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TetraLover

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  • Regular Member

So I was watching this show about an aquarium, I think it was the one in Spain, and they caught some of those big "SunFish" (here, sunfish are freshwater crappies, lol) and they had them in a holding tank.

But then they squirted freshwater into the mouths of the fish. What would that do? I thought fish didn't actually "drink"?

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Fish actually drink constantly, through osmosis. Sunfish can be deepwater fish though, so maybe filling them with freshwater has something to do with adjusting their pressure? As deepwater fish are brought to the surface their swimbladders can actually explode, which is similar to why a scuba diver must ascend slowly.

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Guest Ink Fish

Thats really interesting. It does sound wierd squirting freshwater onto their mouths though.

I love your avatar Tetralover.

Edited by Ink Fish
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Ocean sunfish are actually pelagic (open-water) fish that prefer the areas near the surface of the open sea. They are even observed lying on their sides just beneath the surface apparently sunning their flanks to drive away parasites (which is where the "sunfish" name comes from). I would surmise that the flushing of the mouths and gills with freshwater serves two reasons: one is to kill attached parasites (which cannot survive the differences in salinity unlike the fish) and the other is to relieve stress in the fish from their capture. Yep, lower salinity actually reduces stress in freshly-caught marine fish which is why collectors and public aquariums submit their new acquisitions to a "hyposalinity" quarantine, namely, placing the fish in water with gradually reduced salt levels before they are acclimated to their permanent quarters

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