Are your fish cannibalistic?

Bristlenose fish

When a fish owner observes fish going missing, he notices a typically calm fish munching on the carcasses of the missing fish. Is it possible that your fish are murdering and devouring your other fish?

In fact, witnessing one fish devour another has little meaning. When one of the fish in the tank dies, the other fish in the tank will swiftly exploit the circumstance. Even if a fish is still alive but very weak or sick, his tank mates will prey on him. This is why it happens.

Why Do Fish Eat Other Fish?

Fish, like all living beings, are opportunistic. They will devour food in any shape that comes their way. Sure, that meal was their best swimming buddy the day before, but he's lunch today. It's all part of the grand scheme of things.

So, how can a fish owner figure out who or what the true killer is? It might be an evident bully in certain cases, but it's also possible that it's not another fish at all. A change in water conditions, an outbreak of an undetected illness, or just stress might cause a spate of fatalities. The trick is to pay close attention to what's going on in the tank. This is especially true if you've just added new fish to the tank or if something else in the aquarium has changed.

New Fish Take Time to Adjust

In a tank, new fish are scrutinized by the other fish. Even in a tank of tranquil fish, there is a pecking order. Territories have already been created, and everyone is waiting to see which space the visitor will select. Even with typically calm fish, quarrels may break out if the other fish are endangered in any manner.

When you add a new fish to the tank, keep a close eye on all of the others. Use the old reliable tactic of altering the decor if you notice any symptoms of aggressiveness. This changes the prior regions and may allow things to calm down. If the aggressiveness persists, you may have to remove either the aggressor or the target of the assaults.

Make sure there are plenty of hiding places for everyone, even if it means adding more plants, rocks, and other decor.

Water Problems Can Play a RoleĀ 

An or nitrite surge is an unseen but common issue that can occur in even the most well-established aquarium, especially when new fish are introduced. This can put a strain on the tank's biological balance, resulting in a transient surge in followed by an increase in nitrate. Because the new fish have already been captured, packaged, transported, and introduced into a totally new environment, they are more vulnerable to a change in water than typical.

When water changes, filter cleaning, or other sorts of maintenance are conducted, it is also possible to temporarily upset the nitrogen cycle's equilibrium. Although things normally calm down soon, stressed fish might succumb to the stress.

A chain reaction might occur: one fish dies, releasing additional organic poisons into the water, and another stressed fish dies as well. When the domino effect appears to be a killer fish, it's merely the consequence of weaker or older fish succumbing to what's going on in the water. Monitoring water characteristics might help you detect such changes.

DiseaseĀ Can Weaken Fish

A sickness might possibly be to blame for a string of fish fatalities. Because not all infections are visible, quarantining new fish is advised. Maybe the new fish you bought got contaminated when you placed it in with your other fish. The fish turned belly up the night after you brought it home due to the stress of being transported and the sickness.

The other fish spotted the carcass the next morning and immediately began dining on their newfound breakfast buffet. They've all been infected now. Some may live, but the weaker ones may die and be devoured by their tankmates.

How to Prevent Your Fish From Eating Each Other

It's critical to isolate your fish and keep track of what's going on in the tank. Keep a notebook to keep track of your fish's typical behaviour. Keep an eye on the pH, ammonia, nitrite, and temperature levels to see if anything is going wrong. When you add new fish or make a substantial adjustment to the tank, pay extra attention.

You aren't as likely to lose any fish when you know your tank. In the event that you do lose some, you're far more likely to know who or what the real killer is.