7 Reasons Why Your Fish Stay At Bottom Of Fish Tank

7 Reasons Why Your Fish Stay At Bottom Of Tank

Learn fish nature and why your fishes stay at bottom of the Tank Fish usually swims at the bottom of the tank and it is normal behavior for any tank fish growing in an aquarium. You can see that your fish are moving at the bottom of the tank longer than usual. You think it is quite common and continue to do your work. But even after a while, your fish stay at the bottom and refuse to swim at the center and top parts of the tank. At this moment you panic about this. You get worried and wonder why my fish stay at the bottom of the tank? Fishes stay at bottom of the tank due to 

These are some of the reasons for fishes staying at the bottom of the tank. Fishes also at times stay at the bottom of the tank due to improper water conditions. Fishes also swim at the bottom of the tank when the tank becomes too hot. In this blog, we will give the top 7 reasons why your fish stay at the bottom of the tank. So, Sit Back, Relax and Enjoy the Read.

7 Reasons For Why Your Fish Stay At Bottom Of Tank

Fish at Tank Bottom
Fish usually stay at the bottom of the tank and it is normal. But some of the common reasons for your fish staying at the bottom longer than usual are


Fish get bored as time passes. So, they try to isolate themselves by moving to tank bottoms. It is our duty to keep them entertained and bored-free as we are the ones who have kept them in closed captivity. Boredom will surely cause stress. Stress will drive them down. One of the major reasons for boredom among inmates is loneliness. When fishes are kept alone inside tanks, they feel lonely and get bored easily. Another reason for boredom is empty tanks without much decorations, plants, and gravel. So always try to keep fish in schools and add plants, gravel, and decorations to make your tank more entertaining for both fishes and viewers. Check Bored Fish in tanks and how to keep them entertained in your aquarium.


Fishes are shy creatures. So, they will panic easily. This will stress them and cause difficulties. When fishes are exposed to threats, they become scared and move to safer parts of tanks. Usually, the bottom parts of the tanks are much safer than the middle and upper parts. So, the fish will move to a darker place in the lower parts of the tank to reduce its stress and feel secure. Stress may be caused by various reasons like

  • Overcrowded tanks
  • Keeping larger fish along with Nano fishes
  • Poor tank maintenance
  • Poor diet routines.

But these are small problems and can be solved easily. When fish stress-free, it makes them healthier and will bring the best out of them. So always try to keep your fish happy and stress-free.


When Fishes get sick, they become less active just like when humans fall sick. They usually try to swim but will get tired and exhausted due to the effects of sickness. During the recovering periods, fishes will wish to avoid much movement and swimming. This is to save all energy and focus it on the healing part. So, they will move to the bottom of the tank and isolate themselves from other inmates. Try to isolate the diseased fishes to avoid disease spread among the other fishes. Diseased fishes can be identified by laziness, lack of appetite, and spots on fins.

Fishes after laying eggs

When the female fishes are done with laying eggs, they become really tired. They feel just like a mother after giving birth to a baby. Females become too exhausted as they have lost much energy and undergo much pain while laying eggs. So like every situation, when fish gets tired inside the tank, they move to the lower parts of the tank. Female Fishes too will move to the bottom part of the tank to breathe more and regain their lost energy.

Fishes while sleeping

In the wild, when fishes are sleeping, they will move to the bottom of river beds or deep parts of ponds to sleep. This is to avoid any disturbance as fishes will wake up quickly when they encounter any external stimuli. Fish in tanks like to sleep at the bottom of the tank. Since they are suspended without any support and float in water while sleeping, they like to move to deeper and safer parts.

Very Hot tank

When the tank is too hot, fish will move to cooler regions. The lower parts of the aquarium will be much cooler when compared to the upper parts of the tank. This is because they never directly come in contact with sunlight or any other light source. So, usually, the lower parts of the tank will be much cooler and fishes will migrate to these darker and cooler parts. Always avoid direct sunlight falling over the tank. This will keep the tank cooler and algal bloom. Also, try to place tanks on much cooler parts of the room. If your room is hotter, try to avoid using the heater inside the tank. To know more check our Algal Outbursts blog.

Older Fishes

Older fishes become weak and less active than young fishes. They can’t match up with the energy levels of the young bloods. As time passes, fishes will grow weaker and feeble. So, they will try to isolate themselves from the group by moving towards longer and darker places. They choose the bottom parts of aquariums as their happy home in the last days. Eventually, after living a few years, they will die at the bottom of the tank itself. The average lifespan of fishes varies depending upon the fish types. Larger fishes will live longer and Nano fishes would live only a few years. Check out the Average life spans of fish and some of the oldest fish to live in aquariums. Sometimes fishes will move to the bottom of the tank while struggling to breathe. But why does a fish struggle to breathe at the bottom of your tank?

Why Do Tank Fish Struggle To Breathe At The Bottom Of A Tank?

https://youtu.be/YPX9vdKGzTwFishes move around happily in wild conditions as there are not many restrictions when it comes to space and moveable areas. But inside a man-made tank, fishes come to an artificially constrained space. This makes the space less available than they were in wild habitats. Lesser available space increases disputes among fish for territorial dominance. So, fishes have to fight for their territories in a smaller tank. Fighting for territories for a longer time will make them feel exhausted and tired. After a fight or territorial quarrel, fishes move to some quiet, dark, and safer place to take a rest. Usually, these are the places at the lower part of the tank. They move to these parts to take some breath when they are struggling to breathe after a tiring fight. At times, fishes may suffer from parasite infection in their gills region. At this time, they struggle to breathe. So, they will move to lower parts of the tank to take some rest and inhale more oxygen. In Natural water bodies, fishes may be stung by Corrals, Sting Fishes, or any Anemones. They become fatigued and move towards the bottom due to injury. Overcrowding will stress your fish and make them move towards the bottom in search of less crowded places. So, always try to avoid overcrowding in your fish tanks and home aquariums. Check Why your fish struggle to breathe and what to do when your fish is gasping.

Final Words For Fish Keepers

It is common to see fishes in tank bottoms. You need not worry much when they are seen swimming in the tank bottoms. But when they spend more time on the bottom, it is mainly due to stress. So, make sure to clean your tank and perform a regular maintenance routine to keep your fish happy and stress-free. We hope this blog helps you with Fish swimming at tank bottoms. We always welcome your suggestions. Comment us down below your experience with fish acting like never before at lower parts. Feel free to mention things that are to be changed and improved in our blogs and website as we are learners for life! If you liked this post do share it with your friends and family. Cause sharing is caring. See ya! Until then, keep growing your aquarium

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