is stress to a fish We
have all heard over and over about a fish being stressed and one of the
main reasons for them to die. But what exactly does that mean? There are
many things that are extremely stressful to a fish so let's go over them.
Netting is dangerous, harmful
and the most un-natural thing for a fish to endure. It also takes a toll
on one of there best defenses, that being there slime coat. We do of course
need to catch them some how but there are proper ways to do so. The technique
is to come up under the fish slowly and lift them into a bowl that is floating
in the water with them. From there they can either be lifted out to a transport
bag with your hands or by using a sock net. The sock net is much less harmful
and injurious to them than lifting up out of the water in a regular net.
Fins don't get caught and they literally slide out into there next destination.
If you are not bagging them for transport than they can be carried in bowl
or bucket to another water source.
Putting a fish in water that
it is not use to also causes a great deal of stress. They are used to the
water chemistry of where they were living. Every time a fish is moved to
another water source the chemistry can be drastically different. It takes
them time to adjust and build up immunities to the bacteria's in that new
water, rebuild any damage done to there slime coat and to feel at home.
The chemistry of fish is that
of flight or fight. In the wild they have to be aware of predators, they
are aware of sounds around them that warn of danger. Fish do startle and
when that happens they release adrenaline just as we do as humans but the
only difference is that we can settle our chemistry down in a short period
of time. A fish can not do that. It takes a fish many hours to reduce the
adrenaline in their bodies and while in this state they can go into shock.
This can kill a fish. Cracking ice on a frozen pond above them, chasing
them with nets, being over crowded, taking them out of their water to medicate
them, and even transporting them all cause a chemical imbalance. All this
creates a stress factor.
When fish spawn or breed, that is also a
great stressor. The male chases the female so much that he can actually exhaust
her to death. That is why brood stock should be in
excellent condition to endure the breeding process. Time needs to be spent
afterwards to de-stress the fish or they will become ill.
A fish's best protection is
there slime coat, a good diet and healthy water. If their slime coat is
down and there is bad bacteria in the water, or if they have an injury
and stressed it all sets them up for a major problem. They will get sick.
Nature has its ways of protecting and preparing the fish for all kinds
of conditions and it is us humans that are usually the culprit in making
them sick. We should be more concentrated on keeping there conditions,
water and environment healthy than on the fish themselves. When we are
the keepers of the water our fish will thrive.