sleep a day. However, if you want to speed up the growth rate of your guppy fry, you can keep artificial lights on for a longer period.

Guppy fish breeders use a strong and bright light to stimulate fry growth. On a guppy grow-out tank lights might be on for 12-18 hours a day.


Can guppies see in the darkness? No! Guppies can’t see if the lights are turned off. So do not feed them after the lights go off.

Do guppies sleep upside-down? No! If you find a guppy fish upside-down, most likely is dead already or has some serious disease. Remove it immediately from the tank!

Do guppies sleep in the light? No! If your guppy is resting on the bottom at day, probably it is sick. Find out what is causing the problem, and treat the fish accordingly.

Updated: September 23, 2021
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