Revive Your Fish Using These Easy Steps

Written by : nafisbd; in :

fresh water fishes discus 1If you love your finned friends, looking at them die can break you from the inside. Those little swimming creatures have a meaningful purpose in your life. You are used to watching them swim in your fish tank after a hard day at work. This relaxes you and frees you from your work stress. But how will you survive without your stressbusters? As an owner of a fish tank, you must learn how to save a dying fish.

Here is a useful guide on how to revive your dying fishes.

Reasons for a Fish to Die

Before we can learn how to revive a fish, it is good if we know the reasons for the distress a fish can undergo before passing out.

1. If the water is concentrated heavily with ammonium and nitrate, fishes can die. Often, a new tank has a high amount of these chemicals.

2. When you are changing water from an already established aquarium, you must be careful about the amount of water you displace. Large amount of water change can be dangerous for fish health. More often, fishes die after cleaning the tank.

3. Water quality has an important role to play in a fish's life. Salinity, pH, filtration efficiency must be maintained in optimum levels.

4. Drastic temperature changes in a fish tank can lead to illness in fish. Fishes can tolerate many ranges of temperature, but temperature changes must be gradual and not sudden.

5. Even a small amount of toxins that are introduced into water by accident can be fatal to a fish. Toxins can be from cleaning chemicals, perfume, soap, etc.

6. Fish must be fed on a regular basis but overfeeding it can cause the death of the fish.

7. Other unhealthy fishes in the tank can harm healthy fishes. It is wise to isolate the unhealthy fish until it recovers.

8. In many cases, you can't pinpoint the reason for the death of your pet fish!

Also learn
- why a fish dies for no apparent reason

Sometimes you may find your fish lying on a surface outside of the fishbowl. Before declaring your fish dead, you must check for signs that may show your fish is still alive inside and can be revived. Look for signs given below.

  • The eyes of the fish are bulging outward
  • Body parts such as fins or tail are intact
  • Fish looks dried out

There are many other signs that you must know if you are the owner of an aquarium. You can learn how to tell if your fish is dying.

Once you have established that your fish can be revived, you can take a deep breath of relief and proceed with the following tips to revive and strengthen your pet fish.

Phase 1 of Reviving - Cleaning the Fish

1. Place Your Fish in Suitable Water

Take your fish in your hands and place it in cool water from the fish tank. The oxygen in the water will help the fish breath and thus, revive it. More often than not, if you place the fish back in its own fishbowl, the water will fill life back into your weakfish.

2. Remove Dirt Off Your Fish

Fishes take in oxygen using their gills. If dirt and debris are stuck to the side of the fish or worse, it's gills, then you must gently clean it out. Hold your fish in your hands inside the fish tank, and gently stroke the sides of your fish to remove the dirt. You can also move the fish in your hand inside the water tank to clean the fish.

3. Free the Gills

Many times when the fish is struggling to breathe, you will notice that the gills are glued together leaving no gap for the oxygen to move in. If this is the case with your fish, use your fingers and gently unglue the gills. You can gently stroke the underbelly of the fish to prompt the movement of air through the gills.

Phase 2 of Reviving - Oxygenation of Water

Using an air stone or air bubbler

Most of the fish owners have air bubbler or air stones fitted at the bottom of the fish tank. These devices help the fish by aerating the water and regulating the water temperature. To revive your fish, just take your fish in your hand and hold it near the air stone. The oxygenated water will help to put life back into your weak fish.

Phase 3 of Reviving - Help Your Fish to Recover

1. Salt Water Treatment

Dipping your fish in salt water can result in healing but can also be risky if not done correctly. There are two types of salt available for fish aquarium - Epsom salt and Aquarium salt.

When fish is treated with water with Epsom salt, the fish ejects the excess waste from the body. This enables the fish to swim easily and heal the wounds quickly.

Water with aquarium salt is best for those fishes that has fin rot or other parasitic ailments. This salt water has the power to heal the fish rapidly.

When you are using salt water treatment, make sure to add 1 tablespoon of salt per gallon of water. Keep your fish in salt water for 2 to 3 minutes. If your fish displays any kind of stress signals, remove it immediately from salt water and transfer it to its fish tank.

2. Garlic Water Treatment

Garlic has many medicinal values. It acts as a detoxifier. This means it purifies your fish. In addition to this, garlic water treatment can help prevent any sort of infections in your fish. Add a tablespoon of garlic water into per gallon of water to do the trick.

3. Chlorophyll Treatment

Another amazing way of boosting your fish's immune system is by giving them a chlorophyll treatment. The bottle of chlorophyll available in pet stores comes with instructions. Add pure liquid chlorophyll to the fish tank by drops as suggested in the instructions. You can even give chlorophyll to the fish by mixing it with their food.

4. Stress coat water conditioner treatment

After reviving your fish, it may still have damaged tissue or is not completely stress-free. Treating the water with stress coat water conditioner can help give a suitable environment to the fish to reduce stress and breath freely leading to a complete recovery.


Having fishes swimming happily in the fish tank is the best stress buster for a human being. But taking care of fishes is not as easy as it sounds. The temperature and quality of water are of utmost importance. A little alteration in any of the two may cause stress in your fish. When you find any signs of weakness in your fish, you can use the above guide to revive your fish in a jiffy.

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