Ruby – The Narcoleptic Fish

Ruby – The Narcoleptic Fish

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Ok, so have to share a funny story with you guys. Took some pics, as you know, pics are always a good idea with any fish story, right (ok, that was cheesy). I recently purchased a new betta fish, Ruby. Ruby is well… mostly red, and full of spunk. For those who don’t know, betta fish are quite smart, have amazingly varying characteristics from fish to fish, and can actually be trained to do tricks. People have trained them to jump out of the water or swim through a hoop for food (seriously, who are you people? Go do…things… just do something, you are making your fish swim through a hoop for it’s food).

From what I hear, most fish are mostly active at night and sleep during the day. The opposite is true for bettas, they tend to mirror humans when it comes to sleep schedules. So, I’ve had Ruby for 3-4 days now and I’ve been watchin’ him, seeing how he’s adapting, and he keeps me company as I work on my laptop at the desk here.

Let’s step back a bit here. Before last night, I didn’t realize that fish could actually sleep. Like full-on, laying on the ground, not moving sleep. I walk into the room here and I see little Ruby laying on the bottom of the tank, literally head buried in the rocks and flopped on his side. I tap on the glass… nothing. My thoughts immediately conclude death, and I get the fish net out. As I go to scoop up Ruby, the net touches him and he springs to life! He’s swimming around like, “hey buddy, what’s up, what did I miss?” I’ve owned a handful of bettas and I’ve never seen this kind of behavior, never had any idea they did that. Joke’s on me I guess. So I get online, I’m super curious, is this common? Turns out, all fish sleep (spoiler alert). Lacking eye lids, some fish will hide in dark places to keep light out of their eyes and to just hide in general.

One thing is for sure, Ruby doesn’t mess around when it comes to gettin’ some quality REM cycles in. He would literally go into a coma, still as a rock for awhile, head buried in the rocks, flopped over on his side, and then he’d come up for air and go back down. For his next trick, later in the evening he further impressed me with his on-going efforts to maximize his sleep comfort. Midnight rolls around and I can’t find Ruby, he’s not swimming and he’s not playing dead in the rocks. After a bit, I find him, head-first into one of the plastic plants. Squeezing himself between the leaves, he wedges himself in, blocking all the light to his eyes, and suspending him so he doesn’t have to swim (this is when I busted out the camera). One smart fish, right? Either that or he just doesn’t care, like “screw you guys, I’m gunna just go lodge myself into that foliage over yonder and pass-out. If I can’t get out and end up starving to death, well… it was totally worth it.”

I wonder what he’s going to pull next…

Here are the photos I was able to snag. First pic here, I put a flashlight behind him (didn’t wanna freak him out with a flash) so that I could try and get a silhouette.

The only thing visible are Ruby’s long tail fins. Pretty funny.