Skip to Content

How To Help A Foxface Rabbitfish That Is Stressed!

Over the last couple of years the foxface rabbitfish has slowly been growing in popularity and although they really are a great looking fish to keep, they can be a little difficult to have in your tank, especially if you are new to the fish keeping hobby.

We know that there are definitely more complicated fish to keep in your aquarium but we have seen people reaching out and asking questions about their foxface rabbitfish being stressed and asking how they are able to calm it down.

The foxface rabbitfish can easily be stressed, especially when newly added to your aquarium but the species will often calm down given time.

The most common causes of your foxface rabbitfish being stressed include water shock, toxic shock, harassment from tank mates, and issues such as ich with most of these being easy to fix.

Please keep in mind that the foxface rabbitfish can be a relatively skittish fish species and may get stressed for not other reason than one of its tank mates swimming close to it without even touching it.

This is just one of those things with the species that tend to catch beginner fish keepers out and have them worry about their fish but even if everything is perfect in their tank, your foxface rabbitfish may still get stressed on a regular basis.

Is It Normal For A Foxface Rabbitfish To Be Stressed?

Due to the skittish nature of foxface rabbitfish, it can be normal for the species to be stressed and anxious even if the conditions in their tank are perfect for them.

These are usually only short term stress sessions where the fish may change color for a day or two but if the fish is stressed for longer than a couple of days then there is a good chance that there is something seriously wrong with the aquarium.

It is usually very easy to notice if your pet foxface rabbitfish is stressed or not as they will often change their color, usually to a shade of brown while also having their spines up.

This is very easy to notice making it much easier to tell when your foxface rabbitfish is stressed out and having issues where as it can be difficult to see in some other fish species.

Other signs to look out for in a stressed foxface rabbitfish can include both darting around its tank erratically and staying stationary with minimal movement with this being a little confusing at times due to being opposite behaviors.

Depending on what is causing your pet foxface rabbitfish to be stressed, some of the displayed behaviors of your fish can be different and that’s why two of the symptoms of a stressed foxface rabbitfish are opposites to each other.

The main consistent symptom of a stressed foxface rabbitfish is the color changing and spiking of its dorsal fin though no matter the cause of the stress.

What Causes A Foxface Rabbitfish To Be Stressed?

There are a number of causes of stress in foxface rabbitfish with water shock and toxic shock usually being the two most common problems causing the stress in the fish.

This is usually due to doing a large water change in the tank causing water shock or due to a lack of water changes resulting in the toxic levels of the water parameters spiking causing your fish to become stressed and anxious.

Depending on the setup of your aquarium, you may also have some problems with your foxface rabbitfish having issues with its tank mates.

Some other fish species may chase your foxface rabbitfish around the aquarium trying to nip or bite it causing the fish to become stressed.

More often than not, the offending fish in the aquarium that is changing your pet foxface rabbitfish will also be chasing other fish that you keep too causing multiple problems.

Although it will depend on the personality of your specific foxface rabbitfish, it is generally considered normal for the species to be stressed and anxious for the first week or two when placed in a new aquarium.

If you have only recently added your foxface rabbitfish to your tank then this could be totally normal for your pet fish and this should fade over time with the stress levels being much lower between the one to four week point.

How Can I Reduce Stress Levels For A Foxface Rabbitfish?

Maintaining steady, suitable water parameters for your pet foxface rabbitfish is the easiest way to reduce the stress levels of the fish as it removes the two most common causes of stress in a foxface rabbitfish, water shock and toxic shock.

Trying to remove any aggressive tank mates in your aquarium that are harassing your pet foxface rabbitfish is another easy way to reduce their stress levels.

As we touched on earlier in the article, if you do have one or more fish within your tank that are being aggressive towards the other fish you can look to remove the fish.

This usually involves putting the offensive fish that is acting aggressively into a separate tank where it is away from your other fish.

This may not be possible for everyone depending on your setup and budget available but it is usually the best option available for the majority of people.

We have seen some people have to sell any fish in their aquariums that are being aggressive to their foxface rabbitfish and other tank mates to protect their fish though. Again, this will depend on your situation and the budget you have available for a second tank.


That brings our article going over why your foxface rabbitfish is stressed and how you are able to reduce their stress levels. The main thing to remember is that the foxface rabbitfish species is generally easier to stress than the majority of other fish species that are commonly kept within the hobby so it may not be the best option for your tank if you are new to fish keeping and have minimal experience with keeping a community tank with multiple fish or maintaining water parameters.