How Stress Affects Your Fish

Let's discuss how stress affects your fish. Stress is critical to fish both in captivity and the wild. Stress weakens a fish's immune system and sometimes can lead to their death. This article will discuss the effects of stress and how to prevent stress in your fish.

Stress in fish is actually complicated and there have been many scientific studies done on this subject. You should make sure that everything you do when caring for your fish doesn't cause them stress. Preventing stress is better than having to treat it.

Stress can be short-term or long-term and both can cause problems to fish. Stress affects their health. Short-term stress would be if a fish gets scared or senses danger and its first reaction is to flee. This short-term stress may be from another fish in the tank or if you stick a net in to capture a fish. When a fish senses danger its body releases hormones such as adrenalin and cortisol. Adrenalin disrupts the natural balance of salt and water in a fish's body and the cortisol affects the fish's white blood cells making its immune system weaker. For a short boost to flee danger, the fish can take days to regain its natural balance.

An example of long-term stress is a poor environment. If an aquarium is always too cold or dirty a fish with have the same response as with the short-term stress, they will first try to escape. In an aquarium there is no escape so the fish will be stressed as long as it's in the poor environment. The fish will adapt to the environment, but whole its adapted it is stressed and more likely to get a disease or illness. It can take a month or longer for a fish to adapt to an environment change.

If you want your fish to be happy and healthy try to keep their environment stable.

The information provided on this site is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your veterinarian or other health care professional. You should not use the information on this site for diagnosis or treatment of any health problem or for prescription of any medication or other treatment.