Can fish experience stress? The answer is yes. Similar to humans and other animals, fish can also experience stress. Stress in fish is a condition in which they cannot maintain a normal physiologic state. It is caused by a lot of factors. You can also check the signs of your fish pet is stress.
Just like other diseases in fish, stress in fish may also lead to death. It is a critical factor in fish health. There are some factors causing stress and as an owner, you should really be aware of this issue.
Most situations trigger changes of habitat or disturbance in routines and behaviour. Let’s check these most common causes of stress in fish.
1. Poor Water Condition
Fish spend all of their time in the water. If the water is in a poor condition, it will be likely to cause lots of stress. If you see any of your fish gasping at the surface, then you should directly conduct a water test. Water test should be done to see if there is anything wrong with it.
There are some factors leading to poor water condition, such as high ammonia, nitrate levels, low oxygen levels, improper temperature or a high or low pH level. Moreover, if you have a saltwater tank, incorrect salt levels could also lead to similar effect.
2. Having Trouble with Other Fish
Similar to humans and other animals, not all fish get along. They often feel cramped, especially if they live with too many fish or the aggressive fish. Make sure you don’t put too many fish in the tank. Not only causing a fight or trouble, but there are some other problems, specifically in the water quality.
Fish also need multiple hiding spots in order to avoid aggressors. Fish need to hide once they sense any danger so that they will feel safe.
3. Disturbing of the Tank
Disturbing the tank, such as banging on the glass, netting the fish, or rearranging decorations in the tank may give stress to your fish. Minimize these kinds of disturbance to prevent your fish from getting stress.
4. Other Factors
Besides the mentioned causes above, there are some other factors causing your fish to have stress. First factor is the presence of any added chemicals or medications in the tank.
That’s why when you’re treating a sick fish, make sure you quarantine it. Next, improper diet could also lead to stress in fish. Make sure your fish get practical diet.
Here are some other common causes in fish stress:
- pH fluctuation because of the exhaustion of mineral substances
- Elevated ammonia and nitrate levels because of infrequent water changes
- Fluctuated water temperature – the main cause of stress in betta fish
- Lack of hiding places (hiding places are needed to release stress)
- Poor nutrition or irregular feeding routine
- Internal and external parasites
- Inadequate tank size – also read the other common fish tank problems
- Dissolved gases
After knowing all those causes of stress in fish, then the next thing to do is how to reduce it. As being told before, stress can even cause death in fish. So, as a fish keeper, you need to be aware of this condition.
The best way to prevent or treat fish stress is to provide a healthy environment. Healthy environment includes providing the right amount of decorations and supplies in the aquarium.
Moreover, make sure to change the water frequently to keep nitrate and ammonia levels low. Then aquarium temperature is also important. Make sure the aquarium has consistent temperature to prevent stressful fluctuations. Hiding places are also important.
Fish need to hide when they sense danger so that they will feel safer. Aggressive fish should always be separated too as they might kill the others as well. Lastly, feed proper amount of food regularly.
Stress in fish can be prevented by providing healthy and pleasant environment for them to live. As a fish keeper, make sure you always give the best to your fish so that they can live healthily and happily. Learn the signs your fish is happy in their new tank and make sure yours are happy too!