Fish Facts

Why is My Fish Eating Rocks?

If your fish is eating rocks, then you should find the main cause of this problem. In this article, we have added 12 main reasons that can make the aquarium fish eat rocks.

Why is My Fish Eating Rocks? Your fish can eat rocks because of an insufficient supply of oxygen, poor diet, low water quality, a sudden change in environment, faulty filtration, and stress. Sometimes fish do not eat the rock but take it in their mouth to eat the remaining food and algae in the stone. 

Why is My Fish Eating Rocks?

Eating a rock is common for an aquarium fish, but there are many reasons why fish start consuming rocks. 

Insufficient supply of oxygen

When the aquarium’s oxygen supply is inappropriate, and fish do not find anywhere to breathe, fish reaches the aquarium’s surface and put some pebbles in its mouth to sustain oxygen.

There are algae on the stone, so fish start consuming algae to fulfill the need for oxygen.

Poor water condition

Low water conditions of the aquarium can cause adverse effects on the fish and other aquatic lives.

Poor water condition does not harm fish only, but it damages the health of live plants, from low water conditions it does not mean that water is green means there is no pH balance no filtration, and no vacuum supply in the aquarium.

When fish face such a harsh environment, it gets so much stress that the fish tries to hide her in the bottom of the tank with plants and stones. In this case, she put rocks in her mouth and eat small pebbles. You should know methods to calm a stressed fish.

Inappropriate food supply

That is the most common reason for fish-eating rocks because the beginners do not know how much food a fish want.

They can’t realize that their little one is now growing up, so they give the same small amount of food that becomes insufficient for the fish, and in this case, the fish reaches the surface of the tank and start looking for food in pebbles plants. 

The long gap between feeding

When a fish is growing up or its breeding season is just about to start, so she consumes more food and become hungry in a short interval. When they do not find food at that time, they move to filter or rocks in search of food remains.

Improper Filtration

Sometimes your filter condition gets so severe that the filter pads start excreting waste back in the water, and your fish may feel suffocated.

The fish can go to the bottom of the tank to protect herself from the harsh water condition. Fish starts filling his mouth with the stones to feel comfortable.

Minerals Deficiency can make a fish eat rocks

Minerals play an essential part in fish’s lives, and their deficiency can turn out to be life-threatening. Fish can utilize their minerals deficiency by nibbling rocks.

If your fish has minerals deficiency that is not full filling by the food you give, they start eating rocks to fulfill their needs.

Your fish is unwell

There are probable chances that a fish may eat rocks when she is not feeling well. When fish feel something unusual inside their body, they may start eating rocks.

It counts in their nature that they start eating rocks whenever they feel uncertain or and if shifted to a new tank, they might start ingesting rocks to make them comfortable. Fish eat rocks when they are in a stress condition or made some significant changes in their tank.

Sudden change in environment

Fish are the type of species that takes a massive amount of time to adjust to a new environment, like seven days. Other animals may change soon, but in the case of fish, they can adjust until they find their space, where they can feel comfortable.

When there is a sudden change in the environment, they become anxious, and to make themselves used to the new ambiance, they reach the bottom of the tank and start identifying rocks by nibbling or just by taking it in their mouth.

Their breeding season is near

When the breeding season of fish is near, they look for a better place to lay eggs this case, their start searching for a rock that has some algae on it in case of extra protection from other tank mates.

Fish prefers a cave-like rock in which they can hide and may nibble the stone which has algae on it because algae provide a healthy amount of nutrition to the breeding fish. 

Stressed fish can eat rocks

Most fish do not believe to be the sensitive animal, but they also get upset when they lose their tank mates or when other tank mates eat their eggs.

Fish go in a state of stress, and they start skipping their meal, so they swim strangely, set at the bottom of the aquarium with the plants and rocks to reveal their focus.

Sometimes they get so disturbed that they pretend to be dead, they hide in the rock caves for an extended period. 

Low pH level

Every living being has a pH number on which they resist, same as, fish the aquatic animals usually have a pH between 6.5 to 9.0.

It is naturally fit-in the fish that if they feel deficient, they can nibble the tank rock, which will help balance their pH level.

How to stop a fish from eating rock?

Do not add sharp edge rocks in your tank. It may harm your fish.

When you are cleaning the aquarium, it is cautious about the rocks. If you are a beginner, then do not add bleach or any harmful detergent on the rocks because if you fail to wash it properly, it may cause some serious issues and damage the internal organs of fish. 

But the question arises how can we clan the rocks? If you are a beginner, you can wash your aquarium rocks with simple water, or you can add some anti-fungal or anti-algae drops on them and keep it for few minutes, then you can clean the stones with water.

After washing, you may disinfect rocks by boiling for 20 to 30 minutes. That will help to kill pathogens that can be dangerous for your fish.

Do not add rocks that are more significant than the mouth of fish. It may clog into the throat of a goldfish.

If the pebble clogs in the throat of your fish, then slightly bought the fish with the help of a net and put it in the Ziplock bag with some water, and take it to the veterinary doctor. He will help you to remove the rock from your little friend.

Do not choose colored pebbles for the aquarium because the dye on the rock may irritate your fish.

Please do not add any random detergent while washing your aquarium because its remains can settle on the surface and may be problematic in the future.

If you expand your fish aquarium, prefer to have rocks and plants from the old tank. That will help your fish to adjust to the new environment quickly. 

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