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Basic Advice

Interacting With Aquarium Inhabitants: Why Knocking On the Glass Is Annoying to Fish

Imagine you’re sitting in your office on a Monday morning, taking care of some paperwork. All of a sudden, a Godzilla-sized human is looking at you through your office window. She takes her finger, which in and of itself is bigger than you, and taps on the glass. The sound is deafening and the whole building shakes. That would be a bit distracting, no?

For as long as there have been aquariums, there have been people who love to tap on the glass to get the fish’s attention. Obviously no immediate tangible damage results from this, otherwise even those who love doing it would presumably have stopped.

But it’s also important to think about the psychological well being of the fish inside the tank. Knocking on the glass is a disruptive act, and since fish can’t very well communicate how they feel, we have to try to imagine how it may impact them. And let’s face it, it probably feels like the scenario in the beginning of this post, and it’s likely unpleasant. We can tell it’s disruptive, because often fish will change their swimming pattern in response to knocks on the glass.

Last but not least, there are the more practical considerations. Knocking on an aquarium tests its structural integrity (it also leaves unsightly smudges). If you had a glass or acrylic container that you wanted to remain waterproof for the long term, you probably wouldn’t want ever passerby in your office to tap the glass several times a day, every day, for years, right?

Want to know what other things fish don’t like? Reach out to us, and we’ll let you know!

About Jon Wolf

Servicing Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana & Michigan, Blue Planet Aquarium Services has been the most trusted name in aquarium design, installation and maintenance since 1999. A company large enough to be dependable but small enough to still watch out for your best interests, Blue Planet is the only company to call if you are planning to install an aquarium or have one maintained.

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