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Why do Fish Lay at the Bottom of the Tank?

Why do Fish Lay at the Bottom of the Tank?

Every behavior and action speaks a lot about some of the particular things. One such behavior is the fish lying at the bottom of the tank. There can be so many reasons behind this action. If your fish is also showing unusual behavior, then read this detailed article in detail.

You should notice the strange behavior of your pet from time to time because sometimes pet lying on the tank bottom is doing nothing but a little nap. But after a nap, it comes up and is completely active like before.

But if you notice that your fish is really slow and acting strange by staying continuously in the bottom, then there will be an issue for sure. Even sometimes your pet is displaying this behavior to tell you that she is sad because of poor water quality or any disturbance in aquarium temperature, etc.

Why do Fish Lay at the Bottom of the Tank?

Let us tell you why do fish lay at the bottom of the tank and what they are trying to convey to you by doing this. You should monitor them that either they are doing this thing for all-day or for some specific time period. Check that either it is really something serious with it or it is just nothing but rest.

Beginners get confused by seeing such behavior while the people who have a lot of experience in fish keeping understand it immediately that what she is trying to convey, either it is about some bad quality water or anything else. Don’t worry you will also start understanding it and will become a behaviors expert soon. Just read this guide carefully.

High ammonia content

When the ammonia levels get raised in an aquarium, its water becomes unsuitable for survival. Ammonia comes in aquarium water because of waste material in nitrate form. The good bacteria in the tank break these nitrates into ammonia.

If you don’t clean up the water and do not do the regular water changes, then ammonia levels increase in the tank. Its elevated levels irritate the living creatures in the aquarium and it keeps sitting at the bottom of the tank.

If you realize that your fish are gasping on the water surface to get oxygen and lying in the tank bottom for a long period of time, then understand that there is a very serious problem with aquarium conditions.

In this case, sometimes these living creatures got the reddish or purplish look from its gills sides, and fins appear to be red in color. Immediately take your pet out in some clean bowl for some time until you clean the tank completely. Clean up the entire tank, change its water, and adjust the filter for auto cleaning.

After that, you can put it back in the tank. You can also put some of the natural waste cleaners like the sponge filter, etc to avoid such kinds of worse conditions. You are lucky if your tank was having such kind of condition in it and your pet is still safe.

As it is a really life-threatening condition and it should not happen with such a little creature. Because we should take care of our pet so that’s why it is necessary. Make sure that the pH of the tank is fine if it is not then replacing the half-tank with new and clean water can be the best solution to the problem.

If you have so many pets in your tank and you commonly face the problem of high ammonia levels, then you must use an ammonia neutralizer. Because with too many animals and foods for them, one can face difficulties in-tank cleaning manually. So, the filter and neutralizing equipment can do your help when you don’t have too much time to do things by yourself.

Loud noises

They also lay on the bottom of the tank when you have placed it near some amplifier, sound system, or even television. Loud noises are one of the big stress-causing factors for fish and you know stress is really bad for these little creatures. Stress can even kill them. That’s why it is strongly recommended that you shouldn’t place your aquarium near such things from where the noise can irritate the beings living in it.

Loud sounds can disturb animals a lot and cause it to sit in the bottom so that the noise pinch can be reduced. Water actually acts as a great amplifier even if you have a slow volume on your TV or games.

Because of the sounds, there are reverberations in water which can distract the aquarium animals very much. Morally you should not even tap on the aquarium because it also creates a sound that is extremely loud, not for you but for the fish. As sound travels four times faster in water than that of the air. Even there are some of the tank water filters which work very loud, so you should buy one which works quietly.

So, always keep a tank in such an area where there is no noise at all. Don’t make your beloved animal’s life stressful and let them live happily.

Improper oxygen

If your tank is not properly aerated, then definitely it will be extremely problematic for the little ones to live there. In this case, they sink themselves below in the tank. You will see them coming near the water surface and gasping for air and immediately sinking in the bottom.

They also stay at the bottom because the temperature is too warm or cold. Cool water is not able to absorb enough oxygen in it and when it is too warm it starts releasing more quantity of oxygen in the air. So, you should maintain a proper and normal temperature so that your pet doesn’t stay at the bottom. In fact, they should move around in a tank happily.

Keep the temperature at the optimum levels while don’t forget to ensure proper aeration in the tank.

Disease and illness

If your fish is sick, then it will be laying down in the bottom of the tank most of the time. Another sign of diseased animals is its sluggish movement with unusual patterns. If your pet has some bloated appearance or some white spots on the body, then immediately separate it from other fellows in the aquarium. 

This condition occurs when they are suffering from any infectious disease. Then such an animal needs to be quarantined and treated as soon as possible. You can check out its gills for improper breathing or suffocation. Usually, improper breathing makes gills purplish in color which you can easily understand.

If it has some clamped fins and is breathing improperly then definitely it has just ended up fighting with other fellows in the tank for space. Some species fight for their place and your aquarium should be large enough to provide everyone a proper living, swimming, and breeding space.

But if space is not enough, they will fight and definitely come down at the bottom when getting tired of frightening. Some of the fights are so worst that they keep on hurting each other until one of them gets dead. Fins also damage because of fights.

If enough space is not the issue, then there is definitely any health issues to your pet. Check for its slime coat or any other things like unusual skin color, patchy skin, or it is fading away. You can treat your fish by using some specific medicines related to the type of disease it has.

Most of the disease is also cured by adding some additives in the tank. Although proper cleanliness and maintenance of the tank keep the harmful bacteria away and your fish doesn’t get any disease when things are fine and will move freely and actively instead of just lying in the tank.

Overcrowded tank

There should not be any overcrowding in your tank so that every pet can get its proper environment for living and getting an excessive amount of oxygen as well. An overcrowded tank will not allow all the fish to swim back and forth properly.

Only your pet can move a little bit in an overcrowded tank. No other movements are suitable for them to move freely which also depends on your tank’s shape. According to the standard rule, you can put four-gram of fish per one-liter water rule.

Stress and Trauma

Some fish spend more time at the bottom when they are stressed or in trauma. If your one is lying at the bottom of the tank and is rapidly breathing then it might be stressed. Stress is really problematic for these little creatures and they can’t even bear extreme stress. Stress can cause it to get bladder issues which can cause great trouble.

In this case, she will not be able to swim properly because the bladder is not fine and stay at the bottom. But not always, some stay on top and keep stay at their place. There could be some other reasons for stress. Like if you have any other pet in your home who watches fish very closely then it goes down due to stress.

Like if a cat is dipping its paw in the tank, fish will definitely fear a lot and hide or goes far below to get out of reach. It can be any of your other pets like some birds which can eat the poor little animal etc. A poor pet always remains in stress and gets ill in such cases.

Keep other pets away from the aquarium, or if you have fish as your pet then don’t buy other animals. Like many people are animal lovers and have more than one pet in their home. In this case, at least you should have an aquarium in a separate room where no other animal can disturb it.

You should at least provide a safe and stress-free environment as a good pet owner. Otherwise, you shouldn’t buy a pet for which you can’t care for. Be a good human being and keep your fish away from stress by giving a safe environment to live in happily.

Trauma could be another reason if swim bladder is perfect. Physical trauma such as an attack by other fish or rapid changes in temperature can also be one of its reason. So, keep things suitable for a healthy and un-stressful environment provision.

Exhausted fish

You must know that when a fish is exhausted, it stays on the bottom and lye there for comfort. First of all, you should know that what is the difference between sleep and exhaustion. Because it is sometimes only sleeping below. You may not misunderstand it with any issue.

Keep in mind that your tank must be a combination of lightness and darkness. There must be some available places for your pet to sleep like rocks with caves in it. Toys or rock castles can be a great place as well.

Then there will be proper light and dark, your fish will be able to sleep whenever want. If you keep your tank lights to be on all the time, then it can make your pet exhausted. You should dim the light slowly during the night time so that aquarium life can sleep properly.

But make sure that there should not be sudden lights on and off. If your tank lights are on all the time, even during the night time, the fish will keep moving and in the end, it will become exhausted. The fish which face these problems normally and commonly sit in the tank’s bottom even during the day time.

This is because you did not specify the sleep and wake time of your fish. So they are just resting in sleeping even in the daytime. Make sure that your tank lights are not open all the time during night time.

Exhausted fish are vulnerable to get diseases and have a short lifespan than that of the fish which are getting enough sleep.

Final words

Now, all of the possible reasons for this behavior are clear to you guys. Now, it’s time to look at which one of these reasons is with your pet. Sort out the problem, provide care, and stress-free environment for your pet and keep them happy.

Their happiness and joyous swimming will make you happy too. I have covered all of the reasons in this topic, now figure it out in your fish and solve the issue. You can ask any queries related to this article in the comments section below.  

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