Is My Guppy Sleeping Or Dying?

In our fish-keeping journey, every aquarist has a common question: Is my guppy sleeping or dying? Do guppies sleep? And how to detect if a guppy is sick or sleeping? So, let us find out.

Guppies are diurnal and sleep at nighttime. So if your guppy is floating in an aquarium and is motionless at night, then there is nothing to worry about, but if your guppy is showing such behavior in the daytime, then it is probably not sleeping and going through some critical issues.

This article will discuss how to detect sick guppies, dispose of passed-away guppies, what to do with dead guppy fish and the guppy fish’s sleeping behavior. So let’s get into this and find out all the answers to your questions.

How to detect if the guppy is sleeping or dying?

Guppies are diurnal and sleep at night.

Your guppy will sleep at night when you switch off the aquarium lights.

So, if your guppy is motionless and floating in the aquarium at nighttime, then your guppy is sleeping.

If you look closely, you will see that your guppy will flick their fin a little bit while sleeping.

But, if your guppy is floating in the aquarium and is motionless in the daytime, then most probably, the guppy is not sleeping.

However, if you are not turning the lights on and there is dark around the guppies aquarium, they can also sleep in the daytime sometimes.

However, you should not consider your guppy sleeping in the daytime if it is floating in an aquarium and motionless and should detect the problem from which your guppy is going.

Guppy fish sleeping behavior

Guppies sleeping behavior is the same as humans. They are active in the daytime and take rest at night.

If your guppy has no movement at night and is active in the daytime, there is nothing to worry about as your guppy is in rest mode at night.

We should always shut the light off of our guppy’s aquarium as guppy sleep at night.

Now we know that guppies do take rest at nighttime, how can we say if our guppy is sleeping or not?

If your guppy is active and is not hiding in the daytime or showing no signs of sickness like loss of appetite, physical injuries, or infection. But having no moment at nighttime or hiding at night, there is nothing to worry about, indicating their sleeping behavior.

When you turn the aquarium lights off at night, your guppy will move into rest mode and will have no movement.

Your guppy will usually float next to the plants or above the gravel while resting.

They may take a slow breath and lose their color, but there is nothing to worry about as the color will come back when you turn the aquarium lights on.

If your guppy is performing all these behaviors at night and is active in the daytime, you should not worry as everything is going well then.

But, if guppy performs these behaviors like lying motionless at the bottom of the tank in the daytime, it is a matter of concern.

How to detect sick guppy?

From all the above information, we know that if the guppy is motionless or floating in the aquarium in the daytime, they are not sleeping.

In the case of a female guppy, there is a high chance that your guppy is pregnant or sick.

Hiding behavior in female guppies indicates that they are pregnant and preparing to give birth to guppy fry.

There are more signs than hiding behavior like enlarged and darkened gravid spots and extended belly.

If the male guppy is hiding in the bottom of the tank in the daytime, then the simple explanation is they are suffering from some disease.

There can be other possible reasons behind it, like your male guppy being bullied and injured by other tankmates, so it is hiding in the bottom of the tank to save itself from the angry tankmates.

However, an owner should always look for the signs and symptoms of diseases.

Here are some signs of guppy diseases you can look for to detect if your guppy fish is sick or not:

  1. Your guppy will have a bent spine (Scoliosis).
  2. You will see a hole in the head or the body of your guppy (Hexamita disease).
  3. There will be red spots on the belly side of your guppy (Nitrites and ammonia poisoning).
  4. Your guppy will have a rotting fin or tail (Fin rot disease).
  5. You will detect swollen gills (Ammonia poisoning).
  6. There will be white spots on the body of your guppy fish (ick or ich disease).
  7. You will see white splashes on the body of your guppy (Mouth fungus and columnaris disease)
  8. Your guppy will swim upside down (Swim bladder disorder).
  9. Your guppy is suffering from TB if it has a hollow belly, discoloration, fin rot, and ulcers on the body.
  10. Your guppy eyes will be sticking out (Most probably an infection, parasites, or dropsy).

There are more diseases that can affect your guppies, so it is wise to know about the most common disease your guppy can suffer from and its treatment so that you know what to do in case your guppies get sick.

How to treat dying guppy fish?

If your guppy is suffering from a disease, you can treat them with the treatment recommended by the vet.

But, at very first, separate the sick guppy from the home aquarium to the separate tank.

Keeping your sick guppy in a home aquarium with other fish will make the other fish sick by spreading the disease.

Make sure to apply the treatment as per the disease to both the tank, home aquarium, and the separate tank.

If the sick fish is suffering from a disease that has no treatment, then euthanizing your guppy is only the option left.

There are two most humane ways to euthanize your guppy fish:

  1. Clove oil method
  2. Stun and stab method

In the clove oil method, you have to make a clove oil mixture and add it to the bucket or container holding a gallon of water with your sick guppy.

You can increase the dose of clove oil, which will increase the hypoxia, and your guppy will pass away.

The Stun and stab method is violent and not for the weak-hearted person.

In the Stun and stab method, you have to hit the fish’s head with a blunt object and then stab the fish’s brain, which will immediately make your fish pass away.

Euthanasia is the most humane way to deal with a fish suffering from a disease that has no cure.

It will be hard for an owner to perform fish euthanasia, but it is better than leaving your fish to suffer every day till they pass away.

Also read: How to humanely euthanize guppy fish?

Do guppy fish sleep upside-down?

Guppy swims upside down when suffering from a swim bladder disease or an infection.

If your guppy is sleeping upside down, then there can be two things: your guppy is close to passing away or has already passed away.

You should detect the problem if there is an inadequate water condition or your guppy suffers from a swim bladder disease.

Try to treat them as per the problem by doing a major water change and proper medication.

In case if your guppy is motionless and floating upside down, then your guppy is passed away.

In such a situation, remove the guppy immediately from the tank and dispose of it.

Also read: Why is my guppy moving up and down?

What to do with dead guppy fish?

There are various ways you can dispose of your dead guppy fish:

  1. Cremation
  2. Bury deep in the ground

These two ways are the best ways to dispose of your guppy fish.

Cremation comes under the best way to dispose of your guppy fish as it ensures that your guppy fish is not spreading disease and not decomposing.

You can cremate your diseased guppy fish if it is ok to do in your area.

If it is not allowed in your area, you can consider burying your passed-away fish in the ground.

Make sure to bury your fish deep inside the ground so that street animals can’t dig it up and eat it.

Placing your diseased guppy in a ziplock bag and throwing it in the trash is the other way recommended by the various aquarist.

You should never perform some methods to dispose of your guppy fish, and the most common one of them is flushing your fish down the toilet.

Flushing your sick fish dead or alive is not the recommended way to dispose of your guppy fish.

By any chance, if your fish is alive, then they will suffer a lot if you will flush them down because of a sudden change in water parameters from aquarium water to toilet water.

Euthanize your guppy fish first before disposing of it.

When you are sure that you have successfully euthanized your sick fish, never flush them down the toilet as it can spread disease in the water system.

Consider cremating or burying your diseased guppy.


Guppies come under the most active fish in the fish world.

Being diurnal, guppies sleep at night and remain active in the daytime.

They will also like to sleep when no light is turned on around them.

Your guppy will be floating in the aquarium and will be motionless at night while sleeping.

To know if your guppy is sleeping or dying, you can look closely at your guppies; when looking closely, you will see that your guppy will flick its fin a little bit while sleeping.

But when there is no such movement in the daytime and your guppy is floating in an aquarium, it is a matter of concern.

Reference: WikiHow.Pet

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