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 that 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 effectively fight off any bacteria.
Some of the common causes of fish stress are:
Relocation: When fish are moved from one place to another their stress level skyrockets. 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 inhabitants in the tank they are going to suffer from high levels of stress.
Water Temperature: Each type of fish has a certain range of temperatures that it considers to be normal. Any variation of this will cause stress. Keeping a tank either too warm or too cold will cause stress. Any sudden changes in the water temperature will also greatly disturb your fish.
Over Crowding: Any time that there are too many fish in one area they are going to suffer. Before buying fish make certain that you know exactly how many fish your tank can hold. The general rule is one inch of fish per gallon. Be sure to account for the growth of fish, because a tank that was sufficient for ten small fish may not have enough space for ten adult fish.
Environment: It is essential that you try to provide your fish with an environment that is suited to the type of fish that 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 a 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 condition.
– PH level not suitable
– Water being either too hard or too soft
– Water being cloudy
– Chemicals in the water. i.e. chlorine or chloramine. The ammonia, nitrate, and nitrite levels are not balanced.
By ensuring that your fish is as stress-free as possible you can greatly reduce the chances of your fish becoming sick.