The majority of fish, reef, and corals acknowledge and react to the different levels of stress in similar ways that all other species, including humans do. Environmental stress can be a very dangerous element to the fish of your aquarium because it will diminish their capabilities of warding off diseases such as parasites, bacteria, and fungi, which will potentially contribute to illness and deaths of aquarium fish. Stress can also have a resisting effect on the growth and metabolism of your fish. It is important to take the proper precautions and preventative measures so that your aquarium is not invaded by dangerous diseases, which can often cause fatal infections.
When aquarium fish are inflicted with levels of stress, you will notice a pattern of behavior that is different from their normal activity. Occasionally the change in activity and appearance will be easy to notice, other times it will be less dramatic. One of the most obvious characteristics of a stressed out fish is a sudden change in their coloration. Depending on the fish, increased stress levels will cause them to become a much darker color, while other fish will omit a pale level and stripes and color patterns will appear to fade away. Another characteristic of stressed livestock is a lack of movement throughout the fish tank as well as decreased amounts of feeding.
There are many potential causes for stresses to aquarium fish. The New York City aquarium installation and maintenance professionals at Normal Aquatics have compiled a list of some of the most common contributing factors:
- Sudden changes to the environment and habitat of the fish tank. This can be one of the most frequent origins of stress for an aquarium. Many New York City aquarium owners will not perform water changes on a consistent basis, which will cause a fish tank to become infested with waste and bacteria. Your fish will slowly become acclimated to this poisonous environment and when you do finally perform an extensive water change, it can cause an tremendous amount of stress to your fish due to the sudden change in temperature and pH levels.
- Over-cleaning of your fish tank. Another common mistake aquarium owners tend to make is not maintaining the proper balance of algae and the small organisms they create within the aquatic landscape of the fish tank. Many aquarium owners will strive to own an aquarium with crystal-clear water, free of algae which tend provide an unsightly green coating on the the rocks and decorations within the tank. It is important to maintain a certain level of algae within your tank because the algae contains many contributing factors to lowering the amounts of stress for your fish. Algae will provide minerals and nutrients to your fish and corals, which are pivotal to building up their tolerance to diseases.
- It is important to quarantine new fish before adding them to your aquarium. One of the most often overlooked factors to introducing stress and disease into your fish tank is adding a fish that is already carrying a disease. To prevent the existing fish in your aquarium from acquiring a disease, it is a good idea to set up a separate quarantine tank, where you can place your new fish and observe them for a couple weeks to ensure that they are disease-free. Your quarantine tank must be maintained at the same water temperature and pH level as your main fish tank. Once you have observed your new fish for a couple of weeks, and you see no signs of stress or disease, you can then safely add the fish to your aquarium.
- Bullying from other fish and overstocking of aquarium. Harassment from other fish and not enough places for a fish to shelter themselves are a very common source of additional stress. It is important to realize that your fish are confined to a small area and are not free to escape the territory of other fish, as they are in the wild. Constant aggression and attacks from other fish can cause trauma and infections which can invariably lead to death. Overstocking your aquarium will lead to territorial confrontations as well as water pollution from additional waste and lack of available oxygen. It is very crucial that you do not overstock your tank. If you are interested in expanding your aquarium, you can contact the aquarium design and installation professionals at Normal Aquatics to create a custom aquarium for your home or business that will maximize the amount of space available for your aquarium.
Stress is one of the most crucial elements to consider when maintaining a healthy aquatic environment for your fish or corals. It is very important to be able to eliminate the contributing factors that can lead to a diseased tank and identify the characteristics of an unhealthy fish. As a fish tank owner, you are responsible for the health and happiness of your fish and you should be striving to provide the highest quality stress free environment for your fish.
You can rely on Normal Aquatics to create an aquarium maintenance program that will fulfill the requirements for your fish tank and stay within your budget. We offer maintenance programs that will service your aquarium twice weekly, weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly. If you own a salt-water aquarium, we recommend a recurring maintenance program due to the sensitivity of a reef environment and how crucial proper aquarium maintenance is. Contact us today and we will visit your aquarium to provide you with a free aquarium maintenance consultation before we formally write up a quote. Click here to learn more about our freshwater and saltwater aquarium maintenance services.