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Causes of death of ornamental fish

Hussien Shrief Mohammed

Why do ornamental fish die?

What are the causes of the death of ornamental fish? Ornamental fish that people acquire in small aquariums at home may be at risk of sudden death, and it is increasingly frustrating because fish deaths are frequent, and therefore it is necessary to identify these reasons, the most important of which are the following:

Causes of death of ornamental fish
Causes of death of ornamental fish

1-Dirty water

Contaminated or unclean water is one of the most common causes that can lead to the death of fish, as the aquarium water can be easily contaminated if anything foreign is found in it, which in turn affects the life of the fish in the aquarium.

The water may also become contaminated when it is changed, so the same container must be used and not changed, and it is not permissible to use detergents to clean the aquarium because it leads to water pollution, in addition to the presence of ammonia and nitrites in the water that may harm the life of fish, as ammonia is produced from fish waste and rotting food residues that are deposited at the bottom of the pelvis.

Also, not removing dead fish from the tank can greatly affect the quality of the aquarium water, so the water should be changed regularly, at least once a week.

Causes of death of ornamental fish
The main causes of death of ornamental fish

2-Stress and tension

The fish can be affected by stress and tension like a normal human being, which is one of the reasons that led to his death, as stress results from several things, including the inconvenience caused by the noise that occurs inside the house and the placing of hands on the fish with the intention of playing with it.

Stress may also be caused by the presence of some species of fish that are inconsistent with their behavior, so they should be separated from each other.

3-Overcrowding of fish in the tank

Overcrowding of fish in the tank is fatal, and the reason is that it increases the percentage of ammonia inside the tank as a result of the increase in the number of fish, and people may not pay attention to this important problem when buying aquarium fish, so they increase their desire to make their tanks more beautiful.

However, this negatively affects the lives of the fish in the aquarium as it does not give them the space and freedom to move. In addition, it increases the percentage of losses in the water, which leads to a high level of ammonia.


Overfeeding the fish may be a significant factor in its death if the uneaten fish often ends up at the bottom of the tank, and this food decomposes, resulting in an excess of ammonia in the water.

Therefore, it is necessary to put some species of fish, such as catfish, that feed on leftovers on the bottom and to make a regular change of water.

5-Insufficient chemical filtration

Aquarium owners should ensure that the aquarium water is dechlorinated when changing to ensure the quality of the aquarium water. In addition, the use of untreated water, such as ordinary tap water, will even lead to the death of the fish, so care must be taken that the water is clean and sterile .

6-Lack of heat and warmth

The low temperature of the aquarium water is something that would lead to the death of fish, especially those tropical species 

that do not prefer low levels of heat. Therefore, to get rid of this problem, it is necessary to put in water heaters for ponds, where the heat is regulated automatically, and they are able to make the temperature of the aquarium water moderate all the time.

The most prevalent aquarium fish diseases

Causes of death of ornamental fish
ornamental fish

There are many diseases that can affect aquarium fish, which are mostly due to the poor quality of the water in which they live, or due to overcrowding, stress, or an improper or unbalanced diet. The most famous of these diseases are:

  • parasites.
  • bacteria.
  • Fungal diseases
  • Lymphatic cyst
  • Gas bubble disease.
  • cancer.
  • kidney disease.

Signs of aquarium fish disease

There are many signs that appear on fish when they have a disease, and these signs vary according to the nature and type of disease that can affect fish, but there are distinctive signs that humans can notice on fish in general, and among these signs are the following:

  • Their fins become coarse and slightly worn out.
  • The skin of the fish tends to be rough and some sores may appear.
  • Some fish lose their skin when infected with a disease.
  • Some white spots resembling fungus appear in the gill area.
  • Some mucus appears on the head, back, and nose.
  • The nostrils change colour and tend to become light or dark brown.
  • Some sick fish breathe very hard or very quickly.
  • Some sick fish lose their appetite and desire to eat.

How to take care of ornamental fish

There are many steps that must be followed to maintain and take care of ornamental fish, especially that they are not of one type but rather of multiple types, as each type needs attention and attention to ensure obtaining the best desired results from the breeding of ornamental fish. The following are the most important tips for caring for ornamental fish:

Causes of death of ornamental fish
Causes of sudden death of ornamental fish

1-Choose the quality of the fish

You should choose an aquarium fish that is easy to maintain and does not require a lot of care or hard work. This is done by knowing the characteristics of each fish and what its basic needs are before buying it.

2-The size of the aquarium and its location inside the house determine

The size of the aquarium must be taken into account with the number of fish that will be placed in it, so you must pay attention not to increase the number of fish in it, because this will lead to their death, and you must pay attention to where they are placed inside the house, as it is important not to expose them to direct sunlight.

3-The quantity and quality of water

Neglecting to choose good quality water or to clean and change the water on a regular basis will have a negative impact on the fish's life, and they can be very vulnerable to death.

4-Fish feed

The issue of fish nutrition is an important issue that is no less important than the quality of the aquarium water, and therefore good feed must be selected and often obtained from ornamental fish stores, and these feeds must be rich in proteins, and they must be taken care of. How often can the fish be fed?

5-Aquarium care

Care must be taken to allocate sufficient time to care for the aquarium, as some additional equipment needed for the aquarium must be provided, such as an air pump, water heater, light bulb, some ornamental plants, rocks, and sand, because they are among the things that will maintain the life of the fish and make it more healthy .