Do fish drink water?
You may have heard of this phrase once in your life “You drink like a fish?” and even if it is only for a second, you must have pondered “Do fish drink water?”
Every living creature thriving in Earth needs water for its survival. All humans, animals, and yes marine life too. If living beings do not consume water it is impossible for the chemical reactions to take place in our bodies. And, if they do not occur then what will happen? We will die in that case.
However, we think that “Do fish drink water?” They are always in water so why do they need to drink it? Shouldn’t they be absorbing it all the time because water is their habitat. Well fish do not absorb water, however they put water in their bodies through a different process called” Osmosis.”
Osmosis is a natural chemical process that involves the movements of solutes from higher concentration to the lower concentration. Through this process the amount of soulte and solvent balances out. the two regions.
There are different phenomena for fresh water fish and sea water fish. The body fluid present inside a freshwater fish is much more salty than the water in which they live. So the less concentrated fresh water moves in and the salty fluids from the body of the fish moves out in the freshwater. In that way fluids remain in a balance. The opposite concept happens with a fish.
How do fish drink water?
Not every fish drinks water but yes there are some species of fish that do drink water. Fished are astonishing species and they have evolved several ways to survive in the water.
With time fish and other animals have devised multiple ways to survive their natural habitat and to pass on the healthiest and best genetic makeup.
One example is of bony fishes, thye drink water. Similarly, there are multiple other fishes like tuna, cod, and herrings which are also seen as drinking water.
However, they do not do that like the way humans do. As we swallow and pee the urine out, fishes also do the same. But their way of doing things is different. Instead of doing it with special organs they do it through their skin and gills.
Do fish need to drink water?
Well! Technically yes, fish do need to drink water. Because the natural fluids present in the fish makes it very difficult and dangerous for the fish to live. Thereby they have to allow water in their bodies either through osmosis or through their skin or gills.
When the process of osmosis happens, the solutes or salts present in the body of the fish or in the water moves out to the area where there is low salt. Similarly the water either moves inside of the fish’s body.
Remember that sea fishes like Sharks, their bodies do not have salty fluids like freshwater fishes. That means the concentration of the salts in the shark’s body is much less than the sea water. So what happens in that case?
So sharks also absorb water from the seas through their skin and gills and also from osmosis. They continuously secrete the salts out from their bodies as the seawater is extremely salty and their bodies cannot tolerate it.
Do freshwater fish drink water?
Besides sea water fishes, freshwater fishes that are much smaller in size also make us ponder “Do fish drink water?”. So we already know that everyone on earth needs water so fish also consume water without directly drinking it. But by letting the water in through osmosis or through their skin and gills.
The fluids and substances present inside a freshwater fish are much more salty and bitter than the water in which they live. That explains the water in which they live has little to no amount of salts.
So they utilize the water present in their surroundings through osmosis, by letting the salts from their bodies move out and water to move inside. They also use water by absorbing it through their skin and gills.
Using the above methods fish have developed themselves to survive in a tough environment like water and they balance out the amount of solutes in their bodies and in their surroundings to use water.
Do betta fish drink water?
Betta fish have a slightly different mechanism through which they allow water in their bodies. If I say that betta fish technically drink water from their mouth then it would not be wrong. Because they actually do it.
Water into the betta fish’s bodies through the small or tiny openings present on its mouth and also present on its skin and gills. There are several tiny fibres present on these openings which are called “Cilia”. There are two types of cilia present in the betta fish:
- One which are present outside on the fish’s gill
- The other which are present on the inside of the fish’s gill.
The water that a betta fish absorbs does not penetrate directly into the body, it first enters the hole which is located inside the body of the fish. From where it travels to the backside of the gill.
Once the water is inside the fish’s body it then travels again from the gill towards the mouth of the fish.
How do saltwater fish drink water?
Sharks are miracles of the sea world. Their body mechanisms are much more diverse than an ordinary fish. Sharks are not water wasters like the bony fishes or freshwater fishes. They maintain the balance of solutes with the sea water or with the ocean in a very unique way. Kudos to the component present in nature called “Urea.”
There are the same amounts of urea and other substances already present in the shark, as much as the salts present in the sea water. So as they are already at balance with the seawater so the water is not constantly moving in and out, unlike the bony fishes.
Instead of performing complex processes like osmosis, sharks simply absorb some water through the sea using their skin and gills. There is a glans present in the shark’s body which is responsible for maintaining the salt level in the shark’s body. If it gets too much it simply pushes out some of the salts in the form of pee or feces.
Do tropical fish drink water?
There are several seawater fishes present like Hagfish, and the sharks who do not support the process of osmosis or osmoregulation to let water inside of their bodies.
These fishes actually drink the water surrounding them. The salt present in the water acts and gets the water out in a steady and continuous manner, through a process called “Respiration in a reverse way”. This phenomenon occurs because some of the fish’s tissues are not as salty as the water in their environment.
There are also some tropical fishes that are known to drink large amounts of water. But, they also secrete extra salts and metal ions back into the sea and ocean.
Tropical bony fishes like the freshwater fishes do osmoregulation and keep the solute concentration to about one third or to a quarter, than their salty sea water environment. Remember marine bony fishes do not include sharks, rays, and hagfish.
Bony marine fishes in the sea utilize their gills and also their urine to balance the amount of salts and water in their bodies. In order to compensate for their loss, marine fishes as compared to fresh water fishes have to drink greater amounts of water.
However, as we know that sea water is extremely salty so they have to excessively push out salts to balance them out. The salts present in the water are approximately 35% more than present in their bodies.
The salts which they push out include sodium, chloride, magnesium , and sulphates. Gills are used for the emission of sodium and chloride ions. On the other hand, magnesium and sulphates are excreted out as urine in the seawater.
Do fish drink saltwater?
When fish is in the sea the fluids in the body are least salty as compared to the water present in its surroundings. So they have to balance the amount of solvent and solute by doing ‘osmosis’.
In order not to get dry from the concentrated seawater, fishes do drink large amounts of water to keep themselves hydrated. But as the seawater is very salty so by ingesting it means more salt in the body. So they excrete the excess salts like magnesium in the form of urine, and they also do it using their gills.
Do fish have to drink water?
So uptil now that marine fishes need water and they do drink it? But will that mean that they get thirsty? The answer is a clear no. Fishes live in water and they do not have highly advanced brains that can tell them to have water now. In addition they do not have a throat like us, so technically they do not feel the rush to drink water.
Thirst is mainly a strong urge to drink water. It is highly impossible that fish can have such a compulsion force in them that pushes them to drink water.
Do fish need to drink water to survive?
It is in the nature of the water that it seeks chemical balance and equilibrium of the solutes. It clearly explains that water will move from a region of higher to low solute concentration.
In the sea, the amount of water present inside a fish is much more critical than the outside water, because it is so salty. As a result, sweater fishes continuously have to eliminate excessive salts outside of their bodies using either their skin or gills.
As the fish loses water, she also has to drink to make up for continuous and excessive loss. But as there is only salt water in their surroundings the fish kidneys eliminate additional salts continuously.
Do fish need water to drink?
All of the fishes need water to fulfil their oxygen needs which is essential for their breathing. Some fishe do not technically drink water using their mouths but they do need water.
Fishes usually absorb water either through their skin or gills or regulate it by using osmosis. The process of osmosis is much more similar to the process in which we absorb nutrients and the same way hormones work in our body.
There is one species of fish which is known as Nikpoh Lyrad, it drinks great amounts of water and stores it in a huge cavity present in its body. When the enemy fish approaches, it spits the water out onto them.
Do not drink water after eating fish
If we drink water instantly after eating a Fish meal, the pH levels of our stomach gets disturbed. It changes the chemical nature of our stomach and makes it more acidic. It can result in stomach disorders or can cause irregular digestions. So it is ideal to wait for almost 15 minutes before drinking water after a meal.