After a hard day at work, you come back home and spend some time with your finned buddies as they swim merrily in the fish tank you care so much about. You may think what a peaceful life they live in there while you bear the brunt of the work pressure. But have you ever stopped and wondered what these little swimmers have to deal with in that small confined tank? Yes, these little creatures come under stress even when there is a tiny amount of change in the tank environment and may die or worst catch a disease. You may think your fish died for no apparent reason. You may think it is time to clean the tank. But your fishes will die again after cleaning the fish tank.
You must learn how to identify the symptoms and save your fish before it is too late. Sometimes, you can successfully revive the fish that is just about to die. So, it is very important to know how to tell if your fish is dying.
Signs That Leads a Fish to Death
- Fish Gasping for Oxygen at the Surface of Water
When the water is highly intoxicated with ammonia and nitrite, it will not hold any oxygen for the fishes to breath. This forces the fish to breathe at the surface. Eventually, when the stress is too much, it’ll die.
The most common symptoms are white spots on the fish body. This shows that the fish is under stress, diseased, and is going to die and infect other fishes in the tank. Before it’s too late, take it to the veterinarian.
- Loss of Appetite
When your fish is under stress and is about to die, it will stop eating. Sometimes feeding the wrong kind of food to the fish can also be stressful to your fish.
- Strange Swimming Patterns
Oftentimes your fish may start acting strangely when under stress. Your fish may rub the body to rock or gravel, it may hit the bottom of the tank on purpose, or it may fold the fins on its sides. In these cases, it is wise to contact a veterinarian for suitable solutions.
- Mentation of Fish
This is the state where every fish is fully aware of its surroundings. Few fishes are active swimmers, while some fishes like to lie at the bottom and rest. Few others take a nap by lying on the side. Few benthic fishes are inactive during the day but quite active in the night. But if you see any reversal in this pattern, there is something to worry about. It may be disease, infection, or the fish is stressed.
- Respiration Rate
When we are under stress, we tend to breathe quickly to make a lot of oxygen available for our cells. Similarly, when the fishes are under stress from diseases, bacterias, fungus, they cover their gills with a secreted mucus. When the mucus covers the gills, they tend to breathe quickly. And when they do that, it is best to contact a veterinarian.
- Color Fading
When a fish is under stress, their body color starts to fade away. This is the first sign that tells you that your fish is under environmental stress. Endocrine system in a fish is responsible for the coloration of the fish. When the fish is under stress, the endocrine system secretes a hormone called corticosterone, which is responsible for color fade.
To ensure that your fish survive for a long time, give it a healthy and thriving environment. Make a routine for yourself where you dedicate time for taking care of your fish. During this time, check the health of your fish, the tank environment, identify behavior to remedy the stress in the fish before it is too late. A healthy environment in the tank is one where your fish can survive and be stress-free.