Tag Archives: Fish Behavior

admin    August 18, 2018   CATEGORY: Fish Facts

Loving the Life: How to Tell if Your Fish are Happy

Your fish don’t smile, even though you could swear they smile once they see you. They don’t laugh, even though you wish you could hear them if they did. So how do you tell if your fish are happy?

Just like being able to identify whether your fish are friends or foes in that tank, it’s really a matter of knowing the behavior of your fish.

Generally speaking, following are some of the ways you can tell if your fish are happy.

1. They swim back and forth freely and energetically around the tank.

2. Quite like humans, happy fish might have a vibrant glow to their skin. If their skin looks good, it’s a sign of good health. And healthy fish are happy fish.

3. They do not appear fearful of the other fish in the tank. Fear will make them cower in a corner or back away from other fish rather than being active members of the aquarium community.

4. They are breathing normally. Irregular breathing may be a sign of distress.

5. They seem to enjoy eating, as applicable for their nature. Some fish are bottom feeders, for example, so they might not rush to consume the food you give them.

If you find that your fish don’t seem to be as happy as they could be, considering the following might help you lift their spirits.

• Do the fish have room to roam? If not, maybe you can obtain a larger tank or separate your fish into two tanks.

• Are they being bullied? If so, moving an aggressive fish into its own aquarium will make all of your livestock happier.

• Is the water clean? We can’t stress enough the importance of using clean, filtered water in your fish tank. It will make all the difference in their health and happiness.

• Knowing that some fish can be picky eaters, have you considered changing their food? If you think they might not be happy simply because they’re not thrilled at feeding time, you might be surprised to find that a different type of food makes them jump for joy. Remember that fish food expires and gets stale as well, so keep that in mind as you’re feeding them.One way to ensure that your fish are happy is to provide them with a proper playground with rock, gravel, and plants.

• Are you providing them with a proper playground, full of natural or artificial plants, rock, and gravel? If your fish tank is boring to you, it’s probably boring to them too. Keep in mind that having those items in your fish tank serves as a natural filter as well, so it will keep your fish healthier.

Remember that different types of fish have different characteristics. Some are naturally very social and playful, while others just float in the corner quietly as they’re checking out the action.

Being able to tell if your fish are happy really depends, therefore, on a combination of all of the above. Are they behaving as they usually do for the type of fish that they are? And are they eating? Do they look healthy? Are they getting along with other fish in the aquarium? If so, they’re most likely just fine, and it’s all due to your loving care and attention.

So it’s OK to imagine that they’re smiling when they see you. They probably are in their own way.

If you are still worried about the health of your fish, let us know! We’ll help you determine the cause of their discomfort and suggest ways that you can improve the aquarium environment.


There are a few ways you can tell if your fish are happy. Contact us to learn more about creating a suitable aquarium environment.

TAGS: Aquarium Environment, Fish Behavior, Healthy Fish,

admin    August 8, 2018   CATEGORY: Fish Facts

How to Tell if Your Fish are Playing or Fighting

As you admire the fish in your tank, you regularly see one fish chasing after another one. The one in the front seems to be swimming away as quickly as possible … and then all of a sudden, the chase is over and they all calm down. What’s going on here? Are they playing or fighting? And which one won?

From your perspective, it probably doesn’t look like either one of them did. Sure, the one in the back looked like the aggressor on the surface, but it didn’t achieve much. Is it possible that they were just playing like children on a playground? And how do you tell the difference?

Here are a few general things you should know that could help you determine what’s going on in that fish tank of yours.

  1. First of all, it’s natural for them to swim after each other. It’s a way for them to interact, and it can be fun for them. They also might be working on growing their little families in the near future.
  2. One fish might try to chase another fish out of its territory, but doesn’t actually plan to hurt the trespasser if it doesn’t have to. It just simply doesn’t want to socialize or share its space, and if it involves breeding, that’s to be expected.There are ways to tell if your fish are playing or fighting. This fish looks scared!
  3. If they are fighting, a fish that feels threatened is more likely to cower in a corner, not dive into the situation head on. Instead of swimming toward the aggressor, the fish that is trying to protect itself from harm might isolate itself. In other words, when a more aggressive fish swims toward it, a weaker fish might hide rather than fighting back.
  4. There will be visible signs if a fish has been attacked in the tank. Such signs include marks on its body and nips on its fins. A fish that is injured will shy away from the other fish to give itself time to heal.
  5. Territorial fish are likely to be aggressive toward fish of their own species that are of the same sex. They’re basically trying to protect their breeding ground, and a fish of the same species and sex is competition.

It’s easier to understand the difference between playing and fighting when you compare their behavior with dogs’ behavior. Dogs that are playing, or trying to mate, do chase after each other in a backyard. They might wrestle with each other and even sound like they’re fighting … but then lie down on the grass, give each other loving winks, and stare at the crackling firepit together.

If they’re fighting, it’s undeniable. They’re louder, and aggressive dogs will physically hurt each other if given the chance.

It’s not quite as clear when it comes to fish, but the idea is the same.

Of course, fish will behave differently in a fish tank depending on their breed. For that reason, being able to determine if your fish are playing or fighting requires getting to know their characteristics and normal behaviors better.

Basically, just watch them. If it looks like fun, it probably is.

If it doesn’t, you can have what you’ve always wanted: a second aquarium! Set up a new aquarium environment and migrate the aggressive breeds into it. And now you have arranged quite the sight to see in your home or business.

If this isn’t an option, talk with your friends who are also enthusiasts to see if they would like your fish, as it may fit their environment better. As a last resort, you might be able to give or sell your fish back to the store. If you decide to take this route, make sure you make arrangements ahead of time to make sure the store will take the fish back before you go through the stress of transporting it.

Being able to predict with any reasonable amount of certainty whether or not fish will get along is a skill that requires years of experience. If you’re curious about what types of fish are suitable to add into your existing tank, ask us! We’ll be happy to give you some suggestions.


There are a few ways you can tell if fish are playing or fighting. Contact us to learn more about which best are most suitable for each particular type of aquarium environment.

TAGS: Aquarium Environment, Fish Behavior, Fish Compatibility,