Did you know, one of the leading causes of death in fish is stress? Stress by itself will not only shorten a fish’s life span, but fish under constant stress are much more prone to getting diseases. Many bacteria that are commonly found in the tank, will not harm a healthy fish.
However, if a fish is constantly stressed its immune system may be compromised and it will not be able to fight off any bacteria.
Common causes of fish stress are:
• Relocation: when fish are moved from one place to another their stress levels skyrocket. It takes time for them to calm down and adjust to any new environment.
• Aggressive fish in the tank: if fish are constantly being harassed and chased by other fish in the tank they will suffer.
• Water temperature: every type of fish has a certain range of temperatures that it considers to be normal. Variations of this will cause stress. Keeping a tank too warm or too cold will cause stress. Sudden changes in the water temperature will also greatly disturb your fish.
• Overcrowding: too many fish in one area means they’ll suffer. Before buying fish make sure you know exactly how many fish your tank can comfortably hold. The general rule is one inch of fish per gallon. Be sure to account for growth of fish. A tank that was sufficient for ten small fish may not have enough space for ten adults.
• Environment: it’s crucial that you try to provide an environment that is suited to the type of fish you want to keep. This means providing fish with adequate hiding places, having lots of plants or rocks, making sure that there is enough room for the fish that like to have open spaces to swim around and having good gravel that is not too abrasive if you have bottom feeders.
• Water conditions: one of the most common causes of stress to fish is poor or unsuitable water; if you don’t know, ask!
Make sure your fish are as stress free as possible and you will greatly reduce the chances of them becoming sick.