How To Calm Down A Stressed Fish

How To Calm Down A Stressed Fish?

How To Calm Down A Stressed Fish?

Stress is a severe emergency of fish. Other than fish, no other living being is affected by stress so bad. 

Calming down a stressed fish is very important so that its life can be saved. First of all, you should try that your pet fish should not get into the stress state. 

If in case, your fish face this situation, then you must know that what to do immediately as the life-saving measures in the worst conditions. 

Here, we are going to discuss about calming down the stressed fish within minutes and how to know about fish is suffering from this condition. 

You can quickly calm down a fish suffering from the state of stress by removing the excess nitrogen from the water, adjusting the temperature to the required levels according to the fish species. Also, set the standards of pH, provide some hiding spots, remove any fish which is fighting with the stressed fish, and teasing it a lot. Assure the proper oxygen supply in your fish tank immediately and give your fish some food to eat. 

How To Calm Down A Stressed Fish?

Here I am going to share some techniques with you guys by which you can use to cure your fish from stress without calling the vet to your home and getting panic.

Remove Toxins From Aquarium 

The high amount of fish poop floating in the entire aquarium is awful for your pet fish. 

Fish waste is composed of pure nitrogen and nitrogenous substances, which become life-threating for your fish when it exceeds to a high level.

Remove the large quantity of old water from your fish tank if it is filthy and refill it with the new and pure one.

The next thing is to check out the efficiency of your filter that either it is working well or not. Change the filter media if required or clean it from time to time. 

The high levels of nitrates make your fish stressed and make it sluggish, and prolonged stress make them diseased as well. 

Make sure to buy a good filter that performs its function fully well so that the waste keeps on filtering daily without any break. 

Because fish can’t hold the food in their stomach for a long time and keep on pooping after some time. 

When your aquarium is pure and safe from toxins and metals, your fish will come back to its healthy life. 

Adjust The Temperature 

Different fish are living in different temperature environments, like fresh, warm and some are cold-water fish. Coldwater fish can only live in a cold environment; they cannot bear the warm temperature. 

So if you are keeping a cold-water fish in your aquarium and not providing it at the right temperature, then definitely this will lead your fish to stress and death. 

Similarly, I have seen so many warm-water fish in home aquariums freezing in chilling water and dying. You should not do this to your fish and take care of the temperature otherwise your fish can do a headstand.

The temperature fluctuations are adverse for the fish and make them stressed. You should keep a heater in a warm aquarium, especially when it is cold outside. 

Similarly, you should install a fan or chillers for cold-water fish. Fish stays comfortable in their required temperature.  

If the temperature stats are becoming opposite to the fish requirements, the clots of blood start forming inside their body, and the stress state appears with complications. 

So, always give the correct temperature to your fish, you must know that the fish you are going to buy is warm water fish or cold water. 

You should not pet both of these different temperatures demanding fish species together in the same tank because it is impossible to keep both belonging to two different temperature environments.

Keeping the right temperature can drag your fish back from the stress condition and your Killifish will stay healthy.

Set the pH

pH is another important thing besides temperature, and fish are also categorized as living at different pH levels, e.g., saltwater fish, etc. 

Different species of fish live in their specific pH ranges. When the pH changes start getting higher, e.g., water starts becoming alkaline, primary, or acidic, the severe kind of problems starts. 

Always keep the pH in check by testing it with pH testing strips or use the aquarium monitoring system for keeping an eye on every parameter. 

When the pH is all set, your fish will come out of stress.

Provide Sufficient Hiding Places

When an aquarium is entirely open, and there is no enough hiding spots for your fish, they will get stressed. 

So, if you do not want this condition of your fish, then keep some rocks and castles so that your fish can hide there. 

These things can also prove significant when a bird or a cat is attacking on your fish; they can immediately hide in their cave and save their life. 

Besides this, your pet can have a nap there and rest comfortably. The personal spots are always relaxing and soothing. 

The fish will not be frightened living in your aquarium when it has places to hide. Give your fish some personal space, and it will help a lot in taking it far away from stress. 

Remove The Fighter Fish 

Sometimes there are such fish in a tank that keeps on fighting with the weakfish. For example, betta fish fight with others forcing them to leave the aquarium so that they can enjoy their personal space all alone. 

They nibble and attack other fish for everything to make them leave the tank. If you see any fish nibbling and harming the other one, then immediately separate both of them with each other. 

Take the fighter fish out of the tank and put it in a bowl for some time. Again put it back in its place when its anger gets calm. 

The best way to stop the angry fish from fighting all the time is to use a tank separator. The betta fish live alone calmly or just with their female partner. 

These kinds of fish are not social; they love to spend time alone so that their big fins and tail might not get hurt. 

If your fish is in shock condition, look out for any fish teasing it, and separate them, the bullied fish will itself revive back to the good life. 

Give Sufficient Food 

Another reason for fish depression can be the hunger. Fish cannot bear hunger for a very long time. Therefore, their feeding time is 3 to 4 times a day.

If your pet is starving for food for a long time, immediately serve it with some food. If it is in a condition to eat, it will eat the meal; otherwise, try feeding it with your finger. 

Set Oxygen Pump In Aquarium 

The sufficiency of oxygen in aquarium water is very important so that fish can breathe adequately. 

When the oxygen supply in water is very less, fish get suffocated and die because of this. 

The process of oxygen mixing with water goes on, and carbon dioxide leaves the surface of water continuously. 

If you have covered the tank lid fully, the carbon dioxide levels start getting higher in water, and it can be dangerous for your fish. 

There must be a proper space so that carbon dioxide can leave the surface and oxygen keeps on mixing with water.

The best way to keep the aquarium water oxygen-rich is to use the air pumps. These pumps have two inlets, one takes the air from outside and another side of pipe supplies that air inside aquarium water. You can use an oxygen meter for accurate results.

If your fish is suffocated and stressed, then immediately insert the pipe of the pump there so that it starts getting enough oxygen and revive back to its active lifestyle. 

Pat The Fish Body Gently

If your pet holds a gentle behavior towards you and does not fear to come in your hands, then in this situation you can pat her body and slightly rub it with palm. 

The fish will love your gentle pats, but make sure fish is not afraid of you; otherwise, just leave it in oxygen pumps and don’t try to touch your pet. 

How To Know That Your Fish Is Stressed?

There are few ways to know that a fish is stressed, which you can find easily. 

Loss of Appetite 

If your fish is not eating for a very long period, then it means that there is something wrong.

If your fish has skipped any one meal in a day, then there is no need to worry. Maybe its tummy is full, and there is no more requirement for any other food.

But if it is skipping more than two meals a day, then it means that there is serious trouble which can be depression. 

Gasping At the Surface

If your fish is gasping at the water surface, then it means that it is in some stress. Check out for oxygen levels in water immediately, if they are okay and still your fish is gasping badly then it is a surety that it is facing depression. 

Changing Body Color

The active and healthy fish are bright and colorful always. When fish is facing hard times, its color becomes dull, and sometimes spots start coming on the body. 

Even you can see the color coming out of the body in some of the fish. Dull color is a clear indication of stress, so protect your fish from it. 

Strange Changes in Behavior

Fish starts getting strange when facing any kind of depression. Their swimming gate changes completely; they are swimming like a drunk in alcohol. 

Even fish hit the rocks, ornaments, and toys in the water while swimming. An extraordinary kind of change occurs, which can be changed by calming down a fish.

Diseased Condition

Disease can be a sign and a reason for stress as well. It can be any of the fish diseases like bacterial, viral, or some parasitic infections, etc. 

Some white and reddish spots start appearing on your fish body. The fins seem nibbled and distorted. 

Treat the fish disease using some fish medications commonly used by aquarists, and in case of some severe complications, consult some fish veterinarian. 

Lethargic Body 

Prolonged swimming tells you that your pet is in stress. If your fish feels sluggish to you, then put some toys in its aquarium. 

Try playing with it for some time, but if nothing is working and your fish is still lethargic, then try to find the reasons for stress, as explained above.

Rapid Gills Movement

A fish is struggling for its life if its gills are rushing. You must understand that there is a severe condition. 

Immediately, look out for the reasons and make the environment better for your fish so that it can help itself from coming out of depression.

Darting Around Tank 

Another indication is the darting behavior of a fish all around the tank. Some of the fish become lethargic while some of them dart badly and hurt themselves, hitting on different hard things. 

Try to calm down your fish as soon as possible otherwise;, it can hurt itself badly. If you can handle the situation, then take out the effected fish with the help of a net. 

Put the fish in another tank or container, which is just having water in it and no other equipment. 

Take the water from your previous fish tank or some new pure water because the freshwater you take immediately; you are not aware of its pH, hardness levels, actual temperature, and other parameters. 

Scraping Body on Rocks 

If you see that your fish is scrubbing the body with rocks and making herself bleed, then it is in a clear sign of a depressed fish state and you may notice that your betta fish is going crazy.

You should put the fish away from the rocks to keep her from hurting itself. Sometimes aquarium fish can eat rocks.

Abnormal Swimming 

You will notice a strange kind of changes in fish swimming. When it is not swimming like it usually does, then it means that there is something serious. 

You will understand the abnormal swimming behavior easily. It is like fish moving forward and backward, again and again, hitting with objects and other fish like the way it cannot see anybody.

Hiding for a Long Time 

Hiding behind the rocks and under the castles is good, because fish is taking a nap and resting at such places.

But it seems unusual that fish is not coming back from its hiding spot from all day long.

It will be difficult for you to keep an eye on fish, which is hiding for a long-time, and you will need a monitoring system for this. 

If you are sharp enough and know about each of your pets, then it is okay. Any time you notice this kind of activity by your fish, consider it as a stress condition. 


There is a complete list of methods explained here for calming down a fish from stress. Read the article thoroughly and learn more about your pet fish. 

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