Do Fish Sleep? 5 Facts About Your Aquatic Pet

Posted by Stacey Venzel

Goldie and his friends do get some shut eye; they also have impeccable hearing and, contrary to myth, a good memory.

Read on for more fun fish facts!

 1. Fish sleep with their eyes open.

Because they lack eyelids, fish can't even blink let alone close their eyes to sleep. But they do fit a rest period into their 24-hour cycle. During their nap time, fish remain in one place and slow down their metabolism, similar to the human sleep state. However, they remain alert to avoid potential danger.

 2. Don't tap on the glass! It really does disturb the fish!

You've certainly heard grown ups tell you when you were a kid not to bang on the fish bowl. But how does it actually affect our swimming friends?

Fish have a remarkable sense of hearing, using two systems--bones in the inner ear and a lateral line along their body--to detect vibrations. Add to this the fact that, in comparison to air, sound is amplified by a magnitude of five in water.

So having to listen to persistent tank tapping for a fish is akin to a human standing in the center of a construction zone without any ear plugs--yikes!

 3. Fish have a longer memory than Dory on Finding Nemo.

Remember the myth that goldfish only have a three-second memory? Studies have shown that fish can actually be trained to respond to certain stimuli. Learning of course relates to memory, and research suggests fish can retain their training for at least five months!


 4. Overfeeding doesn't cause a fat fish; it leads to a dirty tank!

Unlike dogs, fish don't typically overeat if you feed them too much. The problem with overfeeding is the leftovers that are left to spoil in the tank. Rotting fish pellets can create toxic chemicals like ammonia. Poor water quality is the leading cause of death in fish tanks!

5. Goldfish can live up to 30 years!

People say not to get a bird or a reptile as a pet because it's a lifetime commitment. Well, it turns out a pet goldfish can be a longterm commitment as well. Goldfish have one of the greatest longevities of freshwater fish. The current record is 43 years old.

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Do Fish Sleep? 5 Facts About Your Aquatic Pet