Do fish ever get thirsty?

In this post, we will answer the question “Do fish get thirsty?”. We will also discuss the reasons why we consider fish do not to get thirsty.  

Do fish ever get thirsty?

Probably not, according to current thought. There are two reasons for this: first, unlike land mammals, who must constantly seek water to be hydrated, fish essentially live in water and so do not have a strong desire to consume water. The other explanation is that, unlike humans, fish thirst is more of a reflex that occurs without them having to make a conscious decision; it just happens. They are not required to be thirsty to drink water. 

They don’t feel the need to chug water after a hard workout or a walk around town on a hot, bright day. 

Saltwater vs. freshwater fish 

Freshwater fish don’t actively swallow water with their mouths since doing so puts their blood at risk of becoming diluted. Fishermen who work in seawater intentionally consume large amounts of water in order to keep hydrated at all times.

Humans are completely reliant on a few ‘tangible’ items throughout their entire lives; in other words, they could not possibly survive without them.Water is, without a question, one of the most fundamental of all human requirements. It is vital for survival.

Have you ever wondered if other species have the same unquestionable need for water as we have in order to survive? Let’s limit the category of ‘organisms’ for this essay to creatures that are constantly surrounded by water – fish. Doesn’t it seem strange that fish feel thirsty as well? 

What does it mean to be thirsty? 

This subject is intriguing because it contains the term ‘thirst,’ which is the desire to consume water in its most basic form. Humans can be a bit thirsty or I-can-gulp-the-whole-barrel-down thirsty, depending on how strong the impulse is. Humans have an innate drive to drink water in order to maintain a healthy water-salt balance in their bodies.

All animals living on land, not just humans, are at risk of dehydration and must thus drink water. In other words, when these creatures are thirsty, they drink water. 

Animals that live in water 

When we’re talking about creatures who spend the majority of their lives in water, thirst is a completely different matter. Consider this: if you lived inside a pizza, how would you ever feel hungry? How can fish have a strong need to consume water (or feel thirsty) when they are surrounded by it all the time? 

However, it isn’t quite as simple as that. When it comes to actively sip water, freshwater and ocean fish behave differently. This is further complicated by their body architecture. 

Freshwater fish

Freshwater fish (those that live in freshwater that does not have a high salt content, such as seawater) have blood that has a higher salt concentration than the water in which they live. As a result, drinking water puts them at risk of diluting their blood. This is why they don’t drink enough water to keep the salt and water balance in their bodies in check. As an alternative, they gather water through their skin and gills, and then excrete a far more dilute combination in order to get rid of all the additional water they have collected.

Saltwater fish

Seawater fish are always at risk of dehydration because the salt content in their blood is lower than the water they are surrounded by (since seawater is extremely salty), and as a result, they aggressively drink water to maintain their salt concentration. They can take seawater, process it, and then excrete the surplus salt thanks to the amazing design of their gills.

Conclusion 

In this post, we answered the question “Do fish get thirsty?”. We also discussed the reasons why we consider fish do not to get thirsty.  

If you have any questions or concerns, please let us know in the comments section below!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): do fish ever get thirsty

Is it possible that my fish is thirsty? 

Your fish doesn’t drink because it is thirsty; instead, it eats metabolic water. Despite this, saltwater fish drink a lot of water to manage their osmotic balance, not to relieve their thirst. 

How do fish get their water? 

When the fish swallows the water, the mouth closes, clogging the gills with extremely minute bones (operculum). The water is pushed to the gill filaments, which are responsible for breathing, by this pressure. After the procedure, the fish closes its mouth and swallows the water. 

Is it possible to turn saltwater fish into freshwater fish? 

Give yourself plenty of time to find new homes for your saltwater fish, coral, and plants if you’ve decided to convert your saltwater aquarium to a freshwater aquarium. Freshwater aquariums are incompatible with saltwater fish and plants. 

Is it simpler to keep a saltwater aquarium or a freshwater aquarium clean?

Freshwater tanks are generally easier to maintain and pose fewer risks. Freshwater aquariums are also less expensive than saltwater aquariums. Cichlids, betta fish, and tetras fish are all common freshwater aquarium fishes to keep.

Is it possible to turn saltwater fish into freshwater fish? 

Give yourself plenty of time to find new homes for your saltwater fish, coral, and plants if you’ve decided to convert your saltwater aquarium to a freshwater aquarium. Freshwater aquariums are incompatible with saltwater fish and plants. 

References

Do fish get thirsty? https://www.thenakedscientists.com/articles/questions/do-fish-get-thirsty

Do Fish Get Thirsty? https://animals.howstuffworks.com/fish/fish-get-thirsty.htm

The appliance of Science: Do fish ever get thirsty? https://www.irishexaminer.com/lifestyle/arid-30956863.html

Kültz, D. (2015). Physiological mechanisms used by fish to cope with salinity stress. The Journal of Experimental Biology, 218(12), 1907-1914. 

Cao, Q., Gu, J., Wang, D., Liang, F., Zhang, H., Li, X., & Yin, S. (2018). Physiological mechanism of osmoregulatory adaptation in anguillid eels. Fish physiology and biochemistry, 44(2), 423-433.

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