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Do GloFish Need Light At Night?

by Lucy

GloFish have taken the fish-keeping world by storm lately, and it’s easy to see why. They can add brilliance to any fish-tank, no matter the lighting.

And speaking of lighting – a common question among most GloFish owners is whether they need any light of their own.

Do GloFish need light at night? No, GloFish do not need a light at nighttime. As with most tropical freshwater fish, GloFish should receive about 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness, so keeping them in the dark at night is actually ideal.

At this point, I’m sure you’re thinking about how to match your finned friends’ sleeping schedule to yours, so you don’t miss out on observing them. The good news is, you can discover all that and more – all you need to do is scroll down!

A Brief History Of The GloFish

The GloFish saga begins with scientists looking to detect environmental pollution. 

Dr. Zhiyuan Gong and his colleagues at the National University of Singapore managed to inject a fluorescent protein gene (from a jellyfish) into some Zebra Danio embryos – and hey presto, the GloFish appeared!

However, it was Alan Blake and Richard Crockett from Yorktown Technologies, L.P., who obtained the rights to market fluorescent Zebrafish worldwide. Because, why should scientists have all the fun to themselves? Over time, different types (and colors) of GloFish were introduced by Yorktown. 

Now, I’m sure you’re wondering why any of this is important to why your GloFish needs light at night? That’s simple. 

As far as the care and nurture of your GloFish goes, the process is quite similar to taking care of “regular” Zebra Danios. And, that’s the detail you should remember at all times. Whatever Zebra Danios need is often the very same thing a GloFish needs.

Now let’s get on to the fun stuff.

How Much Lighting Do GloFish Need?

There’s no doubt that aquarists are drawn to the GloFish because of their iridescent hues. Although, it won’t do you much good to keep GloFish if you can’t see them.

That’s where aquarium lights come in. But, the use of these lights extends beyond just making your fish visible. Aquarium lights can also help you regulate your fish’s eating and sleeping patterns (these are my favorite for my fish). 

I’ve already mentioned that GloFish require at least 12 hours of light per day, but having a regulated period of darkness is just as important. 

If you’re a night owl, like me, chances are you’re the only one regulating your sleep pattern. But, for the rest of humankind – and fishkind! – the sun’s light plays a major role in managing your internal clock. 

Similarly, when aquarium lights are on full-blast, your fish know it’s time to be up and about, and more importantly, to feed. Conversely, turning off the light helps your GloFish understand it’s time for sleep or rest. That’s why too little light can lead to some fishies developing lethargy, and some can even go off their food. 

If you want your GloFish to remain healthy and live out the entirety of their three-year life span, then it’s essential that you provide them with adequate amounts of light and darkness. So if you’re giving your GloFish 12 hours of light during the day, there’s no reason to provide them with a light source at night. 

But, the problem with syncing your GloFish’s routine with yours is that you’ll likely miss out on all their glowy fun. Being fluorescent, GloFish appear their best at night (preferably with a blue LED light that shows off their neon colors). 

You can avoid this roadblock by setting a timer to your aquarium lights and program them to turn off when you turn in for the night or whatever time suits you best. This way you can enjoy your fishes’ unique glow while also giving them plenty of rest.

Related Questions

Before you go, if you still have some lingering GloFish queries, be sure to give this section a read. It’ll be worth your while, I promise!

Why Are My GloFish Not Glowing?

A lot of people misunderstand what the term GloFish truly means. Some people think that GloFish glow in the dark, while others believe they just shine all the time. 

GloFish are named so because they can fluoresce, which means they absorb light and emit it back. That’s why you can only spot your GloFish’s glow in low-light situations or under a black or blue LED light.  

Do GloFish Like Light?

In actuality, we may never know if GloFish actually like light – until we learn to speak their language.

Jokes aside, GloFish need light, just like all other fishes. You can see the light energy GloFish emit better in low-light settings anyway. That’s also why many hobbyists prefer to set up their aquarium with blue lights because they help GloFish fluoresce better. 

Up Next: How Many Goldfish In A 20 Gallon Tank?

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