Having stressed fish in an aquarium should be the last thing any fish keeper: would wish for. Stress adversely affects the health of your fish and their lifespan. It is worth noting that everything outside the recommended environment and behavioural needs of the fish causes stress. As much as fish can adapt to varied conditions, eliminating these stresses goes a long way in reducing unnecessary risks.
What Stresses Aquarium Fish?
You should be very careful when choosing fish species to keep in your aquarium. Considering that some fish tend to be overly aggressive towards others or even their own species, it is imperative to think about the compatibility of different fish. Stress also occurs when the fish have to compete for food, which is common in any ecosystem. When it comes to food, have it distributed evenly on the water and avoid spot feeding.
Tank size can be a significant stressor in any aquarium environment. It is recommended to have at least one inch of fish in every two gallons of water. Having this in mind will help you better understand the limitations of your tank. Also, understanding the attributes of the fish species is key to avoiding space-related stress. For instance, territorial fish might require more space, considering that they tend to chase any intruders from their area.
Aquarium water temperatures are often an overlooked topic. Failure to keep temperature fluctuations in control all times can stress the fish. The optimum temperature varies from one species to another. Thus, fish keepers need to have an idea of the temperatures that work best for your fish and strive to maintain that in the aquarium within the optimum range. You also need to consider the effects of the environment on your aquarium.
One of the worst causes of fish stress is water quality. Sudden changes in water chemistry regarding the PH, salinity, and water hardness often stress the fish. Two of the primary stressors to fish in aquarium environments are increasing ammonia and nitrates. It is therefore imperative to monitor and keep adjusting them, by replacing the aquarium water with fresh water.
It worth noting that water changing causes stress. Thus, it is advisable to replace it with water that is of the right temperature. Also, avoid replacing the entire amount, as the cleaning or removal process can be a real stressor.
Most fish stressors have been covered in this article, and eliminating them goes a long way in empowering the fish when facing other stressful elements.