There has been a huge surge within the fish keeping hobby in recent years and we have seen a massive increase in the number of people reaching out with various questions about their fish.
One thing that we have seen people worrying about is their fish swimming into the glass of their aquarium tank or into the decorations within the tank when chasing each other.
Each month we see a number of people reaching out and asking if fish can get concussions or not so we wanted to publish this article on the topic.
Our hope is that this article will be able to help as many of our readers as possible who are worried about their fish having concussions better understand the condition in fish.
Even then, the majority of bumps people see their fish take while swimming around in their tank will usually not be hard enough to cause any real risk of a concussion on the fish.
What Is A Concussion In A Fish?
A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury (TBI) that is caused by a blow to the head or a jolt to the body that causes the brain to move around inside the skull.
In humans, concussions usually result in some loss of consciousness but this is not always the case.
In fish, a concussion is typically caused by a fish swimming into something hard like the glass of their tank or a decoration inside the tank.
The force of the impact can cause the brain to move around inside the skull which can lead to concussions in fish.
Can Fish Get Concussions?
Fish can get concussions if they take a hit on the head that is strong enough to cause a concussion but like we mentioned earlier in the article, it is rare that this will actually happen in most tank setups.
This is due to the fish not being able to build up enough speed to swim into something in their tank fast enough to cause enough damage to cause a concussion.
If you have aggressive tank mates in the tank then they may be able to cause enough trauma to smaller fish when trying to bite them to cause a concussion but again, this is rarer than most people think.
What Are The Symptoms Of A Concussion In A Fish?
The symptoms of a concussion in a fish will vary depending on the severity of the concussion.
In most cases, a fish that has suffered a concussion will be lethargic and may have trouble swimming.
The fish may also display signs of confusion and may bump into things in the tank more often than usual.
If the concussion is severe enough, it can even lead to death in some cases.
Can Fish Knock Themselves Out?
It is extremely unlikely that a fish will be able to knock itself out due to most fish not being able to swim fast enough to cause enough damage to cause the knockout.
We know that there are some videos on social media of fish swimming in their tank and hitting something while swimming around that appear to show the fish being knocked out but this is very unlikely in our opinion.
It is far more likely that the fish had just ended up stunning itself for a couple of seconds and that’s why its behavior changed for a couple of seconds.
Another possibility is that the fish had a spike of the Cortisol hormone that causes rapid stress essentially forcing the fish to reset and built up its awareness from scratch.
This takes a couple of seconds and is more common in fish than many people initially think when a fish is subject to any type of trauma.
Can Fish Get Head Injuries?
Fish can definitely get head injuries if they take a hit to the head that is severe enough.
The most common type of head injury in fish is usually caused by them swimming into something hard like the glass of the tank or a decoration inside the tank.
In most cases, the head injuries suffered by fish are not severe enough to cause any long term damage but in some rare cases, the head injury can be severe enough to cause death.
Can A Concussion Kill A Fish?
A concussion is a type of brain injury and in some cases, it can be severe enough to kill a fish.
However, this is rare and usually only happens if the fish hits its head on something very hard or if the fish is very small.
If you think that your fish has suffered a concussion, it is important to keep an eye on it and if the symptoms seem to be getting worse, it is best to take the fish to a vet for further treatment.