angry fish home aquarium

According to a new study in the Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science, aquarium fish in the U.S. (all 182.9 million of them) are at risk of becoming aggressive due to cramped, barren housing.

“The welfare of aquarium fishes may not seem important, but with that many of them in captivity, they become a big deal,” said Ronald Oldfield, an instructor of biology at Case Western Reserve in a press release.


Oldfield is the first to scientifically study how the environment of home aquariums affects the aggressive behavior of “ornamental” fishes.

Oldfield suspects cramped, barren environments for humans may also serve as breeding grounds for comparable negative behaviors.

“This study might help us to better understand how human behavior changes when people are placed in different social environments,” he said, suggesting that violence in prisons might be linked in part to the smaller space and reduced stimuli.

Do we even need to state the obvious? Fish are not not meant to be in aquariums. They’re living beings, not “ornaments”– of course they’re pissed off!


Angry Fish Image Source: Ramesh NG/Flickr