Do fish get thirsty? ( 7 common questions)

Do fish get thirsty?” Is one of the most interesting questions, asked by a lot of people. We will answer this interesting question along with other interesting facts about fish and its environment.

Do fish get thirsty?

No fish do not get thirsty, they live all the time around water and that makes them ignore its presence. The water that goes through the body of a fish during the first day of its life to the end, is just like the air we spend our whole lives in. The presence of water all the time around a fish doesn’t make it have an urge to quench its thirst.

The answer to the question, Do fish get thirsty? does not tell us whether fish drink water or not. The answer to the question,  whether fish drink water or not, is yes they do drink water but as always there are some exceptions that don’t drink water. But fish for the normal functioning of their body requires a balanced amount of water and solutes inside their body.

Fish have highly functional osmoregulatory functions which help them maintain their lives underwater. If the balance of salts and water gets disturbed, it is highly dangerous for a fish to sustain life.

Let us get into the depth of our main question: do fish get thirsty and find out more about them and also the environment they live their whole lives in. 

What is meant by the word “Thirst’?

Before going into the depth of this topic let’s clear our concept about thirst. Also, what exactly is thirst? 

Thirst can simply be called an urge to drink water, you can easily relate with this sentence. As humans, water is one of the most important needs to help us sustain our lives on this planet. As the other urges,  thirst can also be categorized into a lot and less depending upon the present condition of the person or animal.

Every living organism on this planet requires water, and that urge to quench that thirst, all of them drink water. But we all should keep in mind that the urge to drink water is not only psychological at all.

Our bodies depend on the water and that is why our brain keeps a strict check on it. Without the balance of water and salts, life may not seem to be possible. Now that we have discussed what is thirst let’s get back to our main question: do fish get thirsty. 

Do fish get thirsty underwater?

Fish live in an environment where water is always present around them, but the environment may vary from freshwater to seawater such as in freshwater rivers or streams and seas or oceans, respectively. 

Fish belong to kingdom Animalia which means that they have developed homeostasis functions such as osmoregulation. Osmoregulation is a process in which animals such as fish maintain the balance of solutes and water inside the body.

So do fish get thirsty underwater? NO, they actually don’t but they do have water moving through their mouth and gills. Fish do drink water but not because of an urge but unconsciously, a phenomenon that we would discuss later in our article.

Fish have to maintain the balance of salts and water inside their body, the environment underwater is always exposed to water. This continuous exposure to water may lead the fish to go into continuous osmoregulation. Fish because of these reasons have to maintain highly excretory functions as well.

The kidneys of fish play a very vital role in the excretion of excess salts and water and absorption in case of the low amount of salts and water. The kidneys are the main osmoregulatory organs of fish which help them live underwater and maintain a balanced amount of water and salts in the body.

Fish live in different kind of environments, and on basis of their environment they are divided into two basic categories

  • Freshwater fish
  • Seawater fish

Do fish get thirsty under freshwater?

Structure and function are always correlated. Animals due to their incredible adaptability have been successful in surviving on this land as well as underwear. The more easily an animal is adapted to its environment the more likely it is to survive. 

Fish living under freshwater are surrounded by lesser salts than the seawater fish who are surrounded by water having more concentration of salts in it. The fish living in freshwater where salts concentration is low have a relatively high amount of salts in their body.

Freshwater fish have to keep the inner environment of their bodies concentrated with salts as the compensatory act to the deficiency of important salts around them. To keep their inner environment concentrated they don’t drink water at all.

The high amount of diluted urine excreted by their kidneys also help them keep the environment of the inner body concentrated. These are the adaptations that fish had to go through to survive under freshwater. 

The skin of fish also plays a very important role in the regulation of salts and water. The skin of freshwater fish does not allow the salts to diffuse out which makes the fish have a more concentrated inner environment.

The question do fish get thirsty under freshwater has been answered, No, fish do not get thirsty under freshwater. Interestingly they don’t even drink water under freshwater conditions.

Do fish get thirsty under seawater?

We have answered our main question: do fish get thirsty along with, do fish get thirsty under freshwater let’s see do fish get thirsty under seawater, now.

Fish living in seawater are exposed to a highly concentrated environment continuously and in order to sustain their lives under seawater, they had to go through some adaptations. As we already know that the more adaptable an animal is, the more chances of its survival are.

Fish living under seawater have to keep their osmoregulatory functions going continuously. They cannot afford to live in a highly concentrated water, the same as they can not live in a highly diluted one.

Fish living under sea water drink a lot of water, despite the fact that they do not actually get thirsty but as reflex action inbuilt, they have to take in a lot of water. The inner environment of the fish in the sea is diluted as compared to the outer environment. 

Fish under the sea have to maintain a comparatively diluted inner body environment, otherwise, the cells of their body will go plasmolysis, a condition in which a cell loses all its water in a hypertonic environment. The environment of the sea because of the presence of too many salts is hypertonic and the fish living under seawater can easily dehydrate or even worse.

To prevent the loss of water and balance the proper amount of salts and water, the fish produce a high quantity of concentrated urine. They drink a lot of water which undergoes salt secretion by their kidneys and help them sustain life under seawater. 

The excretion of a high number of body salts in the concentrated urine, fish keep the inner environment relatively hypotonic. The skin of the fish living under sea water prevents the loss of water from it and absorbs as much water as it can, to make the inner environment relatively hypotonic.

We now know the answer to our question: do fish get thirsty under seawater? The answer is no they do not get thirsty, yet they need to drink a lot of water to keep their body environment comparatively hypotonic.

Do fish get thirsty under cold or hot water?

We can say that the thirst can depend upon the outside temperature of the body, as in summer when the temperature is too hot our body loses water and to conserve this water we need to drink more amount of water. The opposite is true in winters where the outside temperature does not make us sweat and therefore we don’t lose much amount of water.

In the case of fish, it is hard to say if the outside temperature has any influence on the body water as they are continuously exposed to water and do not go through the conditions that land animals such as humans go through from.

So the answer to our question do fish get thirsty under cold or hot water is in negation. No, the temperature does not influence the thirst of the fish.

Do fish get thirsty when they are sick?

Fish are also animals and like all animals, they can also get sick, the type of diseases that can make fish sick are of many origins. They can be viral, bacterial, fungal or protozoan as well. 

Any condition that disturbs the normal functioning of the fish can make the fish sick. Whatever the reason is the fish do not get thirsty, it can be possibly due to the continuous presence of water around them.

If you are wondering about any other condition in which the fish may get thirsty keep in the mind that they do not get thirsty, yet they may drink water as a reflex action inbuilt in their minds.

Conclusion:

We answered our main question: do fish get thirsty along with the other related questions like, do fish get thirsty underwater, do fish get thirsty under freshwater, do fish get thirsty under seawater or do fish get thirsty in hot or cold temperature.

We came to know a simple one-line answer, “no the fish do not get thirsty”.

Feel free to ask any question regarding do fish get thirsty in the comment section below.

FAQs: Do fish get thirsty?

Can a fish die of thirst?

No fish do not get thirsty, they live all the time around water and that makes them ignore its presence. The water that goes through the body of a fish during the first day of its life to the end, is just like the air we spend our whole lives in. The presence of water all the time around a fish doesn’t make it have an urge to quench its thirst.

Do fish drink their tank water?

Yes, fish do drink the water inside their tanks. A fish drinks water as a reflex action. Fish such as those living under sea water drink a lot of water, despite the fact that they do not actually get thirsty but as reflex action inbuilt, they have to take in a lot of water.

Why do marine fishes drink water, Unlike freshwater fishes?

Fish living in seawater are exposed to a highly concentrated environment continuously, they drink water in order to sustain their lives under seawater, they have to go through some adaptations. They cannot afford to live in highly concentrated water, the same as they can not live in a highly diluted one.

Do fish urinate in the water?

Yes, fish urinate in the water. Urination is an important factor in the osmoregulation of fish, to help them sustain their lives underwater.

Do fish fart underwater?

Yes, it can be said that fish fart underwater. Fish do keep the gaseous balance inside their bodies.

References:

https://www.quora.com/Do-fish-feel-thirst

https://theconversation.com/curious-kids-when-fish-get-thirsty-do-they-drink-sea-water-122761

https://animals.howstuffworks.com/fish/fish-get-thirsty.htm

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

https://education.abc.net.au/newsandarticles/blog/-/b/3315765/curious-kids-do-fish-drink-sea-water-when-they-get-thirsty

https://isequalto.com/iet-app/daily-edition/IRgv4943-Do-fish-ever-get-thirsty?

Hi, I am Martin, I am a pet lover! I own a Golden retriever and a Long-eared Owl. They keep me company & I often had questions about them which I couldn't find answers for online. I put this hub together for people like me & you.

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