Stress in aquarium fish
Everyone knows what stress is. And though not everyone is familiar with the scientific theories of stress, but everyone knows his symptoms well.
Depression, headaches, poor sleep and palpitations - this is how people react to extreme, stressful situations.
And if these symptoms do not go away for a long time, a person can have serious health problems.
Other living things, including fish, can get into a stressful situation.
And for them, prolonged stress is no less dangerous than for humans.
How does a fish behave in stress
A careful aquarist will always notice changes in the behavior of the wards. Stressed fish can stay on the surface for too long, trying to swallow air. Or, conversely, hide behind stones and snags at the bottom. Possible refusal of food or decreased appetite. If wounds appeared on the body of the fish, if the fins are ragged, conflicts and fights can be assumed, which necessarily lead to stress on the weakest side.
Causes of stress in fish
One of the main causes of stress in aquarium inhabitants is inappropriate water. Some fish like alkaline water, others like acidic, others prefer hard water. Some breeds are accustomed to salted water; others need absolutely fresh water. In order to determine the hardness of water, the content of oxygen, nitrites and nitrates in it, use special test kits. You can buy such tests at a pet store.
It is very important to observe a certain water temperature. Too warm or too cold water, sudden changes in temperature are difficult to tolerate by fish. Therefore, any aquarium must be equipped with a thermometer, as well as a heater or water cooler.
Most fish are sensitive to the oxygen content in water. In natural reservoirs, water is mixed with air using waves and currents. In the aquarium, you need a compressor that can work around the clock or only at night. Remember that the heat in the room immediately lowers the oxygen content in the aquarium.
Keeping fish in unsuitable water will certainly lead to stress and subsequent illnesses. At the same time, you need to remember that the fish gets used to certain parameters of the habitat. If your pets still lived in absolutely fresh water, do not try to immediately transfer them to salted water, even if it is recommended by specialists. Make changes very slowly and gradually so that the fish have time to get used to.
Like humans, fish can hardly stand crowding and crowding. If your aquarium is overpopulated, you can be sure that its residents are under stress. It should be borne in mind that different species require different spaces for life. There are fish that feel great in a large and close company. Nevertheless, an aquarium is better to "overpopulate" than to "resettle".
Not all types of fish can be kept in one aquarium. The main criterion for compatibility is the similarity of the environment in which fish live in nature. If one fish likes twilight and dense thickets of plants, and the other - bright light and open space, then you should not try to make them neighbors.
But even if the fish are used to the same living conditions, they can conflict with each other. For example, aggressive species can harass and offend peaceful neighbors. Even a fish that is too large for a predator can get sick from constant fear. On the other hand, herbivorous fish can easily swallow a small neighbor if it fits in her mouth. Flocking fish may experience a “language conflict”. Some fish will misunderstand the signals of others - hence the constant problems and nervous tension.
In order to avoid stress in the fish, take care of the proper maintenance of the aquarium, monitor the quality of the water and do not populate the aquarium with incompatible rocks. Eliminating possible sources of stress improves the health of the aquarium inhabitants.