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Neon Tetras; Do They Sleep?


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#1 puppyduck

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Posted 04 December 2006 - 03:29 PM

Often at night and first thing in the morning I see one or two of our tetras swimming almost vertical in the water, and they all go a darkish purple colour. Sometimes they are very pale and colourless, but as soon as the light comes on they swim normally again. During feeding times they are of good colour and school together.

Are my neons sleeping? Do any fish sleep?

If not, tell me whats wrong as I'm concerned for my little Mike's!

#2 nmonks

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Posted 04 December 2006 - 04:52 PM

Yes, they sleep. And yes, they change colour. Presumably they have to "think" themselves the right colour, or only turn their colours on when it's safer to do so. Sadly, neons are rather dozy when sleeping, and stay near the substrate, and that's why they're so easily eaten by otherwise inept, only marginally predatory catfish such as thorny catfishes.

Cheers,

Neale

Edited by nmonks, 04 December 2006 - 04:52 PM.


#3 Richie Hell

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Posted 04 December 2006 - 06:52 PM

Ah, that sounds about right. Ours often change colourm, or swim in funny positions, and resting motionless just above the substrate is another common one.

Then at other times, especially around feeding times, they're back to normal colours and acting all active and alert.

#4 Lateral Line

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Posted 05 December 2006 - 12:20 PM

Night time colour changes are common in many species. I posted an explanation of the phenomenon in this thread a couple of years ago.

#5 Iron Man

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Posted 09 December 2006 - 03:20 AM

I've never had a fish that didn't have some kind of sleeping habit. They may not be able to close their eyes but they do sleep.

When I used to keep goldfish they would sleep right side up, resting their stomachs right on top of the substrate with all fins laying down and barely breathing. A couple of them always had favorite sleeping spots and every night had to sleep in them. Come time to turn the lights on they would have to "wake up" and get oriented again. A couple of them would even take a few minutes to even realize the lights were on. Sometimes they would be neurotic about it and spazz out and go crazy around the tank....being stardled and not knowing where they're at after waking up I guess. Probably like waking up a sleepwalker in the middle of his journey. :lol:

You probably didn't need to hear all of that but I felt like saying it anyway. haha

So many think fish are the stupidest most cold blooded beings on the planet....and that's far from the truth. They are very intelligent and do things just like any other intelligent animal.

Have fun with the beautiful neons....I'm about to get a few for the 10 gallon. :good:

Edited by Iron Man, 09 December 2006 - 03:23 AM.


#6 dwarfgourami

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Posted 09 December 2006 - 07:03 AM

I think it's really funny how different different fish look when they sleep. My platies just stand there and look pretty much the same as when they're awake, but the portholes look completely spaced out, they tilt slightly to one side and their eyes glaze over.

#7 krishanu

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Posted 09 December 2006 - 04:35 PM

my fish even have their own sleeping places! it's really fun to watch them. the only fish i have that dont seem to sleep are my penguin tetras. even at two in the morning they're full of energy!

#8 F.O.H

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Posted 09 December 2006 - 05:58 PM

the funniest fish i have seen asleep is my whip tail i was watching it one night and it was on the glas and the next thing i see is it just fall of and hit da bottom upside down i thought it died lol.

#9 nmonks

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Posted 09 December 2006 - 06:46 PM

Lateral Line -- a good reply. Just one comment. The connection between using colour and seeing colour is not 100% reliable. Squids and octopuses use colour for communication, to a degree far beyond even that of fish. But, as far as experiments go, the species tested cannot see colour, or if they can, over a very limited range. It is quite a conundrum.

Cheers, Neale

Night time colour changes are common in many species. I posted an explanation of the phenomenon in this thread a couple of years ago.



#10 Iron Man

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Posted 09 December 2006 - 07:55 PM

the funniest fish i have seen asleep is my whip tail i was watching it one night and it was on the glas and the next thing i see is it just fall of and hit da bottom upside down i thought it died lol.


Too funny! :lol:

#11 Lateral Line

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Posted 09 December 2006 - 11:05 PM

It is quite a conundrum.

I don't see it as so. Certain pigments are "easy" to make, others less so. We see those pigments as green, blue, red or whatever, the target sees it as light brown, dark brown or black. Producing a simple black/white monochrome is probably inefficient. What they do is good enough to get the job done. At the end of the day, it is how our brain interprets the firing of the cone cells that determines what colour we "see".

On a broader note, I disagree that there is insufficient evidence for colour perception. I would point to research that suggests females of species "x" prefer males with "red" dorsal fins. This is generalisation, but there are many such studies.

One could argue that they are seeing a different shade of brown, but I would argue that "don't we all"? The colour we perceive in our sensorium is unique to the individual. 10 people presented with the same set of colour charts will variously see them as matching or clashing in their sensorium, whilst all are equiped with the same physical perception apparatus.

Cephalopods have colour distinguishing cells in their retina. I would have thought that it would be easy to train these intelligent animals to differentiate between a red jar and a green jar for example in feeding tests. Are you saying that this has not been done?




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