Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Fish Respiration Information

Goldfish are a common domesticated fish.

The goldfish is a domesticated subspecies of a carplike fish called Carassius auratus. Goldfish are usually kept as pets, feeding on fish food, algae, plankton and other small aquatic life forms. Though goldfish are one of the easier species of aquatic life to care for, their respiratory systems are just as complex as any other fish.


Like other aquatic animals, goldfish have a one-way flow respiratory system. This means that their respiratory system pumps water through their gills and back into the water supply to absorb oxygen. Gills--which are the organs that most aquatic animals use to breathe--consist of complex filters that extract oxygen from the water.


If you adjust the temperate of the water the Goldfish is breathing, the gills will react accordingly. When the temperature of the water is decreased, the surface area of the gills will expand while the respiratory rate decreases. When the temperature of the water is increased the surface area and respiratory rate decrease because the system does not function properly at this temperature. The oxygen content in warm water is lower than that in cold water, making the respiratory system have to work harder to obtain the necessary oxygen.

Oxygen Levels

When the oxygen levels of the water are altered, the respiratory rate of the goldfish will adjust accordingly to regulate the oxygen intake. In high oxygen water the respiratory rate will decrease, because if there is too much oxygen in the water the goldfish can die of oxygen poisoning. When the oxygen level is lowered, the respiratory rate increases to absorb more oxygen into the gills. An extreme decrease in oxygen can kill the goldfish by suffocation.


When a goldfish is in a crowded tank with other goldfish, it must absorb more oxygen in a shorter amount of time. The surface area of the gills will expand to take in more oxygen while the respiratory rate rises to pass more water through the gills. A crowded tank of goldfish must have an air pump running to provide sufficient oxygen.

pH Levels

Potential hydrogen or pH is a measurement of a liquid's acidity or basicity. A low pH level means that the water is too acidic; a high level indicates that the water is too alkaline. It is important that the pH levels of the goldfish habitat stay at a healthy balance. When the pH level is too high the respiratory rate will decrease in an attempt to avoid poisoning. When the pH level is too low the goldfish will increase its respiratory rate, attempting to compensate for the drop in pH levels. The goldfish will die if kept in either extreme habitat for an extended period of time.

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